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Take this simple test to know the career that suits you

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The Psychometric test can help you find your right career.

Every year, when Kenya Certificate Secondary Education (KCSE) results are out, we get missed reactions. While some are celebrating, others are left miserable. A good number are not sure where they truly stand. Heart-moving stories of learners who overcame great personal odds and emerged victorious splash the media.

Last year, one out of every four candidates who sat Form Four national examination did not get grades to qualify them to enter a ‘professional course’. It went on to say that out of the over 500,000 candidates who sat the exam, over 120,000 scored grade ‘D’ and below!

Career experts now beg the question, Does that mean that blue-colour jobs are not professions? If I am an electrician, one would ask, am I not a professional? What are professions?

The online Cambridge dictionary describes a profession as ‘any type of work that needs special training or a particular skill, often one that is respected because it involves a high level of education.” To experts, every career is a calling!

Interestingly, confusion about career paths to follow does not know grades. Those with A, B, C, D, E always find themselves at the same crossroad; which way do I follow!

See Also: How to get the skills and jobs you deserve 

Mercy Stuma was elated when she got an A-. I listened as every member of her family and friend advised her on the career path to follow, each giving their very good reasons for their choice. The uncle said; “which other career can you follow with such grades apart from medicine?” The dad said engineering, the mother wanted to have a lawyer for a daughter, her best friend thought Actuarial sciences sounded cool!

I asked her, “and what course do you wish to pursue Mercy?” And she said, “I don’t know any more!”

For Mercy and thousands of Kenyans in her shoes, the question still begs; how will they determine what careers they should pursue? Career decisions are based on evidence of abilities, interests, skills, personality and values and yet, our education system only measures ‘success’ using academic performance. Whatever the grade scored, all students must be assisted in choosing their careers so they are compelled to study courses that align with the careers they seek to pursue and what suits them.

Mismatch of interests and work

Industrial Psychologist John Holland conducted a research to find out why some people were so motivated at work, while others were very dissatisfied. Holland’s study led him to understand the connection between interests and motivation in the workplace.

He developed the theory of career choices that stated that a match between interests and work tasks led to motivation, satisfaction and better performance. A mismatch between interests and work tasks led to demotivation, dissatisfaction and poor performance.

For many years, scientists have studied how motivation affects productivity. In studies involving children, college students and working people, it has been discovered that people are more strongly intrinsically motivated when driven by interest, enjoyment, satisfaction and a sense of personal challenge in the work they do.

Like Gardner’s and Holland’s theory, some people are fascinated by mysteries and beauty; others  love enjoying investigative documentaries and understanding how, for example, aviation accidents happen, how seemingly simple processes and procedures overlooked can cause great havoc, how forensic science is used to solve long forgotten murder cases, how wildebeests strategize themselves so as to cross crocodile infested rivers and how a house can be completely changed and renovated through creative use of colour and space. The list can go on and on.

An objective way to find out your interest area is to use a scientific interest assessment known as a psychometric test. Doing a psychometric test can be beneficial to one’s career and selection of university/colleges as it helps you know your motivation, strengths and weaknesses and hence identify a career that best suit you.

NEXT: Chris Kirubi: How to work with young people

A psychometric test will ask you questions about your preferences and give you a list of careers you might like. Since psychometric tests match your natural behaviour and motivation to a career that suits you, it is instrumental in helping you make career choices that bring lasting fulfillment.

Students set to join university and tertiary colleges could gain a lot from doing the test in their endeavour to discover what kind of career best suits them. The test will reveal to them careers that are suitable for them so that they know what courses to focus their attention and resources on in order to realize their ambitions.

Given the high number of people changing careers midstream, the importance of such a test in charting one’s future professional field cannot be overemphasized.

Executive Director of Discover Your Career, a leading career guidance service provider in East Africa. Go a career issue? You can reach her through email: [email protected] or visit www.discoveryourcareer.co.ke

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Jobs

BBC set to hire more than 100 journalists

Currently, broadcaster employs more than 300 natives in the region compared to more than 200 in West Africa

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BBC World Service is preparing to hire more than 100 staff members in the East African region by early next year, in one of its ambitious expansion plans.

This was announced during a career fair held in Nairobi this week where more than 400 practicing and aspiring media professionals took part.

According to trainers, who spoke to the attendees, the Kenyan and East African Bureau are set to expand to cover more localised stories in the local dialect including Swahili and the Somali language in Somalia.

Currently, BBC employs more than 300 natives in the East African region compared to more than 200 in the West African region, according to sources within the administration. If the projected 100 employees are brought on board, BBC will be competing with some local media houses in terms of employee numbers.

RELATED: BBC top presenter earns like a king

Averagely, the leading Kenyan media companies employ around 1,000 people directly each, hence BBC will be almost halfway the number. Most media outlets employ far much below the number, with some employing as little as 20, despite the big number of professionals churned out the training colleges and universities in Kenya.

According to World Bank estimates, close to 800,000 youth, mostly from the numerous institutions of learning, enter the Kenyan job market annually. Out of this number, only about 70,000 may succeed in securing professional employment in the formal sector.

Media graduates may constitute 3-5% of the total population of graduates, meaning that at least 20,000 communication and media practitioners graduate every year.

ALSO SEE: Standard Group shops for a CEO at Uchumi

Going by the World Bank statistics, around 1,500-2,000 media practitioners are absorbed in the formal employment sector every year. This leaves at least 18,000 without formal employment in the sectors they majored in, hence some end up in other sectors or are completely unemployed.

This was reflected in the BBC Career Fair, where only 400 out of more than 2,000 applicants were shortlisted for the fair.

Most of the applicants were fresh graduates looking for employment with very few applicants looking for greener pastures.

According to experts, very few graduates have competent skills that may secure them employment in leading/competent employers, hence will walk a long way towards finding attractive employment. Others argue that the job market is flooded, hence fresh graduates should be taught self-help skills that can benefit them even without employment.

READ: Former KTN news anchor joins BBC

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Career Adviser

7 tips for getting the most out of a job fair

Your elevator speech is people’s first impression of what you have to offer. Begin with a firm handshake and good eye contact.

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Does the very idea of a job fair make your palms sweat? Or do you get truly excited at the thought of getting to meet so many potential employers?

Whatever your personality, follow these simple tips to help you make the most of any job fair experience:

1. Set your expectations correctly

At a job fair, you can expect to introduce yourself to potential employers and answer employer questions, as well as get information and leads that are not available on the employer’s website. But don’t expect to have on-the-spot, full interviews or walk away with a job offer.
2. Research participating employers

Research is a critical part of the job search process. Find out ahead of time which employers hire people with your skills. Even if the company is not on your list of target employers, treat them as if they were.

3. Make a list of questions for employers

Ask about how they recruit and hire people with your skill set. Your target employers will likely have similar hiring practices.

4. Practice your elevator speech

Your elevator speech is people’s first impression of what you have to offer. Begin with a firm handshake and good eye contact. Use a clear voice and provide the employer with concise and relevant information. It’s a good idea to practice with someone else.

5. Prepare your supplies

Bring several copies of your resume, pen and paper for notes, and breath mints.

ALSO SEE:  Survival tips for freshly-employed graduates

6. Follow-up with yourself right away

After meeting someone, make a few notes. What did you discuss with them? Did you commit to any follow-up? It’s a lot easier to remember right after the meeting!

7. Send a thank-you email or letter

Remind your contacts of who you are and any specifics you discussed. Thank your contacts for their time and ask about next steps. Make sure to organize your job fair notes and contact information.

Source: blog.careeronestop.org 

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Career Adviser

Retire young and rich

Retiring early will have you do things you had plans for such as travelling the world, spending time with the family or venturing into some new hobbies

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Who wants to work forever? The idea itself brings about a cringing feeling. Are you fed up waking up every morning to prepare for work starting at 8 am to 5 pm, heading back home worn out only for the cycle to continue? Do not get me wrong, work puts food on the table and feeds the entire family.

Question is: Is that what you have planned for yourself for your entire life existence?

Retiring early will have you do things you had plans for such as travelling the world, spending time with family or venturing into some new hobbies; the list is endless. But to retire early, you need to be smart about it. You ought to plan your way out. There will still be bills to pay. First of all, decide why you would like to retire early.

According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of publications such as Rich Dad Poor Dad and Retire Young Retire Rich, discovering why you want to retire early will lead you to the ‘how’ bit of the puzzle. The ‘how’ will enable you to have a time frame for coming up with an exit plan. An exit plan for retirement is what will still be bringing you income; start up a business, buy and sell shares, do both, etcetera.

ALSO SEE: Hard work pays: Here is how

As you are working out your exit plan; save up a good lump sum of money and ensure you have an insurance cover. You should make sure you are of good health as well as being covered. Medical expenses are usually quite high. Once you have figured out where you want to venture to during retirement, execute it before that time comes. It will have you enjoy stability in earlier times before your retirement. A clever person will know not only to rely on pension as a retirement package.

The ultimate goal of dreams isn’t the success, but to get free of the ghost of conformism. Jump out of your comfort zone, be focused on your specific objective and enjoy the perk of early retirement.

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Career Adviser

Survival tips for freshly-employed graduates

You should live modestly, save your income and plan on your spending. It doesn’t make any sense living a lavish life that you cannot afford yet

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Fresh out of university? Starting off with a job with a minimal salary? You are on your own for the very first time. Reality has dawned on you as you reminisce on the days your parents or guardians showered you with pocket money. Spending every last coin on high end restaurants, clubs, designer clothes, you name it was the order of the day.

Now, you have to grow up. It is time you suit up and understand that in order to enjoy a good and comfortable life ahead, you ought to save and invest your money. Transitioning from such a stage is not the easiest, but it is indeed rewarding.

You should live modestly, save your income and plan on your spending. It doesn’t make any sense living a lavish life that you cannot afford yet. The majority of people who do so have the rush to please people as well as compete with others.

You could end up so deep in debt levels and unfortunately you end up stuck. It is a bad sign when your spending exceeds your income. Saving money for anyone is a very touchy topic today because some people do not know how to control it.

The following tips are wise ways on how you should live for now:

1. Live with roommates

You can even pick some of your friends. One gets to share costs on fixed budgets such as electricity and water.

2. Switch from the shopping mall to the market

For food as well as clothes. Fruits, vegetables and meat are fresher and cheaper in the market. Mitumba are a variety of second hand clothes which are unique, and some even have legit designer labels on them.

3. Stop eating at restaurants

Make food at home that you can enjoy; invite some friends over. Again, why not make your own coffee and skip the trip to the coffee house? The once-in-a-blue-moon-treat-yourself date is okay as a reward for saving.

ALSO SEE: Tips on getting a job straight from college

4. Credit cards is a no-no

Banks are very alluring when they are selling their products to their customers. A credit card will have you feeling rich all day; swiping it everywhere you go. Where it gets dangerous for you is that every time you swipe it, it places you deeper into debt.

5. Pack lunch to work every day

It saves you some good shillings because buying ready food can be quite expensive.

6. Do It Yourself

If you can do it yourself, why pay for it? These include activities such as nail polishing and eyebrow tweezing.

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