Basic Cents, Features

School Is Out: Now What?

BY SAMUEL ROSENBERG

AS students are completing their final examinations and the school year winds down, many are wondering what happens next? Should they already have been looking for a suitable job, contemplating further education, or is a gap year the best choice for some individuals?

The world has changed and the slow economic growth is still affecting the majority of individuals, governments and businesses around the world. Graduating classes who are looking to embark on a new career or continue their studies will be faced with unprecedented challenges. Which is the best route to take?

Many students will have heard that they may be one of several hundred people applying for every available position. Negativity also creeps in when businesses suggest they will not reply to an application unless people are invited to an interview. High numbers of businesses will not even quote the salary range for the available position, which leads many potential employees attending interviews without understanding the full package that may become available.

Students who finished their education a year ago may well have applied to dozens of organisations, but have attended just one or two interviews during the period.

Networking is essential for any student wishing to extend the opportunities and possibilities of finding employment sooner, rather than later. Online job boards, Facebook groups and LinkedIn are where the modern student looks to expand their networking, without forgetting the old-fashioned idea of talking to the right people face-to-face.

Every student should understand that without an extremely well presented CV, they are rapidly reducing the opportunities that can be presented at an interview. Where an employer must sift through dozens or hundreds of CVs, it is only those that stand out that may be invited for the interview process. Where any student is unsure about the compilation or presentation of their own CV, there are a vast range of online businesses that will help improve the content and increase the chances of success. For students without the finances to improve their CV, there are a high number of templates available, free of charge, across the Internet and just a simple search away.

Some students will take the opportunity to leave school and take a gap year before further study or looking for employment. Providing the funds are available or you can work as you travel, gaining experience of life by travelling and meeting people from different countries and cultures, can provide an excellent addition to your CV. You may never get the opportunity again in your life to take six months or a year out of your schedule to go and do what you really want.

During the months before you return to education or find success after an interview for employment, there are many opportunities available to students to help increase the probabilities of their achievements.

Choosing to study during the summer period may help you get ahead in your future education or provide skills that will benefit secure employment. Others will choose a range of vocational skills training to fill any gaps that may appear in their CV.

Working during the summer period, whether in fast-food or an internship related to work you wish to complete in the future, will provide you with possible finances and definite experience to help make life more bearable.

A plan will help all students prepare for their future whether they are heading for self-employment, a job for life or further education. Whatever puts you in control will help you over the longer term.
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Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to srosenberg@axcelfinance.com

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