Search

elvismayaka

A day in the Life of an HR Professional

images-2.jpg

There is usually a misguided notion of what a Human resource professional does, many are in the view that Human Resource professionals are responsible for only hiring and firing, But, Human Resource is so much more than that. It’s as challenging as it is rewarding, and each day is as different and diverse as the next.

I will basically take you through my day as a Human Resource Generalist, please note that as an HR Generalist I am expected to be a jack of all trades and master of some.

8:00 AM:  I usually start my day with prayers, this would take around 5 minutes of thanking God for life and praying for the day, this would take around 3-5 minutes, I would then take hot sugarless coffee, and sweet bananas(those ones with the spots J).  I would go through the newspaper, linked in and a few other blogs for example ‘’The Kenya Employment Law”, Sunny Bindra’s – https://sunwords.com/’ blog just to keep abreast of trends and what’s happening in the Human Resource and business world.

I usually read in the morning as I am fresh and more focused.  I will go through emails and respond to employee queries and queries from my employer as well.  I usually create a work plan on G-Suite Google sheets, this will consist of all the activities I am intending to perform on that particular day. This is something that I have encouraged other heads of department to do; they then would send their work plan each morning to me.

9:00 AM: This hour is usually reserved for meetings, I would meet the Heads of the department to tackle any Human resource issues they may have, and this could range from recruitment needs, issues in policy implementation, performance management or disciplinary grievances.  I would also meet employees who have issues that have not been resolved by their heads of department.

Placeholder Image

I prefer empowering Heads of departments to tackle most issues but sometimes employees may want to see the HR, Mostly I encourage each employee to ask questions or offer their own thoughts before making decisions.

10:00 AM:  Time for the dreaded paperwork, well I usually have an assistant who does most of the paperwork, but I have to go through all the letters done, sign documents, prepare other documents that the assistant cannot prepare. I would also go through the leave applications, approve mostly or disapprove some with good reasons, then update the systems as necessary. This is the time I also do Payroll depending on the date.  I will also do or share an article with all employees’ emails on any related topic in line with our industry. I usually encourage a reading culture within the organization as I know the advantages that come with reading.

11:00 AM:  Management by Objective, yes you had me correctly, this hour I usually spend it by moving around the organization, observing work, sometimes talking with a few employees along the way. I discovered that this is a great way of noticing changes or things that need to be worked on.

12:00 PM:  This is time is reserved for performance management, mostly I track the 360-degree performance appraisal system, make any adjustments as necessary. I would also review performance improvement plans with the heads of department for that particular department and employee.

images (3) Continue reading “A day in the Life of an HR Professional”

Featured post

A few lessons on my Birthday

I am turning 31 today or is it I have turned 31 today, whatever, but you get the point, any way it’s just another day for me really, of course, I am so grateful that God has let me see another year under the sun and just being in good health and always having food on my table is reason enough to be grateful and happy.

I have so many things running co-currently in my mind as I write this, know-how as a writer you are torn between writing a story in a certain way and deciding really how you want to write it, trust me it’s such a hard task, even just deciding what you want to write about, this explains the reason why my blog has been dry for some time,

Anyway, or anyhooo as our resident slay queens would love to say😅 😆, I have decided to share a few lessons about life that I have learned over the year, I will try not to share some lessons that I have already shared in this blog, for example, reading, etc, you will also realize that this article is jumbled up and down, talks a lot about the state of my brain right now😀

No one is coming to save you;

Yaani this should be printed somewhere along on one of the highways in Nairobi for everyone to read, this is one of the lessons that I have come to note in life. Of course, you have God, friends, for those lucky guys who are married, you have your spouse, you can also have parents who support you, but at the end of the day you have to take responsibility for your life, no one is coming to make decisions for you, no one is coming to work hard for you, at the end of the day you are alone and you have to develop this mindset of not depending on other people, at the end of the day you need to realize that especially for men if you are not providing you become worthless in the eyes of everyone, people will tolerate you for a certain period but, at some point they will start neglecting your pole.

Especially for Young men, I want to emphasize this again:

You are owed nothing

 You deserve nothing

You’re entitled to nothing

Once you understand this, you understand the only one standing in your way is you

When you feel like the world is stacked against you and nothing is going right, just remember that the best views come after the hardest climbs

Stop Caring a lot about people perceptions of you or what they think

Btw let me tell you guys if you hack this one you will rarely get depressed, you will start living life fearlessly and your level of happiness will dramatically rise. Now this does not mean doing evil and bad stuff and hurting other people, just ensure that whatever you are doing does not hurt other people and its morally good,  For me one of the things I stopped doing was drinking alcohol, I know it is not a big deal but for me, this was a big deal in the sense that all my friends were drinking, so I became like a black sheep, and at time people would challenge and wonder why I don’t drink, other things are like quitting sugar, junk and eating healthy meals all the time, working out in the gym almost daily, guys were like who are you working for, others would tell me I am doing to attract the ladies, etc… anyway my point is you are the one who knows the visions you have for your life and if you feel like you are in the right track, don’t ever let anyone slow you down, remember people will always project the issues they have in their life to you

Think about this; So many people have an opinion on your looks, job(s), relationships, lifestyle choices, etc. But how many of them do you think genuinely care about your well-being, and how many of them just want to feel a little more secure about themselves by passing judgment?

Give,

Give, help .. I can’t emphasize this anymore coz man giving makes me happy, I don’t know about you but whenever I help someone unconditionally I usually just get satisfaction from it, another thing I noticed is that whenever you give you always get a lot of blessing back, and for some reasons, you will start thriving in some of the things you are doing in your life

Prayers are everything

Let me just say this, everything I have in this life, I have actually prayed for it, I  have prayed for a job and I got one, prayed for a life partner and I am seeing God working something. Sometimes I am even frightened when with happens, because I have always thought of myself as a sinner in the eyes of God, then, why would he answers my prayer?? but again reading the bible reminds me how He is amazing, forgiving,and full of grace.

Lifting weights/gym will solve a lot of your problems

The gym is important because even when everything else in your life is not going on well, you have one domain where you know you are making progress every single day. This spills over into other aspects of your life. You begin asking yourself, “okay, where ELSE can I make progress?”

Because of the gym obviously and other things I have managed to lift myself up from rock bottom countless times, and I will continue to do it as many times as I need to. Whatever doesn’t work, I will rebuild, again and again, until I achieve the life I truly want.

Start small, build, work hard, Kaizen, focus on positive habits, don’t sit and wait, live life

A slow start is common. Taking one step each day may not feel like much in the beginning. You might even feel deflated at times. But don’t let the speed of society make you impatient. Focus on what you do best. Stay centered. Trust your vision. This creates life-changing results.

I have lifted myself up from rock bottom countless times, and I will continue to do it as many times as I need to. Whatever doesn’t work, I will rebuild, again and again, until I achieve the life I truly want.

Remember the world rewards those who focus on improving themselves to become:

 – Self-driven

– Self-financed

– Self-educated

 – Self-employed

– Self-disciplined

No one is coming to save you except you.

So do the uncomfortable things. do the hard things. do the scary things. do the things that you couldn’t fathom doing a year ago. do the things now you’re trying to manifest later. do the things you need to do, even when no one else is looking or cares. do all the things.

If you are in your 20s, stop wasting your time Choose traveling over binge drinking Choose side biz over video games Choose meditation over anxiety Choose the gym over fast food Choose reading over Netflix Your 20s create the foundation for your life Don’t waste them

When you’re feeling discouraged, just remind yourself that you’ve survived 100% of your worst days so far and you’re still sitting there reading this on a computer or expensive phone. An awful thing happens… Still alive? Good, keep going.

Lastly, let me finish with some awesome Old Man Advice that I got somewhere:

• Life isn’t fair

 • Call your mom

• Stand up straight

• Integrity is everything

 • Have a firm handshake

• Look people in the eye

• Choose your spouse wisely

• If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right

• Give people a 2nd chance, but not a 3rd

This article is a gift to you on my birthday, Now wish me happy birthday😀

2020! The Year That Was..

2020 was the year, I had plans, made plans, hoped and had faith that it was going to be an amazing Year, 2019 was a good one, so I knew or rather expected 2020 to be better. Why was I this hopefully? you may ask, thing is, I had laid my foundation in 2019, it was like preparing for 2020, mentally I was in  a better place, I had already started a new job in October 2019 and so far it was amazing, I had moved to a new house and area, my relationship was okay, I had a beautiful chic that I was seeing at that time, she was amazing, every time she would smile my heart would stop for a moment ahh I will really miss her anyway moving on I had read a lot of books, met a lot of people and really learnt a lot.

“Always remember…

A blooming rose bush catches the eye of admirers, but it grew from a seed buried in dirt.

A butterfly may be free and delicately beautiful, but it spent days shedding skin and dramatically changing inside its chrysalis so it could grow wings to fly.

Accept your process.”


― Kristin Michelle Elizabeth

My plan in 2020 was to actualize all that, first of all I was hoping to settle, you know, introduce the lady to my folks and all that, start investing seriously, our chamaa had also picked up, I was still working out in the gym like nobody’s business, I also hoped to build a ka nice small house upcountry, you know a nice holiday get away, so January and February all went according to plan.

Look at me looking so positive ……

I don’t remember well when everything started going sideways surely you plan but God plans, it must have been late March, I broke up with the lady, I had not even taken stock of all of that then Out of nowhere Covid came.

“I’ve adopted the mindset that people, girlfriends especially, will come into your life at a certain time and will have some kind of butterfly effect on you. Inevitably there WILL be something you do because of them that changes the course of your life. And there’s also a time when they’re meant to leave, and that may also be a factor that leads your life in a certain direction. It’s up to you to decide what direction and what kind of impact they have…

With Covid that meant a lot of my plans had to be on hold, I think I am not the only one, many people had to put on hold their plans, and its like we had left the government to control us, and decide the directions of our lives from henceforth, anyway let me not start with the government because that will lead to a whole other tirade of vents that I honestly don’t have the energy for, anyway as I was saying everything was on hold, we were given a pay cut at work, that even complicated things, with the curfew and uncertainties all I had to do was sit at home, watch movies and read books, I still continued to work at home which was not easy.

Then as we were getting accustomed to the Covid thingy, our company decided to shut down, being the HR that means I was involved in the process from when this was announced to finalizing it. Let me tell  you Maina (I have always wanted to use that hehe) this whole process was something else, let me take you back a bit, most of the guys who worked for this companies had worked for more than 10 years, other even 20 Years, most of them were very comfortable, majority of them were employed just after leaving secondary school, and because of the comfort the job offered they never got around to develop themselves in terms of more trainings, school etc.  So when it dawned on them that the company was closing, most of them panicked and were depressed, for me this was the saddest and most stressful and challenging time in my career, we had to counsel a lot of people, at some point I even received death threats, some guy thought I was the one who was holding their terminal dues, anyway story for another day, the point is it was so stressful but we managed to pull through and pay people their dues.

At the back of my mind the question was will I get another job, I am a confident and optimistic guy and I always somehow get opportunities, but the only problem was that this was during the Covid period where business were closing down, companies sending their employees on unpaid leave. So, my prospects seemed less and less the more I thought about it.

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before

Anyway, Guy’s I think by now the article is sounding a bit sad, there were some positives too, you know- a lot actually, if anything I would say 2020 was that year that really made me think a lot about life, “There are certain life lessons that you can only learn in the struggle.

I realized that I was living way above my means, I started having conversation in my head about finances and asking myself why I was paying a lot of rent, so that made me decide to move to a smaller and cheaper house, oh I may have not mentioned it, while our company closed I got another job with another company, I think that was really a blessing.

I stopped eating in the kibanda, I think my appetite was up the roof and the kibanda food was not satisfying it, I did what I never thought I would , a whole me started carrying packed lunch to work !! at first it was not easy, as I would eat all the food by 10.00 AM, to solve that issue I decided to be carrying to lunch boxes, the other day I was asking my friend is it possible for a human being to have 2 stomachs like a cow, because for someone with one stomach I was eating a lot, well he told me I was pregnant, funny friends I have ehhh…

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
― Roy T. Bennett

I also continued working out at the gym, I had never been consistent, but now I was working out almost daily, I am now bench pressing 75 kgs with no support whatsoever and the other day I deadlifted 160kgs, tebu clap for me, a huge benefit of working out has nothing to do with losing fat or gaining muscles, it’s that it allows your mind to rest. I always think better thoughts after I have had a good work out, it also shifts my mindset into attack mode and this paradigm shifts into other aspects of my life.

I also turned 30 wooh!! let me tell you turning 30 I unlocked a wonderful unbothered level of self-confidence, I wish someone told me before that this is how it feels turning 30 , yaani my confidence, self-awareness is on another level, I am more in tune with who I am, I have accepted who I am, I am literally doing me, I don’t really care about pleasing people like before by the way you can never please everyone so don’t even try, if you lie down for people to walk on your back, someone will still complain that your back is not straight enough, think good, do good. Follow your heart.

“Try not to be too focused on pleasing others and end up losing your true self.”
― Edmond Mbiaka

“If you find yourself craving approval, you are low on self-love. Stop grasping for a few scraps wherever you can. Go home and make yourself a feast. Love yourself deeply today.”
― Vironika Tugaleva

I am also cutting people who have negative energy so faster, its also funny how I am able to nowadays recognize negative toxic people, this are people who are always negative, always playing the victim, complaining all the time aaai !!! me I don’t want that energy around me, the world is a tough place but it does help to be optimistic rather than negative all the time

“Don’t let toxic people sabotage your happiness, ruin your positive attitude, contaminate your mind or destroy your self-confidence. Instead, surround yourself with generous, positive, and nurturing people who will lift you up.”
― Farshad Asl

“Keep negative people in your prayers, not in your life.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo

Lastly, I will finish by habits, so I am currently reading this book by James Clear called Atomic Habit, I think everyone should read this book because it’s a life changer, I am now trying to form or create better habits going forward and I am positive that this will continue transforming to a better person.

Let me pen off with this paragraph from the book…. If you want to predict where you’ll end up in life, all you have to do is follow the curve of tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line. Are you spending less than you earn each month? Are you making it into the gym each week? Are you reading books and learning something new each day? Tiny battles like these are the ones that will define your future self.

Now am seated at this balcony writing this article, am having coffee and listening to Ferre gola eeish !! that guy can sing, I am thinking about life, I am thinking about how as much as we can plan and prepare for it, it just turns out the way it wants, maybe we shouldn’t overthink, we should just live and let live you know, just enjoy the process, it’s not a competition.

Biko Zulu said “The trick to running, like life, is to trudge along, one step at a time. Don’t think of it in terms of kilometers, but in little milestones; that corner coming ahead, that little uphill stretch ahead, that big tree ahead. There is great joy in fulfilling the small target” and I concur….

And Some Positive for HR practitioners during this Covid19 period…

We all know about the Covid19 virus by now and how it has changed the world, so I won’t go into introducing/defining what Covid19 is, rather I will dwell on how it has changed the working sector especially Human Resource Management. There are so many negative aspects that have been brought about by the Virus but among all the negatives I found out that there were some positives along the way.

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

As a Human Resource practioner one of the positives that I have seen is a surge in embracing Technology in some of the HR activities, for example we have realized that we can now interview job applicant’s via video conferencing, Technology platforms such as Skype, Google hangouts and Zoom have enables interviewers and candidates to see and communicate with each other in real time using their computers.

I am particularly happy that mental awareness during this Covid period has been heightened, and as a Human resource practitioner we are no longer concentrating on the mundane day to day administrative duties,but more on conducting mental awareness sessions, we are keeping employees engaged on wellness activities and this has strengthened employee relations.

Lastly we have now discovered that employees can actually work at home, and as Human resource practitioners this has been the perfect time to come up with policies on flexi  hours , this has saved the company in terms in lowering costs

According to research Workers are more likely to stay put if their company offers flexibility. Flexibility is also a cheap way for companies to “reward” employees. Employees have a greater sense of work-life balance and also  tend to be happier at work.

I will pen off with the following quote by Marie Curie  ‘

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

How To Stay Sane in This COVID-19 Web….

2020, it really started well, I was picking up in my new job and everything seemed rosy, my relationship was blossoming, I had rejoined the gym after an absence of 6 months or so, I had moved to a new house and environment. Everything seemed rosy until someone in Wuhan-China decided to drink Bat Soup well …

Anyway at the  end of December, public health officials from China informed the World Health Organization that they had a problem that a new virus was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan. They quickly determined that it was a corona-virus and that it was rapidly spreading through and outside of Wuhan. Although it originated in China, the country took aggressive action at the start of the outbreak, shutting down transportation in some cities and suspending public gatherings. Officials isolated sick people and aggressively tracked their contacts, and had a dedicated network of hospitals to test for the virus, ultimately Bat was ruled out as the cause of the Virus, but thinking out aloud , why would anyone drink Bat soup of all soups in the world?

In Kenya we continued going out for dinners, going out for movies, church ,hikes and the likes, life continued as normal ,even when we heard that the Corona Virus had grown legs, and was now in Iran, and had started killing prominent guys in the government. We still continued living life, taking selfies, drinking porridge and eating ugali ‘haha’, “I Know its not funny “chuckles”..

What got people scared was when the Virus took a trip to Italy, and all of a sudden people were dying like flies, all of a sudden everyone was scared, In Africa we were still taking selfies, apparently there was a rumor that Africans were Immune to the disease, but this was dispelled very first when countries like Nigeria started reporting Corona Virus Cases, early in mid of  march we also had  a case in Kenya , 3 Weeks in , the cases were now almost 200, ladies and gentlemen the Chicken were coming home to roost..

Everyone was in panic mode, we were now wondering , with our limited health resources this deases would definitely swipes us out all, the Government assured us that it would do everything to take care of us, and they outlined some of the measures that would help in preventing us from getting the Corona Virus.  We were told to stay at home as much as possible, especially if you’re feeling sick. To Stay home even if you’re not feeling sick — evidence suggests people can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms. We were told to wash our hands, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant, and cover our mouths if we had a cough.

We were told that You can also wear cloth mask or face coverings when you’re out in public, especially in places where it’s hard to stay far away from others. But wearing a cloth face covering could help stop your virus-laden particles to other people, even if you don’t know you’re sick. The other day a friend was joking that its now difficult approaching a lady because you never know what’s beneath the mask, you could date someone then once the Corona is over you find that they don’t have teeth or they have beards.

Apparently if you’re a young, healthy person, you might not feel very sick if you catch COVID-19. But if you don’t stay home and away from others, you could pass it on to someone older or with a chronic health condition who is more likely to have a severe case of the disease.

So one of the best ways to slow the spread of an outbreak is by staying away from other people, which is also called “social distancing.” That gives a virus less opportunity to jump from person to person. It’s why everyone is being asked to stay home. Those measures apparently help blunt the impact of the outbreak by slowing the virus. If fewer people get sick at once, it’s easier for health care providers to give everyone good care.

By now you may have noticed a divide among your friends. As social distancing and self-imposed quarantine wears on and more workplaces urge employees to avoid the office, the Covid-19 outbreak has left many people more alone than they’ve been in a long time, or ever.

Fear, frustration, boredom, resignation, : This is the cycle of emotions that we have been going through in Kenya, and we are resigned that, at some point, life will go on, and we must somehow live with the threat of this virus.

One of the key questions is how do we stay sane during these difficult times, I will outline a few points that you can follow to help you maintain sanity and not deep into Anxiety and depression

Do keep a healthy diet 

When you’re at home it can be tempting to just sit on the sofa without moving, eating unbalanced meals and snacking all day as a way to entertain yourself.

Try to do your best to eat well. Make sure you cook what you eat. Add more fruits, vegetables, proteins, and vitamins to your diet. Eat twice or thrice per day.

Also, stay away from drugs and alcohol. Consumption of these will lead to more anxiety, panic, and depression

How to feel less anxious about the Corona Virus.

Try to get exposure to the outside world and exercise as much as possible within the limits , Our physical health and mental health are linked so try to create a routine that includes some physical exercise.

Although you can’t spend time with others, do make the most of any private outdoor space you have – such as a garden or balcony – if you have one, as being in nature can also help our wellbeing. 

Humans were created to be social beings. Many of us would seldom survive alone. This is especially if you are an extrovert by nature.

Take time to go out for a walk in the vicinity of your neighborhood. Of course, do this while still considering the social distancing rule.

Say hi to your neighbors. Introduce yourself to those who still don’t know you. One rule of thumb is always to make time to know people in the same neighborhood. Ask them how they are coping in this period. Take time to chatter as we have a lot of time now.

You never know who you may meet.

With all news going around on mainstream and social media, we are highly susceptible to becoming victims of negative information. Make sure you do not fall for misinformation, rumors, fear-mongering, and fake news. The most important thing during this period is maintaining a positive mindset and attitude.

If you find the news distressing, then you can limit the number of times or the possibility of coming into contact with this information. You can minimize watching the news to twice or thrice a day and only from trusted sources.

Do maintain a sense of routine 

We should try to eliminate idleness during this period. Nasty and toxic thoughts creep in when you are mentally and physically inactive.

Do you see those books stacked up on your shelf that you haven’t read yet? How about you start with those. If you’d rather use your PC or phone, download an e-book and get busy.

Also, get a collection of podcasts, movies and TV series to watch during your free time. The emergence of Netflix makes this simpler. This could be a great way to unwind if you are not able to do so during the normal work routine.

Go back to an old hobby or develop a new one. This could involve painting, knitting, playing a musical instrument or singing.

Since e-learning is now booming, access to learning material online is now easy as it could ever be. This includes YouTube videos, online tutorials, e-books, and e-courses. You can opt for either free or paid material.

Find yourself spending all day in your pajamas or remembering at 3pm that you haven’t brushed your teeth because you knew you wouldn’t be seeing anyone? Although in the short term it can feel nice to be lazy, in the long term this isn’t going to be good for your mental wellbeing.

As far as possible, try to maintain as much of a routine as you can. Wake up and go to bed at healthy times to ensure you get enough sleep.”

Find some time to still have value to your day, life cannot be just eating and sleeping. Do something fun for yourself (that isn’t just Netflix). 

I’m seeing a lot of people who are self-isolating are losing their optimism for the future, they are using time for self-reflecting and picking apart everything that is wrong with their life: their job, their relationship, their friendships. When we’re overwhelmed by a mundane life, it can quickly draw out the joy, so make fun for yourself.”

Sitting in front of a screen all day – whether for work or pleasure – is not the best way to spend long periods of time. Especially because the blue light from devices, like smartphones, can be disruptive to your sleep and overall well being.

Stay Connected

Just because you’re self-isolating, doesn’t mean you have to cut yourself off altogether. “If you feel that you’re beginning to struggle, take some time to call a friend or family member. Talk about how you’re feeling.

But more than two months into a crisis that has already killed thousands around the world, there has also been a shift in perspective for us when we remind ourselves that, in the grand scheme of things, the disruption in our lives is minimal compared to those who have had to risk their lives to save others.

We have gratitude that we have our families by our sides, that we are still healthy, that we have a steady supply of food and that we have roofs over our heads.

And we do have hope that a vaccine will soon be found and made readily available to everyone, allowing for the opportunity for all of our lives to eventually get better.

2019 In A Nut Shell….

I don’t know about you, but for me 2019 has been amazing, this has been that year that has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and pursue excellence.  It has also had its challenges, but this challenges have been blessings in disguise as I managed to derive so many lessons from them.

The following are some of the things that have shaped 2019 for me, both positive and negative;

Getting to know myself

Sometime we spend so much time with friends, on social media, church, with our parents, teacher and co-workers, and we never spend time alone with ourselves, with our thoughts. It’s like we fear the silence of existence, we dread boredom and instead choose aimless distraction, and we can’t help but run from the problems of our emotions into the false comforts of the mind.

I think that Without knowing ourselves, it’s almost impossible to find a healthy way to interact with the world around us. Without taking time to figure it out, we don’t have a foundation to build the rest of our lives on.

So this year I was not afraid of spending some time alone and battling through the thoughts that were running in mind, thinking through things clearly and by this I was able to know what kind of person I really was, I got to understand some of the weaknesses that have been puling me back. Some of the other side effects of spending some time alone was an “increased self and social awareness, clarity, problem solving, empathy for self and others, peace, calm and safety,

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
― Blaise Pascal

Quit alcohol back in 2018  

One of the thing that I realized about myself was that I am a very social person, and I would spend a lot of time with different friends, and all the time we spent with pal’s alcohol was involved. Most of you can relate with that phase in life when you have those friends whom when you invite them over, the first question they ask is “Kuna mzinga” ….

Well I decided to quit alcohol, I particularly didn’t have a reason at first, I decided to do it as an experiment, bollocks!! who am I cheating? I actually have a reason, I think I decided to stop drinking because it made me so unfocused in life, I started having this conversation from way back in 2015 but I never managed to stop drinking.

 In 2018 I started pole pole and now in 2019 I have never touched and tasted alcohol so far ‘’tebu clap for me guys”.  Now I feel more focused than ever. I think this is one of the proudest thing that I am really proud for in 2019. 

Of course I still have people who are always asking me why I don’t drink alcohol… the other day I was joking and saying I will start telling them that I  am not drinking because I am pregnant … hahahaha funy right ????

Quitting my Job

Well I used to hear stories of people quitting their jobs and I never understood, like how would you wake up one day and resign from your job when you don’t clearly don’t have a plan B? and the way there is a high level of unemployment in Kenya!! Well sometimes you have to go through things to fully understand, so this year I quit a job that I actually loved.

I think I felt so empowered and peaceful afterwards, of course I didn’t have a plan B. I have my own reasons why I quit but most importantly my mental peace was the top reason that propelled me in that decision.

Afterwards I attended more than 10 interviews, I read a lot of books on interviews and listened to a lot of speakers via you tube on how to get jobs and ace interviews.  I never gave up … after every rejection I still applied for more job, through this I got 3 jobs and settled for one that I am still working for.

I now love my job, I am more patient and resilient, I feel more mature and all grown up than I have felt before,I know 2020 is going to be great and I am going to make so many milestone career wise.

Joined the GYM

I started lifting weights seriously in 2019, yes!! I have been lifting weights but it has not been as serious and consistent. I think every man should lift weights, the discipline and pushing your body to its limits is immense, I gained around 6kgs by July, I was really buffed and I felt good. I however slacked from August, and haven’t been as consistent, I hope 2020 I will consistently hit the gym.

buffed up

Dating

Woooh !!! where do I even start from … I think I have never been a relationship type of guy, Like any milenial I always took relationships for granted. Someone once told me that ‘’ Elvis you think you are so tough hearted, one day you will meet a woman and you will go soft like you have never done. You will start doing the lovey dovey stuff you used to look down on…”… he was so on point !! I guess like with all matters of the heart you will know when you find that one person.. .and when I met her i felt like this was it..

She is very beautiful, kind and loving. She has that smile that melts my heart each time she smiles back at me … It has not been easy though,what I realized about relationship and dating is that you have to work on them. She is very private and I also like that about her, especially in this world of social media where we want to over share stuff..

She can cook, damn! they say that to get through to a man’s heart is through his stomach and she has done a good job at that, she has introduced me to proper biryani, pilau and other Swahili dishes.

And most importantly I have learnt a lot of things from her and I bet she has learnt a few things from me as well

Nowadays everyone is self-absorbed in themselves, people are slowly embracing nihilism and no one cares about the next person. 

I am glad I found someone who genuinely cares and I hope 2020 will be more fun, loving and generally wholesome

Centonomy and financial planning

Joining Centonomy financial planning programme was a blessing to me, I think am an extravagant person by nature and during the past few years I have made not so wise decisions when it comes to Money, I have bought things I never actually needed to please people who don’t care  and I actually came to the realization that most of the impulse decisions we make in regards to money are usually not good.

The Centonomy programme helped me to start budgeting for my money, planning and saving as well. I remember our first class we were told to start tracking our expenses and I was surprised that most of my money went to things that did not matter.

I have now joined a chamaa and it has been amazing … Well am not there financially but baby steps tu, I know 2020 will be better. .

Chamaa meeting … sometime this year…

Book books

This year I have read more than 20 books, I intended to read 50 books this year but I did not hit the target, I hope next year I shall achieve that target.  My top 6 books this year that have really positively impacted my life are as follows

  1. The bigger deal by sunny Bindra
  2. Everything is fucked by Mark Manson
  3. When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi
  4. Arsene Wenger by John Cross
  5. Alex Ferguson my autobiography
  6. Men without women by Haruki Murakami

Writing  

I think have always been good at writing, I remember I used to write amazing composition back in high school, I have always procrastinated about starting a blog and eventually 2019 I decided to just start, well my articles have a lot of grammatical errors but I just derive so much pleasure from my writing and I know as time goes by I will keep on improving.

I hope 2020 I will keep on the consistency in writing positive articles that will possibly change lives and impact people positively who knows where this writing will take me.

Death

The loss of my grandfather has been the most negative thing that has ever happened to me this year, He was very wise and would advise me on a lot of things about life, one things that he passed to me was his work ethic. Also his ability to remain calm even when under a lot of pressure and leadership abilities. May he rest in peace.

I also lost 3 friends sadly and this brought the point home that life is short regardless of the number of years. And the small things you get so worked up about are really meaningless when you look at the bigger picture.

Life can be taken away from you in less than a second and it makes you loosen your grip on life and stop wasting so much time trying to control everything or get so disappointed if it doesn’t go your way. Life is impermanent and so is control.

2020

I hope to only love more. listen more. grow. write more. to run toward getting right when I am wrong. to forgive more. to dream more. more risk taking, fearlessness vs comfortability, more joy vs happiness and to live more without fear of judgement.   

Social Media is a Farce

Just the other day a friend took a selfie while we were at Charlie Bistro, a pal commented on the pic “aaaahh! Elvis, you must be living large nowadays, you seem to have your life in perfect order.”  It got me thinking a lot about social media, and how this plays a part in creating a certain life that seems perfect from the outside. Just like my friend, I have also been a victim of social media envy, I remember sometime back I was not working for about a month, I was so broke, all I did was chill in the house, read books and browse as I kept looking for a job.

 

I would wander to social media particularly Instagram and Facebook, all I could see were other people having fun,  from the pictures. This would really depress me until the next day one of them would call asking me for a loan, and I would wonder, weren’t you the guy who was just sky diving in Malindi just the other day.

“An open Facebook page is simply a psychiatric dry erase board that screams, “Look at me. I am insecure. I need your reaction to what I am doing, but you’re not cool enough to be my friend. Therefore, I will just pray you see this because the approval of God is not all I need.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Social media has also created a fallacy, a fake life that almost everyone is showcasing. A scroll down my Facebook timeline, a quick glance of profile photos on my contacts on WhatsApp or WhatsApp statuses, and Instagram pics all portray a rich lifestyle of all my contacts. Photos were taken at exclusive posh areas, near high-end malls, at expensive joints, near posh cars, etc. In fact, all if not 97% of my contacts on all social media platforms are very rich and wealthy if you go by the lifestyle they portray

“It amazes me that we are all on Twitter and Facebook. By “we” I mean adults. We’re adults, right? But emotionally we’re a culture of seven-year-olds. Have you ever had that moment when are you updating your status and you realize that every status update is just a variation on a single request: “Would someone please acknowledge me?”
― Marc Maron

Many of us are posting the highlight reel of our lives — it’s easier to post a photo of our double Mocha at Java with those big samosas they have than to admit that we’ve struggled that day. Or, share a status about how we’ve failed. Or, that maybe our lives don’t look quite as put together without a filter on.

When you are about to post on Facebook, about, let’s say some good career-related news or some achievement, ask yourself is it out of vanity? Is it because you want the likes? the messages of congratulations? and perhaps, if you’re brutally honest, you want others to know you are doing well. News that is quite personal, do we need to make it so public?

“A fixation with connecting with ‘friends’ online comes with the risk of disconnection with friends waiting for you to be present in the offline world.”
― Craig Hodges

Essena O’Neill had a picture-perfect life. she had over 800,000 followers on Instagram and a lucrative career as a social media model. On November 2, she blew that reality to bits. In a YouTube video, O’Neill tearfully explained that while she had enjoyed a “perfect life” she was depressed because it had no purpose. She deleted both her YouTube channel and Instagram account, and declared that “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real.”

These are some of the pictures below taken before she deleted her social media accounts, in the picture she explains how fake the pictures  were below ;

essena 3.jpg

 

essena one.jpg

“You are what you share.”
― Charles Leadbeater

Social media is a marketing platform where potential employers exist. A quick look at your tweets and posts will tell employers whether you are the employee they need or not. Remember you are a brand, social media should not change that, live the true you, social media high-end lifestyle showcase, leave it to socialites who must do so to attract customers at a high fee. Whom are you attracting with a high-end fake lifestyle when you are jobless and have siblings and family that is looking up to for assistance, yet you are a graduate who is still jobless?

Each time you create a tweet or post for any of your social media platforms, remember you are a brand and people will judge you by what you post, the kind of lifestyle you portray and this will have a great impact in your real life.

“The society is getting addicted to technology, especially social media, quite like one gets addicted to cocaine or pot. And it all works through the neurochemical process of reward and punishment. And furthermore, when a whole world starts functioning driven by this petty instinctual process of reward and punishment, things in existence begin to get really messed up, like it has already started.”

“The more screen-time you consume on your device, the more revenue can the big tech make. So, your health, your wellbeing, your sanity and serenity are nowhere closer to their priorities. That’s why, your health is in your hands, your serenity is in your hands, your sanity is in your hands.”

“Selfies have begun to replace memories – likes and comments have begun to replace lasting conversations – illusive friends and followers lists have begun to replace real reliable friendship. And this is nothing to be taken for granted.”

“Turn off all notifications on your phone, except the most important ones. And check your social media only once or twice a day, not every minute. If you can do this, then perhaps there is a possibility, that society will not completely lose its sanity and health after all.”
― Abhijit Naska

Have you ever posted a happy pic online to mask your real-life suffering? Remember, don’t allow likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites define who you are!!

 

My 2 Cents on Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is non-existent, there is nothing like work-life balance, it does not exist, it’s a myth, Work-Life balance is BS. If you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
― Alain de Botton

I think that like any other aspect, work is also part of your life and like everything in life the trick is finding a rhythm and equilibrium, that would suit your needs best.

cm2009_worklifebalance

Most of us work because we want to support ourselves, our families and the people around us, in the ideal world we all want to be doing work that we love, are passionate about, fulfilling work, work that’s provides us with meaning and passion. But still, if your work is not providing you with joy every day you have to understand that working is what each of us does and it’s the contribution we make to society.

when-you-wake-up-in-the-morning-and-sit-on-27635436If you have a job that’s challenging and you’re passionate about, you tend not to feel resentful of its demands because you understand that it’s working for you, too

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” ―Brian Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca-Cola

We should think of work as part of a full life and a holistic experience, it becomes easier to see that success in one aspect often supports another. Even in the Bible Deuteronomy Chapter 3 talks about the different seasons in life, let me quote the Verse I like how its correlates with what I am writing.

Verse 22 says ‘’ Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion; for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him? 

So “You can have it all, just not all at once.”  Just like in Deuteronomy chapter 3; there are seasons of life where you will find that you have less time for yourself and will devote more to school or family or work. This is part of the normal ebb and flow of life.

When you think big and expect that you can have a positive experience with all that work and life have to offer, you’ll be more likely to make that happen.

Maybe we should bury “work-life balance” and think bigger and better about work-life fulfillment to do a little less balancing and a lot more living.

 

 

 

The curious case of persistence

Wouldn’t be nice, if all your wishes were granted, for example, if you wanted to be rich all you were required to say is some magical words and alaas !! you would find yourself in your own private island with all the material possession’s you have ever dreamt of ,well if wishes were “nduthis” …

baby bike

The truth of the matter is that you have to work hard to achieve whatever you set your mind to achieve, we know that in life there are people who have worked hard but they have nothing to show for all their hard work, and we have other individuals who have not put any effort, but as luck would have it they have really reaped where they have not sown.

When it comes to Jobs we have people who have tarmacked for years and we also have people who are moving from one job to another, we also have people who quit their jobs, yet we still have people who would die to have those jobs.

 

cat.jpg

Because of all these things that happen people end up comparing themselves, especially with people on social media, you see people who seem to be very happy, going on vacations, happy couples sharing their pictures daily, your former classmate sharing a picture with his new car they have bought, etc. Yet things are not working out for you.  Maybe it’s true these people are happy and successful, but you see, the thing is don’t be discouraged, keep motivating yourself, work hard, persistence really pays a lot.

For example I did not have an idea on what to write today in my blog post, but I have just written something, I know it may make no sense but you get my point- You see what I did there.  I will pen off with a few quotes and thoughts from Good reads …

“I watched a squirrel fall from a rather high branch. Upon hitting the ground, he bounced slightly, paused, shook himself vigorously and then immediately scampered back up to the very same place on the very same branch from which he’d fallen. There are some that might call that stupidity. Then there are others like myself who would call that tenacity. And while I generally have no interest in being a squirrel, in this particular respect I wouldn’t mind being like one.”

“If there is anything I’ve learned the last year it is the importance of being clear on what you want. I spent the better part of last year just figuring out what I actually want with my life. What I want to have around me, how I want to spend my days, the people I want in my life, what I want to create, why it’s important to me and most importantly who I need to be in order to create that life for myself. Who do I need to be to have that career I’m dreaming of? When you can see the highest version of yourself crystal clear you will wake up each day striving to walk in new ways. You see that future YOU as a role model and you are filled with energy to grow and level up and take that place. If you want a change, you really do need to let go of how you have done things in the past. It’s the most exciting feeling, stepping into that future vision of myself, a little bit every day.”
― Charlotte Eriksson

DEAR JOB SEEKER.

Interviews-page-image

Dear Job Seeker,

We understand how it feels to be jobless, well most of us though. This does not help at all but according to the most recent jobs survey from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in 2018, 7million Kenyans were unemployed with 1.4 million out of this figure desperately looking for jobs. Does this spell doom for job seekers in Kenya?, What are some of the solutions, the 844 system has cultivated a mindset of employment dependence, should the curriculum be changed, but even if this was changed we still have so many unemployed people.

During a recent debate on jobless in Kenya I was astonished to hear employed people in different parastatals and government agencies blame job seeker for their plight and shamefully asking them to venture into entrepreneurship instead of blaming the government for lack of jobs, forgetting that they are also employed.

Any way we can chide each other without helping our dear job seekers, from a Human Resource perspective these are some of the steps as job seekers you can take to at least ease your way into employment.

 Smart Habits of Successful Job seekers

  1. Networking and be proactive. 

Sometimes passively sitting at a computer and just clicking on the “Apply” button doesn’t produce results. This job search strategy is usually reactive because the only option is to search and to respond to what job vacancies are available.

You have to understand that so many people are doing exactly (and only) that same thing. Rather than re-actively waiting to see what jobs are posted on job sites, pro-actively explore ways to discover where the job you want may be lurking, waiting for you to find them.

For instance, you can get back in touch with old friends, former classmates, and former neighbors. See what they are doing. Perhaps you can help them. Perhaps they can help you.

Find a job search support group this could be in the different social media sites, I know two good one in Telegram that you can join and exchange leads and get job vacancies and share ideas with other job seekers.

Go to that professional association meeting, seminars, etc., you may be surprised to find that some of them are free, you may learn something when you listen to a speaker, have the opportunity to talk with real live people, and perhaps discover who is hiring, what, where.

Or, better, do all of those things.

  1. Seek Help

Get career support from a professional. There are different companies and individuals who offer professional CV writing, tips to perform better in interviews, also add some important skills for example taking short courses like excel communication etc.

If you are lucky enough to have internet, instead of wasting your time liking scrolling through Facebook and other meaningless sites you can use that time to learn so many skills via youtube.

A qualified career coach can better prepare you to land your next position.

Let me share a quick Tip, if you have worked before and have some experience it’s advisable to remove the word help from your CV Instead you can use the following;

  • Assisted
  • Managed/Co-Managed
  • Spearheaded
  • Achieved
  • Developed
  • Implemented
  • Executed
  • Produced
  • Coordinated
  1. Don’t give up

You’ve done your research and submitted your application/resume, but now what? Keep your eyes open for other potential employers and opportunities as they come available, it’s better to apply for any positions that interest you than just applying to one or two.

If a company sends a rejection letter, take this opportunity to ask them what you could have done differently, and build on that for next time.

A connection in linked posted that she was rejected 50 times before she landed her first job. So don’t stress about the things you cannot control. Network, Volunteer and Learn new skills.  Job searching is emotionally draining, but it won’t always be like this. Keep on believing and speaking that things will one day work out. Remember, it’s not about how many NO’s you get. It’s about that one YES. Shake off rejection and disappointment and keep going. Don’t give up. Your time will come!!!

  1. Dress For The Job You Want

You have heard of the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” it really does hold some truth. When going into an interview, don’t dress just for your part, dress for the part of upper or senior management, or the position that you hope to obtain during your career at the company.

jobinterview

Remember first impressions are everything, especially when you only have 30 minutes or so to talk with someone before they decide to hire you. Make it count!

  1. Don’t Fake It

Most recruiters/employers do not want to see fake smiles or rehearsed answers when it comes time for the interview. They want to know who they hope to hire and you want to match the position and culture. Being misleading helps neither of you.

Before you tell an employer how great you are, find out as much as you can about them, and what they need. In sales, this is called learning the client’s “pain.” This will help you see – and explain – how you can help them. If you immediately jump into how great you are, you may completely miss learning what they need so you can customize your explanation of your greatness to target their needs.

Saying what you think the employer wants to hear might get the job, but the job might be a total misfit for who you truly are and want to become. Being honest is the best way to show off your skills and land the job of your dreams.

 “Employers do not want to see fake smiles or rehearsed answers when it comes time for the interview.

While in the interview, it’s important to back up your skills and experience. Share stories and gives examples of situations that really made your skills stand out. Provide ways that your skills helped benefit your last company.

  1. Your past is your past, leave it at the door..

When you’re talking about previous experiences and situations, it’s important to remember that you should not talk down a past employer. Speaking badly about people you used to work for makes the interviewer question what you will have to say about them down the road.

‘’Forgive yourself, forgive your ex-employer, and forgive the world.

Move on toward a better career future.’’

This can create a bad impression on your character. Plus, this is an interview about moving forward. Any past discrepancies have no place there.

  1. Follow Up

Whether you’ve heard back about the job offer or not, it’s important to follow up a few days after the interview. Send a thank you letter or email stating how it was a pleasure to speak with them and that you really appreciate the opportunity. Reiterate any thoughts about why you want to work for them, and be sure to offer them any contact information, so they can easily reach you with any further questions.

This shows that you are just as invested as they are, and are sincerely interested in the position.

  1. Get References

Before applying to any job, create a list of references and reach out to those people to make sure they are comfortable with you listing them. Give them a heads up that you are applying to certain companies that may contact them. These should be people who know you through networking, past co-workers or anyone else can speak to your work experience and skills.

Also, make sure they are a good source of information. Choose people who are familiar with your work ethic and who can provide an unbiased, honest opinion

Every situation in life is temporary. So when life is good, make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life is not so good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.

SUCCESS.jpg

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑