20 Jan A Letter to the Class of 2022
Dear School Leaver
There are a few things that your LO Lessons probably did not tell you about looking for a job after school, that I wanted to share with you.
- Your matric results do not definite how successful you will be in life.
You do not need your matric or a bachelors pass to succeed at life. A matric is definitely important, and congratulations if you passed it well. But if you did not get the marks you were hoping for, it is not the end of the world! Success and happiness in life is absolutely not determined by matric. Quentin Tarantino, Drew Barrymore, Sir Richard Branson, Jay-Z, George Foreman and Katy Perry all did not complete high school, and have all become a huge success.
- Are you procrastinating about finding a job, or are you just overwhelmed?
On the outside, it may look like you are putting off looking for a job, or procrastinating; but the reality is that looking for a job, at any point in your career, is overwhelming! Feeling like you should know what job you want, is tremendous pressure. And assuming that you should know how to start the process and who to contact, can simply be crippling. The trick is to brainstorm all the things you need to do, and then do just one item on the list every day. Once you start ticking off a few boxes, you will feel less stressed and more confident, and things naturally start to happen faster from there.
- The dreaded question, “What do you want to become?”
“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”
― Michelle Obama, Becoming
Very few people know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. And for those that do, statistically most of them will change careers 2-3 times in their lives. I cannot tell you how many people I have interviewed who hated accounts at school, and landed up in their dream job as an accountant. Or never did any exercise, and ended up a personal trainer.
Don’t over think it when you apply for jobs. Go for interviews and learn about different professions and industries. If it seems like something you could do, and you are offered the job, give it a try. It’s the only way you will figure out what you want, what you like, and what you dislike.
- All the jobs are on the job Portals.
You are not seriously looking for a job, until you have your CV on job portals such as PNet, Career Junction, Careers24 and IOL. The application forms can be a little time consuming to complete, but once they are uploaded, the job portals will do the work for you! They will make your CV available to numerous employment agencies and employers; and they will send you alerts whenever suitable positions become available.
- Please don’t say, “I don’t want a desk job!”
Work is not school. At school you sat behind a desk all day, listening to teachers and working, with no freedom to move around. You are out of school now, and you have no idea how a desk job differs to studying. How an office environment, differs to a business environment. If you don’t know what job you want, give it a try. You may just be pleasantly surprised!
- Dress for the job you want, and the way you want to be treated.
When you are applying for your first job, you don’t have a lot to offer on your CV in terms of work experience. What you do have to offer, is YOU! Make sure that the person you present- from the first email you send; phone call you personally make; professional presentation of your CV; your dress and presentation at the interview; your public social media feed; and how you shake hands- it all counts (adds up)!
- Check your social media feeds.
Future employers will check your Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram accounts. If you make your feed public, be confident that you WILL be judged on your posts. (And when you are waiting in reception for the interview, or starting your new job, put your cell phone away and on silent! There is no place for your personal social media at work!)
Looking for a job is a stats game. The more people you communicate with about looking for a job, the more employers will look at your CV; the more interviews you will get; and ultimately the more offers of employment you will get. Very few people get offered the first job they apply for. Don’t give up after your first try (or 50th). Keep at it. Your dream job is out there- you just have to keep looking! Good Luck!