What you need to know:
- I started Omil Staffing Services about eight years ago, shortly after I quit employment.
- I was working as a ghost writer, author and editor for different audiences across the globe.
- My experience as a writer, working for popular clients, greatly widened my world view and prepared me for my current job as an entrepreneur.
Leah Awiti Omil, 32, is a human resources manager, career strategist and mentor. She is the founder of Omil Staffing Services. She holds a diploma in business management from the University of Nairobi, a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, and is currently taking a certificate course in project management.
What was your dream career?
I wanted to be many things. At first, I wanted to become a medical doctor because of the influence of the people I grew up around, and admiration of a close relative who worked in the field.
I also wanted to be a lawyer, and a journalist, but I struggled to come up with good ideas. I also lacked the passion and dedication necessary to succeed as a journalist. Luckily, I ended up in a field that touches almost all the fields I was interested in.
Tell us about your experience as an employee...
I got my first job in January 2009, at a marketing company. I had just finished high school at Nyakach Girls. My sister, Viola, referred me to the company, and I went for an interview. Viola had drafted a CV for me, but it was not so professional. It was only a summary of my skillset. When I met the hiring team, I was very nervous. It was my first interview ever but I passed purely because of merit and my bubbly personality.
As a fresher in the marketing field, I promoted Alvaro beverage for six months. At that time, I was taking diploma in business management. I used to work during the day and attend classes in the evening.
From August 2009, I joined Kaskazi Network as a merchandiser. I served for five months before moving to Nestle Kenya, under Topline Marketing, as an administrator and human resources manager. In that company, I served for two years, while undertaking a Bachelor’s degree in business administration at St Paul’s University.
Working during the day and studying in the evening was exhausting, but I had to work so that I could pay my school fees.I was then hired as a sales representative, where I served for one year, before joining Interactive Communications as a sales person. There, I did not fit in.I did not enjoy working in the sales department because it was very demanding. I eventually got a job as an administrator and personal assistant for Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade and Industry, Moses Kuria, in 2014. That was the last time I served as an employee. I quit in 2015 and delved into writing.
Tell us how you started your company…
I started Omil Staffing Services about eight years ago, shortly after I quit employment. I was working as a ghost writer, author and editor for different audiences across the globe.
Writing is fun. My experience as a writer, working for popular clients, greatly widened my world view and prepared me for my current job as an entrepreneur. I had no room for compromise. I had to deliver high quality content.
At first, it was not easy. I felt like quitting, but giving up was not an option. Fortunately, two years later, I procured the services of a mentor, who suggested that I put my intellectual skills to use by practicing human resource and career development. He created a roadmap for me, and my first action was to build a website, and try to understanding the challenges that job seekers go through.
The mentor also proposed a system that could enable consumers to conveniently access my services – on time and upon demand. Omil Staffing Services offers a broad range of career services including resume writing, career coaching, career strategising, interview preparation, start-up consultancy, LinkedIn profile optimisation, among others.
What lessons have you picked over the years?
I’ve learnt not to be afraid of starting any project, because the most important step is the first one. Be ready to learn and evolve to accommodate the changing dynamics of the industry, economy and society.
Why are there many cases of unemployed youths? What’s the solution, in your opinion?
In addition to the lack of employment opportunities, I believe Kenyan youth are not adequately equipped and supported. Many of them don’t know how to sustainably and effectively monetise their skills and talents. There is a very common call for young people to embrace entrepreneurship or self-employment, but how can they do so without proper financial and moral support, and training?
What’s a career strategy and why is it important?
A career strategy is a structured plan aimed at getting the best out of a career or profession. Such a roadmap reduces the risk making emotional, short-term decisions with long term professional and personal consequences. An ideal career strategy should be realistic and congnisant of your strengths and weaknesses.
To what extent does talent influence one’s career?
Work-related tasks that align with our natural talents are enjoyable. They lead to high job satisfaction, high productivity, greater leverage when asking for better pay, and overall improvement in work-life balance.
What’s your advice to youth seeking jobs?
First, craft a career strategy to map out your strengths and weaknesses and long and short term career goals. Second, be realistic with your expectations. Never be afraid to start from the ground, as long as you have a career strategy. Lastly, seek to always grow by learning, unlearning, and relearning different skills.