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Stretching to the next ‘career level’


General employment trends

  • There is a ‘career crisis’: mismatch between professionalism and occupation
  • Diminishing public sector
  • Circulation of traditional professional jobs and rising of new careers
  • The expansion of service industry


  • Community, family needs on the rise
  • Expansion of NGOs and voluntary services
  • Contractual employment
  • Rapidly changing technology
  • Increased consolidations, mergers, acquisitions and corporate alliance
  • Global trends; a financial crunch and economic slowdown in one major economy rapidly spreads to other economies



The New Career

The world is small, careers short and situation fluid

Reflection 1: Contrasts

New Career IS

New Career is NOT

A date











Career Ladder






Company Picnic


Reflection 2: Contrasts

New Career WAS

New Career IS

“Human resources”




“Training” was a department

Training is an obsession

Issuing orders

Finding heroes

Think big thoughts

Do bold deeds

Doing it all


Resigned to “life”

Ready to change the world

 “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learnt in school.”

How to cause a job to happen

  1. Formal employment 
  2. Voluntary work (job testing) 
  3. Informal sector/entrepreneurship

Formal employment

School mentality is:

·       Work hard and look for a good job then everything will be taken care of.

·       Certificates are seen as the one-way ticket out of poverty and the ‘curse’ of manual labour.

·       Unfortunately, jobs are no longer abundant: the waiting could be 2 – 3 years.

·       But is the waiting necessary? How can you escape the trap?

·       Can you create your job now?

“The purpose of education is not just to acquire knowledge but ACTION.”  Stuart Spencer

Seven Steps to a new career

  1. Know yourself 
  2. Set your goals 
  3. Prepare effective career history
  4. Establish networks 
  5. Apply for positions
  6. Prepare for interviews
  7. Evaluate offers

Voluntary work

Working for no tangible pay: pay is in form of:

  • Exposure
  • Experience that makes you eligible to apply for jobs
  • Acquire a new skill
  • Get business acquaintances
  • Satisfaction derived from offering the service
  • Recommendation letter and strengthening your CV

“Winners are those people who make a habit of doing things loosers are uncomfortable doing.”  Ed Foreman

Informal sector/ Job creation

  1. What do you have to offer? Self inventory: skill, knowledge, experience, talent, strength and weaknesses 
  2. To whom?
  3. Where?
  4. When?
  5. At what price

 “People die without opening their birthday gifts.”  Jamal Azim

What it takes to start and grow a business

  1.  You
  2. A good business idea 
  3. Timing
  4. Capital 
  5. Right team
  6. Business systems 
  7. Expert advise

“Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something.” Fred Smith

Business seed

  • What you know
  • When you know it
  • What you see
  • What you hear
  • Whom you associate with

Sources of business opportunities

  • Your skills – education, work experience, etc
  • People’s needs – what is missing?
  • People’s problems
  • Your hobbies and interest
  • Underutilized resources
  • Publications and catalogues, media, exhibitions and trade fairs, etc

“If you are soft on yourself, life will be hard on you. If you are hard on yourself life will be soft on you.”  Zig Ziglar

The way forward

1.     Have a clear vision

2.      View the world as filled with opportunity

3.     Pick a business idea close to your heart

4.     Do not mind the colour of the job

5.     Do not be a copy-cat but learn from selected mentors the best in their field

6.     Build resilience; stay the course

7.     Network and keep good company

8.     Restructure your life

9.     Ride on the back of an elephant 

Christine Magala is Corporate Counselor and Human Resource Specialist at the  International Financial Empowerment Consultants Limited.






0 #1 Fahad Mawanda 2012-06-22 20:22
This is really encouraging. Am inspired and I hope every one reads this piece.