Getting a Job During the Financial Crisis
In this episode, Sam joins Anushka, a graduate from the University of Nottingham with a BEng in Chemical Engineering. We take a look at the challenges that students face when they graduate due to covid, such as the expectations versus reality, finding their first job, and what graduates can do to increase their chances of landing the job they want. Anushka also talked about the challenges she faced due to Brexit and how she overcame them, how to ride the wave of COVID and BREXIT. The pandemic is and was a good test to differentiate people who are proactive to create their own opportunities and those who choose to use it as an excuse to not upskill. With the rise of remote work, has getting jobs abroad become easier? How have people’s money habits changed because of it?
The impact of COVID-19 on graduate jobs.
Employment levels for those aged 16-24 and 65+ have unfortunately fallen by 9%, mainly due to COVID 19. “Lockdown has meant that graduates don’t even have a pool of temporary jobs to tap into because restaurants have to close up. On top of that, when you’re trying to actually apply for your dream job or what you graduated in, you’ve got a smaller pool of permanent jobs because people have become more efficient as a result of the pandemic since everything’s gone online.“
Anushka’s first job was from an internship she did at a company. She said she enjoyed it and wanted to work permanently with them. Her friend encouraged her to ask the manager directly. An idea Anushka liked but felt nervous about. Her friend reminded her that the worst that could happen was hearing ‘ no ‘. Anushka decided to send an email and she got the job. That is how Anushka landed her first permanent job in the UK.
“You need to learn to ask the question.” Anushka stated.
“You need to learn to ask the question. You need to be proactive too in terms of looking for opportunities out there and be versatile as well as adaptable. And I think these core skills hold you in any tumultuous time and most. “ Anushka also talked about the importance of being cognizant of your values. You recognize that’s a transferable skill that you can basically apply through different industries.
Anushka’s journey to financial management.
“I think the way I handled it was I always look at how much I’m making. I do a comparison on what I think my peers are doing, but I also look at how much I’m putting away and whether I am on a trajectory”
Anushka believes that when it comes to financial management, you don’t need to know everything to its finite degree, but you should be able to anticipate how a project is going to be, and understand what that risk or that opportunity is; knowing what to concentrate on as well as when to slow down is also key.
Applying to your dream job
If there was one thing Anushka would do differently, it would be spending more time on cover letters. She would just send as many applications as she could and hope that one would become a success. Anushka thinks that if she had put herself out there and became more visible, that may have helped the journey.
Choosing the right candidates
Many job vacancies look for years of experience, Anushka thinks the focus should be different. For example, what one has done during the lockdown period speaks volumes about a person. It doesn’t necessarily take a few years to show how graduates behave in the workspace, “I would want to have that conversation with that individual, because like you [Sam] said that the technical aspect is one fifth of the equation. Understanding candidates with new achievements during COVID will help filter those who are great. Asking them how have you done all of this in the past year? How did you find these opportunities? Are they people who are engaging when you want to have a conversation?
“A person like that 100% stands out and I’d give them a chance. “
Become the right candidate
Sam’s advice for young people would be to focus on having actionable skills. Forget the money for a second, what matters are the skills. The right skills will lead you to where you want to be.
Even if you can’t get an internship or role, just work on your own. You want to be a web developer and nobody’s hiring? You just create a web website, anything like a web calendar on your own and show it. Look, I’ve done that. I’ve learned how to do it by myself. You want to be a copywriter, just write articles, blog, publish it, and show that people like what you’re doing.
To check out more on the topic of becoming the right candidate and finding the right candidate, check out Anushka’s podcast here!