Life Lessons Learned From… Jobhunting

School is officially back in session for students everywhere! As a recent graduate, it feels strange to enter September without having a new semester of classes or Co-op to start.  For the first time since marching into Ms. Taylor’s Kindergarten class, I don’t have a scheduled plan laid out ahead of me. Now, I am left to my own authority and free will to make decisions for my future. There’s no telling where I’ll be a few months from now. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

I am now embarking on a journey of Jobhunting – searching for entry level positions, internships, and volunteer work to break into the world of Communications.

Rather than just listlessly sending out resumes to employers for every position I see myself qualified for, I’ve determined that it’s important to strongly consider what skills and knowledge you can bring, as well as what you seek from a organization. I’ve combed through several job postings to get a sense of what opportunities are out there on the market, and found myself most drawn to roles involving a mix of responsibilities such as social media marketing, community and content management, and writing/blogging, and focused within the industries I am most passionate about – Arts & Entertainment, Technology, Publishing, and Philanthropy. And of course, values such as personal and professional development, a diverse and inclusive team, and giving back to the community are tops. Knowing all this, I am better aware of what I want from a career, which will definitely help me determine what jobs to consider in the future!

The uncertainty of searching for work causes great anxiety for many jobseekers. You never know how long it will take to find the right fit. This can lead to self-doubt, demotivation, hopelessness, and the worst, a feeling of defeat. How can you prevent yourself from straying off the path to your success? Stay in motion! I think it’s crucial to keep yourself busy and be proactive through your search. Now’s a good time as any to work on building upon the skills you have and seeking further knowledge on the industries and topics you are most interested in.

Seeing as I want to work in social media, it only makes sense to strive for constant improvement in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Thanks to HootSuite, I am now further along in that endeavour! At HootSuite University, you can learn all about how to manage and utilize HootSuite’s centralized social media dashboard most effectively. Their series of instructional videos starts you off with the basics of HootSuite and then delves into practices for maximizing your social listening, engagement, collaboration, and analytics. Once you finish the courses and pass the final exam, you become a HootSuite University graduate and a HootSuite Certified Professional! As someone who has just been HootSuite Certified, I can testify to the fact that this online program is worthwhile to take (and you even get a nifty Owly badge to place on your website or in your portfolio!). Enroll in HootSuite University today and become a social media expert!

There is so much more you can do to stay active and at the top of your game as you jobhunt. Read articles and peruse through discussions on blogs and LinkedIn, develop your personal brand by setting up an online portfolio (the window to your jobseeking soul), and connect with industry professionals and invite them to informal coffee chats (you’ll be amazed at how easy it is, and why you’ve never done it before!). The key to getting ahead is through this constant motion of learning and connecting.

I hope these tips will prove to be helpful to those of you who are currently jobhunting, or going through any sort of transitional period in your life. If just thinking about the prospect of looking for new opportunities overwhelms you, that’s okay. Sometimes something as simple as filling your head with positive thoughts can be enough to get you going. Here’s an encouraging quotation that I have pinned to my desk:

“It’s perfectly normal that when waiting for a really big dream to come true it seems like it’s taking forever, you wonder if you’re doing something wrong, and you feel like you should just be happy with less. But no matter how long it takes, once it happens it’ll seem as if time flew, you’ll wonder how you ever doubted yourself, and you’ll feel like you should have aimed a little higher.

Aim a little higher.”

Good luck!

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