Thursday, February 23, 2006

Experience or no experience? That is the question.

I have realised more and more in the past year how difficult it is for graduates to get their foot in the door to their future. I don’t even remember how many job applications I have looked at which mentioned the criteria of a three year degree (which I have), and also two to three years working experience (which I don’t have). It is a catch 22 situation of needing experience to get a job but needing a job to get experience. However, even though I have had many conversations with fellow graduates on this topic, I must admit that it is a fair criterion. I do not think that I would have had the right amount of knowledge or professionalism to step into the workplace after I’ve just graduated. How do you guys feel about this?

My CV shows that the only working experiences I have are holiday jobs and part-time promotional jobs. But let me tell you one thing, even though these jobs seem miniscule and might be overlooked by potential employers, they taught me things that I’ll remember forever. It taught me how to work with difficult customers and very difficult bosses. It taught me how to be punctual and patient. And it especially taught me how to successfully complete difficult projects in a limited time frame. Do you think these aspects are considered by potential employers? And do you think these characteristics learnt in a small job can be used in future careers?

I have finally made peace with the fact that job hunting is very difficult and often disappointing. One also needs to learn how to approach potential employees, how to make a lasting impression, and how to cope in the workplace. That is why I’m very excited about the World of Work Programmes. We haven’t fully started yet but the ball is rolling and I have learnt a few things already. This is going to be a good year.