When I was 24 and just graduated with BA Hons (and jobless)
While my parents can’t say they’re the proudest of me, I have found myself sitting at mamak circles with my friends, because that’s honestly all we can afford - who share the very same sentiment.
Now, we’re not bad people. Most of us went through university and graduated with at least a second class upper, (without failing any subjects, mind you), going through a few internship opportunities along the way and coming out into the working world hopeful and excited.
So what went wrong?
My friends who have managed to secure and keep their jobs give me a myriad of tips and tricks. The stories that my friends shared about how they survive workplace politics, overwhelming workloads and adapting to different situations, it soon dawned on me that I actually never learnt any of these skills in university, or being exposed to these topics.
Back in 2017, when I did my first internship, my college make it compulsory to attend a talk organised by the ‘Employment and Co-op Department’. However, it is rhetorically referred to things that we all can search on Google. They showed what is basic structure for CV and resume, how to sign-up job hunting websites and a few other basic stuff.
However, they failed in other aspects.
They told us to put our work experience and education in our CV, but they didn’t tell us how to highlight different parts of your education for the different jobs you look for - for instance, putting our your English grades if you’re applying for a role that requires English proficiency.
They told us how to talk to our interviewees, but they forgot to teach us to ask questions about the job that we’re being interviewed for so that we not only learn more about the role, but also we don’t end up at a job that we hate.
They told us to make accounts on job hunting websites, but failed to remind us that networking can get you far in life; keeping your friends close means that you will come to their minds when they’re looking for someone with your skill set.
They told us to get the highest paid salary in the industry, but did not emphasised on other benefits that we should get, i:e parking and traveling allowance, health insurance, subsistence allowance, yearly dental and eyes check-ups.
What is probably worse than not having a job is doing a job that you absolutely cannot stand. Some of us are blessed to find a good job the first time around, but not everyone is as lucky as that.
While I have learnt more wisdom along the way, the reality is that the rules for job hunting change according to your qualifications, the kind of jobs you look for, and the kind of person you are as well. The internet is a wealth of information, but talking to people who are working in your line on how they made it is the best advice I can leave with you.