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The Best Job Ever, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 21st April 2017

The Best Job Ever

Dream Job

Imagine you are fresh out of school and all geared up for either an internship or perhaps you are lucky enough to get your first job interview.

Ah, them days! They have been full of disappointments or maybe some got lucky and were instantly hired.

Before we take a look at the job interviews, let’s take a look at how the world has changed.

Once upon a time, referrals got you your first job and in few instances the qualifications added to the possibilities. More than likely that became your job for life and you retired with it. According to a major publication, the worst jobs of 2016 include Military Personnel, Retail Salespersons amongst others. Some of the toughest jobs to fill in include Marketing Manager, Electrical Engineer amongst others. Best jobs include Human Resources Manager, Tax Manager amongst others.

The future needs a whole lot of medical practitioners including Nurses, Massage Therapists, Dental Hygienist and many more. It is as if the world is going to be one sick world and people are going to need a lot of medical treatment if not healing.

Back to our job interviews though, and it has been proven scientifically that for one, you can not predict job performance by doing a job interview. You must be thinking is that not obvious? Well sometimes some candidates bring on shining credentials and they hardly live up to them and vice versa. A street smart person may prove to be a better sales person than somebody who has earned a Masters in Marketing. Or maybe the Masters in Marketing may prove to be a better General Manager than a more experienced one. The tables can turn depending on the industry, type of job and especially the owners.

When the employees are “robots” then two people usually define the fate of the company, that is the Procurement Manager and the Chief Financial Officer. Unfortunately most establishments who have this set up are either family owned and even when hiring and firing, very little emphasis is given on an incoming or outgoing interview. Thus, just no point in making a case here.

But sometimes you may be lucky enough to get a boutique business that is really trying to make a difference and be the new spoke in the wheel. These game changers and visionaries do take their job interviews very seriously. Job interviews are necessary no doubt. They make the formal step to introduction, presentation and possibilities. Thus, the interviewee gets the opportunity to present why they are the best for the job and the interviewer gets the chance to assess him or her better and open the channel for communication. There, that’s it, communication- the key to any success or failure. One right message goes a long way and one very wrong message ends it all.

According to the Michigan State University’s School of Business, a written test is four times more accurate than an interview. Thus, the first step to a successful interview is to set it up well with goals in mind. Imagine you are hiring a sales person for your team, when the applications are coming in, why don’t you ask them to send you a mock power point presentation upon a client? That way you get to see their writing and strategy skills, then the best ones get the chance to make the presentation in person but make sure you have the other candidates inside the same conference room too. Sales people like to feel the competition and those who can handle it are the ones you should hire.

How about for the interviewee? You must understand the most important thing that your first job may not be the ideal one, but it is a great start, it is up to you to make the most of it. Just like in school they do not teach us how to cope with life, you need to learn your job skills on the job unless depending on your type of profession otherwise. You must also realize that while dream jobs help you achieve your dreams, does it pay for your daily life? Yes, the remuneration you take home is extremely important and while you may not get your ideal place to work at, there is always a start somewhere.

Time is very important and thanks to the Internet the knowledge is at your disposal, make the smart choice of getting the Best Job Ever.

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Happiness Is Inside All of Us, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th March, 2017

 

Happiness Is Inside All Of Us

World-Happiness-Day-Quotes-2017

Some people chase success, some people chase money, very few people chase happiness. That is because they think it will come from success and money. While there is no denying that money buys you things you like, places you want to go to, certain experiences, happiness has no price tag. You have to earn your happiness.

The Dalai Lama says, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” That is kind, but I like how Abraham Lincoln also sums it up, by saying “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Yes, it is up to you and you only to be happy.

The International Day of Happiness started in 2013 to recognize that happiness is an important requirement of our lives.

While this year the Smurfs (famous cartoons) rallied on their three goals to attaining happiness, which are end poverty, reduce inequality and protect our planet, there was an index to show which country fared on this rank of happiness.

There was no surprise that Norway was the happiest country in the world, especially since it has almost no poverty, great equality and excellent climate protection. The poor Americans dropped one place to 14th, they are getting sadder, but luckily for them the UK was 19th. While Syria and Yemen were at the bottom, the interesting thing were the main components used to calculate the rankings; how people rate social support, personal freedom, corruption and generosity. While the UAE was the happiest country in the Arab world, the shocking winner in East Africa was Somalia.

Somalia is ranked 5th while our very own Kenya is 13th in Africa according to the Gallup World Poll. It is interesting to note that in their calculation which they call Afrobarometer, “while poor infrastructure and lack of service delivery may contribute to lived poverty and depressed happiness, it may also undermine Africa’s democracy project. A case in point is South Africa’s relatively new democracy. The latest Afrobarometer survey conducted there suggests that 64% of South African respondents thought that democracy was preferable to any other kind of government, a similarly high percentage (62%) stated they would be ‘very willing’ or ‘willing’ to give up regular elections to live under a non-elected government capable of ensuring law and order and service delivery.”

Somalia has been a war torn country and perhaps they are rising to the top of happiness because they value the support system of happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. With their newly elected President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo the expectations of moving forward and creating history are high, especially since the country is finally trying to put together its first fully functioning central government in a quarter-century. By the way even Pakistan and Bangladesh ranked higher and happier than India.

Kenya is not happy because of a long list of old issues and some new ones that are manifesting to become dangerous signs to disaster.

While there is progress in investment, there is almost no progress in fighting corruption. While there is progress in community security, there is very little for law and order. Those in charge of our security need to be secure in their lives, better working conditions, remunerations and goals to achieve. Our failing national doctors and the entire clogged system is crippling the nation’s health. The ever growing pains of teachers who are meant to shape tomorrow’s leaders are busy still fixing their state of affairs. If we do not get a grip on these key issues amongst others then we are setting up a whole new generation of failure and even the oil discoveries will not float us out of the dirty crap.

The mind, the will, the heart, all need to change to be honest, compassionate and happy. There is just no other way to achieve a better ranking not for the sake of an index but for the real truth, progress and happiness.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Mummy is He Gay? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 10th March 2017

Mummy is He Gay?

LGBT Courtesy Stream.Org

 

Get into your living room, turn on the TV and wait for the show Modern Family. This is one of the earliest introductions to a gay couple, while the audience is primarily an adult, the chance of a teenager catching it is not too slim.

 

The modern media is changing fast and while there is race sensitization going on, it is the LGBT that are overtaking the story telling. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. This “freedom for sexuality” has various scientific proofs or basically personality clashes, each to its own. When the AIDS epidemic hit the 80s and 90s, the deniers blamed sexual promiscuity. Now that all those hurdles are over, religious factions too are secretly adopting this reality, especially after the sodomy cases breaking out in the Vatican world, we are faced with a new conundrum, shall we be truthful to our children?

Nothing escapes this new digital age children. It does not take them long to reach their favourite cartoon on an iPad or explain to you a full story of what is going on in a short clip of a film. If anybody knows the hype of Frozen, then you know what I mean, what if Elsa and Anna were a gay couple? The world would surely have Frozen! This is the subtle attempt that the new Disney film based on one of the best stories of all times, “Beauty and the Beast” is going to do. There is a sub plot of a gay couple and censor boards around the world are giving it different certificates, from over 18 to 16 and so on.

More than world still looks down upon women and we are beginning to bring in the consciousness to our girls, that they are important, that their gender is relevant and that they can make a difference in this world. The poor boys have been sidelined and the chances of them tilting during their puberty exploration towards bisexuality may be higher. Boys too need the confidence and exposure that their machoism represents strength and not oppression, that their vulnerability represents feminism and not weakness. A human being has been designed with both masculine and feminine, after all we have been born through the manufacturing of a sperm and ovary. Thus, the scientific drops of gender exist. There can be an imbalance of the chromosones and further to the environment, upbringing and attitude of the personalities around, there can be a tip over.

A 3-year old does not need to know right now that there is a gay or lesbian, but a 13-year old does. An adolescent is in search of his or her identity and if they are not comfortable with their sexuality they can have a crisis. They need the special attention not only to make them feel good but to recognize their urges. These must not be dismissed and if a child does come forth and declare their sexual preference, as a parent, realize one thing, loving them for who they are is more important than denying them their personal truth. Keeping them away from a film or even a gay couple you know will not alter their minds unless you are ill equipped to educate them. First know the truth and accept the side you want only then expose them to this new reality.

The digital age children are slightly aware of the new way to love, but let that not become lust and turn into an opportunity for a sexual offense. It is up to you, the parent to give them their space and reality. Anything otherwise will confuse them, drive them away or destroy them.

Take a leaf out of this famous song “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga:

“I’m beautiful in my way,

‘Cause God makes no mistakes,

I’m on the right track, baby,

I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret,

Just love yourself and you’re set,

I’m on the right track, baby,

I was born this way”

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Live, Breathe, Enjoy, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 16th December, 2016

Live, Breathe, Enjoy

Travel Photo Courtesy Inverness Travel

Travel Photo Courtesy Inverness Travel

 

Imagine showing up at the hotel for your holiday and you have forgotten your toothbrush? It is not as bad as leaving your camera or smart phone behind, yes folks the culture of holidays and travelling has definitely changed.

December is the best time to take time off for various reasons. In most cases, the businesses especially manufacturing and production plants shut down or work at minimal capacity so almost all staff has to take leave. The plus in this is that you come completely refreshed for a raring New Year. The minus is that taking a holiday in a slow month does not feel like much of a rest, it is when things are tight schedule that you feel the real difference.

Then comes the dilemma of where to go, how much will it cost, who is going and so on? Kenyans are thankfully giving domestic tourism a bigger shot. This is happening due to both sides making the effort, hotel prices and the saving plans, rising incomes for the middle class and the desire to have time out. There are also some who travel back home to their roots, like India or the UK mostly. Christmas in Europe is beautiful and the entire spirit is just so much fun and romantic. Both the family and couples enjoy saying hello to the New Year. Africa still attracts tourists mostly in South Africa and Kenya is beginning to catch up. Kenya still needs so many more interesting attractions, higher security measures and freedom of movement.

The first place a discussion about a year-end holiday usually starts at home. This could be because of a destination wedding, for example weddings in Kenya attract a huge number of relatives and friends from abroad, especially the UK. Thus the entire planning usually falls on the Head of the Family or nowadays the new generation adults. This is where the old age Travel Agent is a complete must. Your trusted travel agent can make miracles happen. Yes, all the way from discounts, bookings, destination ideas, safaris and so much more. They are most useful in large bookings at least best when it is over 5 people. This gives you the chance to get group discounts from flights, accommodation, airport transfers and especially if you have specific requests such as vegetarian food they can be taken care of in detail. Things will fall apart, if your travel agent makes false promises, then you are in a lot of trouble and up for a disaster holiday.

The second place a discussion about a year-end holiday usually starts at the office or amongst a group of friends. Here, the travel plans are made online and to a large extent the bookings and payment commitments are done online too. These travellers are interested in being together and getting away so specific requirements may not be so important. There is a slight shift however, where “branding” is taking over. Just like the type of handbag designer wear you have, people are beginning to rely on two things: brand and/or reliability. The upper class group of friends or corporate level definitely goes for the brand and adds the points with specific requirements through loyalty cards especially because of frequent travelling. The regular office goers, or young group of friends, prefer reliability because at least most of the basic requirements are fulfilled, such as swimming pool, gym, spa and so on. For them Trip Advisor is very important, because reviews can make or break a deal and also word of mouth, checking out where their friends or relatives went and want to copy them.

There is a new type of traveller though. He or she is the “Instagram” Traveller. Someone who just gets up and goes wherever they want. They have an American, British or European passport so visa issues are minimal and a few Dollars to go with they can take the tube, bus or even a long car ride to get to their destination. They rely heavily also on TripAdvisor or when they arrive in town they trust their instincts. Kenyans have not reached this level but we are getting the chance to host such travellers.

Either way a holiday should have a clear goal otherwise it is a waste of time and money. So make it count wherever and whenever.

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Our Land, Our Nation, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 9th December, 2016

Our Land, Our Nation

“Oh God of all creation

Bless this our land and nation”

Our National Anthem begins with the above two lines. Indeed this God fearing nation believes in blessings, it is no wonder that several religions, communities and cultures exist in harmony.

Kenya gained full independence from the British Government on 1st June 1963 and we celebrate our “Republic” holiday on 12th December 1963. This day signifies freedom, strength, progress, diversity, opportunity and the future that lies ahead. We are turning 53 and entering the wisdom era where we have millions of grandchildren and while we still have stories to tell about our Freedom fight, it is now time to start telling stories about our new legacy.

This modern nation is facing challenges just like any other, no exception. But we are determined to stay ahead and keep moving forward, to learn from others mistakes and create our own trail blaze of achievements. Our national holidays especially during the last 20 years have become more patriotic and more so since the Jubilee Government due to the acceptance of embracing our identity and showing it off. We wear our flag on our jacket or the colours that symbolize our country on more merchandise than ever before. We still stand up to the National Anthem before every film with pride and at every event too. While this rule is biting the Indian nationals and the debate continues on how to increase patriotism, we stand firm. We may not have a cricket team, or space programme, or military deployment, or the Royals, but we have simple principles that keep us hopeful, happy and hardworking.

National holidays are necessary in many ways, firstly of course, a time off for those in employment but also a chance to gather over lunch or dinner to celebrate a well-deserved holiday. Whether this holiday is being saluted for its nature, in this case our independence day is hard to tell. Like the Americans make a patriotic deal over Thanksgiving we probably have not reached that hype. Perhaps we do not need to show off at that magnitude. Maybe a day will come when we will hold “Freedom Concerts” to remind ourselves of where we have come from and celebrate our precious Republic. What is clear is that all our National holidays hold a dignified place and are celebrated respectfully.

Stirring up patriotism comes not from the Government, because that would mean being Communist, or from dancing all over, because that would mean being Liberal. We have to seek the balance and I believe we have it, just enough of promotion and pomp. The intellectuals will argue, like Mark Twain:

“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

But to borrow a line from a brother from another land, “In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.” ― Barack Obama. So it is up to you, what you feel and where. There are several generations here and their roots are from the United Kingdom or India, but over the years their respect to the Republic of Kenya is honorable. How you use the national holiday matters. Do something for the nation, plant trees, clean the community area, hold a party for the estate’s elderly or anything that makes a difference as a citizen of your nation.

Do it for the people, do it for the Nation.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Bringing School at Home, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 8th January, 2016

Bringing School at Home

Courtesy Doyle Dazzles

Courtesy Doyle Dazzles

What is education? Apart from the basics of going to school, reading textbooks, writing on exercise books, it has taken on an even bigger universal tone because of the Internet and Social Media. You need to be educated not only in school, but at home, at the office, in the family, in a relationship, in friendship or in almost in any part of your life. The world is changing at a phenomenal pace, inventions are exploding at every corner and the curiosity is building more than ever. Then why is education limited to school still and unfortunately you have to pay a lifetime just to get it?

Education is expensive and I don’t get it why? Why do parents have to sell their jewellery, lifetime savings, cars, and houses just to put you through school? It is ridiculous and the school fees aren’t going down just up and up. Let me not get into the economics, I am not an expert, but one thing is clear, raising a child is expensive. What hurts in the end is after all that investment when they don’t bother repaying you and run off to a “greener pasture” as a parent you are completely insulted.

So how can education be made more financial friendly? Luckily there are several ways; the choice is up to you. I think there are 3 types of parents, the first that are bound by bills and put their children through school because it is part of the motion; the second that are bound by society competition and keep showing off by putting their children in expensive schools and extra curricular activities; then there are those who genuinely care for their child’s interest and know that a education, skill and talent can be a transforming part of life.

If you are bound by bills, then get real and know this that putting your child in the local system of the country is no shame, that way you won’t have to pay grand overseas fees and your child will have a degree or qualification.

If you are bound by society competition, then good luck.

If you are genuinely an educationist then this message is for you. Let your child learn using the Internet, save the money and let him or her be creative. The best examples so far are the Khan Academy, which is leading in the online learning education especially for Math. Or you can enroll in the Isha School Foundation that is also teaching life’s purpose, spirituality, humanity and so much more. It doesn’t have to be all about Math’s or English.

This is the beauty of human life, we are at the cusp of a huge historical change so why not be a part of it or be the one who makes it happen. Isn’t it time we find another Einstein? Children know even better than us to maneuver the iPads or smart phones, imagine if they invented something that is revolutionary. Will they discover this sitting in a class full of other students, under pressure to pass exams and have you pile up debts? Yes one thing can’t be argued is that if you went to a top university your chances of getting an instant great package of employment is substantially higher and it sets up a strong foundation. But what about if your child can become an entrepreneur, sports or musician? Why wait? Why wait for the Government to make school fees affordable, why wait to get the dream job to pay for your child’s education? Take a moment and research there is several ways to get educated nowadays. Dare to believe.

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Retirement Starts at 30, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 4th December, 2015

Retirement Starts at 30

Retirement-card-message-to-wish-someone-a-happy-retired-life-640x480

Almost 30 years ago life was as simple as, go to school, get a degree, get a job and get married. But somewhere in between came the dotcom bust and then the millennium goals. Things start to change, people dropped out of school to become entrepreneurs, or went on studying and getting one PhD after another. Some got married quickly and have teenage kids now; some are still waiting to get married. Some got great jobs and are happily married and own at least one car if not a house. Some got into business and now are globetrotters seeking new adventures. Whatever the case, life went from being simple to being complicated.

The biggest shift has been the exposure to Western culture both socially and professionally. They are primarily known to put career first and make a difference to the world through business or a social change. In other words even religions were challenged and the idea of why are we here, what are we to do and how are we going to leave things were the talk of the town. Things are still changing and there is more spiritual consciousness in the air more than ever. The “Secret” happened and most started questioning what it is that I really want for my life? Thus, the concept of retirement has changed.

In our parents time, retirement meant working hard, cashing out at the end of the job or handing over the daily running of the business to the son as the successor. Few have continued to work in service because of capability or need to pay bills. Few have continued to manage their businesses because of interest and lack of capable successors. They are however lucky that they at least have in most cases decent children and maybe a few grandchildren who will take care of them after they stop their income. But what about my generation?

We are utterly selfish human beings who are so wrapped up about “poor me” that we are really not learning from lessons of our elders and watching some peers who are creating great solutions. For example not all of us will have the chance to work for Mark Zuckerburg (creator of Facebook) who is giving 4 months parental leave to his employees. So you really have to get serious and think about the options you have, I am talking especially to the 20 year olds, because what you do now will impact you forever.

Choose your career wisely. In Kenya the employer still has the upper hand and if you are wrongfully terminated there is unfortunately no court of law that will support your rights. Get real and think how much income do you want, why and for how long? What is it going to take for you to get to that level, for example is becoming a doctor so important to you versus having a stable income quicker by becoming an accountant? These are difficult things to accept especially when education anywhere in the world is so expensive and the choices are closing in on you. That’s why your retirement starts at 30, that is when you must buy your car, your house and start building a future for you and your family. Retirement benefits schemes will help you but remember if you can’t learn how to manage your money by 30 then the times we are living in are not going to help you at the real retirement age of 60.

If you have secured yourself with the above suggestions, you will have a life after 60. This life can be looking after grandchildren or having a new adventure in life. Nowadays you can choose any new career easily, for example if you want to become a singer, actor, painter or even learn a new profession, it is possible. With this digital age and new social trends. It is possible to make your Picasso at 70 or a new viral YouTube song. It is up to you, how do you want to spend your time and hard earned money? Do you want to drink it up at Karoga nights, gossip and create hell for the ladies circle or really make a difference with the wisdom and experience you have earned in life?

You can work as long as you want for whoever you want. Just know nothing is impossible.

 

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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