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Graduated BUT Unemployed.

It is that time again, what happens following Facebook updates, Instagram post and the tweets of our graduation images? We awake to the reality of youth unemployment. It suddenly dawns on the individual, how their social background, race, age, financial status and the degree they have attained might not apply to the mainstream.

“In  South African working-age population increased by 153 000 or 0,4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. The elevation in both employment (up by 206 000) and unemployment (up by 100 000) over the quarter led to the rise in the labour force participation rate now standing at 59,3%. It is shocking how the Unemployment rate (26,7%) remained unchanged over the first quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 ,”-  according to Stats SA.

Every year unemployed graduates flood in numbers, adding to the statistics, this pre-pends to our existing unemployment dilemma.

It has been stated by the International Labour Organisation that our country South Africa has one of the loftiest statistics of unemployment rates. This is a predicament affecting our young people every day.

As beautiful as the ceremony and the commemoration of the graduation day may be; it is usually short-lived.

The black gown and the hat that symbolise success, reaching a milestone in one’s life; when you have taken them off and hanged them, one resort’s to panic for the future, with the prospect of being part of the unemployed status quo.

Well, there has been a cry out from the social media platform, #hashtagHireAgraduate – movement.

The movement establishes Graduates coming from diverse backgrounds, allocated in the different parts of South Africa. Each person looking for an employment opportunity but is met with a lack of resources. The black graduate struggles to be financially independent, once they graduate, they are submerged in a system of crippling calamity that proves to oppress the graduate from securing a job.

We must not turn a blind eye to the exclusion in South Africa; it is so entrenched in the employment sector one needs to speak up. It makes it impossible to act visually impaired; it exudes from a plain task such as applying and attempting to find a job. As a people, we are sometimes oblivious to the effort it takes and the money, time needed to allocate, secure the resources required to complete the process of finding a job. When we scrutinise the process taken, you then conclude; lack of resources prohibits countless graduates to be employed. The process is exclusive to the destitute, indigent or the average graduate.

Let us delve into what resources you need to be in a position of being able to scout for a job, and how to stand a reasonable chance of getting appointed.

Primarily you need exposure to the internet; thus ranging from a WiFi or purchasing data to load on your router or phone. Remember for the average family or household to install WiFi is a luxury most cannot afford. Do not get me started on the outrageous prices of data one has to keep up with to ensure full-time connection throughout the day. That comes with a limitation on the number of minutes or hours a person can spend navigating the net for vacancies.

The internet cafe works on an hourly rate, if you plan to outstay your welcome, you will end up paying more than you bargained for; another complication could be the lack of internet cafe facilities in certain parts of our communities. Also, the travelling expenses of reaching the facilities, and how many times in a week can an individual be able to make such a trip?

Solutions

Keep connected to the Alumni Association.

When you graduate you become an alumnus of whatever university, college or institution you attended. Stay connected, keep that relationship resuscitated. Ensure your current details; emails, digits are updated to their offices. There is a possibility of you scoring a decent job through the Alumni Association.

Take the initiative for Soft skills Development.

It is crucial to obtain soft skills required to persevere and advance in the work market

– Indestructible  Work Ethic in the workplace.

– Positive outlook in life, a pleasant Attitude.

– Exceptional Communication Skills.

– Time discipline, better time management.

– Cultivate problem-solving skills (become a problem solver)

– Develop ways to synergize/ become a team player.

– Build and structure a self-reliance/confident character.

– Learn to allow constructive criticism, accept mistakes, learn from them, and take action.

Mingle and Network with people of influence.

Keep in mind, a word of mouth is a powerful tool, referrals are another tactic you can utilise to further your chances of employment. Stay connected with people in the same industry as yourself. When your referral is from a trusted associate with loyalty and integrity, then you stand a better chance.

Obtain and secure additional skills.

Great, you have got your degree, honours in your respective field, but it does not limit you to remain with those acquired skills. Do not quarantine your self, remove barriers and limitations; if you don’t partake in advancing your skills, you stand a chance to hinder your progress. Take initiative to develop yourself and your skills.

If you are to prevail and climb higher in the ladder, then never be satisfied with mediocrity. You can do online courses; take a short course base it on your line of interest. Computer skills, management skills, writing or whatever may apply to your current skills. This will appendage the skills you already own.

Assist as a Volunteer.

Humble beginnings. We all need to start somewhere in life, do not be ashamed to do something for free for an estimated period, to get the experience and the opportunity you want out of life. Be willing to be humble and hungry to do whatever it takes to see your vision materialise (as long as it is morally and ethically acceptable to you as a person). What you need to consider before committing is their mission statement. Is it an organisation that will value your skills? Any potential permit recruitment policy? This works best for the “in demand” working experience.

As long as you moving forward with a solid plan, regardless of how many times you fall, you will never fail if you do not give up.

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