Accelerate Your Career

Dear Unemployed Graduate II

After the congratulations comes the questions, when are you starting your job? What is your career plan? Have you started working? And on and on the questions keep coming from all sides and angles. As a fresh graduate, it is very important to ensure you are at peace with yourself and your current situation- knowing fully well that as you are unemployed is not the end of the world.

However, I want to ask you if you have a particular role you see yourself in and if yes, how are you preparing yourself for this role. Of course, it is very easy for you to get into an auto mode of sending out 30-50 copies of your CV a day to recruiters, job boards, uncles, aunties and the likes. I would like you to take a deep breathe and think through what you want to do as a career.

Here are a few steps to take:

1. Carry out a SWOT Analysis of yourself.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats
Pick up a pen and paper and document the results of your SWOT
An example might be Tola has super planning skills as a strength, and is perhaps weak in financial management, an opportunity for her might be roles in Project Management or Event planning while her weakness in financial planning can post as a threat to her career.

1a. Look for Opportunities in the area of your strength
Look for ways to gain some experience in your area of strength.
Going back to Tola what she can do is to offer to volunteer at planning church events, family parties and managing charity projects and programs to develop her strength further.

1b. Find ways to turn your weakness to strength where possible.
In this scenario Tola is weak I financial planning which is quite crucial to a successful project where budgeting comes to place. What Tola can do is to sign up for courses on bookkeeping and budgeting online. She can also get an Accountant friend to put her through the basics of Accounting to help her get started and eventually turning this weakness to a strength.

1c. Beware of Threats but prepare for them
Threats come in different forms and sizes, a threat to Tolas prospective career as a project planner or event planner is several apps and tools which have been designed to make planning easier and faster. Especially in this era of the future of work, technology is fast changing the availability of jobs for humans. Tola should be aware of the latest trends in her industry through research and also personal development.

2. Network
There are two types of networking: online and offline.
Depending on your personality type, online networking is usually easier for introverts who are quite shy when meeting people. Using Linkedln to a network as an introvert is very effective as you get to meet people help you in your job search.

Tola is able to connect with millions of people across countries and continents who can be of great help to her career by either offering to review her CV and Cover letter.

For offline networking, this involves going to programmes and events where you can connect with possible recruiters and professionals in your industry.

In networking, it is always helpful to offer to give value in exchange for value so the other individual does not feel used. In exchange for a recruiter reviewing your profile, you can offer to help them out with on online tasks such as a research or an article.

It is only fair to offer to reward them for the time which they would be investing in helping you get “job ready” after all value answers to value. See you next Thursday in my next letter where I would be telling you more about forming a career roadmap

What are your strengths? And how applicable are they in the organization you want to work for? Sell yourself in the comment section below, a recruiter or HR manager for that organization you desire to work in just might be reading this.

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