We can shout at the top of our lungs about our success and we can chronicle our achievements in stone tablets. As human nature, we are wired to present the glittering side of our lives while hiding our flaws. But it takes real strength and character to get off the high horse and admit failure, swallow your pride in one large gulp and acknowledge that certain things went wrong. Looking back and picking out missteps is a walk that can take one through memory corridors lined with razor sharp nails of brute reality and no, we’d rather not.
So it never comes as a surprise when many jobless graduates talk of how much fun they had with clandestine activities during their university years without mentioning what they did for their future career. Corner them with a simple, “How about your career? How did you work on that while in college?” “Uuuuummm…I graduated with…”
The best way to learn is not to learn from your own mistakes but from those of others. This is how they might have erred in college thus adversely affecting their careers:
1. Not networking
Actually, college students do network, only sometimes with the wrong crowd and intentions. What with the blind dates and shady business deals going around campus? Not particularly keen on networking events like career fairs, students mostly end up graduating without having made any connections in the job market, making it tough for them once they graduate.
2. Setting unrealistic goals
Ask any college student what they want to do after college and the answer will almost always be work for some big brand in a particular industry and making a six figure salary right away. Step into the outside world and this is not the picture on the ground. This results in graduates going for jobs that are not utilising their skills because, well, they did not equip themselves with the right skills needed in the market in the first place.
3. Not having a head start
College life can be so overwhelming to a point that career related goals take a back seat. However, waiting until after graduation to focus on your career can have grave consequences. Take time to look for internships and part-time jobs. It is only through experience that you will be able to distinguish yourself from your peers.
4. Failing to research
Most students pursue courses without looking into how applicable they are in the job market, and when they do, it’s just scrappy bits of information that fly in and out of their minds. Before choosing a major, find out the options available for the career you are choosing. and the skills and qualifications that go with it. This will ensure that every move you make academically affects your career directly.
5. Not making good of the resources
So there’s a tech event being hosted at your school and you have this app idea? Attend it. The laboratories, discounts for career events and conferences? Maximise on these. That professor or career guide? Approach them with follow up questions. A time will come when you will be out there and some of these privileges won’t be easily available. If accessible, you will need to fork out a ludicrous sum of money to access them.
Following these tips can ensure you step out of college ready for the job market and if you can incorporate them in your college life, you will have an all-around experience!