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How to take the next step in your career

(NC) When it comes to accessing career advice, it can be really challenging to know where to turn. A recent survey of Canadians aged 18 to 24 indicated that advice from professionals in their desired field was the most valuable for navigating a career path.

Whether you’re just entering the job market or looking to explore a new career path, it can be tough, here are some tips to get you started.

Look for networking opportunities. If you’ve already found your field, seek out events related to the industry and get involved. Contact event organizers to see if they’re looking for volunteers. Volunteering offers real-life experience in the sector, as well as the opportunity to connect with other attendees.

Access mentorship. In addition to attending events, consider networking and mentorship programs. For example, Ten Thousand Coffees and RBC are working together to increase access to alumni networking and mentoring for students at seven post-secondary institutions across Canada. If you’re a student, ask about this or any other networking programs at your student office.

Lean on your friends. Ask around to see if any of your friends have relatives, acquaintances or former colleagues who work in your desired field. Ask them to connect you and take that person out for a coffee to learn more about the industry. People are often keen to offer insight to those interested in their work, and they understand the value it provides.

Don’t waste an opportunity, prepare questions in advance. So you’ve been accepted as a volunteer for a conference or have set up a coffee with your friend’s aunt – what now? Your next step is preparation. Do your research to learn more about the people with whom you could be speaking and prepare a list of questions so you feel comfortable having the conversation.

Say thank you and keep connected. After meeting someone be sure to send a follow-up thank-you note. Showing appreciation for the time they spent will go a long way towards strengthening your relationship. Connecting on LinkedIn is also a great way to keep lines of communication open.

Getting started on your career path is an exciting time full of possibilities – ensure you make the most of it and make good connections. You never know where your next job opportunity will come from. Find more information at

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