The best present of all

the greatest gift of all

the greatest gift of all

Be open to the present! “How to create unexpected opportunities”

With Black Friday signaling the upcoming holidays, it’s easy to start worrying about the job market in the New Year or reminiscing about how your job search efforts went in the past. While it’s hard to keep your mind in the present, you may miss potential job prospects.

It’s sounds like a paradox but you need to construct unexpected career opportunities. This concept is summed up in what John D. Krumboltz calls “Planned Happenstance.”

As an example of this theory, Krumboltz uses the story of high-powered professional sports agent, Leigh Steinberg. You remember the movie Jerry McGuire? Well, it’s based on Leigh’s life and career, most of which he chalks up to “pure, random chance.” But was it really random? Did he in fact manufacture his future career, albeit unknowingly, through a series of circumstances and choices?

In an interview Leigh recounts how it all started while attending the University of California at Berkeley while studying environmental law in the early 70’s. As luck would have it a freshman football team moved into his dormitory and after befriending several students he ended up eventually representing Steve Bartkowski, at his request, in contract negotiations with the Atlanta Falcons and well the rest as they say is history…. If you look closely at Leigh’s story you’ll realize that what happened wasn’t really “pure, random chance” but a set of circumstances that Leigh choose to act on, setting aside his own fears, he grabbed the opportunity before him.

You’re probably asking yourself how do I create these types of opportunities? Well, first you’ll need to develop 5 important skills:

Curiosity
Explore new learning opportunities. Take a course, try a new idea talk to insiders you would never have talked to before.

Persistence
Even when things get hard you need to re-exert your efforts and try again.

Flexibility
With emerging technology and changes in the workplace you need to adapt. For example, if a strategy in your job-search isn’t working, change your tactics.

Optimism
You need to keep positive and believe that you can attain your goals.

Risk-taking
Take a page from Leigh and go for something even if it’s risky, sometimes it’s in the process of trying that opportunities happen.

Now you’ll be able to say “show me the money!” sooner than you think!

Elaine Logie is an Employment Advisor at the Career Foundation and frequent MCACESBlogger. MCACESBlogs is series of posts aimed at helping job seekers with their respective paths. Be sure to follow our blog today!

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Finding that Dream Job (Part 3)

As you know from my previous blogs, I’ve been a stay at home mom for the past six years.  Financially speaking, things are pretty tight.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago, my son asked if he could be home-schooled and I had to resist the urge to tell him we’re not going to have a home in which to home-school him in if I don’t find work pretty soon!

As a former educator, I’m currently in the process of getting on my local boards’ supply list.  I’m hopeful I’ll secure a more permanent position by the fall of 2012.  Yes, I’m aware the economy is in a downward spiral and the demand for teacher’s is nil right now, but hey, I’m just an optimistic, glass is half full kind of gal!

When looking for a job in the education sector, as a teacher, administrative, or support applicant, it’s a good idea to check out board websites and determine what method each board uses to accept applications.  Some school board’s, have their own online system for accepting applications.  Other school board’s utilize the website www.applytoeducation.com  This site allows users to search school board job postings and electronically submit your application to employers.  You can view job postings free of charge but there is a fee for submitting your application portfolio.

For me, it has all came down to networking.  (Remember blog number one when I couldn’t stress enough the importance of networking!)  I recently let my friends and previous colleagues know I was ready to re-enter the workforce.  The responses came fast and furious.  My email inbox was soon inundated with messages – “It’s about time,” “Contact so and so and she’ll hook you up,” “Send your resume to me and I’ll make sure the right person receives it,” and so on.

At this time, I’m happy to report, I’ve finished completing all the necessary paperwork and I’m now waiting for my police check to be cleared so I can begin supplying.  Teaching jobs are out there, you just have to call in some favours from the right people!

Renee Morley is a Continuing Education Student currently studying within the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACES offers a comprehensive Employment Advisement program for our students. For more information about Employment Advisement, please visit the MCACES website, www.mcaces.ca or contact Lidia Siino, Employment & Communications Specialist at Lidia.siino@mohawkcollege.ca.

Finding That Dream Job (Part 1)

ImageAlthough I’m not a career consultant, I have tons of experience looking for so-called “survival jobs,” as well as, that elusive dream job.  In fact, I’m currently looking for employment in the education sector after staying home with my young family for the past six years.  This blog is actually part one of a four part series about my job search experiences – with a few of my own tidbits of wisdom thrown in for good measure.  Part one of the series will address the importance of networking, especially as it pertains to new moms off on mat leave or extended leave.  In my second blog, I’ll take a look at the do’s and don’ts of resume writing.  My third blog will discuss applying for a job in the educational field and the fourth blog will examine the dreaded interview and how to prepare.

Hopefully, by blogging about my experiences and acknowledging my newly attained knowledge regarding job search tools and techniques, the road I’m travelling back to employment (and financial security), will be as smooth as possible!

NETWORKING!  As a somewhat introverted individual, I shied away from the idea of networking. For me, the term always conjured up the image of people standing around a conference room awkwardly exchanging pleasantries and business cards.  Call me!

In reality, networking is vital, especially to new moms.  My advice – always try to keep one foot in the workplace door.  If working part-time is not an option, consider other avenues to make the eventual transition back to work as easy as possible.  There are a number of ways to do this – all which involve, you guessed it, networking!

1. Volunteer

I know having a child (or children), is utterly exhausting.  I also know how hard it is to make time for yourself when you have a baby.  It’s vitally important, however, that we moms take time for ourselves – even if it’s only for a couple of hours a week.  If yoga is not your calling, consider volunteering.  Stop by Timmies and grab a much needed coffee en route to your new volunteering position.  Try to find a volunteering opportunity that is enjoyable, will look good on your resume, and has the potential to be used as a reference when the time comes to return to work.

2. Keep in Touch

Call up your co-workers and stop by work for a visit if at all possible – just remember to bring donuts and your newborn baby for everyone to fawn over (the baby, not the donuts)!  Even better, arrange a monthly dinner date with your co-workers.  Consider using Facebook as a job networking tool.  Let your “friends” know that you’re still around and will be coming back to work once your mat leave/extended leave ends.  If you’re thinking of making a career change, let your “friends” know so they can help spread the word and offer you advice, or hook you up with one of their contacts.  Remember, it’s all comes down to who you know!

3. Take a Course

Again, I know you’re exhausted and probably don’t think you have the energy to take a course.  Sleep is way over-rated anyway!  If you can’t make it to your local college or university, consider taking a course online.  By taking a course in-person or online, you can increase your knowledge base, continue to add to your resume and become acquainted with individuals who share a similar interest.

Networking doesn’t have to be forced and uncomfortable!  Use it as an excuse to get out of the house and take a breather.  In addition to maintaining your sanity, you’ll make the return to work as enjoyable and seamless as possible.

Renee Morley is a Continuing Education Student currently studying within the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACES offers a comprehensive Employment Advisement program for our students. For more information about Employment Advisement, please visit the MCACES website, www.mcaces.ca or contact Lidia Siino, Employment & Communications Specialist at Lidia.siino@mohawkcollege.ca.