So much emphasis is usually placed on academic performance in today’s world such that virtually every student is obsessed with the class of degree he or she will leave the University with. Those with the sought-after first class and second class honours are envied as though they’ve arrived. In as much as it is good to make good grades in school but the fact is that academic performance is not always directly proportional to work performance or to put it in a clearer way, the ability to work satisfactorily is not absolutely a function of one’s academic result.
It is true that in such a highly competitive labour market like ours today, a greater percentage of employers use so many criteria to sift the explosive population of applicants, of which the class of degree is a major one. However, this is not a reason to put fear into the hearts of those who have already graduated with second class lower degrees or even a third class that they will remain unemployed for life. Employers are beginning to understand the big gap that exists between academic performance and job performance and are now employing other strategies through which they get to find out what an individual can actually offer if given an opportunity. This is now practiced in such a way that every graduate today, not minding his or her class of degree have almost the same story to tell of the horrors of endless job search.
Therefore, are you out there with a poor result, stop killing yourself, there are great and amazing opportunities awaiting you. All you need to do is to play your own part, and that’s what am bent on letting you know about in this article. Savour it…
1. Change Your Mindset – Forget the 2.2 Stigma
The first step you have to take is to change the way you think. Throw away the long-standing belief that one cannot make it or that one is a failure with a 2.2. You should do that because there are so many things that can influence your academic performance negatively which you may not have helped while in school. Researches have also shown that the method of evaluation employed in schools today is not even the best way to determine one’s intelligence and abilities. Stop tagging yourself a failure. Don’t forget Carol Voderman’s words – ‘Attainment does not equate potential’.
2. Discover Your Skills and Improve on them
Its time for you to pause and ask yourself questions. Who are you and what do you think you can do? Find out the things you love doing, the type of challenges you can handle if you have the opportunity. This includes even your hobbies and other extra curricular activities. What jobs do you think you can do if you are not limited by class of degree. Make sure you work on yourself and become capable because the truth is that you are more than your degree, and you are not necessarily your degree. It’s very possible to get a job with a top graduate recruiter with a 2:2. It may require more time and research, and thinking more carefully about what your unique attributes are. But make sure that you can count on the ones you have. Then, emphasize on them while applying for jobs.
3. Work on Your Self Confidence (Communication Skills)
You know what? Most of the times, what actually makes you a failure is not that result but losing your self-confidence! Rise up from your gloom and be positive. Polish your oral and written communication skills. This is very important because if you have excellent oral and written communication skills, that’s only when you will be able to sell yourself in a way that can convince an employer about what you can offer. Just as I said earlier, what an employer is looking out for is what you can offer and not what your school result is saying. With a good communication abilities, you can even defy the limiting criteria of class of degree, sell your abilities in such an amazing manner and you see yourself being picked even in the midst of first class holders.
4. Acquire New Skills, Professional Certifications or Higher Degrees
Upgrade your skills and qualifications by going for skill acquisitions, trainee programmes, professional courses or by furthering your education. Any or all of these will definitely put you in a better position than your counterparts. You have to consider the one that is most advantageous depending on your career. You also have to consider the duration of acquisition, as well as the cost. Do not fold your arms, wasting your time and hoping that all will be well.
5. Gain Work Experience in Smaller Companies
Nobody loves to be told to manage but you have to remember that you can only rise from that so-called disadvantaged position by making extra efforts. Some industries place a higher value on work experience in the sector, rather than choosing applicants based on their degree classifications. Many big companies make provision for 2.2 graduates with significant work experience. Why small companies are suggested is because they are the ones with lower demands when it come to both requirements and applicants. You can use the opportunity to work on yourself and prepare for the big job.