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How fresh graduates can thrive in labour market – Experts

Mayowa Babalola, an associate professor at Nazabayuv University, Kazakhstan said that it takes more than degrees for graduate students to develop sustainable income generation skills that will get them good jobs.

Babalola speaking on a topic, ‘value expertise..’ at Crawford University Alumni UK inaugural congress held recently, said students should develop skills but must ensure they have the positive attitudes to work which is key to thriving in the labour market.

In the face of rising unemployment in Nigeria, Babalola decried the manner many fresh employees fail to cope in the labour market. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the unemployment rate in Nigeria rose from 27.1 percent to 33.3 percent from December to March 2021.

The NBS explained that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose to 23.19 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 on the back of job losses caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and its stifling impact on businesses during the period.

The Q4 unemployment rate report titled: ‘Labour Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report’, showed that the number is 6.5 percent higher compared to 21.77 million.

Experts believe that thriving in a workplace in a time like this requires more than having intellect quotient skills for the job.

Efriye Bribena, the chief executive officer of TAMIEF Limited said many fresh graduates and employees, in general, lose out most times in their workplaces due to their wrong attitude to work.

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“Skills with the wrong attitude are a liability, but if someone has the right attitude without measurable skills, if he or she is teachable, then he or she can be groomed,” he said.

According to a human resource expert, “No matter how you want to look at it, employers are looking for job candidates who fulfill these three major conditions: you can do the job, will do the job, and will fit in.”

Chinyere Amadi, human resources personnel disclosed to BusinessDay that both skill and attitude are needed in workplaces but if one has skill without a positive attitude to operate, the firm might not be able to maximise his skill.

Furthermore, Amadi explained that employers value employees who come to work on time and take responsibility for their actions and behaviours. Besides, employers know that dependable and responsible employees value their job, and their performance level.

“Being able to do the work is as expedient as having the emotional strength to do it and do it well. Can you do the job? It is not only about the technical skills that can be ascertained from your résumé, it is also about leadership, interpersonal skills, and other transferable and personality skills,” she said.

Franklin Eleanya, a social affairs analyst believes both skills and attitude is of the essence in a workplace.

“I do not think there is any company that will trade one for the other. Both are essential for the sake of productivity and efficiency,” he said.

Eleanya further buttressed that if one has skills and does not have the right attitude to deploy those skills, it becomes a waste.

According to him, “You also need attitude and skill to excel in the workplace. So why settle for one, if you can get it all.”

Experts say about 40 percent of senior executives leave organizations or are fired or pushed out within 18 months. And that it is not because they are not skillful; rather, because a lot of times culturally they may not fit in with the organization or it is not clearly articulated to them as they joined.

While the characteristics for employee success can vary somewhat depending on the job requirements, some attributes are critical for employee success in the labour market. Workers need to possess a few key qualities to function effectively in the workplace — indeed, to get hired in the first place in some cases.

Workers need to possess a few key qualities to function effectively in the workplace — indeed, to get hired in the first place in some cases.

Ability to be a team player, sound judgment, communication skills, excellent work ethic, and etiquette.

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