Jumpstarting your Career
It’s easy to set goals and dream up the future of our careers especially when we are excited. But with time the excitement of building well established careers tends to slowly drain away. The humdrum of daily living has a way of silently reasserting itself into our career plans. So what steps can you take to reenergize your career? What will it take to put your career goals back on track?
Build a Routine Around your goals- Maybe you drafted them in the New Year or after having an inspiring pep talk. Along the way you tucked it somewhere and can’t even locate them. It pays to have the goals in your face every day. Pin them in your office. Pull them out frequently and asses the progress you have made thus far. Besides that ,build a sense of inevitability around your goals.
Remember your great days– We all have those wonderful moments when we hit the crest of our careers. It could have been the project that you aced, the evaluation that gave you great reviews or that company goals that you greatly surpassed. In the low moments, it is vital to remember them. It pays to keep them in mind and remind yourself just what you are truly capable of. Most importantly remind yourself what made you hit that high mark and work towards restoring that.
Switch careers-You may have studied one career and now you are stuck in a job that drains you and barely makes use of your natural skills and gifting. It is critical to have the courage to move and get into a new field. Karani nyamu believes thatYou can start by finding people in the field that you like and network extensively with them. Being in the wrong career is one of the most tense and demotivating aspects of modern living.
Develop a Long Term Career plan- Beyond showing up every day and paying bills what is your life really about? Write down what you like about your job, also write down what you like about the company you are working for. It is even more important to decide whether being in this job will lead you to where you want to be in 10 or 20 years’ time. If you are going to last long in your career then you are going to have to develop a long term plan.
Reconnect with yourself-Along the journey of building your career it’s easy to lose your soul and to become another machine just churning out results. It is a sign of strength to take time off and reconnect with who you truly are and the values that you admire. “Let the small things in your journey to career success remind you of how far you’ve come” says karani nyamu. You will grow and change but that is never an excuse to lose yourself in the pursuit of the ideal career.
Karani nyamu on How far is far for SME’s:
The growth of the ‘kadogo economy’ in many ways has heralded the dawn of a new way for Kenyans to earn a living. Close to 73% of all jobs created in the economy at any one time are usually in the informal SME sector. Small and medium enterprises create the bulk of products consumed and exported from the country. Estimates are that the capital needs of SMEs ranges from as little as a few dollars to as high as $1 million dollars. But all is not rosy for these SMEs given the kind of economic environment that Kenya has.
The challenges facing SME’s
It is said that Kenya as a country loses about $1 billion shillings annually to corruption. This bandit economy is estimated to be worth about $2.14 billion shillings. Even further the lost earning and the opportunity cost that the elements of corruption exert on the national economy is huge. Corruption breeds the kind of inefficiency that further drags the economic and business prospects down. Most often the stories told of young men and women who had to invest elsewhere because they didn’t want to part with a bribe, is a travesty to our already struggling economy.
Inadequate Practical Skills
Kenya has a highly educated but not highly skilled workforce. This poses a challenge for start-ups and business owners who need certain specialized skills to move their businesses forward. Kenya has nearly 58 universities churning out an impressive 300,000 graduates. Even then there exists a huge gap between our education system and the needed market skills. The demand for unique skill-sets that are needed to power the economy forward has to be addressed soon. Most of these skills can only be accumulated through a clear system of internships and attachment offers. Sadly most firms are looking for ready-made workers. Very few of them make a clear effort of investing in the skill-sets and competencies of their workers.
Access to business data
The ability to make great business decision lies in your ability to access timely, relevant and proper business data. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics) has not been able to bridge the gap between data dissemination and use, Most of its business data is laden with nuances and codes that are hard to understand for the average business owner. This is grim, considering that only 11% of SMEs have access to investment data and a further 9% have access to data on capital. A lot of these SMEs end up making financially costly mistakes based on emotions, or faulty data.
Cash Flow Challenges
Most commercial lending rates in Kenya are exorbitantly high. On average the large banks have interest rates of over 20 percent. The weighted banking lending rates for the 43 banks in Kenya is 18.3%. This is a rise from 16.1% in 2013. The highest banks charge an average of 25.7% on loans while the lowest caps it at 16.9%. Both of these margins are still high for our growing economy. There is also the issue of the delay between supply and invoicing which can be as high as 90 days to even six months which essentially dries up most SMEs cash flows.
Cheap imports from china and India have nearly destroyed the domestic industrial economy. These imports dent already strained local production firms, who are saddled with huge taxes and production costs. With a shrinking market for their products most SMEs merely close shop and render thousands jobless annually. While the number of SMEs that close shop each year is unknown, the estimates stands in the thousands.
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