As a student, coming to Toronto (or Canada, in general), most of us have 1 mutual goal – get a full-time job. Actually, not just full-time, it has to be stable and related to what we study. Needless to say, it’s not an easy task to accomplish and the question is “How can I get a job here in Toronto?”
Some of us have lots of work experience. Some don’t. And what they call “Canadian work experience” is the precious thing that set one apart from a pile of resumes. So, every one of us needs to gain experience here anyway.
Coming back to the question, the short answer is “Get more experience and Extend your network“.
The long answer:
In our opinion, to solve the full-time-job issue, it all comes to getting experience in the field that you want to work in and knowing the right people. And here’s how:
What you learn from school and what you learn by yourself:
In our opinion, we can’t learn everything from your college/ university. Each course lasts in a 4-month semester and do you know how many hours in class? (Around 48 hours) Therefore, you should not expect to become an expert just from what your professors teach you in class. What you should learn from those lectures is what you think you have to study/ practice by yourself to become an expert in your field.
For example, say, you are studying Digital Marketing and you know you want to work in Content Creating when you graduate. Of course, your professor can’t teach you to become a copywriter or a designer in a semester; but you will be taught about principles, popular tools and etc. and it’s your job to practice by yourself, learn more about the tools by yourself. If you hit any roadblocks, we believe your professors are more than happy to help you.
In short, know what you should study => study by yourself.
Lots of students here see part-time jobs simply just to earn money. Why don’t you get a job that you can gain both money and experience (again, related to your field!)?
Ask yourself this question: “Can I put this job on my resume?”.
Yes – Go for it! Try your best to secure that job.
No – You can work for a temporary job for the time being but keep on finding another career-related job.
We know, it’s easier to get a job in restaurants or retail stores but do you want to be like most other students or do you want to stand out? You don’t have much time, try to gain experience as much as you can before graduating!
If you don’t have enough experience to get paid for what you want to do, why don’t you do it for free? That’s why unpaid internship exists, eh? But internship often happens after you graduate. When you volunteer, you can gain experience when you are studying. You’ll see that not many of your classmates are active in gaining experience while being in school. That’s how you can take advantage and stand out!
In addition, you’ll know interesting people in your field when you volunteer. It’s a good chance to show how smart and potential you are and the fact that you do it for free, your work is even more appreciated!
Great source to find volunteer opportunities: http://www.volunteertoronto.ca/
If you don’t have any experience and it’s even hard for you to get a volunteer position, why don’t you employ yourself? For example, you study culinary art, how cool is it to have a food recipe website which has X number of visitors every month?! Even if you fail, it’s the lesson that no one can teach you and that, my friend, is the experience. Knowing what not to do is a huge step to figure out what should be done.
At the same time, you can show off what you’ve done and the experience you’ve learnt in your resume. Do you know 90/10/1 rule on social media? 90% people consume content, 10% engage with content and 1% create. Be in that 1% to stand out!
Winning a competition is a good way to show how good you are. Even if you don’t win any prize but you can still show you got to the second round which is top 10%, for example. You definitely will get lots of support from our professors because colleges/ universities want to “brag” how good their students are, so don’t be afraid it’s just you against the world. Plus, it’s a good way to meet new people, eh?
In our opinion, to build a strong relationship, you need time and interaction and what is a better way than working with them? You have time to show your ability and enough interaction to even build a more personal relationship than just professionally.
You can go to events and meet people, but they only talk to you in 5-10 minutes, it’s hard to ask for a favour, isn’t it?
Nurture your relationship in everything you do – part-time jobs, volunteer, competitions, side hustle and etc., you will need them when you are in the job market.
In conclusion, there are many ways to gain experience and extend your network, no matter how inexperienced you are. It depends on how much effort you are willing to put on your career.
In the second part of this topic, we’ll talk the strategy you should take in each place (part-time jobs, volunteering, side hustles, competition) you work for/ participate in to make the best of your effort in terms of work experience and networking.
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