Have you thought about the factors that affect your ability to get a job? Is the reason you can’t find work just because you have too little experience or is it all based on qualifications?

Let’s have a look at what affects your ability to find employment.

Numerous factors can affect work-seekers’ chances of getting hired. These factors range from your geographical location, your work experience skills, but also your professionalism (work behaviour). These are all important when recruiting suitable candidates. Great news though! There are alternative ways to help you close the gaps. Firstly, let us try to understand what employability factors are:

These look at the characteristics of a population such as age, gender, ethnicity, education level, income, years of experience, location, etc. These effect your ability to find work as where you live, what experience you have, what education certificates you have etc. all influence how an employer will see you. Some of these are fluid. You can change your education level and your location. Others are more fixed as you can’t change your age, for example.

Occupation specific requirements
These are specific competencies (qualification) required for an opportunity, which can be represented by a certificate or a license. Of course, if you want to become involved in plumbing, for example, you will need to go through the course work and internship before you receive the trade certificate that allows you to practice as a plumber.

Functional competencies
This describes the knowledge and/skills or abilities required to do a particular job task, duty or responsibilities. This is an area which you can definitely work on. You can work on upgrading your computer skills, learning how to use Microsoft Office, for example. This will benefit you if you are looking for work in a field that needs these skills. Other knowledge might be built up over time when working in a particular sector.

Behaviours for work
These are the ways a person acts or conducts themselves (especially towards others) which contributes to success in work (work ethics & professionalism). Even if you don’t have formal work, the way you conduct yourself when you are volunteering, for example, will have a big impact on the recommendation/reference you will get. All the basics of being punctual, being respectful, contributing to discussions, working well with a team, play an important role in finding future employment. For more on this, click here

For many of us, it can feel like the coronavirus has put the world on hold but there are ways to improve your chances of finding employment from home.

The benefits of an improved employability
• Whether you’re looking for a job in a new field or just wanting to upgrade your current skill set, taking an online course can help your CV get noticed. Not only does it give you new skills, it shows that you’re motivated and willing to do what it takes to better yourself and get the right job. Apply and market yourself and make yourself more employable at the same time is to learn new skills by taking part in free online courses.

There has been an upsurge in enrolments on online learning platforms such as edX, FutureLearn, Coursera, www.free.regenesys.net and www.alison.com. You can read more about MOOCs here. These platforms are free for certain courses, while some charge a fee for certification.

Besides making yourself employable, learning a new skill can give you a sense of control that will help cope with anxiety and uncertainty. See more information here.

Build your profile by taking on unpaid work
• Volunteering, or participating in community projects is not only about giving back to your community but you will also be acquiring some skills that will assist you in your job search. Think of offering your skills at your church, community centers, police service and many more.

Not only will this keep you busy, but it will give you a sense of achievement because making a difference in another person’s life is a great way to boost your morale. Notably, volunteerism can give you additional experience in your chosen field, and will increase your chances of being the perfect candidate for your dream job. See here for more on volunteering here.

So, what are you waiting for? Update your CV and add those volunteering experiences as work experience!

Build your online networking and personal brand
• While you are using your home time to work on your employability don’t forget to work on your online networking and build your personal brand. See more about this here.

Times are tough but there are ways of improving your ability to find work by using your time to improve your employability. If you sit at home doing nothing, you may become despondent and feel more hopeless than ever. Remember to connect with others, especially online, to build your networks but also to find the support and encouragement that you need as you go through this journey.

Thanks to the Harambee Team for content support.


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