A passionate, optimistic and career driven individual with a knack for marketing
By Catherine Kuria
Just imagine that every morning on Monday through Friday you go to work from eight to five and you sit there restlessly punching away the hours. This is not a way to enjoy your life. Working for eight hours a day, five times a week at something that makes you miserable is not the way you live life to the fullest. Many people who choose careers that don’t make them happy will tell you that they would all do it differently if they had the chance. You only have one life, so don’t waste it working somewhere you are uncomfortable just because of the money. There is nothing worse than having to wake up every morning during the week to report to a work station that you loathe. However, this is never really an issue when you are passionate about the work you do.
Joseph Gathuru is the operations director, Click Interactive Agency. He pursued his bachelors degree in international business administration at the United States International University- Africa (USIU-A). He also did an integrated brand communication course. He wanted to bridge that gap because in his undergraduate programme, he majored in both finance and marketing. He can fit in both fields comfortably but he was attracted to marketing because of its flexibility. “I wanted to pursue a career that would keep me on my toes,” he says.
After graduating, he immediately got a job as the Standard Chartered marathon secretariat team leader. It was a contractual employment and when the contract expired, he got another job at the Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel. At the five star hotel, he started as a management trainee and worked his way up to become a marketing coordinator. Standard Chartered came knocking with a better offer so he packed and went back to his former employer.
He says: “You go where the grass is greener. However, going back to Standard Chartered bank is the greatest mistake I have ever committed; one that I regret to date. I decided to follow money over passion.” In that position, he was consumed and overwhelmed because he lacked passion and drive for the job. He hilariously remarks that he used to dread going to work in the morning. He decided to quit last year in January and get his thoughts together.
Growing up, he had always desired to be certified accountant. Along the way, he got the impression that the accounting field is rigid and boring and he therefore opted for a career switch. Gathuru is a certified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The hunger to work in a marketing agency was triggered when he was working for Villa Rosa Kempinski.
Click Interactive Agency began as an idea that was shared between friends over a cup of coffee. A few hands were shaken and the firm came to be. It majorly focuses on the millenials. Mr. Gathuru says: “The young generation has a special vibe going on and we would like to keep it alive because if we lose touch with them then, we are out of business.” Given his background in marketing and finance, he coordinates all the functions including creatives. He works as a quality assurance officer and gauges whether the work is ready to be presented to clients.
Click is a content creation agency. It specializes in videography, photography, copywriting, artworks and design and it is anchored on three pillars: content, platform management and development. It has developed websites for institutions like the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen). After developing a platform for a client, the firm manages the same for free in line with its customer service policy. Mr. Gathuru has spearheaded numerous projects to success. However, the one that gave him the best fulfillment was the HELB project where his team designed a website and contact centre.
Every day that he wakes up to do what he loves best is a blessing to him. Working with people and seeing them happy doing what they love makes him feel fulfilled. “I get a certain satisfaction in knowing that people work with me not because they have to, but because they believe in my course,” he says, adding that when the team is happy and positive, the work is excellently done.
Self satisfaction is his greatest push. Waking up at five in the morning to do something that he loves even if it doesn’t pay much makes him feel accomplished. It is not about the money he makes, but about the contentment people get when they love and enjoy their job. “When you work somewhere that you are passionate about, putting in late hours isn’t as much of a burden as it is when you don’t like what you are doing,” he emphasizes.
To him, putting in extra hours doesn’t hurt as much because he doesn’t feel like he is forced to do it. This makes the experience more enjoyable. Every industry has a busy season and without a doubt, there will come a time when you will need to put in extra hours. Will it be easier for you to work longer on something you can relate to or something you can’t stand doing? He is quick to point out that the greatest lesson he has ever learnt is to never be blinded by the love of money.
Advice to young people
Gone are the days when individuals used to go to school for the sole reason of securing a white collar job. Nowadays the young generation is more passion and talent driven. He encourages young people to tap their potential because as he puts it, their talent is the best employer. He points out: “The misconception that is eating our society is that you need a permanent job to make a living. A lot of young people across the globe are living their best life off their talent.” He continues to say that, most of the youth are frustrated with the kind of life they are leading. Some feel like failures because they are not in a good space emotionally.
He parts by saying: “Most of us young people don’t take time to develop ourselves. We spend most of our free time drinking and partying our youth away at social joints. We need to invest our time and money on things that can help us grow. Let us nurture our skills while we are still young and we shall reap massive results when we are older.”