Career Advice – It’s Pretty Tough at the Bottom

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Career Advice – It’s Pretty Tough at the Bottom
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About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Recruitment Solutions for Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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There are several new grads in my circle who are looking for the job that will kick off their career. They have had jobs all through school so the act of applying, interviewing and getting hired is not new for them.

I have come to appreciate that looking for a full time role is harder than finding a part-time-to-get-me-through-school job.

My son, for example, is looking to start in social work. He got good grades at a good school and had great performance reviews on his co-op placements. But you know what’s holding him back? He does not have a car. Almost every social work job where we live requires that the candidate have their own car with a honking big liability insurance policy. All this on a $15/hour contract? Really?

One of my friends kids wanted to be a paramedic. He got great marks and loved the material and exceeded expectation on his practicums and ride-alongs. No one told him when he started that there weren’t many job openings for paramedics. People don’t leave. I guess they really love it and only retire when their knees give out.

A former colleague of mine was only a colleague because she could not find a job in a library even though she had graduated at the top of her class in library science (yes, that’s a thing). She worked with me for three years until she found a part time role that she hoped would someday become full time.

I am not trying to be all doom and gloom but I think it’s helpful that those of us who are long established in our career get a refresher on what it is like out there today. Maybe we can keep it in mind when we are writing job postings.

Could someone who is bright, tech savvy and been multi-tasking since they could walk take on the role you need to fill? Does it really need to be someone with three years of experience? Could they learn the software? (I bet if they had a VCR, it would not be flashing 000)

Let’s give this some thought – it could help that person who is just starting or re-starting their career.

You can follow Laura Machan on her twitter account @recruiterscouch. A complete list of her articles can be found here.

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