"All things are difficult before they are easy".
Last Friday I attended an event at the University of Windsor which brought over 300 high school students from across Windsor and Essex-County to meet young professionals. These professionals shared their career paths which led them to their current job, as they were once students not too long ago. I was one of these young professionals who attended and shared her experience. While there, I noticed a lot of young people discouraged about the path after high school because many stated they hear about a lot of people out of work. This is definitely a challenge, and it's not uncommon to hear that people are discouraged with the current state of the economy. With high unemployment rates across Canadian cities, the term lay off seems to be a common one. I hear from many people I know (clients, friends, and family) that it is a challenge to find a job that offers stability and that enriches them. Even though we're in a tough economy right now; we still have to move forward. There are opportunities to seize, jobs to get, and we have to stay positive in the process. So how do we do all that?
1) Don't get trapped into thinking certain skills are geared only for one job
Think of all the skills you have and write them down. Seeing it on paper can make you really see all the abilities and advantages you have gained through your personal and professional experiences. When taking a look at these skills you'll notice you have many skills that are transferable. Say at your former volunteer position you designed and created posters, and were required to distribute these flyers through email to various organizations. These are valuable marketing skills. Reflecting on a story I shared with the high school students I met, my first job out of school was as an instructor at a private college. I went to school to be a social worker, but I was able to use skills I already had to work in a position that was outside of my title job.
2) Creativity is key
Tap into the resources you already have and go from there. It's so easy to list off all the qualities and qualifications you need for different jobs you may see. But what about the ones you already have? Figure out what skills you have today, and improve on those. Is there a class, workshop or books you can read to polish up on these skills?
Connect with people you know to meet people in the line of work you are interested in. You can start networking through volunteering and internships. You can also attend networking events.
4) Keep your eye on the prize
It's easy to lose motivation and confidence as time goes on not finding a job. It's important that you keep on track with your focus and keep moving forward. You only fail when you stop moving or trying.