Well you finally graduated… What’s your next move?
When trying to start a career upon graduating, we’ve all had to face that inevitable
question of ‘Where do I start?’ As a recent grad myself, my experience was no
believe how many times I heard the excuse, ‘there are no jobs for Bachelor of Arts
students!’ Well until I was offered some sound advice, one could hear me
muttering the same words! It’s not the lack of jobs or opportunity in Ottawa but in
fact a lack of direction and understanding on how to approach the job market. The
following are three tips to start you on the right track.
1. Don’t just dip your toes, dive in.
Job seeking is a full-time job, so approach it like it’s your career. Very rarely will
an employer come knocking on your door to offer you a job, so you need to do the
knocking. A great way to start can be talking to a recruiter; they make a living by
filling job positions. Also, treat the job hunting process like a 40+ hour/week job
and you’ll see a return on your investment. It’s too easy to build a routine of
sleeping in till noon, mustering your way over to the computer just to spend an
hour or two actually seeking for opportunities. Create a routine not so dissimilar
from an actual job. Just remember at this stage you’re trying to open as many
doors as you can. The more doors you knock on, the more will open.
2. Understand it’s not an easy process.
Rejection hurts, and we’ve all faced it at some point in our lives. What’s Important
is how you bounce back. You need to be persistent and take the time to
re-evaluate your approach. Does your resume need spicing up? Or is it a matter
of searching past the surface jobs. The opportunities go beyond what’s advertised
pick up the phone. In the mean time, don’t get discouraged. Finding not just a
career but the right career takes time.
3. Expand/Leverage your networks
This is something I’ve heard time and again. The question is, ‘How do I leverage
my connections if I don’t know anyone in my field?’ There’s much more to this
aspect of career hunting than knowing the right person. Most if not all post
secondary institutions offer services and guidance in their respected field. This
can be a great start to expanding your knowledge and understanding of the job
market. Recruiters can also provide a wealth of information. I began a career as a
head-hunter after reaching out to one myself. Even something as simple as
grabbing a coffee with someone who knows the industry you are seeking can be
a source for valuable information. And if you haven’t already done so, get on
those social networking sites and see what your colleagues are up to now. You
never know who might have already gone down that same road.