I have spent the last two months attending counseling on resumes, cover letters and interviews; applying for jobs online, and meeting with employers. I have heard sayings such as “when you don’t have a job, it is your full-time job to search for one,” and “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I figured, it can’t be that difficult, you just put in the time and, like school, you apply where you want, they realize your merit and bam! you’ve got a dream job that you’re passionate about and pays really well… How naïve of me. I have agonised over cover letters and resumes, with each application requiring 5 hours of grueling preparation. I have been faced with rejection time after time, and all of it has had a mental toll on me. Coming out of McGill, I have hardly had to prove my merits because they were there clearly posted on my transcript. I had rarely been rejected for research or VP positions that I had wanted. Now, I am stewing in self-doubt, doubting my credentials and my ability to work, and I am unsure of what kind of work I want to do. In order to snap out of it, I have found that the greatest way to get my spirits up is to relate to others. Here are 3 groups of people that are helping me piece out this time in my life.
Communication is at the core of all relationships, including work relationships. Most people quit their jobs because of the work environment, not due to the job itself. A recent study by Accenture reports the top reasons for quitting a job in America are disliking one’s boss (31%), a lack of empowerment (31%), internal politics (35%), and lack of recognition (43%).
This phenomenon reflects our collective need for better emotional intelligence and communication skills. One tool that has been useful for me is nonviolence communication (NVC). The “nonviolent” in NVC refers to communicating in a way that does not result in harm. In other words, it means communicating without the use of guilt, humiliation, shame, coercion, threats, and moral judgments, among other things. NVC follows a process of (1) observation, (2) feelings**, (3) needs, and (4) requests. (more…)
For me, having a vision and purpose are the basis for motivation. But when I entered university, I did not know what I was doing or what I was looking for. Quite honestly, attending university was a rite of passage and not a conscientious decision. On top of that, the huge U0 classes, the sense of isolation, and the need to be something made me feel quite lost.
It took me almost two years to get to a better place. Here are some thoughts and resources that were helpful to me when I felt stuck in a spot. Give them a quick read!
Oh, the joys of University. A place with much potential, yet so many problems. It’s a place where you can learn new things, but then forget them in a heartbeat in the next semester; it’s a place that encourages persistence, determination and hours and hours of effort and stress, all for one final grade. It’s a paradox, really. You might be wondering, “will I ever get my social life back?” or “does life get any easier?” I can speculate about the former, but sadly, I only know the true answer for the latter – NO. Life is hard and it will keep being hard. That doesn’t ever change. Let me use the logic of high school math to explain why. (more…)
Everyone knows how difficult it is to find a community as a student but it can be even more difficult here in Montreal if you do not speak French. On-campus communities are an incredible opportunity to join but often don’t allow for exploration of the city. I was lucky enough to find a community as well as a job last year during my first term at McGill outside of our neighborhood and this has lent itself to some wonderful opportunities. (more…)