You’ve polished up your application and submitted it for every relevant job posting – now the waiting game begins. Not hearing back from organizations time and time again can be discouraging. I know this feeling because I was there at a point in my career. I had just graduated with my Masters in Public Health, and enthusiastically applied for jobs. I was ready to work and make a public health impact.
I had just moved back from Saskatchewan and I was adamant on staying in Toronto. Starting off, the job hunt was slow – I was only looking for long-term contracts or full-time positions in Toronto. At the time, there weren’t many positions that met these criteria. I would apply for all of the ones that I came across, but not hearing back from any organization was disappointing.
As months passed, I contemplated looking for jobs outside of the public health field, but my passion for public health kept convincing me to keep trying. Five months into the search, I decided to look for public health jobs in neighboring cities, and considered all contract positions, regardless of its length. This decision is what got me to my current role as a Program Evaluator. I started this position on a three month contract, which later turned into a permanent position. Had I not applied for the position, I would have missed the opportunity for the permanent position.
Through this journey I realized the importance of seizing every opportunity that is presented. My advice for anyone looking for a job in Public Health is, don’t miss an opportunity just because it’s not what you envisioned. It’s important that you don’t give up on searching for jobs in a field that you are passionate about, but don’t limit yourself by holding on to some of your set criteria. Step outside of your comfort zone and expand your search to neighbouring cities and provinces. This may be a drastic change at first, but one that will be valuable. School educates you on the theoretical concepts of public health. But hands on experience from the field will help you gain a more practical understanding of public health. Finally, another important thing I learnt while working is to invest some time in personal development, by learning a new skill for example. This will make your application stand out!
About the author
Sameena currently works as a Program Evaluator at a Public Health Unit in Ontario where she supports teams to plan and deliver public health program. She also works with teams to identify ways to deliver public health programs in an efficient manner. She is passionate about population health. From a young age she was involved in health promotion initiatives and disaster relief efforts with various organizations. Apart from her work in public health, she enjoys getting creative with crocheting and baking treats!