The consulting trend

One of the enduring trends in the Canadian labour market is the increasing number of people who work as self-employed consultants. As governments and companies move to save money by limiting hiring wherever possible, new opportunities are created for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

As this article from the Vancouver Province points out, consultants have a greater ability to balance work-life issues by deciding on how much and what type of work to take on. Of course this type of arrangement is not for everyone as there is less certainty over income from month to month. The trend is real and increasing so there is a greater probability of being confronted with this type of opportunity.

The Canadian consulting market is growing at a rate of 5.5 per cent annually and rising, a study commissioned by the Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC-Canada) shows.

Engineering Matching and Placement program

Please Note: This information was forwaded to us by email. The in-take session referred to in this post takes place in Vancouver. If you are interested in this please use the email address listed at the end of this post to ask for more information.

Come and learn about this exciting opportunity!

E-MAP (Engineering Matching and Placement program sponsored by Canadian Association of Manufacturers and Exporters

SITE BC (The Society of Internationally Trained Engineers of BC

are offering an In-Take session for you!

If you:

· Are an Internationally Trained Engineer

· Want to work as an Engineer or Technologist or other roles in the manufacturing fields,

Please come to the In-Take Session on May 5, 2008 (Monday) at 6 pm with the following:

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Are you looking to build your network or learn more about what is happening in the technology sector in Victoria ? Then you may want to check out aspeed-geeking event scheduled for this Thursday at VIATEC. Six local technology companies will be featured. Check out the VIATEC web site for more information.

By the numbers

Last week Human Resources and Social Development Minister Monte Solberg gave a speech that touched on demographics issues. It is well documented that as baby-boomers retire there are fewer workers available to take thier place. A paragraph from a Toronto Star article highlights the problem.

Solberg recently told the Empire Club in Toronto that between 1956 and 2006 the country’s labour force increased nearly 200 per cent, but over the next 50 years it is expected to increase by just 11 per cent.


It’s an email world

In today’s technology-driven world more employers are using on-line systems to manage the hiring process. This places pressure on job-seekers to demonstrate mastery of technology in all of their interactions with hiring managers.

Employers are constantly making assumptions as they wade through applications. A poorly constructed email message can send the same message to an employer as the dog-eared, mustard-stained resume of yore. 

Guy Kawasaki maintains an interesting blog that has a post regarding the proper use of email that should be essential reading, whether you are looking for a job or not.

Out of the loop ?

It is fairly common that people will be out of the workforce for extended periods of time. Illness, family responsibilities and other reasons can result in extended absences from the world of work. People in this situation are often concerned about the “gap” in their resume once they decide to seek employment.

While this is not an insurmountable problem this article from the Wall Street Journal does point out that there are still many employers who get concerned when they see a resume that features a lengthy gap between jobs.

As the article points out there are several strategies that can be used to overcome this problem.

Take refresher classes. This will help you to get up to speed on the latest news, regulations and technological developments in your industry.
Build a new resume. Make sure it includes skills used and acquired during leave from work force. If you’ve managed people for projects or volunteer work or done tasks with tangible results, list those on your resume.
Anticipate potential employer’s concerns. Make sure you address any worries about a skills lag or your time away in your cover letter and then address these issues more in-depth in the interview.

 See the article for the rest of the tips.

Labour Market News

The Times-Colonist is reporting on a study that shows that the gambling industry in BC creates 16,400 jobs (135,000 across the country).

 The construction sector is still driving job growth in British Columbia. Over 152,000 skilled workers will be retiring from this sector over the next 10 years.

 There are about 650,000 information and communication technology workers in Canada. There is speculation that another 90,000 will be needed over the next 3-5 years.  Some are skeptical of this sector because of the dot com bust of recent memory which has resulted in declining enrolment in computer science engineering and computer engineering programs. While any sector can be subject to employment slumps, one of the enduring trends in the Canadian labour market is that technology is responsible for creating many new opportunities.

Business mistakes

Over 2.6 million Canadians are self-employed. This trend is expected to continue as individuals seek more control over their careers and companies and governments continue to contract out work. If you are thinking of starting your own business ensure that you do all of your research and take advantage of the resources that exist. This will minimize the chances of making one of these four crucial business mistakes.

Me and my mentor

Having a mentor to turn to for advice and guidance about a career can be very helpful. In particular people who are new to Canada can benefit from the wisdom of a mentor who can give inside information about training options or the intricacies of  professional associations and memberships.

An article from the Globe & Mail does a good job of detailing the benefits and potential pitfalls of mentorships. It also looks at the new trend of “speed-mentoring”.

On qualifications

At Career Solutions we often get asked by our clients about the often long lists of qualification requirements that accompany some job postings. It’s not unusual to see a posting that includes a dozen or more requirements. A job posting with the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee (VANOC) provides a good example. The position of  Coordinator, Sliding Sports includes the following requirements:sled.jpg

  • A diploma, certificate or degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in a related filed  (event management, sports administration, business administration, etc)
  • 3-5 years experience in a coordinator role  
  • Background in Bobsleigh, Skeleton and Luge as an athlete, coach, or event organizer an asset
    • The question we are often asked is: “I don’t meet all of the requirements for the job. Should I apply anyways ?” The answer is often yes. Employers create a “wish list” of requirements when crafting job postings in order to describe the perfect job candidate. Most of the time however, the person who gets hired is one who has the right combination of skills and experiences because the magical ideal candidate rarely exists.

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