Alexa Pagel: My First Job

When Alexa came in for testing, she was in her final year of college, and making post-graduation plans. Her major, at the University of Toronto, was Geography, which covered Urban Planning and Environmental Studies more broadly. Alexa sent this update in June of this year, and it is a story that many college students will identify with—trying to get that first job after graduation in the field that you studied. She took advantage of a follow-up session, and, as a result, was able to refocus her efforts and refine her job search so that her next job could be a better fit

When I took the testing in June 2005, I was going on the advice of my mother. She had heard great things about the testing centre, and thought that it would help me in my path to find a career. We travelled to Boston for a small vacation and for the aptitude testing. I took my battery of tests, finished enjoying Boston, and left for Toronto. When I returned home, I was busy finishing up my undergraduate degree in geography and did not think too much about the results.

Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in June 2006, I was very lucky to find a job right after I graduated that was relevant to my degree in the environmental sector. I accepted the position and realized immediately that it was not the right fit; however I could not put my finger on why. Small projects would come up here and there that I truly enjoyed, such as hosting a small monthly forum within the company and attending meetings with external stakeholders. However, these projects were completed quickly and I would often find myself bored and uninterested with reading reports and writing briefing notes.

After one and a half years in my current position, I still had that nagging feeling of boredom, and thirsted for more jobs where I could work with people and leave the space of my small cubicle. This feeling led to a follow-up meeting with Johnson O’Connor, which helped me to re-focus my priorities. I scored high on the Ideaphoria aptitude, and realized that I was hardly using this skill at all!

Two months have passed since my follow-up with Johnson O’Connor and I’ve accomplished the following:

  1. I am volunteering for outreach initiatives within another section of my company, which will utilize my Ideaphoria aptitude.
  2. Enrolled in a digital publishing class at a local community college to try my hand at design, for which I scored a high in the aptitude Memory for Design.
  3. Taken a one-day graphic design class offered through my company.
  4. Signed up for a marketing course that will start at the end of June.

I am now looking for a job that lets me “work with and through people,” both as part of a team and as part of a larger, overall project. I have started writing small articles for our company’s monthly newsletter as well.

October 2008: “Since the follow up, I enjoyed the digital publishing class (with an A+ no less!) and took the marketing class which I also enjoyed. I enrolled in a Marketing Management Certificate through Ryerson University, and am working my way through that now. I look to my aptitude reports weekly as a source of inspiration.”