New graduates some friendly advice to those of you looking for work…don’t expect an employer to know where your ‘fit’ is within your chosen industry. If you are searching for work know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and sell yourself (knowledge, skills and abilities) accordingly. News flash! Job search is all about the employer and what value you bring to them—they are not concerned about your personal situation, they are looking for a productive, engaged employee who fits into their work culture.
As you embark on your job search journey you will soon learn that your degree/diploma is not the primary consideration for employers. The Millennium generation especially need to beware that employers may have a pre-disposed bias towards you as having a sense of entitlement. As Job Developers, for Community Employment Services at Mohawk College, we often hear employers say this. A realistic expectation of the labour market will guide your job search to a positive end.
Having said that, understand the labour market:
- the types of jobs within the industry/sector you are qualified for and whether these jobs are found within a niche market;
- if they are, expect it to take longer to break into your field of work;
- know the entry level salary expectations based upon your geographic location;
- are those jobs primarily located in your geographic area or are they located elsewhere, perhaps you need to realistically consider relocating or commuting;
- maybe you don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing especially since you are just starting out in your career.
If your long term goal is to work for the government or large corporation, be realistic in your expectations. The chances of you gaining entry level are slim, especially if it is within a unionized environment. If you are not in a position to work part time or contract work, then maximize your value (in the form of knowledge, skills and experience) and submit an application back to that organization later. Government and large corporations have flattened their overall organizational structures over the years. Understand the competition for those high valued jobs are great.
Target smaller companies; this will provide you with an opportunity to have a broader understanding of the positions within your industry. Only by performing the hands-on aspects of these positions can you truly understand your ‘fit’ and passion for the work. The pay may be less but the return on investment is great. From here, the world is your oyster—continue the learning and spread your wings!
– Kym McCreary-Stewart
Career Consultant Certificate ’09/Writing for Publication ’08