It’s official, I have been back in my Canadian habitat for three months and I’m still unemployed. When I returned to Canada, I was aware that the job hunt was going to be difficult. I had heard horror stories of those übersmart business majors being unemployed for 9 months before landing that dream job at Pricewaterhousecooper. I tried to quell my fear and anxiety about my looming unemployment by telling myself, “That won’t happen to me. I have 5 years of part-time work experience, a Bachelor of Arts, and an international internship. It will take 3 months tops.” Wrong. Oh so very wrong…
I’m sure there are a bevy of possible reasons I could list as to why my job hunt is not going to plan. And yet, I have read countless articles on the struggles of recent graduates finding work. Supposedly, job creation is on the rise according to Huff Post Canada, who featured “8 best jobs for recent graduates“. According to them, the outlook is good for certain majors as “The earnings of math, science and computer science students on their first jobs have grown five times the rate of humanities students’ salaries.” Ironically, my chosen degree was humanities.
During my job hunt, several questions have weighed heavily on my mind:
Q: Has my job hunt been thorough, exploring all possible options?
A: Not really, there must be more… but where to look?
Q: Are there Communications jobs in Canada that don’t require 3-5 years experience?
A: Doesn’t look like it.
Q: Where should I start obtaining said experience?
A: Not sure; online tutorials for graphic design, research marketing for social media, and freelance writing?…
Q: Should I go back to school to learn some technical skills?
A: Sure, if I can get someone else to pay for it which is highly unlikely.
Q: Am I confused as to where all the entry-level jobs for recent Arts graduates are in Alberta?
Q: When did Canada become so bloody expensive to live?
A: Years ago, I just hadn’t realized it until traveling and attempting to fend for myself. I recently found this article in the Globe & Mail that made me fairly depressed “2012 vs. 1984: Young adults really do have it harder today”
Q: Is Canada the ideal place to start my career?
A: Probably not.
So I began to set my sights across the Atlantic for possible positions in Belgium. With great excitement, I can say I’ve accepted an internship offer for a Communications position in Brussels!
After doing some quick mental calculations, surprisingly, Belgium will be cheaper for me to live in terms of rent and food- cheaper groceries & cheap beer, what more does a girl need? A year in Belgium will be a perfect chance to gain a second language, as well as a great opportunity build upon my existing international work experience. And I won’t have to maintain my relationship over Skype, battling 8 time zones and busy schedules.
Will I be back? For sure, when I can speak French 😉
Am I eager to get back in traveling mode? Yes!
Am I looking forward to living in Belgium? Absolutely.
So in spite of feeling down on my luck these past 3 months, I have come to the realization that my situation is really the opposite. The world is full of opportunities for the taking. Brussels, the capital of Europe, will be a great place to evolve from the role of student to professional. I am hopeful the upcoming year will be full of exciting challenges and growth.