The Job Race – Kezevinuo, Assistant Professor, Department of Education

Life after college or university can be a difficult transition for anyone. While some aim to go for further studies, others may want to start working. When it comes to job hunting, how does one begin? In Nagaland, there are thousands of educated unemployed, all looking out for the right job. For students who are soon graduating this year and ready to enter the work force, there is a lot more you need to know about facing interviews while competing against a roomful of others, and also finding a job that can not only meet your needs but provide work satisfaction. This week’s writer offers some tips for all job aspirants.

The Job Race
According to a survey in 2014, 70% of hiring professionals opined that sending a resume online is preferred. Dropping off a resume in person gives employers the impression you are not comfortable with the electronic process or technology, and that reflects negatively on your adaptability and proficiency. A survey of what employers look for in a candidate shows that 36% want someone who can multitask, 31% want who shows initiative, and 21% want someone who is creative. While the average length of interviews is 40 minutes, 33% of 2000 surveyed bosses indicated that they know within the first 90 seconds if they will hire that candidate. How can they make such a decision in less than 2 minutes? In the same survey, respondents noted the following non-verbal mistakes as some of the reasons why you may be eliminated during the interview: 70% indicated the candidates were too trendy or fashionable, 67% indicated failure to make eye contact, 55% the way the candidate dressed, acted or walked through the door, 47% who had little or no knowledge of the company, 38% for lack of smile, quality of voice and overall confidence, 33% for bad postures, 26% because their handshakes was too weak, 21% for crossing their arms over their chest during the interview.

Education that one receives ultimately leads to one place; that is, the search for a job. Finding a job is not easy especially if it is for the first time. When dark clouds gather in the high skies, they are usually accompanied by lightening. In the same manner wherever there is education, it should be accompanied by wisdom. Students have to recognize such an association as an essential truth. For some it is quick and easy to get a job, while for others it is a difficult and a long process. Looking for a job right after graduation can be intimidating. Sometimes work is just one of those things you don’t want to deal with. Work can be stressful and affect the other areas of life. Job stress is more closely linked to health problems than finances or family issues. You must have heard about how competitive the job affair is. But remember there is never a small or big job. What is required is your hard work.

It is important for you to work out what career you are interested in. Just because you have completed a law degree does not mean you have to become a lawyer. You may be interested in business, administration, journalism, social worker etc. With so many options, how do you narrow it down? Think of any work experience that you might have enjoyed. Perhaps you took an interest in writing articles or even engaged working in small teams. Even think of subjects, assignments, project works in your course that you liked and excelled in. Whatever your strengths are, apply for jobs with them in minds. Along with the job comes the work satisfaction. Finding a job we are passionate about isn’t easy as it seems. Life goes by quickly and before you know it, you may find yourself stuck in a not so great job, working for a not so great boss and wondering how you got there.

It so happens that you applied for many jobs and someone finally called you to set up an interview. You are ecstatic and you can barely wait for that moment. But then you realize you are not alone who is anticipating to get the job. There is a handful of people like you who are anticipating as well. You have to make it through the job interview. And no matter how many times you go through a job interview, the fear never seems to go away. You never know what your interviewer will be like or what kind of questions he or she will ask. Also the endless possibilities of how you should present yourself, how you should answer, how you should dress. Your degree isn’t the only thing that matters. You should think about what skills you can offer, how much time you can commit to voluntary work, how pro-active you are etc.

You may encounter some hurdles along the way for sure; as carving a successful career is never that easy and the start is often the most difficult part of the entire process. But as the saying goes well begun is half done. The trick is to keep positive attitude and never say no to opportunities that might come on your way; read the advertisement you are applying to; use common sense; be polite, courteous and smile; be self-confident; know a bit more about the department or the institution; don’t be late; check your body posture and dress for the occasion, don’t badmouth other people, be a good communicator. One should be wise to sharpen their presentation skills if they wish to land their dream job.

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