My advice to the qualified but un-employed

My Advice to the Qualified but un-employed

Here is my advice for young graduates looking for jobs. When you graduate from university don’t go out looking for jobs. begin by understanding what is currently happening in the industry you are targeting and what they are looking for.

Turn yourself into what the industry is looking for. You do this by acquiring skills that you never learnt in your university class. After you have done that then go and apply for a job and I can grantee that you will get a job within a very short time. What is currently making it hard for you to get a job might be that you have a qualification(certification) but are not qualified (skill set) for what the industry is looking for.

How do I know this before I started to run my own company? I worked and changed jobs and in a space of 10 years changed 4 relatively good paying jobs.

An average graduate today except from medical school where for several clinical years works in the very hospitals where they will work after graduation lacks the skill set required by the industry. Let me give you an example.

If you graduated with a degree in journalism for example the question is where are you going to work? Comrade I need to be frank with you. Forget the dreams of news casting on TV at least for a start. Maybe you will do that when you set up your own media house like Costa has done.

We have less than five proper TV stations and very few proper radio stations that can pay you a salary. It means the job market for journalism as things stand is saturated. But I should tell you that smart journalists are getting employed every day. The question is how?

By understanding the industrial demand. While the job market for traditional news casting kind of journalism is saturated and constipated all companies want smart young people with good writing skills to manage and create content for their digital platforms. To write content for their Facebook pages, company profiles, YouTube channels, Instagram, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

This is the space you must be exploring and studying because if you are smart, with your degree in journalism you could find yourself in public relations, sales or marketing.

You begin by having a proper Facebook page where you will be posting substance with proper English not this Nasser Road preschool you bally slay queen exciting, night club, red eyes, dizzy head type of English. Open a LinkedIn account and post things that show that you have a functional brain and are an expert on something sensible. Post with good quality pictures where you are corporately dressed.

Learn some graphic designing and digital branding and marketing via free platforms like Coursera and put up some good Quality graphics on your platforms. When you have done this go searching for a job. In the interview take your interviewers to your platforms and show them what you are currently doing. You would have proven that you have what the industry is looking for.

While prayer is powerful and necessary the idea of spending six days on the mountain praying with a certificate that is accumulating dust and yet you have nothing of what the industry is currently looking for and has added no value to oneself since the day you received your certificate will end you in a place where you hate God, Question if God exists, hate the employed and regret going to school. It will leave you looking forward to nothing in this life except the next elections.

This is free advice you can take it or leave it but note that it comes from a man who graduated like you and changed 4 well-paying jobs in 8 years and currently sits on the employing end and may Just be sharing with you what employers look for.

In case you do not understand the gravity of digital issues. Recently one of the donor organizations advertised for a Consultancy contract for 3 years and as experts in the field we rendered in our proposal. Among the many requirements one of them was to submit a Facebook link to the Facebook profile of the lead Consultant on the proposed team. This is because the world is saturated with qualifications that are only good for display but not skill. The employers are now looking for what you can do (evidence-based employing) and not what you claim to be able to do.


Solve a Problem to Earn

If you cannot solve a problem, then you can’t be employed.

Whoever solves a problem on this planet is paid – Africa is the biggest employer because we have many problems- the question is, what can you solve?

What distinctive competence do you have? It can be a talent, a gift or your ability…

The problem is, we’re simply copycats. You want to be like the other one, you don’t want to know whether that person killed to be who they’re- you don’t care, all you’re looking at is money.

LET’S THINK, the day God gives you a word of wisdom (God’s word is normally peculiar and unique), is the day God will have blessed you with abundance. If you have a competitive advantage over others in solving a problem, then you must be a billionaire.

The mindset to earn through other people’s successes is anyone’s biggest bondage.

Don’t make people your source. Make God your source, ask Him to give you a unique and peculiar idea of solving people’s problems.

Bill Gates solved a big problem- He’s a big earner. Ford solved a problem of walking- they are a legendary wealthy family

Mark Zuckerberg created a platform for socialization and over 71 billion dollars followed him, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak went out to reduce the size of computers and billion dollars followed them, Larry page and Sergey brain went all out to help humanity to pass through internet and billion dollars follow them. You, what kind of problems are you solving?

We cannot keep thinking about working on someone’s mind (waking up early to the office to do routine things) to earn a salary and we think we can change? we shall keep in the bracket of celebrating stepping in a plane, selfies at Starbucks, taking portraits at other people’s offices etc.

THINKING IS KEY, if we’re to solve problems as an employment.

This is the true definition of self-employment. SOLVING A PROBLEM.

Dear lord, please baptize me with a fresh idea to solve problems and please connect me to the right Partners to solve some of these problems.

It’s not just talent. You must also understand your industry_field2

It’s not just talent. You must also understand your industry/field

It’s not just talent. You must also understand your industry/field

For the longest time I use to wonder why the most talented people are not always the most successful. I used to think it’s automatic that if you are very talented then you will be very successful. But that is not the case. You see, talent is one thing but understanding your field/industry is another. Having a clear understanding of your field or industry is what assures success more than talent.

A person who understands a particular field or industry will always succeed even with little talent. E. g, success in the music industry is not just about having the best voice. No! It’s about the one who is talented but also understands how the music business works as well. Note: The music industry requires more than a talented voice. It requires several other accompanying skills and abilities. So sadly, the most beautiful music made by people who don’t understand the industry/field will never go anywhere. UNFORTUNATELY, that’s the tough reality.  It’s the same with football. Football talent/skill and football as business are not the same. You can do more with a talented player who understands football as business than a merely talented player. That is why the most famous players in the world are not necessarily the best players. Some of them are great brands today not because they are the most skilled but because they understand football as a business as well.

So, what is your area of talent or career/field? Do you understand the industry side of your talent or is it that your talent is all you understand? Whether you are a banker, an author, a preacher, a politician, a medical doctor or a businessperson in any area of business, realize that for you to be the best in that industry will not just be a matter of talent. No! It will be because you also understand how that industry or field functions in the area of your skill or talent.

Don’t just work. Go an extra mile

Don’t just work. Go an extra mile

Ezra and Thomas joined a company together a few months after their graduation from university.

After a few years of work, their manager promoted Ezra to a position of Senior Sales Manager, but Thomas remained in his entry level Junior Sales Officer position.

Thomas developed a sense of jealousy and disgruntlement but continued working anyway.

One day Thomas felt that he could not work with Ezra anymore. He wrote his resignation letter, but before he submitted it to the Manager, he complained that the Management did not value hard working staff, but only promoted only the favored!

The Manager knew that Ezra worked very hard for the years he had spent at the company and to help Thomas, the Manager gave Thomas a task.

“Go and find out if anyone is selling watermelons in town”

Thomas returned and said, “yes there is someone!”

The Manager asked, “how much per kg?” Thomas droves back to town to ask and then returned to inform the Manager; “they are Rs.13.50 per kg!”

The Manager told Thomas, ” Now I will give Ezra the same task that I gave you”.

So, the Manager said to Ezra, in the presence of Thomas; “Go and find out if anyone is selling watermelons in town”

Ezra went to find out and, on his return, he said:

“Manager, there is only one person selling watermelons in the whole town. The cost is Rs.49.00 each watermelon and Rs.32,50 for half a melon. He sells them at Rs.13.50 per kg. He has in his stock 93 melons, each one weighing about 7kg. He has a farm and can supply us with melons for the next 4 months at a total of 102 melons per day at Rs.27.00 per melon; this includes delivery.

The melons appear fresh and of good quality, and they taste better than the ones we sold last year.

He has his own slicing machine and is willing to slice for us free of charge.

We need to strike a deal with him before 10 a.m. tomorrow and we will be sure of beating last year’s profits in melons by Rs. 223,000.00. This will contribute positively to our overall performance as it will add a minimum of 3.78% to our current overall sales target.

I have put this information down in writing and it is available on a spreadsheet. Please let me know if you need it as I can send it to you in five minutes.”

Thomas was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and Ezra. He decided not to resign but to learn from Ezra.

Let this story help us keep in mind the importance of going an extra mile in all our endeavors.

You won’t be rewarded for doing what you’re meant to do,

You get paid for that! You’re only ​rewarded​ for going an extra mile; performing beyond expectations.

It’s ok to get a small salary. What’s not ok is to be working for a small salary, but learn nothing from the job, that you can use to stand on your own. Sometimes what they give you is not a salary, but an allowance for you to sustain yourself while you are learning what you need to start your own thing. The problem comes when you fail to graduate such that you end up starting to complain about the allowance.

You can’t grow if you don’t know how to sell…

You can’t grow if you don’t know how to sell…

You can’t grow if you don’t know how to sell…

You can pray heaven down and still be poor because you don’t know how to SELL…

You can visit Witch doctors, Prophets and do all their rituals and still be poor if you don’t know how to SELL…

You can have the smartest business idea or product and still fail if you don’t know how to SELL…

Now Let’s Learn How To SELL.

SELLING is an art that requires you to sharpen your social skills to successfully connect with your buyer at a personal level while maintaining the professional purpose for the connection.

To Sell Successfully, You Should:

  • Understand your product or service – the first rule is: don’t sell what you don’t know. Spend time to study your product/service before you start selling.
  • Understand Your Buyer – who is your buyer? what drives your buyer? Quality, Luxury, Price, Pride, or an Ideology?
  • Give Your Buyer Access to Experience Your Product Free of Charge…. This works like magic.
  • Understand That It Is About the Buyer. Don’t make it about you…. Listen to the buyer… Respect the buyer… Show them that you honor them… Train your sales personnel to serve buyers… It is the buyers’ market.

Do not discuss your religion or political ideology with a buyer…Many religious and political sellers make this mistake…. Keep religion and politics out of your business. Talk business in your business space and if you meet them in a religious space, then you can talk religion. Stop trying to ‘convert’ your buyer into your religion. It is not wise.

Build an Honest Relationship…Buyers are human beings… We all are both sellers and buyers… To be a good seller, you must treat your buyer the way you desire to be treated as a buyer… Be honest… Show kindness and empathy… Don’t be desperate to make a sale that you forget to be human. Connect with your buyer at their level. This is how smart sellers retain loyal buyers.

Before you Resign

Before you resign

My barber resigned from his place of work a few months ago and started his own barber shop. Yesterday as I was passing outside his former workplace, I found him. What? He is back at the same place he had resigned from. A little discussion with him revealed two lessons that I think are important before quitting your job.

Am sure he was looking at how much money his boss makes, and he thought, “Wow, I could make this same amount of money too if I left.” So, he left, organized some capital and started his own. Unfortunately, in the first few weeks/months, he could not even make his former salary. And bills like rent and electricity were piling up. At his former workplace, he did not have to think about costs. He just saw money in, and his salary. Now he must pay for the accessories, pay the bills and pay himself. Here is what he may not have understood. Unless you have already been running the business before you left, when you resign, you first go down before you go up. There is what is called “the break-even point” which comes after a while. It takes time before the business can start making profit. And so, if your only attraction was money, you will fail because money won’t come immediately. There are loses to be made before you make profit. You will have to suffer a while before you enjoy the fruits of resigning. And that requires tenacity. My barber probably did not see all this and so he closed shop and ran back where he has a guaranteed income.

It’s not everyone who should leave employment and run a business. Business is not for everyone. You can be an employee for the rest of your life and still live a successful life. This idea that working for someone is not success is a lie. Do not foolishly leave your job because someone told you that you need to start your own business, or you admire people who are in business. Business may not be for you. Go to school, get a good paper, find a better and high paying job, live your life. It is very ok to just be an employee. It’s a lie that we all must start business. What we need is to find multiple ways of stretching yourself to raise money. Not that you must just leave your job and start a business. Business is not easy. If you don’t have the nerve, stay employed. It’s fine.

Be grateful!!