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.

Mike Swan, Founder at My References Canada

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How My References Canada came to be from the founder.

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:

My story: Five different jobs and counting

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.

How can reference letters capture the value of your previous jobs?

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.

Here are just a couple reasons why reference letters are valuable:

  • 1. They back up and verify your previous positions and scope of responsibilities
  • 2. They speak to your character, past performance, job skills, and personal strengths
  • 3. They provide concrete examples and details regarding your suitability for the position
  • 4. When a hiring decision comes down to deciding between two qualified applicants, a strong reference letter can be the tipping point

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.

How can My References Canada help?

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.

Fast, secure, and convenient: How our smart system optimizes the reference process for you

  • 1. All you need to request the perfect reference letter is your employer’s email. Yes, that’s it! They will receive an automatic request via email through our secure system and will be directed to the form right away.
  • 2. We give you the option to prepare a reference letter ahead of time, so the whole process takes your employer less than two minutes and guarantees you complete control over your future! Your employer can always make edits wherever they see fit.
  • 3. The only thing required to send your reference letter off is the email of your future employer or the contact reviewing your application. Attach a cover letter or resume, press “send,” and apply for the position directly from your My References account!
  • 4. Now that you took the initiative and thought ahead of time, all your reference letters will be stored digitally in our system for life! You can always refer back to them and use them for future positions, without having to contact your employer time and time again. Finally, our system checks in annually with each reference to ask them if their contact information has changed. Talk about easy and effective!

Think ahead to get ahead. Don’t let your skills and value go unnoticed and unaccounted for! Allow your diverse experiences and skill sets to speak for you!

Take initiative today and secure your dream career.

Register here to pursue your passion and secure that dream career!

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