Imagine yourself looking at a catalog of vehicles, trying to decide which one to buy; there are so many choices, what makes you choose one from the other? Here is a little fact for you: in 2011 alone, a total of 80 million cars (just cars out of all the different types of vehicles) were made. How do you decide which vehicle to buy? Now put yourself in the shoes of the Human Resource personnel of a company with a stack of Resume in their hand, looking to hire an individual for an associate (intro) level. Just like vehicles, there are thousands, I mean like production line kind of thousands of fresh batch of individuals graduating each year with different degrees. Each one of those individual want a good paying job, tons of benefits and want a secure source of income. However, the competition is intense and landing that dream job is tougher than expected. So how do you add value to yourself? How do you make yourself stand out amongst all the other candidates? Most importantly how do you become the one to get that dream job?
Let us look at the current trend of a normal student: A typical day of a normal college student in Kathmandu is spent going to morning classes, chilling out with friends’ and maybe, just maybe studying the course materials just before an exam. With academic infrastructures consisting of only concrete buildings, helmet teachers and the hope of getting a good formal education, an average student’s education is limited only to the classroom in most of the cases. An employer is always looking for a well rounded and experienced individual and the current education system does not fulfill that need. In simple words, our average college graduates are not ready in any way whatsoever to start working immediately after college.
How do you become job ready? How do you add more value to yourself? Well, it is pretty simple, keep occupied with stuff you like to do and always be willing to LEARN.
To become real-job (The Real-Life, big paying job) ready, obviously you need to have some sort of work experience, and always remember that any sort of work is still considered work. So first things first, get a job, work for free, learn something, learn anything, the whole point is to learn. Once you get done with your classes in the morning, waste no time and approach your relatives or people you know or even a stranger and ask if they would like some “FREE” services from you. You can help their company by focusing on accomplishing all the little or minute things they spend time doing and have them spend more time on stuff with more priority. There are always companies looking for interns, who usually do not get paid, but companies need cheap labor to get the little things done. The jobs may include taking inventory of things, paying bills or anything crazy, if they can’t come up with ideas, throw some random thoughts you might have about how you can help them increase their performance. You learn a lot ranging from time management to organizational structure of the company, on top of all the other little tasks that you are assigned. If you really need a morale boost to get yourself started just think that instead of money you are getting experience as compensation and boy does that experience look attractive on a Resume when you will go out to search for a real-job.
In the western side of the world, if you look at the top level executives or highest earning people, a lot of them have one common trait: involvement in some sort of sports. If you are wondering why involvement in an athletic team or athletic activity is so important in being successful, then just compare an athletic person to someone who is not. Individuals who workout are smart, healthy, active, dedicated, motivated and the list goes on and on. This can be directly implied to work culture. Being healthy means cutting out on those sick leaves, being smart means outperforming everyone else, being dedicated means getting work done before deadline, all of these traits are secret ingredients to becoming successful and helping out the employers in the long term. Gather your friends, play sports, any sports, the goal is to work as a team and have fun. In you can prove a recruiter that sports is a big part of you and your values, then you have sold them on the idea that you are much more valuable than the rest of the people who apply.
As you progress through different semesters, you are adding more academic value to yourself, get different jobs throughout your college career, diversify your skills, be jack of all trades, in the end always remember that employers love employees who adds value to themselves. As you experience different jobs and different roles, you will have more things to relate to when you sit in for an interview. Nowadays interviews are all based on different real life situations, so if you have a broad range of experience, you will be able to provide genuine answers to all the questions.
What is the key to success? How do you add value to yourself?
Being successful or adding value to yourself is not that tough, just take that laziness out, surround yourself with doers instead of talkers, be adventurous and love what you do. Instead of blaming the infrastructure, be the change and challenge yourself to be different than everyone else. That is how you become successful and that is how you achieve what you dare to achieve.
Ankit Rana is a Business Manager at Biruwa Ventures. Biruwa helps young entrepreneurs start their own ventures.
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