Is a survival job for you?

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What is a survival job?

  1. It is entry level work.
  2. It is a low salary job.
  3. It may not be related to your profession.
  4. It can be related but it is a lower-level position.
  5. It is a temporary job. People take it while waiting for other career opportunities.
  6. It is mainly taken to pay the bills.

Why take a survival job?

  1. Newcomers take it when they are not able to practice their professions right away.
    • Some need to undergo licensing.
    • Some need to go back to school to earn Canadian credentials.
    • Some take any job to keep busy. They don’t want to stay at home and wait for job application results.
  2. Survival jobs help you pay the bills.
  3. It can be good opportunity to:
    • meet people
    • practice communication skills
    • expand your network
    • learn about the industry
    • learn about workplace culture

How to choose a survival job

  1. Choose a job related to:
    • your profession
    • your hobbies or personality
  2. This gives you a higher chance to be hired because:
    • you have the experience and skills
    • you know something about the work
    • you are enthusiastic about the work
  3. Working in the same industry helps you learn something new about your field.
  4. It can count as Canadian experience to strengthen your resume.
  5. Don’t get too many shifts. It will cut your job hunting time. It will also be hard to go to interviews.
  6. Choose a workplace near your home. It will be convenient and safe if you need to take night shifts.
  7. Use to search for companies nearby.

Tips when applying for a survival job:

  1. Make a targeted resume. Include only the job experience relevant to the position.
  2. Read 5 tips to tailor and update your resume.
  3. Emphasize soft skills. Examples are: a strong work ethic, flexibility, and being a team player.
  4. Be humble. Don’t assume that you will get the job easily.
  5. Be enthusiastic about the company and the position. No one will hire negative person.
  6. Prepare for the interview.
  7. Come on time and dress professionally. Show professionalism.

Don’t give up your dream!

  1. Do not be ashamed in having a survival job. But be careful not to be comfortable in it.
  2. You will not be happy if this is not what you want to do.
  3. There is little or no professional growth in a survival job.
  4. See the job as a stepping stone to the next level in your career.
  5. Always stay positive. Your dream job is coming.

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Community Resources

Learn more about “Recognition Counts!” A financial assistance program for skilled immigrants in Manitoba here: SEED Winnipeg.

Employment agencies like Pinnacle and Randstad can help you find temporary or contractual work.

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