Surprise – If you’re young – you may struggle to find a job!

Anyone who is young will know this story all too well. How do you gain experience if you’re young and just out of school? Every job it seems asks for 1 – 3 years of experience – but it seems that you’re always at a disadvantage.

Well, the Globe and Mail sure made sure to damper our spirits just before Back to School starts.

Direct from the Globe:

While students don’t expect a free pass to a job after graduating from university, securing employment is a fundamental reason they enroll. Forty-four per cent of students said that preparing for a specific job or career was the most important reason for going to university, according to a 2016 first-year university survey by the Canadian University Survey Consortium. But expectations aren’t always rooted in reality and recent graduates say Canadian universities aren’t doing as much as they could to prepare them for the job market.

There’s a disconnect between what students expect from their university experience and what universities believe they’re responsible for, said Michael Bloom, vice-president of industry and business strategy at the Conference Board of Canada.

Source: The Globe and Mail 

I agree – universities don’t prepare you for a job market that’s completely unwelcoming to new grads.

So, what do you do?

Beyond the well-worn advice of volunteering – which is still very good advice. I recommend the following:

  • Make contacts – use Google. Figure out what industry you want to work in and email, phone, do whatever you need to to get in front of people. You need to build a network – and you won’t do it at a mass job fair. Try to get a one – on – one with someone – anyone.
  • Build your brand. While you’re working to build your network – start a website dedicated to you. Start blogging – start writing. Regardless of whether you want to work as an accountant or a facility manager you need to SHOW you’re passionate about the field you want to work in. You want to work in sports – show it. Show how much you want and understand that field.
  • Volunteer – so yeah, I need to talk about this. Volunteer in a different way. Get on a Board, an advisory committee, a working group – something that connects you with more senior people. It needs to be strategic (that’ a big buzz word in today’s professional field). Be a strategic thinker.
  • Start small – apply for jobs that you’re interested in where you can make a big impression but also learn. So yeah, maybe you do want to work for the Maple Leafs or Canadiens, but guess what, if you’re lucky enough to get a job there and you make a mistake – it may limit you’re career. Start small, try to work in small-town professional organizations where there’s a potential for more leeway. You’ll be given more responsibility, learn more, and going back to point 1, have an opportunity to build connections.

There’s my four tips. Feel free to leave a comment. I’ll do my best to respond and answer them.

New Graduate

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