6 Career Tips By High Court Advocate Harriet Onyiego

April 26, 2021

Harriet Onyiego doubles up as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the Managing Partner at Moraa Onyiego and Associates Advocates.

She is also a member of the Young Lawyers Committee and East Africa Law Society. Harriet holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law.

Curiosity has been my driving force. I always put myself in a position to learn because learning never stops. In my area of work, I specialise in Employment and Labour Relations Disputes, Conveyancing and Property Law, Intellectual Property, Probate Administration and Family Law, and Commercial Disputes Litigation. Making every client feel important is behind the growth of my legal business.

As a young Advocate, I wasn’t saving, planning for my spending, or tracking how I spent money. This set me back a lot. I wasn’t growing financially. For instance, when Corona hit last year, I did not have any savings. I had not mastered the art of surviving through emergencies. I took a bad hit. I now have an emergency fund to cushion me through such crises. My spending habits today are based on goals and intent.

It is good to be ambitious. But ambition can cloud your mental wellness. In fact, when I look at my career, I would prioritise my mental health more. The rush to achieve is mentally draining which many of us do not appreciate. Over my career, I have observed that I tend to think a lot through situations. I get lost in moments that are gone or which are yet to come. I now strive to live the moment even as I chase my personal and career goals.

Entrepreneurship and employment can work for the same individual. However, they must be done sequentially. For example, in my legal career, I consider it wise to get exposure under employment through working with Senior Advocates before venturing out on your own. This gives you experience on how the legal business works and is also a great way of gaining mentorship.

I currently save through banks and women self-help groups. I am part of groups that are pooling funds together to invest. My experience in chamas has shown me that they are efficient in bestowing a sense of responsibility and financial discipline. You also get financial accountability partners. I am also shopping for a long-term investment strategy where a percentage of my savings and resources can go. I once tried home banking which proved ineffective.

We are all in different stages of growth in life. We bloom differently. Just like nature, life has cycles and seasons. Learn not to get too comfortable in any one season. It is the best way to ensure you have constant beneficial evolution. If anything, it’s good to be resilient in what you do. Take your failures as lessons rather than mistakes and regrets. When it comes to money, find your niche then package your skills towards creating value that clients will pay for. People will always pay for solutions. When money comes, do not forget to invest.

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