Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Paul Kasimu: New Year Resolutions. How Does My Career Fit In All These?

As a time of new beginnings, a time for a change, and a time to set goals, many people start thinking about looking for a new job, initiating a career change, or ways to progress in their current position.

When presented with a clean slate, as the new year does, it becomes essential to have a clear path and a direction to winning.

One of the best ways to know how to progress is by looking at where you came fromand further making resolutions as a guide to your goals.

To start off, the first thing you need to do is to reflect on your previous year. What did you do best, what needs to be improved or changed?

Indeed, it is said that the best leaders constantly take stock of their lives, reviewing and reflecting on what has been, what comes next, and how to get it.

So, take some time to reflect on your career in the year that just ended. If you dislike your job, try to figure out why. Is it due to the work itself, or something about the workplace, such as a poor relationship with your manager, lack of growth opportunities, or a mismatch between your purpose and your organization’s culture?

Spend some time assessing what you like and dislike about your current situation. This is also an excellent time to reflect on where you see yourself in several years from a career standpoint.

Caroline Mutoko: Work more and better to succeed in career or business

Secondly, you need to make an inventory of your mindset, skillset, and toolset. To do this, take some time to review your work, hobbies, and academic history to identify activities or elements of your past roles that you found energizing or enjoyable. What did you like the best? Then, make an inventory the skills which you have enjoyed using. After doing all that, develop a preferred skills list of six to nine skills or activities you would like to utilize in your new level or career. This way, you know your strength and weaknesses.

To back up your skill set, you can either choose to go (back) to school or volunteer to gain experience. If attractive options require further education, take a class online to boost your career skills, consider earning a certificate in a career that interests you to increase your employability. At Safaricom, we are encouraging our staff to upskill and learn new digital skills through a one more skill campaign that consists of formal and on-the-job learning opportunities. We also avail job rotation opportunities to enable staff expand their skills and learn about other areas within the organisation.

Alternatively, look for volunteer positions within your chosen field. Besides helping others, you’ll get relevant experience to add to your resume or better still, be able to turn your volunteer position into a job.

Thirdly, it helps a great deal to grow your network and connections. It is often said that your network is your net worth. In most instances, our career potential is largely determined by our professional network. Whatever your career-related New Year’s resolutions are, commit to attending events and making time for people. If you are not the outgoing type, leverage online platforms such as LinkedIn to engage people in your industry. The goal is to reconnect with old acquaintances and meet new people.

Another key consideration in today’s world and especially with the emergence of COVID-19, is the need to be all-around. It is important to always be ready and take advantage of emerging technology and opportunities. With technology dissolving many boundaries and levelling the business playing field, it is undoubtedly changing the operating paradigm of how we work. Processes are now slowly being more technology-driven than people-intrinsic. This shift means more focus on tasks that require critical thinking & creativity, giving more scope of work for the new-age employees and changing the way they engage with their job.

Lastly, strive for progress, not perfection. It’s been practically proven that striving for the perfect outcome can derail your efforts in the long run. As such, always strive for progress, not perfection. Purpose to frame your goal in terms of the knowledge you will acquire along the way, people you will meet, and experiences you will gather. In other words, set up your path to be successful, regardless of whether or not you reach your goal.

New Year’s resolutions always get a bad rap, however, with the proper focus, tools, and support, you can achieve your New Year’s resolutions and make this new year the best year yet!

Happy New Year!

About the Author

Paul Kasimu is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Safaricom PLC.

He is an accomplished HR professional and certified Executive Coach with a broad spectrum of experiences across Africa and the UK. He has worked in the public sector as well as financial, airline, FMCG, and Telco/Fintech industries. Previously has held HR leadership functions at Diageo in East Africa (East African Breweries), Kenya Airways, and Barclays Bank in Kenya, Botswana and the UK.

He is currently serving as a member of the USIU-Africa University Council and the Board of AMREF Health in Kenya. He is the immediate Chairman of the Institute of HR Management in Kenya.

Contact: [email protected]

Article written by Paul Kasimu FIHRM – Chief Human Resources Officer at Safaricom PLC

First published in the Sunday Standard on 9th January 2022.

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