Epic Quest is a weekly feature about four young progeeks and their journeys to launch their dream careers. To read from the beginning, start here.
In Phase Two, the four progeeks each answer our question of the week.
What’s your best resource for career information? Are there any resources to avoid like the plague?
DoctorWhom: My best resource for career information so far has been my professors and contacts. No one in my family’s ever been to grad school, so I’m going through this kinda blindly. I have three professors this year who’ve been amazingly helpful in helping me figure out what to do, as well as the people in my school’s career services center. If I don’t know what I’m doing, I pretty much just ask someone who does.
Tau’riJedi: I don’t know if there are any resources I would avoid like the plague. I know I’m not thrilled with the Canadian Job Bank, because I’ve discovered that a lot of the jobs are only posted as technicalities, but can’t really blame that on the Government. As far as best resource, that’s hard to say. As far as information for people who have been laid off, are having trouble getting employment after schooling and the likes, their local Career Centre, if they have one is great. They do everything from resume building to assisting in finding any federal and provincial programs that could help lead to your success. They do career coaching, interview seminars and so on. I can’t say I’ve taken advantage of all of that only because a lot of it doesn’t help me — they’ve already confirmed my resume is great and my interview skills are fine, so it’s just a matter of getting myself noticed. Beyond that, I can’t say there’s too much. LinkedIN helps out, and even finding a career coach to help focus your search can be beneficial too. Then again, I’m not sure how much I can attribute to anything since I’m still jobless. It’s hard to say whether it’s because of me or because of the volatile market, so it’s difficult to be able to tell what is actually working and what’s not.
There are a couple regional help-wanted sites (either central, southern, western, or downeast mainehelpwanted.com), but the only jobs that get posted there are for nursing, trucking, teaching, and assisted living, with a few miscellaneous exceptions.
I would check the big and local sites for positions because there was little else I could do, and it beat doing nothing. But really, my best bets (and how I actually got the job I just began,) was by knowing what was around me, and aiming directly for the source. I checked “career” sections of stores/business websites around me, and kept tabs on them until there was a chance to apply. Avoiding posting sites all together and just being aware of what is in your region and who in your network you could ask about opportunities has been the most gratifying approach for me.
I also follow industry insiders on Twitter. Sometimes they link to job postings. Other times, it’s just news articles and announcements, but that helps me because I know which companies and studios are best to approach (and I can speak intelligently about their company if I get a meeting with them).
As for sources to avoid – CRAIGSLIST! I have had mildly better luck on Kijiji, but the bad there has outweighed the good as well. Now I avoid anything where it’s free and simple to post – I know there are some small businesses that must rely on it, but if it’s that easy to post, you get a frightening cross-section of humanity posting on there. Anyone can make up a business. At best, they don’t want to pay you once you’ve done the work. At worse, they’re creepy and dangerous. These free online job boards are not policed for creepers. Don’t go! Stick to official sources and people you know in person.