Whether you were exploring your professional interests or acquiring valuable experience for your dream position, I’m here to tell you that your references can speak powerfully and evocatively to your dynamic skills, interests, and placements.
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Mike Swan crafted My References Canada as a powerful solution to a problem he himself faced when exploring different career paths. Knowing that many other young Canadians entering the workforce must be experiencing similar obstacles, he created My References Canada in search of an answer to not having the effective tools needed to secure the perfect job.
In this article, Mike shares his point of view and provides valuable insight about navigating the workforce as a young professional.
Source: My References Canada: Canada’s long-term solution for employment references.
While we hear a lot about finding our “true purpose” or pursuing our greatest “passion,” we don’t often hear that it can take time, experience, and really knowing yourself to know what career path is meant for you.
The average person in North America will have 12 different jobs throughout their lifetime, and 32% consider a significant career change. Furthermore, recent statistics from research studies conducted in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic show that 37% of the US workforce changed or lost their job in 2020. It is not only normal, but even preferable for employers to see a breadth of workplace experience!
I’m here to tell you that career changes and experience in different positions can be a powerful advantage when applying for that dream job. Here’s how:
At 36 years old, I have worked as a cook, bartender, material handler, tattoo artist, and HVAC mechanic.
Many people are often surprised to hear this, but they shouldn’t be.
While each job might appear to be completely different, every single one was aligned with my interests at that time. Each one allowed me to expand and hone various skills, whether this involved building relationships with customers, being open to criticism, being creative, or paying attention to detail and solving complex problems. Each workplace experience you have, adds to your character and what you can offer to your dream position.
Today, my ultimate goal is to become a Toronto Firefighter. I hope to use the skills and character strengths I have developed in my previous positions to help people feel safe and cared for in their community. While these five other pursuits might seem unrelated, they have led me to my current position and established the purpose that I now know is true and individual to me.
Now, if you’re like me and you tend to bounce around and shift between jobs and fields, you have one trick up your sleeve that can contribute to building the future of your dreams: Reference letters.
When I was considering firefighting, I realized that I needed to create a method for keeping track of my previous employers and their information. I knew that their words can act as credit for my hard work and experiences, but, if I let the years go by, I might never be able to contact them again. Due to the Toronto Fire Department requiring three references, I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of my life because I didn’t have a system that worked for me.
Trust me, you don’t want to be in a position where you are applying for your dream job, but you can’t reach a former employer or they can’t provide enough detail to write you a strong letter. Missing out on a dream opportunity because you are underprepared can be very disheartening.
My References Canada makes requesting, sending, and viewing your references as easy as one, two, three. All that you need to do is ask for your references from your employer on your way out or while you are still working with them, so you are prepared to take the next step towards your dream career.
Take initiative today and secure your dream career.