Practical Advice for Fresh Grads Entering the Workforce

Young, fresh graduates are sometimes at a disadvantage because they leave college with a very unrealistic view of work. Many feel that just having studied four years dealing with professors, passing exams, and submitting requirements is enough to warrant a big salary and their dream job at once.

They don’t feel like they should start at the bottom. Sometimes they feel they are too good for a particular task listed in the job description, and others are just downright lazy and expect employers to pay good money for petix. Unless you are a COO (Child of Owner) it is very rare to get a high paying job after college that won’t require you to do some tasks that you may hate. But this is part of life, and a rite of passage for anyone who has just entered the working world. Everyone has to go through it!

We interview hundreds of applicants on a weekly basis. Many of them college graduates from various schools, including those in the top 3. I can tell you right now that a college degree is something (congratulations if you have one), but employers are looking for more than just grades and a piece of paper that says you are a Bachelor of Something. They are looking for the attitude to match the skills and the knowledge. They are looking for commitment, perseverance,  patience, and a willing heart to learn the ropes of whatever line of business they enter. They are not interested in DIVAS regardless of your GPA, cost of tuition, or college org affiliation.

Here are some things you should work on if you are really serious about being successful:

1. Be flexible about the route to take in achieving your goals.

I know a lot of people in a particular profession that cannot land a job with their ideal title. Take teachers, for example. Teaching can occur in many different contexts. You can be a preschool teacher, a tutor, an online tutor and even a call center trainer. There are many ways to use what you learned. If you confine yourselves to the idea of just teaching in a school and classroom, then you might miss out on some pretty great opportunities.

Call center trainers, for example, are highly sought out by companies. And after a few months of working as an agent, you can be trained to be a trainer and earn almost triple what a classroom teacher earns.

2. Always think about what you can learn from your assigned work.

If you are having difficulty in an area but keep getting stuck there, ask yourself “What is God teaching me in this situation?” “What skill is being cultivated in me?”

I hate running papers to City Hall but I am always tasked to do so. But every time I go I learn something new.  Even if sometimes I want to cry, I take on my assignment because the company needs it.  And it’s not like I can’t do it.  It’s just very challenging and I’d rather do something I’m familiar with. But when I do go, my patience is cultivated and my ability to talk to people is honed. I learn the ropes of securing permits, and in the end, I become more effective and useful to my company. I am an asset and these skills add value to my worth as an employee.

3. Don’t allow titles to limit you. Take initiative.

OK, yes, you graduated with BSIT or BSN or whatever. But if you will be honest, who chose that course for you? Many young graduates have a degree and career path they don’t even like. So don’t allow what you studied limit you. Your knowledge and skills can be useful in many areas of the marketplace.

If you were hired as “receptionist” but you see that your office needs help in the area of creating flyers or marketing, help out if you can! By extending yourself to be of service to others, you show your employer that you are an asset. Promotions are given that way. Raises are given to those who are VALUABLE because employers want to keep good people.

4. Have a teachable heart.

Don’t know it all because you can’t know it all. Learn from your superiors how to do things. Continuously improve yourself. Learning should not stop in college.

5. Accept that work is TIRING.

The younger people don’t like to be tired, uncomfortable, or challenged.  But here’s a news flash: All work is TIRING! All work is CHALLENGING! That’s why it’s called WORK. If it isn’t tiring or challenging to a reasonable degree, you have stopped growing.  You don’t want that.

And if you are in the habit of quitting every time you feel tired… well.. you will not get anywhere. You will die poor. But if you travail — push yourself — you find that work gets easier.  This leads me to my final tip:

6. Give it your all.

The law provides employers 6 months to evaluate an employee. For me, these 6 months are a time for an employee to give it their all. If on the 5th month you can no longer do the job, or the employer is just not happy with you, walk away with integrity that you did your best.

But if after doing your best and your employer recognizes it and regularizes you, you’ll find two things: 1. you like doing your best because it reaps good rewards, 2. you get better at what you’re doing causing you to enjoy it and do even better.

By giving it your all, you begin and perpetuate a great cycle that makes you effective and wanted in the workforce.

Congratulations to all fresh graduates from all over the Philippines!  We at Jobozuki wish you the best in your endeavors.

And remember, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” NIV Colossians 3:23