Getting a Temporary Survival Job in Canada: A Guide to Success

Whether you are a highly qualified professional or a student in Canada, there are those times when one needs to turn to ‘Plan B’ as it were. If you have been unemployed for a while and need a job, or you need some extra cash, survival jobs are a great option to consider. These jobs provide you with enough money to get by while you get your ducks in a row. There is no shame in taking a temporary survival job, especially when the job market is tight and funds are needed to sustain yourself.

However, it may be easier said than done. Landing a temp job can be tricky given the level of competition that you might face, especially when the market is down. In this blog, we offer you seven tips on what you should and should not do when trying to find and secure jobs in this line of work.

1) Choose a Temporary Survival Job You Like

Before you get too far down the rabbit hole with your job search, consider which line of work will best suit you. If you are an extroverted person who enjoys conversation and music, then you might want to consider becoming a bartender. If you prefer a quieter setting, then maybe a tutor. Either way, just make sure it is something you can enjoy doing. Another benefit it serves is, if you choose a career you like, you drive up your chances of landing the job, given you show genuine enthusiasm.

2) Try to Stay in Your Niche

Before you take up a temporary survival job like tutoring, bartending or general labour, you might want to consider sticking to your field. Even if you have to take a job at a lower position, you retain the element of consistency. This is crucial when you are working towards the dream job you studied and worked for. However, if you do aim for a survival job outside your field, try and go for something that will give you time to search for your dream job.

Stay in your niche when hunting for a temporary survival job

3) Tone Down the Resume for a Temporary Survival Job

A long, verbose resume with big-wig job titles and experiences shouts ‘over-qualified’. That is something you want to avoid when hunting for a temporary survival job. Yes, you should be honest in your resume. However, it is okay to de-emphasize things that make you more relatable. Your resume should match the level of work you are aiming for. Consider highlighting your strengths and skills in relating to people, work ethic and other things that will allow you to perform the job better.

4) Stay Positive

A positive attitude has a massive impact on the outcome of the interview. let’s say for example, that you were laid off from a high-level job in the manufacturing industry and you have to take up a job as a barista. The interviewer will feel your disdain for serving customers drinks if you come at it as a step-down. Think of it as an opportunity to stay afloat, a life raft of sorts. A grateful and positive attitude will go a long way.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”Martin Luther King Jr., American Minister

Be open to learning during a temporary survival job

5) Be Open to Learning New Things from Temporary Survival Jobs

It’s good to be confident in your ability when attending an interview, but humility is also important. Remember, you are trying to land a survival job, for which you may not have any prior experience. Just because you were an expert in the IT department in your old job, doesn’t mean you have the skills to be a top-notch bartender yet. So, be open to learning new things, and communicate that to your interviewer. Let them know that you are very teachable and dependable.

6) Prepare for the Interview

When attending the interview for a temporary survival job, you need to keep three things in mind. The interviewer will be looking for very specific skills, yes, but they also want to know if you have the soft skills it takes to do the job. Specifically, are you a team player, will you cause any problems and are you open to learning on the job. If you can eliminate these concerns coming out the gate, you drive up the chances of landing that job. You can also quench any doubts regarding your over-qualifications by saying things like, “I have always been commended on my people skills.” or ” I know how to calm a situation down.” These statements demonstrate critical social skills that one might need.

7) Don't Get too Personal

Look, you wouldn’t be taking this job if it weren’t for the fact that you are falling on hard times. But, that is no reason to bring that up during the interview unless they ask. Even then just the bare minimum details will do most of the time. Desperation, however real, is not professional, and you should be approaching this job like any other interview. Keep things professional, polite and away from your personal life.

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