This blog reflects on life at work at comments on the latest news that shapes my 9-5 working day in a Corporate Communications consultancy.

About Me

I am a born and bred South African who has always loved to read and write. As a child my mother used to read to me and my siblings, from classics like the “Lord of the Rings” but later also from her own stories. She would write children’s stories and then use us as her test audience, but I loved to hear what she had written long after my siblings had tired of it. So I grew up in an environment of reading and writing, which inspired my love of these things. I hope to write a great book some day, and have learnt first hand the determination and will that it takes. My love of English inspired me to continue my study of it at university. I majored in Law and English in a BA degree at UCT where I found that I took to English much more than law. I enjoyed learning about South Africa’s history and the development of our liberal Constitution, which increasingly made me committed to the hope this country has for the future. Ideally, I’d like to find myself in a job where I am able to write; that allows a good mix of time spent with people and being able to work on my own.

Wednesday, 04 March 2009

Graduates naive about jobs

Advice to be realistic about job seeking from a recruitment agent should come in handy for any WoWers still out there are looking.

'Graduates naive about jobs'
Mar 04 2009 09:39 Joanita CilliƩ

Johannesburg - Graduates who are now entering the labour market, need rapidly to adjust their expectations because, in the current economic conditions, there are many obstacles to accessing the workplace.
Jan Coetzee, managing director of Manpower South Africa, says "Generation Y", who were born between the late 1970s and 2000, are entering the market with entirely different expectations from those of their predecessors. Much of these are unrealistic.
"They think a degree will ensure they get work. And I cannot say how many come to us looking for a monthly salary of at least R20 000, exorbitant benefits or a management position."
These individuals have, however, zero work experience and compete with an ever-expanding pool of jobseekers.
South Africa, he reckons, has till now been largely a candidate-driven market. When people with good skills sought work, agencies could quickly place them somewhere.
With many people losing their work as a result of retrenchment, and South Africans returning home from, especially, England, Australia and New Zealand, it is changing into an employer-driven market.
"It is also a reality that the market for permanent employment has shrunk significantly," Coetzee notes.
He comments that candidates with an honours or Master's degree struggle for months to get work and, sometimes, as soon as they get a job quickly lose it again because of the first-in-first-out principle; this can result in psychological scarring.
He advises candidates to first become more realistic about what they expect from a position.
Secondly, they might consider temporary work. Such jobs could become permanent in the future, and these candidates would then be more attractive because they would have gained valuable experience in different industries.