Extra spending money for the holidays

With Christmas around the corner, extra money always comes in handy. For English-speaking Quebecers, searching for a job can be both difficult and discouraging though. Consequently, Montreal’s Youth Employment Services has the solution: their Christmas Job Rush Program.
Established in 1993, Youth Employment Services (YES) is a non-profit job search and entrepreneurship help center. It is strongly dedicated to helping English-speaking Quebecers find employment and services. For the third year in a row, YES is running its annual Christmas Job Rush Program.
With a great response from retailers, there are 60 different companies who are offering over 200 job opportunities for students during the holiday season. They include mostly minimum wage, retail sales positions that require bilingualism. Some of these jobs do continue on to become part-time, and some of the stores presently looking for employees include Coles, Reitmans’, and The Body Shop.
Susan Molnar, the Career Counselor and Arts Program Coordinator for YES, who has been coordinating the program for the past three years, strongly recommends trying it. “I think making contacts is probably most important for students. Building networks as well as getting some extra cash,” she says. “It has multi opportunities.”
In addition to their Christmas job rush program, YES gives helpful workshops and conferences that help job seekers such as a Strategic CV Writing workshop on Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m. and an Interview workshop on Tuesdays from 2-3:30 p.m.
Best of all, workshops such as these two are free. An important workshop to note is Basic Business French, an eight-week course that helps you improve your proficiency and comfort level in a French work environment. This course is for people who have a basic knowledge of French. The course is held on Tuesdays between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and the cost is $40.
“Any anglophone who wants to find a job in Quebec needs to accept that they have to work on their French,” Molnar points out. Other things to be aware of are free computer courses in Internet and Word that will be recommencing in early January. There are also career nights one can attend as well.
So, why should someone give Youth Employment Services a chance? “We’ve got a lot of drop-in opportunities,” she said. “We can meet short-term needs quickly…. We have great networking opportunities.”
When one is job-hunting, Molnar stresses the importance of consistent follow-up since hopefully that way employers will be reminded of you and when a job opening comes up, they can contact you.
Leaving messages that are too long or where you rush through your phone number is not wise since you won’t be contacted. Planning out beforehand what you want to say is important. “Leave your phone number slowly at the beginning of the message and then again at the end of it,” she insists. “You have to learn to be an effective message-leaver since first impressions are important.”
It is foolish to say that there are no jobs out there. “There are many jobs out there but most of them are not advertised. Eighty per cent are not advertised,” says Molnar. “You have to be active and not passive. Research and follow-up are the two most important concepts to get.”
If you are interested in getting a job during the holidays, drop by the Youth Employment Services center on 630 Rene Levesque Blvd., West, suite 185, corner University St., on Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You can also reach YES at (514) 878-9788 or check out their website at www.yesmtl.org

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