Whether we like it or not, our whole lives revolve around our careers. What we do, who with and how much we make doing it deeply influences our values and the ways we can impact others. This much is certain.
What is uncertain is what we decide to do with the great potential we all hold within us. As a recent graduate of McGill University, I fully realize the challenge of identifying the work best adapted to my skills and interests. After completing my last university courses, I participated in several informational interviews – an awkward term meaning a casual chat between a mentor and a mentee about the former’s career – but was left without a clear understanding of my future vocation. I was given an additional, unwanted challenge by one of these mentors: “You only get back as much as you put into your work, so make sure to be passionate about it!”
Although I have no happy ending to offer (I’m a 22 year-old Arts graduate after all), I have gained some great insight into finding that elusive career through my own job search and my work as the Career Services assistant at the McGill Alumni Association.
1- Seek new opportunities: By meeting new people, exposing yourself to new ideas and listening to what others have to share, you increase your chances of discovering opportunities to meet more people still and, hopefully, to find your dream job. On a personal level, this implies reaching out to old friends and volunteering your time for a cause you hold dear, among other strategies. You can also learn more about different fields of work through research. Make use of McGill Library’s free online resources for alumni. There, you will find online journals on a host of different issues: Management, Sciences, Geography, etc.
2- Update your C.V. and make yourself available on LinkedIn. Although you may not care to publish a professional profile online, Human Resources expect to find one when considering your job application. When used properly, a LinkedIn profile is much more than a C.V. Through your online connections, you gain access to potentially millions of other professionals at no personal expense. For instance, the McGill University Alumni group gives you the opportunity to network with almost 13,000 vetted alumni. Living around the world and working in a wide variety of fields, these potential contacts fully appreciate the value of your McGill degree. If you’re looking for career opportunities, join these graduates on our LinkedIn group!
3- Ultimately, only you can judge what job best corresponds to your needs and skills. Think about what you want to accomplish in life and what career will allow you to do just that. To overcome this challenge of introspection, make use of the career resources available on myFuture by signing in with your McGill email and password.
By taking these steps, you will eventually find a job that suits you. In the meantime, be confident in your abilities and apply for every position that comes by your desk… And don’t forget to use those services offered to McGill alumni!