This month is the arrival of the graduation season. A large number of students will say goodbye to their colleges and get busy finding jobs. However, it seems not all students will be in a hurry to get to work.
According to a survey by online recruiter Zhaopin in May, about 9.8 percent of the 93,420 graduates surveyed said they wouldn’t begin working right after graduation. This phenomenon is called “delayed employment”.
In fact, the number of students who’ve opted not to start their careers within six months of graduation has been growing steadily since 2011, according to education consultancyMyCos.
One reason is that young people want to find a job that is related to their personal interests, and they are not willing to give in and take jobs they don’t like, according to job consultants at Zhaopin.
“Looking for the right career is like looking for Mr Right. Maybe I could have found a job or two, but I don’t want to just make a living or be stuck in a specific position,” Shen Yu, who graduated in 2014 but didn’t look for a job right away, told China Daily.
Another reason that some have opted to delay finding work is to avoid the fierce competition of the job market. Statistics provided by the Ministry of Education show the number of new university graduates will reach a record 7.95 million this year. According to Zhaopin, by April, half the respondents said they have received between one and three offers, down 5.2 percent from 2016. Meanwhile, only 26.7 percent of new graduates had signed contracts with employers, down 8.7 percent from the previous year.
And some Chinese college students have chosen to travel or volunteer instead of finding jobs. For example, Chen Nuan, 23, who will graduate from the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts this summer, has planned to tour Europe immediately after graduation. “As the old Chinese saying goes, ‘traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books’,” she told China Daily.
Developing soft skills
While more and more young Chinese people are choosing “delayed employment”, US graduates are trying hard to find work, reported news website China.org.cn. A likely reason could be that the average 2016 US grad has $37,172 (256,000 yuan) in student debt, according to the US News and World Report.
As for French graduates, about 40 percent had plans to start their own businesses, saying they were not satisfied with current business models, according to a survey by BNP Paribas in 2015.
However, no matter what you choose after you graduate, make full use of the first few years – this is when people develop soft skills such as punctuality and teamwork, according to Stefano Scarpetta of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. “The first 10 years are essential. They shape careers in the long term,” Scarpetta told The Economist.
经济合作与发展组织的斯特凡诺·斯卡佩塔认为，无论学生们毕业后的选择是什么，利用好开头前几年的时间 —— 人们在这段时间中能培养出守时和团队合作等软技能。“头10年很重要。从长远来看，这段时间塑造了职业生涯，”斯特凡诺在接受《经济学人》采访时表示。