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Journey to my first job.

by Evalyne Ndanu
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Your network is your net worth. This statement has never been more true to me than during my job search season.

Job search is a task. Especially in countries where the unemployment rates are too high, securing a job is in itself a daunting task.

On the brighter side however, many African countries are forming the fastest growing economies and it may be a blessing to be here in such a time. The steadily developing economies in Africa include Morocco, Kenya and Ghana.

Having a close look at these countries, you will realize that technology is a growing industry in each. Technology is a field that is therefore leading to creating lots of employment opportunities as well as developing entrepreneurs. The beauty with IT is the variety and Vastness. There is a large pool to choose from.

Picking up from the journey through my first internships  When I finished the leadership program, I went home. It was called YALI, Young African Leaders Initiative, it was founded by Barack Obama in 2010. It was Christmas festivals and I had also decided it would be time for me to catch a breath, think and analyze about the different programs I had been on and hopefully come up with a good plan for the next phase.

Let’s just say I got caught up in the festivities and families, I didn’t think much about my career journey. I enjoyed my Christmas and New year and time with family. Then there is that period after New year when everyone goes back to their jobs and business. It was in this period I realized that I hadn’t given thought of my next moves and now I was like ‘home alone’.

I thank God that my parents allowed me to process and think without too much pressure. Giving someone a push is very necessary but I think they had enough faith me to trust that I was processing and would soon get out of my ‘situation’.

I particularly appreciate two friends who traveled over 300kms to come visit me home. They were concerned that I was sinking and running away from the reality and hustle of Nairobi. They were concerned that I was throwing in the Towel all too early. They took the chance to come and put some sense in my head. I appreciate them. They came and we had a relaxed three days home of resting. I am sure they needed it as well. They also were relieved to know that I was okay.

When they went back I stayed on for like 2 more weeks and decided I would go back to Nairobi and give it a shot one more time. I knew there was need for rent, food, transport required hence I first spoke to my parents and they reassured me that they would do their best to support me.

In my period of analysis, I had concluded that I was good in Mathematics and that I loved technology. My ideal would thus be a combination of these two. I began to apply again, the people on my WhatsApp, I reminded them once more to keep sending me opportunities.

I got invited to several interviews. I would go for the interviews to sharpen my interview skills even when I Knew straight up for some of them that they weren’t something I would like to do. Going for several interviews makes you acquainted to the common questions and improves your composure. I do not regret going for any interview even the ones I desired to pass and wasn’t accepted it.

When I was almost changing my mind regards the job search, a friend of a friend forwarded an internship opportunity that was in the ERP field and they required someone who had some financial plus Technology background. I was curious about ERPs because I had never heard about ERPs before. I googled what they are and how they work and I thought it was a pretty Interesting growing field. The down side was that it was an Internship. I had done some internships before and I felt that it was time for a full time job.

At this moment though, a lot of things had not worked out and I decided that I would give it a shot knowing that I was half qualified. I sent my resume. Luckily I was invited for the interview. I went and got accepted for a 3 month internship. I was excited but the same time analytical. I didn’t want to go through this internship and finish not knowing what I wanted.

I began, we were 4 interns. The three others were from a financial background and them me. I depended on them a whole lot to explain to me financial terms, and they depended on me to explain the software terms, a win win scenario. We helped and worked with each other well. After the three months we got certified in the specific ERP system and shortly after were interviewed again by potential employers. The partners who sold the ERP.

One of the partners took a chance with me and chose to hire me for full-time employment. It was a blessing. It was a field that I loved because it was a meeting point for Technology and finance, it allowed me to become a consultant and it challenged me to step out of my mental boundaries. This is how I got into the ERP field in which I still I am.

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