In any professional role across the globe, there is always one key attribute that sets apart one prospect from the next when there qualification cannot set them apart. That attribute is experience.
Experience is the globally accepted currency to getting any job. In the current job market, experience is a hot cake, the more you have and in the right field, the better your chances of you being picked on a job you are eyeing.
Experience is everything, even when starting a business you need basic experience to know what and how you will mitigate risks and maximize your profits.
The problem is that most fresh graduates do not have any experience. Most graduates are thrown into the job market without even the basic knowledge and experience on how to get a job or even the basic etiquette of writing a proper email. It’s regrettable but often true when some companies out here term graduates half-baked and not ready for the work scene.
Most of the us spend our time in university parting, gaming, and just living large with no worries whatsoever, all that life largely financed by our parents finances or loans without a thought about what lies ahead. As a student whether first or fifth year, how can you cut above the rest and still have fun?
The big question now is how to gain this precious commodity called experience and walk into an interview oozing with confidence knowing you are way above your competitors.
Here are a few pointers how:
1. Pick a course that works for you
Let’s begin from the start. The days of picking a course because it’s marketable are long gone because everyone has been doing that and now, the bubble is bursting. Education is not just so that you can earn a certificate but to equip you with knowledge on how to better the world around you , and in the process better your own life. Pick a course that, even if you won’t land a job on day one after graduation, you can pick something up on day two as you wait for you break. Than something can be volunteering, a business, a partnership or even a part-time role.
So here are quick questions to ask before picking a course;
- Does it have ways for you to expand on your own without employment
- Does it complement your strongest aspects in terms of academic?
- How’s the current job market for that course?
- How does the future market look like?
2. Start shortlisting potential employers
From day 1 in college or university, start scouting for places that may offer you a role when you’ll need it. This makes it easier to approach them or know when they have an opening that might interest you. On Campoe Career sites, you can create alerts for certain keywords, say a company name, and when they publish a vacancy, you get an alert. We all know it’s much more fun to spend time travelling and having fun rather than working. But at the end, the experience, the network and the recommendation letter will come in handy.
3. Make your hobbies count
As from you first day in Campus, maybe even before, whenever you can, even if it’s a couple hours a day or week, find something that interest you and aligns with you career. Learn a new skill, try putting the knowledge you’ve gained so far to use. You might have a thing for sports, music or art, if you devote even 10 hours a week for one of those, a month is 30+ hours, enough to master a skill. Be in the know of the new trends making waves in your industry. And that can only be achieved if you work. Looking for the
right places to attach yourself can be very tricky. try consulting from your lecturers on the places that will give you the best learning experience.
4. No job is too little.
They say Attitude determines one’s altitude. Whenever you get a chance to practice or learn a skill, leave your ego, class and know-it-all mentality at the door. Learn to be patient and tolerant. Fetch those coffees, deliver the mails and be punctual always. Respect is earned. So learn to earn yours. From serving coffee, you might meet your mentor. There is always a lesson to learn, if you’re open-minded. Do not let your pride override your judgment and ruin your chances of learning and making new connections.
5. Make volunteering a habit
This is one of the best and easiest ways to gain experience, especially in big organizations and company. Apply for volunteering in various companies and work diligently on it. Do not treat your volunteering job any different than a real paying one. Most people have earned more technical expertise in volunteering other than working. By volunteering, you get to do much of the job at, generally speaking, you own terms. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere, your department in University, Student bodies and organizations, your family’s or neighbor’s business, the nearest NGO, you name it. You’ll never go wrong with volunteering.
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”– Calvin Coolidge