Author Archive impact basics

Byimpact basics

Youth, Employment and Job Hunting


Approaching your career path differently

Even in the faltering economy and increasingly competitive job market Youth employment initiatives and job training programs for youth are rising in popularity and many Employers recognize that youthful candidates bring a fresh perspective to an organization and also have valuable technology skills that can revolutionize a company.

Despite this marketable advantages, candidates for employment must ensure they stand out amongst the crowd! They must approach their career path differently.

To succeed in the job market, one needs to be competitive in every phase of their job search. Each small decision you make from now on will take you a step closer to your destiny. In today’s dynamically changing market building an effective career strategy becomes imperative.


Finding a job is a job in itself — with no pay. The payoff comes when you get the job you want.

The reality is that after graduating, equipped with technical and professional skills, Graduands are left on their own. No favors! No one “owes” you a job .It’s up to you to “win” a job by showing the potential employer you have the right attitude and skill.

Ultimately you have to just go out there and do it!

Job search must be creative, proactive and responsive to the current employment market. In time, persistence, planning and effort is always rewarded.


Below are tips to help in successful job search:

Be Prepared. Sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner.

Be More Than Prepared. Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections who can help you job search.

Get Help. Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, Labor offices or your local public library. Many libraries provide workshops, programs, classes, computers and printers you can use, and other resources to help you with your job search.

Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed.

Use Job Search Engines. Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you – fast. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step. Use Advance Search options to find jobs that are the closest match.

Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. Use job alerts to sign up and receive job listings by email. All the major job sites have search agents and some websites and apps specialize in sending announcements.

Time Savers. Strapped for time? Consider getting professional help writing or editing your resume.

References Ready. Have a list of three references including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers.

Use Your Network. Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.

Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting.

Don’t Stop. Don’t limit your job searching to the top sites like Monster or CareerBuilder. Check the smaller niche sites that focus on a particular geographic location or career field and you will find plenty of job listings. Networking works, too. Tap into your network of contacts to see who might be able to help you with job leads or a referral.

The do’s and don’ts of job-hunting

  • Dotake advantage of all  general job-hunting sites, industry-specific job sites, geo-graphic-specific job sites, company (employer) sites, and networking sites
  • Don’trely on any one method of job-hunting, especially job-hunting on the Internet (which should be at most 25 percent of your efforts).
  • Dohave a professional looking resume and cover letter.
  • Dofocus on identifying your key accomplishments.
  • Don’texpect to get a new job overnight; job-hunting takes time and patience. But do take some time to reflect on strategies if you have been job-hunting for several months and have not had any success.
  • Don’tquit your current job until you have a new job (if you have one).   And do give proper notice when you quit your current job.
  • Doknow the current dress for success rules for job-hunting.
  • Dotake advantage of your friends, family, and colleagues to network, network, network, and don’t simply rely on passive job-hunting methods.
  • Don’tget discouraged if you’ve been fired or downsized.
  • Dofollow up on job leads. And do be persistent.
  • Domake sure a potential employer can reach you. Provide your home phone, cell phone, and email. And do make sure that your voicemail (or user name for e-mail) is professional.
  • Doprepare and practice for your job interviews. And do be sure and ask questions at the interview.
  • Do conduct research on all companiesthat interest you.
  • Dosend thank you letters to all people who interview you.


Don’t make the critical error of constructing a resume and failing to read it over every time you apply for a job. Each time you review it, you may notice different areas of improvement that you can work on to better your status as a candidate. You should do the same thing with your cover letters as well. Grammatical errors and inaccurate spelling can stand out to a hiring manager.

  • Don’t apply for the perfect job right away

Most people have a position they dream of, the job they really want more than anything. People rarely obtain the title they want at their first job, but this shouldn’t discourage you. It sometimes takes years of work experience to land where you want to be.

  • Do network with others

People on the hunt for jobs shouldn’t think that networking with professionals outside of their circle is the only way to develop solid references and working relationships. The nature of networking isn’t about picking a small group of individuals to support your experience. It’s more efficient when you utilize all of the resources at your disposal. Friends and peers putting in a good word for you can help you quickly break into the working world.

Don’t restrict yourself to people just in your field of work. When you’re approaching the job hunt, connecting with others around you can be what sets you apart from the other candidates applying to the same position.


  • Don’t quit on your searches

The hardest part of job hunting may be the eventual frustration of not hearing back from employers. After working at it for days at a time, it’s easy to sit back and take a break from responding to job listings. However, this could cause you to miss multiple job opportunities that may have been perfect for you. A job posted on a Monday has most likely received hundreds of applications by Wednesday, and by then it’s too late. You have to stay on top of the hunt to succeed.

Since it can be difficult, a great way to avoid this pitfall is to set aside a designated amount of time per day to search for jobs. This way, you can ensure that you’re not giving up on the hunt and making an effort each day to find work. Also, some job sites allow you to set up alerts that notify you about up-to-date postings and opportunities. Adhering to a self-prescribed schedule can also better your performance as an employee, as it improves your time management skills as well. No matter what, it’s important to never give up on your hunt for employment.


Keeping these tips in mind, the job hunt doesn’t need to become an exhausting and intimidating task. Staying motivated and enthusiastic is a good way to maintain the search for work and improve your chances of finding employment….and remember:

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.






By Aisha Karanja


Byimpact basics

Beyond Plastic Bags: Kenya Gets on the Ban-Wagon

The ban on plastic bags finally took effect from 28th August 2017, after a six month notice from the Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Judi Wakhungu.

In our true Kenyan spirit we did not take this seriously and waited for the last minute to react, complain, and have some manufacturers rush and build a case to overturn the directives of the ban.

Environmentalists tried for years in the past to get the ban of plastics effected or at least charge the manufacturers with little success, but the tide seems to have turned with the government this time round putting its foot down and indicating this time round there will be no extension as well as hefty fines for carrying, selling, or manufacturing plastic bags.

FACT is: Plastic bags are really handy but we all know that they’re also terrible for the environment and for wildlife. They will not decompose for centuries, and they float across wide swaths of the seas. They end up on streets and in turn this become a danger as they clog sewers, affect aquatic life, pollute water ways and also cause a danger to animals who if they ingest the plastics become a danger to the animals etc. This same Plastic bags are said to be one of the highest contributors to environmental degradation, with light weight plastic bags made from low density polyethylene being the most highly discouraged globally as this are not recyclable.


Supermarkets have started heeding the ban. Many have switched from plastic bags to reusable, cloth sacks, but a quick drive around Nairobi revealed that plastic bags are still in use. So far, there have been no reports of any enforcement actions.

Kenyans are adapting to the ban with the small traders using all ways to inform their customers, like this open air eatery (“Githeri” shop) in Kawangware putting a notice reading: “POLITE NOTICE: To our Customers, Due to the Government ban of Nylon paper bags we advise our esteemed customers to carry appropriate carrier bags/Containers as we work to fine a lasting solution”.

It has worked as customers are bringing their own containers or buying containers from a nearby vendor. However, IT IS IMPORTANT that the Ministry and NEMA start intensive advocacy and sensitization so that the adherence is natural and also from an educated point of fear rather than from fear of being arrested. The truth is that most people on the ground do not understand the ban and do not feel that they have any responsible or critical role to play.

A spot check indicate that there are those who have not come to terms and do not know any other way to conduct business without the business. The cost of alternatives is also prohibitive as one small business owner reiterated, “The small plastic bags cost Ksh.100/- for two sets of 50pieces each, while the small brown paper is costing Ksh.250/- per one set”. Therefore only a few people are taking the challenge and now using the polythene in the evening and night to pack the various small wares for their customers who do not carry their own bags – probably because even those customers do not know what to carry e.g. cut kales otherwise known as Sukuma wiki, cut sugarcane, foodstuffs especially hot like Githeri, tea, milk, soups etc. All this, mainly in the low income areas like, Huruma, Kawangware, Kibera, Mathare, Eastlands etc. 


As we enter into the phase of ensuring sustainability, we must gave conversations with those selling delicate items on a way forward and how they will survive in business beyond the ban, as we work with them as the ban ambassadors. Without this we will end up having many common citizens languishing in jail for not heeding to the ban and unable to pay the hefty fines.

What Can Be Done to Help?

So the big question is: What can you and I do to help?

  • Eliminating plastic bags is a necessary step to decreasing the amount of waste and pollution in the long term. Replacing all plastic and paper bags with reusable bags would mark a significant shift toward waste and pollution elimination.
  • So the first step should be to always reuse bags you have – be it paper, plastic, or textile.
  • We must sensitize people on the old mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to ensure that we keep this in mind (Buy less, utilize things multiple times, and then put them into recycling or composting instead of a landfill).
  • As we pack our groceries, we need to think about the harm plastic bags have on our environment. Sure it may be hard not to use them, even I know this. It is a hard habit to break! But, I now know that these convenience items are devastating.
  • Participate in local clean-ups or organize them in your neighborhood.
  • Finally, call your legislators, and ask them to lead with solutions to the pollution issue facing your area.

But old habits die hard and our local businesses, industries and people will be slow in adapting sustainable and green practices.

The ban in Kenya remains a bold move and it will pay off in the end. We are going back to the basics.