The long game: confidence increases graduate opportunities

Graduate Opportunities

You need to know: 1 in 6 graduates gets a job within 4 months

 

I hate to start my posts with bad news on the number of opportunities graduates have, so let me start this article with some good news: The Incredibles 2 is currently in production, and by the time this is published, we should be about a year or so away from seeing it!

 

It’s not related to graduate opportunities, but I liked the first one and I’m writing about graduate opportunities, so there’s your tenuous link.

 

So as it stands, very few graduates are going to land a job directly after graduation related to their field of study. With youth unemployment rates in countries such as Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and China (here’s an upsetting list of other countries) double and sometimes triple those of the national average, it is going to be tough for graduates to find a job.

 

Now, before you point out that I previously said 68.8% of university graduates found full time employment four months after graduation, bear in mind, the study I cited didn’t ask respondents if they were working in a position relevant to their field of study. I was working in a library fulltime four months after I graduated. Technically employed fulltime, but not within the field I wanted to pursue – although I was gaining important soft skills for my next job.

 

There are plenty of studies out there confirming this:

 

Now, I’m not writing this to scare you. We at Successful Graduate don’t think scaring graduates is a great way to get them to start thinking about employment, but we do think you should know the odds as you start looking for your first workplace.

 

That said, there is a way to improve the number of of graduate opportunities: confidence.

 

Confidence is more than just the ability to speak with someone freely, although that is part of it. At its core, confidence is your self-determination, your belief that you will meet your goals. The ability to interact with anyone and appear unfazed plays off that core, not the other way around.

 

Having confidence means you are more likely to take away a positive lesson from a failure, rather than a negative, such as believing you’re not worthy of a certain job. It means you are more likely to start thinking of creative pathways to your chosen career. I’ve seen graduates use a volunteer position within a charity to leverage a fulltime role later down the track.

 

Why this all matters to graduates and professionals is because confidence helps keep them focussed on their targets and how to meet them. Along with resilience, it can be one of the most important factors guiding you in your job search. Remember, in my very first article, technical ability was ranked 10th most important by employers.

 

Confidence, however, can be a double-edged sword. If the balance is off, you can have too much or too little impact on an employer, either damaging your reputation or failing to create it. It’s also possible your confidence can steer you in the wrong direction, making you jump at an impractical job or hold off for the “perfect” job (it probably doesn’t exist).

 

The good news is, you can learn it! Successful Graduate walks you through the process of building confidence and understanding when you’re giving it a little too much. Start building your confidence and resilience today.



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