Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Importance of Forward Thinking: What Do You Want From Your Future Career?

Learn From the Past AND Work Towards the Future

Knowing yourself is an important catapult for the future, but Psychologist Dr. Jennice Vilhauer describes reflection of the past and projection of the future as an intricate relationship between expectation (past) and desire (future). As a psychologist who studies how people create their futures, she’s discovered a formula to this common life question: what should I want (not expect) from my future career?

The formula is the following:
Expectation + Action = Creation (of your life experiences)
Inventory of the past + working for the future = life experiences

In her 2015 Ted Talk, Vilhauer makes an informed declaration on acting on what you want to happen, opposed to acting on what you expect to happen.

“When you don’t act on what you want, you take yourself out of the game,” says Vilhauer. “When you prepare for something that hasn’t even happened yet, you participate in creating the outcome.” This latter point could work two-fold since you could be prepping based on the past while simultaneously excluding the future.

Here at CareerZone, we endorse understanding yourself because it is a vital foundation to the job acquisition process. And employers encourage this. They want to know that you understand who you are because you will consequently place yourself in a position that you want, based on who you perceive yourself to be. Dig deep to determine your existing skills, interests, values, personality, background, and circumstances.

In and of itself, this inventory will also lay out the dislikes and areas of improvement. When you rule out what you don’t want, what you do want moves closer within reach. As Vilhauer puts it, “One serves as the reference point for the other.” You are not married to your past experiences since you can always develop and grow for the future. Does what you want align with who you are? If it does, great! If it doesn’t, then there’s room for growth, which is also great! Work to build yourself up from where you are. This entails discovering possibilities and experiencing more.

“What you want is oftentimes the very thing that you’re not expecting,” says Vilhauer.

So not only is understanding the past important, but it also is important to grapple with the future. Based on what you don’t enjoy, what will you likely enjoy? How will you build on what you like? Plan for the outcome that you want by keeping in mind the paradox: “When you prepare for something that hasn’t even happened yet, you participate in creating the outcome.”

“When you are motivated by what you want, change is possible.”

By Lisa Brown, Career Assistant and Blog Manager
Edited by Kara Renaud, Career Education Supervisor, CCEE Department

Monday, July 5, 2021

Job Acquisition Pyramid: Increase Your Chances in Landing a Job!

a) Internal Hire
b) Network/Referral Hire
c) Company/Organization Careers Website
d) Job Board & Professional Social Media
e) Job Aggregator (i.e., Indeed)

Job Aggregator

General job-search websites will be the most competitive markets for job acquisition. On average, every Canadian position yields approximately 100 applicants, and this has quadrupled in current times since some employers are receiving up to 400 applications per position! (This also means hiring managers are spending even less time reviewing applications, too.) Job aggregators are best utilized for part-time or temporary positions. CareerZone recommends more proactive job-search strategies to increase your chances of securing work.

Job Board & Professional Social Media

For example, the CareerZone Job Postings Board and LinkedIn Jobs are both really good methods for job search. The CareerZone Job Board is thorough and directed explicitly to Brock students and alumni. LinkedIn uses profile information to discover tailored job opportunities on your behalf. Your LinkedIn profile also acts as window shopping for employers, and 98% of employers are on LinkedIn every day. It is important to localize and centralize your searches on your general job boards and social media to yield relevant, advantageous opportunities. Still, CareerZone would recommend aiming even higher (!) since postings can be a last resort for employers.

Where to start: Professional associations (from Degree Exploration Guides) job boards, community job boards (Job Gym Niagara), LinkedIn Jobs, nationwide job boards (Charity Village)

Company/Organization Careers Website

Seeking out a particular company is indicative of your interest in obtaining a career within that company. It’s not always easy to know what companies might be a good fit for you, however, if you have potential career titles in mind, you can explore company directories to see if there is a potential fit.

Where to start: Degree Exploration Guide, careers and organizations alumni members have worked in, careerzone.brocku.ca < Explore Careers & Job Search Websites

Network/Referral Hire

You will either gain something (a networking connection) or learn something (more clarity of your likes and dislikes) – which is a bargain worth making. Networking is still the number one

strategy for finding work and building connections. Attend and utilize events, programs, resources, services, and workshops relative to your interests, qualifications, and skills. These can be Brock-based, community-based or career/field-based. Either way, get out into the world and discover the possibilities.

Where to start: Brock’s 10 Thousand Coffees, LinkedIn alumni connections, CareerZone networking events, casual career conversations

Internal Hire

Job progression is 1 of 14 things to consider when interpreting potential job satisfaction. This type of hire would occur in a position after graduation and likely after a three-month probationary period. Internal hiring is made possible when an employee demonstrates an impact in their role, and when their skills are recognized for other opportunities within the company. Along with job progression, you should consider the following items: benefits, further education assistance, job security, location, parking, responsibility, retirement, salary, stock options, transportation cost, vacation time, work hours, and work environment.

Where to start: At the point in the interview when you are welcomed to ask questions, or on the company website if indicated.

For more information, email CareerZone: career@brocku.ca

Written by Lisa Brown, Career Assistant and Blog Manager
Edited by Kara Renaud, Supervisor of Career Education, CCEE Department

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Brock CareerZone Blog 10-Year Anniversary: Part 2

11. Media Etiquette: Professional Social Media and Job Searching (2016) Believe it or not, social media plays a huge role in job search. Most organizations have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter page or profile that is professionally monitored and contributed to on a daily basis. Media is an extension of your self, so it is important to keep your brand consistent and contribute content to grow your reach and visibility. Everyone can be their own professional social media curator. Did we mention that 98% of recruiters are on LinkedIn every single day? And did you know that recruiters are more than likely to sift through your online content? The more creative you are with your self-branding, the more desirable you become. Food for thought.  

12. Career Exploration: How will you make your mark? (2016) A handful of blog posts discuss determining whether certain careers are in demand. This can often be misleading and limiting, so it is important to change your way of thinking about career exploration. Do not get hung up on job titles, and if there isn’t a type of position out there for you, make one! James Clear, author of the bestselling book Atomic Habits, is a prime example of this. He created his own degree across four science and math-related programs. He approached his interests and education with a “where there’s a will, there’s a way” mindset. So, determine what your personal brand is in order to attract opportunities that best suit you. A strong self-brand that encompasses your skills and talents can be attractive to employers and can lead your career journey in exciting new directions. CareerZone can help you craft your brand and lead with your strengths.  

13Interviews: An interview is an opportunity for the discovery of job compatibility for both the interviewer and the interviewee. (2017) We want students to be aware that interviews are also an opportunity to determine whether the position is a good fit for them, so it is important to be prepared with 3-5 questions that you seek the answers to. The blog has presented interesting interview questions that students can ask of hiring managers. These questions include the following: Where do you see the company in terms of growth in the next five years? What are the immediate projects of this position that need to be addressed in the first 3-6 months? What types of employees excel here? (This is a great and subtle question to determine how involved the employer is with its employees.) Is there career advancement after the probation period? Note: It is advantageous to know how you approach problems since this may be a question posed to you in an interview.  

14Master Resume: Ways to Enhance Your Resume (2018) Skills translation is a crucial component to creating a standout resume. You can have great experience and still not know how to write CAR (challenge, action, result) statements to prove your skills. Did you know that Brock has a formal document of core competencies (program-wide skills) that all Brock students develop in their programs? Did you also know that Degree Exploration Guides (DEG) are available to help you with identifying your degree-specific skills? These two documents are useful resources when writing your CAR statements.

15Is It Necessary? Further Education (2018) If you are unsure of what to do after graduation, further education is an option for those who know they want or need additional academic experience. Masters degree is typically advantageous for students who aspire for a leadership role, a requirement for a specific job or as a bridge to the PhD. PhD-level education supports career paths in research and teaching in higher education, but also lends nicely to a variety of career possibilities outside the academy. Post-graduate studies can be competitive, demanding and expensive. Therefore, it is key to ask yourself: what is the goal of pursuing further education? Do you need it? Investigate your options thoroughly and talk to recent grads of the program to determine career possibilities after graduation.  

16Mark November on Your Calendar: Every November is Canada Career Month (2019) As indicated previously, leverage existing time frames for your career exploration. November is a perfect time to begin your summer job search or job search after graduation. During this month, Canadians coast-to-coast celebrate the importance of meaningful work and all those that assist in connecting students with their preferred work environments. Mark this month on your calendar for Brock-specific events, programs and resources. National events, programs and resources can be found at www.canadacareermonth.ca

17Career Assessments: A traditional Career Preparation Tool (2019) This one is a personal testimonial. Since career assessments crossed my plate many moons ago, I held the belief that they were a waste of time because of their potential ineffectiveness due to subjectivity. Taking these types of assessments in high school may not accurately reflect who you are and what you want because you’re still young and experiencing the ebbs and flows in life. Now that I’m older, I have completed career assessments offered by CareerZone, and it has completely changed my attitude towards these assessments. I have a better understanding of what I want, need and like on a personal level. Career assessments have allowed me to better reflect on who I am. Whether you are a lower or upper-year student who is unsure of what the future may hold, start here. This topic is a prevalent one in the blog archive and for good reason. Either way, you will come out of these assessments with insight and direction.  

18Entrepreneurship: The resurrection of small businesses and the rise of side businesses. (2020) In today’s economy, it is wise to have more than one income stream or lead a life of starting your own business. If you are adamant about testing the waters in entrepreneurship, CareerZone can support you with finding helpful information to get started. Connect with us to learn more! 

19. Remote Work: The increase and longevity of remote work. (2020) Remote opportunities are likely to live on now that the technology and resources have been set in place to do so. Remote work is not for everyone but it has been our reality in recent times. If you think remote work is something you want to continue to do, ask yourself some pillar questions to determine how successful you will be working from home: Does working from home align with my personality? Will I be productive at home? Am I comfortable with technology since I may be reliant on it? How long will I work remotely? And so on.  

Ask the Right Questions: Do not get hung up on job titles. (2021) This valuable piece of advice comes from the Supervisor of Career Education -- Kara Renaud. Oftentimes students get too focused on job titles or have only been exposed to a handful of careers that exist. This can leave students feeling underwhelmed about potential career opportunities. There over 200 million job titles in Canada and that list is constantly changing as the world changes at a rapid pace. It’s hard to predict what careers will look like next year, never mind 5 or 10 years from now. An alternative approach is to consider the problems you want to solve in the world. How do you want to make a difference? What issues can you help solve with your skills and talents? Opportunities are limitless if you open your mind to a new way of thinking about your career. 

We hope you enjoyed our advice from the past! We encourage 
you to follow the CareerZone Blog as we continue to provide helpful information to support your career journey! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for individual support!

Written by Lisa Brown, Career Assistant and Blog Manager
Edited by Kara Renaud, Career Education Supervisor, CCEE