Tag Archives: Job Search

Monday Jobs

From indeed.ca:

Marketing Project Coordinator, Canadian Western Bank http://bit.ly/9ZQjzF
Director of Marketing, Food http://bit.ly/c5UfMX
Marketing Manager, Office Team http://bit.ly/c4i7YJ

Rethink is still looking for an Interactive Art Director http://bit.ly/bq0hg2 and a Junior Interactive Designer http://bit.ly/994WTE.

www.MediaJobSearchCanada.com continues to post more jobs in BC. The World Wildlife Foundation is looking for a Communications Specialist http://bit.ly/9QVMwg and Pattison Outdoor is seeking an Account Executive http://bit.ly/c4wvjc .

MJSC.com is a good site and worth checking back every week or so.  You can search by Province or by job category. There are a considerable amount of jobs out East, but I personally don’t plan on relocating. At least not yet.

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Monster.com New Ad

Even Boogeymen need a little help sometimes.

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Field Trip To Enlightenment: Muddy Suit Pants & Fingernail Clippings

So I’ve just completed my second step in the Government funded training program. (See previous blog post: My Field Trip To Enlightenment: Canadian Economic Action Plan)  I went to yet another orientation session, this one at the Future Works office, to find out not what I could do for my Government, but what my Government can do for me.

I was twenty minutes early. It was me and another lady in a little conference room. I filled out my paperwork and a third lady came in to take a seat. It was dead quiet, save the sound of my pen scratching across my clipboard. Lady number three decided to take out her nail clippers and start grooming herself. I raised one eyebrow and gave her side-daggers.

The session started at 10:00 am. We had ten minutes and I started wondering if we would be the only three of us girls in attendance – all sitting in opposite corners of the room.

I recently read a release from the Labour Force Survey, part of STATS Canada, that the only demographic group with a notable employment change in December was women aged 25 to 54, down 24,000.

Furthermore, in the past nine months, employment stabilized for core-aged men, whereas employment for youth continued to decline over the summer months and has since changed little. In contrast, the number of workers aged 55 and over has increased by 4.7% over the last nine months of 2009.

Enough STATS. Let’s get back to me. Some men start joining our group at about two minutes to ten. A small man in an older suit took a seat next to me. Bad shoes. I noticed that he had a big mud stain on the bottom of his pant leg. I started making up scenarios in my head which led to such a large, muddy pant leg. I won’t get into those.

I continue staring down and pretending to read my paperwork in fear of catching someone’s eye and feeling obligated to make polite conversation. Everyone is much older than me, and those who don’t come off as being awkward, have an air of annoyance about them. Like there are better things they could be doing. I checked the time. Regis and Kelly just ended and The View would be coming on soon.

A guy in a well-worn, tan leather jacket sits behind me. He smells like he took a bath in Aqua Velva this morning. The room is almost full now. Nine men and four women.

We get down to business with a well-made, visually pleasing power point presentation. No capitalization errors, nice colour scheme and well-laid out. I learned that this program is not what I thought it was. Basically, Future Works is a recruitment company that facilitates Government grants to potential employers. They specialize in science and technology companies with a minor in marketing and sales.

I learned that the Government will fund around 50-60% of an employees paycheck up to a maximum of around $6,500, when that employee is hired and requires some ON THE JOB training. This has nothing to do with going to school. That was news to me, but all the same, I suppose it’s still a good thing. They call it the Targeted Wage Subsidy Program.

So for example, my background has been in traditional advertising and marketing. I want to go into online project management. The Government sees that as me furthering my knowledge base and making my skills more relevant for an every-changing and evolving industry. Therefore, they will pay fifty percent of my paycheck to my new employer so that I can spend time learning my new role. Terminology, work-flow, etc. They help to market me to their database of 850 employers – most of which are small to mid-size companies. Once I get and accept an offer, Future Works will walk the employer through the one-page document to get the funding approved through the Government. An interesting concept, but is it beneficial?

I personally feel a much more comfortable in a well-established, reputable company. I like longevity. And I don’t get the feeling that those types of companies could be swayed by a $4,500 incentive. At least I know what this is all about now – and knowing is half the battle. Stay tuned for word on how this progresses.

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Yet Another Reason To Get Out & Network

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A Day With My Parental Units!

Hey team. I’m taking the afternoon off. It was daddy’s birthday last week and he had to work. So today, we are going shopping, hitting The Keg (his fave) for dinner then catching a play. We’re going to Nevermore, the Edgar Allan Poe play. I have no idea if my parents will like it or not. All I know is that I am going to pick up a pair of ear plugs and some Advil for my mother before we go as a preemptive strike. (She once left a move five minutes in because it was too loud and went to go sit in the car. My dad stayed in the theatre and watched the remaining hour-long film.)

Tomorrow will be a treat for me as it is my interview and orientation with Future Works – the extension of Family Services for job placement. I am sure it will be an experience and a half. And trust me, you will hear all about it.

There were no really interesting job posts today. Nothing post-worthy except this junior position; http://ow.ly/10EGu Hopefully there are more-  and better posts tomorrow, and if there is, I will share them.

One thing to leave you with today is an interesting and alternative resume design that I came across in my Twitter feed. I really like it, but it IS a little confusing when trying to decipher the work history. What do you think?

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While I Don’t Know Craig Personally, I Saw This Job Post On His List…

That line still cracks me up. I found it at www.NotHired.com. They post the best of the worst when it comes to resumes, applications and job postings. Many – if not all – are found on Craigslist.

Craigslist is good for a lot of things. There is the “FREE” section where people give away their semi-used items at no charge, the “RANTS” section where angry Vancouverites and share their innermost thoughts with anonymity and job postings, which believe it or not, is filled with some really good content. But like anything on Craigslist, one should always keep an eye out for a few red flags.

Personally, I would never apply to a position if the company name is not listed in the posting. It just seems underhanded on the part of the hiring company. There are certain places that I would rather not work at, so just save us both some time and tell us who you are. (It also helps avoid those awkward situations whe

It COULD Happen

re you apply to the company that you already work for – and they didn’t know that you were leaving.)

Also – and this one is especially for my designer pals – watch out for hourly wage. I noticed some posts that were looking for a graphic designer slash receptionist – someone to do absolutely, from making coffee to designing and launching websites – for $12.00 an hour. Wahh wahh.

Then of course there are the postings which ask you for more personal information than is normally required for a job application. Never give out your social insurance number, credit information or anything like that. But you guys know that already.

The search function within Craigslist is actually quite helpful. If you click on “JOBS”, and not the individual categories, you can then search by a specific term to help you quickly find the positions that interest you. For example, I did a search for “advertising agency” and “tourism”. Use the quotation marks to make sure the search find only those terms.

Craigslist, like many other sites, can connect you to some great jobs. Maybe even your future career. But like everything else, you need to approach with a little caution.

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My Field Trip To Enlightenment: Canadian Economic Action Plan

A bit of a long post today, friends.

You may have seen the TV commercials for the Canadian Government Action Plan. Inspiring messages about how the Canadian Government is working for the people affected by the recession and making every effort to get us all back to work.

Here is the spot if you have not yet seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZZFQzKbHhE

Since finishing steady contract work back in mid-October, I’ve been seriously looking for a full-time job. Interviews have come and gone. I’ve met with a lot of people, but nothing has yet panned out. Either I was not right for them or they were not right for me. And so it goes.

In light of this, and the messages of hope and inspiration from our federal government, I stopped into the EI office to find out more about this “Action Plan”. They told me it was not handled out of their offices and I would need to go to the Family Services of Greater Vancouver office.

So off I went, bright-eyed and inquisitive.

I arrive at the old office building on Davie Street and ask the receptionist if I could meet with someone just to discuss my options. The lovely, multi-tasking woman with the thick, unidentifiable accent speaks robotically, like she’s said it a thousand times before; “Intake is Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 9:30am. You will sit through an orientation which lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. Then you are assigned a case manager. Then we book you an appointment with your case manager.”

But I just want to see if this is right for me… not sit through an orientation and be love-matched with a case manager. But there was no way around it. I went home and kicked around the idea for a while and today I finally decided to go in and get this over.

I was there at 8:45am. The doors were not open. I sat in the hall on the floor (there were no chairs) and watched about ten more people trickle in. Once the doors opened (four minutes late by the way), we were ushered inside and given a form to fill out – information sharing, privacy, all that jazz – then told to wait until 9:45 for the orientation. I don’t know why I bother being early.

The first orientation begins (oh yeah, forgot to mention there are two). Now I’m not one to judge, but my fellow orientationeers didn’t exactly look business-savvy, if you know what I mean. Short resumes. The orientation is all about how to use the computer room at the resource center, where the exits and the bathrooms are located, where the funding comes from and the types of services offered. The man giving it was very pleasant, but to be honest, if the service is not right for me, I really don’t care, nor need to know where the bathroom is.

Side note: there are baskets full of raw onions in every room of the office. Apparently the program director thinks they help to pull toxins out of the air. Very strange.

The second orientation is a little more relevant. I learn that the government will pay for school, provided you fill out all the forms and jump through the required hoops. A process which will take six to eight weeks. SIX to EIGHT WEEKS. There are forms and research that need to be done, filling out documents, proving a demand in the marketplace, proving your job-searching efforts, etc, etc. My favorite part was when they said the Government will cover only up to $4,000 for education – and it cannot be academic. In other words, if you are a couple courses short of a Bachelors or Masters, you can guarantee those courses will not be picked up by the Government. They will only approve short, full courses, such as a project management course, or a Photoshop course.

Next step: I meet with the darling Mauro. A jolly man in an almost obscenely bright green sweater. We chat, I tell him my history, he asked me what I want, I ask him what I can have, he makes me sign three forms and refers me to a different program. (Why could I have not started here instead of wasting an extra hour and half silently critiquing the fly-in-from-left, bouncing Comic Sans font in the orientation PowerPoint?)

The program he referred me to is Future Works.  www.fwt.bc.ca

I don’t know the details yet, but here is what I understand from Mr. Green Shirt; the program places you with an actual business that is looking for employees with your skills. The business and the government share the cost of your additional training/schooling while you work (I think for free?) at the business. Once you complete your training/schooling, according to Mauro, there is a 90% chance that the business will hire you on full-time. The Government, as an incentive, could pay up to 60% of the employee’s (that’s you) wage for up to one year.

I still need to go online, fill out forms, wait for a call and then go in and meet with them. I don’t know how it will work out, but will keep you posted. And if it doesn’t work out, perhaps I could apply for a consulting job as an efficiency expert with Family Services – or at least redo their PowerPoint presentations.

What do these onions and your PPT have in common?

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Cover Letters From Hell

It’s tough to tailor your cover letter for each job application, but it IS necessary. It takes concentration, eloquence, and most importantly, SPELL CHECK! I came across this blog posting talking about some tragic cover letter mistakes and thought it would be a good share. Take a read:

http://www.killianadvertising.com/coverletters.html

If you scroll down to the bottom of that post, you will see some gem excerpts from cover letters, like:

“A flaw that I must point out because it even bothers me is that I am impatient. I hate waiting, but then again who does?” [Was that a trick question?]

“It is through the innovational process, as well as media, that the features of an image can be highlighted and brought to the forefront for the consumer viewing.”
[We would translate this, but it sounds better in the original Gibberish.
]

Anyhow, enjoy this and keep it in mind when writing your next cover letter.

"Dear Sir or Madman..."

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Striking a Balance Between Confidence and Humility

I have had some interesting conversations recently with friends of mine about striking the perfect balance between self-confidence and humility and it has got me thinking. Within the advertising industry, it is always a real eye-opener to see some of my colleagues who can walk into a room and present something that is totally objective, but with such confidence, that a client or even fellow colleagues never think to question the recommendations.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed people who can present themselves or their work in an apologetic manner. Saying things like, “we think” or “we feel” which leaves the presenter and their work open for debate and can, on occasion, compromise the end product.

Either way, it is always important to welcome conversation and discussion to assure that everyone is invested in the product and that you are meeting the expectations of your clients.

Have you ever worked with someone who, if you disagree with their opinion or challenge them in any way become standoffish or defensive? I’ve been around some folks who have been frightened to challenge their colleagues. Even if it means they have to go in and present something that they do not believe in.

From my experience, the best ideas come from being able to hold open and honest conversations with your coworkers – superiors and colleagues alike. It is important to have confidence in your own opinions, but also to be open to seeing things from a different perspective. And the same must be said for everyone on your team.  But does such a world exist? Where everyone is confident and humble at the same time? After ten years in this industry, this concept still sounds utopian to me.

The conversations inspired me to do some research. It appears, after a quick Google search, my friends and I are not the only ones trying to hit the confidence/humility bulls-eye.

Harry Jansen Kraemer Jr. wrote an article which was posted on the Kellogg School of Management’s website and it covers this exact topic. He talks about the balance and how it is what defines true leaders.

To me, leadership is a delicate balance of true self confidence and genuine humility. It includes understanding the significant value and influence that you, as an individual, can have in any position in an organization. It is the knowledge that your opinions and views are important, leading you to make sure your supervisor or team makes no decision without your input. You believe it is appropriate to challenge the team in a respectful way, not driven by the need to “be right,” but rather to “do the right thing.”

Being truly self confident means recognizing that you may not be the brightest, quickest or most articulate team member, but that you are nevertheless comfortable with who you see in the mirror. This confidence is not egotistical or self-serving. It’s grounded in a genuine desire to make a powerful, constructive difference.

Leaders never forget where they came from or take themselves too seriously. Instead of considering success a result of solitary efforts, leaders recognize their teams’ contributions, and maybe even those of a larger force, “upstairs.”

He goes on to discuss eight critical rules that a leader should live by including values, people development, clear direction-setting, communications, motivation, management, the four c’s, and social responsibility. This is a great read. And truthfully, it is not just reserved for leaders.

Enjoy. (http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/kwo/spr06/departments/theory.htm)

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Now Turning to the Internet for Motivational Inspiration

I don’t know why it is, but I’ve never been one to fall asleep instantaneously. I envy people who can sleep anywhere and at the drop of a hat. Last night was I up until about four o’clock, thinking of the most ridiculous things, like how I should be drinking more water and if I could possibly get a quantity discount on resoling six pairs of my shoes.

But this entry isn’t about my sleep problems. It’s about the factors involved in staying motivated whilst in job-search mode. And one of those key factors is your sleep pattern. I have to admit, over the past month, I’ve stopped using an alarm clock. Mostly I was waking up at seven or eight, but in the past week, it’s been getting later and later. So last night / this morning as I was trying to force myself to sleep, I started wondering what other things come into play for continued motivation for the temporarily unwaged.

I put on my slippers and hit the net to get some answers. I found some very similar lists across the internet. Here, below in bold, are some of the gems (and my thoughts) from my research:

  1. Set An Alarm Clock & Keep On A Schedule. Think of finding a job to be your current job. Get up at the same time every day… or at least try.
  2. Take A Walk Each Morning. HA! Maybe after a pot of coffee, shower, make-up, hair and finding the appropriate walking outfit. And if it’s not raining. Then you have a 10% chance of seeing me out there.
  3. Exercise Daily. I’m sorry, but didn’t we just cover that with walking? Besides, I lost my aquafit partner and I think I burned my bridges with my personal trainer when l stopped answering his phone calls.
  4. Get Out Of The House & Make Networking Lunches. I don’t know why, but the term “networking” somewhat irks me. It’s like someone using the word “dialoging” in place of “talking”. But I agree with this one, although I would say make a list of all the kick-ass business people you know and go have lunch or drinks with them. Go to their meet-ups with them or invite them to some new ones.
  5. Say “Hi” To People. This one is precious. One blogger was saying that you should make an effort to meet one new person every day. Say hi to people on the street, at the grocery store, etc. People in my ‘hood would start thinking of me as that crazy lady who just wants someone to talk to. Next stop, sixteen cats and a shot gun.
  6. Attend Networking Events. This is a good one. Provided you actually MAKE it to your networking event. I’ve had every intention to go to three meet-ups so far, but have been side-tracked by other events, the weather and Bucci waving a bottle of wine in my face.
  7. Celebrate Success, No Matter How Small. Well, that takes care of the guilt I had from skipping the meet-up for a bottle wine. (It was a celebration! Hooray for Monday!)
  8. Read a Book. It is nice to not be staring at the screen of computer for a while. I almost forgot about books.
  9. Learn Something New – Take a Class. I have not taken any classes, but I did MC my very first talent show last weekend. Does that count for learning something new?
  10. Eat Healthy. Salami on an everything bagel and drenched in mustard for breakfast isn’t so bad, is it?

Now that I’m taking a more in-depth look at this list, I am starting to think this guy was really stretching to reach a total of ten items. In order to streamline the process, I recommend combining two, three, four, five, six and ten. Take a brisk walk to a networking lunch event, where you eat healthy and say hi to people.

Speaking of networking events, take a look at http://www.meetup.com/ and sign up for some groups that interest you. I love the idea of this –and hope to be making an appearance at one of my groups’ meet-ups very soon.

Latz.

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