A Millennial’s Cry to All Fresh Grads (and How to Get Unstuck)

CONTEXT: I’m a 24 year old law grad who graduated officially last November (convocation and all). Gotten a job offer by last September and landed my job of choice at iPrice by last October.

With all the recent barrage of media outlets covering the “unrealistic expectations” of fresh grads in Malaysia, I can’t help but to provide my two cents on the matter.

They frequently cited 5 reasons most fresh grads remained unemployed:

  1. Unrealistic salaries
  2. Poor attitude
  3. Choosy about job or company
  4. Lack of English proficiency
  5. Poor communication skills

Let’s start with salaries –

Referring to an employers survey conducted by JobStreet in 2016, it was report that 60% of fresh graduates expect a starting salary of RM3,500 while another 30% wanted RM6,500 to fund their lifestyle.

I personally think that RM3,500 a month isn’t an unreasonable ask given the rate of inflation we are experiencing. But please don’t go around thinking it’s a given when the average salary of most entry level positions are around RM2,500.

That said, kudos to the ones who are asking for RM6,500 for their ambition to think big.

But there is one HUGE thing to consider if you are one of them:

  • How much value are you creating for the company?

You must understand that from the standpoint of business, the boss will be more than happy to pay you RM10,000 a month if you can provide returns of RM100,000. In fact, they will approach you if you are that good.

Learn to give more value than you receive in payment

Poor attitudes –

Our mindsets determine our outlook on life.

I have no rant for this but just pure empathy.

Empathy for those who have yet to see what they are truly capable of.

I was no private school child. I went through all the Kebangsaan schools like everyone else did and I was never taught the power of the growth mindset until I started my path in reading book almost every week.

I was obsessed with the ones who are successful. I watch Gary Vee everyday, read Seth Godin’s books, had my Instagram plastered with fancy quotes and sportscars.

(This all happened after my finals, mind you.)

This entire journey changed how I saw the world. With that mindset, I went in for my job interview and got my job of choice 2 months before officially graduating.

My recommendation is to read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.

Tom Bilyeu, the American entrepreneur best known as a co-founder of Quest Nutrition, the second fastest growing private company in North America described the book as “the single most important book ever written in the English language.”

Tony Robbins, when asked which books he has gifted the most on the Tim Ferriss podcast, said this book was one of them.

Here’s a video to get your feet wet:

Choosiness –

What’s wrong with that?

When you have choices, you should choose right?

But please, don’t sabotage yourself because of ego.

There is never a job that’s beneath you, only jobs that limit your potential.

Lousy English –

I can take on two stances on this:

  1. The school system is to blame for not putting emphasis on English
  2. You are to blame for not realizing it was important early on in the first place.

I prefer to take the second stance. But that isn’t fair to those who genuinely came from backgrounds that were very non-English.

If you have difficulty in English now, start learning.

There is no excuse. None.

Can’t communicate –

When we are trained to write more than we are to speak, our speaking will generally be worse off than our writing – for sure.

How to learn? Speak more in low risk situations.

Do it with family friends or close friends to begin with and then slowly move to colleagues and acquaintances.

You got to start somewhere if you want to get to some place.

CONCLUSION

Finding a job is easy. Any job I mean.

To get the job you want is the challenging bit.

The greatest lesson I have learnt since graduating and working on my career is to the virtue of being patient.

We millennials lack it tremendously.

There are times you would think to yourself that your employer is paying you oh so little in the beginning and you are not getting the perks you deserve.

But as long as you practice these two things, you would be alright:

  1. Always do what’s right (even if it doesn’t feel like its worth the effort right now)
  2. Be patient.

Don’t believe me? Ask your seniors.

 

This post first appeared on LinkedIn.

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