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."
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.
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:
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 FutureCite.com to provide prospective job seekers with information about gaining the specific employability skills requested by employers," says McRae.
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