In the past, companies promised employees jobs for their whole working life. This is called lifelong employment where companies hired employees right out of school or university until they reached retirement age. This is no longer the case; and the graduate who will succeed is the one who understands the difference between lifelong employment and lifelong employability. The latter is premised on the individual’s propensity to find and maintain employment throughout their career based on their personal characteristics.
A study by Jeffrey Selinga revealed that only one-third of graduates are able to launch their careers successfully as opposed to two-thirds who find it difficult. To become part of the one-third and attain lifelong employability, it is essential for the graduate to evaluate themselves against the following set of characteristics:
The foundational step is to solidify a professional identity and developing a desire to achieve maximum results. The odds of success will increase with the extent to which the graduate engages the labour market and the extend to which they invest more time and energy into their future career.
2. Relevance of skill and competence
Today’s graduate needs to go beyond the leaflet provided by the career desk at the university. Success depends on having first-hand information of what employers are looking for but most importantly, the type of life that the graduate aspires to.
3. Develop a strong social capital
Surround yourself with a network of people with a shared mind set because they will pull you up to your dreams. These are people who can help the graduate find more job opportunities, exchange information and send referrals your way if they fit your skill sets and career aspirations. Broaden your network to include graduate development program alumni, experienced peers and leaders within organisations.
4. Build Confidence
The pursuit of a career is not as rosy as it might seem while at university. A confident graduate develops a rhino skin and can bounce back from disappointments. He or she can change the trajectory and adjust to the change brought by the market or the culture of the organisation.
5. Adopt an entrepreneurial mind set
Richard Cantillion stated that “every bloody living person that create a company, nurture it and develop it into something that we all know now”. Treat your career as a business and move it forward through perseverance and hard work. Treat it like your investment portfolio and grow it into greater heights.
Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper
Tex Hlalele is a Life & Business Coach and an Inspirational Speaker. Book a breakthrough coaching session and speaking engagements. If you liked this piece, please sign up to receive email correspondence that will come to you once a week.