Get ready: Employers will be asking this question in 2021

October 16, 2020 | Society, Campus Life

Cynthia Gracey Dunch, career development specialist in MacEwan University's Careers and Experience, ventures that "What did you do in 2020?" will be one of the top questions employers will be asking during your 2021 job search.

But before you can answer that question, think about these ones: Are you volunteering? Taking additional courses to learn something new? Experimenting with new hobbies (e.g., sourdough starters, anyone?). Your answers, says Gracey Dunch, can help you in developing your career plan.

You might be saying, What career plan? There's a pandemic going on!

And though it's a challenging time to plan for a career, the Careers and Experience team says it's not impossible. In fact, there's no time like the present to start reflecting on your career goals.

"This is also a really good time for more deliberative career planning — to take a step back and think about who you are and what you want from your career and life," says Gracey Dunch. "As we move into the winter months, there will be more time to reflect on your interests, skills, values and needs; explore career options; and learn how to fit these together."

Gracey Dunch explains that as she’s working with students in career planning appointments, she also helps them through this process. The result? “They feel empowered and encouraged to embrace the challenges and the joys they encounter in their career journey."

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Did you know?
Careers and Experience offers MacEwan students career assessments and a free online course called Navigating My Career Journey, which they can self-enroll in on Blackboard.

Dr. Heather McRae, dean of the School of Continuing Education, agrees that while there are many difficulties that come with working or seeking employment during a pandemic, it's also an important time to reflect not only on what you do well, but also on what you would like to learn to do well.

"There are many opportunities for formal and informal learning; one of the challenges is finding the best pathway that works for you," says McRae. "Many of our continuing education students find that attending short courses and interacting with others provides opportunities to network and learn about different kinds of careers."

Again, there's no time like the present — courses offered by the School of Continuing Education include online or face-to-face options.

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Did you know?
Now more than ever networking opportunities and job interviews are happening online. Careers and Experience can help you navigate these online environments through tips and tricks on their Career Resources page on MacEwanLife.

If you're already thinking about career development, MacEwan has a couple of opportunities to help you get started.

Opportunities for career planning and development:

FutureCite on October 17

MacEwan University is a sponsor of FutureCite's GenXYZThrives: Navigating the Future on October 17. The virtual event, which can help you navigate the digital transformation, learn and share ideas, and connect to others and accelerate projects, aims to bring together students, employers and educators for discussions about future skills, education and the job market.

"MacEwan's School of Continuing Education is adding a number of job-related courses to to provide prospective job seekers with information about gaining the specific employability skills requested by employers," says McRae.

Get to Work Career Fair on October 28

Careers and Experience is hosting its Get to Work Career Fair virtually this year.

Students will be able to meet with employers through online chats or video meetings. Gracey Dunch advises students to be ready with an elevator pitch that they can use when chatting with employers.

View the exhibitor list and find other information about the career fair on MacEwanLife.

Can't make this one? Watch for Careers and Experience to offer more virtual career fairs throughout the year.

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Did you know?
You can find tip sheets on Before and During and After the Virtual Career Fair on MacEwanLife or through Careers and Experience. As well, access YouTube videos, such as Digital Networking, Online Interview Tips and more to get more comfortable with networking.

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