On starting a new job

We have had quite a few clients who have started new jobs recently. We are very excited and happy for them as they get an opportunity to use their skills in the Canadian workplace.

With this in mind we should look at an article that provides some tips on how to make your first week on a new job a successful one.

The 1 Day Dream Job Challenge

24 Hours Vancouver recently ran an article that contains an interesting twist on the job search process. Those of you who are feeling frustrated with the lack of progress in your quest for employment will be particularly interested in this.

The idea is to commit to one day of intense job-search activity which is aimed at adding momentum to your search and to put you in a position to speak directly with the people who have the power to hire you.

How does it work?

In the morning from 9 a.m. to noon you physically visit seven companies. In the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. you call 20 companies. You only call decisions makers (managers or directors). This approach does not work with human resources. It works in office towers to retail to construction sites.

Who is it for?

This challenge has been used by hundreds of professionals and students ranging in ages from 19 to 71. It has worked for business students and professionals in accounting, architecture, healthcare and more. It also works if you just want any job.

Please visit the 1 day dream job website for more information and be sure to download a sample schedule of activities which includes some helpful telephone scripts (pdf).

There are two things I want to say about this.

  • If you don’t feel ready to carry out this intense type of job search activity please contact myself or Dan and we can help prepare you for this.
  • Even if you are not interested in giving this a try, the message to take away is that we need to be as active as we can in our job search. The more employers we meet; the more phone calls we make the shorter our job search will be. Staying in action with our job search is the key to success.

On Assessments

An article in a recent edition of the Globe & Mail looks at the increasing number of companies that are using personality assessments during the hiring process. There is little validity to using this type of assessment as a screening tool but that will not deter companies who are in many cases just as susceptible to marketing as individuals are.

As the Globe article points out there is a cultural component to this which often gets ignored.

The potential for discrimination is also a concern, especially given the diversity of Canada’s work force. The language can be confusing to someone who’s still learning English, and cultural differences may also skew the results, Prof. Rothstein says.

Here is an example of a local job ad that has a link to an assessment that seems particularly useless as far as these types of tests go.

Regulated or not

Most occupations in Canada are not regulated. The employer can assess a foreign credential and decide on whether the applicant has the required skills and experience to do the job. There are specific occupations however, where people who wish to work in a field need to be registered with an association or organization that oversees the recognition of foreign-trained individuals. For example, is illegal to practise the profession of engineer or to use the title “engineer” without being licensed as a full member in a provincial or territorial association. Foreign-trained firefighters however are free to immediately seek work without worrying about regulatory restrictions.

See this comprehensive list for information on your occupation.

7.5 and 3.1

The two numbers in the title of this post are meaningless without context. They also happen to paint a very interesting picture in terms of the Victoria Labour Market. If you scroll to the bottom of this post from Reed Construction Data you will see two tables side by side that contain data that should be of interest to anybody in Victoria who is looking for work.

As we looked at recently Victoria is tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.1%. Also, the capital city had the highest employment growth in the country over the last 12 months at 7.5%.

The numbers 7.5 and 3.1 in this case paint a picture of rosy employment prospects for the Victoria labour market. There are more new jobs being created every month with fewer people to apply for them. Now the question is are these available jobs all entry-level or low-paying ? No doubt that many are. But my travels along the job boards show a wide variety of opportunities with many different skill requirements.

Cultural tutor

This article from Career Pro news points out that as the shift towards globalization continues employers are starting to hire cultural tutors. A cultural tutor can help a company conduct business in a foreign country. Often the tutor is multi-lingual and has business ties that can help companies navigate the sometimes confusing waters of differing cultural, employment and business standards.

Immigrant employment up

A new study released by Statistics Canada reveals that employment among immigrants in Canada increased in 2007. Employment among immigrants aged 25 to 54, increased by 2.1%. This was stronger growth than experienced by people of the same age who were born in Canada. Job growth was strongest in the Immigrants made notable gains in transportation, accommodation and food service sectors.

There is still lots of room for improvement however as the unemployment rate for immigrants rose to 6.6%, which was higher than the rate of 4.6% for Canadian born workers.


Oops !

This article from cnn provides a list of what not to do at a job interview. Remember your performance at an interview does not have to be perfect. You want to confirm to the interviewer that you are qualified and avoid any deal-breaking mistakes as outlined in the article.

About the labour market

Every month StatsCanada releases a labour force survey that provides information about employment. The survey for April shows that 19,000 new jobs were created across the country last month.

In Alberta and British Columbia, the continued strength of the labour market resulted in record high employment rates in April for both provinces. Employment growth in British Columbia and Alberta over the last 12 months has been above the national average, at 3.4% and 3.0% respectively. In April, there was little change in employment in both provinces.

Victoria is tied for the lowest unemployment rate (3.1%) in the country with Calgary.

The number of people who are self employed continues to rise.

More mentorships

Last month we looked at the new trend of speed-mentoring. A new article looks at what happens when good mentorship arrangements go bad.

Related: The Power of a Mentor