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Where are the Jobs?


January typically means new  diets, fitness programs…and job searches.  But where to look if you’re based in Ontario?

Stats Canada released seasonally adjusted, 3-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities in Canada as of December 2012 (small statistical samples mean these numbers may fluctuate).

Compared to the National Unemployment rate of 7.1%, Ontario unemployment rates include: 

  • Hamilton:  5.9%
  • Guelph:  6.3%
  • Ottawa:  6.7%
  • Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge:  6.7%
  • Kingston:  7.3%
  • St. Catharines:  7.8%
  • Brantford:  8.2%
  • Toronto:  8.3%
  • London:  8.6%
  • Windsor:  10.5%

What does this mean in terms of your job search?  No matter where you live:

  • There are always opportunities for good people;  employers hire for attitude and train for skills.  Technically competent candidates who are high maintenance are far less likely to be considered  
  • Good jobs are much more likely to be networked than published in print, on-line or via a placement agency or search firm;  it’s all about who you know and, more importantly, who knows you
  • Finding a best fit role will take longer than settling for the first job on offer;  if you don’t want to be back in job search mode in 6-12 months, it pays to work smart now  

Some techniques to consider:

  • Make the time to step back and really assess who you are, what you do best every day and what sets you apart from other candidates;  self understanding helps you focus on what will be best fit for you in terms of role and corporate culture
  • Ask your references who they think you are, what you do best best every day and what sets you apart from other candidates;  if there’s a gap between your perspective and theirs, how do you minimize it since perception may as well be reality? 
  •  Set aside a specific number of hours each week for your job search;  if more than 80% of all opportunities are networked and less than 20% of all vacancies are posted, the amount of time you spend on each approach should reflect that potential return on investment.  Plugging into your computer 100% of your search time won’t introduce you to 80% of the market 
  • Don’t feel you have to do this on your own.  Government programs (mostly group work but at no cost) are offered in most cities through Service Canada, Goodwill, etc.  You can also consider working with a career coach (one-on-one on a fee for service basis)

Job search can feel overwhelming and immobilizing but which is more challenging:  staying in a bad fit role or investing time and energy in finding that best fit role?  Like most projects, it’s figuring out how to eat the elephant.  With an overall plan, key strategies and SMART tactics, it is possible to find your best fit role, one bite at a time.