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Starling Community Services.

When Networking Isn't Going Your Way

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You’re at an event with friends or family and the inevitable question comes up. “Have you found work yet?” We’ve all been there. This can be an awkward question, especially when it comes with advice or solutions for the next steps. Here are three common suggestions you may hear when networking isn’t going your way that could be helpful to your job search.

Change Careers

If you’ve recently been laid off, now may be a time to consider looking at retraining options. Outside of OSAP and student loans via banking institutions, you may be eligible to qualify for funding through Better Jobs Ontario (formerly known as Second Career). Better Jobs Ontario can help with covering a variety of living expenses and educational fees, depending on your eligibility.

You could also explore free professional development resources or short-term training programs. This can be a good way to test new interests before making a commitment or may be enough to spruce up your resume so you can get positive attention from an employer.

Reduce your expenses/Move home

Sometimes it may be possible to temporarily relocate to be with family so you can ease the financial pressure of having to settle for a position that isn’t the right fit for you. If you’d like to speak to someone about your options for your housing situation, Lutherwood’s Housing Services can offer you guidance through this search and transition.

Before you undersell your value, it’s also worthwhile to look at what people with your skills are making, through reports on job boards such as Indeed, JobBank, Monster, or Glassdoor. This information can help you when you present to employers at interviews, or to fulfill application requirements that employers request when you create a profile on their career page.

Start your own business

Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but there are resources like the Small Business Centre locally that can support individuals in creating business plans and working through the steps needed to establish their brand and products in our community.

Once you’re an established employer we can also help you in connecting to talented job seekers through our Employer Services.

Preparing for these networking conversations isn’t always easy, but our staff are here to help. We can do mock interviews to help you practice communicating your strengths or give you the space and feedback to refine how you present yourself in a 30-second elevator speech when introducing yourself to employers or people in your field. Request an appointment today!

"I was 17, confused and thought I was a lost cause. I became homeless. I heard about Safe Haven's youth shelter, but was skeptical and scared. [But] the staff are extremely friendly and so supportive...I wasn't judged. They showed me how to cook, do a budget, and even helped me with my homework."