All Posts Tagged With: "careers"
Gen Y workers want flexible work spaces
TORONTO, Cananda – A new survey says many Canadians consider the time it takes to get to work as important as the job itself.
The survey by Oxford Properties and Environics Research Group found that 76 per cent of respondents wanted a reasonable commute to the office.
All things being equal, 50 per cent considered commute time to be the No. 1 factor in choosing one employer over another.
The majority of those surveyed said a commute time of less than 30 minutes was the appropriate travel time to work, in line with the average one-way Canadian commute of 29 minutes.
But that commuting time applies to only six in 10 Ontario workers, with commuters in Toronto facing an average one-way trip of 42 minutes.
Atlantic Canada commuters fare better, with nine in 10 workers commuting 30 minutes or less, as do workers in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa.
While some Canadians may change jobs for a shorter distance to work, one-third of workers would be willing to work an extra three hours per week for a reasonable commute, the survey said.
Social media connects Canadians to careers
Ignore that request from LinkedIn or Twitter at your peril — it might be a job offer, according to a global study released Wednesday.
The study, commissioned by U.S. human resources firm Kelly Services, found that 39 per cent of Canadians polled have been contacted through a social media website or network in the last year about a possible job opportunity.
Of those surveyed, 14 per cent of Canadians said they were hired after having been contacted via websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
“Social media is rapidly revolutionizing the recruitment process because it broadens the access to an enormous pool of candidates,” said Michael Webster, executive vice-president of the Americas region for Kelly Services in a statement.
“We are also seeing the impact access to smart technology has on retention as the work and personal lives of today’s employees is more commonly blended together. Suddenly employees have the flexibility to engage socially or accomplish work tasks at any given time.”
Millennial workers are young and restless but essential
Jason Dorsey was at a conference for fast-food franchisees last week, when a restaurant owner told him about being berated by the parent of a young employee after giving that worker a poor performance review. As a keynote speaker, Dorsey asked how many other employers had dealt with interfering parents. Roughly 45 of the 300 attendees threw up their hands. “The franchisees in that room have been in this business a long time, and they were complaining because they’ve never seen anything like this,” says Dorsey, 35, a consultant based in Austin, Texas, who advises companies on retaining millennials—one of the kinder terms ascribed to the Generation Y cohort born during the early 1980s or later.
Gen Y has been described as “Generation Me” in a book by the same title. The New York Times labelled the group ““Generation Why Bother” in a harsh op-ed that criticized its members for staying home and checking Facebook instead of getting a driver’s licence and looking for work. A quick Google search also yields widely held stereotypes of millennials as coddled and entitled, shunning entry-level jobs, craving lots of vacation time and expecting to be CEOs within their first week at work.
Don’t let careerist naysayers derail your dreams
If you are a university student or a university-bound high school student you probably have the impression, thanks to Canadian media and possibly your parents, that the future is bleak. They would have you believe that learning for learning’s sake is a waste of time and picking a potentially lucrative major is not. There are no jobs, they warn, certainly not in art history or philosophy or whatever allegedly dead-end major you plan to pursue—so you may as well learn something “useful.” They are right about jobs. The future, not to mention the present, is bleak. Youth unemployment in Canada is exceedingly high; in Ontario, according to a September report, one in two persons between 15 and 24 has a paid job—the worst ratio we’ve seen since Statistics Canada began recording the numbers in 1976.
Experts say more Canadians should consider skilled trades
VANCOUVER – The current shortage of skilled tradespeople in Western Canada is so dire that the B.C. Construction Association is returning to Ireland this month to hire 600 people, said the group’s vice-president.
In fact, even if one-in-five students graduating from high school in B.C. during the next three years were to pursue a trade, there still wouldn’t be enough workers to fill shortages in the province’s construction industry, said Abigail Fulton.
Not everybody agrees with the recruitment drive, especially the province’s labour leaders who argue employers can find skilled, unionized Canadian workers to fill immediate, vacant positions.
Yet, a consensus is developing that there will be a shortage of skilled workers in the coming decade, as proponents of the liquefied natural-gas industry, hydro-electric projects and oil and gas pipelines push their proposals forward.
“There’s lots of evidence to suggest we’re not doing enough to train construction workers in skilled trades in British Columbia, and if even half these projects come through we’re going to have a crisis unless we start now to deal with the problem,” said Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour.
The provincial government’s own statistics indicate there will be more than one-million job openings over the next decade, and more than 153,000 of those will be among trades, transport, equipment operators and related occupations. Retirements will be responsible for two-thirds of the vacancies, and new economic growth will be behind the remaining third, states the British Columbia Labour Market Outlook 2010-2020.
Aging population means jobs in nursing, medicine and more
From the Future of Jobs report
As an ecological field researcher with British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Sonya Powell had a dependable, though segmented, career. Seasonal contracts put her in the woods each summer, surveying tree life for $20 to $25 an hour; in the winters, she taught geography classes at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Gaps between jobs were her vacation time, she chuckles.
That was before the global economic downturn led to the collapse of the forestry sector. In the summer of 2009, Powell couldn’t find her usual contracts. Remembering the health problems of the isolated communities she had passed through in the summers, she enrolled in an accelerated 20-month nursing program at UBC designed for students in their second careers. It paid off: She landed not one, but two nursing jobs when she graduated.
Profession faces falling fees, stagnant pay and fewer jobs
From the 2013 Professional Schools issue.
Each year, just before Christmas, a cross-section of Toronto’s legal establishment gathers for what might be the only truly indispensible event on its calendar. “Beef Night” is as old as the venerable Lawyers Club—est. 1922—and its name has hooves in the literal and figurative worlds. Fuelled by free beer, and by suppressed frustration, members rise during this banquet of prime rib to air “beefs” about the alternative dimension they inhabit. It might be the parsimony of the attorney general of the day. Or it might be the chafing effect of shabbily tailored robes.
The best “beefs” are rewarded with roasts donated by the Loblaws grocery chain, and the worst gets a turkey, but winning is never the point. A few years back, a barbershop quartet of articling students brought down the house with a ditty skewering their puffed-up bosses at a Bay Street firm—most of whom were seated in the room—illustrating the evening’s traditional function as a leveller in a rank-obsessed profession. Any beef that runs too long gets gonged out with a cowbell that echoes through the rafters of Osgoode Hall Law School’s regal Convocation Hall, whether it’s delivered by a junior associate or a Supreme Court justice.
Most aren’t confident about finding jobs after graduation
The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) says the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well among young Canadians.
According to the bank, almost half of Canadian post-secondary students surveyed — 46 per cent — said they see themselves starting a business after graduation.
BMO said that some see their planned new business as a primary source of income while others see it as a secondary source.
The findings came out of a survey conducted by Pollara, which asked Canadian post-secondary students about career prospects and their aspirations to own their own business.
The results found less than a third of those surveyed — just 29 per cent — were very confident they could find a job in their own field after graduation.
Degree still offers wage premium over high school
Students may not get the value they should out of increasingly more expensive university degrees if they don’t specialize on fields in high demand, according to a new report.
The report by CIBC World Markets says that while completing a post-secondary education is still the best route to a well paying, quality job, the premium is dropping as too few students are graduating from programs that lead to good jobs.
“Narrowing employment and earning premiums for higher education mean that, on average, Canada is experiencing an excess supply of post-secondary graduates,” said CIBC economist Benjamin Tal.
“And despite the overwhelming evidence that one’s field of study is the most important factor determining labour market outcomes, today’s students have not gravitated to more financially advantageous fields in a way that reflects the changing reality of the labour market.”
Why the professional networking can wait
LinkedIn’s decision to lower the minimum membership age in Canada from 18 to 14 takes the competitive atmosphere of the youth job market to a whole new level. The professional networking website announced Monday that teens can start joining as of Sept. 12.
This occurred in conjunction with the launch of University Pages, kind of like Company Pages, that are aimed at helping high school students connect with university administrators and alumni.
This is all fine, except that 14-year-olds shouldn’t have to stress about LinkedIn. Our formative years should be a time of self discovery. We should be able to experiment, make mistakes and learn from them, lose our footing and find our way back again. We certainly shouldn’t have to worry about career prospects so early in life.
Why young people shouldn’t fear photos with beer
One morning in 2011, a 24-year-old Georgia high school teacher named Ashley Payne was called down to the office of her school’s principal and given an ultimatum. She could resign from her position or be fired. She hadn’t looked at a student the wrong way or practised corporal punishment. She had had a drink. To be precise, she had two—a glass of wine and a pint of beer, simultaneously, on a European vacation in 2009. The problem, though, was that a picture of this minor indulgence made its way onto Facebook, where—despite Payne using the site’s highest privacy settings—someone saw it, and brought it to the attention of the school’s principal. Payne took the high road: She resigned.
The “Facebook firing” is now an unfortunate fixture in Western professional culture, a warning to the working population at large that normal social behaviour, when captured and chronicled online, is aberrant and offensive. Having a beer after work—sometimes with your colleagues—is a socially acceptable activity. But upload a picture of that socially acceptable activity onto the Internet and it is rendered unacceptable. More than half of modern-day employers screen job applicants’ social media profiles for pictures like the one that implicated Payne, which means that this trend in cyberprohibition isn’t just getting people fired—it’s preventing them from getting hired, as well.
Is the public service losing its appeal?
New rankings of Canada’s Ideal Employers from the firm Universum, which use data from 27,800 students at 52 universities, show Google is the top choice among both business students and engineering/IT students. The Government of Canada is second for business and eighth for engineering/IT. Apple is third for both groups.
In 2010, the Government of Canada was the first choice among both groups, while provincial governments and the Canada Revenue Agency were fourth and fifth. Provincial governments and the CRA are no longer in the top 10. That suggests the public service may be losing its appeal, although it’s impossible to know for sure due to changes in methodology. For example, the business ranking used to include law students and the engineering/IT ranking used to include natural sciences students.
How to make the most out of internships and placements
I worked at least a dozen summer jobs and internships before landing a full-time job, so suffice it to say I’ve learned a few things about squeezing the most out of these fleeting experiences. I’ve also seen a whir of students come and go and noticed too many unwittingly break the unwritten office rules. Since these jobs are crucial for launching careers, I thought I’d share what I learned. Follow these seven rules to make the most out of your summer placement.
7. Cover up
Few bosses would point out inappropriate clothing, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t making mental notes about your choices. Men shouldn’t wear jeans or shorts on any day except casual Friday. For women, things are tougher, but the most common mistake is showing too much skin: open-toed shoes are out, mini-dresses are not approved and low-cut tops are frowned upon.
6. Don’t be late—ever
Sometimes traffic is bad, sometimes Starbucks has a long line and some days the boss herself saunters in at 9:45. It doesn’t matter; you need to be there at 9 a.m. sharp. Even after a true emergency (let’s say your apartment floods—this happened to a colleague) don’t just show up with soggy pants at 10:30. Call your boss so she can re-assign your work and not worry for your safety.
It’s hard to turn a profit, but it’s fun
Frances Strathern, 24, started making jewelry at age 14, went on to major in Jewellery and Metals at the Alberta College of Art + Design and then started franny e fine jewelry in 2010. She got a $15,000 loan to open a “tiny” gallery space in Calgary and worked part-time elsewhere until recently to make ends meet. She still works seven days of the week, but now it’s entirely for herself. It hasn’t been easy. She’s just now “approaching” the point where she can support herself financially. Still, she loves it. Here’s her story.
Did ACAD prepare you for this business?
ACAD is very hands-on and studio based, but then you have your academic classes as well. It was a good balance of the conceptual art side of things with skills, but it just didn’t prep us very well for the business side of things.
Teacher’s college says we’re out of luck until 2015
I got a call from Montreal the other day. On the other line was a man who represented a teaching agency in London, England. He had seen my email and resumé and said that I could come over to teach after completing the required paperwork.
When I decided three years ago to follow my calling, moving across continents for a job was unfathomable. I predicted I would send out resumés after graduation, then a school board within a reasonable distance from my home would ask me to work for them full-time as a teacher, everything would be hunky dory and I would decorate my classroom with dry-erase markers of every colour (you can never have too many).
The above scenario was obviously a delusional fantasy.
I recently learned in an email from one of my instructors here at York University’s teacher’s college that, in keeping with regulations agreed to with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, school boards will essentially no longer be allowed to do external hiring until all current occasional teachers have had the opportunity to apply for available jobs. In other words, until the huge backlog of certified teachers—many of whom are fighting tooth and nail just to land a supply teaching gig—have had their shot at a full-time job, fresh teacher college younglings need not apply.
Skills mismatch may mean 1.5 million vacancies by 2016
On a recent February evening, Karl Eve received an emergency call from a restaurant owner in Canmore, Alta. The busy eatery had suddenly found itself with no hot water, even though the basement hot water tanks appeared to be working fine. A plumber with 10 years’ experience, Eve eventually traced the problem to a malfunctioning dishwasher and got the hot water flowing again—much to the owner’s relief.
It’s the sort of detective work Eve says he loves about his job. He also likes that his plumbing business, which he runs with his wife in nearby Exshaw, provides his family with a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. But it was a career he very nearly missed. Never a fan of textbooks, Eve ended up toiling in a southern Ontario gypsum mine after high school. It was only after moving to Alberta years later that he considered a career in the trades. A chance meeting at a church potluck led to a ride-along with a local plumber and, ultimately, an apprenticeship. “I discovered there was a lot to learn, especially when it came to math,” Eve says of his four years of training, which included eight weeks a year in a classroom. “The amount of education was very surprising to me, but in a positive way. I grasped it with both hands, so to speak.”
Eve’s story is more rare than it should be in Canada. Many consider the trades to be low-paying, go-nowhere jobs, if they consider them at all. But it’s a perception not grounded in reality, as Eve’s healthy hourly rate of $90 to $135 suggests. Nor is it one Canada can afford to maintain. Numerous studies warn Canada is facing a massive shortage of skilled workers over the next few decades as millions of baby boomers hit retirement age and exit the workforce.
Prof. Pettigrew says it isn’t a lack of skills training
Earlier this month, student Mercedes Mueller caught my eye with this provocative open letter to Canadian university presidents, accusing them of having failed students by not paying enough attention to their “career ambitions.”
Here’s the key bit:
Universities pride themselves on teaching students critical thinking and reasoning skills. Yet upon entering the workforce, many grads have little to offer employers in terms of “skills.” Skills, primarily associated with the hands-on learning done at colleges, are a severely lacking component of university curricula. When one considers that the majority of BA graduates would like to enter the workforce without having to obtain further degrees, learning a skill or two in undergrad isn’t asking a lot.
Students come to university to get a job, she explains, and thus deserve to have “degrees worth more than the paper they are printed on.”
Colleges create programs in response to industry demand
Amy Gordon was in the middle of completing her second university degree when she decided to go to college instead. Gordon already had a degree in biology from the University of Alberta, and was studying chemical engineering at the University of Calgary. “I was getting really tired of learning lecture-style theory. I had an itch to get more hands-on and learn more,” says the 29-year-old.
So she left U of C, and is now nearing the end of a two-year diploma program in instrumentation engineering at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton. Gordon has been getting the hands-on training she wanted in labs supported by—and named after—Spartan Controls Ltd. The company has poured about $8-million worth of equipment into the program since 2007, essentially creating labs that replicate what it’s like to work in a refinery, giving students access to training on new technology.
Ryerson supports startups with Digital Media Zone
Phil Jacobson thought getting a business degree would help open doors on Bay Street.
He didn’t expect it would also help him become a big wig on Main Street.
“I figured, out of all the undergrad possibilities that were out there, a business degree would position me as the most well-rounded coming out of school,” said the 22-year-old president and co-founder of mobile app PumpUp.
“So I could either start something or get a great job and just have those good skills.”
After graduating last summer from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., Jacobson decided that his dream wasn’t to get poached by a big financial firm. Instead, he wanted to continue working for himself.
And he’s not alone.
Networking, resume and interview tips from a pro
This week’s Maclean’s includes a special report on the future of jobs that shows how university graduates have an especially difficult time launching their careers in today’s shaky economy. But you have to start somewhere, and there are plenty of things you can do to boost your chances of getting hired. Just ask Stéfan Danis, a man with 25 years of recruiting experience who is now Chief Talent Officer & CEO of the firm Mandrake. In this interview, he offers advice for recent graduates.
I hear stories of graduates who have applied to hundreds of jobs online, and with little success. How can graduates get interviews?
Networking. What you should do is get a board of advisers who are a little bit more senior than you. You set up a little network around yourself so that they can open doors for you. Simply sending your resume in response to job postings is not going to get great outcomes just because of the sheer [volume of] competition. It’s very difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Tell me more about this ‘board of advisers’ idea.
Let’s assume you want to be a marketer for a consumer products company. Do a bit of research through your alumni network or personal contacts or using LinkedIn. Target 10 individuals who are maybe two or three years into their careers—so you’re not a threat. If you reach out to them, hat in hand, inviting them to give some counsel, offering to buy them a coffee so you can pick their brains and build relationships with them, when there’s a need for a junior person in the marketing role at their company or elsewhere, they’ll provide you with an extraordinary amount of information.