How does taking those not so sweet opportunities make a difference to your career?



Starting a career and building a name for one’s self takes more than just landing that perfect job that pays well and has those amazing benefits, it takes taking those opportunities that are seemingly a waste of time and energy. These can be things like taking internships that won't pay you or volunteering. As graduates, we have always been told that the main goal is to study, graduate and go into the world to earn money, travel and live our best lives. The reality? It takes some time to set the table before you can get to sit at it. Working before you start working is about taking opportunities that will help you get your foot in the door, or better yet create opportunities for yourself.


Here are a few reasons how it can benefit you as a graduate or young job seeker:

  • You will be exposed to new opportunities, get to work on projects that will spark new ways of thinking and allow you to get practical experience


  • Job shadowing or unpaid internships (during your study vacation or after studying) will help boost your self-esteem and your confidence. You will be challenged and in the process learn how to overcome and manage different dynamics in the workspace. Even more so, you will learn invaluable skills that you will take with you throughout your career.



  • There is so much to learn beyond your degree/qualification. Taking on these types of opportunities, allow you to learn what you are not taught at university. And there is SO much! They usually call it work readiness, expected from a hiring company but often not taught to young people. This is your opportunity to learn all about these essential skills and set you apart from your peers when looking to land your paid job. It all forms part of your career.


It builds your employability brand. When you are finally ready to job hunt - companies are more likely to hire you because of the extra work you have put in. It shows the hiring company that you are willing to go the extra mile just to learn. You have now learnt those invaluable workplace skills and boosted your CV far ahead of your colleagues or friends


The job market is flooded with graduates trying to land a job and in order to set yourself apart from the pack ....go ahead and take that job, do it for the experience, do it for the insights into the dynamics of work. Work your way up in pursuit of that dream career.



Opportunities won't always come knocking at your door but the more you go knocking, you will most definitely find the right path for you. Be patient, persevere and keep growing on your journey. You will thank yourself for these steps years later!


Motshidisi Mokoena | Sivuka Social Media Manager


This talented young woman is an Honors graduate from the University of Johannesburg. Tshidi is an aspiring strategist and copywriter and at 22, she already holds a host of accolades to her name at this young age. She is a prism award winner, new generation awards finalist and Loeries top 50 student 2019 in the Front Row, an initiative by the IAB.



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