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Responsibilities May Include

Responsibilities May Include is a column published in University Affairs, which is published 6 times per year and provides news about policies, programs and issues of relevance to Canadian higher education, as well as career advice, award-winning editorial content and job listings for academics at all levels.  

Responsibilities May Include offers practical professional and career advice for graduate students and postdocs. 
Most articles in the series will be written by members of the GPDN. There will also be some articles written for faculty and staff who work with graduate students and postdocs to explore employment options after graduation.

Specific topics will include (but are not limited to) strategies for success in graduate school, professional development, academic integrity, networking and leadership skills.


Responsabilités potentielles est une chronique publiée dans Affaires universitaires, qui est publié 6 fois par an et fournit des nouvelles sur les politiques, les programmes et les questions pertinentes pour l'enseignement supérieur canadien, ainsi que des conseils de carrière, un contenu éditorial primé et des listes d'emplois pour les universitaires de tous les niveaux.

Responsabilités potentielles offre des conseils pratiques sur la profession et la carrière des étudiants supérieures et des chercheurs postdoctoraux. 
La plupart des articles de cette série seront rédigés par des membres du le RPESP. Certains articles seront également rédigés à l'intention des membres du corps enseignant et du personnel qui travaillent avec des étudiants supérieures et des chercheurs postdoctoraux pour explorer les possibilités d'emploi après l'obtention du diplôme.

Les sujets spécifiques incluront (mais ne sont pas limités à) les stratégies pour réussir dans les études supérieures, le développement professionnel, l'intégrité académique, le réseautage et les compétences de leadership.

  • 11 Jan 2022 9:35 AM | Asma Co (Administrator)

    Educational development is an alt-ac career that leverages teaching experience and ‘enhances the work of colleges and universities, with a focus on teaching and learning.’

    Read the article in University Affairs.


  • 22 Nov 2021 9:42 AM | Asma Co (Administrator)

    A faculty member collaborated with campus career services to deliver an experiential learning option to PhD students with diverse backgrounds.

    Read the article in University Affairs.


  • 1 Nov 2021 10:50 AM | Teresa Crease (Administrator)

    An interview with winners of McGill University’s Three Minute Thesis and Ma thèse en 180 seconds competitions.

    Read the article in University Affairs.  Lire la version française de cet article.

    Author: KATHERINE BELISLE | NOV 1 2021

  • 14 Oct 2021 4:07 PM | Teresa Crease (Administrator)

    A career education specialist shares how he rediscovered his strengths and was able to forge a new career path.

    Read the article in University Affairs.  Lire la version française de cet article.

    Author: KETAN MARBALLI | SEP 27 2021

  • 11 Aug 2021 5:48 PM | Manager GPDN (Administrator)

    Do our students have the skills to succeed in a post-pandemic world?

    Earlier this year, I was preparing to deliver a presentation to a group of graduate students about future-ready skills and planning for success after grad school. As I went through my slide deck, it occurred to me that the last time I delivered this session was in the months before the COVID-19 pandemic, before the world went virtual.

    My presentation focused on employer in-demand skills and strategies for students to translate graduate school skills and experiences into career-ready language and into a format easily digestible by their prospective employers. Since that first presentation, my students, along with the rest of the world, experienced major shifts in the way that just about everything was done; from how they learned in the classroom to how they interviewed for a new job, , to setting up a makeshift home office  to live the life of a remote worker.

    When I arrived at the section of my presentation covering in-demand skills and saw problem solving, collaboration, teamwork and creativity, I realized that these are the skills students needed before the pandemic. But what about post-pandemic skills?

    Post-COVID skills?

    A quick internet search of the phrase “post-COVID skills” produces pages and pages of articles with titles like 8 Job Skills to Succeed in a Post-Coronavirus WorldThriving After COVID-19: What Skills do Employees Need?, and How to Upgrade Your Skills for the COVID-19 Job Market. At first glance, it may appear that in addition to economic uncertainty and social isolation, the pandemic has also given rise to an entirely new set of skills that job-seekers haven’t encountered before, instantly “under-qualifying” those about to enter the job market.

    Reality check

    It is my job to help university students identify, articulate, strengthen and translate their skills from a postsecondary context into a workplace ready one. That means it is also my job to be aware of new, disruptive, or trending “future skills.” If you click on any of the titles above you will find, in fact, that there are very few if any brand new pandemic-specific skills.

    A close reading of 10 articles listing post-COVID skills (the first page of the Google search results at the time of writing) shows that the top five most commonly occurring post-pandemic skills are not technological or digital skills inextricably tied to the virtual world. They are:

    • Emotional intelligence
    • Creativity
    • Adaptability
    • Technology
    • Flexibility

    What can we extrapolate from this list? We can assume that most employers in most industries are looking for new hires that are self-aware and work well with others, approach challenges and solve problems innovatively, work well in times of change and under pressure, and can navigate technological platforms allowing for a blended (virtual/in-person) working environment. (While “technology” can be widely interpreted, it is worth noting that this skill appeared most in association with virtual meeting software and the MS Office suite.)

    Despite the alarming headlines, the vast majority of “post-COVID” skills are really pre-COVID skills imagined through a different lens (a webcam, for example). Pre-pandemic research shows an increasing demand for foundational skills like critical thinking, social perceptiveness and complex problem solving. The core competencies that have been embedded into postsecondary institutions by campus career centres still hold water, even though they may be taught, practiced or reflected upon differently in a virtual setting. In other words:

    Myth: the post-COVID graduate must acquire an entirely new skillset to adapt to the post-pandemic labour market.

    Reality: the post-COVID graduate has been developing the necessary career-readiness skills and competencies throughout their entire postsecondary experience.

    The post-COVID graduate

    Do new graduates have these skills? The short answer is yes.

    The challenge, however, is that many students do not understand exactly how their postsecondary education is teaching them these skills, and they often struggle to convey this information to their future employers. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the abrupt shift to remote learning seems to compound this problem.

    To be successful on their career journey, the pre-COVID student would have to do a few things: identify their strengths, values, interests and skills; discover what industries and occupations they are interested in; ensure they have the skills and experience necessary for their chosen career path (and/or find a way to acquire them); and take active steps toward their goals by creating a resume, networking and conducting a job search.

    While doing all of this, a post-COVID student will also have to navigate the practical realities of remote work and the temporary prospect of fewer jobs, and they will be required to not only translate their skills from an academic lens to a career lens, but also be required to adapt their skills to an entirely different medium. For example, collaboration and teamwork were highly valued employability skills before and during the pandemic and will continue to be valued afterwards.  What collaboration looks like in a shared workspace versus a remote home office, however, is what makes the translation of “post-COVID skills” different. Similarly, the ways in which an employer can remotely assess work ethic, emotional intelligence and creativity must also shift when team members are isolated and instruction, feedback and communication are virtual.

    Articulate, translate and adapt

    We know that in-demand skills have remained largely consistent, despite the disruption of the pandemic. We also know that graduating postsecondary students possess the necessary career-ready skills and competencies. What remains is the challenge of helping them, many of whom spent the last year and a half learning and working remotely, to understand and articulate their skills and competencies in a way that will reflect the needs of their future employers, virtual or otherwise.

    What can we do?

    To help students understand and adapt their skills in a post-COVID world, career centres at postsecondary institutions can:

    • Ensure students have continued access to career services and regularly updated information about navigating the changing labour market. Local Workforce Planning Boards and regional economic development offices are great resources.

    • Help students understand the value of their education from both an academic and an industry perspective. Consider, for example, the widely transferable skills developed by researching and writing a major paper, such as critical thinking and analysis, effective communication and time management.
    • Empower students to create their own career and skill narratives by coaching them to identify and strengthen their skills, describe how they developed their skills and understand why their skills are important.

    What did I tell my graduate students? You have what it takes to succeed in a post-COVID world. Do your research, reflect on your skills and don’t believe everything you read!

    This article was first published in University Affairs  

    About the Author:

    Laura Fyfe is the skills translation coordinator with co-op, career and experiential education at Brock University, where she has been at the forefront of developing Brock’s campus-wide career competencies framework.

    • 16 Jul 2021 5:37 PM | Manager GPDN (Administrator)

      I felt stuck in my job search. But networking, conducting informational interviews and revamping my CV helped me not only find a great job, but get it.

      The year was 2017 and I had just defended my PhD thesis. I was ready to be a responsible adult and join the workforce. There was just one catch: I had no idea what I wanted to do. During my graduate studies I had created a list of jobs knew I didn’t want (professor, science salesperson, science writer, etc.), but I really had no idea what career path was right for me. So I applied for every other kind of job I could find, had a few interviews (the good, the bad and the downright ugly), and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to convince an employer that I was the right fit for a job when I didn’t even know what job I wanted.  

      So began my journey to “find myself.” I moved to Denver, Colorado to start fresh as a postdoctoral fellow. I changed how I worked; instead of keeping my head down at the bench, I got heavily involved with local organizations and used the resources at the career development office. About a year into my postdoc, I realized that I did not want to do bench research anymore. While I still loved science, I was finding much more pleasure and satisfaction in my volunteer roles. I realized that although I had always felt uncomfortable networking at scientific conferences, I actually loved networking when I wasn’t talking about my own research. So I made a plan. I was going to gain more leadership and management experience as well as build my network in my volunteer roles so I could get a job outside of research.  

      By early 2020 I had acquired new skills and built a new CV; I had been the president of the postdoctoral association, chaired events on campus and participated in outreach and communications for several organizations. I met so many people in these roles, listened to their stories, struggles and dreams; and I knew I was making the right decision for myself. I started applying for administrative jobs at universities and non-profits in Canada but had no luck. Then the pandemic hit and there were fewer job postings and more people out of work.  

      By the fall of 2020, I began to panic. My network was all U.S.-based, there were no conferences to attend and I had not received a single interview request. I met (virtually) with my mentor at the career development office and he told me I needed to build a Canadian network (outside of research and with people who held the type of job I wanted). The best way to do that, he said, was to conduct informational interviews.  

      I was terrified to call up strangers and ask them for advice during a pandemic, but I bit the bullet and reached out to my mentor’s Canadian friend at the University of Toronto: Nana Lee. It was the turning point in my job hunt. Dr. Lee described the professional development networks she was a part of and what steps in her career path played the biggest role in her success, and, most importantly, she introduced me to more contacts.  

      Through her contacts, I made more contacts, and through them even more. Along the way, I learned job titles I had never heard of, courses I could take online, the lingo being used in the field and what keywords/search engines to use in my job search. Through the chain of contacts, I met Dinuka Gunaratne, who became the most important person in my job search. He introduced me to other grad students and postdocs who were looking for jobs and students who had recently found work. He also helped me to create an unofficial job search support group. Learning that I wasn’t alone and meeting people who had recently succeeded gave me the energy to keep going. But I still wasn’t getting interviews, despite the fact that I was smart, capable and qualified.  

      When Dinuka asked to see my resume in January 2021 I showed it to him assuming he would tell me to make a few tweaks. Instead, he bluntly said it was “crap” and there was no way I would get a job with it. More importantly, he told me how to tailor it for an academic position in administration, which was incredibly different from the industry type CV I was working with. Without this insider information (from someone who was hiring in the field) I never would have made the appropriate changes and would have definitely continued to struggle. 

      I ended up having seven interviews and two offers over the next four months. When I wasn’t sure what to do, I used my new support network, met more people in the areas that I had offers at and asked to meet more of my potential colleagues at the prospective positions. The dreaded informational interviews continued to help me even after getting job offers!  

      After talking to people from Memorial University, I knew the university in St. John’s was the right fit for me and am now working there as a grants facilitation officer. I couldn’t be happier or more excited about my job, and I know that the networking skills I learned will continue to help me as I advance in my career journey.  

      The bottom line

      • To get a job you need to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there! 
      • Networking may seem scary, but when you are networking with the right people and in the right field it can be fun and enlightening.  
      • Networking can occur in places beyond conferences – friends, colleagues, committee members, your career development office, your alumni office can all introduce you to people you can learn from.  
      • Create a job search support group with newly hired grads and other job seekers. 
      • If someone accepts an informational interview it means they want to help you! 

      This article was first published in University Affairs  

      About the Author:

      Jennifer Major, PhD, recently completed her CIHR postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus and is now a grants facilitation officer for the faculty of science at Memorial University.

    • 2 Jun 2021 5:27 PM | Manager GPDN (Administrator)

      You still need compelling content while also giving extra focus to your voice and visual elements of your presentation.

      Imagine you walk into an auditorium for a keynote and there are two screens instead of one. On the right is a smaller screen with a picture of the speaker. On the left is a larger screen featuring a beautiful scientific illustration with a title. Where does your attention go? Where does it linger?

      This is what our new online reality is like. In order to give effective online presentations, we need to be able to understand the differences between presenting in person and presenting virtually.  And presenting well everywhere is a critical skill for all graduate students to develop.

      What's similar?

      First of all, content principles haven’t changed, but it’s even more important to understand them when presenting online. Without being able to see an audience and gauge reaction, presenters cannot recognize missteps and self correct nor identify when the audience is distracted and tuning out. These challenges mean content trajectory is more important than ever. Here are three good concepts to keep in mind.

      Start with why. Begin with your research knowledge gap or research question and ask “so what?” three or four times. You’ll be surprised how effectively this exercise can take you from a research hypothesis of “produce more evenly distributed material coatings” to “charge a car in less time than filling a tank of gas.” The first leaves people guessing at importance, the second gets people motivated to learn. For more about “start with why,” watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk.

      Pare back content. The rule of three works well. Most people can process three things without feeling overwhelmed, and most people can remember three things. For longer talks, scaffold patterns of three: three main ideas, three sections, three points within a section, etc. Just remember to summarize and foreshadow between sections. Keep the audience grounded. Exceed three cautiously; it’s usually not worth it.

      Use patterns that work. One good strategy is to start with something familiar and tangible, preferably in story form. Then use this form as a bridge to a general understanding. For the rest of the talk, work in reverse: general to specific as you dive deeper and deeper into the less familiar and challenging details. Then circle back and finish where you started. This pattern mimics an hourglass. Other patterns work too, but be sure to keep the flow simple and logical.

      What's different?

      Presenters are now two dimensional and restricted to one spot. Visuals are brighter and higher resolution. These changes cause people’s visual focus to shift to the slide deck, and then potentially to their phone or second monitor. Your body language impact will fade, and your voice will become more important. Applying these three tips will increase your impact:

      1. Reconsider your setup

      We used to travel to a classroom or auditorium to present. Now most people present seated at their work desk, with no through about transition. Consider making three changes.

      • Establish a pre-talk routine. You need transition time to warm up and get ready. Leave yourself 15 minutes before presentations and experiment a bit to see what works for you.

      • Don’t present from your desk chair. Stand up, and, if possible, move to a different location. If you can’t move, stand at your desk. Get the camera on your laptop at eye height by placing your computer on a stable stack of books, a stool or a chair on top of your desk. Standing will serve as reminder you are presenting, not writing a journal article.
      • Find a decent wired mic. A lot of cellphone microphones work fine but test yours with a friend. Your voice is now critical; your mic needs to be clear.

      For more on how set up shifts can help combat Zoom fatigue see this recent article.

      2. Be more vocally dynamic

      Your voice has now become your most important tool for being dynamic – use it! Extending your vocal range is achieved by shifting attitudes, because, as attitudes shift, our pitch, tone and volume do as well. But this attitude shift comes with a disclaimer: it needs to be authentic. Your goal is to simply allow attitudinal shifts to occur that are genuine reflections of how you feel about various content. Does your opening problem make you sad, angry or curious? Is your methodology relatively straightforward? Was your result expected or surprising? Allowing yourself to feel will trigger a dynamic vocal presence that will keep your audience engaged. Standing will help here too as our voice follows body language. Michael Grinder explains this relationship nicely on Floor 2 of his House of Communication.

      3. Develop better visuals

      Visuals matter more and serve a different purpose. Here are three keys to consider.

      • You need high resolution photography that will help increase emotional impact and memory. Look in PowerPoint, which now has royalty free images as well as icons and illustrations (go to “insert,” “pictures” and then click on “stock images”). Also, take pictures in your lab with your smartphone. The impact of your own pictures can be powerful.

      • You need well-developed illustrations (likely animated) that will increase comprehension and decrease audience processing time (double bonus!). For general phenomena, look for professional infographics you can then cite. For specifics to your research, build them yourself. Try using Canva.
      • Activate your visuals. Use animation, morphing and annotation to keep the visual stream dynamic. The goal is to create slide deck visuals that scaffold and shift in real time alongside your voice. Done well, this movement aids comprehension and discourages people from looking at their phone for fear of missing out.

      Notice nothing here says more visuals, and certainly don’t add more text! Visuals just need to be better developed and more dynamic.

      Learn and practice

      Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to presenting again in person. But even when we do, online presenting is not going to disappear; the convenience and increased reach of virtual presenting are too valuable. Understand the differences between in-person and online presenting, seek opportunities to practice and learn to do both well.

      This article was first published in University Affairs  

      About the Author:

      Andrew Churchill is the presentation skills training manager at teaching and learning services at McGill University, where he has been helping researchers present better since 2015. He also works with emerging start-ups competing for non-dilutive funding.

    • 14 May 2021 5:20 PM | Manager GPDN (Administrator)

      Can an in-person job shadow program be adapted to an online environment?

      When you hear the phrase “job shadowing,” what comes to mind? If you’re like me, you might picture visiting a professional’s workplace and learning from observing, experiencing the environment, and asking questions. This is how our Job Shadow Experience at the University of Windsor worked; until, of course, the pandemic forced a change.

      Don't panic, plan

      Before the pandemic, our in-person Job Shadow Experience was new, but solid. Learning from the University of Alberta’s job shadow program, we started ours by recruiting hosts (professionals) who registered via a Qualtrics survey. On our website, we posted hosts’ information and availability. 

      Students then completed online applications for the program, choosing their preferred hosts from the website list. We matched students with the appropriate hosts according to career goals, application quality, and availability.

      Before their experiences, students attended orientation sessions to discuss the program process, professional etiquette, and how to ask valuable questions. Then they ventured out for their day or half daylong experiences and participated in informational interviews, observation, and tours. A week later, they returned to us for sessions to debrief and reflect on their experiences.

      But how is this done online?

      That question plagued us. The recruitment, orientation/reflection sessions, and interviewing components of the program could be easily replicated online but emulating the valuable experience of observing a host at work was challenging. After brainstorming and speaking with colleagues from other institutions, we came up with the Virtual Job Shadow Experience.

      We wanted the program to be flexible and better fit the diversity of work situations and environments our hosts were experiencing. So in this version, hosts and students decided how much time they wanted to spend together, generally ranging from a couple of hours to a half day.

      Hosts could use any online meeting platform they liked, but for those who didn’t have a preferred platform, we set up Blackboard Collaborate sessions and offered brief training on how to use the screen sharing function, etc.

      We structured the experience into two parts: an informational interview and an additional learning activity. The learning activity was flexible and allowed students to observe parts of the hosts’ careers. We provided hosts with activity options and some contributed their own ideas. Knowing this might be intimidating for some, we also helped hosts plan their own activity options.

      In response, our hosts were awesome and arranged a variety of learning activities. Some students sat in on professional virtual meetings or experienced mock interviews. Others experienced virtual workplace tours. Many hosts shared their screens to show work examples. Some had students participate in professional development sessions and then do mock work assignments based on their learning.

      So, how did it go?

      Over the past two semesters, we facilitated 69 Virtual Job Shadow Experiences. The feedback from students and hosts was overwhelmingly positive, with 100 per cent of students reporting the experience to be beneficial and responding hosts agreeing that the experience was positive.

      We asked hosts if they found the online format to be as effective as being in-person. Seventy-nine per cent reported it being as effective. Twenty-one per cent reported that the online format was as effective as in-person, stating they were unable to show off their space as well as fully demonstrate different aspects of their work.

      Some hosts preferred the online format. One said, “With the type of job I have, I would not be able to sign up for a full-day, in-person experience…The virtual experience was perfect.”

      Others mentioned advantages like flexible scheduling, not having to worry about visitor security clearances, and limited distractions that allowed for meaningful dialogue.

      “I was very pleased and excited about this program,” reported one host. “I can definitely say this is something that I wish to continue moving forward!”

      Student reactions

      That students were unable to visit the hosts’ workplaces was a common theme in their reflections. Despite this limitation, they also expressed that the experience was incredibly valuable.

      Participants recognized the benefits of the virtual aspect, in particular the fact that the program was open to a wider variety of hosts from any location. Not only did this allow for more diverse hosts, but it also made the program accessible for students facing transportation barriers.

      Students’ feedback was positive. One said, “I don’t think I have ever had such great return on time spent than through this experience.” Others echoed similar positive reactions as they recalled their learning.

      “It was incredibly eye-opening to see how a seemingly theoretical degree can be applied to solve real-life situations and problems,” reflected one student. “This experience helped me confirm my career goals.”

      We asked students about the next steps they would take with their newly acquired information. The actions students discussed included learning new skills, gaining volunteering experiences, obtaining specific certifications, joining professional associations, and more. One even clarified the direction of their thesis after learning about industry trends!

      Lessons learned

      The biggest lesson we learned during this online adaptation: clear, frequent communication is key. In this remote world, people receive so many emails (I know you can all relate) and can experience attention difficulties.

      Stephanie Dupley is a career advisor - international and graduate students with career development and experiential learning at the University of Windsor. 

      In the fall term, we noticed something we had not seen before with our communications with both students and hosts: they were missing things. There were missed details, missed emails, and misread information.

      In the winter term, we remedied this by formatting our communications in clear bullet points with important information bolded and sent follow-up information in case things were missed. This helped significantly.

      Next time, we'll do both

      The pandemic prompted us to change the structure of this program, but we adapted and provided more options for our students. Once we’re back on campus, we plan on offering this program with both online and in-person options so we can still attract diverse hosts, still make the program accessible for more students, and still offer in-person and online learning options.

      This article was first published in University Affairs

      About the Author:

      Stephanie Dupley is a career advisor - international and graduate students with career development and experiential learning at the University of Windsor.

    • 25 Mar 2021 5:00 PM | Manager GPDN (Administrator)

      Don’t worry, there is still time to set yourself up for success.

      Whether you are a master’s student about to enter the job market or a PhD candidate thinking of paths outside the professoriate, graduation can be a time of not only great satisfaction but also great concern. A common observation among career educators is that students do not think about life after graduation until their studies are coming to an end. While it is always better to consider your career path sooner rather than later, it is never too late, and if this is your situation, there are some concrete actions you can take now.

      Don't panic, plan

      It is important to note that panic and stress can undermine decision making and act as a barrier to your  next steps. If this applies to you, there are strategies that can be used to respond to career anxiety and allow you to move forward with confidence. A key element is to take ownership of what you do have control over, and a great way to start is to develop a plan. Some initial elements of that plan may incorporate self-reflection, information gathering and leveraging available resources and supports.

      Take stock of your skills and experience

      The ability to understand and articulate one’s unique set of skills and qualifications is an integral part of career exploration and action. Take some time to think about all the work and volunteer roles you have held up to now. Your current resume or CV can (and should) be a solid base from which to build upon. The initial instinct for many in this exercise is to simply list their responsibilities. Listing duties or responsibilities is a good start, but you can make it even better by applying a lens of accomplishment. For instance, “responsible for” becomes “contributed to,” “managed,” “provided,” and so on; rather than tasks being imposed upon you, you were an active participant.

      By using action verbs, as well as quantifying and applying details, will allow you to fully embrace the scope and impact of your experiences. This is a great way to build confidence, because you will most likely discover that you already possess a full, proven array of transferrable skills that are in universal demand. This exercise also helps provide clarity in identifying any gaps in skills or knowledge that may need to be addressed for you to reach your goals.

      Apply those research skills

      As a trained researcher, you are well-versed in accessing information. Your expertise is especially helpful under these circumstances, for at its most essential nature, career exploration is engaging in research. This is an excellent opportunity to apply your skills in a new, exciting manner; and there are a variety of means in which you can collect relevant information in your search. LinkedIn is a great way to see the types of roles within organizations, and by exploring the platform’s alumni feature, you can learn about the often-winding career journeys of people with graduate degrees from your institution. Allow yourself to investigate further and look beyond job titles, focusing instead on the activities being performed.

      Networking and informational interviews are also powerful forms of research that allow you to gain direct insights from the lived experiences of others. It is also your way of learning how to access the “hidden job market,” which is underpinned by professional relationships and referrals. As you conduct this research, continue reflecting upon your own interests and challenges you would like to address in your work, as this will help guide future directions.

      Use available resources

      Do not hesitate to reach out to others when you need assistance. From the support of friends and family to available on-campus resources, your career journey does not have to be a solitary endeavour. Whether you are a current student or a recent graduate, career services professionals at your institution can provide guidance and constructive feedback to help you refine your plan.

      Keep the future in mind

      Your current situation may very well dictate your immediate plans. With student loan payments, rent, and other expenses looming, it may be necessary to simply gain employment rather than identify and act upon an intended career path. If that is the case, you can still achieve meaningful progress taking a job en route to the job. Keep taking stock of the skills and experience you want to continue to develop. You may even discover exciting new interests and paths as you move forward in your career journey.

      This article was first published in University Affairs  

      About the Author:

      Kris Gies is a career advisor at the University of Guelph’s experiential learning hub, focusing on students in Ontario Veterinary College programs. He completed a PhD at the University of Guelph in 2010.
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