Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do You Really Want To Do a PhD?

Here's a discussion from The Economist magazine published earlier this month: The disposable academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Just Need a Place to Work

Many Canadian towns and cities have numerous vacant, long-disused, habitable commercial properties. And lots of would-be entrepreneurs and small business people just need a place to get started. The owners of these properties can benefit when they open them to use for modest terms.

Here's what some people are doing in Australia: Social enterprise connects artists with empty commercial buildings.

Do you know anyone who might help?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Job: Employment Counsellor / Loan Advisor, London, ON

"This position will assist ITWs in accessing low cost loans to provide financial support for relevant post-secondary, bridging and skills-based programming, examination fees and professional fees that will lead to their accreditation/licensure."


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Job: Resource Centre Administrator, Vancouver, BC

"The  Resource Centre Administrator assists clients in their job search process, coordinates and facilitates workshops as well as maintains a current job board suitable to clients needs. The  Resource Centre Administrator provides additional administrative support to all ESC staff as required."


Job: Case Manager / Facilitator, Vancouver, BC

"Under the general supervision of the Employment Manager, the  Case Manager/ Facilitator is responsible for Case Management and Case Management Services under the EPBC, including client awareness and navigation, needs and financial assessments, action plan development, facilitation, monitoring and following up of clients, meeting client service and financial targets and managing client files."


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Job: Lead Case Manager, Vancouver, BC

The Lead Case Manager is primarily responsible for client awareness and navigation, needs and financial assessments, action plan development, monitoring and following up of clients, meeting client service and financial targets, and maintaining client files.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Masculine & Feminine (Parental) Helping Styles

This is about eight minutes of the 2010 BBC programme "Biology of Dads." Here the host Laverne Antrobus watches with fellow psychologist Jay Belsky as two sets of parents process conflicts with their children.

I do enjoy these interactions! Do take the time to watch.

Professor Belsky's suffice to characterise the typical ways in which mothers and fathers work with their children. But why would I mention this on a blog about career development?

I sense that the two approaches are largely complementary and that even once we leave the locus of control of our parents we still might need such support from time to time. At any given time a client might need more of one kind of support than the other. Some clients really need to be offered more of the other kind of support than they think they need. Some career developers are much more adept at providing one kind of support over the other.

Part of our skill is in discerning what is needed and how to provide it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Job: Project Officer, Toronto

"Work as part of team working towards achieving organizational and community employment and training goals"


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

People: Imitators or Herd Animals?

At a time when behaviourism still held a death grip on psychology, in North America at least, Albert Bandura's offered first social learning theory and then social cognitive theory. Put much too briefly, we can imitate the behaviours that others model, and sometimes (some of us) go beyond what we see modelled.

Professor Andrew Oswald, an economist, suggests that much that we do as people should be regarded as herd behaviour. He has been examining the consequences of it in terms of economics models.

Mark Pagel, a professor of evolutionary biology, suggests that people, as social creatures have need for only a very few really creative individuals because the rest of us are so adept at copying, and that this has shaped us by the usual evolutionary processes. He suggests that, in fact, we are 'infinitely stupid.'

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NYT: Future of Computing Articles

Need to be able to discuss careers in computing?

One of the sites that I follow (for nerds) has just posted a page that reviews this week's collection of essays in the New York Times about the future of computing: NYT on the Future of Computing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Counts in Reference Letters: Sample

Here's a blog entry by Professor Frances Woolley of Carleton University who is just now shortlisting candidates for a faculty post: Why "great teacher" doesn't get you on the short list.

I think it's worth reading because it provides insight into a hiring manager's mind about what one of them is actually looking for in candidates, and how she interprets what she reads. As well as how much she reads of each submission.

How many times have I read résumés that claim mainly that someone is enthusiastic, hard-working or quick-learning?

Your Legal Rights in Ontario

Community Legal Education Ontario have created Your Legal Rights which "is a website of legal information for people in Ontario."

The following topics are listed on the home page: Abuse and Family Violence, Employment and Work, Housing Law, Social Assistance and Pensions, Consumer Law, Environmental Law, Human Rights, Wills and Estates, Criminal Law, Family Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, Education Law, Health and Disability, Legal System.

I'd appreciate knowing of similar sites for other provinces and territorities.

Thanks to

Job: Employment Counselling, Hamilton, ON

"OW Employment Counsellors will prescreen their job seekers for employers who have registered for our service."


Cisco Canada Seeks Grads, Soon-to-be-Grads

See Hey university grad! Want a job at Cisco Canada?

Beware Lists of Happiest Jobs

In March of 2007 Workopolis announced the results of a survey of 9,000 working people: Canada's Top 20 Jobs. Here's their list:

CEO / CFO / President
Teacher / Tutor
HR Professional
Actor / Director
Career Counselor / Trainer
Mental Health Counselor / Social Worker
Graphic Designer
Market Researcher / Analyst
Public Relations / Communications Specialist
Writer / Journalist
Computer Programmer
Bar / Restaurant / Hotel Manager
Web Designer / Developer
Product Manager
Construction Tradesperson
Medical / Biological Researcher

At least they surveyed Canadians. A couple of months ago the Globe & Mail gave us another list: The 10 Happiest Jobs.

Physical therapists
Special education teachers
Financial services sales agents
Operating engineers

Now, in the first place, although any of us can do a whole collection of different occupations and enjoy doing any of them, one would be ill-advised to take (attempt to take) up a vocation as a member of clergy on the grounds that it is the occupation that makes the greatest number of people 'happy.' Right? (I am not going to go into this question here even if it is the most important aspect of the discussion!)

The second list was created "by the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago." Do I need to suggest that religion might have a different place in American society than in Canadian? Or is it that few or none of the 9,000 working people interviewed for the Workpolis survey were members of clergy? In any case, there are considerable discrepancies between the two lists.

According to the University of Chicago, (and the Globe & Mail) the worst jobs in America, masquerading as the worst in Canada, are:

Director of Information Technology
Director of Sales and Marketing
Product Manager
Senior Web Developer
Technical Specialist
Electronics Technician
Law Clerk
Technical Support Analyst
CNC Machinist
Marketing Manager

I see that in 2007 it was great to be a web developer in Canada but woe betide anyone who agreed to become a senior web developer because, according to the Chicago study that would plunge you into despair by 2011.

If these surveys are going to be of any use to us at all then they need to be culturally sensitive, well conducted and well interpreted. It's a little unfortunate that we no longer have the results of a reliable national census in Canada that could be used to frame studies like this.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stories Are Good in Résumés Too

Here's an audio report about how politicians use stories to promote themselves: Jackanory Politics. By extension it is easy to understand how very short stories about one's achievements can be very effective in résumés too.

Advice with Wide Applicability

The suggestions in Reverse Engineering a Career are good for a lot more situations than the author suggests. It's a very helpful article.

You can use these ideas to learn much more about occupations as a way of deciding which might be worth pursuing. You will learn techniques from one occupation that would apply in another. You will inevitably learn much about what people expect of colleagues, subordinates and supervisors.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Job: Employment Counsellor / Facilitator, Toronto

"Work with approximately 40 clients with mental health disabilities annually, provide one-one-one counselling and design and facilitate workshops."


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Job: Employment Counsellor, London, ON

"This position will assist ITWs [internationally trained workers] in accessing low cost loans to provide financial support for relevant post-secondary, bridging and skills-based programming, examination fees and professional fees that will lead to their accreditation/licensure."


Again, it's not listed in the Canada-wide collection of jobs I produce on a daily basis. Use Google Alerts, as discussed here a day or two ago, to find jobs like this one.