How should I prepare for my first job??

Before you give up on the job search, remember there are businesses that are growing despite the Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Every opportunity counts. You could also think about providing online tuition to students, or turn one of your hobbies into a job.
  • You could pursue knowledge in a completely new field and it will still give you competitive edge.

Q: I graduated last year and was eager to find a job and start building my career. However, this has not happened, and the ensuing coronavirus pandemic is making things more difficult. I have since concluded that I may never find a job. Although I feel discouraged, I remain positive. I know that I should utilise my time well and be more aggressive, but I do not know where to start. What would you advice?

Congratulation on your graduation; I know many who start college but fail to cross the finish line for different reasons. I feel your sense of helplessness given the sudden economic downturn and the fast dwindling employment opportunities.

Most businesses are looking for ways of reducing costs, leading to layoffs and freezing of recruitments. However, I admire your optimism.

Most people in your situation often feel helpless. There are various things you could do to keep yourself busy and sharpen your skills as you wait for the next opportunity.

Before you give up on the job search, remember there are businesses that are growing despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Scan the market with an open mind and find such emerging opportunities.

You could find employment there or you could start a thriving business. Understand the opportunities, threats and investment required so that you can prepare adequately.

PERSONAL BRANDING

Delivery services are on demand at the moment. Perhaps you never pictured your educated self delivering groceries or essential goods to different clients on a bike, but sometimes we cannot afford to choose.

Every opportunity counts. You could also think about providing online tuition to students, or turn one of your hobbies into a job.

You have not shared your academic background, but go for any course or programme that will increase your knowledge and complement your degree.

But that is not to say you should focus only on the subjects you studied in college. You could pursue knowledge in a completely new field and it will still give you competitive edge.

Skills in digital marketing, photography and communications may be useful, same as short courses on how to conduct yourself during an interview, how to package your CV, pitfalls to avoid when negotiating a salary, how to be a better team player, personal branding, and time management.

There are many short courses available online for free or at a fee, and these could be useful. If your finances allow, you could pursue a master’s degree. Good luck and do not give up.