Determining your Career Goal: Using the Occupational Themes

By Diana Florence, Case Manager @ Regina Work Preparation Centre

                There are many factors to consider in determining your career goal such your interests, values, personality type, aptitudes and skills.  A theory developed by psychologist John Holland can be used to identify interests and help determine career options.  He proposed that people who choose to work in environments that are similar to their own personality type are more likely to experience success and satisfaction.  Holland identified six personality types or themes which match six work environments: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (known as RIASEC). 

Most people have interests that are a combination of two or more types or themes.

The Realistic type refers to people who like to work with their hands, focusing on things in the physical world and using physical skills.  They like to repair and make things using their hands, tools, and machines.  They are interested in action and prefer solving concrete problems.  Realistic people prefer working outdoors.  Some realistic occupations include mechanic, engineer, plumber, carpenter, electrician, machinist, forester, and the military.

The Investigative type tends to focus on ideas.  They collect and analyze data and information and solve problems through thinking. The Investigative type are task oriented and prefer to rely on themselves in their work rather than work in groups.  They tend to prefer a loosely structured work environment and with minimal rules or regulations.  Some Investigative occupations are physician, chemist, psychologist, dentist, medical technician, vet, geologist, and science teacher.  

The Artistic type or theme are the most creative of all the types and tend to focus on self expression – writing, creating artwork, working independently, acting, performing, and playing musical instruments, decorating or designing.  They are able to see possibilities in various settings and are not afraid to experiment with their ideas. Some artistic occupations are author, artist, musician, actor, interior designer, and advertising.   

The Social type likes to work with people through helping, caring for others, and teaching and instructing.  They enjoy working with groups or individuals, using empathy and an ability to identify and solve problems.  They may also enjoy working with people through leading, directing and persuading.  Some Social occupations include teacher, social worker, child care provider, nurse, counselor, and speech pathologist.

The Enterprising theme are people who are goal and results oriented.  They look for positions of leadership, power and status.  They enjoy working with people and leading them toward organizational goals and economic success.  Enterprising people are often in sales, purchasing, politics, or business owners. 

The Conventional type likes activities that require attention to detail and prefer to work with data in the numerical, statistical and record keeping areas. They have a great sense of responsibility, follow the rules, and want to know exactly what is expected of them.  Some Conventional occupations include banking customer service rep., secretary, accountant, banker, and administrative assistant. 

Work Prep can assist you in identifying which themes and occupations are most suited to you.  Contact our office at 306.757.9096 for more information, or view the following link: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/fac_development/documents/lisa_heiser_faculty_development_handout.pdf

Taking Charge Info Session Jan 16

Come on down and check it out!

What Wolf do you feed?

What wolf do you feed? By Becky Wentzell CM

“What wolf do you feed?”  is a powerful question to ask yourself, as you reflect on your life and are considering moving forward.    Each of us, at the Centre, was asked to take a month and write a blog for our website.  I have been feeding the fear side, as this is my first blog.  I decided to ask questions get some feedback and to change my thoughts to the wolf that is joy, love, and faith in myself.   So here it is my very first blog!

When you come to the Centre you will meet a variety of people whose main goal is to assist you in seeing your strengths and then identifying limitations that you want to work on to have the life you want to live.

Work Prep staff strive to feed the wolf that stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.  It is our belief that everyone is doing the best they can with the information they have.  It is our job to offer information and create the space for the people whom we work with can then determine what will work best for them.  Sometimes, this work is done on an individual basis and sometimes, it is done in a group.  None of this comes easy and it requires hard work.

I have learned over time that what I think about I bring about, so I spend my moments thinking about the things I am grateful for.  Some days it was a stretch, however, I was able to find at least one thing I was grateful for.  I now have adopted an attitude of gratitude and find I am grateful for some very small things that I took for granted previously; like waking up in the morning, being able to see, for my body and how it functions.  When I focus on the gratitude side of things I am able to be aware of opportunities and then give myself permission to take risks and try new things that make my life better.  I still can be negative but the negativity doesn’t last for as long as it used to because I know negativity is just a thought and a thought can be changed.

The interesting thing about the two wolves is that you cannot feed them both at the same time.  What Wolf are you feeding?  You do have a choice.

 

Here is a story…

The Tale of Two Wolves

An Elder Cherokee American was teaching his grandchildren about life.

He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me…it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

The grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child asked the grandfather, “Which wolf will win, Grandfather?”

The old Cherokee replied, simply, “The one you feed.”

 

Work Prep is recruiting New Members to join our team!

 

The Regina Work Preparation Centre is a non-profit, charitable, community-based organization specializing in helping people look for, find and maintain work.  We have served Regina and the surrounding area for more than 40 years and have worked with over 20,000 clients.

Every day, job seekers utilize our services to help them reach their employment goals.  We meet each individual where they are at and provide them with the opportunity to explore their strengths and goals on their journey to employment.

Every day, we meet the changing needs of job seekers, the local economy, the labour market and the community. We are developing employees, future employers, consumers and taxpayers.

At Work Prep we make a difference.

Interested in who we are and want to join us?  Work Prep is currently recruiting board members to join our team. The Board of Directors of Work Prep is a governance board that directs the organization.

 

The objectives of the Board of Directors are:

  • To ensure the efficient, effective and ethical operation of Work Prep;
  • To support Work Prep staff and policies; and
  • To hire the Executive Director and other direct reports to the Board.

 

The board meets 10 times per year, including the annual general meeting. We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Member at Large:

Responsibilities include:

  • Participate in sub-committees;
  • Represent broader community interests on the Board; and
  • Transition into Executive positions when appropriate.

Work Prep is looking for you! Our strategic plan is inclusive to support a diverse workforce and Board of Directors. We encourage people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply to become a Member at Large.

Interested candidates can forward their resume and expression of interest to aboha@workprep.ca.

Should You Put Your Street Address on Your Resume?

By Marla Bengert, CM

 

Resume trends come and go, if you don’t believe me check this out:

 

And this!

 

 

https://hopestreet.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/nov-13-1970-jobless/

 

 

 

All of the content in the resume above was perfectly acceptable to include at the time the resume was written.  The main reason for including all the content fit under the category “employers want to know those things”.  Resumes are supposed to get you screened in for a face-to-face interview so including information employers want is a good practice.  Or is it?

 

But, what if including the information employers want gets you screened out?  William’s resume says he’s 60 years old, at the time his resume was written employers wanted, and expected to see that information on a document.  Absence of it might be cause for disregarding the application entirely.  Today, it would never be included because his age, number of children, height, weight and religion have NOTHING to do with the job he is applying for.  So . . . . . . what about putting your street address on your resume – certainly that has nothing to do with the skills required to do the job, but there are some good reasons for including it, and equally as many good reasons for leaving it off.  So consider this:

 

Put Your Street Address On Your Resume:

 

  1. Employers expect to see it. To some employers, it may appear you are trying to hide something if you don’t include it.

 

  1. It’s only been recently street or mailing address have started coming off resumes. Excluding it “feels like something is missing”.

 

  1. Including your address lets employers know you are a local candidate, you have an established residence. It also tells employers how close you live to where you might be working if they hire you.  Short commutes are appealing to employers, especially in sprawling cities.

 

  1. What’s the harm? On-line applications where you fill in a form have “Address” as a required field, if you want to apply for the job you have to include it or the system will give a message that you did not complete a required field and you cannot move forward in the application process until it is filled in.

 

  1. In surveying my colleagues here are some of their responses in favour of having your street address on your resume:

 

“Employers want to know how far away they (candidates) live from the location they would be working, which may indicate their ability to get to work.  I’m firm on teaching students to put their address on their resume, I wouldn’t want them to limit employment opportunities over something like this”.

 

“Hiring Managers/Site Supervisors need the information to determine how close geographically the applicant is to the worksite for transportation reasons.  Applying to a large company is often done online; digital resumes are often submitted to a head office in another province and will always request a home address:  Without the proper address and contact information, it is a hindrance and definitely limits a person’s opportunity within a specified radius of hiring.”

 

“There is no need or purpose for your street address but employers who are accustomed to seeing an address may automatically screen you out if it’s not there.  Including your street address may increase your chance of landing the interview with these employers”.

 

As an employer who hires family care providers– I appreciate knowing the address because then in the interview I can gather information about how they will get to work for 6:15 am if they live across the city from me.  Essentially if they don’t have a plan I question whether I hire them. By the same token if they live close to me I will often offer them fill in shifts if someone cancels at the last minute first.

 

 

Don’t Put Your Street Address On Your Resume:

 

  1. For those who worry about identity theft, sending your physical address to someone in response to an advertisement may seem risky.

 

  1. In this electronic age, some hiring managers may view the inclusion of a physical address old fashioned.

 

  1. If you plan is to relocate for employment you may get screened out in favour of a local candidate.

 

  1. In my “googling’ of this topic, I discovered a few things I hadn’t thought of regarding the inclusion of your physical address:
    1. Economic Profiling – one site actually quoted an employer saying if he does the economic demographics of where an applicant lives he can use that info. as leverage in salary discussions.
    2. Demographic Profiling – The practise of “labeling” certain areas of cities and demonstrating biases based on the people who live in those areas.

 

  1. Including your address invites biases and given that there is a growing trend for companies to engage in “blind hiring” (google the term, there is a ton of info. out there if you are interested) the last thing a company wants is to be accused of bias in the recruiting process.

 

  1. Your street address has nothing to do with your ability to do the job you are applying for. NOTHING!

 

  1. In surveying my colleagues here are some of their responses in favour of leaving your street address off your resume:

 

“I can see the benefits of not having it on your resume depending where you live and employer’s mental models of certain neighbourhoods.”

 

When I consider sharing information on a resume, I ask, “what is the need or purpose of the information” and “does sharing the information get you closer or further from your intended goal of landing an interview”. The answer varies depending on the individual, the position and the employer.  When I apply this to the question of including your street address, I would side with leaving it off but including your city and province.”

 

Until recently I had my street address on my resume.  Lately I’ve considered it a privacy concern, similar to how my phone number is in the phone book without my address listed– just my opinion

 

So where does this leave us?  Well, I called Human Rights and posed this question to them “Can an employer require your street address on applications”?  “The short answer is YES, but they cannot screen you out based on where you live – but you would need proof that they did that”.

 

Next, I made 2 employer contacts (one large company, one smaller one) and I asked them “do you like to see the applicant’s address on their job applications.  Charles Siman, HR at Conexus Credit Union said “none of the information in the header of a resume influences whether or not we interview them.  We care about their skills for the job, we don’t care about where they live or how they will get to work.  We contact people for interviews by phone or e-mail”.  Laurel Mattison, of Hiring Hands, said: “their street address has no bearing on whether or not I interview them, but I do like to know if they live in Regina/the surrounding area”.

 

Finally, I made one more connection –Kayla Kozan, Director of Marketing with Ideal.com.  (https://ideal.com/product/), a company that uses “artificial intelligence” for helping their clients do recruiting.  Indigo Books is one of their biggest customers.

 

Here’s what she said:

“Hmmmm, I probably don’t have the conclusive answer you were looking for – I would be hesitant to say definitively leave the address off because we’re actually doing research on that right now. 

Basically, we are scrubbing the addresses and names from resume data (sometimes called “blind hiring) to see how it influences who gets an interview and eventually who gets hired (with the hypothesis that this practice will be more equitable and encourage more diversity on teams).  If you Google “blind hiring” there are a lot of good resources about the same method we are experimenting with!  If I had to choose I would say the best practice is probably to write the city but not your address – so the person reading the resume knows that you live in the same city as the job but does not need to know the exact address which could potentially lead to bias.”

 

This gives us lots to think about right?  My best advice is to do what is right for you.  Do what will give you the best chance of being screened in for an interview.  Not every job application situation will be the same.  You can send ten resumes out with your address and one out with out it, and vice versa.

 

If I were looking for a job (which I’m not, I already have the best job I could possibly have) my header would look like this.

 

       Marla Bengert

myemail@gmail.ca       ∫       mylinkedin@linkedin.ca        ∫    306-757-9096

          Regina, Saskatchewan

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  I encourage you to share your comments and experiences.

 

Employability Skills Checklist – What Employers Say Are Fundamental Skills Required for Job Success

by Cindy Leggott

Job searching in the current labour market is nothing short of tough and frustrating.  As the lead Facilitator in the Youth Employment Readiness Program, many participants ask the question “How do I know what an employer wants from me?” Here is a summary of research done by the Conference Board of Canada regarding the top 5 skills employers say are the most essential skills employees need in order to gain and maintain employment.

 

  1. Communicate – It is important to remember effective workplace communication does not just mean how well you speak. According to this research, being able to effectively communicate employees need to:
  • Able to read and understand information that is given
  • Speak and write in ways that co-workers can understand
  • Listen well and ask questions for clarification
  • Share information where appropriate

 

  1. Manage Information Responsibly – Employers suggest that managing information can take a combination of professional and personal focus. After all, people are a package deal with professional and personal roles they play every day. Employers suggest employees show strong skill when can balance their life roles and:
  • Contribute to your team by sharing information and expertise where appropriate
  • Learn workplace technologies that assist in gathering and organizing information
  • Set goals and priorities in a way that provides you with a work-life balance
  • Plan and manage your time to get daily tasks completed

 

  1. Think and Solve Problems – This may be difficult when you first start a new position but don’t panic. Within the first 3 months of a new job, you will have witnessed problem-solving in action and have a better “feel” for problem-solving methods that will work in your particular job role.  Employers suggest the most important skills for an employee to be able to use are:
  • Assess situations and identify potential problems
  • Identify root causes of problems and be prepared to work through potential solutions
  • Be ok with conflict because sometimes conflict can lead to creative solutions that work

 

  1. Demonstrate A Positive Attitude – Over my professional career, I have heard so many employers say “If an employee has a positive attitude I can train them to do a job. I can’t train attitude.  Here is a condensed list of what employer’s told Employability 2000+ shows a positive attitude:
  • Feel good about yourself and be confident
  • Handle your job with honesty, integrity and professional and personal ethics
  • Take care of your personal health
  • Recognize your own efforts as well as the efforts of co-workers
  • Show appropriate initiative and effort

 

  1. Work with Others – Teamwork can be rewarding but it also can be challenging. Be assured that both sides of teamwork are normal.  Skill around being an effective team member suggests you can:
  • Be Flexible
  • Work within a group
  • Show interest, motivation and effort
  • Recognize and respect the diversity and the different perspectives of each individual team member
  • Provide feedback in a considerate, constructive manner

 

Sometimes when we are working at demonstrating skills it can feel awkward or give us a nervous feeling.  However, if we can think ahead of time of a mental picture of how we could display these skills the skills and your personal confidence to do them effectively will become more natural with practice.  In the Youth Employment Readiness Program participants often struggle with what these essential skills look like.  If this sounds like you here is a suggested activity you might try:

 

Activity Idea

As you read and reflect on how you can demonstrate these essential skills to employers, I encourage you to think about a time you have been working with others.  This could be at work, volunteering or as a member of a sports team.  What were the people you were with doing or saying that made you feel valued or an important part of the team?  Chances are if you have had experiences feeling valued you have seen some of these essential skills in action and can apply them to employment success.

 

Please note the information in this article is adapted from the websites of the Conference Board of Canada. The complete article can be found at https://www.conferenceboard.ca/spse/employability-skills.aspx

 

If you need support or guidance to improve your Employability Skills please contact Regina Work Preparation Centre.  Our staff and programming options may be just what you need to start you on an employment journey that works for you.

 

Free will and First impressions

When I was first told I would be doing my practicum placement (internship) at Regina Work Prep, I had never heard of the place. I was filled with apprehension at the idea of working at a place that I knew nothing about. My first google search didn’t tell me much and I arrived for my interview feeling… well… grumpy. Even though people say that “an interview is for both parties to make a decision”, we all know the feeling that an interview brings and it’s not particularly one of free will.

Everything about my attitude changed after my first visit to the office. I was greeted with a smile and had a chance to sit down and get my bearings before my interview. My interview was with Ashley (Executive Director) and Kathy (Program Manager) and their enthusiasm for the work that their team does make me want to jump on board immediately. I could tell that they cared about their clients, employees, community, and me; even though they didn’t know me yet. My overall first impression of Work Prep was that it was a place of positivity and teamwork. Needless to say, I decided to come back.

As I went through my practicum, we talked a lot about first impressions of our office space. The organizational self-awareness that the Work Prep team strives to have is what makes them the kind of place that people want to come back to. While services are open to the public, some clients are sent to Work Prep by other means. Often, the free will of the potential client’s situation is taken away. The team strives to give free will back to their clients at every opportunity. Without collaboration and the sharing of ideas, no plan is moved forward. This level of respect is offered as a first impression and remains consistent over the course of engaging in services.

To engage with people so that they want to come back to a sometimes-mandated service requires specific skills that the Work Prep team is quick to share. This is not just a place to find a job, it’s a place to find opportunities that will enhance your employability for years to come. The options are almost endless when it comes to deciding what services will look like for you. You will be asked to ask yourself what it is that you need to reach your goals.

Looking for a job is hard and looking for a job on your own is even harder. At Work Prep, clients will find allies who will stand by them, regardless of how long the process takes. The method is never to drag someone through plans made by a so-called “expert” but rather to come alongside each other and exchange ideas and knowledge. The staff are experienced on both a professional and personal level, many of them having come full circle from being previous clients of Work Prep themselves! They understand the struggle and work to understand each individual client’s unique position and goals.

As a practicum student, I got to see Work Prep through many different lenses. I had a chance to be an outsider with ideas fresh out of school, I was looking for a paying job myself and thus got the help of the best team around, and I was treated as an equal team member on projects and in meetings. I also spent a lot of time out in the community, networking with other agencies. I learned about their services, and they also provided insight as to how they see their work connecting with Regina Work Prep. It was beyond interesting to see the different ways that we can work together to move ourselves forward.  I can truly say that from every angle, Work Prep has a great team who are just waiting to share their knowledge and support. My life has been forever changed by their connections and teachings. I hope that yours can be too.

By Laura, Internship Student, UofR