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UTM Career Centre Blog

Weekly thoughts, musings, sharings, and everything in between from your pals at the UTM Career Centre.

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February 2016

A PART-TIME JOB CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Do you feel unfulfilled from full-time academics?  Are you in debt? Worried about your sparse looking resume?

If I had been asked these questions during my first three years of university, I would’ve answered a booming YES across the board!  Luckily, near the end of my third year of studies, I secured a position as a Career Assistant at the UTM Career Centre.  At the time, I was really only doing it to remedy the challenges above.  I wanted to become engaged outside of the classroom, pay off some bills, and fill out my resume.  In essence, I thought a part-time job would help and an on-campus one seemed easiest.  What I didn’t count on though, was just how life-changing my new part-job would be.  Working at the Career Centre helped me learn a lot about professional development.  I was able to make great connections (yay networking!), have easy access to great career-related books, and have an excuse to attend counselling sessions that I didn’t even realize I needed.    Plus, helping other students made me feel so personally fulfilled that my whole university experience finally came to life.  It even emboldened my choice to go into the field of counselling myself; and now, five years later (with a recent Master’s Degree in hand), I’ve begun working as a Career Counsellor at the Centre.  Who knew what a part-time job on campus could lead to down the road?!

If you’re thinking about gaining experience, getting involved, paying off some bills, or trying something new, I’d strongly suggest that you consider working at the Career Centre.  There are different positions available based on your interests and personalities; so all are welcome to apply! You can find out more information by checking out the postings on the Career Learning Network.  If something catches your interest, don’t hesitate – apply!

 

Kayla Sousa

Career Counsellor

Undecided about your career? Not sure what to do? (read on)

Keep Calm and Come to the Career Centre

 

I regularly meet with students who are overwhelmed with the prospect of making career choices and decisions.    These include students in their first year right up to and including recent grads.    A good proportion of students don’t have a career focus early on in their academic experience and become increasingly motivated as they near graduation, when the reality of finding employment sets in.


Why the indecision?

There are a number of reasons that could contribute to career decision-making difficulties, including:

  • Not knowing how to make a career decision
  • Limited information about oneself (eg. capabilities, interests, personal qualities)
  • Lack of information about occupations and how to obtain career information
  • Inconsistent information due to internal or external factors (eg. difficulties related to the developing personal identity of the student, insecurity about one’s ability to achieve a career goal, limited career exposure, or expectations / opinions of significant others)

Making Career Decisions 

Below are some questions to ponder if you’re having difficulty making a career decision:

  • How do you prefer to make decisions? Has this approach been beneficial for you in the past?
  • How well do you understand yourself (likes, dislikes, strengths, values, personality)?
  • How does your self-knowledge suit different occupations? What else do you need to know?
  • Do you have sufficient (reliable) information to make and evaluate your career choices (Eg. career information, required training, contacts in the field)? What else do you need to know?
  • What’s your timeline for making a decision?
  • What’s in the way of making a decision?

 


Identify the road blocks in an effort to help you move towards a solution.   Whatever the reason, don’t ignore the challenge or put off taking action.     You do not need to agonize through your career decision making woes.  There is plenty of support available on-campus to assist you with each step of the way.


 How the UTM Career Centre can help: 

  • Career exposure opportunities connecting students to working professionals in various fields and organizations. Read up on “In the Field” and “Extern” programs in the Career Learning Network at  utoronto.ca  (check Programs as well as the Mississauga Events Calendar for upcoming sessions).
  • web-based resources on occupations and career decision making (check CLN, under “resources”)
  • workshops on topics including career exploration and decision making, job search, interview skills, professional/graduate school planning and much more. Also, networking events and career nights with industry speakers who share insights about their own career path and tips for students. (check the CLN – Mississauga Events Calendar, for upcoming sessions)
  • a variety of assessment tools (to identify your skills, interests, values, personality traits)
  • individual appointments with staff to discuss your career or job search questions and concerns

Visit the UTM Career Centre for support.  We’re committed to your success.

Daniela Cristini, Career Counsellor

 

Reference:

Morgan Tracy, Ness David.   Career Decision Making Difficulties of First Year Students.  Retrieved from http://cjcdonline.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Career-Decision-Making-Difficulties-of.pdf.

(The Canadian Journal of Career Development).

IN THE FIELD – AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN

Experiential learning is learning through experience and then reflecting on that experience. Reflection is key as it helps a person gain perspective into their likes and dislikes.

So, why is experiential learning important when it comes to career exploration? It is important because it allows students to participate in an activity that will help them learn about what careers align with their passions, strengths and values.

I am a big advocate of experiential learning. I think that university can be an overwhelming experience because there are so many options. Options everywhere! For everything! Even deciding where to eat lunch requires a “pros and cons” list. So, how is a student supposed to know what they want to do for the rest of their life? Am I right? This is why experiential learning is so great! It helps students experience first-hand things that are of interest to them and decide if they actually like it or not.

The Career Centre is a great resource for experiential learning. Our Career Exploration programs are carefully designed to provide a meaningful learning experience. Our In the Field program takes students on site to various organizations where they can learn about the day-to-day operations of individuals working in various departments. How cool is that? Very cool, if I may say so myself (and not only because I help organized them).

In the month of March, we will be hosting two In the Field sessions to CAMH and Peel Regional Police. Students will get to tour the organizations and spend the day with yours truly! If you haven’t had the opportunity to sign up for these fun filled days of learning, please check CLN because spots are limited.

These types of opportunities are so valuable and often times underutilized. I highly recommend that all students do some further research on experiential learning and how it can benefit your personal career exploration.

As always, I encourage students to contact me with questions! I’d be happy to chat with you about various Career Centre initiatives and how they can help you.

Happy Learning!

-Jelena

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