The advent of technology allowing connections to anywhere at anytime has had a significant impact on how we work. Many people are no longer content to tie themselves to one employer and prefer to sell their skills in the global marketplace to buyers with whom they perceive a connection or to those whose requirements match their skills.
Congratulations Class of 2014, you’ve just entered the real world! And while you may only be entering with one expensive piece of paper, “they” say you needed it to get the one thing you are looking for right now: your first job! Sure you face a few challenges, but Nabbesh is here to help with 14 ways to land your first job!
1. Ignore so-called conventional wisdom that says you need experience to get a job. We all started from zero at one point or another in our lives. Even the most successful people in the world started somewhere, and you can too.
2. You’re one of the most tech savvy generations in history. Turn that into $. That’s right, you can actually get paid to use technology and social media. For example, you could help a company grow their customer base or communicate through social media. Lucky for you, there is much demand for people with the tech skills you often take for granted.
3. Surf the net. Don’t just pound the pavement! While getting your first job requires hard work, the best way to do that is by using the internet to find either online or offline work.
4. No clue at what you want to do? Here’s a little secret, you aren’t the only one. Many people that have been working for years are still looking for what they want to do when they “grow-up.” Start with what you enjoy doing and don’t worry too much if you take the “wrong” job. It’s all part of the learning process.
5. Try writing about your job search. Believe it or not, blogging and writing is a serious profession. If you have the “write” stuff, you may find you can turn writing even about your job search into some cash.
6. Intern or volunteer to gain professional experience. If you’re willing to work in a company or for a start-up without being paid, and you prove yourself, you may be able to land your first job in a few months. Before you think interning is beneath you, remember that Microsoft founder Bill Gates started as an intern.
7. Ask for advice. Start with a few of your friends or family members that have been working for a few years at least. Ask them to sit down with you and to share what they did right or did wrong to find their first job.
8. Work for a start-up. At this point in your life you can probably afford to work at a startup, and you’ll gain a wealth of experience about running a business, even if your startup isn’t the next Google. If you think its too risky, remember that risk is simply what you have (no job) and what you have to lose (not much).
9. Be honest with yourself about what success means to you. To find a job you love, don’t forget success means different things to different people. Bill Cosby, the famous comedian once said, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
10. Work for yourself. What is it that you love to do on weekends? Maybe you can monetize that. If you love photography or digital design, you may be able to land freelance jobs in those areas or turn other hobbies into cash.
11. Happen to things. Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Don’t sit around and complain about the unemployment rates, make your first job happen by being proactive.
12. Be hungry and humble. Older generations complain about how your generation is much more entitled than previous generations. Fight this stereotype by being persistent, hard working, hungry and humble in your job search.
13. Diversification isn’t just good financial advice. In today’s world, a diversity of experiences is very important if you want to truly stand out. Maybe you studied engineering, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek a job outside of your major. Whatever you major in, you can work in another field which may give you a better perspective and insights into what your career “calling” is.
14. Passion over paychecks. Don’t just find a job, create a meaningful life whatever that means to you. Steve Jobs famously said, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Maybe you’re young, but work is going to consume so much of your life, so why waste a single moment?
Now go out there class of 2014 and get your first job! Get started by creating your profile at http://www.Nabbesh.com and search for freelance jobs today.
This blog post originally appeared in the World Bank’s Voices & Views: Middle East & North Africa on 3/28/14. The original post can be seen here: http://blogs.worldbank.org/arabvoices/new-technology-changes-the-working-day-mena
It’s no secret that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the entire world: nearly 30% according to the International Labour Organization. Over one in four young people have no viable means for economic prosperity, and sadly education is no guarantor of a job. Despite these bleak statistics, a recent survey commissioned by Qatar’s telecom giant, Orredoo, suggests that young people still have hope of a great future, fueled in large part by the innovations of the 21st century. The challenge is to innovate technology and alter our way of thinking about work to motivate MENA’s youth.
Technology Enabling Prosperity
This is a pivotal moment, one of tremendous historical and technological change, as well as overwhelming challenges for the region. The hope technology brings, however, is a potential game changer, both economically and for regional stability overall. The World Bank recently published a study highlighting the economic opportunities of accelerating high-speed internet access. The authors of this study note this region would look significantly different if more women and young people had access to high-speed internet. For while technology is only a means to a better life, and not an end in itself, using it effectively to further economic prosperity and job creation is critical.
What MENA’s Youth Want
A new report, “New Horizons: Young, Arab and Connected,” commissioned by Ooredoo, surveyed more than 10,500 young adults in 17 countries across the region, and found that 9 out of 10 young MENA citizens believed that Internet access could help them fulfill their hopes for a job. This study also found that for young people lucky enough to have jobs, 45% of them are not doing what they would like to do. While it might be easy to dismiss this, when considering the unemployment statistics, motivating youth effectively to contribute to the economic good of the region is important in gaining the most out of this region’s best assets: its young people full of hope and promise.
Redesigning Work: Beyond the Traditional 9-5
Perhaps it’s time this region takes a hard look at the way we work and redesign a path moving forward that takes into account both the emerging technologies and the way this current generation–which accounts for approximately one third of MENA’s population of about 340 million–views the world. A report by Aruba Networks on “Gen Mobile” found that half of the survey’s participants of youth aged between 18 and 35, work most efficiently outside of the traditional 9am-5pm working hours, and also want more flexible work. Harvard Business Review’s blog also discusses this emerging trend: the 20th century work schedule was not the first work schedule, nor will it be the last.
An Emerging Trend: Independent Work
Throughout the world, working independently and the concept of freelance work has become much more popular: it is estimated that within the next six years 40% of Americans will work independently. Deloitte recently conducted a survey of Millennials, a term used to refer to people born from the early 1980s to around the 2000s, which found that 70% of Millennials want to work independently. A new way of work that taps into the technology this generation has grown up with, and gives a sense of autonomy, which behavioral economists deem important, could give this generation in the MENA region a better sense of self-determination and overall wellbeing. Although there is currently an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of independent work, research suggest that when people are given autonomy, health and wellbeing improve.1
Although the idea of independent work is still a relatively new concept for the modern Middle East, a peer-to-peer economy is as old as the Silk Road: merchants directly exchanging goods and services. Today’s roads are now virtual, driven in large part by the Internet. In a world where technology continues to change almost every aspect of our lives, it is now contributing towards a more hopeful future for this region’s youth. The challenge is to re-imagine and rewire ourselves for 21st century work not based upon an outdated construct from a past era, but rather one that taps into what some economists recognize as basic human motivation.
1 Valery Chirkov, Richard M. Ryan, Youngmee Kim, and Ulas Kaplan, “Differentiating Autonomy from Individualism and Independence: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Internalization of Cultural Orientations and Well-Being,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 ( January 2003); Joe Devine, Laura Camfield, and Ian Gough, “Autonomy or Dependence—or Both?: Perspectives from Bangladesh,” Journal of Happiness Studies 9, no. 1 ( January 2008).