Look for a Job before you graduate

Unemployment is still a key issue in Malaysia, especially for fresh grads. Sometimes its due to a lack of opportunity. Others say its more to a problem among our grads who are not competent enough to be able to penetrate the job market. There also those who blame the educational providers for emphasizing too much on theory that in turn creates graduates who are not practical in the work place.

I say, why waste time to blame others? Lets forget about the problem and try to look at possible solutions. Once we come to a solution, just go out and DO IT !

I have a cousin who recently graduated in mechanical engineering from a very new local public university but was offered a job even before he sat for his final exams. And I must say that he is not on the deans list nor is he in the top 20% of his class.

But 1 thing is for sure, this cousin of mine has preserverence which means he is able to jump into any job and give it a try. If he does not like the job, he can just move on to another one, but trying is always the first step.

During semester breaks, he would hunt for part time jobs. I remember one time he used to work at a factory which produced raw materials to make baby diapers. Though the working hours were quite odd, he just gave it a try and made some good money by doing overtime for almost 3 months. He also met some new friends in the process. Then, it was the usual back to school.

But of course, how many undergrads do you know would want to spend their semester breaks working in a factory just for the experience?

Apart from trying, he also likes to socialize. As I have written before, we will never know the outcome of socializing until we go out there and meet someone. Thus, many unpredictable opportunities will come up, the possibilities might be infinity and the rest is history. But that will never happen if we do not mix around with our friends and our friends’ friends.

Now don’t get me wrong. It does not have to be a hi tea in a posh 5 star hotel. It could just be a teh tarik at a mamak stall or futsal with friends or a game of paint ball or a kenduri or a treasure hunt or a seminar. Being there alone is 1 thing, shaking hands and meeting the stranger sitting or playing next to you is the other.

One major effort that my cousin made was to attend career fares and distribute his resume during his final year in university. He knew that the competition was tough and the odds might be thin (based on the current job market situation and also his mediocre qualifications) but he went anyway.

How many CV’s do you think he sent out during his final year ? Not 10 not 20 but more than 50 CVs !

And he was offered his first job as a mechanical engineer in a manufacturing factory even before finishing his final exam paper!

Recently, not even 2 months into his 1st job, another bigger company, this time in the field of oil and gas offered him to work with them for almost DOUBLE the salary that he previously earned. So today, in the new company, the challenges and responsibilities are of course bigger (do you think a double salary comes without a price? haha!) . And all of that is worth it because he enjoys his job which requires him to be directly involved in the designing and fabrication of oil rigs.

Working MUST NOT be for the sake of only to take home an income but you must have passion in what you do. My father always reminded me that
” you must enjoy your job! “. Look around you and you will see that the majority of those people in your organization or your field of work who are in the to 10% earning bracket or hold high positions have deep passion for what they do (okay.. okay… please discount the a** kissers !). Some of them love their job so much that they would do it for FREE !

On 1 side I have this cousin of mine with a fantastic new job. On another side I have a friend who graduated the same year with me and chose to do his MBA which he completed 18 months later. My cousin who just started work less than 6 months ago is already earning twice my friend who has the MBA (which he got from a quite old local public university).

My cousin is enjoying his job which to me sounds very exciting and challenging. My friend with the MBA on the other hand complains that although his job is mainly to do admin work, he feels that he should be paid more because he has an MBA… All I can say is : dream on man !

I have confidence that my cousin ‘N’ will soar to greater heights and if he plays his ‘cards’ well, he’ll be earning a 5 figure income in 5 years time, if not less. InsyaAllah…

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”
Stephen Kaggwa-

Early search

STUDENTS at 70 institutions of higher learning can now hunt for suitable jobs actively even before they graduate.

They will be able to do this through the Career Placement Portal (CPP) at their campuses, launched in collaboration with JobsDB.Com, a Hong Kong-based online recruitment network and the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu).

The portal will provide current students, fresh graduates and alumni with the means to search for their dream jobs from among over 70,000 opportunities available both locally and internationally.

JobsDB.Com executive director Vincent Koo described the arrangement between the online recruitment network and the 70 institutions at a “one-of-a-kind partnership”.

Dr Parmjit exchanging copies of the MoU with Koo while Ong looks on.

“The CPP will lead students and fresh graduates to a wide range of jobs catering specifically to the their needs,” he said at the launch of the CPP and signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

Koo, who had flown in from Hong Kong for the event, also observed that there was a shortage of trained personnel in Asia in the fields of information technology (IT) as well as sales and marketing.

Mapcu president Dr Parmjit Singh concurred, noting that there had been a perception that IT students were not getting jobs.

“The reality of the situation is that there is a critical shortage of IT graduates both locally and regionally, which has created a very big vacuum in the industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ong commended JobsDB.Com for bridging the gap between the corporate world and the academic world in the provision of employment opportunities.

“This will benefit both parties mutually as the graduates will supply the knowledge and skills required by the job market,” he said.

The ideal situation, according to him, will be one where a person can chose a career that is in tandem with his temperament, emotional and social well-being, and also provides financial security.

JobsDB.com will host and design the CPP for Mapcu members.

The portal will link students to three categories of job opportunities – those for fresh graduates, those that are Malaysian and those that are international.

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