How To: Make Your Own Opportunity


As a co-op student I realize that it’s not always easy to find a job. It’s a competitive world out there, and sometimes there are more candidates than positions posted on the job board. It can be over-whelming to hear that friends got dozens of interviews when you only received one.

This fall I was looking for part-time work that fit my busy schedule and while this isn’t necessarily a co-op tale I believe that the same principles apply.

I was able to basically create my own position at a company I strongly believe in. With the job market sometimes unpredictable I think it’s valuable to know that yo can create your own positions.

Take a Chance

Back in July I found a company that I waned to work for. SInce I wouldn’t be working full-time until summer of 2013 I clearly wouldn’t qualify for any of the full-time positions they had available. However, I found the question/comment form on their website ad wrote the following:

 To whom it may Concern,

I am a full-time student at the University of Alberta with an Accounting Minor and Finance Minor. I am extremely interested in the work your company does and I was wondering if you hire co-op students or students for part-time work.

Short, simple and to the point. 

If you don’t ask the answer is always no

If you don’t ask if a company is hiring you won’t get a job there. Always check their job board first, but don’t hesitate to email or contact HR about future opportunities. Another great resource to utilize is students that have worked at the company previously They may have inside connections and may be able to pass your resume along to someone who just might be able to hire you.

Don’t feel defeated 

Sometimes this isn’t going to work. You won’t hear back from anyone and you won’t get a job at that company, but that’s okay. Don’t give up, keep reaching out to people and perhaps one of them will be able to get you connected. Or at the least the company will keep your information on file and contact you if they have an opening.

All you can do is try

My opportunity ended up working out, I received a call mid-September for a casual position that fit perfectly in my schedule. If you want to read more of my story you can check it out on my blog. I urge you to seek out companies that you are passionate about and get into contact with HR about potential employment opportunities.

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4 Responses to How To: Make Your Own Opportunity

  1. Simple, straight-forward advice. Having been in sales for fifteen years I can attest to the power of asking the simple, obvious questions. Great job Janine!

  2. You are absolutely right Janine! With all of the competition that is out there it is so important to be creative and to be willing to take chances. And the Internet boosts your chances of finding what you want because you can easily connect with people that you may not have easy to contact with using traditional methods.

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