We asked our staff to share examples of the kinds of questions that clients sometimes ask, and the answers they offer. This question from a client came to Cindy Chen, an Employment Counsellor at JVS Toronto Employment Source Scarborough.
A client who had graduated from Community College came to see me, after struggling to find work in his field for a while. He wondered whether he should you take a job that is not in his field, just for the sake of money.
Having just graduated from a program that you have invested time and money into, you are probably eager and ready to jump into the workforce and start practicing your craft. With the competitive job market out there, this can be more challenging than originally planned. Most job postings for even junior positions usually require a minimum of 1-2 years of relevant experience, what is a new graduate to do?
If you were enrolled in a program that had some form of field placement, such as co-op or internship then you can include that experience as relevant, however, if your studies did not include such practicum, it would be a good idea to start volunteering at an organization that you would like to be employed at. Market your time and talent as a valuable commodity and your presence will benefit the organization, as opposed to them doing you a favour by allowing you to gather experience there.
If money is an issue — chances are it probably is — and since you have just invested time and money, and now need to work and pay off your debts, perhaps taking the job that’s offered to you isn’t such a bad idea.
Make sure that the job is worth your while; factor in transportation time and cost, as well as the pay and hours of work. If all balances out, then the offer should be seriously considered. Remember that you can continue to search for employment while you are working; you might even conduct a better job search while you are working, since you won’t have pressure and desperation associated with unemployment.
Another benefit of taking an interim job, is that there are often transferable skills that you could pick up from the job that might be useful later on, such as customer service, communication, administration, or relationship building. It also demonstrates to future employers that you are not afraid of hard work.
Accepting the immediate job will help alleviate your financial stress, provide you with practical experience, opportunities for personal growth as well as a potential network to get to your next and more desirable job. You really will not know where an opportunity will lead until you take it.
Cindy Chen is an Employment Counsellor at JVS Toronto Markham Employment Source. She is trained as a Registered Social Service Worker (RSSW), and describes herself as an advocate of inclusion who is passionate about helping others.