I’ve been having a lot of casseroles lately. The key to a good casserole is having a lot of good ingredients, but sometimes a casserole is missing a couple crucial ingredients. With a little touch-up to fill in the gastronomic gaps, however, you can have yourself a really tasty meal. This month we have been writing about how to step into a career after graduate school. In my post this week, I will be adding a dash here and a handful there of extra necessary ingredients to successfully navigating yourself right into employment.
Be an active job searcher
There are a lot of sites devoted job postings. If you haven’t already become a member of listservs and organizations relevant to your field, now is a good time. There are often job postings within these listservs that are great opportunities.
There are also a lot of jobs that are not posted, so it’s a great idea to contact places you’d like to work and let them know. Even if they’re not hiring now, they’ll think of you later.
When you are in contact with potential employers, it is important to deliver your message in a way such that you are saying what you mean to say, and in a concise manner. Just think of all of the undergrads that you have TA’d who come to you with questions/comments/complaints, but have not clearly formulated what it is exactly that they’d like to say. Jeremy spoke about perfecting your elevator speech, which is exactly the type of preparation that will make you a strong candidate.
Think about skills as transferable
We often think about the skills that we have developed as being specific to a particular context. For example, I am in Clinical Psychology, and we sometimes forget that much of the same principles that apply to one area of practice often apply to others. When thinking about your fundamental skills, also think about how you may be able to apply them creatively to meet other types of job requirements.
Rejection is an opportunity
If you are on the job market and not getting any rejections, there’s a decent chance that you’re not putting yourself out there enough. Every time you get rejected from a prospective employment opportunity, there is an opportunity for you to amend your approach.
Be nice (and respectful)
For many, it may come as no surprise that a genuinely nice demeanor is typically well received. However, remember that it’s a small world – you never know when you’ll need a favour or cross paths. So, network, make friends, and help people out when you have the opportunity, first and foremost because being a good person is good, but also because it can help your keep career options open.
Thanks for reading our posts this month. If you have any tips for your fellow readers, be sure to make a comment below!