Conscious focus on career, personal growth paid off


Passion is the source of our finest moments. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

This year, amidst a backdrop of formidable challenges and intense professional competition, few employees stood out by significantly investing in their personal and professional growth.

They not only skillfully navigated the complexities of their industries but also committed to self-improvement and skill development.

As the year comes to an end, they serve as powerful examples of how resilience, commitment and continuous pursuit of knowledge can turn obstacles into opportunities for career advancement.

Such is the case of Sally Mbuthia, the co-founder and lead creator at Stellar Marketing Limited. She says that her digital marketing firm had almost stagnated early in the year with the popularisation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT, threatening to take over her work of writing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) articles.

"I took up an initial digital marketing course administered by Ajira in March that gave me perspective on how vast the digital markets are and how we can leverage them. The second training I undertook was an intensive online entrepreneur course dubbed Google Hustle Academy," she shares.

"The course touched on major pain points for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and startups such as accounting, pricing and digital marketing that in essence made us 'Investor Ready.' Perhaps the biggest take away was the networks that turned to clients during the week long boot camp," she adds.

Ms Mbuthia would then take part in the Women in Tech boot camp that funds women led businesses that use technology and be in workshops like the Spotify podcasters day long master class. This came in handy because content creation is one of the solutions I offer my clients.

"As a result, my client base shot up, drawn from personalities looking to build a brand online, as well as small business in technology, fashion, retail and education who have long struggled to communicate online. We currently have two staff on full time and work with various creative talents depending on the project," she says.

Like Ms Mbuthia, Eunice Victoria, a career coach, conquered the mountains that seemed like stumbling blocks in her personal and professional life this year.

However, at the beginning of the year, she was working as a manager in one of Kenya's top manufacturing mobile brands and had left the job by March.

"I was also struggling with weight and at the time-I was weighing 103 kilogrammes. I was also on antidepressants which I had been taking since 2018. My love life was also taking a toll on me," she reveals.

Desperate to find joy, Ms Victoria decided to confide in some family members about her struggling relationship and mental ill health.

However, she was humiliated and discouraged.

"I dedicated my life to Christ, left my four-year relationship, sought therapy, detached from family members who had called me all manner of names, lost weight to 88 kgs and focused on career coaching," she adds.

Currently, Ms Victoria empowers individuals to become more passionate about their careers, offers services such as curriculum vitae and cover letter writing, LinkedIn revamp, counseling, job search strategy and comprehensive career development programmes.

"I am dedicated to facilitating impactful transformations."

For Julius King'ori, his win this year is being promoted to a content manager post in a brand that deals with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The SEO writer was only delivering one article per month last year for the company before his boss added him more roles.

"Around July this year, I was put in charge of creating and managing content. The decision was reached because of my dedication and ability to write good, timely articles upon request. This new position also came with a salary increment," he says.

Additionally, Mr King'ori reveals that he has been receiving acknowledgement for work well done.

"The brand is always shinning in the searches and my bosses are very pleased by my ability to deliver well written and researched articles. Often during our meetings, I get a pat on my back," he adds.

However, he admits that the success was not achieved overnight and that he cultivated trust with his clients, working even odd hours and deliberately choosing to deliver good articles.

After five years of serving as a banker in one department, James Mwema decided to enroll for his Master of Science degree in Finance and Accounting in 2023.

"I arrived at this decision because I need to advance career-wise since my day-to-day work was becoming monotonous. Upon completing the course, I'm confident in applying a more senior position in my organisation."

Mr Mwema notes that ever since he started school, he has learnt how to better manage his time and is more fulfilled when he learns new concepts.

"If I do not get the position I am aiming at, I can even start my own consulting firm because there is so much potential in this field," he concludes.

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