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Given my circumstances, which type of job would be better for me?

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  • Jan 29th, 2006 3:34 am
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[OP]
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Jul 18, 2005
1615 posts
40 upvotes

Given my circumstances, which type of job would be better for me?

I haven't had any work experience before, and my volunteer work was a bit bogus, so there arent very many people who will hire me. But here are the jobs I'm pursuing at the moment.

Job A:

A co-op job doing data entry and CAD work. It's related to my field of study so thats a big plus, and I could potentially come back in a future work term with a better job. However, I will be spending the entire day in front of a computer, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure how useful the skills I learn from this job will be. The networking potential is the main thing I will get out of this job.

Job B:

A typical summer job, working at fast food or in retail. Less chance of meeting valuable contacts, or be able to network much. But, will gain very valuable transferrable skills.

Right now, I am leaning towards Job B, but I want to hear what other people have to say.
16 replies
Newbie
Jan 26, 2006
47 posts
why would u choose a typical fast food job over somethin that is somewat realated to your field and has a better chance in the future. Once you get into a company and makes contacts u can return for a another coop term for a different position or somethin. also the CAD experiance would look good on your reusme and help you get more jobs related to your field of study later on.

personally i would say go with job a. Gettin a fast food/retail work isnt gonna take you far in the long run.
Deal Expert
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Jun 14, 2003
23140 posts
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:confused: :confused:

How can Job B be better than Job A in any angle you view it?
What kind of transferable skill you are looking for in Job B?

May be Job B can really teach you something but no future employer will view that useful comparing with Job A. In other words, Job B is not good for your resume unless you consider Job B is your career.
[OP]
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Jul 18, 2005
1615 posts
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Well here's my reasoning:

A lot of employers want their employees to have good interpersonal skills, now if I'm sitting in front of a computer all day how am supposed to show that I have good interpersonal skills. Whereas if I'm working in fastfood or retail, where theres more interaction with people, I can show that I do have the skill.
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Jun 14, 2003
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civ@uw wrote:Well here's my reasoning:

A lot of employers want their employees to have good interpersonal skills, now if I'm sitting in front of a computer all day how am supposed to show that I have good interpersonal skills. Whereas if I'm working in fastfood or retail, where theres more interaction with people, I can show that I do have the skill.
Interpersonal skills will be shown when you are in the interview with them. I sure hope you don't put "sitting in front of the computer all day and do not talk to anybody" as part of your resume. Working with computer does not mean you don't communicate and don't have interpersonal skill. In fact, it is a real asset in computing sector if this is what you are aiming for.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 18, 2005
1615 posts
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The problem is I won't even get to the interview stage. I'm in a Mechanical Engineering program, so its not really the computing sector.
Deal Expert
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Jun 14, 2003
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civ@uw wrote:The problem is I won't even get to the interview stage. I'm in a Mechanical Engineering program, so its not really the computing sector.
What kind of job you are aiming for in the future?

Yes, interpersonal skill is a good asset. Working in fast food or sales does not prove you have that. There are more plus in Job A. I don't even see a plus in Job B. When I read your resume, "part time job in Burger King" means nothing. What I read is you can't find a decent job and have to settle there instead of you give up something to work there in order to improve your interpersonal skill.

"Part time job in a computing firm" means a lot more. And, mechanical engineering still need to use computer. Good in computer is a plus for your field.
[OP]
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Jul 18, 2005
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I'm not 100% set on what I want to do, but I am looking at an engineering job working on design (not drafting). You need excellent communication, and teamwork skills to succeed in engineering, moreso than the typical job I would presume.

I agree that it seems I am just settling for whatever job I can get, but from an employers perspective I thought there would be merit in retail/fast food jobs.
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Jun 14, 2003
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civ@uw wrote:I'm not 100% set on what I want to do, but I am looking at an engineering job working on design (not drafting). You need excellent communication, and teamwork skills to succeed in engineering, moreso than the typical job I would presume.

I agree that it seems I am just settling for whatever job I can get, but from an employers perspective I thought there would be merit in retail/fast food jobs.
From a employers perspective and I did interviews in hiring process, the fast food portion in your resume means nothing. I perfer you not to mention that at all because it indeed means nothing. You may as well say you have no job experience.

Unless I am hiring a salesman, retail job experience also does not mean much but it is better than fast food. If I hire a technical people, I need his technical skill and his personality to fit into the team. I would not use the resume to determine a person's interpersonal skill. Only interview can determine that (even that is limited). Then, you will be screened by the team to see if you can fit in.
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Apr 5, 2003
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gman wrote:From a employers perspective and I did interviews in hiring process, the fast food portion in your resume means nothing. I perfer you not to mention that at all because it indeed means nothing. You may as well say you have no job experience.

Unless I am hiring a salesman, retail job experience also does not mean much but it is better than fast food. If I hire a technical people, I need his technical skill and his personality to fit into the team. I would not use the resume to determine a person's interpersonal skill. Only interview can determine that (even that is limited). Then, you will be screened by the team to see if you can fit in.

Good points. Your interpersonal skills can be displayed during the interview. Your techincal skills can not (unless they give you some type of test).

Job A is the easy answer to this question.
Deal Addict
Jul 29, 2002
1954 posts
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Job A > Job B

Don't waste your time with fastfood/retail jobs. Even in Job A you still need to interact with coworker once in a while, therefore you can still learn teamwork/communication skills (at least that's what you should say in your next job interview after Job A ;) )

Fastfood/general non-commisoned retail = waste of time for you.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 18, 2005
1615 posts
40 upvotes
gman wrote:From a employers perspective and I did interviews in hiring process, the fast food portion in your resume means nothing. I perfer you not to mention that at all because it indeed means nothing. You may as well say you have no job experience.

Unless I am hiring a salesman, retail job experience also does not mean much but it is better than fast food. If I hire a technical people, I need his technical skill and his personality to fit into the team. I would not use the resume to determine a person's interpersonal skill. Only interview can determine that (even that is limited). Then, you will be screened by the team to see if you can fit in.
I can see where you're getting at.

What's your opinion on volunteer work? There is a community centre where I wanted to spend some time at, and I wanted to know how that would be looked upon.

And thanks for the insightful responses, gave me a new perspective.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2006
1434 posts
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If you really want to work at a fast food joint, take Job A, and work Job B at nights and on the weekend.
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Jun 14, 2003
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civ@uw wrote:I can see where you're getting at.

What's your opinion on volunteer work? There is a community centre where I wanted to spend some time at, and I wanted to know how that would be looked upon.

And thanks for the insightful responses, gave me a new perspective.
I would say that is a good attribute in your resume. At least, I consider that better than the fast food job.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2003
1876 posts
597 upvotes
job A.. definitely job A man. im going into my 4th coop term in civil. u might feel CAD experiences being useless, but its much more important than you think, i even think its necessary to do CAD for a term, and perferably the first term. and frankly, i feel unfortunate that i havent done any CAD work. I bet you, employers will ask if youve done any CAD work, even in interviews for your last coop term, perhaps even for a real permanate job after graduation. it's just that fundamental.

CAD is like a bad enemy, u cant avoid it in engineering. any drawing u will see will be drawn in CAD one way or the other... u might not be the one doing it, but its definitely an asset you want to have.

Besides, the CAD work you do, you will learn something from it, trust me. When youre asked to do the cad work, you will have to know what the hell youre trying to draft before you draft it, and chances are your boss will tell you what part youre drawing and the importance of it.

Interpersonal and communication skills are important as well, but at a fast food restaurant? i doubt it. Try running Engsoc or Fed or organizing events for other university clubs, get some real project management skills and organizing people, places, and money together. That's a much more valuable lesson than working at a fast food chain.

Again, i can't stress enough how important CAD is. So ya. I hope you make the right choice. Everyone has to start low somewhere buddy. I had my first work term "supervising" sewer repair work all summer.
Sr. Member
Nov 21, 2003
848 posts
2 upvotes
Interpersonal skills are not demonstrated on your resume. If your job requires good interpersonal skills, you need to show this to the employer prior to applying...either at an info session, meet & greet, company tour, or even calling them on the phone.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2005
621 posts
2 upvotes
civ@uw wrote:I'm not 100% set on what I want to do, but I am looking at an engineering job working on design (not drafting). You need excellent communication, and teamwork skills to succeed in engineering, moreso than the typical job I would presume.
You have to learn how to walk before you can start running.
In order to design, you have to the drafting skills and just because you will be doing CAD all day does not mean you will not have any contact with other engineer. It's likely you will be doing the CAD work for a designer, so you will not be totally isolated by yourself.

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