Uncategorized · March 12, 2015

3 Reasons why our Graduates aren’t employed

“What do you think, are the main reasons, why you aren’t employed yet?”

This was a question I posed to local university graduates on the first day of our Graduate Employability Training program in Malaysia.

Their main answers were

1. Weak English Language skills. Many interviews, even for government positions, are conducted in English.

2. Weak communication skills. Don’t know what to say in an interview.

3. Low self etseem. Not confident in speaking to the interviewer or answering the questions posed.

I can understand the rational for the first two reasons.

The standards of english in Malaysia has deteriorated due to lack of usage and exposure. In addition, “our friends laugh at us when we use English..” said the students. When they speak in English, they are deemed to be “putting on airs”.

Weak communication skills can be attributed to lack of preparation for interviews and a general inability to “put oneself in the others shoes”. From young, our youths are taught “confrontational communication”. We only see our point of view and hardly give a thought to what the other person is thinking or saying.

However, the last reason left me a bit stumped. Youths just out of university should generally be full of optimism and enthusiasm. They should be thinking that “the world is my oyster” and that they are capable of anything. Our higher learning institutions should be creating students who are ready to take on any challenge, who stubbornly believe in their success and who believe in themselves.

They are after all, our leaders of tomorrow.

Instead, our higher learning institutions are churning out students who are low on confidence, low in self belief and generally value themselves very lowly.

I don’t have the resources to identify and research the reasons why our institutions are doing this. Most likely, it is a side effect of the way teaching is carried out in our country. Fortunately, low self esteem is curable.

Through personal coaching and just talking and listening to the students about their challenges, their self esteem can be boosted.

And so it was during the training. By the time, we ended the 20 day training program, not only could the students communicate better, and in English, they also had more confidence and self belief.