Job-hunting young people?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

It is not uncommon to read media reports about the inability of young people to acquire jobs after graduating fro school. These reports usually result in a litany of comments and criticisms of the Administration in power. The argument of critics is that people are unemployed because the Government has not created the right economic environment.

Though there is merit to this view, there should be an examination of the attributes that may make an individual employable. Several of my friends from university and high school got jobs immediately after completing their degrees. At first I thought they were just lucky but, after much analysis, I found out that these individuals were strategic and productive. For example, my colleagues who did computer science and engineering would frequently create their own projects and engage in pitching exercises. The benefits of engaging in independent projects are that prospective employees are able to improve their team-building skills and acquire work experience. Furthermore, if the project is pitched to investors, team members will network with entrepreneurs who can provide them with employment after graduating. I also discovered that graduates who created value for their employers as students were more likely to be employed. Summer jobs usually do not have a clear job description; hence, the opportunity to intern as a summer employee, must be a learning experience. For example if your are given a simple task like filing to do, use it to learn about the policies of the company. In another scenario, a worker who is placed in accounting may also volunteer to work in marketing. When summer employees exhibit initiative it is highly appreciated by management, and even if they do not get a job after graduating, then they will have good references. Furthermore persons who are quickly hired after graduation never shun an opportunity to work.

Some university students are known to turn down paying internships on the basis that they want to enjoy their summer. It must also be noted that flexible individuals are less likely to be employed. No student with a degree in banking and finance should refuse to apply for a job in marketing if he has the experience. However, many recent graduates choose to be inflexible and narrow-minded. So many of them refrain from working outside of their preferred career choice, and if they accept a job in an alternative field they think that they are in a crisis.

Further, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a wealthy graduate of a prestigious high school in order to get a decent job. Employers do not care about the school you attended, they are only interested in your ability and attitude. I will admit most of the recent graduates I know who are employed are graduates of two co-ed schools in the Corporate Area. But this has nothing to do with their employment. If young people strategise well and are willing to put arrogance aside by accepting a job below their pay grade, then they may be able to evade unemployment.

Lipton Matthews

lo_matthews@yahoo.com

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