Possibilities open for student employment

Whether students are looking for a part-time job to get through school or a placement in their chosen field, they can find resources close by. The school Career Center and school neighbor WorkSource offer help in preparing for, finding, landing, and succeeding at one’s next job.

Career Center Office Assistant Lynn Ouellet said the SPSCC job board is one of Career Services’ best resources. She said the job board includes listings from employers who often post at the school first, giving students an advantage.

WorkSource Area Director Todd Dixon said he encourages SPSCC students to “come across the street” to take advantage of their resources. He said WorkSource, also known as Washington State Employment Security Department, specializes in helping students find part time work throughout the school year. Dixon said students should also go to WorkSource long before finishing their certificate or degree for help getting job placement within their chosen field. The counselors will help students create and update their profile with their new skills and experience, and search for jobs and careers.

Dixon also said that much of this can be done online at gotoworksource.com. Users can also find information about local employers and specific industries that have a high demand, to better target job searches and development.

Dixon said students should get a workshop calendar and attend them, which are free, as many times as they want. WorkSource offers a workshop on job interviews that covers what to expect, how to carry yourself, what not to do. Dixon said he was surprised to hear what some employers see in interviews, such as people bringing their girlfriends to an interview, or coming in smelling of strong cigarettes and cologne.

Dixon said many students who go to WorkSource do so to fulfill requirements to receive unemployment and go to school. He said they need to go to WorkSource to show the skills from their old job are no longer needed, and the new skills they are building with their education are “in demand.”

Dixon said people who are able to show they have skills from previous experience that apply to the job they are applying for, though the job may be different, tend to get jobs faster. He also said employers typically want to see four things in employees: can they show up on time, ready to work, and willing to learn? That means “put your cell phones away, put your iPhones away, turn your computer on or be at the counter where you’re supposed to be,” he said. It also means new employees need to understand that the way they learned to do something may not be the way the employer wants it done, said Dixon.

SPSCC Career Services Director Michael Hoyer just started his new job as director July 5, four days prior to commenting. He said as he gets “acclimated”, he wants to focus on developing the department into a “career center” and making it more visible and accessible. He wants to focus first on building resume-writing and interviewing workshops as well as “revamping” the website to make it easier to find. He said there are already a lot of resources and partnerships in place for job seekers at the college that he himself is discovering.