Contributed by Nicholine Akou

Graduating from the University is an exciting forum for students who have worked hardest to obtain that degree and catch a career. It is the dream of every student to leave school and obtain a job in their field of studies but recent graduates have to understand that things don’t just happen the way they have planned and there is a bigger race they need to run from the day they obtain that degree into the job market. Perhaps, they are already battling with so many ideas if they will actually be fit for any jobs, for females, society will put pressure on them to get married and a lot more. Looking at the country Cameroon, there is a lot that needs to be done by recent graduates to be able to make a living. They have to start somewhere so, below are few career tips for recent university graduates.

Drop applications: Immediately you graduate from the university, do not hesitate to drop applications. Apply for jobs until the day you are employed to a job you are comfortable with. It is true that you might drop about fifty applications and you are not called up for an interview in any of those. That should not stop you, keep applying and equally being patient while waiting to have something doing. Therefore you should be alert to opportunities available around you.

Volunteerism: Offering voluntary services to your communities is very important. You should not feel it is a waste of time to render free services to your community. Feasibly, you don’t know whether  that might be an opportunity for you to gain experience in your field or even a new field of studies. It might also be another way of creating networking or gaining ideas that can enable you to set up your own enterprise. So, volunteerism is very important to all recent graduates.

Apply for scholarship: Apply for scholarships as many as you can for those that are interested in furthering their studies. It will be an interesting thing for you to be working and fostering your studies too. It’s possible your first job might not actually be what you wanted to become but take it as a challenge to climb the ladder to where your heart yearns for. Thus, you should be prepared to meet up to the criteria of the scholarships because most require you to have obtained a degree, have some work experience, render some voluntary services to your community and more. So, be prepared.

Do not minimize your job and income: This point is very vital to recent university graduates. Many have already set a standard to the type of jobs they want to do and the amount of income they want to earn. Perhaps, they have admired some people at those positions and they have equally heard about their incomes too. You have to be aware that those people started from somewhere and they were once a recent graduate like you before they got to the top. You can even beg them to share some of their stories and I bet you, you will hear atrocious jobs they have picked up before they are where they are now. Therefore, start with any job regardless of the salary while hoping to have a better one.

Be ready to learn: You should be ready to learn as you move into the job market. This is because you are going to meet different people with different mentalities and from different backgrounds. You should learn from the people you encounter or you should be challenged to do better in every aspect of your life. You just have to be open minded and at the end, you will certainly be happy with yourself and the achievements you will make.

The few points mentioned above are what I call an eye opener into to the real world. Try to apply those points immediately you take off your robe and see where it will land you. I was also in that same position where you are now and it took me time to accept the reality that, life is not as simple as I thought, so stay focus as you embark on your career journey.

                                                                   Edited by Emiliene Alemkeng

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