Will Coronavirus Help Redefine A Graduates Career Path?
As a graduate it is perhaps inevitable that negativity is the default response to coronavirus, and its damaging impact on opportunities, when set against the traditional expectations of Generation Z that student life will move seamlessly into a chosen profession and a gradual erosion of debt.
Yet as with all “disasters” there will be fall out that will redefine the way we think and act moving forward. With graduates there will probably be a need to re-calibrate their immediate career aspirations. The perfect opportunity may need to be deferred and instead a job never previously contemplated may become a short-term financial imperative. Will this be detrimental to the prospective employer’s perception of the graduate though? The answer is hopefully no as in these straitened times any work experience should be deemed good experience when flexibility and an inherent “survival instinct” are vital ingredients for a more grounded and balanced individual
From a graduate’s perspective there’s an argument that performing a job that might previously have never been considered or may even have been viewed beneath their intellectual abilities will help develop emotional intelligence and provide a degree of humility and life experience that they may otherwise have missed out on.
Arrogance has no place in the emotional armoury of an effective and empathetic future manager. Instead it’s decisiveness informed by collective input, from a competent team, which is the characteristic that breeds confidence and it’s this inclusiveness that often stems from a balanced background not solely focussed on any pre-conceived notions of you, as an individual, being the one source of truth.
Employers ultimately are not looking for one dimensional characters; they want a more layered personality whose background will lend itself to the realities of a working world which often depends on adaptability and resilience rather than a belief that a plan will never deviate.
So quite possibly when the economy starts to re-generate and graduates belatedly start their ascent of the career ladder what we will hopefully find is that arising out of this necessity to find work and survive we will have inadvertently created a new norm of creative problem solvers who can draw on a more diverse employment CV to inform their decision making.