It’s Party Time In The Jobs Market For Students And First Time Job Seekers
Things have changed enormously in the jobs market over the last two (2) years, resulting in wonderful opportunities for students and first time job seekers.
In 2020, many young adults were anxiously trying to figure out whether and how they would find a job after their studies.
Data on the thinking of NSW students highlighted that this was one of their two major anxieties.
Now, notwithstanding that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, there is hardly an industry sector that isn’t screaming out that they can’t hire enough employees. And this applies across professional, trades, skilled and unskilled jobs.
Employers in most trades, construction, mining, agribusiness, healthcare, social work, retail, hospitality, information technology (IT), transport and professional services (accounting, consulting etc) are all saying that their businesses are handicapped by not being able to hire the people they need.
This landscape is presenting great opportunities for most young adults and it’s time to cash in. We suspect that most students and first time job seekers will place themselves in one of the following four (4) boxes.
Which One Is You?
|1. I don’t know what job(s) I want to do and have no qualifications.||3. I know what job(s) I want to do but don’t have the required qualifications.|
|2. I have some qualifications but don’t know what job(s) I want to do.||4. I know what job(s) I want to do and I have or can get the required qualifications.|
What does your box mean for you in the current job market?
1. If you don’t know what job you want to do and have no qualifications
- There’s a job out there if you want one.
- Think sectors like hospitality, retail, construction, transport and logistics and agribusiness.
- Pick a job and industry which fits what you are good at and like doing the most; and start applying. It may not take long for you to get a job.
- Work out whether it’s worthwhile staying at school or university or if you would be better getting into the workforce or taking an apprenticeship now when opportunities exist.
- You can also decide when you are working whether you want to do some study at TAFE or take up an apprenticeship.
2. I have some qualifications but don’t know what job(s) I want to do
- If you are degree or TAFE qualified, there is a strong chance that you can get a job in the field(s) you are qualified for.
- But if you don’t know whether you want to work in this field and can show that you are employable, more employers than in the past will likely now give you a chance at a job in another field….especially as you have demonstrated that you can apply yourself to get some qualifications.
- Figure out what you are good at and like doing most, and select some jobs which could suit you. You can use databases such as the CareerHQ and MyFuture databases to explore different jobs; and tools such as the CareerHQ Compass if you need some assistance to work out Who am I? and what am I suited to?
- Armed with a knowledge of what you want to do and why, you can be confident in the current market that employers will likely give you a chance to pursue your chosen job(s).
3. I know what job(s) I want to do but don’t have the required qualifications
- You are fortunate that you know what you want to do so don’t fret and give up on pursuing your preferred job options(s).
- This is a favourable time to chase the jobs that suit you best, even if you need to get some trade or professional qualifications.
- This also applies if you have obtained TAFE or university qualifications to suit one career but you now prefer a different career.
- If you are one of those people who are thinking that you should change your career or study path from accounting to a carpenter; from a lawyer to a farmer; from a “sparkie” to an IT and data technician; from a driver to a diesel mechanic, from a plumber to a teacher, then now is the time to stop thinking and start doing.
- If you are wanting to pursue a trade, there are heaps of apprenticeship opportunities available and employers can tap into government support schemes to help them support you to qualify.
- The time is right for you to follow your heart and do what will interest you most, and the dollars would look after themselves.
4. I know what job I want to do and have or can get the required qualifications
- Well done, good luck and enjoy what should be a fortunate next step for most people.
- If you are degree, TAFE or apprenticeship qualified, there is a much stronger chance now that you can get a job in your preferred field if you present as an employable person.
- And if for some reason there is a shortage of job opportunities in your preferred field, more employers than 2-3 years ago are likely to now give you a chance in another field.
Implications for Students, Careers Advisers and Parents
- The ‘new landscape’ involves some challenges for parents, career advisers and teachers, and some thinking by students themselves.
- Should a student remain at school just to complete Year 12 and get a finishing certificate if they aren’t enjoying school?
- We think probably not if the student could get a job or trade that suits their skills and interests, and would give them a purpose and direction in their youth and early career years.
- Should a student be encouraged to go to university because “it’s the best thing for their future” and “better jobs and pay exist for degree qualified people”?
- We think probably not. And several career advisers each year tell us that they see students going off to university who would be better suited to vocational careers and/or TAFE study/apprenticeships.
- Should a student be permitted and/or encouraged to change their selected subjects if they can offer a good reason to do so?
- We think so, especially if the new subjects are consistent with the student’s strengths and interests. Research also suggests that they are more likely to finish their course and get better grades if they are studying subjects which suit their strengths and interests.
(I) The jobs market in 2022 is a land of opportunity.
(II) This creates strong opportunities for young adults if you can either decide what job you want to do or if just getting started in employment helps you to learn what you want to do for a career. Practising good work habits – reliability, trustworthy and getting a job done well – will make you employable beyond your starting job.
(III) Just as it’s a favourable time for students to have open minds, and to be bold enough to back themselves, it’s also a time for all of us who offer advice and assistance to also have open minds. This includes encouraging students and early career seekers to use the current land of opportunity to pursue jobs when they are ready to do so.