Goodbye Campus, Hello World
For years we have toiled in our academic pursuits, looking for the ultimate prize of success and fulfillment. We have built castles in the air about our future – a well-paying job, a nice home, a good car and a life full of fun. We love to visualize ourselves as CEOs, managers, presidents and bosses in large corporations that trade in the NSE. And never as the underdogs who dream about the corner office and never get it.
After all, we deserve to imagine a better future for ourselves; sleep deprived nights writing theses, reports, and assignments and studying for exams. For 16 years we have labored, surely how can we not dream? We only hope to reap the fruits of our sacrifices.
With only a few months to go, we are almost crossing the line that separates us from the rest of the world. We are often told that is not rosy on the other side, that we shall tarmac until the soles of our shoes are no more. You are an accomplished undergraduate with a degree from a reputable university, eager to make a difference in the world. You are armed with papers, walking from office to office, thinking that maybe the next will take you in. The first challenge that hits you on the face is an attractive vacancy tainted with a 3 year job experience. Experience, a job seeker’s worst phrase. What does a fresh mind straight from college do about a 3 year experience when no one is willing to take you without it? Isn’t that what training is for?
The second challenge is your image. Didn’t your lecturer teach you that image is everything kid? The immortal phrase, do not judge a book by its cover, sounds like crap in a judgemental world like ours. Why? For the simple reason that we are humans and we love to judge fellow men. Dress right if you want to be taken seriously. You are going for your first interview and you turn up dressed like a clown. Yes, you want to impress (who doesn’t?) but those skinny yellow pants won’t just cut it. Men and their skinny jeans, this is a fashion faux pas that should never have seen the light of day. Even if those coloured pants were your identity back in campus, let go. Unless you are being interviewed for the position of a comedian or a backup singer for Sauti Sol, kill that swag.
And now for the ladies, a short skirt is appealing especially if you have nice legs. But for the sake of making a good first impression, treat that short skirt in your closet like you treat an ex who won’t stop bugging you, ignore it. Wear something smart and length appropriate when going for an interview. Cleavages, we love to show them. Why? In a word: vanity. Vanity is man’s greatest disease. Forget cleavages for once and wear a decent blouse, the panel will appreciate your effort. Who wouldn’t if you are smart and confident?
Since image is everything, drop the cheap accent. That is for impressing insecure campus girls with low self-esteem. In the outside world, there are only corporate men and women trying so hard to earn more and retire early. In short, when going for a job interview, be you. Honesty can make you fly with the eagles and not the sparrows.
The job market is a hostile environment. Everybody wants to get in; it is petty, it is reckless and highly competitive. We are all expendable when it comes to competition. Today you have a job, tomorrow you don’t. It all depends on what you bring to the table. And so buckle up would-be graduates, outside a world awaits your invasion. Yeah, bring it on!