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Navigating career uncertainty

Posted January 25, 2021

By Samantha Lizardo

Exit from U of T front campus to College Street.

Photo: @UofTStudentLife on Instagram

When Laura shadowed Dr. Saachi Sadcha through the Job Shadowing Program, she learned about Dr. Sadcha’s similar background in data analytics and her role as senior manager of business intelligence and visual reporting at TD.

Laura, a second-year Master of Information student, gained practical advice about how to improve her portfolio and market her skills.

But she also learned that career paths aren’t always as straightforward as they seem.

“[Dr. Sadcha] taught us that our academic and career journeys are not always linear, but often take unexpected twist and turns that lead to more fulfilling opportunities,” shares Laura.

“The most valuable lesson she taught us is to follow our intuition and enjoy the uncertainty because it allows us to be creative with our career journeys.”

Embracing uncertainty can be scary, but just as Laura learned from Dr. Sadcha, it can also come with opportunities to get creative and explore possibilities you may not have considered before. So how can you prepare and learn to be comfortable with career uncertainty?

Gain insight

Research industries, companies and jobs you are interested in to stay informed on current trends and opportunities. You can also reach out to professionals for insights and advice. Like Laura, you can shadow a professional online through the Job Shadowing Program for a behind-the-scenes look at a career that interests you. Learn more about how to research companies and how to reach out to people working in your field of interest.

Practice flexibility

When situations change, priorities and values can change too. Reflect on what kind of adjustments you are open to making in your career. For example, explore different locations or jobs in an industry. Check out Career Navigator to explore different career opportunities based on your area of interest or study. Or, find other opportunities to improve your skills and pursue your interests such as volunteering or joining a club.

Invest in yourself

Living with uncertainty is stressful. Take care of yourself first to stay well and manage stress.

Check out 5 Ways to Wellbeing to learn five evidence-based strategies that can help you cope with feelings of uncertainty and other stressors related to COVID-19.

You can also discover ways to gain confidence and stay motivated such as getting help with your interview or building a positive online presence.

Explore more U of T resources and opportunities

Network with alumni and attend monthly webinars through Ten Thousand Coffees.

Check out the Career Exploration & Education event calendar on CLNx to register for workshops, employer information sessions, panel discussions, and more. Or, check out their resources on CLNx to watch recordings of past career events.

Complete the Career Exploration Orientation to participate in career exploration programs like Job Shadowing Program.

Find career exploration tips and resources on employment rights, resumes and cover letters, further education and more.