Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security – Tiny Buddha.
I must confess this was the toughest decision I ever made in my life. After completing my Undergraduate studies in May of 2013, I embarked on the gruelling job search. It had it upsides and down sides. Brightermonday became my number one site. I logged in every day after having created an account. I made several applications and got no responses. I did not give up though, one Friday evening I saw a job posted in Kisumu and I remember applying before midnight. As usual it was just like any application. The next day being a Saturday I was up and about doing house chores when my phone suddenly rang. I picked the anonymous call and was courteous as I could. Actually the call was in relation to the job application I did the previous night. I was asked to send my Curriculum Vitae to the company’s official email address as soon as possible. I stopped everything I was doing and sent the email immediately.
I travelled back home ready for the week. Two weeks passed and I got a call finally one Saturday morning being invited for an interview the following week on a Monday. I had never attended any interview before so I embarked on a research mission. I used all resources available to find out about the organisation and some of the interview questions I was likely to be asked. It was an Administration position and having been in HR and Administration departments during my Industrial attachments, I knew I was up to the task. I spent that day looking for relevant materials on Administration interviews and the do’s and dont’s of interviews. Having studied Human Resources I was thorough on everything and expected the employer to meet my expectation too.
My interview was scheduled at twelve noon. I left home some few minutes after eleven and was at the Hotel by 12.30 p.m. I went to the reception area and asked where the interview was being held, I was directed and took a seat beside my fellow applicants. I greeted them and waited for my turn. I saw to it that I was relaxed as I could as anxiety would do me no good. I ensured my folder was well-arranged from the current credentials to the least. My turn came and I delivered my all. Long story short I got the job! I will explain in my next post interview matters.
I started my job in September and was on three months probation. The administrator position is one that you work under pressure a lot! I gave my all in my job. A few weeks to completion of probation, I was in a state of confusion. I had the option of giving a month’s notice by handing in my resignation or stay back and work diligently. I chose the former. I may appear as someone who had no focus and did not appreciate the fact that I had a job that paid my bills, but that was not the case. After much deliberation I handed in my resignation and served the notice for the month of December. January I moved back to Kakamega to be with my husband and daughter. Actually, I left my job to be a stay at home mum(SAHM)! Crazy right? Maybe,maybe not.
Believe you me I was afraid of what the future had in store for me. Would I regret my decision? I think I did the first month it was expected anyway, moving from financial freedom(I was not yet there, but I was working towards it) to relying on hubby to take care of the bills. Being independent is something everyone should strive for. It gives you a sense of being responsible. You can take care of your needs whenever,wherever. I still took care of my personal needs though, I could not see him break his back to take care of all the needs and ask for money to do my hair. I had a small income that took care of that and other small stuff. The month of January as usual is always a tough month, but we sailed through. At this time I was still praying to God for a better job, I remember even fasting in that effect. Was my prayer answered? Ofcourse, it is not funny as a month later I realised I was pregnant with my second baby. Were we trying for a baby? Not really! And that is how I got a full-time job that I am still doing diligently. The pregnancy was a sure indication that I had to stay back home. I could work while pregnant but I cancelled all plans to work reason being pregnancy takes a toll on me, sometimes I am unable to leave bed the whole day! There is a way my body just rejects being actively involved. Even walking around is a problem. How would I make it to work everyday like this? I could not put myself to the torture of being laid off because of low productivity. Yes, pregnancy does that to me.
Certainty is an illusion. It will always be made uncertain. And uncertainty will forever be the path of inner self-reliance. Amy Jalapeño.com
I did not want to leave my job after delivery because to me, I find it fit to stay back at home and breastfeed exclusively for the six months. Who would give me such a long leave? None whatsoever unless I am living in a Country like Germany, but hey I am in Kenya. So these are the sacrifices I made for my baby. It gave me great comfort to see her grow, achieving her milestones under my watch and seeing her personality form as she grew. I got the chance to spend time with my eldest daughter too, we do homework together. She is still praying for mommy to get a job. In God’s time I know I will. I believe every woman should have financial freedom, am I preaching water and drinking water? Not really, on the contrary, my kids are my greatest investment. This behaviour is in our genes though. I would not be surprised if my daughters will one day take the same path as me. My mom was like this, every time she put to bed a baby, she would resign from her job, take care of her baby untill mature, then she would look for a new job once again. My sisters and I exhibit the same trait. It is inborn.
And that is the path I took almost three years ago. The decision was not a walk in the park as I had got a chance to grow in my career but I chose family first. I know it is never too late as I have gathered invaluable experience that will help me in doing my job in the future. Respect to women who dedicate their time to take care of their families full-time, mine is just for a certain period. I am going back to my career God willing next year. I know my employer would like to know why the three-year gap in my Curriculum vitae, I was not studying but rather talking care of my family as I did not want breaks in my career. Being a full-time mom is a calling! You might be wondering what experience I have gained so far, take a look!
In my Curriculum I have listed things like;
- Ability to work under pressure:
I did not know that I could function in some state and I would survive it all. There are some things I could not handle and sometimes I went home so agitated and it was affecting my daughter. The past three years has seen me work on my emotions. I can keep it in balance. As a mum I work under pressure a lot! From handling a colicky baby who would cry the whole night and fall asleep almost five in the morning, I had to catch some sleep and still wake up almost two hours later to prepare my eldest daughter for school. While doing that I prepare breakfast and she is a poor feeder, seeing to it that she takes her breakfast well. Then seeing her off to school. I have chores to be done for the day and I embark on them, I start washing clothes, barely halfway baby wakes up! But I made it after having a routine that ensured I was not burned-out. I can handle anything now, bring it on!
- Patient and Tolerant
This one if you know you are not patient or tolerant, do not list it! I thought I was patient and would tolerate anything, I realised it was a fallacy. Wait till you become a mother and you have to endure somethings but still correct a baby lovingly. Crazy two can drive you insane! You have to be firm with the kid or else you will raise a little monster. The change is not drastic, you have to be patient and tolerate much in the process. Introducing a new thing to a baby is not easy. If you can handle a two-year old’s tantrum and manage to keep him/her under control then trust me you are patient!
- Ability to work under minimal supervision
I have learnt to have a routine and to strike a balance. Who is supervising me anyway? No one but I have to ensure everything is in order, I complete my tasks for the day and still have time to play with the kids. With a schedule, I have realised I am stress free.
- Paying attention to detail
Did I mention that I am a perfectionist? This has enabled me to always do things like they ought to be done.
You see, just to mention but a few I have gathered invaluable experience at home that I am sure will come in handy at the workplace. Being in HR it means we handle employees a lot, sometimes you have to exercise tough love to help someone.
In time I learnt to accept my decision and not worry about what people thought of me. The common Kenyan opening phrase “siku hizi uko wapi?”(where are you nowadays) does not bother me at all. I have learnt that I do not have to be envious of my peers who have settled in their careers while I am yet to kick off mine. In short, I have accepted the job of taking care of my kids untill I find a good job. My time is coming.
But as for me, my feet were almost gone,my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious at the foolish , when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pains in their death : but their strength is firm. Psalms 73;2-4.
To those job searching, keep praying, do not give up, start small and you will grow big. Find places you can volunteer so that you gain experience, let your godfather be God himself, His promises are yea, and amen His answers. Do not be afraid to dream, do not be afraid to move from certainty to uncertainty, be a risk taker. It is worth it at the end of the day. Keep believing. Cheers!