Say goodbye to post-graduation job search anxiety
With graduation looming, many students despair when considering their job prospects. Ahmed, a recent Re:Coded grad, shares his advice on how to beat it for good.
min read //
January 9, 2023
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Connections, connections, connections. To land your first job, you'll probably get a lot of advice about leveraging your contacts, especially if you live in Kurdistan. You've probably heard it before: "It's all about who you know."
Ahmed, however, believes that there's another way.
"We all know that if you want to stand out, your university degree is not enough anymore," Ahmed said, reflecting on many of his stressed university peers struggling to find employment in Kurdistan.
"Companies here, they already have a high standard for accepting employees," Ahmed explained, "So when you are a student, who only relies on the hard skills that you get from university, and you want to stand out in that market, and you won't have a lot of opportunities."
Working hard to stand out
As a current university student, Ahmed looked beyond his graduation date with apprehension.
"The thing with university is even the curriculum we're studying right now is very old." Ahmed explained, echoing the concerns of many students looking to build viable skills for the job market, "So you need to go off the university curriculum always and get knowledge yourself."
Ahmed himself was particularly frustrated by his university course. He even tried a little coding but quickly realized it wasn't for him.
"When I joined university, I had hoped to design or implement things through which I can benefit my community. And I couldn't do that with coding."
Fortunately, in 2022, Ahmed saw a Facebook ad for Re:Coded's UX/UI bootcamp. Immediately, he started researching the foundations of UX/UI and decided that this might be the route to helping him build valuable skills. Additionally, he understood that UX/UI would help him reach his overarching goal of working for his community.
Ahmed applied immediately and was accepted into the 2022/2023 UX/UI cohort only a few weeks later.
An in-demand skill
With one ad, Ahmed stumbled across an in-demand skill. And one that he could learn with no prior experience.
"It's very necessary for a community like Iraq, which is still developing." Ahmed summarized the changing landscape of new startups and scaleups in Iraq, all vying for Iraqis' attention and customer loyalty.
According to Ahmed, good UX/UI may prove crucial to their success (or failure). And it's also a skill that Ahmed can add to his CV when he hits the job market after graduation.
You're never stuck
After graduation, Ahmed plans on helping others who are stuck in their degrees find their way, just like he did.
"I want to focus on and create the foundations we lacked as students. They just think that we need to graduate, we need to have a university degree, and that's enough to get us a job. Even if you don't like your major, you are stuck with what you choose as a degree."
"And that's not true at all." Ahmed reassures, "You can do many different things as a student by taking training or joining bootcamps like Re:Coded, and you can find your passion outside the university. You can have a degree, but you can work as anything you set your mind to."
"Skills can be better than your network," Ahmed reminds us.
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