Always have a support system
Strength in Support

On a recent long flight, I watched the movie “Kipchoge “The Last Milestone.  If you have not yet watched it, I highly recommend that you do. The movie follows the Kenyan world marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge as he prepares to make history by running the marathon in under 2 hours.  As he made history on 12th October 2019 Kipchoge said “I am running for humanity, I want to remove that click in every human’s mind that no human is limited. We are all human beings, and we try to show other human beings that you can do it! I want to send a message to the minds and to the blood of all the human families in the world, be it runners, lawyers, teachers engineers all kinds of human families in this world that no human is limited.” Kipchoge had already established the world record, but he had a career goal and that was to inspire people and he achieved that goal. There are many lessons in the movie, but I found two that resonated with me:

  1. We can and we must challenge our own preconceived limits and those of others: Running the marathon in under 2 hours had been labeled impossible but Kipchoge believed that he could do it and he set it as a goal. When he succeeded, he bust that myth and proved that nobody knows what a human can achieve therefore nobody can place a limit on your goals except your mind.  Yes, that goes for your career goals too! There are times during the goal setting coaching session when a coachee is setting pre-conceived limits on their goals by telling themselves that they can only achieve major career milestones after a longer than necessary period or they feel they cannot get a job as a “Director” yet then we have to take a step back and work through the imposter syndrome and limit busting exercises.

2}  A support system is key to any success: Kipchoge had 9 pacemaker teams that helped him run that race. When there was 500 meters left the pacemakers dropped off and let him finish by himself and take the limelight.  At the end of the finish line his wife was waiting for him and celebrated the making of history. We all need that kind of support system. We need a tribe that will run the journey with us and step back to cheer us on when we succeed. We need Accountability partners that will remind us of those goals that we set and nudge us back on track. We need friends that sit at our table and support our dreams over a cup of tea. We need a family that will pull us up when we stumble and celebrate the wins with us! In the HUMHR career coaching programs we share a lot about accountability partners and a support system when navigating professional goals whether it be a job search, career transition, lay off, promotion, whatever phase of your professional journey you are going through a support system is key.

As I watched the movie, I was reminded of my January read “The light we carry” by Michelle Obama where she talks about a Harvard research that had volunteers carry heavy backpacks and made them stand at the bottom of the hill as if they were going to climb it. Half of them stood alone and the other half with a friend, the research showed that those with a friend perceived the hill less steep and the climb less of a struggle! Therein lies the strength we have in a support system.


This blog post is dedicated to my friend the late Sichelesile Moyo-Ncube who sat at my table and I at hers for over 25 years. Who supported me through the bad and celebrated with me through the good. Who, when I started my coaching business was one of my first clients. Whose last act of kindness to me was to support my coaching business by a referral. My table is so much poorer without her sitting at it!

*The featured image at the top is a blast from the past – University days! From left to right: Batje, Char, Che

The Only Job Search Checklist You Will Ever Need

Do you ever feel like every effort you put into getting a job always lands you at the same place?

“We regret to inform you..”

I have been there too. What is really demotivating is that you do your best and are the best at what you do, but somehow your best is never enough.

How should you prove that you deserve a chance? And how can you be mindful about how you go about finding a job?

Are there any tricks? Or hacks that make hired candidates any different from you? The answer is a resounding YES!

Like everything else looking for a job requires a good strategy. And that begins with an understanding of what is required from you.

In this blog allow me to give you some useful tips nobody tells you about. In your lifetime you will probably make the mistake of foregoing one of these major steps. Here is to never again!

Determine your job search objective.  

Ask yourself the following upfront.

What, When, Who, Why and How?

  • Why do I want/need a new job?
  • What kind of job am I looking for? (Area of interest).
  • When do I need a new job?
  • Who do I want to work for?
  • Where do I want to work?
  • How am I going to look for THE job?

Be clear with yourself what kind of development work you want to do. Do you want to work locally or abroad? What are you good at? Which organisation could use your skillset?

Doing this allows you to target your efforts. It gives you perspective on what to study for and the kind of experience you need.

Update your Resume/ CV/ LinkedIn profile.

Do an online review of all your social media accounts and clean up any “incriminating” posts.

Keep it clean. Online reputation is critical.

This also means updating your work experience as you grow in your career by removing some outdated resume items. Also tailoring your resume for the job you are applying for.

Read our resume writing tips on this link to get more appreciation on how to use job descriptions and keywords.

Research the targeted organization

Whether it be the UN, IFRC, The World Bank, World Vision or any current or potential future openings.

Think around what the world concerns are visa vi your areas of interest.

If you are interested in protection and security for children you might want to target Save the Children or World Vision for instance.

Migration issues could lead you to the IFRC, IOM or NRC.

If you don’t have enough experience you can start by volunteering locally and build your way to the top.

Networking is key

Distribute your resume to potential employers/ apply to the advertised position.

Always include a Cover letter.

There are different strategies you can employ when applying – passive or active.

Passive means you are waiting for openings to be advertised while active means you are actively enquiring from your network, from recruiters and on social media for any opportunities and you can often get invited to apply to a job before it goes public.

Prepare for interviews

This is a great time for you to start practicing common interview questions.

Particularly the “easy” questions

“Tell me about you”? (Have your 60-second elevator speech ready)

“Where do you want to be in five years?”

Don’t forget to send “Thank you letters” after interviews.

For a more in-depth interview preparation write up, follow this link and start practising!

Be prepared to negotiate your contract

Not always the salary!

Even start dates can be negotiated.

Things such as benefits, bonuses,contract renewals, performance evaluations etc. can be discussed as well.

The Avant Garde

When developing your career plan/strategy you need to ask yourself a LOT of questions.

Here are some more to think about in addition to the ones above.

  1. Why am I looking for a new job? What are my key selling points?
  2. What kind of job am I willing to accept? What kind of job will I not accept? Am I willing to relocate? Do I want a family post or a hardship post?
  3. What salary do I need?

Congratulations on your new assignment!

HUMHR wishes you all the success as you continue to establish your career in the Humanitarian world.

As you start your new assignment remember that your performance is key and you need to have career goals and manage them well to be successful!

As a career coach, I partner with you to unravel these questions and develop a strategy that you can follow step by step and be accountable for. We develop your script for success!

Feel free to engage me on a job search strategy anytime. My email is


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