Interesting to hear a snobbery emerging from the 16 to 24 year olds in the UK regarding taking up jobs considered beneath them, graduates with the attitude that they should be able to walk into a role which is in the field they have studied in or trained for. For me this also begs the question as to whether those with such attitudes have ever worked at all, a Saturday job or paper round were standard for myself and my peers when we were growing up. In fact by the time I had reached college age I was so experienced in waitressing that I was managing restaurants to fund the luxuries in my life such as car and mobile phone whilst studying full time.
It was these types of jobs, and believe me I have delivered pizzas, worked in factories, behind bars, and even stuffed compost into plant pots at the local nursery in my studying years, which really help to build you as an employable person for roles deemed more professional but also mould you and demonstrate to employers your ability to adapt to working environments.
Here are a few skills you will gain:
- Team work
- Following instructions
- Time keeping
- Complaints handling
- Customer service
- Commercial acumen
- Problem solving
- Cash handling
Now add these to your qualifications, and look how much more attractive a package you are presenting to potential employers. We all have to start somewhere; naturally all employers are a little hesitant to hand out employment contracts to those straight out of education, but those who have references and proven they can do what it takes to fund their lifestyles are naturally set ahead of those that have always been supported financially by others.
I have provided careers advice to people from all backgrounds, from graduates to Director level – the graduates I have always encouraged to take any job, if they have no experience. Ideally if you can go in at a low level role within a large organisation then you will have the scope to prove yourself and move up the career ladder, but gaining any work experience is valuable and integral to achieving your career goals. For those looking to get into project management, it is important to get your foot through the door then look to get involved in projects. This is often the case for most PM professionals, falling into the field by being asked to assist on projects in addition to your usual role. In a time of austerity, with a lot of competition for the sought-after roles you need to do everything you can to enhance your employability.