In one of Strive Masiyiwa’s posts on Facebook, the Zimbabwean engineer turned businessman, lamented about how he had been left out of a training his colleagues at work had gone for in Japan. “I knew I was the most qualified person who had been dropped,” he wrote.
But more than throw a pity party and wait for his colleagues’ return, Masiyiwa embarked on career building under the guidance of one of his Indian mentors. This, he says, helped him catch up with most of what his friends were up to in Japan. He turned out to be equally skilled like his colleagues in the months that followed.
Outsourcing in career-building is a practice that has been applied by nearly every individual or organisation at some point. It literally means getting an outside firm or expert to shape one’s career paths through different training programmes.
Nathan Balirwana Mugalu, a mentor and career guidance expert with Transformation Mentorship Bureau, says one may not require outsourcing all the time but it is sometimes be resourceful in building people’s careers.
“We tend to be more relaxed when availed with outsourced training opportunities,” he says. This, he adds, most likely affects the rate at which we can easily learn some of the things being taught during the training. But he says we must be aware that sometimes this may not actually work as some employees are likely to benefit less. “The human mind tends to be more focused when individually trying to address an issue,” Mugalu asserts.
However, he further notes that career outsourcing can be important most especially if a company or organisation has identified some skills its employees may need which eventually become beneficial to both the individual and company. “The employee grows their career and the company gets more skilled workforce,” Mugalu says.
Just after three years of Infosis Uganda’s existence, the executive director, Ivan Mugere, decided to embark on a training programme for his employees. The reason was he had to make sure his employees were well-versed with IT related skills given the fact that his company was transforming into an IT firm.
True to his understanding of the needs his company Infosis has today enjoyed some of the available benefits/opportunities in the IT world. “My employees are now more skilled than ever something that has helped me run the company smoothly given our field of specialty,” he says.
That aside, Mugere says together with his other counterparts he had earlier on sought out expertise from an outside firm on an individual basis something he says worked and gave him more confidence that he would actually try this out on his employees.
A career coach will listen and observe what you have to say and customise their approach to the individual’s needs, and elicit solutions and strategies to move you forward. Support and resources can also be found through your college career planning and placement office. You can also research services available through outside career coaches.
With regard to the job search process which includes job search/action plans: career goal setting/clarification, developing and writing resumes, preparing for interviews and researching options, a career coach can work with you on the various steps.