I like to think of myself as someone who listens to my inner self. I am one of those people who believes that I was born for a reason and the way to get there is to listen to your inner voice (yes yes that voice in your head that comes to you all the time but more so when you have a hard decision to make). I believe that listening to it and going for it will ultimately lead you to where you need to be. A life without accomplishing what you were meant for is a life wasted.
Okay let me skip the life lesson and go for why we are here. Engineering. It deserves its own sentence because no one really prepares you for it. I have always been ‘taught’ by the people in my life that when you do this so called ‘hard courses’ it only gets easier after graduation. Boy was thatI wrong. In fact school is actually the easy bit to be quite frank. Well I did not particularly like the exam periods but aside from that school was a breeze. So without further ado let me introduce you to my first year of being a Graduate Engineer. PS I cannot call myself an engineer until I am registered as one. Takes years of practice and an exam and what not. I will not bore you with the details. So I am still Mr Kimani. Bummer right? I know.
Mine has not been a straightforward journey nor has it been easy. So fun fact the government employs most of us engineers. I remember hearing this fact in class a course called Engineering Management and thinking to myself well that doesn’t sound right. Turns out it is. 80% of engineering projects are funded by the government so do the math. Finishing school in an election period means that the jobs get scarce. In this beautiful homeland of ours called Kenya you normally have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who can ask someone to give you a job or an internship. Imagine how many someones that has to be in a year where jobs in your area of expertise are very limited because funding. Needless to say I did not know that one someone. Side note: I have to add here for those who have not yet graduated. Those uncles and your folks’ friends who keep telling you to graduate and call them and they will hook you up with a job and they continue telling you so during your graduation party. One word one syllable ; SCAAAAMMMM.
I have to say that making things has always been fascinating for me. If it is taking apart a radio and putting it back together that was my idea of fun. I remember I opened up our VCR when I was small and I was called for lunch so I left it that way for a while. I got back and I could not remember where each piece went. Let us just say another VCR had to be bought but after a thorough beating but that did take me off my path really. When I grew up a little and decided that I was going to focus on building structures and roads because apparently schools cannot let you learn how to do everything, my passion for it grew immensely. That is the passion that kept me going when there was no forthcoming job but I still believed that one would eventually turn up. I have to admit seeing some of my friends getting internships and work and I was just there was very hurting. One day I even decided I would take any job so for that week I did what is commonly known as tarmacking. I walked to several firms with my papers I figured they would see my effort and at least give me a job. Nothing come up.
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it ~ Paulo Coelho
One Tuesday afternoon I got a call from The Regional Manager KERRA Nakuru telling me that he would give me an opportunity. I cannot explain in words how ecstatic I was. An opportunity to do what I loved had just presented itself. I was always more focused on structures to be honest whilst in school. This was roads. I was blank but I said to myself this was my opportunity to learn something new and I took it. Remember that voice I talked about, it was there with me. It told me to take a chance on myself and I did. I arrived in Nakuru leaving the comforts of home behind and was immediately sent to the materials laboratory. I was lucky enough to get people there who were ready to teach me everything. I took my chance learnt all that I could. Went on to survey works and this was actually my weak spot in school so this was a challenge but I was lucky enough to meet a great surveyor and she made sure I learned and learned and when I was tired I learned a little more. I did my inspectorate too and started writing my report to hand over to my boss on exactly what I was doing in the field. All this while I was not actually getting paid but that voice again was like what you learn will eventually be more valuable than any pay you get. So I did my work even when sometimes I was very demotivated to. It is not easy explaining to people why you are working when you are not getting anything out of it. I blame the person who came up with the concept of money and pay and all that. If it were up to me we would divide money equally and do what we loved then. That’s a topic for another day.
Fast forward and I handed over my report a little bit tired of my job. I just wanted to go to the next phase of this engineering journey not really knowing what that was. Two months later after trying to meet my boss who is a very busy man by the way I was able to. I used to bother him every other time when I wanted something or I needed him to teach me something. I bet he loathed me. A young man who is just entering this field who he keeps bothering me every opportunity he gets he must have thought. He did look at my report though and thought it was not really well done because it had grammatical errors. Okay I should say this I am a strict, nay, very strict stickler to order. A stickler to straight lines if you get what I mean. So that did not sound like me. We went over it and it turns out it did not. He liked my report and he ended my internship and gave me a different kind of opportunity. I am still on the journey towards being the engineer I have always wanted to be. Taking small steps forwards. A step forward however small is still a step forward and eventually you will get there.
What this long ass journey taught me is that life sometimes, well most of the time, will not open the door of opportunity so you know what if you are smarter than you are strong, use the damn window and if you strong, stronger than you are smart then break the effin door. Go after what you think life owes you and do not accept any less. Be different. Do not aim for the stars so you land on the clouds. Aim for the stars because you know you are one of them and you ought to be among them. Also what is actually meant for you will come to pass if you just follow that voice inside of you, if you follow your heart. Follow that and everything else you desire will follow you.
Kim out for now. See you on the next one. ✌🏾