Silver lining time

sunraysLet’s look beyond the headlines for a moment. This article from the Wall St. Journal has the gloomy headline of “Canadian Minister Says Outlook Is Getting Worse”. The article outlines some of the challenges the Canadian economy is facing and discussed a proposed stimulus package.

Most media reports indicate that a stimulus package will have some sort of component that includes massive spending on infrastructure projects. This means that billions of dollars will be pumped into the system for roads, bridges, transit, water, energy, port expansion and other projects. Companies and municipalities will need to hire qualified technicians, engineers, labourers, accountants and other workers in order to ensure they can complete these projects.

Bonus idiom: Every cloud has a silver lining

Idiom 5

logo_96Shoot the breeze

Meaning: To have a casual conversation with someone.

Example: Give me a call sometime and we’ll shoot the breeze.

All idioms

Victoria insulated ?

Victoria may not be insulated from the effect of a cold Canadian winter but according to this article, fallout from global economic woes is not being fully felt in the Capital Region. The reason ? A well diversified economy is said to be sheltering Victoria from feeling the worst effect of the financial slowdown.

The momentum in Victoria is starting to slow down, but the level of activity in Victoria is still relatively OK,” said Benjamin Tal, senior economist at CIBC World Markets. “It says to me that Victoria has been able to maintain its position for a while now without losing big momentum, and that reflects clearly it has a fairly diversified economy and is not a slave to the value of the dollar or oil prices.”

Now if we could just do something about the cold and snow we’ll be all set !

The state of the tourism industry

Those of you who work in the tourism sector might have been concerned by this article that ran in today’s Times-Colonist. The article reports that the tourism industry facing its worst outlook since September 11, 2001.  These kind of reports can cause some to question their career choice.

The key issue to keep in mind about news that impacts on the labour market is that today’s reality does not necessarily predict tomorrow’s condition. The over all trend in tourism if you track it over a series of decades is very positive. This industry has expanded greatly in our lifetimes. Global economic conditions and other factors can definitely impact this industry – there is no arguing that but the key skill is to be able to distinguish between an event and a trend. We are in the middle of an event. Over time the tourism sector will rebound and continue to expand.

Soft skills

Earlier this month we ran a workshop that looked at the importance of soft skills in the workplace. We discussed how to let employers know that you had the soft skills that they would be interested in.

Here is a related article that list 12 of the skills that workers need.

Don’t worry if you missed this workshop we will run it again in the New Year. Just keep checking this blog for updates.

Idiom 4

logo_96Long Shot

Meaning: Something that has little chance of being successful.

Example: Being rewarded that contract is a long shot at best.

The December job hunt

Over the years I have had many people tell me that they stop looking for work in December because they are to busy or they believe employers do not hire at this time of year.

This article reminds us of why it is important to always maintain some level of activity in our job search and provides some solid advice.

To convince yourself that December hires really do happen, remember these points: Some companies would like to start the new year with their new employee in place; some companies simply can’t wait until after the holidays to hire; some companies are always hiring.

Idiom 3

logo_96Hit the nail on the head

Meaning: to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem

Example: Andre really hit the nail on the head when he explained why we are always over budget


How are things at the Victoria Shipyards ? They are very busy and have an expanding workforce.

In vivid contrast to today’s grim global economic news, Victoria Shipyards is anticipating a busy and lucrative future providing several hundred full-time jobs for union members and managers in a growing workforce. Contracts have been signed for hundreds of millions of dollars of work already, and the company has high hopes for more.

Some of the upcoming contracts are listed below:

  • A new SeaBus will be finished by August or September of 2009, employing an average workforce of between 400 and 500
  • Five cruise ships are coming in for refits next year, totalling $20 million in business
  • The pace steps up in 2010 and 2011 with the refit and upgrades of five Halifax-class navy frigates and sub-contracting work to maintain Canada’s four submarines.The first to arrive is the HMCS Chicoutimi in January 2010, when it will create work for about 175 employees.

Idiom 2

logo_96Carry the ball

Meaning: To assume the leading role or do most of the work to accomplish a task

Example: You can always count on her to carry the ball in an emergency.