Did you know that Kenya has got less than one million graduates? According to 2014 statistics, there were approximately 495,000 graduates in Kenya. The research was done by counting the total number of alumni in each university. Congratulations for joining this small category of learned friends. I say this knowing that some of you don’t merit to be here. I know a substantial number used Mwakenyas, from the first CAT to the Research Project. I also know that the no. of Sexually Transmitted Degrees (STDs) is on the rise in Kenya. But am not here to judge anyone, in fact, congratulations even more if you fall into this category.
You have received tips from many people about how to adjust to life after graduation. Some of the information is misleading while some may not be applicable to your case. I am here to give you more information on what to do after university.
Prepare for ‘tarmacking’
Some of you have heard the phrase ‘Kupata kazi Kenya ni ngumu” more times than you have taken a shower this month. But you’re hopeful, you won’t go through what your predecessors have endured. I hope so too, in fact, am praying for you. Now there is a difference between hoping and reality. If you don’t prepare well, you will get worse. I know you received a few MPESA messages on your graduation day. Some of your family and friends gave you brown envelopes. We all know the content.
Spent that money wisely, because it may the only money you will call yours in a very long time. Buy yourself a pair of long lasting shoes. These shoes should be all-weather shoes, not the kind that you remove when it rains. Go to Muthurwa or Gikomba and get a nice pair of Mutumba shoes. They should be durable shoes which will still be in good condition when you hold your grandchildren. Get yourself at least two trousers and durable underwear. You can hit the gym if you are overweight. We don’t want you arriving at an interview venue sweating profusely because you walked the distance.
Opportunities will come, allow them to find you
Opportunities won’t look for you. You have to reach out to them. How you do this I don’t know. But do not spend your time watching ‘If Loving You Is Wrong’ on your laptop then going to ‘Kilimani Mums Facebook Group’ to discuss which Kenyan tribe has got men with big manhood. My friend that is the worst way to start your life after college. This sounds funny, but we have many victims.
Gambling is not an economic activity
This disease is eating much Kenyan youth. I know Abisai won more than 200 million on the Sportpesa Mega Jackpot. But do you know where that money came from? It is from people like you who lost bets. The fact that you won 29,338 on a bet in 2015 does not make you a good tipster. Gambling will ruin your life. Several Kenyans have committed suicide due to betting related matters. Do not increase this number.
Stop being used by politicians
Defending politicians on social media forums are not one of the ways on how to find a job after college. Politicians know that you are bright but very broke and therefore vulnerable. They will use you to spread propaganda on Social media. The little money you get is just not worth it. You should also stop following MCAs around with the hope that they will help you land a job. You will just end up frustrated. These MCAs don’t even know their roles. And if you are lucky to get a job, you will forever remain their slave.
Your first job may have little to do with what you studied
This is Kenya, we get jobs mostly through connections and luck. So, don’t be so rigid, if you get an opportunity to work as Banker don’t let it go because you studied Social work. You will learn on the job.
Apart from your degree, what else do you have?
The 8-4-4 system was very rigid. It killed many talents. But now that you are out of the system, pursuing your talent should be among the things you can do after graduation. Talent is more rewarding than any kind of job out there. Plus, there is nothing as sweet as getting paid for doing what you love most. Singing, painting, comedy, drawing, and hairdressing are some of the most rewarding talents. Finding a job after college won’t be hard if you pursue your talent.
Staying with a married relative is a NO!!
I know some of you have moved to stay with your elder brothers and uncles in big towns because you are afraid of village life. I am advising against this. It is better to stay in the slum and learn to provide for yourself than stay with a married relative because you will never get along with the wife. I learned this the hard way. During my attachment, my brother’s wife accused me of eating her slice of bread. She even called my sister to report that I was eating too much.
Ladies maintain your dignity
It is very hard to advise a modern Kenyan lady on morals, but I will try. Some employers will tell you to your face that you will only get a job after sleeping with them. Yes, that is how bad Kenya is. You may be so desperate to the point you will consider such a proposition. But I advise you against giving in to your desperation. Sleeping around is not a good way of finding a job after college. You may get the job, but you won’t have job security. The boss may decide to sack you once he gets tired of using you. Imagine how damaging that will be.
Getting married is not the solution to your problems
This is exclusively for ladies. I know you will endure very hard financial problems. But trust me, they won’t be permanent. But getting married because of them will leave permanent footprints. Now imagine giving up on an opportunity to work in Lodwar because your husband is not comfortable with it. Marriage life has its own challenges, are you ready for them?
Keep in touch with your friends
Check out with your friends for you never know what they are going through. Call them, encourage each other. Be there for them when they have a problem for you never know when you will need them to come to your rescue. Good friends call each other, commenting on a friend’s Facebook post is not a way of keeping in touch.
Pay your HELB loan as soon as possible
Not paying won’t take the loan away. Get done with payment. This will open more opportunities for you. Don’t wait for CRB.
Don’t forget your parents when pastures get greener
It is our mothers’ prayers that keep us going. It is unfortunate that most of us forget our parents when things become good for us. Visit your parent in the village. Bring some shopping for them and buy your mom a nice wrapper. Do not fall into the category of men who buy iPhones for their wives and girlfriends, yet the mother is using a first generation phone that was brought in 2004.