So you have completed school, what next is the question that should arise in your mind. There are two types of graduates: the ones that wait for employment and those that go out and create their own future, and the mixture of the two. Learn how to start your career after graduation.
Today we are going to explore strategies and tactics to create your career without waiting several years for employment. Yes, you’re going out there to create your career, future and destiny. In fact those who take their destinies into their hands will certainly excel. Nature will always reward hustlers and there is always a way for the fighters.
Strategies to get started after graduation
There are three broad strategies you can adapt to self-start your career. None of these require money or some special connections but just your determination to start. The three are:
Volunteering is an act of giving your time, energy and labor to work on projects to benefit other people in your community. There are lots of volunteer organizations out there. And to start in volunteering on your own is possible. You can create your own volunteer initiatives. It only requires some imagination, grit and you will get it done.
One of the greatest things that benefitted me and I can’t quantify it’s benefit is volunteering. After university and waiting to find a job I decided to volunteer as an HIV/AIDS campaigner. To realize my aim I wrote a proposal to the Ministry of Health and asked for resources not money and I got positive responses with offers for educational materials, motorbike (which was not given to me but they gave me a rider to take me around). I went into schools, villages and radio stations to educate people with free airtime given to me. I only had to read and educate myself on the subject. Later in life when I applied for a scholarship and put that in my application and it was a winner for me. I got a scholarship as a Chevening Scholar all expenses paid.
Where you can volunteer?
You can volunteer in a group or individually like I said.
There are several places you can volunteer in your locality:
- Teaching in your community
- Volunteering for an orphanage
- Volunteering to build infrastructure
- Volunteer for NGOs
- Volunteering for a church or a mosque or some spiritual course.
- Share volunteer ideas with local authorities and government agencies on mutual topics e.g. cleanups, tree planning and community education on development issues etc..
Depending on your qualifications you can apply for an internship or work as an apprentice or ask a local business or organization for work to gain experience and exposure. Most people if you ask for a place and you are persistent will offer you one. Just keep trying even if you are rejected by some don’t give up and keep moving till you get a place.
Internships are harder to get, and they are more competitive but there is a way around it. Just ask several organizations that you will want to work with them for experience and exposure.
You can take up an apprenticeship for a business to sharpen your skills. It is not only reserved to the technical and vocational education students but those from the social sciences and other professionals can ask for apprenticeship and mentorship from far more experienced people. For instance, you can ask for apprenticeship to understand proposal writing, web designing, geology, architecture/draughtsmanship or a wherever your expertise is.
Entrepreneurship and Business
The best time to start an entrepreneurial career is when you have just graduated. The next question people ask is, but I have no money to go into business. You don’t need money to get into business but good ideas that are really opportunities with a market. And they are a lot around you. There is too much money waiting for the right opportunities to fund.
With the right ideas, start off and look in all the possible directions for the right team, money and opportunities to realize your entrepreneurial dreams. You can look to borrow from your family or friends to start off, venture capital, offer equity to investors to join in the enterprise etc.
Opportunities you can benefit in your entrepreneurship drive are:
- Incubators & Accelerators in Ghana
- Ghana national Entrepreneurship and Investment Program
- National Board for Small Scale Industries and the business advisory center in your locality
- Venture Capital for Africa
Tactics to get started after graduation
To get started right after graduation from school you can apply the following tactics.
- Offer to work without pay
- Build networks to start a business
- Write Proposals/concept notes for your ideas
Offer to work without pay
Many short-sighted people do not see this as an option and are too focused on the money. As a result, they don’t build any experience and in the process are less competitive. Offer several organizations your time, expertise, energy and services for free. Most often you end up being compensated anyway and better still when opportunities arise you will be the first to be considered. Add this tactic to your arsenal.
Build networks to start a business
In the field of entrepreneurship don’t be the greedy type that wants to go it alone or think your idea should not be shared with anyone or they will steal it. You should rather be out there trying to make your business idea work. Look for co-founders and network with other businesses, create partnerships and let your business grow to the next level. Networking with people lets you leverage their strengths and talents.
Write Proposals/concept notes for your ideas
Put your idea on paper, it is the first step to realizing your goals. To work for others, you will have to do that by writing letters and if it’s a business idea be it for profit or nonprofit you will need to develop business plans and proposals. Develop proposals and seek out all the connections, people and organizations that can help you realize your goals.
The most important thing in jumpstarting your career and all that I am trying to emphasize is that you must be a self-starter and go getter to get the right start in life. Remember the way to the top of your career path has a broken-down elevator but you can take the stairs and start climbing. You will lot have it easy sailing but with determination you will get to the top. All you need is the right goal, inner grit and resilience to whether the storms, disappointments and forge ahead with unshakeable determination.
I hope someone out there gets fired up to start right away. If you are leave a comment below.