Continued from part 1.
You might have studied your brains out in school and gotten the perfect 4.0 GPA, but the hard truth is that you could well end up in an entry level job while that student who sits behind you with a 3.0 GPA, works in a better position. It’s obvious that the student sitting behind you got his job through connections – this just mean he knows how to talk and work around people and have better people skill than you.
While a good degree will definitely open up opportunities to you, so will having a network of good contacts. This is especially so in bad economic times when jobs are harder to come by. Unless your degree is from Harvard or Hogwarts, you can expect it to look painfully ordinary in a sea of other newly-obtained degrees.
Networking isn’t easy and can feel forced when you’re new to the game, but persist and you’ll find it gets easier. Join your university’s alumni network, meet up with old friends, seniors and internship supervisors. Never turn down the opportunity to meet somebody new or strengthen an existing connection – it will be like slamming the door to opportunity’s face.
There’s just a catch – you have to be ‘worthy’ of being referred. Remember that the reputation of the person referring you is on the line. If you did a bad job, you make the referral look worse. So, if you got a job through referral, have a fine reputation of being a hard worker, someone who learns easily, etc. so people will be more than willing to refer you.
You’ve been offered a job in a field that’s more or less in line with your career aspirations. The only problem is that the pay is so low, you are choking down plain bread during your lunch hour. Unfortunately, unless you’re a degree holder with ample relevant work experience, get used to receiving less-than-stellar salary offers while you’re still a rookie.
Being a fresh grad, you have a tuition debt to clear and your parents expect you to pay your own bills and chip in to the household expense. Your rookie’s salary might not starve you but you are definitely on a tight budget. There’s no way for you to increase your bank amount by leaps and bounds (unless you got lucky and struck the lottery) in a short amount of time.
Two options here: 1) Work your way up the corporate ladder. Excel in the entry level position you’re in and get promoted to the Top of the Company Food Chain. This might take ages but once you are at the top, you can expect your pay to be above average. Persist and persevere.
2) Gain ample work experience at your present company and find another job opportunity. Stay in the company for a minimum of one year to learn the ropes and familiarize yourself with the working world. Once you gain the experience you need, find another job with a better pay than your current.
No weapon X
With the tight competition, you’ve got to have an edge. Something that sets you apart from the plain Janes. Be different. Among a sea of black family sedans, be the fiery red convertible. I can’t provide you with a solution on this part as the only person who knows yourself best is you.
Take some time, sit down and think of what are some of the best qualities you have and write them down. Perhaps this is time for you to pull a ‘SWOT’ analysis on yourself. Identify your strengths and your weakness. Enhance on the better parts of yourself and work on the weaker ones. You can use this when they ask you the hot question of, “Why should we hire you?”
Are you a fresh grad who is currently on the prowl for jobs? Share with us your challenges faced in the comments!
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