Part Six: Are You Finding What You’re Looking For?

A while back, I started this mini-series which had been born out of my personal struggles in the process of building and progressing in my career and the realization that there could be many of us going through the same struggles. I really had something going, although it felt that the conversation didn’t get as much traction as I hoped it would. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time for the conversation or I didn’t express the nature of the series in a more comprehensible manner or I just didn’t know (and I still haven’t figured it out) who to engage to spark the conversation in the right direction. Below are some of the blog posts I had done.

While at it, I was also going through a career slump and so I wasn’t confident enough to continue with the conversation. I say this because I don’t have any other good reason why I suddenly halted the series. I was enjoying doing it because I could share my past experience in the process but then when I got to part five, I realized, “Whoa! Wait a minute! I also don’t know what is really expected of me at certain times. I’m just winging it.” Ha ha. I am still trying to figure this career thing out too, because at one point you think you’ve grasped it, then the next you’re put in your place. Then you learn from the experience, pick yourself and move on to the next one.

A shot cup and view from Nyama Mama at Delta Towers, Nairobi.

 

Then as recently as yesterday, while having a conversation with a good friend of mine about where we are in our career journeys and where we want to be or better yet, where we see ourselves, I discovered that we are pretty much going through the same struggles. Many of us are going through the same struggles, but since no one is really talking about it, we just wallow in self-pity and find ourselves venting as opposed to having solution-driven conversations with our peers.

We vent about our institutions, about our bosses, about our leaders, about our colleagues, about our job roles, about our work cultures, about our overall demotivation and so on. I mean, it might as well be about the air we breathe, because everything just seems not to be as put together as we anticipated it to be. There are challenges presenting themselves left, right and center. How can we have conversations around these challenges that instead of us just coming off as an entitled millennial, we explore the different ways in which we can work around them?

We did a random mind sweep of our peers who are working in different organizations and tried to figure out from our interactions whether they’re feeling fulfilled and motivated in their current job roles, and not so much. I mean, only 1 in about 5 will say that they feel that they’re in the right place, doing the right thing and at the right time in their lives. Why is that the case? Is it that there a mismatch in the placements? Does the institution over promise during the recruitment process then doesn’t deliver during one’s tenure?  Do people change their dreams and aspirations and the institutions don’t realize it and accommodate that transformation? Do people put in so much work but their reviews don’t capture that and as a result they get the short end of the stick? Is it self-inflicted, where you get into the market with unrealistic expectation or for the wrong reasons only to be caught in a quandary?

We thought of all the possibilities, and what we settled on is the one questions that makes up today’s topic, are you finding what are you’re looking for? Actually, maybe let’s start from the beginning, do you know what you’re looking for? Then if you do, are you finding it? If you don’t know, what are you doing about it? Please share your sentiments on the comment section and let’s start the conversation.

Not knowing what you’re looking for puts you at a disadvantaged point because you will settle for anything. For you, “anything goes.” Not to worry though, because we all started at this very point, not knowing. So if you don’t know, don’t feel dejected just yet, because it’s a significant stage in your career path. However, when you know what you’re looking for, you’re very intentional in what you do and even the moves you make. Your thoughts will be around, “I am doing this because…”

There’s something about giving reason to your actions that gives your actions a more profound meaning and insight and this translates to you finding motivation.

Why? Because you know what you’re doing is deriving some value either for yourself or for others. The problem only comes in when your current placement doesn’t give you the room or chance to be that which you know you can be. What’s your current situation like?

Stay Inspired,
Kawi

 

 

  • Imani

    Thanks Kawiria for this. It’s inspiring. I’m also looking forward to giving the best out of my career though sometimes it feels like there’s no progress. I’m in the process of learning and improving my skills and hope that it bears fruit.

    • Hi Imani, you’re most welcome and thanks too for passing by and leaving a comment 🙂 You have the right attitude and the fact that you’re in the process of learning and improving your skill will play a huge role in your progression sooner rather than later.

      In the meantime, look into what progress is for you for instance, if it’s say a salary increase, a promotion, being given a project/campaign to manage, a change in job roles, increase of responsibilities etc. So that you even as you put in the work, you’re able to measure and see if the things you’re doing are getting you there or you need to change tactic or do some more. Work hard, but at the same time, work smart. I wish you the best, because as long as you’re doing your best, it shall bear fruit. I believe.

  • Minnie kang’ethe

    Interesting conversation you have started, I know what am looking for , only that i feel lost sometimes with been jack of all trades

  • lovinemboya

    Let me start with this last statement..’The problem only comes in when your current placement doesn’t give you the room or chance to be that which you know you can be..’ because I just realized the other day this was the major reason I quit my first job in 2016. For a while I had been going back and forth with reasons in my kind, partly because no one understood, also because I felt I owed people an explanation ad was therefore trying to find one, but truth is, when you feel you’ve been put in a box at the workplace, and you can’t offer yourself fully, it gets frustrating.

    Ten, to answer your question, yes I know what I want, and I think most of us do. Only that us, the millennials, want many things at once. We are a multi-talented generation, especially with creative works, and also because of the immense number of opportunities the Internet has come with. So we might come off as a generation of people who don’t know what they want, but we do. Just spoilt for choice. Also, I feel we have less support from peers and parents and society, as compared to previous generations. Because MANY of us are not in careers that were once considered as ‘real jobs’, and also because people have already formed an attitude towards us..’those millennials who are lazy and don’t know what they want..’so it’s kinda tough.

    But, I really love that you’ve called out people to start this conversation. And I will be part of it!

    • Hi Missy, I read this and I had to marinate on it 😀 where did you get the courage to take the leap? Did you have a plan in place or you just dove in?

      It’s exciting to hear that you know what you want and it’s so true about us millennials being multi-talented and wanting to explore all we’ve got and having our folks not really understanding what it is we do and so it’s a challenge for them to guide us or believe that we really have ‘real jobs’. You’re so spot on. I am trying to figure it out too, so we’re in this together.

      Thank you for passing by and sharing.