Invest in your skills. Build your work experience. Find your fit
Often, “getting a great job” is the first thing that comes to mind for recent graduates and the pressure is enormous, as it is expected that one gets a degree in X, finds a job in Y and then progresses up the ladder to point Z. Sound familiar? However, for many, this is not how the fairy tale unfolds.
There is no doubt about it, the job landscape for millennials in China is different from previous generations. Being a university graduate with high grades no longer guarantees rapid employment and as the numbers of Chinese graduates increases, young talent face tough competition to secure employment.
For most millennials without technical backgrounds, their degrees might not be able to provide the value they were looking for. A PwC and AIESEC （Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales） survey show that 53% of millennials see a disconnection between what they have learned today versus what they will need tomorrow.
However, the employment ship has not sunk. There are vast opportunities and options out there, but the secret lies in how to select and harness the best. Here are three approaches one can adopt to increase employability in today’s workforce.
Invest time and money on self-development
The theories and knowledge one learns during college is not enough to land a job and excel in today’s workplace. It is important to find ways to expand and complement previously developed skills.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers 20th Annual CEO Survey published in January 2017, skill sets hardest to find are emotional intelligence, leadership and innovation. Companies look for well-rounded candidates that have a combination of hard and soft skills, are team players, can solve problems and communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally.
In addition, understanding one’s values, aptitudes, motivations, strengths and weaknesses goes a long way to provide a solid foundation for employment and career success. This in turn can help recent graduates move beyond looking for a job to building a career.
New training programmes in China with the focus on developing business savvy, problem solving and innovative young talent are gaining much attention in the market.
Gain valuable experience
Real world work experience is second to none when it comes to building skills and experience and this can be in the form of job shadowing or internships. These can provide both experience and contacts within industries and often translate into a job offer.
The key word here is, valuable work experience. Aligning yourself with strong and reputable brands will help expand your network, sharpen your skills and strengthen your own personal brand. Employers will respect such experience as it demonstrates quality, strong work ethic and commitment.
Learn how to tell a differentiated story
It is crucial for those seeking employment to build an appealing and concise story that summarizes their abilities and highlight their strengths. This skill is often overlooked, and requires developing good communication skills and good self-understanding.
Starting a successful career takes a time and efforts. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes to landing the perfect job. However focus, hard work and dedication will pay off. The earlier you embark on developing and investing in yourself, the clearer the career path, and the more opportunities and choices you will have.