Archive for the ‘career talk’ Category

and she goes West

Well it finally happened. After almost 5 months of job-searching, I’ve landed a job. The catch? It’s out West. Waaay West! And North. Latitude 54 North. Like, almost-freaking-Alaska-North-West.

So I’m off on an adventure. If you don’t know much about Haida Gwaii, because I certainly didn’t before coming across the job description, have a read: Haida Gwaii. You can see a few major towns listed on the map above — I will be in Masset, the Northern most city on the island.

My job is two-fold: one, Stopping the Violence Counsellor, where I will be doing one-on-one and group counselling with women who have experienced violence; and two, Outreach Worker, doing educational work, workshops, crisis line, and accompaniments with women. AKA: DREAM JOB!

I plan on keeping up as much as I can with my blogging, as well as attempting some vlogging. Of course, being on such a picturesque West coast island, there will be many, many nature photos. You have been warned.


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Placement is over.

School is over.

I’m currently volunteering at the rape crisis centre, working as part of a coalition of women against honour killings, writing a policy paper. I will also be training as a volunteer in the Energy Exchange program at a local yoga studio, so I can get me some free yoga (stoked!).

And I’ve been cruising charityvillage like its my job, looking for work. Like, REAL people jobs. Yes, it is time for the transition from student life to the real world.

I’ve been in this position before, 2 years ago, when I completed my Masters and thought I could easily get any job I wanted. Boy – was I wrong. So, so wrong. And now I’m here again.

So I’ve thought up a few tips and tricks for applying to jobs, and keeping my sanity in the process.

1. Winning is in the details — It can be incredibly time-consuming and tedious editing and catering your cover letter and resume to each job and its specific requirements, but it is well worth it. The Executive Director at the rape crisis centre I volunteer at, told me that if she reviews an application, and the covering letter does not include the qualifications listed in the job advertisement, she does not even bother looking at the resume. So use what the job advertisement gives you to write your cover letter.

2. Not the exact job you want? Apply anyways — Even though my ideal job is to be a counsellor, I have been applying to administrative positions that are for organizations I can see myself working at. Because when a counselling position opens up in that organization, I will have the advantage of already knowing how the organization works, of knowing the hiring members, and have access to internal postings. Admin might not be the job you want, but it is a sure stepping stone to the job you do want.

3. “Hi, my name is Rachel, and I am looking for a job” — Spread the word to everyone you know that you are looking for work. You never know who might have a connection that can help you out. I once got a contact name and number from a woman working in a butcher shop who happened to have a friend in my line of work. Random help from strangers does happen!

4. Use your free time to try different things — While you could spend every waking minute at your computer searching job postings and firing off resumes til your fingers fall off, you might suffer from application-burn-out. This is quite common. Instead of this approach, try getting outdoors, picking up an old, forgotten-about hobby, visiting friends and family you’ve neglected, and trying new things (cooking, exercise, exploring your city, gardening…). Given the frustrations that often accompany the job search, it is a good idea to keep a level head by taking time for self care.

Wish me luck folks! And if you know of any jobs in counselling, refer to #3 and pass me the info!

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