We’re here to help you complete your work term and stay on track for your degree requirements. The good news is that you still have time to look for a job for the Winter 2021 work term. There are lots of other ways you can use your time to continue building your résumé, including learning new skills and working on projects.
You have until March 8, 2021 to start work (for an 8-week work term ending April 30). We have some suggestions for you as you continue your search, or you can consider one of the flexible pathways for the Winter 2021 work term.
First, take a deep breath. You still have time to find a job and we have some tools and tips to help you find a job.
Take advantage of the resources from the Centre for Career Action. You can find supports including 1-1 support, workshops and online supports, including the CareerHub.
What you can do:
- Keep checking the WaterlooWorks Co-op job board as well as the “Other” and “External” job boards in WaterlooWorks for jobs that *may* be eligible for credit under our adjusted work term requirements.
- Take a look at our search tips for arranging your own job or consider working as an independent contractor for co-op credit.
- Consider combining multiple part-time jobs to add up to one awesome flexible work term experience!
- Update your default resume and skills profile (including your location preferences and countries of interest) to help our co-op advisors identify jobs that you may be interested in.
This year has taught us that changes are everywhere. You’ve had to be flexible in how you take courses and work on projects in a virtual world. The future of work is changing too and has needed us to be more flexible than ever. We want to help you prepare for this shift.
We’ve done a lot of research about the skills that are essential to help make you future ready for whatever industry or job you’re interested in. In the section below, you’ll find free resources and tools available to you to help develop those skills while you continue your job search.
1) Expand and transfer your expertise
To be successful in the workplace, especially during a time where we depend so heavily on technology, we need to keep expanding our expertise. Some of those skills will depend on your discipline and the job at hand, while others are more broadly needed. Things such as understanding how to synthesize relevant data to come to meaningful conclusions and the ability to learn and use technology for better, more efficient results.
What you can do:
- Prepare for what could be your first work experience by completing the Worker Health and Safety Awareness in 4 Steps (Students) module. It will help you understand your rights and responsibilities when you’re on the job, and you can add in More Feet on the Ground Online to learn how to recognize, respond and refer individuals experience mental health problems.
- Complete the Student Safety Orientation / WHMIS training before you even apply for positions where you may work with hazardous materials, such as a lab.
- Learn the basics of data analytics and reporting through the Learning Data Analysis training course.
- Enrol in our new Digital Skills Fundamentals courses to learn some of the most in-demand skills for today’s online workplaces! Learn the skills most needed in business today and tomorrow through mini-courses that will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of website development, digital and video marketing, and problem analysis.
- Build your leadership skills with the Student Leadership online program.
- Present data and information in the form of a story to improve your presentations on the job (and in class!) by taking the Data Visualization: Story Telling course.
- Expand your technical skills with software like Microsoft Excel and so many others through LinkedIn Learning.
- Consider specific technology courses if you’re thinking about a career in cybersecurity or finance with training available for Symmetric Cryptography Essential Training or Blockchain Basics.
2) Spend time developing yourself
With change being a constant, we need to become lifelong learners and look at different ways that we can develop our careers. Consider taking some of the time you have now and do some self-assessment to think about what skills you need and how to best tell a potential employer that you have them, while developing your self-management skills.
What you can do:
- Think about how you can prepare yourself for working from home by taking a course on Improving Your Focus so that you’ll be more efficient.
- Build better relationships in the workplace by Developing Your Emotional Intelligence.
- Take the time to make sure that self-care is part of your routine. Campus Wellness provides pre-recorded workshops and seminars that can help.
- Understand how others see you and learn how to better align your actions with your intentions in the Developing Self-Awareness course.
- Complete the online skills identification and articulation workshop and quiz content in the EDGE Learn Community. You can then think about your personal branding and résumé.
- Enrol in academic courses or enhance your digital skills with free mini-courses! LinkedIn Learning has thousands of expert-led courses.
- Take an online course. Whether this is part of your academic programming or pursuing a personal interest, it’s always good to expand your knowledge base. Check out the listing of free ivy league online courses.
- Check out the many Career Resources available to you. You can also look at a couple of specific topics such as Discovering Your Strengths and Taking Charge of your Career.
3) Learn how to build better relationships
Diversity is growing in companies and to succeed in global companies, communication is even more important. Building positive relationships with co-workers and stakeholders requires strong communication and collaboration skills – especially with more of our work being done online.
What you can do:
- Build on your communication skills through the Writing and Communication Centre Asynchronous Workshops. If you’re looking to improve your oral communication skills, consider Communicating with Confidence.
- Learn how to ask the right questions to help you make informed and safe employment decisions.
- Grow connections in your areas of interest within relevant networks through Meetup groups that pique your curiosity.
- Work on the collaboration skills you need on the job and in class projects with courses like Being an Effective Team Member and Effective Listening.
- Learn more about Developing Cross-Cultural Intelligence and Social Interactions for Multinational Teams to prepare to work in a global company.
- Explore virtual ways to connect with international experiences through MyWorldAbroad. You can learn a language, build international skills, find out about COVID-19 and other projects around the world, or just listen to engaging stories about the world around us.
4) Design and deliver solutions
The world is changing so quickly and there are complex problems to solve. You need to have critical thinking skills, know how to find innovative solutions and then implement them so that you’re ready for the future.
What you can do:
- Learn to identify the cause of problems and how to work to find a solution in the Problem Solving Techniques course.
- Build your confidence with risk with the Risk-Taking for Leaders course.
- Solve problems affecting millions of people, build a network of experts to support you, and learn how to make your visions a reality by applying to Zero Experience (Apply by January 15, 2021).
- Find out how you can help guide solutions with a Strategic Thinking course. You can also learn some new methods for making complex decisions.
- Develop your project management skills by understanding how to prevent scope creep and how to use Gantt charts to communicate critical deadlines for your project.
We’re here to help. You can always reach out to your co-op advisor for support or access online resources from across campus.
- Find tips and who to contact to help you navigate through the changes and challenges you may be experiencing due to COVID-19 and your continued job search.
- Reach out if you’re finding all of this challenging. We have several mental health resources available, including two embedded counsellors who provide tailored support to co-op students.