There are a ton of resources at your fingertips that can help you network, find jobs and build new skills, but they can be costly. From paying to gain membership in a PR society to dishing out cash for courses—these seem like important steps to take in your career but they add to your debt.
Here’s the good news: you can access all kinds of tools for free and they may even be within walking distance. Allow me to enlighten you on the many wonders of the Toronto Public Library (TPL).
You may not have stepped foot in a public library since that field trip in grade school, but it’s time to pay a visit to your local branch! Getting yourself a library card provides you with almost endless resources that can help you land your dream gig. Here are just a few ways how.
Attend career-related events
Many Toronto Public Library locations host events where attendees can learn how to maximize their job search potential discover techniques to connect with employers and access hidden jobs. These are great places to hone your job-hunting skills and meet seasoned professionals who can offer you some of their wisdom. These are some of the events they regularly host:
- Interview Skills Workshops
- Resume Clinic
- Get Job Ready
To see all upcoming career programs by the TPL, click here.
Courses that develop your skill set
I was surprised to find out that TPL hosts a variety of classes, including ones that provide training in essential communications-related skills. I myself have attended a Photoshop class for beginners, and it’s incredible how much you can learn in only an hour. The instructor was extremely helpful and the library provided computers, so you don’t have to worry about lugging your laptop there.
You can also learn how to use iMovie, Excel, InDesign, Word, Powerpoint, as well as learn how to make a podcast, design and 3D print. Other useful classes focus on Digital Marketing Research, how to protect your online privacy and more! Click the links below to explore TPL’s classes and workshops:
If putting pants on and heading outside isn’t really your thing, you can also access Lynda courses for free by logging onto the TPL account associated with your library card. You’ll have access to courses like project management, coding and more. #WinWin!
Expand your knowledge with books
If you’re struggling to develop your organizational skills, take risks in the workplace or maximize your professional performance… you know there’s a book on it!
These are some books at the TPL that will inspire entry-level, and communications, professionals:
- Careers in Media and Communications by Stephanie Smith
- Platform: the Art & Science of Personal Branding by Cynthia Johnson
- Deconstructing the Interview by Duncan Harding
- Employment and Volunteering by Lisa Renaud
- How to Talk to Anyone at Work: 72 Little Tricks for Big Success Communicating on the Job by Leil Lowndes
Click here to check out more new additions to their “Career and Job Searching” books section.
I’ve not even skimmed the surface when it comes to what the public library has to offer individuals and communities alike. Whether you’re looking for free career resources, a place to meet like-minded people or simply a creative outlet, the library has what you’re looking for.
While this article focused on the Toronto Public Library, other libraries across Canada offer similar services. So head to your local library’s website for more information on what they have to offer.