We are now 4 months into our new life in Calgary – where did that time go?! I have some good news, I finally got HIRED! After 3 months of applying for jobs, meeting countless people for networking, writing my resume a million times and endless nights of self-dought… I got a freaking job!!
I have surprised myself and actually landed a job very close to my career goals, after over 5 years of leaving university I have a job in sustainability!
I’ve taken some time to reflect on the job hunting process; I won’t lie there were times I really struggled and found being far away from close friends and family difficult. Saying that the people I have met here were so supportive, offered advice or dinner with a cup of tea 🙂
Here are a few things I noticed during this job search:
- Focus, focus, focus. For the role I got, my resume had never been so focused. Despite a small amount of experience in sustainability, it filled my resume without exaggerating the truth and for once, my resume didn’t look cramped. I even made the margins bigger!
- Linkedin is your friend. Turns out my application didn’t actually go through the online system for the company! Having previously emailed the hiring manager beforehand they were able to notify me of this and asked me to email my information across.
- Canadians love bullet points, Canadian addresses, a personal summary and a key competencies section.
- Network. Just do it, make time for some awkward coffees – my resume improved leaps and bounds after I met with several people through tenthousand coffees. A much more engaging way to get career advice over reading endless articles!
- Be confident, super confident… uncomfortably confident? I had to really big myself up on my resume and cover letter… it was almost uncomfortable.
- Don’t ramble, I used to ramble a lot of my cover letters, my final one was probably the most concise one I’ve ever written. Practice makes perfect?
- A Working Holiday Visa will almost always be screened out of most jobs you apply for. Just be prepared.
- Be prepared to take a step down. I am now in an entry-level role despite having experience as a senior engineer and 5 years work experience in the UK. Engineers are viewed differently here and I will need to become an Engineer in Training before I can even think about getting the equivalent of Chartership (known as PEng).
Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP!
The above is obvious, however, I found in the mist of job hunting it is so easy to lose sight and read blogs and think “easier said than done!”. If you have one of those days, arrange a networking coffee! I found that gave me some motivation to get my resume up to scratch or do some more research.
Having spent time actively and mindfully apply for a job (not searching because I’m desperate to leave or need a job straight out of university), I started to understand what I want from a career and more importantly a company. Previously, it has always been fuzzy “something in sustainability” or based on material things like “earn enough to buy a house” or “earn enough to afford this holiday”. I am hoping from this new job I’ll be able to stay content, have the energy to travel and gain some great experience in a sector I am passionate about.