2020 is not the best year to be graduating because of the prevailing higher rates of unemployment due to economic conditions. After spending 3-4 years of working hard to get to this point, pulling all-nighters to study for your exams, and complete your assignments, you have been waiting for the graduation ceremony.
But unfortunately, you don’t get a graduation ceremony to celebrate this with your friends, to hug them, and wish them a Goodbye for the last time before you see them next. All your summer vacation plans are canned and what not.
On top of all this, you are a fresher stepping out in the market to look for a job or maybe have plans to study further. All of your plans have been postponed and there couldn’t be a more terrible job market to be stepping in to find a job. It is not a great feeling to be completing your graduation in the middle of these economic downturns.
But, instead of spending your energy on the things, you cannot control, here are things that you can do to make sure you make the most of this lockdown and make a little progress in your career. Let’s dive right into it.
- Start that business you’ve been dreaming of starting
If you are someone who has an entrepreneurial itch and have been wanting to start a business since forever, now is the time. Don’t let the conditions prevailing be an excuse. There are many ways in which you can use these situations to build you that momentum and set you on your way to success. I am not saying set up a factory, invest all your savings. But instead start with setting the base. Once you have a base ready, you can build on it.
For example: If you have had a passion for baking and always wanted to run a bakery, there is a list of things that you can do to build a base.
- Start with writing down recipes. Practice baking at home. Build your own recipes from scratch. Improvise on the recipes you already have.
- Build a Menu of dishes you have on offer. Set the prices for your menu. Basically have a menu ready to send to your prospective customers.
- Set up a delivery system in which you will deliver the cake. You could use Swiggy and Zomato’s Contactless delivery to deliver your orders initially. You don’t need to have a store to sell these items as of now. For the start, you can bake as a single person from your home and this will be your base.
- Then maybe once conditions settle, you can expand your business by hiring someone to bake with you or open up a store. But as you do so, you have to keep certain things in mind.
These times have shown us that working from home is the new way to go. If you thought that you will need an office space to work from, now you can change this and start work from home. Make sure you adapt your business to drastic changes in recent times. Being a baker from home was just an example. You can even think of starting out in a space that has just emerged due to the pandemic. For example- Designer Masks, Infrared Thermometers, etc are in demand and there can be a business that can be built on these ideas too.
2. Get a Job that offers you a learning curve
If you were looking forward to getting some experience by getting a job, don’t lose hope. I know finding a job in 2020 is not easy. People are being laid off work and Employees are getting salary cuts. But in this scenario, you as a fresher are a blessing simply because entry-level jobs are available at some small companies.
At this stage in your career, when you are a 21-year-old high-school graduate, you should be hunting for a job that is offering you a platform where you can learn. Startups are out there looking for people who’re willing to work for lesser money and chances are they will invest in young workers like you. Why? Because you are not egoistic about the salary you will be offered.
If you are, make sure what you’re offering is worth the salary you’re asking for. Because there are a ton of new graduates graduating with you. To stay ahead in the competition, make sure you have a unique skill set. If you are someone who’s wanting to build a skillset yet, invest in your learning. By this I mean, Find a job in a company that is offering huge growth and settle for a decent salary. Or invest in yourself to increase the value you provide.
To get a job, I have listed down a procedure that you can follow to get a job.
Make a list of industries that are not going to face the heat of this global crisis as much. While all industries are affected in some way or the other, there are some industries that will do great once this pandemic is dealt with. For example- Digital Marketing, Gaming, etc. These industries are doing good in the lockdown because the amount of content being consumed has increased immensely. Chances are they are looking for someone to do a particular job. Hence, these industries are some of them. Do your research. Find industries relevant to your interests and field of study.
Apply to the companies that have openings
Once you have a list of industries, make a list of individual companies that cater to those particular industries. Reading about their future plans will help you understand whether or not they will be hiring in the future. An easier way is to visit the website of these listed firms one by one. Look for openings in the company.
Usually, these are under the ‘Careers’ tab on their website. If there are any openings, they should be listed there. Read up about the Job Description and see if that is something feasible for you. If you think you fit in that role and meet the requirements, apply on their website or shoot an e-mail to the provided e-mail address explaining in what way can you add value to the position that’s open. Make sure you tweak your resume according to the job on offer.
Connect with the right people
While you’ve applied on the website, try looking for the respective personnel on LinkedIn. If the firm is registered on LinkedIn, see who works there. If the firm is small, you will easily be able to connect with the right person. If it is a B2C startup, you must look for the phone number given on the website and contact them on that phone number asking them if they have any Job openings or to inform them about your interest in applying for the positions open at their firm.
Don’t give up
If you don’t get a reply from a firm, that’s okay. It’s possible that they are overwhelmed with the number of applications or are coping up with the workload. Keep sending emails to the other firms. You will get a reply and might be set up for a telephonic/video interview soon. Don’t give up and keep repeating the process until you land a job.
3. Plan your future
The lockdown has offered us a huge break from the constant hustle. Use this time to reflect on yourself. Plan out what you want to do in the future. Chances are that you thought of studying further. If you haven’t, give it a thought. Decide for yourself if you want to study further or are you going to settle for a degree.
If you come to the conclusion that you want to study further, you have a lot of work to be done.
- Start with shortlisting the colleges/universities you wish to study in depending on what your subject of study.
- After you’ve shortlisted these institutions, list down the eligibility criteria and requirements. You will find these details by doing some research on the institution’s websites.
- Now that you have the requirements, make a list of things you need to do to apply. You can take the help of some agencies to help you complete your profile. Remember, you can apply through these agencies but always do your homework and walk in with a fixed mindset as to which course and which institution do you want to go for. Don’t let them change your decision completely. If they suggest an institution or a course, review it on your own and then decide if you want to go for it or no.
- Once you have a list of requirements and see that you are yet to fulfill some of them, say for example you need to clear an entrance test, GMAT or CAT, then start preparing for these exams right away. You have all this free time to yourself. Make use of it and get those exams done with as soon as the window for taking these exams opens. This will make sure that you are taking those little steps towards your post-graduation. Soon you will realize that these baby steps have put you way ahead in your career.
Remember that your school has ended but learning hasn’t. Don’t let your learning stop. That’s exactly why I have come up with this blog that is targeted to form a community of students who are willing to put in work and self learn skills to increase their value.
If you are interested in upgrading your skills and learning every day, I recommend that you sign up for my newsletter. It is free and I will be sending you weekly articles that you can read and follow and become better at whatever you do. 10 mins of reading articles that boost your growth in a week is the least you can do to improve yourself and become a better version of yourself.