Sum­mer’s end good time to find a job

Stu­dents told to use face time as well as Face­book

Calgary Herald - - WORKING - DEREK SANKEY FOR THE CALGARY HER­ALD [email protected]

When the fall hir­ing sea­son picks up, some re­cruit­ment ex­perts pre­dict work­ers in the re­cently be­lea­guered 15 to 24 age bracket could see a boost in em­ploy­ment prospects and they ad­vise would-be job hunters to get a jump on the mar­ket.

“Hir­ing def­i­nitely in­creases in the fall,” says Laura Ham­b­ley, founder of Calgary Ca­reer Coun­selling. “We see a lot more ac­tiv­ity in hir­ing and re­cruit­ment.”

She pre­dicts a turn­around in job op­por­tu­ni­ties for that de­mo­graphic. Al­though many are stu­dents head­ing back to school, most still need some type of job to help sup­port their stud­ies, while oth­ers can cap­i­tal­ize on stu­dents leav­ing full-time jobs who re­sume school.

Work­ers aged 15 to 24 took the big­gest brunt of Canada’s over­all re­cent job loss of 74,000 work­ers in July, with their num­bers di­min­ish­ing by 45,600 ac­cord­ing to Statis­tics Canada.

Now is not the time to sit idly by.

“It’s a great time for net­work­ing. They need to go out and do nat­u­ral net­work­ing — the cof­fees, the face time — and not just re­ly­ing on so­cial me­dia alone,” adds Ham­b­ley.

For stu­dents bal­anc­ing full-time stud­ies with work, it’s also an ideal time to take ad­van­tage of the re­cent surge in the cre­ation of part-time jobs, which have out­paced the rise in pri­vate sec­tor full-time jobs.

Jenn San­der­son, a so­cial work stu­dent head­ing back to univer­sity this fall, says she hopes to make a seam­less tran­si­tion from her full-time sum­mer job at a car deal­er­ship to a part-time job dur­ing school.

“I’m op­ti­mistic that us­ing the con­tacts I’ve al­ready made, I should be able to find some­thing fairly eas­ily by Septem­ber,” says San­der­son.

Michelle Cook, an ed­u­ca­tion ad­viser and job search strate­gist with Calgary Ca­reer Coun­selling, says stu­dents should also start think­ing about in­tern­ships for next spring. Many com­pa­nies that hire sum­mer in­terns al­ready have it on their radar.

“We def­i­nitely know that com­pa­nies who in­tern or have co-op stu­dents are al­ready start­ing to think about (hir­ing) for the next ses­sion,” says Cook. Al­though some firms re­tain in­terns through­out the year, the ma­jor­ity of stu­dents re­turn to fall stud­ies and look for part-time jobs to help sup­port them­selves.

“A lot of stu­dents do their best to re­tain the jobs that they may have got­ten dur­ing the sum­mer through­out the fall, or … go on to find some­thing else just to sup­ple­ment (their in­come) be­cause costs are ris­ing,” Cook says.

Re­tail is the tra­di­tional sec­tor where many stu­dents find em­ploy­ment while in school, but Ham­b­ley and her team are start­ing to take a closer look at when stu­dents start to re­ally fo­cus on their long-term ca­reer paths.

She re­cently launched a national ini­tia­tive called Ready or Not: Ca­reer needs of first-year univer­sity stu­dents, as part of a national re­search pro­ject un­der the um­brella of Canada Ca­reer Coun­selling.

It aims to ex­am­ine how pre­pared stu­dents across Canada in their first year of univer­sity stud- ies feel in terms of their ca­reer path. The re­sult is not en­cour­ag­ing.

The aver­age first-year stu­dent goes on to change their ma­jor three to five times. “That has a huge cost and im­pact on the per­son,” Ham­b­ley says. “What we’ve seen in our prac­tice from hun­dreds of stu­dents is that they’re not pre­pared. We want to bet­ter un­der­stand … what it is that they feel is miss­ing.”

Cook says vol­un­teer­ing — even though it’s un­paid, at first any­way — is a great way to net­work, build con­tacts and to dis­cover what ar­eas of work they might want to pur­sue as a ca­reer.

Her or­ga­ni­za­tion re­tains three vol­un­teers at any given time, many of which be­come con­tract work­ers — an­other way to find em­ploy­ment with­out be­ing tied to a full-time job.

One thing is clear: even though July’s em­ploy­ment num­bers for peo­ple aged 15 to 24 may not have been en­cour­ag­ing, it will be a key de­mo­graphic as the ag­ing Baby Boomers re­tire. Many are work­ing longer than ex­pected, but even­tu­ally they will leave a large gap in the work­force.

“The com­pa­nies need to be get­ting younger blood be­cause as soon as gen­er­a­tion X moves into the Boomers’ po­si­tions, all of a sud­den there’s go­ing to be this huge gap and this is a huge prob­lem,” says Ham­b­ley.

Colleen De Neve/calgary Her­ald

Calgary Ca­reer Coun­selling founder Laura Ham­b­ley, right, and job search strate­gist Michelle Cook say lo­cal stu­dents should start plan­ning and net­work­ing now to land part-time jobs for the fall or in­tern­ships for next spring.

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