Job seekers attend a job fair in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province, on April 14, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
This is the time of year when millions of university students across China and in other countries will be graduating and looking for employment. In this article, I team up with an international recruiting specialist to offer some job tips for graduates.
What jobs to apply for?
Know thyself. If you want to choose the best possible job, it will depend, in large part, on knowing yourself and the kinds of activities you enjoy and seem to be naturally good at and drawn to. Knowing these details will help you make a more informed decision rather than wasting time comparing yourself to your friends or choosing a job based only on how much it pays.
Remember, this is only your first job. Searching for a job is not a one-time event. The reality is that most graduates today will have more than ten different jobs throughout their careers. Even if you are lucky and stay with the same organization your entire working life, you will change roles many times within that organization.
Be flexible. Take note that a high percentage of graduates end up working in jobs and fields outside their course of study. For example, someone who has completed a teaching degree may find that there are no jobs available. Yet, the underlying skills acquired in an education degree can translate into many different roles.
Don't let money warp your judgment. There's much more to life than money. While the amount you earn is important, do not let this be your sole determining factor. Try your best to find work that will provide you not only a living but also a life.
Be patient. Sometimes you won't be able to find a job that is at the level you prefer. If this type of work is something that you really want to do, consider starting at a lower level and be prepared to work your way up.
Pick a growing market. As for possible positions in different industries, do your homework about these industries. In high-growth areas, you know that the industry is expanding. This means there will be ample opportunities for growth and development. If the industry is a declining one, future prospects are likely to be more limited.
Focus on learning. Look for a job that enables you to keep learning. The best and happiest employees are those that continue to learn about their organizations and their company's products and services. Moreover, keep learning about the wider context in which your organization operates in.
How to get the job?
Be prepared. Do your homework on your prospective employer and their services and products. Ask about their corporate culture to get a sense of how you would fit in and whether you would like to work for such an organization. Read all you can about the particular industry and the challenges it faces, and how you might be part of the solution to those challenges. Brush up on your job search skills. Is your CV in good shape? How about your interview skills?
Be enthusiastic. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th Century American essayist and philosopher, wrote that "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Make sure your prospective employer sees you as enthusiastic and excited about the opportunity.
Be respectful and humble. Organizations tend to hire people based on their qualifications and talents. Show respect and courtesy to everyone you meet. Employers appreciate a little humility.
Be resilient. Don't get discouraged by rejection. There are many people applying for positions, and many reasons why you might not get an interview. Indeed, if you think about it, most people fail more times than they succeed in applying for jobs.
How to be successful once you have secured the job
Actualize your potential and continue to learn. Some graduates think, "Now that I have a job, my days of having to study are over." In truth, you have only just begun. A job is not an end point, but only one stop along a lifelong journey.
Work hard. It is important to realize that talent will never be developed or be enough without hard work. There are no shortcuts.
Hang in there. Hold on for one more day, one more month or one more year. As a general rule, you should remain in a role or with an organization for at least two years if you want to put it on your resume. This will show prospective employers that you made it through the training period and brought something of value to your previous company. Things always tend to turn around, and you will have your ups and downs with every job. But I promise you if you stick it out, it will be incredibly worth it in the end.
Eugene Clark is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit:
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