Challenges Finding Employment
So you’ve graduated and have received the education needed to follow the career you’ve always wanted; now what? Finding that first job, of course – but in these tumultuous economic times, getting a job these days is no small feat. But there are always options. Not all will apply to your particular situation, but sometimes just knowing the choices available will help you gain employment at some future time. Below is some advice to consider:
(If it at first you don’t succeed)Try, try, try again: The traditional method of finding a job means looking at job boards and visiting employment help centres periodically. You may have to stick with your boring retail job until you find something related to your chosen career, even if it’s something that you had never considered before. At the very least, it helps you gain experience and help pay off that rent and student loan. The employment centre staff is there to help you form useful connections, which is always helpful as you move into the job market. In addition, they can help perfect your resume and interview skills, so companies will take a second (or third) look at you and what you offer.
Consider alternative routes for entering the job market: There seem to be fewer and fewer options for full-time entry-level jobs for graduates and those new to the job field. Consider travelling further than you’d like. Consider part-time or contract positions. They may not pay as well as full-time work, but they do help you gain relative experience those employers are always looking for, and workplace-relative employment contracts and references. By “relative”, I mean simply skills that are relevant to the jobs you’re looking for. If you want to work in an office, learn Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a variety of computer software programs. There are many other options: computer programming or Web-based skills, language classes, trade-based skills such as carpentry, and volunteer activities. These can all be done on your own time or as a hobby if you find them interesting.
Return to school: For some majors (generally Arts), there are fewer options available – and by doing your research into the most in-demand careers, you can get a ‘second’ education for something related to your major and frequently in-demand career, so it’s not a total waste of your time, money or educational knowledge. There are a lot of abilities that can be transferred within majors, depending on the school where you’d like to learn. Consider other majors as well – perhaps you’ll find something you were also interested in, but never had the time to consider it as a second major.
Relocate: The last option, and the most expensive. Certain regional municipalities have more job options than others and can provide more opportunities of a full-time, permanent job, which is (of course) the ideal for anyone trying to pay rent and pay off loans. I’d recommend only doing this after accepting a job offer to limit the disadvantages of relocation. I know several people who have moved provinces and were able to get a full-time job as compared to being a part-time or having a contract job in this province (Ontario).
There are challenges to finding employment – but that’s no reason to stop looking. Sometimes, you can find it in places you never thought possible- taking a more non-traditional route may lead you to your dream job.