What You Need To Know About Job Searching in Today’s Job Market
Job search is not easy it takes time, dedication and patience. This is made more difficult by the poor decisions we make as job seekers. In this article see some of the mistakes job seekers make when it comes to job searching in today’s job market.
I had a friend who would not take an unpaid internship because they thought it was a waste of their time and they were too valuable to work for free. Yet, she spent two years searching for a job and complaining about how every job opening she came across required someone with work experience.
Had she taken one of the internships, she would have gained the experience that the employers were always asking for. This was her biggest job search mistake.
Mistakes like these are what make the job search process more difficult for some people. In this article, read advice from a recruiter on what you need to understand about the job market.
1. Qualifications though important are not everything.
Blame our parents or the 8-4-4 system but since we were young we were made to believe that ‘studying’ is a sure ticket to success and riches.
They went a step further to ‘recommend’ courses that we should pursue. So many people were told that Medicine, Teaching, Engineering etc are the best courses.
The end product is you pursuing a profession that has no value in the job market. Some of the courses that are in demand are saturated and graduates don’t get jobs that easily.
Even if the course you were told to take is marketable, if you have no passion for it then you cannot really succeed.
Then you have those already employed and pursuing an MBA to make them ‘competitive’ as opposed to first gaining skills or specializing. Take it from me, today’s employment market is more focused on what you can do more than which school you attended and the certificate you got. Read here on the best time to pursue an MBA
Many of us are fixated on getting certificates rather than taking the time to learn about the job. You become competitive because of the skills you possess or your area of specialization. Bottom line; be open to starting at the bottom and keep learning practical skills.
2. Job Search takes time and dedication.
When I was in campus I was lucky enough to have gotten a part time job. I am saying lucky because the job though not well paying or glamorous was the foundation of my career.
I continued with the same job after graduation and the culture shock of graduating and sending CVs without getting a response did not hit me as hard. At least I could afford bus fare and brown envelopes for making applications.
Job search is a marathon and not a sprint. Unless you are desperate and willing to take anything, getting a new job can take a year if not more. Why? Because it takes proper planning and execution.
Remember this is not the 80s where you could count the number of graduates. Almost all professions in Zambia are saturated. It might mean you taking an odd job here and there. It might mean that your first job will not be in your area of training or you will end up working for an SME instead of a multinational organisation. It might also mean taking unpaid internships.
Do anything you have to do but for God’s sake don’t be idle. Desiring a new or better job is very different from doing something about it every day. From what I now know, you should embrace humble beginnings.
3. What do you want out of your career?
I have done an informal survey on what Zambian professionals trained for vis-à-vis their current jobs and my finding is that majority are working in careers that don’t match what they studied for or trained on.
In the modern job market, nothing prevents a law graduate from becoming an excellent customer service executive and making a good living out of it. I know of engineers who are excelling in sales and marketing.
Today’s job market rewards those who know what they want and are not afraid to go for it. An undergraduate in whichever field should be considered as a starting point to more than one opportunity.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. My goal is to help you have a different mindset when it comes to job search by understanding the current job market. As the good Bible says, my people perish due to lack of knowledge. I hope you are now informed.