How do I find a job in Toronto?
January 11, 2013 2:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I search for a job in Toronto that fits my special snowflake(but relatively modest[I hope]) requirements?

I need to find a job. Right now, my search feels scattered and mostly useless and that needs to change. I've tried a few things: re-applying at an old job, applying to places that I would like to work near my home and a job search with online tools. But that all amounts to maybe four submitted resumes with no callbacks and that is just not enough.

As I see it I have several problems:

1.) I have little useful work experience and few skills

My employment thus far been food service(Starbucks), retail(a comic book store), and an honorarium based internship with a publishing company. I've also done some very limited freelance proofreading, but it basically amounts to checking one file type against another to make sure no errors have cropped up in the conversion. Not exactly skill building, is what I'm saying.

I have a BA in history as well, but have been out of school for more than 4 years.

2.) I have no idea how or where to search for things

I've tried the Canada Job Bank and other job search websites, but they are so huge(and filled with spam) that I despair of ever finding anything without having a good keywords for a search. Since I can't exactly plug in "database administrator" or similar, I feel lost.

3.) I cannot take on work that will be overly disruptive to my partner's sleep schedule

My partner is in the middle of a PhD in the hard sciences. They are doing real, useful work toward a good career and I refuse to negatively impact that. This means no excessively early mornings, overnights or similarly erratic worktimes. This is one reason I think Starbucks will be reluctant to take me back(though I have applied there).


I do have a couple of things going for me. I have low rent and expenses(thanks to a shared living space with my partner) , no debts and about $3,000 in savings. This gives a little leverage in terms of time, and the job I do get could be part-time minimum wage and I'd still be doing okay. I don't need a career right now but I will need money for bills until I can figure things out.

Obviously, the better working conditions are(no early mornings, less or no contact with the public, flexible shifts) the happier I would be. I'd like to avoid fast food, having worked in it as a teenager. I am not totally averse to returning to barista-ing, but it would be less than ideal.

Brass tacks: What should I be looking for and where should I look?
posted by Gin and Comics to Work & Money (6 answers total)
You seem creepily deferential to your partner. Point 3 is just weird. Sure, we all need our sleep, but staying unemployed and not being flexible about schedules because of it is bizzare. Surely you can wake and dress quietly. Or do you require a tuba solo in the morning to get you started?

Have you thought about call-center work? I started with the phone company as a customer service person. I learned a ton, made good money and ultimately worked my way up in the company.

Try applying for entry-level jobs on corporate websites. Bell Canada, Cable, whatever. It all pays, and it's a good foot in the door.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:29 PM on January 11, 2013

Try signing up with a local staffing agency? The economy's picking up, so you might get some more bites than you would have a couple years ago in the Dark Times.

Maybe try working for the city of Toronto? Or for the province?

Also, "account executive" is often a term for "entry level person" in big businesses and don't really require any special skills. You can also try searches for things like "program manager" and "program coordinator." The qualifications for all four are often basically enthusiasm and ability to use a computer somewhat competently and a willingness to learn new software.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:25 PM on January 11, 2013

Funny, my ex was in this situation in Toronto, right down to the history degree and Starbucks. You're not my ex, are you?

Staffing/temp agencies are good places to start, like Snarl Furillo said. I've had friends who found decent full-time jobs that way with the TTC and other organizations.

You could be a server? You can make pretty decent money in tips but hours are irregular/you have to deal with the public. Lots of places have high turnover so you can hit the streets with your resume.

If you're in shape and like biking, courier? It's a bit of a different community but it's during daytime hours.

And, I loathe to suggest this because I'm so idealogically opposed to unpaid internships... but if none of that appeals and you do have some cash, you could scour the CharityVillage website and do another intership that might position you better for future employment?
posted by Paper rabies at 4:44 PM on January 11, 2013

You graduated with a BA, which means you are an alumn/a of a college/university. Go to its career services page, and see if they have alumni services. Even if they don't specify, subscribe to its job listings listserve if it has one and go to any open job fairs at the school.

I've gotten four different jobs through university networking. It really works.
posted by vegartanipla at 5:07 PM on January 11, 2013

You could find something paying via CharityVillage. When no other job search site pans out, CharityVillage always seems to come through. Try looking for an Administrative Assistant position.

Craigslist works, sometimes. Expect your fair share of creepy job interviews/prospects.

Randstad is a pretty good staffing agency, for temp work.

If you want to work in a restaurant, take your resume around (cold, in person) between 2pm and 4pm before the dinner rush and ask to give it directly to the manager. You can get hired on the spot that way. Try walking down Queen, Dundas West, and College and see which places have "help wanted" signs posted.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 9:39 PM on January 11, 2013

From the technical side, I've always had luck with (or for you). Before that I had an excel sheet with 200 companies. Simply put in your location and leave the first search field blank.

Realistically, I think that it might be difficult finding gainful and career-enhancing employment that doesn't require a lot of interactions with others (either "the public" or "people in the office").

Regarding your partner's sleep schedule, you might try unis and hospitals, as they always seem to be hiring entry-level 9-5ers.

If you're just looking for a check and not career-enhancement, follow the advice of the person above my post. Her advice will probably lead to your employment much sooner.
posted by NYC-BB at 11:14 PM on January 11, 2013

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