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Mental Health: How to find mental strength in the job hunt

BrighterMonday CEO with K24 TV Host Shiko and Counseling Psychologist Dr. Fraciah

Unemployment in Kenya has become an issue that has caused a lot of concern and debate. Through Government policies of safeguarding employment opportunities and support of national job websites like BrighterMonday, there are strides made toward reducing the unemployment problem.

Through various measures, the rate of unemployment has significantly reduced. A report filed by trading economics records that unemployment in the year 2021 is currently at 5.1%, a decline from the year 2020, where the rate was 5.9%.

These figures also reveal the increasing competition in securing jobs among Kenyans which can result in mental stress among job seekers. As the world marks #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth , there is a need for mental strength and support for those looking for jobs. 

Speaking at an interview with K24 hosted by Shikoh Kaittany, BrighterMonday Kenya CEO Emmanuel Mutuma lauded the importance of mental health in the job search and career development. 

“Job searching for many job seekers involves mental capacity; it takes a lot of effort and can be demanding. To avoid this, we advocate for those seeking jobs to leverage career advice to make smart applications. Additionally, because the job workplace has changed, jobseekers must get training in transferable skills such as digital marketing so as to secure jobs today.” Emmanuel said.

He added that BrighterMonday has significantly has invested a lot in technology. This has significantly contributed to enabling job seekers and matching their interests to the perfect recruiter for free so that they do not have to grapple with paying to get opportunities. 

During the conversation, it was revealed that many young people suffer stress due to unemployment and demands from family to earn an income. Additionally, because of the impact of the #Covid19, many have experienced job losses and are forced to upskill or reskill to survive.  Commenting on this, Counselling Psychologist Dr. Fraciah Kiunjuri noted that those who lost jobs do not get the support they need and it comes with a lot of guilt and shame.

“Often, those who lose jobs have to go through the grieving process; denial, anger, bargaining depression and acceptance. It is crucial for them to get the support they need to overcome this.” said Dr. Fraciah. She added that many attach their jobs to their self worth and it should not be so; she advised that professionals must  do a SWOT analysis to discover themselves.

The engaging conversation also touched on changes in the job market and highlighted modern skills employers require today. These include digital marketing, coding, ecommerce, IT and education sectors, among others. 
Additionally, the panelists called on job seekers to understand the market and take any negative response as a learning process to know how to build their skills and position themselves better. This will also demand on how to strategically apply for jobs.

WRITTEN BY
Ivy Muigai
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