Career Action Chronicles: Job search journey

career advisingLet’s be real, job searching is hard! We’ve got a degree, maybe a few, now it’s time to face the real world. Most of our productive lives will be spent working, so why work at a place that doesn’t spark your passion or interests? Finding a job that you truly enjoy is something we should all strive for. Providing for yourself (and your family) through a job that you’re passionate about will lead to a more satisfying and meaningful life.

If you’ve had time to do assessments (i.e. personality, skills, interests etc.) you should also create an ideal job description. This can help you determine a career path or goal. Taking key words from each assessment can help you hone in on your ideal job and then you can take steps to work towards a job you truly want.

Here are some job search tips from Waterloo Alumni Career Advisors, Jayne and Tanya:

  1. Do not spend the majority of your time applying to online job postings as it has a low success rate.
  2. When looking at job postings (online or otherwise), try to identify companies you’d like to work for. Although you may not be qualified for a certain job, you can keep the company in mind for later job searches.
  3. Have a focus. Watered-down job searches will lead to watered-down results. Know what you want, or at least have an idea of what you want, and then pursue it. This way you’ll be taking steps towards having a career in an industry that you’re interested in.
  4. Network! Networking has a high success rate.
    • If the term networking scares you, think of it instead as being ‘open to conversations.’
    • Do what feels comfortable for you, if you don’t want to go to a networking event by yourself, start talking to your family and friends. You never know who you can meet through your personal connections.
    • Use LinkedIn to reach out to your previous employers for job leads or reach out to people in the industry.

Whether or not you’re comfortable networking, the reality is that it’s your best bet to get a job. To some, networking has a negative connotation associated with ‘using’ people. Instead, you need to think of networking as being another means to creating friendships. Being genuine, finding common interests, and actively listening can definitely lead to possible job opportunities. The point of networking is to create meaningful connections. It will be through these connections that you find opportunities to advance yourself, but you must be willing to help others in the process.

If you’re still not convinced that networking can help, I’m a prime example of finding my current internship and next job opportunity through my networks.

Until next time!

Sirisopha

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