My final exams are about to finish. While a few of my fellow-students have a job lined up already, I have not had the same luck. For the last couple of years, even IT graduates have not always found jobs straightaway. Any advice on job-hunting?
The first and most important thing is getting into a habit of spending a fixed number of hours each day directly in search of a job. There are formal channels for finding a job, as well as informal channels.
Informal channels are your friends, relatives and acquaintances. Make sure that all of them know that you are job-hunting (but don’t just talk to them about your need for a job; nurture and improve your relationships with people).
Formal channels are advertisements sections of newspapers and magazines (and, nowadays, also the internet job portals).
Whether through formal or informal channels, it helps to get a job if you are clear about what sort of job you would like to have. In order to become clear about that, consider your skills, qualifications and interests, and how those match the skills, qualifications and interests required for the job. For example, you cannot be a driver if you don’t know how to drive. But even if you know how to drive, you may prefer to work with people (for example, as a teacher); however, you cannot be a teacher if you do not have the qualifications required to be a teacher. Discuss also with friends, relatives and acquaintances this matter of the match between your skills, experiences and interests and those required for different jobs. Depending on what you would like to do for a career, you might need to focus not only on job-hunting but also on acquiring further qualifications – perhaps alongside finding a job or even alongside doing a job.
If nothing else, considering these things focuses your mind and helps you to know where to look in the wide world of the internet, as well as among the hundreds of newspapers and magazines in our country, let alone abroad.
It even helps to think about which company or organization you might like to work for: do some research on those companies (nowadays a huge amount of information is available on the internet sites of these companies) and write directly to the Personnel or Human Resources Department of the company concerned, even if they haven’t advertised the sort of job you would like to do. You can start with the organizations nearest you, as farms, factories, hospitals, schools and other offices all need workers, and there is no harm in going in person, or using the telephone, to find out if they may be looking for people to do the sort of work you would like to do, or would be prepared to do if jobs of the sort you ideally want are not available at present.
While you are doing all this, you will get plenty of negative replies, because we don’t have as many jobs in India as we have workers. In order not to get too disappointed with all the negative replies you get – and some organisations will not even bother to reply! – you should focus your mind for at least a part of each day in making yourself fitter for the job market.
You can do this partly by improving general knowledge of current developments in your locality, India and the world by reading newspapers and magazines and keeping up with the internet, and by improving your knowledge of the specific sort of job you would like to do. For example, if you want to get a job in the police, then you can enquire how the police department is organized, what different kinds of jobs are done by policemen and policewomen, what kinds of careers there are within the police, what kinds of training opportunities are offered, what are the laws and regulations which the police are expected to uphold, and so on. If you would like to be a doctor, then you need to know not only the academic qualifications required but also the different kinds of doctors there are, the different kinds of organisations that employ doctors from the defence services to companies to educational institutions, and so on. Don’t just look for a job, become interested in the field in which you would like to work, and find out all about it that you can.
In addition to such general knowledge and job-related knowledge, you should keep yourself physically fit and devote at least a small part of each day to developing your mind (as a guide, if you have not already worked your way through that, you could use the reading list that I offered to … a previous… issue of FORWARD Press).
You should also work on your social skills and your interview skills (see the advice that I offered in the April and May 2010 issues of FORWARD Press).
Most important of all, trust in God. He has made you, and He has made you unique, and He has made you for a unique purpose. Focus on finding Him and on discovering the unique purpose for which He has made you.
Published in the May 2013 issue of the Forward Press magazine