When you ask the question “what can I do with this course when I graduate?”, what do you mean to say?
It is great to read courses that society currently knows will provide ready market for employment in the future. But do you realise you are a brand on your own terms? Have you heard “your qualification can get you the job but your attitude will helpretain it” yet?
The employment eco system all over the world keeps changing. This means that if you begin your studies with a do or die attitude of getting employment offers based on the courses you read in school, you might end up frustrating yourself.
There are not many unergraduate courses that train students in shea butter processing, batik tie and die, bread baking, wood and furniture works, make-up artistry, youtubing, blogging, fashion and digital marketing. You can add to the list in the comment section. But I know you know so many tertiary graduates creating employment and providing goods and services in these sectors.
Anytime I hear people ask, “what can I do with with this course when I graduate?”, I murmur to myself, “life takes time”. If you’re currently reading a course that does not promise you a ‘job’ after school, don’t worry yourself so much about getting an answer to the question. In my blogpost titled “Dear Freshman” I mentioned how I was mocked because of my undergraduate courses and how the story changed even before I completed my 5-year course.
It’s okay not to have a clear picture of the office you’ll occupy after you complete your tertiary course. You’ll end up worrying less if you focus on doing these while in school:
- Volunteer your skills and time with organizations that will help you grow.
- Sign up to join membership groups and attend conferences, seminars and workshops to build your social capital.
- Be open minded so that you don’t miss out on any opportunity to be creative, innovative or enterpreneurial.
- Use your skills to build your personal brand. For example, if you are a writer, get a personal blog or website where you can share all your works.
Now that the global pandemic has made digitization more real than ever, I hope I never get to hear you make statements like, “as for me, I’m not a fan of social media” or “these people like social media, I wonder what time they get to do ‘real work’. A lot of people make a living off the internet and you should allow them or perhaps you can join them cash in on some good money. Show up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and give value. You don’t need to stay active on all platforms. Choose one or two that works best for you and grow your personal brand from there.
- Get a physical or virtual mentor.
- Read autobiographies of renowned men and women.
- Be curious. Ask questions. Ask for help when you need it. This is one of the areas I’m still struggling in. If you’re like me, you might want to figure everything out on by yourself. But do you know you can avoid so many mistakes and grab a lot of opportunities just by asking a more experienced person for help? I think we can make good progress in this aspect if we put our minds to it. So let’s ask all go on and ask all the questions we want.
- Excel at your studies. Put great effort in your studies and you’ll stay proud of yourself forever if you do.
I feel you are less worried now. So the next time you hear the words “what can I do with this course when I graduate?”, Ask yourself how visible you are to the world and all the oportunities available. Then, remind yourself that life takes time.