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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Job: Job Developer, North York, ON

I cannot provide a reference to an advertisement. Here are the most important parts of the text of an email that was forwarded to me by Patricia Martin.

If you know of anyone interested in the Job Developer position here at the JCA/EO center, kindly direct them to forward their resume to the program manager and copy the program supervisor:

Program manager -Shamette Hepburn ( ) 416 746-5772 x239
Program supervisor- Mansur Mussa ( – 416 746-5772 x247

Please use my name as the referral source, ok.

Adrienne Simmons
Employment Ontario Services
Jamaican Canadian Association
995 Arrow Road ( finch & 400 )
North York, ON
M9M 2Z5

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interviews: Can You Demonstrate Team Play?

Your résumé claims that you are a team player and a prospective employer believes that and other statements in the document to a degree sufficient to invite you for an interview. How many ways can  you think of to show your ability and willingness to function as a member of a team? (Incidentally I want you to think about behaving as an effective member of a team, not its leader.)

Here are some ways I can think of:

  • Bring extra copies of your résumé and cover letter, in case someone on the interview committee has forgotten to bring theirs.
  • Bring an extra pen and note paper for a similar reason.
  • Smile, establish suitable eye contact with each person on the interview committee, and try to give each of them a fair amount of your attention.
  • Speak audibly and clearly, and watch to make sure that you are properly understood. If you are unsure that you have been understood then ask. Play back what you hear and understand from interviewers until  you show them you understand them. Support their efforts to communicate without being condescending.
  • Be open about failings and shortcomings early in the interview, about successes and strengths late in the interview.
  • If opportunity permits explain how you have cooperated with team members in the past to achieve results.
  • Ask what they need for success and how they prepare to go about getting it.

Team work and courtesy save effort.

Now, your turn. Help us all by putting your ideas in the comments, will you?

How Do You Spend Your Day?

Most of us imagine that our careers will consist of days spent doing only a few relatively interesting and rewarding activities. The gruesome reality is that almost all of us will find that we do a large variety of things, some fun, some not. When you consider a job or career it's important to try to take into account all of the ancillary activities that might be required of you.

This graphic appeared on Seth Godin's blog. He seems to have found it on the APhotoEditor blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What Technological Change Will Bring

I dunno.

Someone called John Naughton of Cambridge recently said something like: "Stand on the bridge in Mainz in about 1460 with a clipboard and ask passers-by what the effect of Gutenberg's press will be."

Wouldn't that sum it up?

Can Your Client Study?

  • Few attractive career paths exist that do not involve periods of study to gain entry to them.
  • Most people who have gained entry to some career area will find that they have to keep learning. Some will find that repeated formal training or education is necessary. Some will find it necessary to choose new careers when their old ones disappear.
  • Fortunately, the ability to study multiplies a person's innate talents and abilities. Not only does the ability to study effectively make you able to grasp more material and to grasp it more effectively, the knowledge and skills that you gain can make you more effective and marketable.
I would say that this implies that career developers can legitimately discuss study skills with clients. I need to watch for items that might help career developers with this. Meanwhile here is some advice from distinguished psychologist, Professor Robert BjorkHow to Succeed in College: Learn How to Learn.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Occasional Advice for Writers from the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada has a facebook page. Mostly it seems to be announcements of their own productions but sometimes there's stuff like this:

5 Useful Habits of a Beginning Screenwriter
Is Your Script Ready?
6 Writing tips from John steinbeck

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Clicklaw wikibook: Legal Help for British Columbians


Expressive Writing: Intervention for Job Loss

Most people find job loss more or less stressful and some people find it difficult to put the loss of a job behind them. Not every remedy that has been proposed works for everybody. Still it's worth our having a stock of them to use when we encounter clients in difficulty. Interestingly, I understand that the classic study paradigm for trials of expressive writing for helping people to rid themselves of distressing feelings involved subjects that had experienced job losses.

Again, I read about this in Richard Wiseman's 59 Seconds book, the one that I mentioned just a day or two ago. However, I've done a little additional research to have enough information to hand to be able to use this intervention when needed.

The essential idea is to have the client simply jot down his or her thoughts, feelings and associations about the job loss, using pen or pencil on paper. The method is best used a few weeks to a few months after the loss. What is especially attractive about it in my opinion is that it is obviously low in cost, has proven to be low in risk and requires little effort on the part of practitioners. I won't attempt to suggest why it helps because, apparently, there are numerous theories!

The method is fully described in the Handbook of Low-Cost Interventions. Fortunately for us the handbook chapter we need is available here.

Jobs (2): Employment Counsellor ..., Duncan & Parksville, BC

Better you should read the ad than that I should try to summarise it.


More vacancies:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Apply For More Than One at a Time

Haven't we all tried to convince job seekers to apply for more than one job at a time? Maybe they just want to live the high life that's only possible on Employment Insurance as long as possible. Anyway when people do this the likelihood is that the component of their emotional tone is likely to resemble this curve.

You find a suitable job, apply, interview and are rejected. Slide into hopeless despair, unwilling ever to work again. Gradually you reconsider your situation, start looking again and begin seeing possibilities. The cycle begins anew.

Need one mention that is this not fun?

Here's the extraodinarily simple alternative: Always keep several job hunts going simultaneously. That greenish curve along the top suggests what might happen to your general emotional tone. Certainly any one of the rejections will cause a dip; however, because you will be experiencing some level of interest—or even excitement or exhilaration—in another job-hunting cycle, perhaps the dip will not be so big. This will help you to do better work in all of your job search.

Should I come clean and mention that this idea is due to someone called Priscilla Claman, and that I found her article on the Harvard Business Review blog? And I used Wolfram-Alpha to make the plots from which I derived these graphics.

Forget Skills & Experience: Are You Nice?

I have often wondered why prospective employers asked me whether I'd looked at their web site. Were they checking to find whether I'm thick enough to believe that it would actually reflect what it would be like to work in their organisation?

Of course not. Just my cynicism working overtime again.

They might have been trying to find out if I can play nice though. Here's what Richard Wiseman says, in 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute: "After analyzing the mass of data, the research team exploded some of the myths about why interviewers choose candidates for a  job, discovering a surprising reality. Did the likelihood depend on qualifications? Or was it work experience? In fact, it was neither. It was just one important factor—did the candidate appear to be a pleasant person?" [italics mine, eh]

So that's it: nobody cares whether you can do the job! Just smile, maintain eye contact, don't worry and be happy.

Well, almost. By the time you're interviewed the employer has already studied your résumé, and many will have the sense to check your references and credentials afterwards. However, the startling revelation that the interviews themselves are not entirely objective ways of evaluating candidates does not appear to have percolated through to everyone yet.

This and the other notes in Wiseman's book are useful and tantalising at the same time. Each needs further research to be fully useful to practitioners, in my opinion. Indeed, in this case, I notice that quite a number of researchers have picked up the thread.

This one looks very useful:

You might wish to use Google Scholar for more.

Job: Employment Consultant, Hamilton, ON

"The Employment Consultant provides individual assessments and on-going support and career guidance to clients, seeks and develops job and placement opportunities for individual clients with employers, and matches clients’ employment and training needs with those of participating employers."


More vacancies:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Job: Resource Advisor, Abbotsford, BC

"providing support to clients to ensure awareness of services available at our Apollo satellite office (West end of Abbotsford)."


Big list of vacancies:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Job Bank Available Again

Also, I have made the minor modifications necessary to make the Jobs for Employment Counsellors work properly with the Job Bank again.As always, if you notice any problems or faults please let me know.

Job: Placement Officer, Petawawa, ON

"Reporting to the Supervisor of Employment Service (ES), Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre, the Placement Officer is responsible for the development and delivery of job matching, and placement, job/training retention services and employment support to residents of Petawawa to Deux Rivieres through the partnership agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU)."


Bigger list:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stayin' Alive

Very few of the people choosing career paths consider the dangers to which they will be exposed, I imagine. Perhaps we should. Here's part of the executive summary from the Centre for Living Standard's report, Five Deaths a Day: Workplace Fatalities in Canada, 1993-2005.

"The most dangerous industry in which to work over the 1996-2005 period was mining, quarrying and oil wells (49.9 per 100,000 workers or one out of 2,000); followed by logging and forestry (42.9 per 100,000 per workers or one out of 2,300); fishing and trapping (35.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers or one out of every 2,800 workers), agriculture (28.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers or one out every 3,600 workers and construction (20.6 per 100,000 workers or one out of 4,900). Finance and insurance was the least dangerous industry, with only 0.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers or one death for every 500,000 workers."

These are all annual averages; for instance, on average 49.9 workers out of every 100,000 employed in mining, quarrying and oil wells died at work every year between 1996 and 2005. It's also worth remembering that death might be considered just the most extreme result of something that has occurred in the workplace.

Job: Case Manager, Maple Ridge, BC

"... Provides employment counselling for employment readiness and to improve level of self-sufficiency and reducing barriers to employment. ..."


More jobs:

Job: Job Developer, Ajax, ON

"Prospect for new employers and maintain good relationship with current employers to meet the employment needs of YEAH’s clients, and its contractual requirements"


More jobs:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Exploring Occupations with a Theme

I am working with a client who likes to work with seniors. She's not sure what occupations or kinds of jobs would suit her, and one way of encouraging clients to identify the dimensions of their preferences and needs is to have them look at actual jobs. With some clients you can make a study of what is available an application of study skills.

Of course there are books that answer this need for some fields of interest. However, with the client's permission I wanted to use this opportunity to explore a more general solution.

In a nutshell here's what we're doing and how we got there (may look complicated but really isn't):

  1. The client is computer savvy; I've introduced her to Google Reader and showed her the basics of subscribing to and processing RSS feeds. (Took fully ten minutes, including my screw-ups.)
  2. Knowing that she's interested in seniors I did a preliminary search on and found that if I search for that I receive a lot of 'hits' with 'senior' in the titles. I made a mental note to exclude these; she doesn't need to see items like 'Senior Accountant.'
  3. To get started I thought of the following key words that might lead to relevant jobs: seniors, retirement, geriatrics. You're too polite to comment about this.
  4. used to offer RSS feeds for each search performed. I notice they no longer do. However, I know that RSS feeds still work. I therefore needed to determine how to construct the URLs that constitute RSS feeds. Although I have been unable to learn the full syntax of what will accept I know enough for our present purposes.

    To get an RSS feed for this client, for the key words mentioned, for Ontario I can use:

    (If I had only one key word I could just delete the unneeded key words and the '+or+' items connecting them.)
  5. Remember: I want to exclude jobs with 'senior' in the titles. But I don't know how to do that using an RSS feed. Again, as in some previous posts, I turn to Yahoo! Pipes. It's not difficult for cases like this! Be warned it won't work on the Chrome browser; it works on Internet Explorer. All you need to do is drag-and-drop a few thingys from the left-hand column into the tableau and connect them with pipes, then save with a suitable name and tell your users the URL of your creation. Here's the one for my client who's interested in seniors.
    • See how the 'Fetch Feed' thingy appears in the list of 'Sources' to the left?
    • The 'Filter' thingy appears in the list of 'Operators' to the left.
    • The URL for the RSS feed discussed above is keyed into the edit box just under the word 'URL' in the 'Fetch Feed' thingy.
    • See how the 'Filter' looks at the item.title and, if it Contains Senior then the item of which it is a part is Block'ed.
  6. Having saved this and followed the link 'Back to My Pipes' (elsewhere on the page shown) I simply click on the 'Google' button to add the feed to Google Reader. To supply my client with the page containing this button I give her the page's URL, as you might in any other situation (except that these URLs are extremely ugly). Better to send in an email.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Job: Employment & Life Skills Development Coord, North York, ON

"Main responsibilities include: delivering skills development and training workshops; developing a pool of stakeholders to support the social component of the SPE; working with the SPE Advisory Committee to achieve the SPE’s life skills and employment goals."


Longer list of jobs: