Career Advice Part 2 – Switching careers or finding your first job

I wanted to add another piece of career advice that I’ve gleamed after years of working with companies as a co-op coordinator.  Over and over managers have told me how hard it is to find good employees who work hard, are conscientious, show initiative, have common sense and are honest.

In many cases, if you have these traits, managers are willing to invest and train you for a job that you currently are not qualified for.  The problem is it’s really hard to know if a prospective employee has the right stuff.   That’s one reason why co-op can be valuable for both students and employers.  It’s a low risk way to find out about a potential employee.  If things don’t work out,  a thank you and a hand shake are all that is required when the work term ends.

Back to my advice for would be job seekers and this advice has been proven successful many times over in my experience.

This advice will help you if you are good worker who has the skills I mentioned above but is having difficulty convincing employers due to

  1. lack of any work experience or
  2. lack of Canadian work experience, or
  3. missing some training or education that the job requires
  4. lack of network contacts

The key for you is to find  a company that you think has the long term potential to be a good fit for you and apply for a position below your level of expertise.  The idea is to get into the company and then prove your worth once there. Once this happens, it is almost a guarantee that you will not remain in the low level job for long.

If you are an experienced worker, this may mean omitting certain education and work experiences from your resume to avoid appearing overqualified. I don’t see a problem with this because you already doing a lot of editing when you create a resume.  This is just one more edit.

It also means being willing to take a pay cut for a while.  And there are no guarantees that you will like the new job any more than the job you left but it’s worth a try if you are not happy.

For new workers, who are usually younger, there is little risk to trying to method if you cannot find a job commensurate with your education.

It is once you are on the job that you can easily handle that you need to shine and convince supervisors that you are capable of so much more.  Slow and steady is the way this will happen if you have what it takes.  Don’t show off too much and remember to build strong relationships with co-workers, above and beneath your current pay grade.  Trying to earn a promotion doesn’t have to be a fight to the death competition.  Many workers are not interested in more responsibility but will be pleased to see a good person take on the role.  Be that good person and you can find that place on the corporate ladder that suits your skills and temperament.

 

Comments are closed.