Whether you’re looking for your first job or considering a career change, successful candidates take the time to do their research. With this in mind, we asked Helen Dewar, Minerva Helping Women Work™ lead facilitator, for some advice on navigating the career landscape.
1. Know yourself.
- What is important to you and the work you will do?
- What are your values?
- What are your strengths?
- What have you got to offer prospective employers?
2. Do your homework.
Determine how your values, skills and characteristics fit different occupations. Investigate websites like Service Canada’s job bank or WorkBC (use their Career Exploration tool to find lists of occupations). These sites will tell you about demand, local wages, education programs and the skills/knowledge required for specific occupations. This information will assist you to prepare for your job interviews, as well as helping you to match your skills and abilities to the job description.
3. Know the labour market in the area you want to work.
- Gather information from government and corporate websites to find occupation information from across Canada by city/town
- Scour the media for companies opening, growing or closing
- Speak to people you know in the sector and read publications about the fields you are interested in (your local library is a great resource!)
4. Network, network, network!
Have you heard of the hidden job market? 80% of jobs are never posted, but employers are always looking for good people to employ now or in the future. Don’t know anyone in the industry you want to break into? Get in touch with the people doing the kind of work you want to do and ask for an information interview. The old adage, “people get work through people they know” still rings true.
5. Know what you’re worth.
Be sure to research pay scales for the sectors and the occupations that capture your interest and match your skills and values. If you Google search “Canadian pay scales”, you’ll find a bevy of information that you can mine for salary ranges… then don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth!
Want to learn more about finding fulfilling work? We’re currently accepting applications for Minerva Helping Women Work™ Career Kick-Start, a six-week program for women who know what they want to do for work, but need support achieving it. Deadline for applications is October 1, 2013.