3 lessons for career-hunters

Standard

“Think of networking like dating.”

“Keep knocking on doors. No doesn’t mean no, it just means not right now.”

“You can’t know what your destination is.”

I recently attended a Career Centre panel discussion on “Discovering Careers in Non-Profit, Charitable, Non-Governmental, and Social Justice Organizations.” While I was there, I was inspired and surprised by what I heard.

There were six great panelists, with backgrounds as diverse as commerce, medieval history, environmental studies, communications, sociology, and political science.

Some of the panelists from the discussion (left to right): Sarah Asgari, Mary El’Bably, Nora Priestly (Photo taken by Sjoerd Witteveen), Christopher Tuckwood, Cecelia Paoluca (Photo taken by Colin McConnel)

Given that diversity, it’s no surprise that the first lesson to emerge was…

“Don’t let your degree define you – you define the degree.”

A degree is just one part of your journey. There is no perfect degree for landing your dream job. Really. It’s more likely that you will have a non-linear career path filled with jobs or experiences that might not seem directly related to your goals.

If you’re feeling directionless, don’t freak out, because…

“You’re probably on your career path already.”

What are the things that you love doing? The clubs that you gravitate towards? The jobs or volunteer positions that you’ve filled?

Whether you know it or not, you have been developing your personality, connections, knowledge, experience, and passion since day 1. You’ve been preparing for your career.

But don’t just focus on yourself…

Network, network, network! “You cannot underestimate the value of [other] people.”

Connections and serendipity can open up doors that you wouldn’t be able to plan for or force open yourself.

“Think of networking like dating.” It’s better to follow up with someone you’ve already made a personal connection with than to look for an advert online when you’re career-shopping.

Being proactive, passionate, and people-oriented will make a great career an achievable goal. Do you have other great advice for career-hunters? Let us know in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “3 lessons for career-hunters

  1. This is great! I have a tendency to get down on myself and think that I’ve been heading in the wrong direction for a while now. This is really reassuring that I’m doing alright.

    • Yeah Drew! I think it’s great that you’re on exchange, and no matter where you are, you’re always doing neat things. You’re definitely well on your way towards your future career!

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