Thea Du came from China to study at UPEI. She graduated from the Masters of Education in Leadership in Learning in May, 2019 and loved the idea of living and working on PEI, so she started her job search here. She was looking for a career that would put her educational and employment experiences to work.
Thea’s job search journey
I started my career search by applying for jobs related to my education and previous work experience. However, it was hard to decide how long to spend looking for my ideal job and when to become more realistic and just find work to meet the work permit deadline.
I approached my job search in a traditional way by only checking job posting sites daily and applying. In six weeks, I applied to nine jobs. I received no response for my efforts.
I expanded my approach by talking with professionals who could help me in my job search. I spoke with UPEI Career Counsellor Kylah Hennessey. She suggested I give it another two weeks and try other ways to find a career related to my background.
Kylah said it usually takes up to three months to find work in an area of interest. I was learning that it wasn’t an easy process, and it is time consuming.
She asked what exactly I was looking for in a job. I found it very difficult to answer that question. Of the nine jobs I applied to, I was not convinced any of them were a good match for me.
To become more aware of the industries and my job options on PEI, Kylah suggested I visit the staff of The Employment Journey on PEI. I also spoke with Ronald MacDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Education to see if he could shed light on the types of careers people go into after taking the Master’s program. These two meetings were very helpful, and I felt encouraged to continue my pursuit.
Next, I spoke with Hannah Jones, an Employment Counsellor at PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada. She suggested I speak with Thilak Tennekone, Diversity Consultant with the PEI Public Service Commission. Thilak manages the Diversity program, which helps newcomers obtain employment with the public service. He was very helpful in letting me know what to expect when applying to the provincial government.
Applying for a job with the provincial government
A job was posted on www.gov.pe.ca/jobs that I was very interested in. It was time to put my knowledge to work and to get the support I needed to go through the process of applying for a government job.
I asked Kylah to critique my resumé and cover letter before I submitted them. She was great to pick out details to enhance them. Two weeks later, I got a phone call to say that I was screened in to the pre-interview assessment. I was given 24 hours to research a given topic. It was a very intense process, but the instructions were very detailed and helpful.
Two weeks later, I heard that I passed the assessment and I was invited to an interview. I asked Hannah for help to practice interview skills, which put me at ease. Three people were at the interview: an HR Manager, a Manager of Policy and Planning, and a Supervisor from the department I was applying to work with.
Three days before the interview, I was assigned a topic and instructions to make a presentation. I was also asked some questions that evaluated my interpersonal and organizational skills.
Much to my delight, three weeks later, I was offered a job as Junior Policy Analyst at the Department of Agriculture and Land.
Even though I didn’t have full confidence in getting the job I have now, I did my very best and got the support I needed. It worked out, and I am so grateful.
For more information about the services Thea used in her job search, visit:
- UPEI Career Services: www.upei.ca/career-services
- PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada: www.peianc.com
- For more tips to apply for PEI government jobs, visit www.employmentjourney.com/tips-applying-provincial-government/
For a complete list of the resources across PEI which can help with job search, visit www.employmentjourney.com/resources-services-for-job-seekers/.