Considering a Career in the Start-Up Space? What to Know and Consider

Considering a Career in the Start-Up Space? What to Know and Consider

  There’s a new type of employer in town: Meet the high-potential fast-growing start-up business. It is not your typical SME and also not someone’s ‘biashara’. They might be committed to finding a business answer to a social cause by finding innovative solutions for low-income populations, others make life more comfortable and fun for the growing middle and upper class. Key sectors where these innovators play include Financial Services, Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Clean Energy, Agri Innovation, Transport, among others. There are many perks of working in this space i.e. the purposeful work, the casual dressing, and ‘room for rapid growth’, but there are important factors you should keep in mind before you send that job application. This article explores what makes start-up jobs attractive and to who, tackles some common misperceptions, and will offer food for thought as to why you may or may not want to work in this space.   Benefits to Working in a Start-Up Career Growth: When working in a start-up, you can hugely contribute to the growth and the success of the company with your role. You can be a part of strategic conversations, bringing and directly handling key clients and partnerships, important decision-making, and even taking on leadership opportunities. Your position can accelerate fast in a small and growing company. Purpose: Start-ups are particularly attractive when you are entry-level, as you will take on a lot more responsibilities than in many other entry-level jobs in larger firms (you know, making coffee and filing papers, yawn!). This helps you build valuable skills. Exposure: You are likely to be in an open work...
Boss Horror Stories and What We Can All Learn From Them

Boss Horror Stories and What We Can All Learn From Them

Why do people quit jobs? Many business leaders believe that “good people have options” or that “millennials don’t commit for long”. To build a growing and performing organization, we need to dig deeper and understand why people leave. We asked over thirty Nairobi professionals about their experiences with bosses that made them quit. We were shocked hearing what people had to say – these are true horror stories:   The Blaming and Defensive Boss: “I quit. It was the worst experience. My boss was a micro-manager, played the blame game, and overall there was a lack of leadership by management in the company.” “My boss was very defensive of her actions and always blamed the other party”. The Boss Who Held Me Back: “She will not let me go for professional training! She has no college degree, she hates people with degrees”. The Boss Who Expects Too Much: “Being thrown into the deep end work with tasks that I had no knowledge of, yet my boss expected the best outcome or performance!” “She would always delegate huge tasks last minute with important partners then would expect results without me having any experience” “Very mean. Asked me to babysit for her autistic child with no prior idea of how.” The “Bully” Boss (30% of the respondents’ bosses fall here!): “Mood swings, she terrified everyone once she was having a bad day” “I was called a ‘mental case’ after I challenged the opinion of my boss” The ‘Sleep With Me and Get A Job’ Boss: “I once had a boss who wanted to give me a job only if I accepted...
Handy methods to improve internal communication at the office

Handy methods to improve internal communication at the office

  A well-functioning internal communication will improve your team’s performance, collaboration, and their productivity. The right mix of written and in-person conversations, of clear updates will reduce the likelihood of conflicts within the team, and as a manager it will save you valuable time. In this article, we will share with you our tried and tested internal communication tips to solve your team communication woes.   Give meetings meaning Each meeting needs a uniquely crafted agenda. Clarify the purpose and expected outcomes before and again, when starting the meeting. For management meetings, clarify the expected outcome for each agenda point. Keep meetings short. People are then more likely to pay attention and remember important points and issues raised. Get a team member to sum up the next steps at the end. Use apps or trackers for giving updates and tracking tasks instead of meetings. Host communication spaces such as Monday or mid-week check-ins, or monthly/ quarterly reviews to see how the team is doing. Use these as opportunities to discover what people are happy or unhappy about in the workplace, and what they need in order to perform better. A start-up we know hosts monthly sessions where people bring their happy and sad moments on post-its. The team then discusses together how to create more happy moments and digest the sad moments. It’s a great idea and works wonderfully for them. Use tools to stay organized Create a (google) calendar for all office events including team sessions, activities, meetings, birthdays etc. Let people block their leave on the same calendar. Put up flipcharts and cool posters or print-outs on...
How to Retain Talent in a Start-up

How to Retain Talent in a Start-up

Retaining talent is of utmost importance to your organization’s growth. After you have invested in hiring and developing your people, you want them to stay and help your start-up take off! Perhaps you can’t offer a great salary package, health insurance, pension, a company car etc. so what value will they derive so that they stay in your organization? Other than work experience and a salary, what can you offer your employees? What can you offer them that the big players can’t or don’t? If retaining talent in your organisation is a serious problem, it is imperative to be open to change. Figure out why your employees are leaving, and discern what it is you need to change or implement in order to keep them. After all, why should you replace great talent when you can easily retain them instead? Here are our tips to help you attract and retain talent.   Value your team Treat them well. Show them that you actually care about them. Ask them what would make their time there better, what do they need? How do they like to work? If it’s something you’re able to offer, then offer it! They will feel valued and trusted. Empathise with your team. Working in start-ups generally comes with a lot of pressure and work-load. Have a good support system for your team to make sure they are not over-burdened and stressed. Care about the state of their mental health and general well-being. If they are taking on a lot of pressure and stress caused by work and there’s nothing or little you’re doing to support them,...
Scared of approaching your boss? 5 tips to make communicating with your boss easier

Scared of approaching your boss? 5 tips to make communicating with your boss easier

  Have you ever had an uncomfortable or critical situation, either work-related or personal that you needed to inform your boss about? How do you feel about taking your boss aside and asking for something you need? You may feel scared to approach your boss because you’re just starting out in your career and you’re not sure how to communicate what you want to them. You may wonder, my boss looks so busy, how can I get their time and make the best of that time with them. Or perhaps you have a boss who is unapproachable, lacks empathy, or is quick-tempered. Whatever the situation might be, everybody wants their boss to be on their side as they can help you grow in your career. If you can build an open and positive relationship with your boss, you’re more likely to be involved and exposed into exciting situations at work, and less likely to face negative consequences if things don’t go well. We have worked with bosses for a few years and have learned what makes them tick. Here are our five tips to yield positive results and a resolution to your communication worries. Be solution-oriented Ask yourself, is this really something I need to approach my boss about? If you can solve the issue on your own or with your colleagues’ help, then do so. Bosses are busy and if it’s an issue you can handle, don’t waste their time. Asking for your boss’s help on a matter you’re able to solve yourself can make you come across as being incompetent, and you want to avoid that. If...