Challenges Covid Presents for New College Graduates
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
With COVID-19 having a massive impact on employment as a whole, new college graduates are facing a challenge that previous graduates have never faced for almost a century. The job market is not the same as it used to be, and the struggle to find a job is more significant now than ever.
In the search for employment, new college graduates have to compete not only with their fellow graduates but also with those who have been laid off from their jobs. And with a lot of people juggling multiple jobs at a time, the hunt for opportunities will continue to look challenging in the near future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light new demands for this generation’s fresh graduates. While the labor market of decades past prioritized hard skills over soft skills, today’s day and age can be more demanding on the latter, which includes flexibility, leadership, resilience, and determination.
In an age where the chances of landing one’s dream career right off the bat are pretty low, new college graduates seem to have more on their plates. It’s no longer enough to present technical skill sets to employers; if fresh graduates want to stand out and ultimately attain their long-term goals, they will have to prove to their employers and to themselves that they can survive and thrive throughout all of the uncertainties in today’s market.
In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the unique challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to today’s new college graduates.
New College Graduates Will Have to Accept Changes in the Early Stages
The first challenge that COVID presents for new college graduates is that they will probably need to make a slight pivot when it comes to their plans. Whatever their dream career is, it won’t be their first job straight out of college.
Opportunities are scarce in many industries, but at the same time, other job sectors are full of opportunities. These thriving industries may not be what 2021’s fresh graduates had in mind when they started going to school, which is why it’s essential to have flexibility coming out of the gates.
Landing a job that is far from your dream career may be anxiety-inducing, but careers are not linear anyway. In fact, only 25% of students end up in a job related to their major straight out of college. Upon graduation, students will have to learn to shift their expectations a little if they want to weather out the storms in today’s job market.
They Have to Keep Working Towards their Dreams, Anyway
If you are a new college graduate and you’re one of those who are working in a job far from what you’ve dreamed of, that’s okay. Another challenge that COVID is demanding of new graduates is resiliency.
You may be flexible enough to keep your off-tangent job and even do well in it, but your resiliency and determination will ultimately determine if you will still choose to keep working toward the career you have always dreamed of.
Previous generations may not have had it as tough as today’s college graduates. While working in an off-tangent job early on in one’s career is not exactly an uncommon occurrence, the employment scarcity brought about by COVID presents a roadblock in a new graduate’s plan to get back on track.
New college graduates should keep in mind that they are young and are just stepping into the world of real adulthood for the first time. At this stage, their whole life is practically ahead of them.
Their career journeys are solely their own, and there’s no use comparing their pace to someone else’s. With that in mind, new graduates should take it a little easier and instead focus on accumulating the necessary skills while making the necessary adjustments and pivots in their career journey.
New College Graduates Will Have to Use Design Thinking
Design thinking is a kind of problem-solving process that puts human needs and perspectives first. When tackling a problem, design thinking shifts the perspective from the goal itself to the human behind it.
With design thinking, college graduates will place the focus on themselves: what do they want to do more, and what do they want to do less? And will the available resources allow them to achieve these goals?
Instead of making fancy job titles and prestigious degrees a goal, they become a means to an end. It’s nothing more than a simple perspective shift, but it’s substantial enough to ultimately change the way these graduates approach the job market.
By adopting design thinking, new college graduates are better positioned to be more flexible and resilient since they’re no longer fixated on just one dream career, especially if they recognize that their current “off-tangent” job can still lead to the happiness and fulfillment that they seek.
Leadership Skills are in Demand More Than Ever
We’ve all heard the talks about the differences between leaders and followers, but in today’s job market, the demand for leaders — or at least, leadership skill sets — has skyrocketed.
This is especially the case for companies that are growing and expanding their reach. They need leaders who can step in and lead teams at a local level. Companies are probably already full of followers; being a leader or presenting oneself as a leader is an easy way to be distinguished from the pack.
At Future Csuite, we recognize that companies are looking for the best leaders to fill in the leadership gaps. This does not necessarily mean that these companies only want graduates from top universities. Instead, this means that they want people who know and can do what it takes to win.
If you’re a new college graduate and you’re a leader looking for a role, you can find a job here through Future Csuite. We recognize that being in a career that is the best fit for your skills is the biggest reward, so our main goal is to help you find the right role at the right company.