Finding a job these days can be difficult, most especially for new graduates with less skills to compete in a competitive job market.
A certain young man shared an experience of his job searching days. Of how he had been so excited to have been called for a job interview having stayed at home for six months after NYSC (National Youths Service Corps). He had dressed like any other desperate job seeker would and dashed out so early in order to make the job interview on time.
He got there earlier than the scheduled time and had quickly made friends with other applicants that were around at the time. He realised during his discussion with them, that most had good job experiences related to the position applied for. He felt a bit underqualified and his positive spirit dampened because he knew he couldn’t match the other applicant’s qualifications.
At that moment, it struck him that if he had perhaps taken up a vocational work or took his industrial training program seriously, he may have gathered as much needed learning experience on it.
Noteworthy of it all, was when he replied that he stayed at home during his three months industrial training because he didn’t want to settle for less or no pay offered by most of the organisations he applied to.
Does your story seem similar to the young man above who instead of maximising his time ended up wasting it at home doing virtually nothing?
Although industrial training is no longer what it used to be years back, you should ensure you maximise the opportunity to be trained. That some or most organisations you applied to for an industrial training / Internship programs are not willing to pay or offer to pay less should not stop you from acquiring as much knowledge and skills as you can.
If a reputable organisation is willing to offer you a temporary employment just so you can learn on the job, why not take up such offer to hone your skills? It isn’t always easy at the beginning and of a truth no one is willing to invest or pay such a huge amount on an individual with little or no skills at all. That is when an opportunity to enrich your skills comes in, In order to make yourself marketable for the “higher pay” which you desired.
Furthermore, in what way are you willing to improve on your employability skills? Are you one who would sit at home waiting for your appointment letter to drop in your mailbox for a job position with a fat salary even as a fresh graduate?
First of all, you must be well packaged and put together as a product because with every interview or job application, you are trying to sell yourself. You must grow yourself into someone who has been “garnished”, an individual any organisation would gladly employ because of the potential value they stand to gain from you.
Our advice for undergraduates would be to make the most of university life and extra-curricular activities to develop general skills.
Also, Plan early to get relevant work experience; Have something lined up for each vacation, and get ready for formal placement and internship applications at the beginning of your second year. Nothing stops you from continuing your industrial training even after you are through with it; that is if you feel there is still more to learn and you can be able to combine schooling with it.
As fresh graduates, you can apply for employability skills sessions; sign up for relevant courses and workshops; get help from a career advisers to write a CV that really showcases your competences and abilities. (YBLN offers such services; check www.yblnigeria.com).
Network! Use family, friends and contacts to get work experience and to find out more about career areas that interest you.
Take advantage of careers fairs and employer presentations: Most job sites organise one and it affords you the opportunity to talk directly to recruiters to find out what they look for in applicants.
Always do your homework before applying for jobs. Employer research will help you identify the skills and competences a particular organisation places more emphasis on.
Forget about the stress you may encounter. Everyone at one time have passed through such rigorous process.
Do not dwell on times when the pay would be little but be a man of vision, the one who sets his goal and would do anything to attain it.
So go ahead and improve yourself; do not stop learning because life itself is a learning process.
We wish you the best of luck on your path to success.