Unemployment in Canada is currently a little over 8% and dropping … that is really no consolation to you if you are out of work and looking for a job. Unemployment is really about individuals, about their ability to pay bills, enjoy life and feel like they are contributing. There are not too many people that enjoy being unemployed.
Finding a job can be daunting … its a tough process, its hard work, it requires a plan , it requires commitment and it requires stamina. If you really want to be successful then the act of finding a job needs to be a job in and of itself.
I have touched on this subject in the past … but here are some thoughts about finding a job, today in Canada.
1. List your hard skills … car mechanic, Java developer, telecommunications executive whatever that might be. Define those hard skills as clearly as possible.
2. List your soft skills … communications (written/verbal/public speaking etc); interpersonal; etc.
3. List your experience … chronologically list your jobs and accomplishments throughout your career. Include charitable involvement, include
4. Education …. list all of your education, courses as well as formal schooling.
Now you have the basis for what you are selling … yourself. This will need to be customised depending upon where you are applying … did I mention this is hard work?
5. Identify who you know in your network that could possibly help.
6. Identify the companies that you know might use your skills.
7. Identify employment agencies that might be able to help.
Now you have the first set of “targets”.
8. Prioritise your lists … who would you approach first.
9. Decide what messages you want to deliver to each group.
10. Customise your resume to fit the different target groups. There is no “one size fits all” resume … you need to tweak it to highlight things that are of interest in different situations. eg. If I am a car mechanic applying to a truck company my resume might be tweaked differently than if I were a car mechanic applying to a corner garage.
Now develop your plan of attack … hand deliver resumes; use your network to pre-sell yourself; get introductions through contacts; start at your most desirable job or start at the easiest job?
This is your project plan … and it needs to be continually updated.
If you are in an area that has very high unemployment then you might want to look further afield … identify other geographies that you might be willing to move to … maybe you have friends or relatives there, maybe you could get your head around a period of time away from home.
Identify areas where there are known shortages of people … Fort MacMurray in Alberta was a hotbed of demand a year ago, the Middle east used to be a big draw at various time sin the past. Give real consideration .. in a pinch would you move there, or work there for a period of time?
The more flexible you are in your demands the better chance you have of being successful.
Finding a job can be very tough … if you create a plan and continually evolve the plan and add to it until you are successful then you will keep motivated, keep positive and not let yourself get “down”. If you let the situation “get to you” then you won’t put your best foot forward, you reduce your chances of success and you set yourself up for a downward spiral, becoming even more depressed as time goes by.
Believe in yourself, play up your strengths, use your network, treat it like a job in itself, learn from the setbacks that happen along the way and keep finding new ways to move forward with your search.
It will pay off.