Best advice for a fresh graduate

In these past months, several universities passed out graduates who are joining several others in the job market. However, the certainty of getting work is lately reducing yet that is not reason to give up hope. Solomon Muhiirwa, a Human Resource expert shares how a fresh graduate can survive as they search for work.

Once you are out of university, the transition to being in a position where you must take care of your needs can be very difficult. The very first thing you need to do is to work on your mental state of mind. When you are still at university, you are supported by guardians, friends, parents, and well-wishers. However, after leaving campus, they expect you to pull your weight.

“Your mind should be aligned to the fact that you are on your own. For instance, while they may help you in the first few months or years, with time, they may stop. So, you must be aware that you are going in for a rather rough patch,” Muhiirwa says.

You must also become extremely frugal with the money you make or get; never spending it as you previously did. That also calls for looking for places where you can get services cheaply. It could be something as simple, yet very fundamental in this time, as photocopying.

“You are to sell yourself and people are going to ask for your CVs and academic documents. That calls for knowing where you can get cheaper photocopy or printing services. Cheaper services are usually at or around universities where costs are as low as Shs50 rather than the city centre where they rise up to Shs500.”

You also need to get in touch with someone who can help brand you for the kind of work you are looking for. Unfortunately, many fresh graduates will simply walk into a secretarial bureau and ask them to help them write a CV. Usually, it is very basic yet people in HR are looking for skills, and experiences that will set you apart from the rest. That is where branding comes in as it betters your propensity to get hired. Otherwise, there are several CVs that a hiring person is looking through and if yours does not stand out, they will simply discard it.

Your looks also matter because oftentimes, it is easy to tell one who is fresh from campus from one that has been in the market before. Looks go right from the kind of clothes you are wearing, the colours as well as colour combination. For instance, different colours communicate differently. If say you are going for a visa interview, if you wore navy blue, chances are high you will get that visa because Americans have a great liking for it. White means purity, clean while red means intensity, competitive, and bold. Another colour is grey and while people love it, it shows that one is lonely. Black is executive, and exclusive. Therefore, the kind of job you are looking for should determine your colour choices which calls for looking for someone to help you.

Never despise voluntary work because you never know what your calling is. While you have done one course, you may end up doing something totally different. Therefore, embrace every job opportunity as it also means getting a shilling to push you for another day.

Social media is important and Muhiirwa highly recommends people to be on Twitter and LinkedIn rather than just Facebook. This is because the conversations on the former are more likely to effectively guide you in your career journey than the latter.

Watch your networks

The people that you spend your time with greatly determine how your life will turn out. Seeing that you are looking for work, you should also polish your networks to encompass people that are more experienced than you and can give you advice to better yourself.