Look before your leap – have you packed your parachute?
I watched with interest the ABC’s 7.30 Report on Monday 10 January. “A generation of Australians wondering if they’ll ever have a full-time job”. (You can find out more, or watch the story online.)
One statement really got me thinking:
“Young people are leaving schools and universities to a world where the chances of finding full time work is at its lowest since the world plunged into recession in the global financial crisis of 2008.”
They’re competing with each other, with previous graduates and with continuing workers. Those who have the best preparation, skills, resources, networks and knowledge should have the best chance of success. But, it’s like being part of an elite team – everybody has the skills, resources and knowledge! It’s whether you are ready when the time comes.
A lot of my recent work has been in the tertiary sector, so I had a quick look at some of the recent data for university student enrollments and course completions.
- In Australia there were more than 328,000 applicants for undergraduate courses commencing in 2016. Around two thirds of these keen students were offered a place in a course. So, there are around 200,000 students entering university each year.
- Around 15% of students will drop out before graduating, leaving 170,000 graduates with shiny new degrees competing in the job market.
- In fact, in 2015, there were 324,836 course completions in Australia – from diplomas through to higher research degrees. There are a lot of people with qualifications competing in the job market!
What does this really mean for the school leaver, university student or new graduate?
What can you actually do to give yourself the best chance of success with your hard earned qualification?
Plan your pathway and be ready!
Put yourself in the strongest possible position to get employment in your chosen career area. Be aware of the options available and be open to opportunities that arise.
- As much as possible, align your work experience to build your network and your skill set.
- Take opportunities to do voluntary activities that gain you experience.
- Consider related jobs that will give you hands on experience in the area you want to work in.
- Obtain evidence – reports, attendance sheets and certificates of completion, or referees to reinforce your know how.
- Write it all down, keep records and make sure it is all up to date.
So, start developing an action plan, and get yourself ready. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute, so don’t enter the job market without a sound plan.
If you need help to ‘pack your parachute’, contact us.