Getting a degree is not enough: 5 Tips to prepare for workforce while studying
In this ever-competitive era, many find it hard to secure a job after graduation. These are the people who have spent more than 15 years studying so that one day, they can be independent and fulfill their own needs.
Unfortunately, a degree doesn’t guarantee you the job of your dreams anymore.
While our first priority in university is to study, there are other things you can do to kickstart your career. Here are 5 tips for you to beat the odds:
1. Get internships; get work experience
Countless people have emphasised on the importance of having internships. They will equip you with the necessary experience that you crucially need at work. And it’s true. While getting good grades matter, companies now prefer to choose average students with solid experience compared to great students with no experience.
Aim to have three internships secured behind your belt before graduating. And don’t stop there. Get part-time jobs at restaurants, cafes, retails, and much more. Every job will have something to teach you along the way.
2. Build your LinkedIn profile
I have never known the power of LinkedIn until I was offered a job through the social media. My manager stalked me while I was still working at my previous job and asked if whether I was interested to have a meeting with him for a position.
Some of my friends have also gotten jobs through connecting with decision makers via LinkedIn. When prospective employers are ‘Googling’ you, one of the first things they will look at is your LinkedIn profile.
So make sure that your profile is up to date. Connect with your friends, acquaintances, and key people in your field. Fill in your resume as professional as you could. And always check for messages and invitations to connect.
3. Grow your brand
As I briefly mentioned in the previous point, prospective employers will ‘Google’ you. At least, I am 99 per cent sure that they will. If you are using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, don’t only use them to get together with friends, but also use them as tools to put you higher in the game. For example, if you are a business enthusiast, you can tweet about how the business in Asia is progressing.
Growing your own brand (by specialising in a field, having a blog, putting a website portfolio, and much more) will put you under the employers’ radar.
4. Invest in your passion
Not all students choose the right degrees, and not all graduates end up working in their chosen fields of study. In fact, there are a lot of stories about people who end up working in something that is totally unrelated with their degrees.
So don’t limit yourself to only studying your degree. Get out there and invest in your own interests. Join a cooking course. Write stories during your free time. Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about.
5. Be you
Lastly, always have time to discover and rediscover yourself. Sometimes we are too busy that we neglect our own voices and succumb to the routine. Travel and lose yourself, only to find yourself again. Be honest with your dreams, expectations, and passion. Be conscious of your choices.
And always, always believe in yourself.
Photo by Queen’s College, Creative Commons
Marcella Purnama is a writer and author of Swimming with The Sharks: a fresh graduate's take on life after graduation. Currently, she has three dreams: seeing her name on a book at a bookstore somewhere, growing old with her lover, and live a good life along the way. Marcella blogs regularly at MarcellaPurnama.com.
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