Many young people find the hardest part about starting your career (after figuring out what you want to do for your career!) is getting your foot in the door. We’ve got some tips here about networking, volunteering, interning and apprenticing that will help you get into the job force. Are you ready to jump into the green collar work world? Check out the resources below and get started!
“Its not what you know, but who you know.”
The key to joining the workforce is discovering the hidden job market. The hidden job market gets filled not from posting job openings, but through connections. There are many untapped resources at your disposal. The key is forming a network – a group of individuals you can talk to about possible job openings and new learning opportunities.
The purpose of networking is the giving and receiving of information. Some potential network members can be found through family members, neighbours, teammates/coaches, teachers, community leaders, or acquaintances, to name a few. There are a few key elements of a successful network: talk to your network often to maintain a good relationship, help them out when you can, be an active participant in conversations, and be responsive - be on the lookout for information that may be of use to your contacts and share with them, and meet new people.
A lot of networking takes place at events, conferences and workshops, which are not only valuable learning opportunities but also great opportunities to meet people in the field that you wish to work in. Many of these events will have student/youth rates or volunteering opportunities to allow you to attend for a reduced rate.
You’ll be surprised how open some representatives from companies and organizations can be about their experience, and advising you on your plans and relevant opportunities- especially if you’re willing to volunteer some of your time!