With the release of the 2021 matric examination results on Friday, many young people will go to higher institutions to further their studies but some will enter the job market and start looking for jobs.
Trade union UASA, through its spokesperson, Abigail Moyo, shared some good tips for the new wave of job seekers aiming to enter the job market.
Below are the tips for matriculated job seekers:
- Don't allow perceptions and attitudes about the job market to blind you to existing job opportunities. Take responsibility for your own future and develop a willingness to do your part in the world. Your first responsibility is to take pride in yourself and to believe that you have something to offer to society and yourself, even while you are looking for a job.
- Remember that employers are looking for skilled people, and a straight matric qualification provides school leavers with limited skills, if any. Matric is simply not enough to qualify our young people for the labour market; employers view them as unskilled. Unfortunately, matric only gives you a broad theoretical background and does not prepare our children to perform specific tasks in the workplace. Someone who left school with a Grade 10 qualification and, for instance, adds three years of practical training as a plumber, a mechanic or a hairdresser seems to have a far better chance of finding a job today. Although they may not have a matric certificate, their acquired skills are often much sought after by employers.
- School leavers that focus only on going to university might miss the mark. Compared to international benchmarks, the ratio of people who go to university and those who opt for Further Education and Training (FET) or artisanships in South Africa is completely distorted. Consider alternatives that could potentially yield better results in terms of jobs and income. Pupils are often unaware of these options because of inadequate career guidance.
- Don’t consider artisanship or FET training as below the mark. Plumbers, electricians, hairdressers, motor mechanics, cabinet makers and the like, who start their own businesses after training and acquiring some experience, often do better in terms of income and job satisfaction than graduates.
- When you land a job, remember that you enter into a contract with your employer. You are not doing anyone a favour by working there and are entitled only to what is written in your contract. You are paid a certain amount per month, week or day to complete specific tasks. Your employer will judge your performance according to your skills, knowledge and your attitude. Especially the latter will determine your success in the world of work, not only now, but throughout your whole working life.
- Stay practical and don’t lose hope. Even if you must work for a pittance and live with your parents, get that initial work experience. It will open doors for you in the long run.
- Lastly, but most importantly, prepare yourself mentally for your interview. Remember that the employer will ask you questions for a reason. He will only hire you if he or she can ascertain that you will have the required attributes and potential to be developed into a productive unit. Go into an interview with a positive frame of mind and focus on impressing the employer that you are prepared to learn and can add value to his business.