You\u2019ve just graduated from university, and you\u2019re thrown out into the world to fend for yourself. You apply to every job ad, go for interviews, and still - nothing. What gives? Fresh grads know this all too well. Getting hired is hard in Malaysia, and the job market is becoming more competitive. Here\u2019s what fresh grads have to say about their experience in the job market: The fresh grad stigma Every now and then, an article appears on social media. Fresh grads are entitled, they have attitude problems, and they have bad English \u2014it\u2019s never positive, and reading it makes you pissed. Speaking as a fresh grad myself, it\u2019s a gross generalisation to paint us all as lazy and entitled. But, the reality stands - many places are cautious of hiring fresh grads, with all the bad rep we\u2019re getting. While Avery, 23, agrees that while there are certain presumptions, it\u2019s worked in her favour. Her English is great since she\u2019s an avid reader, and she was willing to accept a lower salary. It\u2019s easier to impress interviewers because of her low expectations, and she knew that. The interviewer was pleasantly surprised that she wasn\u2019t like \u201cmost fresh grads.\u201d Sofia, 21, applied for roughly 30 jobs over 4 months. Still, no dice, despite her good grades and a glowing letter of recommendation from her internship. Some companies were honest enough to tell her the reason - she\u2019s a fresh grad, and it\u2019s a risk they don\u2019t want to take. By risk, they meant, \u201cWe don\u2019t want to invest in you to see if you\u2019re worth it.\u201d It was said in casual conversation, but Sofia could tell that it was only a half-joke. She laughed it off, but she was hurt. She knew that she\u2019s the ideal candidate for the job, but it sucked to know that her age disqualified her. There\u2019s no easy way to handle it. Just keep your head low, and prove them wrong. This ties into the next sign of how competitive the job market is, and that is\u2026 Unrealistic minimum requirements You\u2019re going through LinkedIn, and you find an opening under a company that you like. It\u2019s entry-level, and your degree fits the scope. Your mouse is already hovering over the \u201cApply\u201d button before you read the fine print: \u201cMinimum 2 years experience in the related field.\u201d Your heart sinks, and the confusion settles in. How can it be an entry-level position, but still require 2 years? Unfortunately, this is common. It\u2019s a catch-22. Fresh grads can\u2019t get a job because they don\u2019t have experience, but they can\u2019t find a job to build that experience either. Chris, 24, managed a way around it. He applied as an intern. Despite having 1 year of working experience, he still didn\u2019t meet the requirements. Still, he agreed that it was a gamble\u2014he didn\u2019t know if they would hire him after. It helped that he was on good terms with the boss, and he had a friend on the inside to help him out. He worked hard and took initiative. He made a few mistakes, but his boss knew he was a valuable employee. While he\u2019s glad that it worked out in the end, he acknowledges that not everyone has three months to gamble away like he did. Not when there are bills to pay and hard-to-impress parents. It\u2019s not exactly the best time to try your luck. Why? Because\u2026 Times are hard. Source:\u00a0http:\/\/www.thepinsta.com\/ringgit-malaysia-wallpaper_WZgrZ8w3JQQh7eE4YirCQhiiIf6rnZraDTg5ecye4B0\/ There\u2019s no denying that the economy isn\u2019t doing so well. The Ringgit is weak, and it doesn\u2019t help that prices are rising higher. In such times, some companies are forced to downsize, and a few were closed down for good. Before his job in human resources, Chris worked as a writer for an online news company. Things got tougher for the company due to rising costs and low traffic, and he was retrenched when the company downsized. He\u2019s just one of the many people whose jobs got cut. There\u2019s a higher demand for jobs than what\u2019s available on the market. Universities are producing more fresh grads than companies can employ. At the same time, the retrenched employees are competing with fresh grads for those same jobs. Between a candidate with years of experience or choosing one with none at all, the answer is clear. Even if they do get hired, fresh grads have to be prepared to\u2026 Work to the breaking point It\u2019s time to prove your worth. You\u2019d pick up work that\u2019s way beyond your job scope, maneuver through office politics, and do your best. There\u2019s no guarantee that the next job will be better\u2014hell, there might not even be a next job. Sofia knows how unforgiving the market can be. Even when she has to pick up on half-completed projects left by retrenched employees above her pay grade, she has no choice but to do it. Her manager already assumes that she\u2019s too young to handle her job. The slightest complaint can jeopardise\u00a0what little faith she has in her. Arvind, 24, got bullied by an older employee after he was promoted over her. While she had years of experience, the boss picked him over her because he showed an initiative that she didn\u2019t. Fresh grads have to be prepared to put up with a lot. Some employers might think of it as a test of character, but to be continuously tested means that they don\u2019t believe in you. If it\u2019s stressing you out to the point of affecting your health, I don\u2019t think it\u2019s worth it. Remember - put yourself first. And, there you have it. One can only hope that the economy recovers from here. To the fresh grads who are still down on their luck, don\u2019t give up. There\u2019s a perfect job waiting for you out there. Have a success story with your first job? How did you get in? Let us know in the comments below!