When the career path chooses you

For some of you fresh graduates, there is a high chance that you may not be able to land a job that’s related to what you studied in college or university.

It’s actually not uncommon to have a fulfilling career that you didn’t plan for when you were completing your diploma or degree, so don’t stress out if your first job is not what you envisioned.

While some may be lucky enough to land a job that fits perfectly within their field of expertise, others may end up getting hired for a role that is completely different from their expectations.

If you fall into the latter category, here are some of our thoughts on the matter.

Accept the change

First of all, be grateful for the job opportunity offered to you and realise that your employers acknowledge your capabilities enough to trust you to fill a position that is not related to your field of study.

You may not realise it at first, but if you give it your best shot, you may find that the job could suit you better than you imagined.

And even if your field of study is different from the job scope at hand, always remember that having good work ethics, being creative and innovative, and able to be a team player will always be appreciated in any work environment.

Willing to work your way up

As you may have a lot to learn in an industry that you are not familiar with, upon joining you will have to start from the lower rungs of the organisation.

Always keep in mind that you have a lot to learn and also need to gather as much experience as possible to be more competent at your job.

It may take a few years, but if you have the determination and are willing to work hard, your efforts will not go unnoticed by your supervisors.

Leverage on transferable skills

As mentioned above, in any industry you join, if you have good work ethics and can be a team player, you would have an upper hand in most organisations.

Apart from those attributes, in order to make you stand out in an industry that is unrelated to your field of study, you should focus on your transferable skills.

These could include leadership skills, written and verbal communication skills, organisational and time management skills, and also research and analytical skills.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2QwRNmh

Photo by Marc Mueller from Pexels.

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How to gain experience before your first job

Today’s employers tend to look for potential employees with experience, which can be challenging for graduates that lack this requirement.

Still, ‘experience’ in this context can be perceived as the effort you take to build your own set of technical and soft skills, and grow your own network of people, as long as the skills and network are relevant to the field you intend to pursue.

With the resilience and open-mind you’ve developed from the experience, you’ll be able to learn and adapt quickly to your new colleagues and working environment.

The following are some options you can take as a student to gain work experience before becoming a full-time member of the workforce.

Co-curricular activities

The most accessible option you can go for is co-curricular activities available in your secondary school, college, or university.

Participate in those you have a keen interest in, or set up a new club or organisation that can benefit students and the education institution in the long run.

It’ll also be helpful to take courses that emphasise hands-on experience, such as those under technical and vocational education and training (TVET), to have a better grasp of your desired field.

Internship

Most study programmes provide internship opportunities, so make sure that you take advantage of it by choosing a business organisation that allows you to utilise your capabilities and to network with industry professionals.

Because an internship gives students the chance to experience real-world workplaces, ensure that your supervisor is giving you career-relevant tasks to perform instead of grunt work that won’t leave you with room to grow.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions should you have any concerns regarding your work.

Part-time work

Outside school, search for part-time jobs, be it as a part-timer for food or retail outlets, or a tutor for younger students.

Not only will these jobs allow you to hone your skills, they will also give you first-hand experience of earning your own money.

Volunteering

You can also spend your free time helping out local organisations that can be found within your community.

Doing so provides you the opportunity to develop interpersonal and organisational skills, as well as a sense of responsibility, empathy and civic-mindedness.

Volunteer work also lets you meet with fellow volunteers who might lend a helping hand when you pursue a career in your desired field in the future.

Personal projects

Alternatively, create a project that allows you to develop and showcase your skills – for example, writing your own blog, or running your own online business.

Your initiative to start your own work and your perseverance to see through your own endeavour might impress potential employers, or even lead you down the path of entrepreneurship and freelancing.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2ti1U2I

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Making a mark at your first job

Within a few months or weeks, some of you may be starting your first job. Nervous though you may be, you’re most likely determined to do well. If you’re not entirely sure how to approach your new life at work, here are some tips to help you make an impact and make your mark from day one.

1. Know your interests early on

If you want to stand out at work, you first have to find a job that is the best fit for you. During the application and interview process, you have to pay attention to your prospective employer’s culture and think about whether or not it’s the right place for you.

A good way to start is to identify what your are interests and try to pick something that fits your personality. For example, if you’re more of an extrovert, you might want to consider getting into a line of work that involves doing sales.

2. Know what’s expected of you

In order to hit the ground running, you have to know what’s expected of you so don’t be afraid to ask what your employers expect.

Identifying your tasks early on definitely helps to find out exactly what you need to do each day. You should also find out who are the people you’ll be reporting to.

3. Exceed expectations

Always demonstrate that you can go above and beyond. Once you’ve been in the job for a while and learned how to meet the company’s expectations, you have to find out what else can be done to surpass those expectations.

Understanding your role alone is not enough; you’ll need to also understand how you can contribute to the overall goals of the organisation. By taking initiatives to contribute in roles beyond those of your own will make you stand out. You might be given the opportunity to try out something new or move to a different department, so you can grow in another aspect of your career.

4. Communicate

It’s quite common to feel intimidated by the new environment, especially when you’re around so many capable employees with years of experience. However, the last thing you want is to let this new environment intimidate you and make you feel small.

So, any time you have an idea, a fresh perspective, or an issue, don’t shy away from bringing it to the table because this helps you establish a line of communication with your colleagues.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! — an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak — to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

(This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link:http://bit.ly/1VwT0cF)

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