Why certificate is not enough

Education is the key was the mantra until the lock was changed. The euphoria of graduation soon fades when the certificate is hanging in the house with no job. Now, things are different with the daily increase in the number of graduates but fewer jobs to feed the labour market. Gradually, it is requiring more than a good certificate to land a promising job.

Having recruited and trained talents for organizations and recommended people for job openings, there are basics skills that must be acquired to support any certificate that will count in the job market today. Before I delve into the supporting skills that will serve the labour market, I will recount my experience in my first job, post-graduation. It was at a vocational school that offered Hotel and Catering Mgt., Fashion Designing, Computer studies and maintenance, and Event Management courses. The experience acquired there taught me that for a nation to have a stable economy, there must be a balanced education which includes vocational leanings. There is a shift from white collar jobs to blue collar jobs. Hands on skills is needed to support any certificate acquired.

After many years on my job in the public sector, with every annual leave spent traveling for speaking engagements. Suddenly an old dream of learning website design resurfaced. I left my office to the ICT unit of the neighboring organization. With a call, I got a teacher and soon became a web developer. That training has helped many others I volunteered to train. That experience has shown me that certificate must be matched with skills to make a decent living or change jobs with the reality on ground.

There are multiple soft and hard skills that could be learnt before, during or post-graduation depending on the individual in question. Soft skills like critical thinking, communication skills, emotional intelligence, leadership traits and analytical skills are all needed in the workplace now. It behooves on applicants to spend quality time developing these skills through learning, apprenticeship or volunteering. They can sell you faster than your certificate. While hard skills would include writing, public speaking, graphics design, web development, and sundry skills you can do with your hands.

Finally, learn the art of service. Read my post on the 5 benefits of service. We seems to be having a generation that has no regard for serving. There are many opportunities to serve from volunteering to internship to community service. Each of these service routes can lead you to a promising job. I recall the story of a lady who took to serving tea as an office assistant simply because she had no job, yet she needed a place to gain experience. In no distant time, some people resigned from the organization and that paved way for her to apply and got employed. If you are too big to serve, you are too be small to be employed. Work is about service.