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