Start by listing all the things that you would like to do; circle the top five and then break this down further to a final three. Understand what you love most about these three areas.
“I am looking for a job, please help me find one.”
This is a request you are probably familiar with, having sent it your contacts, or having been sent one yourself by a friend or relative.
The fact is that there are surging unemployment rates among Kenyan youth, the highest in East Africa, currently at 39.1 per cent, according to the 2017 United Nations Human Development Index.
But just because there aren’t companies advertising jobs doesn’t mean that there isn’t enough work to go around. You can always create your own job; you have a skill set someone needs. All you need is the drive, thorough research on your topic matter to sharpen your skills, and readiness to storm the market with a solution.
Here are a few pointers to guide you through this process.
1. Find your niche
Often, young people simply state that they want ‘a job’. You need to define what kind of job you want. The best way to do this is to place yourself in the optimistic and unrestricted mindset of a toddler. In their mind, they can do anything, they have no inhibitions; toddlers are fearless of judgment.
The first tools you need are a notebook and pen. Start by listing all the things that you would like to do. Once you have listed all those things, stop and circle the top five areas of interest and then break this down further to a final three. Identify what you love most about these three areas. Once this is done, do your research to find out how you can fuse those three interests together to make a lucrative occupation. For example; you love food, travel and TV. You could, say, run a food travel show woven around a show called Bizarre Foods. The host of the show travels around the globe consuming some of the world’s most unusual foods. He makes money as a professional chef, through his TV show and also through articles about food. Since you cannot afford to travel around the world as yet, start with your locality.
2. Find the logical extension of your skill set
You have a degree in education for example; you wrapped up your teaching practice but no one seems to be hiring. What is the next logical thing to do? The answer to that question is limited by your imagination. Every one has a series of interests, if teaching is one of them for you, maybe Agriculture or music could be the other.
You can run workshops with farmers on best practices of the growth of a certain crop. Or you could offer vocal coach training, or music lessons based on your interest for example.
The aim isn’t to put together a get-rich-quick-scheme, the aim is to take your interests, fuse them and develop them. You can start by researching and picking the minds of veteran professionals in those fields to help you improve your skill set enough to build your confidence and mastery of your new skills to earn from it.
3. Find driven people
Inspired people inspire others. You need to get out of the house and network. Meet driven people, ask them questions, shadow them for some time, pick some positive nuances, it’s a great way to learn how to develop your style of business or operations and build invaluable networks.
4. Identify opportunities for the company to improve
If you are currently in an internship you enjoy and are good at, you probably notice that there are certain areas the company is struggling with. Are these areas that could benefit from your expertise? If the answer is yes, then look at the situation and offer a unique and irresistible offer for your employer.
It saves them the hassle of the recruitment and orientation process of a new employee.
The beauty of developing your own role is that you can determine the work scope and propose your income. If your argument is compelling enough, a decent employer would be mad to refuse your offer.
5. Develop a spirit of adventure
Who says you need to work in a city? Neither do you have to be dressed up in a suit or tie. At times, the idea of a unique job can come to you when you are travelling or away in the village. It is in moments of fun that you find your calling. Perhaps you enjoy rock climbing, hiking and travelling.
The conventional route would be to become an instructor or guide, or create a TV show and sell it to media houses across the globe. You could also write for global travel magazines such as Condé Nast, Traveler or National Geographic, who pay well. All you need to do is grasp your content area and invest in a good camera and teach yourself how to edit your rich images and clean up your writing. There are all sorts of free tutorials on the Internet that you can use to improve your skills.
You need to research, put your learning to practice, and as you do so, your confidence will grow; your client base as well, not to mention your bank account. It is a labour of love that you need to be willing to make.
There is no shortcut; to have the best job and be the best in your field, you have to put in the work.