USIU-Africa Alumni Association hosts webinar on Mental Health and Wellbeing

By Esther Lihavi

The USIU-Africa Alumni Association held its inaugural webinar of the quarterly series ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’ on Thursday, March 23. Joan Thuo, popularly known as Joan the Career Coach (Class of 2009, BA Psychology) was the guest speaker and Hannah Moturi, the Vice Chairperson of the Alumni Association was the moderator.

The session themed "Navigating career and life transitions and changes in a post-pandemic World" started with Joan expressing her gratitude for having a platform to give back to her Alma Mater. She further explained that she helps people navigate through their career lives by offering coaching services, writing CVs, creating LinkedIn profiles and preparing people for interviews.

She then gave a background of the theme, highlighting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to peoples’ careers, with several still struggling to date. Further, she expressed the concern of the prospective path to a global recession, posing the question ‘how safe is your career?’.

Some of the key things she emphasized during her address were having a career map, having a mentor and having a professional brand. The career map will act as a guide, the mentor as support and the brand as a distinctive factor from the rest. She noted that the professional brand includes having an updated CV and LinkedIn profile that matches current standards. This way, one is able to stay relevant after inevitable circumstances such as the pandemic.

During the Q&A session, she answered questions from the attendees on how to choose a mentor, how to explain a career break, how to know it’s time to quit a job and how to grow in an organization without burning bridges.

The session ended with a vote of thanks from the Chairperson of the Alumni Association, Mr. James Cutha Gathere who also invited the attendees to the upcoming webinars on Mental Health and Wellbeing.

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