Friday, July 19, 2024

Why Quitting My Job Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

Deep inside, I always knew what I wanted to do and what I was good at.  But taking that leap from the comfort of a well-paying job to starting my own business was a very hard decision for me to make.  The allure of a monthly salary, medical cover, travels to posh hotels and allowances was just too tractive.

My last job came with a prestigious title; Capacity Building Advisor at a reputable Faith Based Organization. This was accompanied by a good pay and enviable privileges.  The change of job title from a Training Manager was necessitated by increased responsibilities to represent the organization in major stakeholder forums, normally the preserve of organizational heads. These were mainly held at prestigious venues giving a wonderful opportunity to network with major players in the health industry. It was during such forums taht I was able to forge good partnerships for the organization. With every passing event, it became obvious that though a laid back phlegmatic, I was very good at one-to one interactions, sensing opportunities and identifying key individuals at any event. I had no qualms when it came to following up speakers and fixing opportunities.

After self-evaluation, and with much difficulty, I tendered my resignation with a three- months notice to terminate my contract which still had two more years to go. The moments that followed were quite trying. I had sessions with the head of department and the Managing Director who not only gave me extended periods to reconsider my decision but painted pictures of what bleak life outside employment could be. Over the period leading to this decision, I had sessions with people who had moved into business years before with different results. I read a lot and listened to video clips on youtube. It was until I came across one famous video by Jackma on how you need to live your life between 20 and 60 years that I felt  I got what I was looking for.

Co-Op post

At exactly 45 years of age, I knew that was the moment. I had to step out or forget my dream of ever going into business. Starting off as a teacher and later volunteering in a church organization to train church leaders on how to respond to HIV helped me identify my passion. Though a graduate from Kenyatta University with a B.Sc degree in Biochemistry,   I identified quite early what I did not want to do. As most of my colleagues either went out to work with pharmaceutical organizations or in laboratories, I was very comfortable being around people. The opportunity to train seven denominations plus the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) was the eye opener. Guiding discussions and helping senior religious leaders to develop work plans was what I was created for.

Why Quitting My Job Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

I  volunteered primarily to help the church respond better to HIV and after three years, this had been achieved. I had also learnt new skills in proposal writing, report writing and adult facilitation. I therefore resigned and started consulting for different organizations. I got assignments to train teachers on abstinence and risk avoidance and behaviour change communication. The compressive Peace Agreement had also been signed in South Sudan which presented numerous opportunities on HIV/AIDS, Peace Building and conflict resolution. This was a wonderful opportunity to see how blessed we are as a country and learn how to interact with people coming out of conflicts. I learnt how to multi-task and work in hostile environments in every aspect- high temperatures. Numerous cow flies ruled the day while mosquitoes took over the nights in inadequate abode with occasional frogs running from snakes visiting in the makeshift tents.

NCBA

Why Quitting My Job Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

The assignments in South Sudan taught me a lot on managing clients who extended my services to Northern Kenya. During this period, it became evident that I needed additional skills on Monitoring and Evaluation which led me to enrol for M.A in project Planning and Management at the UON. It was here that I directed my skills in Training Curriculum and Development culminating into a project on Training Evaluation. This is the project that landed me a job I did not apply for in a leading Local NGO. I approached them to assess the impact of their trainings after which I was offered a job.

This should have been the moment to step out into my passion but with the birth of our first born, the fear of failure would see me in employment for 10 more years. It was however a wonderful opportunity to practice my facilitation and project coordination skills. It was in this organization that I learnt leadership coordinating a Diploma programme. After three years, I moved to manage a training Unit with the sole responsibility of leading it to profitability and ultimately sustainability. It was after this that I realized if I could do it there, I could do it for myself and Edzes Kenya Limited was born.

NCBA

About Edzes

Having taught entrepreneurship, I wanted to get the name correct- a name that was creative with the latitude for growth and aligned to the nature of the business. Being primarily in Capacity Building, we came across the word Edzes which means training in Hungarian and settled on it. The initial plan was for my co-director to resign and run the company while I remained in employment for some time. This she did for some time but it was apparent that her skills were more administrative than business development. I therefore had to support that part of the business for some time but it soon became necessary for me to step out and run it.

Edzes Edzes (K) LTD provides technical assistance to organizations, government ministries programmes and communities in developing countries. We focus on strengthening systems by empowering our clients to better conceive, design, implement, monitor and evaluate their services and interventions. Our areas of speciality include research, monitoring and evaluation of programmes, capacity building, training and system strengthening.

Edzes exists to provide capacity enhancement through innovative approaches and creative learning models. Key competencies include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Baseline surveys
  • Project evaluation (ex-ante evaluation and ex-post evaluation)
  • Proposal development for both social and business projects

We train on:

  • Leadership seminars
  • Management of health commodities
  • Team building
  • Entrepreneurship and small business management.
  • Life skills training
  • Peace building and conflict resolution
  • System Strengthening
  • HIV & AIDS counselling

Our office:

Milele Centre- Kitengela: 2nd Flr. 1013/45

E-mail: [email protected]; Website: www.edzes.or.ke

Tel.  (+254) 764 722030

Facebook: Edzes Kenya; Twitter: @edzeskenya

 Story By: Jonathan Mbului – CEO Edzes (K) LTD.

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