There’s a constant nagging voice at the back of your mind that gets vocalized by only those closest to you who are brave enough to say it, even if it means tough love. They’re saying “get a job!” and you’re nervous because, guess what? It’s not that easy.
While I’m not expert at job hunting (like the University’s Career Centre), but I have been in the above situation more than once, and can now say that I currently have an iPhone 6 that, fortunately, stays on when I need it to.
Throughout each of my long summer and part-time job searches (which always feel like they’ll take longer than my degree,) I spoke to a few career counsellors and did a little bit of research that might help others who are in a similar situation. And while sharing that Facebook post of “The Lucky Dog Who Will Get You A Job If You Share” probably won’t hurt, it’s a safer bet to get out into the world and try your very best.
I’ve used the University’s Career Centre website (formerly known as CAPS) to help create this list:
1. Know what you’re after and have an open mind
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Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you plan, but that’s part of the charm! Be aware of opportunities and engage in different activities outside of academia that follow your interests.
If you have a specific career or job that you’re absolutely set on, then try volunteering or applying to different jobs that still sound interesting to you (even if they aren’t your ultimate dream job). It definitely won’t hurt, and you might actually find a position better suited to your talents and interests.
And if you still don’t really know what kind of career you’d like, don’t worry. Take an inventory of your interests, skills, values, and personality and see what kinds of job descriptions are looking for those same skills, values, etc. You might also want to consider setting up an appointment with a Career Advisor who can help get you on the right track.
2. Keep practicality and feasibility in mind
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3. Get some experience
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4. Dedicate time to the cause
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If you’re interested in a specific type of career or job (again, either for the summer, part-time, or for your post-graduation days) then don’t be afraid to ask the professionals who already do those jobs. Let them share their experience and wisdom with you through job shadowing or career information interviews.
The Career Centre has some pretty amazing programs to aid in this step: Rapid Reviews (of your resume, LinkedIn profile, CV, or portfolio), numerous presentations, workshops, and seminars, job shadow week, and the summer job fair.
5. Be positive and confident
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Remaining positive and confident during this whole process is a crucial aspect. You might apply to fifteen different positions and not get one call back — but nothing is hopeless with the right attitude. Keep a support system of family, friends, and peers around you, to help you through the application and interview experience. Also, if and when you do speak with potential employers, remember that it’s not about just making the “right” impression – it’s about making your impression. Be content with yourself and let them get to know you.
Before an interview, I usually listen to some pump-up music that puts me in a good mood and gives me a little confidence boost. I avoid finding out who else has applied for the same jobs I have, and make sure that I remind myself that I will be okay if I don’t end up getting a job I really wanted. Remembering that you are still you regardless of what job you may or may not get can keep you from feeling disappointed and burned out, so be sure to make time check-in and appreciate yourself.
Although these steps can’t guarantee you a job or career, hopefully they will make it easier for you. As always, if you need any help whatsoever don’t hesitate to contact the Career Centre.
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