As youth unemployment hikes to nearly twice of the national average rate, it is no wonder that more and more young Canadians continue to become disengaged as they try to find their right fit. What the students of today need to know is that times are changing and well…where there is a will, there is a way. Here are some ways you can prepare yourself for this changing economy and make the best of your situation after graduation.
1. ANSWER THIS: EXACTLY WHAT KIND OF JOB AM I LOOKING FOR?
So you have a degree and you can’t find a job?Before you go applying to 50 jobs per week, be sure to ask yourself this simple but important question.It may or may not be related to your line of work but the least you can do is be certain of the kind of work you want to look for at this moment in time. How it fits to the rest of your career is what brings me to my next point.
2. DEFINE YOUR SHORT & LONG TERM CAREER GOALS
If you didn’t think about this before you decided to spend 4 years and 30k on a degree then now is not the time to panic. You’ve put all your energy and time and money and congratulations, now you have a degree! Whether it’s in Psychology, Business Management, or Radio and Television Arts, think about where you want to be in 5 years. Maybe you don’t exactly know the title of the job but narrowing it down to the industry or setting will give you a defined path to work towards.Don’t be discouraged, take a deep breathe and think long and hard about what you can do with your degree and what your options are.Having a short term goal, particularly if finances are an issue, will not only keep you focused but it will give you experience, transferable skills and most importantly the discipline to schedule your day and work towards your real dream.
Don’t just volunteer anywhere–be strategic about it.Think of the kind of industry you want to work for and then seek out organizations or positions that can aid in your long term goal. Assuming you want to do something that you love (highly recommended), you will want to volunteer at a place that not only falls in line with your goals but energizes you as well. Working with children when you hate working with people will not only drain you but will get you farther away from your goal than you already are.[box]FIND YOUR TALENT AND PUT IT PRACTICE![/box]
Some people want to volunteer to get them away from work related activities whereas others use it to get them closer to work opportunities.
Regardless of your situation, avoid being stagnant in your career path and volunteer. You will be able to focus more on your goals, network with like minded individuals, and most importantly keep your mind and soul engaged while giving back to the community. In addition, this can also help replace any gaps in your résumé and will make you look more responsible, outgoing, and focused. Many will find that this will open up doors to full or part time employment as the impression you make as a volunteer will follow you in your work history.
4. GET YOUR RESUME CHECKED BY A PROFESSIONAL
A résumé is a dynamic document in that it is constantly changing and evolving. If high school was the last time you updated your résumé then it may be time to speak to someone who can help you refine and target your tools. Having a competitive and up to date résumé will attract the right employers and set you apart from the competition.
5. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING……LEARN HOW TO NETWORK!
I am saving the best for the last, networking may be your best defense to fighting unemployment. Building and maintaining relationships should be a constant part of your action plan and if you aren’t thinking about it now then take a few minutes right now to do so.[box]Do you know someone or someone who knows someone who works at a firm or a position that you are interested in? [/box]Ask your relatives, friends, old colleagues, teachers/instructors, dentist, hair stylist, etc. Rather than asking people for jobs that you are unsure of, why not ask for information on the jobs that you are interested in. Call up people, email them and set up an information interview.
Find out about the person, the industry, the position, and get advice on what you can do to get you closer to the job you want. This may be hard at first but if you do it right, you may never have to rely on internet job postings again. This is the real deal and is the best weapon to combat unemployment.
Try one or all of these tips if you are still wondering what to do upon graduation or are in the midst of applying for jobs. Remember, career planning is a bigger deal than you think so don’t be frivolous with your time and seek professional help if you are stuck. There are people out there who can help you and you are not alone.
This is a guest post from Sana Khan.