Entering the real world can be daunting for many young graduates. With scarcity of employment opportunities and the ever changing world, it may seem impossible to start a career. Here are four tips to help you get started:


1. Prepare

  1. Get help with a professional CV
  2. Polish up your appearance, be smart, presentable and pleasant
  3. Clean up your social media accounts and maintain a positive image because Employers check facebook and twitter to find out what kind of a person you are
  4. Prepare for interviews, research the industry and whenever you are called for an interview, find out as much as possible about the company before the day so that you give knowledgeable answers. Show employers that you are committed, confident and eager to start
  5. Cast your net wide, there are several ways you could apply for work including employment agencies, website portals such as pnet and career junction, newspaper classifieds, social media networking, approaching companies human resources directly online, physically dropping off your CV etc
  6. Companies are looking for experience. Do not look to be paid immediately, intern or volunteer for a while to gain experience and gather references

2. Have a positive mindset

  1. Don’t take rejection personally. Remember mindset is a choice; choose to be positive and to have faith. A negative mindset will only draw you back
  2. Resilience pays off, most successful people will tell you that anything they ever did came through hard work and perseverance
  3. Think outside the box, what else can you do? How else can you do it? What other opportunities are there?
  4. Remember learning never stops, even on the job, up skill yourself and ask for challenging work
  5. It’s a competitive world, stay true to yourself and do not lose focus. Do not be too choosy but at the same time do not sell yourself short
  6. Use your time wisely and be internet savvy, everything is now online but spend less time on social media

3. Be flexible

  1. Avoid sitting around at home, do something, anything; get a job, any job. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Get busy while figuring out your next move
  2. The environment is constantly evolving, be aware of new trends and analyse gaps in the market
  3. The path to life is long and meandering, each experience is different, it may take a while to achieve your dreams
  4. Utilise your natural talents to complement your qualifications, it could be your ability to act, sing, dance, write, speak or cook etc.
  5. Do not be shy or ashamed to start at the bottom and work your way up

4. Get support

  1. Build a strong support network, hang around people with a similar vision, like-minded people to motivate and inspire you, people who seem to have it together, drink from their well
  2. Speak to people who are already working, find out how they did it and what channels of job search they used
  3. It also helps to have family members who are patient, supportive and kind to hold you up throughout the difficult period

10 Best Job Search Portals in South Africa

  1. Careers24
  2. Indeed
  3. Career Junction
  4. Career Jet
  5. Job Mail
  6. Best Jobs
  7. Pnet
  8. Gumtree
  9. Job Vine
  10. Youth Village

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