Career Related Articles: L.A. Picks (updated weekly)
Hi to everyone reading this! I’m Wania and I’m a part of the student staff for the Career Centre, working as the Library Assistant under the supervision of Peggy Shkuda, one of our great career counsellors. I’m currently in my third year of undergraduate studies, with a double major in psychology and sociology. As such, I enjoy learning about people and how they operate and do my best in applying that knowledge into my daily life in how I interact with others.
This page has been put together by myself and my colleagues and is meant to serve as a resource for fellow students. It contains articles that touch on relevant issues students may be facing, such as navigating job search during a pandemic, building important skills in preparation for entering the workforce, and finding a balance between school, work, and social life. The page will be updated regularly, and I hope it serves as a useful resource for students in finding strategies to optimize success.
With the new year ahead of us, we’re all hoping to put the events of 2020 behind us. However, it is clear that there are some ways in which the world will never be the same. Particularly relevant to recent and future grads is what changes have occurred for job searchers. This article outlines 5 changes that might be here to stay, including having tougher competition, getting comfortable with zoom interviews, and the importance of networking.
As the world faces more than one billion jobs transformed by technology, it remains imperative that individuals maintain a focus on skill-building. This article, supported by research, explores the core mindsets and skills of effective learners, which the authors believe to be the most fundamental skill for professionals to cultivate in the coming decades.
~ I chose this article because it provides a unique take on what the most essential skills in the workforce will be in the coming years. Although we may be used to hearing what types of careers and hard skills will be most valuable, this article provides a more generalizable view that we should constantly cultivate, maintain, and improve on our learning capabilities. ~
Looking for a job can raise messy identity questions that make it hard to figure out who the 'you' is that you're supposed to be. In this article, career development director Derek Attig offers three suggestions on how to strike a balance between being real and being professional — and figuring out what that even means — when talking to potential employers.
~ Job searching can be stressful for a number of reasons, but it can be especially stressful when you’re trying to figure out the best way to sell yourself to potential employers. I liked this article because it speaks directly to students and provides helpful tips on exactly how to achieve a successful level of “strategic authenticity.” ~
With the current state of things, it’s easy to feel stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed. It’s often difficult to find the motivation to stay on task and on top of responsibilities This article gives advice on how to overcome those internal challenges, focusing on how you think, how you spend your time, and who you’re with.
~ This time of the semester is often quite hectic and can cause burnout for a lot of students. That’s why it’s important to take a step back, gain some perspective, and find a way to stay motivated. I liked this article because it covers those grounds and provides advice on how to take a breath and keep going. ~
Quarantine and isolation have provided an excellent excuse to do some reflecting and introspection. For some, that might mean deciding to change career paths. In such tumultuous times, however, it is important to keep the big picture in mind. This article outlines things to keep in mind if you’re planning on making changes or adjustments to your career plan in order to maximize your chances of a successful transition.
~ With all the uncertainty we’re facing right now, I know many students have thought about making changes to their academic and/or career paths. Making such drastic adjustments can cause anxiety and fear about being able to successfully navigate a new pathway, and so I chose this article because I like the simple yet practical advice it gave in regards to keeping a strong head on your shoulders. ~
As we all adjust to the new normal and look ahead to what a post-COVID world will look like, it is important to consider how the changing workforce will affect us on an individual level. In this article, author Linda Nazareth offers some perspective on how reliance on remote work will expand the pool of potential new hires, and what this means for competition between jobseekers.
~ I chose this article because I know many students who are looking to enter the workforce in such a tumultuous time for the economy are wondering what exactly they can expect in terms of opportunities. This article provides a good overview of what challenges such students might face and what types of workers will have an edge over others, which may allow students to plan accordingly. ~
Job interviews can be intimidating and daunting because we’re often unsure about how to provide the 'right' answers to potential employers. A particular question that can often be tricky to answer is the weakness question. This article goes over the ways in which jobseekers can make faults when answering this question, and how to best answer it in a way that will impress your interviewer.
~ I liked this article because it’s simple and gets straight to the point, while also providing valuable advice about something that many students and first-time jobseekers are unsure about. ~
Our daily schedules can often feel overwhelming as we try to juggle all of our responsibilities. It is often easy to become consumed with worry over everything we need to get done as we wonder why there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. This article provides advice on how to balance your time in an efficient way that allows optimization of productivity while maintaining energy and focus.
~ I chose this article because it provides good perspective on how we can become overworked, and how we can put in the work to overcome this. Although the article seems to be meant for those struggling with their jobs, the advice can easily be applied to students who are struggling with their academic work as well. ~
Looking for jobs can often seem like a tedious and exhausting process. This article by career coach and job search strategist Kerri Twigg provides some unique advice on how to efficiently go on the job hunt in a way that won’t leave you uninspired. The author mentions how job ads can be limiting and how to tailor your job search in a way that will best help you find your dream job.
~ I liked this article because it’s an easy read and it provides an out-of-the-box way of hunting for your dream job. ~
It is evident by now that the pandemic will have both short-term and long-term effects on the economy, and subsequently how individuals will be able to sustain their careers. This article talks specifically about the impact on the careers of young people, and mentions exactly what their struggles may look like, as well as advice on what resources they can use to best overcome these struggles.
~ I chose this article because I know a lot of students are worried about what a post-COVID economy and workforce is going to look like for them, and this article details what they may expect, and how they can brace for impact. ~
As we all become increasingly aware of the disparities between white individuals and BIPOC in the Western world, it is important to consider how these disparities carry into the workforce. In this article, career and wellness practitioner Jodi Tingling provides an overview of the myriad of ways in which BIPOC face obstacles in their career paths that their white colleagues will never experience. In doing so, she also suggests ways in which we can all come together to ensure equality and equity for all individuals.
~ I chose this article because I know much of the UTM population consists of BIPOC, and thus it seemed relevant. It’s up to all of us, no matter what our race or ethnicity, to be better colleagues and peers. This can only happen if we’re educated and aware of the issues that surround us, and this article does a good job at pointing those things out. ~
Writing resumes can often seem like a chore, especially if you’re unsure about how to sell yourself. This article provides a fun, unique approach to getting over this type of 'writer’s block.'
~ I liked this article because it provided a fresh, fun take on the classic “tips for writing a resume” advice that students may be familiar with. ~
We all remain uncertain about what the effects of the pandemic will be on the workforce in the long term. This article projects which Canadian industries will endure the most severe consequences, and where we can expect the economy to go.
~ I chose to include this article because although it may seem like a snooze fest at first glance, it provides valuable information about what the economy will be facing going forward. This may be helpful to students who are planning their future careers, as it may serve as an indication that they need to have alternative pathways in mind. ~
Understanding and evaluating the culture of an organization can be difficult for job applicants. But finding a workplace with a decent work culture is worth the extra effort. Why? Because every worker deserves an employer who can provide job security, equitable income opportunities, and a culture that can help them achieve their full potential. This article outlines tips for job seekers to ensure they are able to find decent work.
~ I found this article to be a good resource as it’s purely in the interest of job seekers. It provides helpful tips to keep in mind for those on the job hunt, to ensure they’re being treated with the fairness and equity they deserve. ~
Nail Your Virtual Interviews – 21 Things You Need To Know, Do and Master
With virtual interviews becoming the norm these days, there are adjustments that need to be made in the interview strategies and etiquette we utilize. This article lays out all the things you need to be mindful of when you’re in such a situation and the strategies that will help you succeed.
~ I liked this article because it does a good job of simplifying how interviewees should conduct themselves in virtual interviews. It’s easy to understand and provides simple, practical tips that are easy to apply to yourself. ~
As a student looking to make the transition into the workforce, it is often daunting to think about whether you’re skilled and qualified enough to outdo your competition, especially in a time where it seems the playing field has been somewhat leveled. This article discusses the skills you’ll need to succeed, as outlined both by fellow students and hiring managers.
~ I thought this was an interesting article because it’s quite straightforward. The information is particularly impactful because you know it came directly from students who are new hires, as well as the managers in charge of hiring them. ~
Working remotely from home requires some serious self-discipline. It may be difficult to prevent yourself from procrastinating, while also making sure you don’t overwork yourself. This article provides strategies you can implement in your life that will help you find that healthy balance between work and life in order to optimize your performance.
~ This article touches on a relevant issue that people seem to be having these days in terms of managing stress. It provides tangible strategies that are rooted in science, that will guide students in finding the right amount of pressure they need to put on themselves. ~
With most people having no choice but to shift the completion of their work and school responsibilities to remote, online means, there has been added anxiety when it comes to balancing our days. At first, getting to stay home might have seemed like the ideal situation, but now, there seems to be a widespread struggle in terms of time management. This article provides strategies on how you can better structure your days to optimize both productivity and leisure.
~ Time management has been one of the most obvious things that students have been struggling with, and I found this article to be incredibly helpful in providing legitimate strategies that can help set clearer boundaries and prevent feeling overworked and overwhelmed. ~
The Labour Market Information Council analyzed data regarding employment loss and recovery during the months of February and July 2020, comparing immigrants and Canadian-born workers. Their major findings include the fact that although immigrants, in general, saw the largest drops in employment, female immigrant workers, in particular, suffered the worst job losses, and have also had the slowest recovery rate.
~ I found this article to be relevant because many UTM students are either immigrants themselves or come from immigrant families, and it provides a good snapshot of how that specific population has been impacted by COVID. It’s quite clear and concise and the stats are easy to understand. ~
The interview process is just one of many key aspects of the workforce that has shifted to virtual means to accommodate for physical distancing guidelines. As a result, there may be an added layer of pressure when it comes to presenting one’s physical background through video. This article provides tips and tricks on how to tailor your background for the job you want.
~ I found this article to be very interesting because it provides a thought-provoking presentation of the pros and cons of video interviews and gives really good advice on how students can use their circumstances to their benefit. ~
Although it may feel as if our physical and social exploration has been stunted as a result of having to stay home, that doesn’t mean our professional exploration needs to suffer the same fate. This article suggests a few digital resources that may be available to individuals who are looking to continue their professional development despite the current restrictions on attending in-person events.
~ This seems like a particularly relevant article for students who may feel stuck, and as if there’s nothing they can do to work their way towards their desired career. The article is a good way to get students thinking of how they can take initiative over their professional lives despite the current circumstances. ~
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