By Margaret Njugunah
‘A strong woman understands that gifts such as logic, decisiveness and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all her gifts,’ – Nancy Rathburn.
Career building is tough, isn’t it? Sometimes I just stop and look back to see where I’ve come from to get where I am today. I’m still in my twenties and I write some pretty decent business stories for Kenya’s Capital FM (Website and Radio). It took me a long time to get here; I once had a teaching gig, held a marketing job for a woman who conned me a cool Sh70,000 before getting into mainstream media to do what I’m doing today, journalism, a job I must admit to love.
Along the way, I’ve learned a lot on the subject of career climbing and all. Below I share what I have learned so far.
I, however, speak not as an expert, but as someone who has had a chance of interviewing people who have made it in their careers and they confided in me on the 5 career mistakes millennials make;
- Chasing money instead of experience and reputation
If the first and only thing you consider when taking a job is the amount of money you get paid, you are making a great career mistake. At this stage in our lives, it should be more than just the money. Right now, millennials have a solid ground on which we can establish and build careers that other people in other age brackets cannot be able to.
We should, therefore, concentrate on mastering our careers, knowing our jobs inside out; taking jobs that help us grow and getting as much experience as we simply. Then money will inevitably come.
- Delaying a degree/masters and other crucial education qualifications to get them in the future
People are especially fond of delaying the time to do their Masters saying they will enroll in the future. The same goes for people who already have stable jobs but haven’t gotten their degrees and other important qualifications.
This can be costly. Take the instance of courses such as CPA and CPS which need one to have completed the courses in order to get operating licenses. The sooner you get these, the sooner you can even start your own business.
From the experience of students who are in their late thirties and forties and beyond, studying then becomes harder as these age brackets tend to have more commitments and responsibilities than millennials. Therefore, get your qualifications before settling down.
- Using your provident fund after switching jobs
You’ve landed a great offer at company ‘B’ after working at company ‘A’ for what seems like an eternity. At company ‘A’, you’ve accumulated an impressive Provident Fund that could probably meet all your short term goals.
I am here to advise you against breaking that fund and using it. This is not the right time. Move that fund into that one provided by your new employer. If it isn’t possible, ask the company you are exiting if it’s possible to leave it at the fund for it to continue accumulating.
If all the above is impossible, and you insisting on using the money, ensure you invest into something that is long term, something of equal worth or better than the fund.
- Quitting a job without a sounding reason
Millennials collectively do not have to stay power as far as staying at one job is concerned. Five years, eight years and sometimes even three years seems like an eternity to most of us. But this has its own set of blunders, quitting too soon can be fatal to your career.
Know when to go into a company, know when to stay and know when to leave. Quitting because two months down the line, you haven’t adapted to the job is too soon, hence fatal. Quitting because you do not like your co-workers is fatal to your career. Have staying power, but also know when to leave.
- Not having a long term plan
Do not go into a job and advance well into it without having short term and a long term plan. If a company has these kinds of plans, governments have these kinds of plans, so should you at a professional and a personal level.
For instance, the owner or the board of the company you work for could be having plans to dissolve the company in a year’s time, and you may not be aware of it, what then? Have a plan; have a plan B and C. Have ideas of what you could do in case the job you are in ended, this will save you’re a lot of heartaches which is mostly unpredictable.
Any other career mistakes millennials make that you know of? Let us know through the comment section.