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OP-ED: What the future holds for fresh graduates

  • Published at 12:25 am November 23rd, 2020
Graduation
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Making full use of your spare time is essential

The whole world is undergoing a global health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has impacted almost every aspect of our lives. Similarly, education and jobs have been hit hard; so has the future of new graduates. 

With an array of challenges, the career paths of recent graduates or soon-to-be graduates do not seem to be smooth, and yet things could turn around for them provided they employ a proper plan followed by smart actions. 

Myriads of job cuts have caused massive job crises all around the globe. These adverse circumstances are triggered by the pandemic, which has already claimed a million lives worldwide and over 5,000 in Bangladesh, intensifying the anxiety of individuals. It has resulted in 200 million job losses across the globe. 

Findings from a study conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) suggest that 38.6% of university graduates are unemployed. Surely, this pandemic has furthered this ratio as there were not an adequate number of jobs available from employers to begin with.

Another recent study, jointly carried out by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), reveals an even more alarming situation in the workforce for Bangladeshi youths. It showed that 1.7 million youths in Bangladesh were likely to lose jobs this year due to the coronavirus outbreak if the containment measures continued for another six months. 

We are in the eighth month of the outbreak now. The study further demonstrates that the unemployment rate among educated youths is estimated to more than double last year’s figure, rising to 24.8%. 

Given the job crisis posed by the novel coronavirus, it is evident that the job market will be fiercer than ever before. Admittedly, this is not something that humans have control over; therefore, concrete plans and pro-active actions are essential to turn potential impediments around. 

Chance favours the prepared mind. Five simple strategies could substantially help 2020 graduates or will-be graduates navigate this unfavourable situation. 

Add value

As soon as we graduate, we tend to apply for jobs with unbridled ambitions. Being ambitious is certainly admirable, but when it becomes excessive, we are susceptible to end up with counterproductive outcomes. 

For the sake of Covid-19, we are allowed to take part in classes from home, which does not necessitate going through heavy traffic or spending extra time on campus. This eventually saves a significant amount of time.

This time can be utilized for expanding skills. Online courses on IT and communications, or other professional courses, for example, could be of great value to recent graduates. This might maximize your chances of securing a better job.

Accept what you find

Joining a job or grabbing an internship opportunity despite finding it outside your preferred area can set you apart from other contemporary graduates who are likely to spend time dilly-dallying. This job or internship experience could lay the groundwork for subsequent career progressions. 

This in turn will not only provide financial stability but also a sense of professionalism, punctuality, and an understanding of work-life balance. 

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself amidst this critical time could lead you to be more confident and prepared. At a time when many people are infected or dying of Covid-19, it is challenging to maintain your mental health. 

As a consequence, keeping in touch with near and dear ones is highly likely to cheer you up. The payoff is obvious -- you will be more confident while facing job interviews. Ensuring sound mental health is of paramount importance. 

Mock job interviews

Even if it seems whimsical, it will substantially boost your likelihood of being hired by your preferred organizations. Interviews are being taken online for the foreseeable future, and it is quite pragmatic to practice with mock job interviews with others to expose you to the difficulties encountered during them and, thereby, enable you to discover strategies to succeed. 

Develop patience

Patience often brings about better outcomes than you expect. With being confident, diligent, and hardworking, patience is necessary for gaining success no matter what area you are applying for. 

That you are surviving under circumstances that humans have not faced in the last 50 years is a great strength you are attaining implicitly. Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Keep trusting in your ability and be patient.

It is beyond doubt that fresh graduates will have to encounter challenges that many others have never faced. But it is also worth remembering that good use of spare time can be the turning point of your career. 

Concentrating on building skill sets with an optimistic mindset could be the key to entering the career you are longing for.

Mahde Hassan works as a faculty member of IELTS at Saifur’s Private Ltd. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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