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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

WORK MATTERS
The career path veers off into the unknown

By Sharon Aschaiek
Editor



After three years as the editor of Career Connection, I've finally decided to follow my own advice: I've decided to become my own boss.

These pages have been peppered with stories about the climate of entrepreneurialism in Ontario and Canada at large, how-to features for small business owners and other resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. I've also profiled several entrepreneurs who have successfully forged their own paths.

And so I've decided to take the leap and become a freelance writer and editor -- and see what I can do when left to my own devices (!!).

In the almost four years I have spent working at the Sun, the lesson that stuck out for me is that no matter what you're doing or where you're doing it, make sure you love it. Oscar Wilde said "Life is too important to be taken seriously." What I take from that is, life's too short to be doing anything except what brings you joy.

I began working here as an intern in the summer of 2000, with some writing experience and one year of journalism school behind me. Since then, I've gained a valuable first-hand education in the critical role an advertising department plays in the functioning of a publication.

As Career Connection editor, I've learned a lot about the employment scene in the GTA, its many resources and support services, and all of the people working on behalf of job hunters.

I've also interviewed some interesting people along the way, among them: Debbie Cornelius, who turned her idea of imprinting children's handprints and footprints onto bronze plaques into a successful Canadian franchise; Dr. James Young, chief coroner of Ontario, and his fight for people's safety; and Sergei de Jonge, a humble yet inspiring man who's been living his dream job for the past 30 years as a luthier and guitar teacher.

I've had the opportunity to work at a dynamic newspaper that fiercely holds its own in Toronto's competitive daily newspaper arena. And I got to do it with the best group of people ever, with whom I've shared more laughs than I can remember.

If I had to sum up what I've learned about job hunting, it would be these points:

* Network, network, network!

* Have polished career documents -- resumes, cover letters, and so on.

* Take advantage of employment centres, staffing firms and other local resources.

* Volunteer.

* Continue to update your skills.

* Follow your passion.

My experience here has prepared me well, and it has been a pleasure creating a resource that keeps job hunters and transition seekers in the loop.

My co-editor Diane Janes will be taking over as Career Connection editor, and she can be reached at diane.janes@tor.sunpub.com.

Happy job hunting, and remember, if you love your job, you'll never work a day in your life.



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