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Finding Employment after Graduation

by ​Carolyn Leighton-Hilborn

A few years ago you started post-secondary education; an adventure unlike any other in your life. But now your graduation day is just around the corner and it is time to start a career. To say the least, this can be overwhelming. Fear not, this process can be exciting rather than anxiety inducing. The job market is a highly competitive environment, especially for recent grads, but with the right approach you will succeed.

First things first, remember success does not happen overnight – every successful person had a goal and worked one step at a time to achieve it, often overcoming hurdles along the way.

Use these five strategies help set the path to success after graduation.

Research: Before you finish school, explore and research job opportunities. It is easy to get bogged down in your studies, but knowing what will be available when you graduate makes your job search more productive. A great place to find labour market information and trends is Working in Canada's website. Remember to keep an open mind and look beyond the jobs traditional to your education.

Expectations: Once your research is complete you should set reasonable expectations. If you are a new grad you should not expect to land senior level permanent positions. New graduates should expect to work numerous part-time contract jobs, proving themselves to employers before landing a permanent position. Nothing turns an employer off more than a sense of entitlement, so be prepared to work hard and prove yourself.

Network: Connect with professionals and companies in your target industries. Use the Internet and social media, such as LinkedIn, to find and attend industry-networking events. Through networking you become known in the profession and gain access to other professionals who will often assist in your job search. Do not just network online, ask for face-to-face meetings and invitations to events, it will raise your profile with potential employers.

Volunteer: When you have finished school and are looking for work, volunteering presents a great opportunity to develop skills and demonstrate commitment to the community. Volunteering a few hours a week gives you experience and builds your resume. Employers want engaged and involved employees, volunteering is one of the best ways to demonstrate it. When considering volunteer opportunities ensure you can relate the duties to your career goals, find opportunities that will increase your knowledge and marketable skills.

Be Smart: Establish a to-do list or an action plan that is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Then keep track of your progress and make changes as needed. It is easy to sit back and wait for the job to come to you, however most job searches require hard work and tenacity.

Are you a new graduate? Need a job? We can help.