I’m sure we all know a few people who are looking for a job - college/university graduates and matriculants especially. You go to college to get a good job and to ensure a better life but then you’re left with employers wanting 3 - 7 years’ experience and massive debt.
It’s a depressing situation. I know this from experience. I completed my studies 3 years ago and for almost 2 years I've been unemployed. If you don’t know what it’s like being unemployed for 2 years – trust me – you don’t wanna know!
Anyway, people have pretty much lost all hope in finding work because of this 3-7 year experience requirement. Some people wondered how I managed to cope in those 2 years and how I managed to get the job I have now. (I’m a receptionist with a Journalism qualification.)
So for graduates, working experience doesn’t always necessarily mean in your particular field of study. Well, depending on the job you’re applying for. Employers would like to see that you have kept yourself busy while job-hunting.
What I did and what you can do is volunteer at NGOs and NPOs. Be active. During my depressing run of submitting CVs to everyone under the sun and not even getting an email saying, Thank you for your email, I volunteered at an NPO for a year and a half. Although I only spent my Saturdays with them, I was a part of something. I did lots of things there. I cooked, did a magazine workshop and created a magazine. I also for a short period did their admin. I was active.
I later then (and still occasionally) helped out with typing up documents for a lady with her own HR company. Through her I got the job I have now.
I’m not saying that you will follow exactly the same path I did but as long as you’re active and are a part of something. Employers want to see that you can take initiative.
Having a matric certificate and/or a tertiary qualification and struggling to find work is depressing, I know. But keeping yourself active and busy with other positive things can count to your benefit. You may not get paid by an NPO but at least it makes looking for a job a bit better with the experience gained while volunteering. Putting yourself out there and meeting new people is what you need. You never know who they might know!
Think about it. J
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