What can a Career Development Practitioner do for me?

Kathy’s Blog Nov 2019

The first day of November marked the official start of National Career Development month in Canada. Developed and supported by the Canadian Council for Career Development (CCCD or 3CD) career month highlights the importance of finding meaningful work and acknowledges the efforts of those who support the journey. This year the focus is on learning what a Career Development Practitioner (CDP) does in hopes that understanding our role will encourage job seekers to reach out to a CDP in their area.

If you are interested in learning more, here is link to their website and a great visual on the many skills and roles of a CDP. https://careermonth.ca/

Click on the image to view the Career Month Website! 🙂

For me, I’d like to pick up from a blog my colleague Dallas posted in August 2019. If you haven’t read it you might want to start here:

http://workprep.ca/reframing-our-views-towards-the-interrogation/

Dallas talked about the stress and anxiety of being unemployed and the impact of self-doubt on our job search and ability to successfully market ourselves.

Research shows an increase in the number of Canadians who are experiencing mental health issues. As Career Development Practitioners we see this impact every day.  Loosing hope in your ability to find meaningful employment or any employment negatively effects an individual’s mental health. David E Redekopp wrote in his Aug 2019 Blog- Why Connect Career Development and Mental Health – “whether intended or not, career development intervention is also an intervention for positive mental health.”   If your current situation is affecting your mental health you are not alone and we can help. Understanding mental health issues and building tools and skill development into the job seekers journey can help individuals to focus on what is working and build confidence and hope.

What else can else can we do?

The world of work is changing at a rapid pace and CDP’s have knowledge, skills and experience in several areas that may be of significant benefit to you if you unemployed, underemployed or looking for a career change.  Consider the questions below:

  • Are your marketing tools, resume, cover letter, LinkedIn Profile and interview responses, a list of your past jobs and tasks or a demonstration of your skills, competencies, attitudes and current/future value to an employer?
  • Have you thought about self-employment or contract work as an option?
  • Are you effectively using a variety of Social Media platforms to look for work?
  • Do you understand the local and national Labour Market needs and opportunities and are you using this information to drive your job search activities?
  • What about Future trends and needs? Are you following a career path that will be around in the years ahead? Are you building skills and competencies that are transferable to future needs?
  • Do you know about and access the learning and networking opportunities in your community (workshops, local events, volunteering) and what about online learning opportunities (webinars, public library, LinkedIn E-learning)?

If any of this sounds interesting or helpful and yet you are hesitant to access services to help with your job search, ask yourself why?  Do you lack information on how to access services, have you had a bad experience in the past, do you believe asking for help is a weakness, have you lost hope or do you attach shame to your current employment situation?

 

 

 Brené Brown talks about shame as the fear that we’re not good enough. In her book I Thought It Was Me (but is isn’t): Make the Journey from “What will People Think?”  to “I Am Enough”.

Stepping back to Dallas’s Blog, he talked about the power of re-framing the interview process as a “POSITIVE” and I would like to apply that same concept to address the feelings of shame  and hopelessness and the hesitancy to reach out for help with your job search.

 

As CDP’s we learn that offering a new interpretation of a negative belief or feeling increases an individual’s sense of choice and control. We also know that being unemployed increases an individual’s vulnerability so at Work Prep reframing is combined with empathy; acknowledging the validity of your current feelings while offering a different perspective.  We honour and applaud job seekers as courageous and worthy individuals.  We are in awe of your ability to put yourself out there and not have any control of the outcome and see this as a strength and value to market to employers and our community.  We offer you our respect and our support in your journey.

So, in November I invite you to call or even better walk into our office at 2020 Halifax and have a conversation with myself or one of our staff members about how we can help YOU to really feel supported  as you strive to reach your career goals and find the key to your success.

Reference:

Brown B. (2007) I Thought It Was Me (but is isn’t): Make the Journey from “What will People Think?”  to “I Am Enough”  New York, USA. Penguin

 

On the Value of Older Workers…

       By: Melva MacDonald

I am of an age where I am considered to be an “older worker”, so I feel I can speak to the challenges and benefits of being an older worker.

We work hard, are conscientious and I feel we produce a high quality of work because we have the experience and the initiative to back it up.

Older workers are sometimes overlooked because there may be preconceived notions about this high tech world, and assumptions are made that we won’t be able to keep up. Sometimes we get set in our ways, and can take some time to adapt to change, but many of us were raised with a “can do “attitude and we will do our best to adapt to the challenge.

Older workers come with many skills and strengths that employers are looking for:

  • We have a great work ethic, and we know the importance of exceptional customer service.
  • We can work well with others and require less supervision.
  • We are loyal, dependable and reliable.

On the down side, we can’t run, jump or bend like we used to. Our knees make some strange creaking sounds. Our thoughts may get a little scattered when trying to multi task but our hearts are still wanting to carry on and work hard.

If you’re an older worker and currently looking for work, here are some things to consider:

  • When thinking about your resume or an interview, keep in mind to delete any dates that would reveal your age, to level the playing field, as it were. Point out your current experience and speak with confidence. In the interview show how you believe this position will help you begin the next phase of your career.
  • Discuss long term goals and show confidence in your ability to hit the ground running. This will let the employer know that even though you are an experienced person, you don’t have plans to retire in the next month or two.
  • Explain why you feel this job you are applying for will be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Focus on your expertise and what you can bring to this job.

Finally, market yourself correctly and dress age appropriate.  The employer can see you that you are no spring chicken, so don’t’ try to be something you are not, just be yourself and let your little light shine!

Because of lengthening life expectancy and the rising cost of living, many of us will have to work well into our seventies to support our pension income, however, we would like it to be a choice.

After 65 and having been in the same job for 30 or more years, you might like to consider something a little different.  If you have a great idea for a product you have been thinking about for years, maybe you could start your own company and be your own boss for a change.  Get some of the younger members of your family involved to help with marketing and production. This way you are not only providing stability for your future, but other members of your family as well.

You might find yourself enjoying your work while enriching the lives of those around you with your vast knowledge and experience. If you have to work, you might as well have fun while you are doing it!

Remember to maintain a sense of humor and laugh often.

You’ve got this!

 

“I’m a success today because

I had a friend who believed in me

and I didn’t have the heart to let him down”.

Abraham Lincoln

LABOUR MARKET TRENDS…

by Carol Wiens, Labour Force Development Lead

I’ve chosen a topic that for the most part is usually met with glazed over eyes, yawns, dropping of the head and perhaps a verbal response,

Well hopefully this blog will be met with a bit of curiosity, a better understanding of how Labour Market Trends affect you on a personal level and maybe, just maybe, some information that may inspire you to think about it on a global level.

Somebody needs to explain in practical terms what is going on out there? I’m going to attempt to do just that.  Come on, you can get through this!

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When we think about Labour Market Trends we generally think local:

What’s happening in Regina?    What’s the chance of getting employment in the career of my choice, right here at home?

Let’s start by talking about Labour Market trends right here in Saskatchewan. Where does our province generate revenue besides taxation? Saskatchewan is known for its commodities. 

What’s a commodity?  It’s a raw material that’s bought and sold. 

So what do we sell to other provinces and around the world? Some familiar ones might include:

  • Agriculture based including grains, pork, beef, dairy, etc.
  • Oil & Gas and Potash.

What we sell is based on customer demand, and if there is no demand for the product, it trickles down to companies or businesses that rely on those sales.   Any trade uncertainties influence this demand even more. If they are not able to sell their product (commodity) it may result in lay-offs, downsizing, wage reductions or closure, which directly impacts employment in our province.  In a recent article, with a heading ‘Businesses tightening belts…tough environment for commodities means its ‘adapt or die’ for many firms’.  Most companies recognize that in order to survive amid what the “new norm” for Saskatchewan businesses is they have to adjust by cutting costs that they can control. Macpherson, A. (2019, January, 7).  Businesses tightening belts. Regina Leader Post

What other areas need to be considered when we talk about trends? Here’s one—let’s talk about the number of people employed in our province.

In 2018, approximately 569,000 people were employed in Saskatchewan.  “The private sector led employment gains adding 4,800 positions. Meanwhile, the public sector remained virtually unchanged and the number of self-employed dropped 2,600.”  (https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/content_pieces-eng.do?cid=14075&lang=eng)

Let’s focus on employment and growth in one sector that is common to job seekers visiting Work Prep– construction:

In 2017 and 2018 construction is one of the sectors that contributed to a lack of growth and decline, with virtually no change in the number of jobs year over year.  (http://www.scaonline.ca/ckfinder/userfiles/files/SCA%20LF%20analysis%20Apr%202018(1).pdf)

When creating or analyzing statistics on the labour market, other considerations may include:

  • education levels,
  • minimum wage,
  • immigration,
  • age,
  • employed, or under employed,
  • industry,
  • inter-provincial migration,
  • consumer price indices, and
  • International Trade.

As part of my role at Work Prep, I need to do extensive research on labour market trends.  In a recent article I read, I was interested to see this statement:

“Everywhere we turn, work is changing. Some jobs are disappearing; others are being completely redesigned. At the same time, new jobs are being created. Often these jobs are due to technology, but that isn’t always the case.”  

(https://ceric.ca/2017/06/ethical-practice-in-the-gig-economy/)

So let’s think big picture now, how do Global Labour Market Trends affect us directly, right here in Regina?  Here is a quick example:

The government of the United States made the decision to impose unprecedented tariffs on Canadian steel being imported to the U.S. Evraz North America—the big manufacturing plant—just north of Regina, is the only producer of this product in Canada, so high tariffs directly impact the company, and their ability to sell their steel at a competitive price.  If they do not sell it, or sell it at a price that makes money, jobs are impacted.      Saskatchewan, and ultimately Canada’s relationships with other countries effects our ability to trade on an international level, not only steel but many other products our citizens are involved in producing, every day.

Am I losing you yet? Hang in there, it’s getting even more interesting, honest!

Work roles are changing; it used to be that you applied for full time or part time work and those were the only options.  Now employers are changing the scope of the workforce, with more temp. contracts, freelance work and entrepreneurship.  These changes come with benefits, and challenges.  This new way of work if referred to as the “gig” economy, and while it could mean more freedom and work life balance, it also impacts access to employee benefits, including worker’s compensation coverage, employment insurance and employee health and dental benefits.  In addition to the risk of losing the benefits listed above, if you’re working in a gig role, it’s just like a band—you have to make sure you have enough gigs to survive. (https://ceric.ca/2017/06/ethical-practice-in-the-gig-economy/)

Another influential change influencing jobs today is the increased use of mechanical automation in place of jobs.  In fact, it’s predicted that more than 40% of jobs are vulnerable to some level of automation. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/automation-job-brookfield-1.3636253)

  In a recent article on technological change, Sarah Lubick describes this is more detail: “Right now, we are in a period of unprecedented change and uncertainty in the dynamics of the career market. Rapid advances in mechanical automation and artificial intelligence will see many existing roles supported by technology and many new roles created.” (https://ceric.ca/fr/2017/06/entrepreneurship-will-become-a-must-have-career-skill-for-navigating-technological-change-and-an-uncertain-future/)

Change in the labour market is inevitable and understanding how these changes influence your career decisions and your ability to be prepared to enter the labour market is based on knowledge. Take time out to educate yourself on these trends in order to make informed decisions. Listen to the news, read newspapers, talk to others, including your Case Manager’s at Regina Work Preparation Centre.

I could probably go on and on but I suspect that for some this is quite enough and I hope I’ve at least given you some food for thought and information about what’s happening in our Labour Market.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Carol

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

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.”

 

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.