Many young people often meander around looking for employment after graduating; having very little knowledge of the world outside the university. This often leaves them scarred, confused and ill-prepared for the journey ahead.
For some young people, they will receive first-hand advice from friends, family and those within the profession, however, for most (like myself) they will take multiple approaches often-making sporadical and uninformed decisions to get closer to securing permanent employment. I personally believe that young people need more support and guidance to help them make the right decisions.Though there is no right or wrong way of building a successful career within your chosen profession, I do believe that young people can consider the following advice to help them in their journey in building a stronger foundation at the very beginning stages:
- Be selective – Research on employers before applying. Nowadays, most employers offer a lot more than APC training and a competitive salary. Some employers may offer international opportunities, exchange programmes, emerging talent/development programmes, corporate social responsibility opportunities, client exposure etc. Align your career aspirations to the opportunities rather than the salary, as the opportunity will pay dividends in the long run. This will also benefit you when tailoring your application.
- Employer Values – Understand the company’s’ values and long-term business strategy in order to align your personal career goals. This will often provide a clearer structure to your Personal Development Reviews (PDR’s). Young people are sometimes unaware of what the company is trying to achieve, thus find it difficult to find any real purpose and fulfilment in their desired role. I believe this is why some employees may leave a firm. Moreover, if you believe in your company’s strategy you will be more entitled to create targets that align both with your personal beliefs and the long-term aspirations of the company.
- Benefits – Although salary and monetary benefits shouldn’t be the driving factor for you applying for the role at hand, young people should fully understand what the employer is offering. Conduct some valuable research on the employer's benefits package before making a decision. You can use publications offered by recruiters and employer rating websites to evaluate this.
- Employees – With access to the World Wide Web candidates should consider conducting research on the type of employees that have are and have been employed by the company. Note a company’s brand and reputation is often reflected upon the quality of their people – this is very important. LinkedIn provides a great platform to understand whether companies are linked with top tier universities (Russell Group)/agencies and or affiliation with prestigious alumni.
- Industry Rankings – Look at industry rankings to see how that firm compares to other firms within and outside of the industry. Although some of these rankings may compare organisations at a very high level, they do provide some useful comparisons to help you make a decision should you be split between employers/industry/role.
- Social Media – with improved technology and a shift towards employers using ‘social media’ – one way I believe graduates should consider evaluating employers is through their social media footprint and overall influence online. I often find that those employers with frequent social media users have a better connection and relation with prevailing generations (Y & Z). I also believe that employers more active on social media better position themselves to attract the best young talent.
WorkPanda provides bottom-up advice to those who would like to pursue a career within the Built Environment. Although we do not guarantee you a job, we have helped hundreds of young people into prominent positions around the world. Click here to start your journey!