Many young people face similar challenges when it comes to how and where to look for jobs. So what are the first steps to getting that job you’ve always wanted?
You start by recognising where you are today. This means that you need to identify which habits work for you and which do not, and that you must eliminate anything that may be keeping you from your goals.
1. CELEBRATE YOUR TALENTS
Have you ever convinced yourself that you do not have the leadership or talent to make it in life after you graduate? Do not focus on your weaknesses, but celebrate your abilities. You might find yourself better at vocational studies than academic or even entrepreneurial activities. One common feature of successful persons is their ability to believe in themselves and not dwell on bad experiences or interviews.
Positive habits that reinforce overall positivity can help shatter any limitations you unconsciously set for yourself. To encourage yourself and overcome this natural tendency, “talk to yourself”, as author Jon Gordon says. If you cannot convince yourself, then you cannot expect anyone else to believe in your skills. So, the first and most crucial step is to start believing in your wins and celebrating your skills
2. LEAD FROM WITHIN
Hard work and practice, practice, practice!
The more hard work you put into preparing for your interviews, the greater the rewards you can expect! It is always a good idea to practice sample interview questions with friends or family members to gain more confidence when replying in the actual interview.
The more you practice your answers with others, the more comfortable you will feel putting your message across to potential employers. You should not memorise answers, as that will be picked up by the interviewers. Practicing will help you remember examples you can use while answering various types of questions, such as “Give me an example of when…” It will certainly help you believe more in yourself and build your inner confidence, and you will appear more assertive during the interviews. Making a good impression during an interview will get you once step closer to landing your dream job.
3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Before you go to a job interview, make sure you research the company mission and vision. Companies look for employees who are engaged and always ask, why this company? why this role? You need to show them that you are interested, and you need to communicate your involvement; this can be done by highlighting your sense of purpose and added value to the company. From an employer’s perspective, a self-motivated individual has done their homework by researching the organisation and will be able to enthusiastically discuss their initiatives.
This is a key focus area. Employers need to understand your interest in working for them. If you provide them with generic answers, then they will likely be similar to those of other candidates. Researching the organisation helps you perfect your answers by relating them to job specifications and highlighting your skill set.
4.DON’T BE AFRAID OF SETBACKS
Learn from every experience. Your first position might not be your dream job, but that does not mean you should stop trying; it is the first step on your journey. Remember that almost everyone has faced uncertainty at one stage or another in their lives.
The key is to add every experience to a learning curve that will help you build resilience and leadership from within. Do not be afraid to reach out and get in touch with others to learn from their experience and insights into challenges they have faced at work. You may be surprised by what you learn from the experiences of others and from the way they have navigated challenges at work.
TED Talks is an excellent platform to listen to first-hand stories from every corner of the globe. Try watching a few and you will realise that you are not alone. For example, TED Talks exposes you to new ways of communicating ideas and networking, which can prove valuable in the pursuit of your dream job.
5.WORK ON COMMUNICATION SKILLS
How do you rate your communication skills? The first step is identifying social media platforms for organisations and their job postings.
Organisations and employers are increasingly looking for self-motivated individuals. Almost every individual has an online presence, whether it’s a profile on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest. In the Arab world, you can also search for jobs on websites such as Beyt.com, Tasmeem.me and dubizzle. Companies have created an online presence, and as such, social media platforms such as LinkedIn have become recruitment tools.
Dr Mona Hamade is a UK based policy and development expert on the MENA. She has an extensive cross cultural expertise and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She runs original programs in the UK and MENA on topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, mentoring, and the psychology of education/employment systems.