By Nontsindiso Mfuduka
Firstly what the heck…right!
But bare with me because as much as you are a student, you ought to start now to familiarize yourself with the world of opportunities. Whether that is formal opportunities (which is work that is created for you or where you are formally employed) or opportunities that are not so formal because you created them for yourself. Our labor market place has shown that we need more employers more than we need to be employed.
Research shows that currently in South Africa the unemployment rate is 35.3%, this percentage just shows that we need more job creators more that people looking to be employed. At this point in South Africa it does not matter the qualification you have because you can find yourself being a graduate yet not being employed.
That is why it is important to start now, either seeking out volunteering opportunities, shadowing specific people or industries of interest to your career or field of study. Start now to source out what you are, what life after tertiary journey looks like, study your community or labor market to see if there are gaps that exist that you can supply with the current qualification or talent that you have. Starting now to get involved in the labor market will definitely set you apart from your peers as it will allow you to ask the relevant questions for your career and to seek out or create opportunities for yourself and others.
Part of learning or having the right etiquette for the labor market is connecting yourself to the relevant people/network. You cannot wait until you are unemployed to connect with different personnel from different industries. Starting now will allow you to make the relevant connections for your career and also to be recommended for opportunities. Should they start recognizing you for your work or they know what skills you have and you have started having the right conversations with the right people, then definitely your journey will be set apart for success.
As much as you are learning, do also familiarize yourself with your field of study, start now acquiring the relevant skills and also trying to get the relevant experience. We always feel like we do not have enough time yet if we can truly examine the time we spend on different things, we will find that we have so much time. So, even if it’s just one day a week that makes or will make a huge different for you career.
Etiquette for the labor market is being relevant and staying relevant, connecting with the right kind of people(networking), acquiring the relevant skills in your field of study, having the right conversations in order to ask the relevant questions to set you apart from the rest of your peers, doing thorough research on your field of study to know what exists and what is currently lacking or has a gap for you to fill that gap.
There is a lot more to be discussed definitely but for now I will leave it here.
P.S just start in whatever way you can, find a mentor, find a network of people to connect with, go and volunteer your time somewhere.