A cab driver in Glasgow once told me that he had a degree in computer science but resorted to driving taxis as he could not find a decent job in the IT industry. Like many recent University graduates, this was not due to a lack of effort on his part but mainly because most employers only advertise for experienced workers. Unfortunately getting a degree nowadays does not guarantee finding a decent job. How then does a graduate get a job in an Industry (computing, sports, health etc.) without having any hands-on experience? The answer I think depends on ones ambition – do you want to work for yourself or for someone else?
The earlier you made up your mind, the better because time is the most important resource of all and it waits for no one. Starting a business may seem more difficult than it actually is but there is no way of finding out until you start. With dedication, commitment, hard work and creativity one could truly start reaping dividends within a few years. However, most of us fall under the other category as we want to work for someone else usually a big multinational corporation. Most of these organisations seek and employ fresh graduates into their trainee programmes but there is only one way to get into their graduate schemes – keep applying! Due to the large number of applications these companies usually have to consider, not every applicant would be short-listed for interviews let alone offered a position. So what do you do? Be persistent!
In addition, broaden your horizon and never regard an opportunity to work as too small whether it is a temp role as an office clerk, an attendant in a football stadium or at your local café. Consider any offers you get including those with little pay as this might be the only way to gain useful experience and start building a profile for oneself. Bigger and better offers will eventually come once you have established yourself.
Voluntary schemes can also be very useful for gaining valuable work experience although most would either pay little or no money at all. Some voluntary organisations actually reimburse for your accommodation, travel, food etc and are quite flexible so that you still have ample time to continue searching for your ideal job. You can opt to work abroad e.g. teaching in China, India, USA, developing countries or volunteer for an organisation that is related to where you would like to be hired which would also provide you with an opportunity to network.
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