It pays to have a serviceable skill not related to your degree. Serviceable skills are essentially something that can be turned into a service, such as the ability to cook, to do carpentry, household wiring or babysit. This skill is one that you can rely on when the economy sours and jobs become scarce.
You’ve heard this before but here’s a reminder: When you land a job interview, it will be soft skills or experiences you possess that will make you stand out and catch an employer’s attention. A string of As are a job prerequisite so fresh graduates must show that they can bring more to a company than a degree.
Think very, very carefully about changing jobs every few years. The salary increments you think you will get each time you switch companies may not matter much in the long run.
Be proactive. “During semester breaks, even in my first year, I was a part-time tutor and I taught primary schoolkids maths. During my third year, I went out and looked for an internship with a small accounting firm so that I could practise what I learned in class. When the time came to apply for an internship at a Big 4 accounting firm in my final year, I had an advantage compared with other applicants, even those from more prestigious universities. Other kids might have come from more prestigious universities with higher CGPAs but I had practical experience, so the firm chose me as one of the interns. When I applied for a job after graduating, I had all these extra experiences, which made me stand out from the rest,” shares Muazzam.
There are not short cuts to success. Young talent need to believe in the value of the hard slog – the process by which you work diligently and patiently on a project or assignment to make sure it is done right. Millennials grew up with the internet as a fact of life. This has nurtured a feeling of instant gratification and convenience, including finding information online. This leads to the mistaken belief in taking short cuts and doing things quickly and effortlessly. “The problem with this is that you do not become resilient, you do not become mentally strong. When something becomes hard you give up too quickly. The thing about success is that it requires hard work,” says Muazzam.