By Atiqah Zulkefli
As graduation ceremonies finally draw to a close for this year, many university graduates are now turning their mind to the working world.
The start of your career might be exciting, but it is important to know how to easily adapt to working life. You are expected to have good communication skills and manage well in the company.
However, most graduates today fail to meet these expectations set by society because they are not well prepared even before they graduate.
Thus, you should embark on a plan of stepping into the real world starting from now rather than waiting only after you have graduated.
Especially for the millennial generation, it is not easy to get a job in today’s economic situation so it is important to begin preparing yourself for the competitive job market ahead.
Furthermore, several issues arise as keys to making a successful transition from life as a student to life as a productive employee.
If you are able to be prepared how to manage issues, you might have a smooth transition.
#1 Having a good CGPA does not guarantee you would be a good worker
Universities do not prepare you for everything in the real world. Students should not be too dependent on their grades. Instead, you should also have the initiative to develop soft skills during your university years. To be able to survive in the working world, good reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are essential in the workplace.
#2 Your major does not dictate the type of jobs you can work
Your first job after graduation does not always perfectly fit your original plan, so you cannot be too choosy or demanding of the work place that you want in today’s economy.
Plus, your major does not dictate the type of jobs you can work but you have to accept whatever work position that is available because you can still change to something better along the way.
Nonetheless, you still have to start planning early so that you can make the transition to a better position at a better organisation down the road. Keep track of your accomplishments and develop skills in your early working years.
#3 Unrealistic expectations on salary
To be able to adapt well in the real world, you have to be realistic in your expectations. Most employers want to see all employees start at a certain level to better understand the working life.
You need to have a clear sense of what you want before the issue arises so be prepared to negotiate the preferable income but do it in a realistic manner.
#4 Ambiguous decisions on whether to pursue a career life or a master degree
Plan early on your future life. Before graduating, you should already have decided on which path you would take; a career life or a post graduate student’s life.
Both situations have its own pros and cons but you have to take an early step to decide which one suits you better.
In an interview with IIUMToday recently, Nor Adilah Mohd Nor, a counsellor with Counselling and Career Services Centre (CCSC), said: “There are some specialised fields, such as counselling psychology, where you need to have a qualification in that field if you want to be a counsellor. And I only have a degree on psychology so why would I waste my time working a job that I don’t like when I know I can straight away pursue a master’s degree to be able to become a counsellor; a job that I sincerely want.”
So, her advice is for you to focus on the type of job that you aspire and desire instead of a job that you feel you must apply for.
“And if the job that you aspire does not require any master’s degree qualification, you can straight away work in that field with your degree. There is no time for you to waste because you can always develop skills and learn new things along the way.”
Counselling and Career Services Centre (CCSC)
Hence, to prepare students for the real world, IIUM has established a Counselling and Career Services Centre (CCSC).
CCSC plays a vital role in supporting students’ personal development, positive career development and future employment of both IIUM graduates and students. Both sections are supported by professional counsellors who are well trained in the areas.
“The centre has conducted many structured programmes such as student career profiling, fly high, on-campus mega interview and career zoomers in IIUM but some students might still be unaware of these programmes,” said Nor Adilah.
Unfortunately, most students when asked said that they never use CCSC services and are not aware of its influences on their personal and career development.
Students today are stuck in their comfort zone and are afraid of pushing themselves into unfamiliar places and do things they normally would not do.
When you are too familiar with university life to the extent that you do not care about what to expect in the working life, how you would manage it?
Moreover, there is still a stigma going around that the students who come to see a counsellor must be a problematic person.
Because of this stigma, students are avoiding the Centre and thus becoming unaware of its existence and the benefits CCSC might bring upon them.
CCSC has done their best to promote their services and programmes through an awareness campaign and social media.
However, in the end, the one who can make a difference is only the students themselves. Hence, you must be more proactive in thinking ahead of your future and have a thorough plan for it.
You should be able to come out of your comfort zone and eliminate the misimpression you hold against CCSC.
You are the ones who are responsible for your own future thus, you need to take extra charges on securing a brighter future of your own.
CCSC will always be at your assistance in providing advice for your personal and career development.
Here is the contact information of CCSC:
Counselling & Career Services Centre (CCSC),
2nd Floor, Rectory Building, International Islamic University Malaysia,
P.O Box 10,
50728, Kuala Lumpur.