It is a known fact that more people are having a tough time finding a job that suits their skill sets; especially as the nature of the jobs is constantly changing to meet the agile needs of customers. As Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher once said, change is the only constant. But in today’s world, it is happening at a faster rate than say, fifty, or even twenty years ago. The solution? Agility.
Successful agility is best expressed by the acronym ADAPT: Awareness, Desire, Ability, Promote, and Transfer. By keeping customers’ needs in mind and making changes according to their feedback, successful companies not only deliver value to the customer but also ensure that the final product or service is truly according to their customers’ real-time requirements. More importantly, go-to-market time for products or services reaching the customers also gets shortened.
Now, let us discuss the value of agility with fresh graduates and how this trait is highly sought after today by employers.
For fresh graduates who have had to spend the last two years attending online classes, it has become evident that a lot of employers are not getting what they seeking. As a result, quite a large number of fresh graduates are finding it challenging to enter the labor market, especially if they are looking to join sectors that are feeling the worst effects from the pandemic; and this is not a problem specific to Malaysia.
The discussion is what can fresh graduates do to enhance their employability? Allow me to share several pointers which I hope will be of value to all freshies out there!
1. Brush up on your English!
According to the president of Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), Syed Hussain Syed Husman in an interview with Free Malaysia Today, those with a good command of the language receive better starting salaries, faster progression, global postings, and assignments. Learning English does not need to be through formal means. Watch movies, listen to songs in English, practice speaking, and have fun while you perfect your English!
2. Be flexible and adaptable
Adaptability has long become a much sought-after skill, even before COVID. Work has become so fast-paced, with new challenges thrown every now and then that an employee who is able to adapt with ease would be an asset to an organization. There is no straightforward way to enhance your adaptability – ask questions, be willing to learn, make mistakes and own up to it, and you will be able to boss through any situation.
3. Boost your interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills refer to the ability in facilitating effective interaction and communication with others, in both verbal and nonverbal ways. It enables you to be a valued team player – an integral part of many organizations and requires confidence, empathy, and communication skills, all of which could be built up if you would just step out of your comfort zone.
4. Teamwork makes the dream work
Some people think that they function best as a lone ranger, but when you work in an organization, more often than not, working with a team is necessary. After all, no one person can do everything under the sun! This is where your interpersonal skills come in, being able to work effectively in a team takes more than just agreeing and following orders. It is also about being able to voice out your thoughts and opinions in an effective manner.
5. Be tech-savvy (or savvier!)
Tech savviness is something that seems to come with everyone nowadays, with the rise of smartphones and accessibility to the internet. Do not stop there – try equipping yourselves with skills such as Photoshop or Illustrator (or the trusty old Canva), learn the ins and outs of social media – don’t stop at just being a user, try to understand the psyche of the users, be on top of recent trends, try to understand how the algorithm works and read the analytics (they’re more than just numbers!) – and you won’t regret it.
And there you have it, five areas that you can focus on if you are trying to enhance your employability and be the candidate that employers want. Move forward and seize your aspirations!