As companies focus their efforts on hiring new graduates, as much as 91.5% of former graduates struggle with looking for work. The company UZUZ, which supports young talent in their employment and efforts to further their career, recently conducted a survey aimed at former graduates in their 20s. In this article, the term former graduates refer to young people who are graduates of four-year universities, junior colleges, vocational schools, and high schools who still do not have employment experience （either permanent or contract） after graduation.
The first part of the survey results was about the reasons why these young people became former graduates. The most common answer was “I didn’t job hunt when I was in school” at 36.1%. Following that was “I dropped out of school” at 16.7%, and “I wanted the qualifications to be a civil servant or work for the national government” at 14.2%. Others answered that “I received a job offer when I was a student, but I turned it down.”
When people who answered “I didn’t job hunt when I was in school” were asked about their reasons for this, the answers “I didn’t know what I wanted to do” and “I wanted to do things outside of job hunting” were tied at 24.6%. At 3rd place was “I was too busy with earning enough credits to graduate, graduate research, and extra-curricular activities” at 17.6%.
Next, the survey asked about reasons why some respondents didn’t find a job while they were students, despite looking for one. The most common reason was “I didn’t know my strengths and weaknesses” at 28.7%. Next was “I didn’t have many companies to choose from” at 18.0%, and “I narrowed down the industry and job type too much” at 13.1%. The job market is especially good for job seekers right now, so we can see that some candidates cut too far down the number of companies they would apply for.
As for those who answered “I got a job offer when I was a student, but I declined it,” the most common reason for this was “My family and others in my life were against it” at 27.6%. There has been an increase in the number of companies confirming job acceptance with the parents of applicants, a phenomenon called oyakaku （confirming with parents in Japanese）. Candidates are often influenced by the people in their lives as to whether to accept a job offer or not. At 2nd place was “The things I want to do and my interests have shifted to another field” at 22.4%. Following that was “When I participated in the company’s training before starting work, I felt that the employees and the environment weren’t a good fit” at 12.1%.
Furthermore, regarding the question “Things about job hunting that make you anxious,” most people answered “I don’t know what job I want to do, or what job would suit me.” Other answers included “I feel uneasy writing documents and attending job interviews,” and “I don’t know how to explain the gaps in my resume.”
The survey asked how people’s current job search was going. 91.5% of people responded that they were “struggling.” From now on, it seems that companies becoming more aware of the need to hire year-round （rather than being biased towards hiring new graduates） as well as their hiring processes, will become important issues.
Finally, regarding the question “What do you value the most on your current job hunt?” there were many answers about “work location,” “number of days off （Saturdays, Sundays, etc.）, and “work-life balance.” On the other hand, a small number of people answered “the scale, size, and name recognition of a company,” and “I want to further my career.” In addition to the working environment and career preferences, these respondents tended to place importance on their private lives.
This survey was aimed at 593 former graduates in their 20s （both male and female） who visited UZUZ’s career counseling services. It was conducted from September 2018 to March 2019.