Job search resources

I’ve been back in Ottawa for almost 3 months now, which means I’m deep into job searching mode! I honestly believe that job searching should be used as an interrogation/torture technique.  Every one of my friends who is also looking for a job agrees that the process is endlessly frustrating.

One of my reasons for creating this blog was that it would hopefully serve as a resource for other EM / Reslife students. There have been a few resources I’ve relied on which have helped me in my search. I haven’t yet found a job, but they have definitely made me more confident in my applications, and helped make the search a little less monotonous.

The Prepary is a site run by San Francisco-based Jaime Petkanics, a recruitment expert who now works full-time helping people find jobs. After looking at about a million career advice sites, I can safety safe that The Prepary is my favourite: it’s clean, it’s simple and it’s written in a way that is both conversational and informative. My favourite article: 3 Effective ways to calm your nerves before an interview.

The Levo League is a career resource for Gen-Y (ish) women that offers career advice, job postings and mentorship opportunities. One of the best features of their website is an interactive Office Hours feature, which are webcast sessions with career experts or leading industry professionals. Members can email or tweet questions which are answered in real-time. An archive of past Office Hours are also offered on the site. My favourite thing about the site is that relevant career advice is offered next to (still relevant, but more entertaining) fashion and lifestyle advice. The founders emphasize the importance of women helping, rather than competing with, each other.

Google Alerts

I’ll be honest. I work my butt off when it comes to sending applications, but I’m lazy when it comes to spending hours trolling through websites trying to find that one job I can reasonably apply for. That’s why Google Alerts is so handy. I can set up search terms like “Emergency Management Jobs” or “Disaster Response Canada” and I get an alert when something new pops up on the web. It’s not the only way I find postings, but it ensures that I find some opportunities as soon as they are posted, eliminating that last-minute scramble to submit an application

Indeed.com

I actually just learned about this (from The Prepary!). Indeed.com consolidates information from other job search boards as well as company websites, in order to present a more complete picture of current job opportunities. It also saves your recent searches, which saves me from using the same search terms over and over.

LinkedIn

This is an obvious one, but I’ve discovered that LinkedIn stalking is far more fun (and productive) than Facebook stalking, for the reasons that it can lead to some valuable contacts as well as expose you to research and opportunities you weren’t aware of. I also like to look at people working in positions I’d eventually like to have, and figure out what kind of experience or training I might need to get there. It definitely provides a structure to my career plans.

Embrace change

Today, a friend of mine asked me to join her at her Interfaith Spiritualist church. While I found the service to be a little on the hokey side, the speaker said a few things which really resonated with me. In particular, he stated that while our world was changing quickly, we needed to embrace that change, rather than shy away from it. I couldn’t help but think that his message was incredibly relevant to emergency management.

With the rise of social media, new technologies, and increased fears about the earth’s sustainability, there are hundreds of reasons to feel nostalgic for the “olden days”, or a time when we weren’t quite so reliant on technology. Being a lover of vintage fashion, the outdoors, and classic movies, I have a longing for tradition as well. As I’ve spent the last year learning more about the field of EM and business continuity, however, I’ve realized that while we need to have a respect for tradition and tried-and-true methods, we can’t ignore the importance of new technology to promote resiliency and awareness.

Social media is a perfect example of this. It has been an incredibly useful tool for emergency management agencies and businesses outside the field. It’s also created a new set of problems which have prompted some organizations to believe that social media may be more trouble than its worth. The reality is that social media is not going away. Ignoring its applications will make you more, not less, vulnerable to its potential downsides. Rather than avoid social media in an attempt to minimize it’s damage, emergency management organizations need to embrace it as a tool to promote personal responsibility for the public, increase situational awareness for first responders, and a forum for the public to interact with emergency managers and each other to address their own needs.

There is a huge benefit to maintaining a capability to communicate using traditional means, such a public broadcasting and amateur radio operators, but in order to have a well-rounded communications strategy, organizations also need to be able to use social media and effectively address the new obstacles it creates. I suspect that, as with everything in life, a careful balance is needed to maximize the benefits of new technologies and traditional methods of emergency management.