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Open Door held a free local job fair on October 22, 2013, with 20 of the largest employers in Kamloops:
- Thompson Rivers University,
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
The job fair was located in the Interior Savings Centre in downtown Kamloops, from 12:00 to 4:00. Job seekers arrived dressed for interviews, with their resumes, and ready to talk about their skills. For more information on the fair, please contact Kevin Watt at 866-377-3670 or email email@example.com.
We suggest that you take a little time to experience the following website in order to learn more about the intercultural Canadian workplace:
Start your interactive session with The Intercultural Coach!
The Vancouver Public Library has a section on its website: Small Business Start-Up Tours on
A 1½ hour introduction to self-employment and small business resources is available. It shows how to find information on:
- starting a small business,
- preparing business plans,
- market research and market share information,
- financial analysis, and much more.
Check the website for: Business and Economics Research Guides.
For more information, please call the Vancouver Public Library at 604-331-3624.
Women in Business Unite
Adapted from the article by Sylvie Paillard, Kamloops Daily News, December 3, 2013
Canada’s economy depends on female entrepreneurs because the majority of women’s businesses are small to medium-sized. They are 40% of Canada’s gross domestic product. Now, almost 60% of companies are led by women who are over 50. The Royal Bank of Canada promotes female entrepreneur networks, because mentorship is the key to success. Venture Kamloops helps by connecting young women with opportunities, such as the partnership between the Women’s Enterprise Centre and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. Venture Kamloops helps entrepreneurs develop ideas, business plans and marketing strategies. Then it connects the individual with a panel of experts in various fields who critique and help develop aspects of the business plan. There are also role models through Thompson Rivers University’s School of Business and Economics.
Please look at the Dial-A-Law website (a library of practical legal information), www.dialalaw.org, under:
• Script #265, Starting a Small Business, and
• Script #266, Forming a Partnership, available in:
Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones into Meetings
By Kevin Kruse, January 2014
Do you check your phone for text messages or emails during business meetings? According to new research from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, you are probably annoying your boss and colleagues.
Research indicates that older professionals and those with higher incomes are far more likely to think checking text messages or emails during meetings of any kind is inappropriate.
Researchers surveyed 554 full-time working professionals who earned more than $30K in income and were employed by companies with at least 50 employees. The researchers asked the survey participants about the use of smartphones in formal and informal meetings to uncover attitudes about:
- writing or reading emails or text messages,
- browsing the Internet, and other mobile phone—related behaviors.
Key findings include the following:
- 86% think it’s inappropriate to answer phone calls during formal meetings
- 84% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during formal meetings
- 75% think it’s inappropriate to read texts or emails during formal meetings
- 66% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during any meeting
- 22% think it’s inappropriate to use phones during any meeting
These findings don’t surprise Roger Lipson, an executive coach who said, “In my work with executives, ‘smartphone/tablet use in meetings’ is one of the most frequent comments for the ‘behaviors to stop doing’ category.”
When you access your phone, it shows:
- Lack of respect. You consider the information on your phone to be more important than the conversation in the meeting. You view people outside the meeting as more important than those sitting right in front of you.
- Lack of attention. You are unable to stay focused on one item at a time.
- Lack of listening. You aren’t demonstrating the attention and thinking required of truly active listening.
- Lack of power. You respond to others who are not sitting right in front of you through the buzz of your phone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A friend of TalentSmart, Kevin Kruse is a New York Times best-selling author and an expert in employee engagement. His website is KevinKruse.com, and his latest book is Employee Engagement 2.0.
Employment Web Sites
Free online resources at the Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre through Vancouver Public Library:
The Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre is a virtual resource centre that connects:
- community service providers and
This video describes the Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre.
The Vancouver Public Library provide assistance to skilled immigrants who qualified in a trade or profession in their home countries and would like to find the same type of work in BC. There are 71 Employment Guides that contain:
- professional associations,
- skills upgrading information.
All of our services and resources are free. The Vancouver Public Library can recommend:
- professional associations, and
- any other institutions or organizations that may help with your job search, resume or assessment of credentials.
We collaborate with public libraries and service organizations across BC. We gladly share our resources and expertise.
The Hidden Job Market
The ‘hidden job market’ means the many job vacancies that are not advertised anywhere, but exist. Information about these job vacancies circulates among managers and business associates, and through referrals by:
acquaintance networks (very important in Canada).
CareerXroads said that a candidate with a referral from a network is three to four times more likely to be interviewed and hired.
The hidden job market describes 80% of job vacancies. You can access the hidden job market through networking, which also means meeting with a contact person in the company for which you would like to work.
The jobseeker (the person who is looking for a job):
- Locates the companies that he or she would like to work for, by developing a list of every company that he or she is interested in;
- Researches the companies and the employees (people whom the jobseeker would like to know) who could offer advice;
- Contacts the people on the list to find out if they have upcoming job leads or vacancies (a job lead is a person or piece of information that could lead to a job).
- Remembers that networking is reciprocal, and works two ways. The job seeker may be asking for help now, and in the future will be able to offer it. At some point in everyone’s career, it has been necessary to ask for an introduction, lead, or interview. Each person whom you meet represents a different and growing set of network connections.
Employers use their networks, including social media:
to find job applicants in a particular field or occupation. For example, you can use LinkedIn to network by asking co-workers if they have contacts at companies that you are interested in. Networking on LinkedIn means sending contact people a message that introduces yourself and a shared connection, a person and/or a project. This social media site has groups in many career paths. It is important to join an active group and participate by posting on the discussion board.
You can ask group members to look at your profile and contact you if they hear of any opportunities. This is called “showcasing.”
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. When job recruiters look up your name on Google, your LinkedIn connection is one of the first things that they see.
Give your LinkedIn profile attention, because it includes more information than your resume. Take charge of your online professional identity. You can:
- Establish your skills, experience, career information and current position
- Explore new opportunities
- Find experts and ideas to solve a business challenge
- Follow hiring information about companies in which you are interested
- Develop your network of contacts
- See detailed statistics on a company’s business page
- Get recommendations so that your profile looks more trustworthy
Step 1: Upload a professional picture with a headshot.
Step 2: Keep the name section clear.
Step 3: Use a strong headline with keywords that describe you.
Step 4: Update your status frequently (weekly).
Step 5: Get at least 10 recommendations from ex-colleagues and senior supervisors to build credibility.
Step 6: Continue to build your connections, up to 500 people or more. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, from various social circles that do not overlap. Job connections in Canada come more often from acquaintance networks.
Step 7: Make sure that your Summary and Profile have strong keywords.
Step 8: Write simply and directly, focused on your target market with positive statements. Be mindful to make every work count.
Step 9: Offer something that appeals to your target market: a free report to download.
Step 10: Showcase your projects, products, and/or portfolio. Offer free reports and articles to download.
Step 11: Add the WordPress application to your Profile, so that you can showcase your most recent blog posts.
Step 12: Add the SlideShare Application to your Profile to feature videos. Introduce yourself with your own voice and face.
Step 13: Focus on your skill set expertise, and add them.
Step 14: Join groups that are connected to your profession and industry. On LinkedIn, you can join a maximum of 50 groups.
Step 15: Add all of the honours and awards that you have received.
Please be aware that employers use social media to learn:
Your e-image on-line is extremely important. It can be an employer’s first impression of you. Make sure that your e-image on-line is professional.
For example, Pamela Paterson, the author of Get the Job: Optimize Your Resume for the Online Job Search, worked with a job seeker who made beer as a hobby. Unfortunately, an online search of his name resulted in information about his hobby, not his professional skill set.
Every few months, search the information that is available about you on-line by using a variety of search engines. This information is what potential employers can find out about you. Potential employers want to see a professional on-line. Your personal life information should match your professional portrayal.
If you have an online personal history of inappropriate pictures, blogs or comments, then clean up your online image. Check the privacy settings on all of the websites that you use.
An employer survey found that:
- 85% of employers are influenced by a job seeker’s positive e-image; and
- 70% of employers have decided to reject a job seeker, based on information about him or her that they found online.
If you need to clean up your online e-image, then go to: www.ehow.com/how_2285792_clean-up-online-image-job.
Canadian Immigrant Magazine (January 2014) suggests:
1. Connect your profiles. Your Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ properties all appear in Google Search. If possible, use your keywords in your usernames.
2. Expand your network. Add contacts whom you meet in real life to various social media profiles. Send them hello messages and stay in touch.
3. Give first and receive later. Share helpful, inspiring content. The more value that you offer, the better the odds of you getting noticed, and receiving an invitation or call.
4. Be current about new developments in your industry. Be an idea leader about changes that are taking place in your field. Read the daily news, share them and add your perspective by commenting.
5. Project a consistent professional image at all times. Many recruiters hire candidates based partly on the image that they project on social media.
6. Include multimedia. Add pictures, images or video-based content whenever possible.
7. Become genuinely interested in others. Share their articles, like and comment on their news feeds. Reciprocity always works and you could be receiving a favour sooner or later.
8. Build your brand intelligently in a way that supports your professional qualifications. Post regular updates on what’s happening in your professional life, the projects that you are working on, the places where you volunteer, and the compliments that you receive.
9. Show that you are well-rounded and have a range of interests. Share a variety of interesting content. Use the various features of social media sites, share diverse links and find out what others have to say about them.
10. Demonstrate good communication skills. Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes, use SpellCheck and always get someone to check your content online. Cite your sources and tailor your responses to the individuals with whom you interact.
11. Set aside five minutes two to three times a week to check in and post something.
A network is a growing group of contacts, people whom you meet or know on a personal or professional level, often through volunteering and/or joining a community organization.
Adapted from the November 2013 article in Canadian Immigrant
by Patricia Toti, events and volunteer coordinator, Steveston Community Society, BC, and
the February 2013 article in Canadian Immigrant by Hazel Morely, professional/personal coach.
Volunteering means giving back to the community that you live in, doing more than you have to because you want to, for a cause that you consider to be good. Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy – you vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community that you want to live in.
Volunteering is also an exchange. There are many reasons why people volunteer besides wanting to make a difference. Some of the reasons are:
- To improve one’s language and communication skills
- To improve your self-esteem and self-confidence
- To contribute to your community
- To develop new connections, for personal and professional benefits
- To demonstrate skills and abilities
- To gain leadership skills
- To learn something new by pushing your boundaries and comfort zone
- To explore a career that is oriented toward community service
The benefits of volunteering have been underestimated by immigrants who are seeking a new job. Volunteering in targeted organizations or business sectors gives you the opportunity of meeting and knowing important people. You can build connections and showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities. It is a lot easier for organizations to hire someone whom they know.
Volunteering shows you, in action, doing and not only saying what you can and will do. Organizations will notice a volunteer who shows enthusiasm, ability, willingness to get involved and a desire to contribute to its success.
Volunteering is also a good way of being introduced to the workplace in a safe environment. You are not going to be held accountable to the same standards as you would be if you were employed by the organization. It is a great opportunity to find out the specific skills that are needed by the organization. You can learn the do’s and don’ts that are necessary to succeed, and get involved in all sorts of organizational tasks.
As a newcomer to Canada looking for work, you will be told that you “lack Canadian experience” in the workplace. Volunteering is one of the best ways to gain “Canadian work experience” while learning behavior and language norms. It will help you learn the nuances of your city’s job market and its expectations so that you can show yourself in the way that is most likely to attact interest from prospective companies.
Many organizations welcome volunteers to help them with certain tasks where there is a manager who can oversee and direct the volunteer. It takes time and effort to recruit, train, manage, motivate, recognize and retain volunteers. This is a great opportunity for you to impress the people who can hire, even though you are not getting paid yet. Remember, volunteering is an exchange:
- What are your reasons for volunteering?
- What do you want to learn?
- What do you want in exchange for your time?
Volunteering, if it is done with heart and commitment, allows you to get your foot in the door of companies or organizations.
Canadian employers expect you to take initiative, which means being proactive and resourceful. It is important to be persistent to overcome any barriers to make things happen. Initiative means that you will think for yourself and ask questions to get the information that you need, plus finding the right people who can help you. By taking responsibility, you will earn respect and confidence from others, becoming a valuable member of the team.
As a volunteer, people can get to know you as a person (father, soccer player, hiker), as well as your professional skills. A job lead can be someone whom you meet at church, the mall, the YMCA or a coffee shop. Try to add 7 new people to your network a week.
First, develop a very short introduction speech about yourself:
- what kind of work you are looking for and
In 45 seconds, you can tell someone:
- Who are you? (Introduce yourself: “Hi, my name is __________”);
- The kind of work that you are looking for (I’m looking for work as a __________”);
- Your special skill set (“I have excellent __________ skills”); and
- Your contact information (a business card with your cell phone number, address and professional email address:
“Here is my business card. Please let me know if you hear of any work in my field. Thank you!”.
You can create your business cards with the Microsoft Word Template (version 2003 or later), under Office, New and then Business Card. Buy blank business cards at office supply stores, such as Staples, so that you can print as many as you need. Make sure that you have a:
- professional email address and
- a professional voicemail message on your cell phone.
Do You Struggle to Make Conversation?
Conversation, or small talk, can be a big problem. I want to be friendly and polite, but can’t think of a thing to say. Here are some strategies that I try:
1. Comment on a topic that is common to both of you at the moment,
including the venue, the food, the occasion, or the weather. “How do you know our host?” “What brings you to this event?” Keep it positive and do not complain.
2. Comment on a topic of general interest.
Scan Google News right before going anywhere when you need to make small talk, in order to bring up an interesting news item.
3. Ask a question that people can answer as they please.
My favorite question is: “What’s keeping you busy these days?” It’s useful because it allows people to choose their focus (work, volunteering, their family or a hobby). Also, it’s helpful if you ought to remember what the person does for a living, but can’t remember.
4. Ask open questions that can’t be answered with a single word.
If you ask a question that can be answered in a single word, then ask a follow-up question.
5. Ask getting-to-know-you questions. “What internet sites do you visit regularly?” “What vacation spot would you recommend?” These questions often reveal a hidden passion, which can make for great conversation. I ask people about their good and bad habits, and their answers are always fascinating. People enjoy talking about their habits.
6. React to what a person says in the spirit in which that that comment was offered. If he makes a joke, even if it’s not very funny, try to laugh. If she offers some surprising information, react with surprise.
8. Watch out for the Oppositional Conversational Style.
A person with oppositional conversational style is a person who disagrees with and corrects whatever others say. Other people find this style very annoying.
9. Follow someone’s conversational lead.
If someone obviously mentions a reference to a subject, then pick up on that conversational thread.
10. Don’t try to talk about your favorite topic, because you’ll be tempted to talk too much.
Public Speaking Skills
Develop your public speaking skills by joining a Toastmasters organization. Toastmasters is a non-profit, self-paced educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. For example, Tushar Pandit, director of human resources at ADP Inc., suggests that job seekers be active on social media and do public speaking.
Here are ten tips for public speaking: Toastmasters.
Kamloops has three Toastmaster groups:
- The High Country Achievers Toastmasters meet at Desert Gardens, 540 Seymour Street, on Thursday evenings from 7pm – 9pm. Guests welcome! Gain confidence and training in your communication skills.
If you are looking to gain skill in public speaking and leadership, and want to support others in the same quest, Toastmasters is looking for you!
The fee is minimal, the growth, immeasurable! Two tracks, communication and leadership, allows a person to grow on a variety of levels. The sky is the limit when it comes to achievment levels in this club!
Smart and Strategic Volunteering
Smart and strategic volunteering helps you to:
- build networks of people, and
- become familiar with Canadian cultural workplace norms that are different from those in your home country.
Below please find two examples of smart and strategic volunteering:
The Power of Volunteering: Sukhjit Singh
Photo: The Power of Volunteering, Canadian Immigrant Magazine, August 2013
Adapted from The Power of Volunteering, Canadian Immigrant Magazine, August 2013
When Sukhjit Singh came to Canada three years ago from India, he faced the difficulties of coming to a new country which are experienced by many newcomers. He needed “Canadian experience” to get a job, but also needed an opportunity to get Canadian experience. “People mentioned that with a turban and beard, I will not get a job and no one will even call me for an interview. And, if they call at all, after looking at me they will not hire me. But I saw a great opportunity in this situation. I was thinking that if my looks can be an obstacle, it can be a positive point for some employers as well,” said Sukhjit.
Giving back to the community and serving others is part of Sukhjit. He wanted to “work in various community serving places where they offer basic, intermediate and advanced computer courses for those who have no or little knowledge about computers”. In his search for Canadian experience and a desire to give back to the community, Sukhjit gave his time and expertise to many organizations, including Volunteer MBC, which has now become his beloved “alma mater”.
Volunteer MBC is the local volunteer centre which develops volunteerism in the Region of Peel, by raising awareness of the power of service in an effort to support and connect all people to meaningful volunteer opportunities. In 2012 alone, Volunteer MBC served more than 18,000 volunteers who were referred to over 160 community service organizations, generating nearly 2.4 million hours of volunteer support.
As Sukhjit stated, “Meaningful volunteer work can give you an insight of how things work in Canada. Once you are in a position to give back to the community, do that as soon as possible and make this a habit.” In April 2013, he was recognized for his exemplary efforts and voluntary achievements with Volunteer MBC’s Newcomer Gem Volunteer Award at their 2nd Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Event.
As Sukhjit says, volunteering gives newcomers the opportunity to:
- connect with their community,
- become known by prospective employers and contacts,
- build their self-esteem and confidence and, at the same time,
- develop their interpersonal skills to make them employment-ready for the very competitive Canadian job market.
We congratulate the efforts and applaud the outstanding achievements that Sukhjit has accomplished in three short years. He went from being unemployed to becoming one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants. He is a model of success, for not only newcomers, but all Canadians, young and old, who want to move forward in their careers and lives. Carine Strong, Executive Director of Volunteer MBC and a fellow newcomer, commented, “Sukhjit’s positive outlook and his accomplishments are an inspiration to all of us. He has taken ownership of his destiny by using his skill sets to help others, but realizes all too well that he is helping himself in the process, creating a win-win for all stakeholders.”
The 100 Mile House ESL Cafe Group Visited the Ambulance Station
Wolfgang held everyone’s attention with his presentation. All of the participants enjoyed his pictures, complete with sound effects. We were amazed at the statistics for the B.C. Ambulance Service. It was interesting to see inside the ambulance and realize how well-organized such a small space can be.
Wolfgang’s personal story is very inspiring, especially for everyone who is involved in the ESLSAP program. His English skills were limited when he and his wife, Barbara, first arrived in 100 Mile House. They decided to volunteer with the fire department, where they:
- improved their English skills, and
- contributed to their community.
They also participated in the ESLSAP program and met regularly with their volunteer English tutor.
Both Barbara and Wolfgang took the First Responder training as part of their volunteer firefighting training. Wolfgang was encouraged to continue taking courses to become a professional paramedic, and he is now employed with the B.C. Ambulance Service.
All of us are very proud of Wolfgang and his accomplishments. Thanks, Wolfgang, for being such an inspiration.
In your home country, you were part of a network in your occupation.
Immigrating to Canada means establishing a new network, with Canadian norms. Every person in your network also has his or her own network, which all interconnect.
First, check out Learning English with CBC Manitoba Lesson 46: The Hidden Job Market. It is online at:
Second, watch the TED video: Networking for the Networking Adverse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=garadDEgkwU. Next, download and read Top Networking Challenges Solved!
Third, read about networking during the holiday season:
1. Being shy
2. Getting up the courage to speak to strangers
3. Small talk
4. Leaving conversations gracefully
5. Finding strategic events
Please watch the Lionel Laroche video on Networking Canadian Style.
Lionel discusses skills for job-seekers:
- Communication Skills: the expression, transmission and interpretation of information and ideas in Canadian English
- Planning Skills: the search for specific information, and the ability to see future needs and solutions for meeting those needs in the Canadian context
- Human Relations Skills: the use of interpersonal skills for resolving conflict, relating to and helping people, according to Canadian norms
- Leadership Skills: the ability to supervise, direct and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks, according to Canadian norms
- Work Survival Skills: the day-to-day skills that assist in promoting effective production, according to Canadian norms
Networking is about information exchange: information about professional opportunities and information about yourself. It includes making appointments for informational interviews, which usually last 15 to 30 minutes. The location of your meeting is important, because people may feel more comfortable speaking off-site, for example, at a coffee shop.
During an informational interview, the focus is on information gathering about a career pathway, not employment. You are a researcher, and your project is collecting information about a typical career pathway. You are in charge, with a list of good questions in hand, ready to take notes. Bring a few extra copies of your resume, along with your business card.
You can have informational interviews with workers and/or with employers. It is a good idea to take notes during the informational interview. Please see the following lists of possible questions:
Possible Questions for Potential Employees in an Informational Interview:
1. Can you please describe a typical day on the job?
2. How did you get your first job doing this type of work?
3. What are the qualifications and experience required?
4. What skills and abilities are needed for this type of work?
5. What do you like the most about your job?
6. What do you like the least about it?
7. What do you see as the best opportunities for someone who wants to work in this occupation?
8. What is the typical starting wage for someone in this occupation (line of work)?
9. What advice would you offer to someone who is looking for a similar job in this occupation?
10. How has your career progressed?
11. Please describe this company’s culture.
Possible Questions for Potential Employers in an Informational Interview:
1. How do you see this (company or industry) developing in the future? How is the (company or industry) changing?
2. What are the requirements for an entry-level position in this (company or industry)?
3. What are employers typically looking for when hiring people in this occupation (line of work)?
4. Could you please tell me how my qualifications and experience compare with employers’ expectations for this (company or industry)?
5. Where do you usually post job vacancies (openings)?
6. May I have your business card? (The business card will give you all of the information that you need to contact this person in the future and correctly address your thank you note to him or her. Inexpensive thank you notes in packages of 10 or more are available at the Dollar Store, Dollarama, and Staples.
Send the thank you note within one to three days of the interformational interview. It is one of the best ways to show your gratitude and be remembered in the future.) For more information, please check: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/thankyouletters/a/samplethankyou.htm.
7. Could you suggest that I contact anyone else about an informational interview? May I use your name when I contact him or her? (When you mention your contact’s name to the next person in a phone call or by email, your next interview will be much easier to arrange.)
Even if you think that the informational interview has gone well,
DO NOT ASK FOR A JOB, BECAUSE IT IS NOT A JOB INTERVIEW.
However, even though you have prepared for an informational interview, the other individual can change the nature of the exchange, so that it becomes a job interview. Be ready for the possibility for the interviewer and interviewee roles to change, with you suddenly being asked job-interview questions.
- Check out a potential contact person’s profile on LinkedIn before contacting via email.
- For information about cold calls (phoning a potential contact person) and links to cold call scripts:
- For more about informational interviews, networking and the hidden job market:
- For information about Canadian workplace culture, please read Workplace Culture: A Guide for Newcomers to British Columbia on the Vancouver Public Library website.
This website includes labour market information which can help you decide if your occupation choice has a positive future. It also includes:
- NOC (National Occupational Classification) information;
- forecasting future labour markets;
The NOC is the national reference system for occupations in Canada. It organizes more than 30,000 job titles into 520 occupational groups, based on skills. It is the most complete source of job titles and occupations in the country. Based upon your quiz information, using the NOC can help you with your job search, as it is organized according to Canadian norms in Canada’s labour market.
The NOC is current, based on Statistics Canada information from all provinces and territories. It shows how the Canadian labour market is changing. A NOC code number is used for each occupation, with four digits.
Even if you know the type of job that you would like to have in Canada, the NOC information can help you learn about Canadian norms and other possible jobs that need your interests, skills and abilities. Instead of one possible occupation, you might find that there are ten or more in the Canadian labour market.
The labour market is a combination of:
- Employers who offer jobs;
- Employees who offer skills; and
- Provincial economic conditions.
Learning about the labour market can:
- help you find out where jobs are located in British Columbia;
- help you find out the forecasted future labour needs for your occupation;
- help you find out about pay ranges for jobs in different areas of the province;
- help you learn which skills, experience and training that employers are looking for; and
- help you learn about a business or industry. Employers want to know that you have educated yourself about a business or industry.
Work: How to Learn about Your Occupation in Canada
adapted from Canadian Newcomer, January 21, 2014, by Efim Cheineis
Gather all of this information by looking at the official Canadian trade directory, the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Ask for NOC in libraries or at Employment Resource Centers. You will get two books. The first is called “National Occupational Classification. Index of Titles”. There are almost 40,000 Canadian jobs, listed alphabetically, in this small book. Each occupation is followed by a unique four-digit code. Look for your job title if you know it, and you will find your occupational code. Then, look at the second book, “National Occupational Classification. Occupational Description” and using the code from the Index of Titles, find your occupational description. It includes:
- industries and workplaces where the occupation is found,
- examples of titles which are commonly used within the group,
- the most significant duties of this occupation,
- educational and employment requirements.
If you do not know exactly what your job title is, look in the second book. You will find 10 types of skills:
- Management occupations
- Business, finance and administration (such as accountants, secretaries, office clerks)
- Natural and applied sciences (engineers, technicians, technologists, etc.)
- Health (physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists)
- Social science, education, government service and religion (lawyers, teachers, social workers, ministers of religion, paralegals)
- Art, culture, recreation and sport (librarians, journalists, musicians, graphic designers, coaches)
- Sales and service (retail and wholesale people, insurance and real estate representatives, cooks, barbers, cashiers, cleaners, babysitters)
- Trades, transport and equipment operators (machinists, tool and die makers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, drivers)
- Occupations unique to primary industry (farmers, oil, gas and mine workers)
- Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities (machine operators, assemblers, laborers)
By choosing your type of skill, you will find the first digit of the appropriate code.
The second digit of NOC code indicates skill level. There are 6 skill levels in NOC:
1: university degree,
2 /3: college education or apprenticeship training,
4 /5: secondary school and/or occupation-specific training, and
6: on-the-job training.
The third digit indicates group of occupations and the fourth digit indicates job title.
For example, “Industrial Electricians” job title in NOC is code 7242, which means: skill type 7 (Trades, transport and equipment operators), skill level 2 (College education or apprenticeship training), occupational group 4 (Electrical Trades and Telecommunication Occupations) and job title 2 (Industrial Electricians). By knowing the code, you will find answers for the most of your questions using the second book.
The same information may be found on the Internet using the following address: http://www23.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/2001/e/generic/welcome.shtml. (Or use a search engine such as Google, enter NOC and locate the site.)
To see a more detailed description of your occupation, you have to look at provincial websites. Open, for example, at the Ontario site, type your job title and click “Find”. In addition to NOC common job descriptions, you will also find Ontario employment rate, annual income, hourly wage, statistical data, regulatory bodies, etc.
When you learn your NOC occupation description, you can specify the correct job title in your resume and use it for search of vacancies in various job banks. Good luck!
Please remember to use the Canadian spelling of labour in your online search, so that you will access Canadian information online. On Labour Market Information (LMI), you can find:
- Occupation Title (job title);
- Occupations (any job that is available in the geographical area that you have chosen);
- National Occupational Classification Code (the NOC code for your chosen job);
- Job Type (a general description of the job that you are looking for); and
- An employer’s wants and needs: Type National Occupational Classification into a search engine, and then click on Search the NOC.
Complete the Job Bank Career Quizzes at the Job Bank website, www.jobbank.ca.ca/. You will need to create an account.
The Job Bank website takes all of the information that you put into three career quizzes:
- Data, People and Things Quiz; and
Then it matches the information to occupations in the National Occupation Classification System (NOC). After you finish the quizzes, you will have a list of five or more possible occupations.
On the righthand side of your occupation page, notice the Career Navigator box. It includes three categories:
- Employment Opportunity (job advertisements)
- Occupation Outlook (good, fair or poor)
Please check the WorkBC website: It has internships as a search category, as well as transferable skills identification. It includes advice about looking for work and information about certification and licensing in BC.
1. Occupations are grouped in ways that are connected to the labour market in Canada
2. You will be able to understand the NOC code system to decide if you are interested in an occupation.
3. You can read a description of typical work in an occupation.
4. You can find out the duties, employment requirements, qualifications and experience for a particular job.
- Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC)
http://www.cicic.ca/ collects information for more than 800 professional associations across Canada and records the various ways that credentials are assessed and recognized for a wide variety of occupations. While CICIC does not evaluate credentials, it does provide information and referrals. CICIC has an impressive website that includes specific information on more than 100 occupational groups.
- Mazemaster provides a good self-assessment tool of your strengths and abilities. Click on Job Seeker and then click on Self-Assessment. You will need to create an account on this website to complete the self-assessment. Click on the ‘Create‘ button at the bottom of the page.
Find a reason to talk with a company:
- Bring customers to the company
- Call the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us to find the contact information for you.
71 Vancouver Public Library
Occupational Employment Sector Guides
Aircraft Maintenance Engineers & Technicians
Audio & Video Recording Technicians
Chefs & Cooks
Computer & Software Engineers
Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders
Drafting Technologists & Technicians
Electrical & Electronics Engineers
Electrical & Electronics Technologists & Technicians
Estheticians, Cosmetologists & Make-Up Artists
Financial & Investment Analysts
Food Technologists & Technicians
Geologists & Geological Engineers
Human Resources Specialists
Industrial & Manufacturing Engineers
Information Systems Analysts
IT Project Managers
Librarians & Library Technicians
Licensed Practical Nurses
Medical Laboratory Technologists & Assistants
Medical Radiation Technologists
Personal Banking Officers
Professional Engineers (General)
Real Estate Agents
Registered Nurses & Registered Psychiatric Nurses
Teachers – Elementary & Secondary
Translators & Interpreters
Urban & Land Use Planners
Web Designers & Developers
More Employment Information
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:
http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca > For Consumers > Choose a Life Event> Starting your First Job> Payroll Deductions: Where Does It All Go?
Standard payroll deductions from weekly or biweekly paycheques:
- income tax (money that helps to pay for the costs of government expenses, such as health care, roads and education). Your employer will calculate the amount of federal and provincial income tax to deduct from your earnings;
- Employment Insurance (EI) money that you pay every month that you work, so that if you lose your job, you may receive money from the government while you look for a new job). Employers deduct 1.78% from your gross earnings until you reach the maximum. In 2011, the maximum was $786.76; and
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP) money, which goes to the federal government so that when you retire after age 60, you will get a government pension cheque every month). Employers deduct 4.95% from your groww earnings over $3500 until you reach the maximum contribution. In 2011, the maximum was $2,217.60; as well as
- deductions for employee health benefits (medical and dental) and employer pensions.
A pay stub lists amounts of pay for the last pay period and from the beginning of his/her employment until present. An employee knows with each pay stub how much gross pay (without deductions) he or she has earned so far this year and the amounts of deductions. Net pay is the amount that will be deposited (put into) into an employee’s chequing account or given as a paycheque.
Provides information on hours of work, minimum wages and deductions from wages
Free Online Education
Coursera: list of free courses
Khan Academy: “It doesn’t matter if you are a student (or) adult returning to the classroom…”
Trade School: Barter your knowledge!
- Mango Languages: library database
- Livemocha: Provides instructional materials in 38 languages and a platform for speakers to interact with and help each other learn new languages. Build ‘credits’ by reviewing the work of other users
- Duolingo: Learn a language for free while helping to translate the web
- GCF Learn Free: a collection of very basic tutorials
- Monkey See: All of the videos are created in HD by professional producers, and feature accomplished experts who provide advice and demonstrations in deep detail
- Code Academy: learn to code for free
- Think Tutorial: “Free, easy, useful and straight-to-the-point”
- Udacity: “bridging the gap between real-world skills, relevant education, and employment”
B.C. Professional Associations
There is a professional association for every industry or job category. Each association has a website where you can find job postings, networking opportunities and industry information. Non-profit organizations are in the Red Book, http://redbookonline.bc211.ca. Other associations are in: www.cicic.ca, and www.charityvillage.com/cv/nonpr/profas.asp. You can also check with the local Chamber of Commerce. A professional organization helps you get information about current issues and trends in your field, and some associations put job postings on their websites. It is possible to join a professional association before you change careers.
Some benefits of attending professional association meetings include:
- Your professional network will increase, especially as you keep in touch with people regularly.
- You will learn about upcoming changes in your occupation, as well as key players (both people and workplaces).
- Others in your industry or business will become aware of you and your skill set.
- You can learn about culturally different ways of thinking about your occupation, and Canadian norms.
- You can learn about other companies who may be hiring new employees.
- The association may have an online or printed newsletter which has job listings.
- You can keep current in your industry while you are looking for a job.
- You can donate your time by getting involved in the association as a volunteer.
Below please find a partial list; check the Vancouver Public Library website for the full list:
- Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia
- Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (has a searchable membership directory)
- Association of Women Business Owners
- BC Biotechnology Alliance
- BC Care Providers Association
- BC College of Family Physicians
- BC Human Resources Management Association
- BC Industrial Designers Association
- BC Society of Laboratory Science
- British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce
- British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association
- Canada-India Business Council
- Canada China Business Council
- Canada Japan Society of British Columbia
- Canada Singapore Business Association
- Canadian Bookkeepers Association
- Canadian Council for International Business
- Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce
- Canadian Venture Capital Association
- Certified General Accountants Association
- College of Dental Technicians
- College of Licensed Practical Nurses
- College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Early Childhood Educators
- Italian Chamber of Commerce
- New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
- Registered Nurses Association
- Taiwan Chamber of Commerce
- The Hong Kong – Canada Business Association
- Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
In addition, look under:
- Western Economic Diverisification
- Canadian Youth Business Foundation (mentoring)
- Economic Indicators and Statistics
- LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
Other Helpful Sites:
- Life Reimagined For Work: how to start a business
- Immigrant Employment Council of BC
- Canadian Immigrant Magazine
The mission of canadianimmigrant.ca is to be the world’s online destination for Canadian immigrants, helping them to settle in Canada successfully as they move through their immigrant lifecycle. The Canadian Immigrant Magazine is a monthly publication distributed nationally and based in Vancouver and Toronto.
The February 2013 issue featured an article about job interviews: 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview (adapted).
After the prospective employer stops asking you questions about your experience, he or she will ask you, “Do you have any questions for us?” With this question, the prospective employer signals a shift, but the interview is not over. This may be the most important part, when you can respond with the following:
1) How would you describe a typical day in this position?
This question can provide you with information about the company’s culture.
2) What do you like about working here?
A job is more than a pay-cheque. For example, do co-workers get along with each other?
3) What growth potential do you see for this position?
If you would like to take on more responsibility, the answer to this question will tell you if this job will develop into more.
4) How would you describe the ideal candidate for this job?
The answer to this question will include soft skills, such as the ability to communicate and work well with others in a Canadian workplace.
5) Why did the position become available?
If the person who had the position before was promoted, then you know that the company promotes from inside. If the individual resigned, then that is different information, especially if it has a high turnover rate.
6) Now that you’ve met me, are there any challenges that you think that I would face in this position?
During the interview, the employer develops an idea of how you would perform in the position. By asking this question, you can gain information about the employer’s perspective of you as a potential employee.
7) When will a decision be made?
It is important to find out if it will be in a few days or a few weeks. If you do not hear back from the employer at the time that they specified, then call them or send them a follow-up email to ask if they have made a decision.
If they have chosen someone else, then ask for feedback about why you were not the successful candidate. This information can hrlp you to improve your interview skills or refine your job search strategy.
If a decision has not been made yet, then ask if there is any further information that you can provide about yourself to help them in making their decision.
8) Make sure that you send a thank you email or card the day after the interview.
- Canada InfoNet: Mentoring
- To find out more about Essential Skills in the Canadian workplace, go to:
- For information about the changing nature of work in Canada, go to:
Job postings for British Columbia in all industries, including career advice on resumes and interviewing.
- BC Statistics – Labour and Income
Information about the BC job market.
- Foreign Credentials Referral Office
Advice for people with foreign training on working in Canada.
Government of Canada employment opportunities.
Open Door Group (Formerly Kamloops Work Search Centres)
Information on local resources to help you in your job search.
Open Door organized a free local hiring fair on October 22, 2013, with 20 of Kamloops’ largest employers:
- Thompson Rivers University,
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
The job fair was located in the Interior Savings Centre in downtown Kamloops, and ran from 12:00 to 4:00. Job seekers arrived dressed for an interview, with their resumes, and ready to talk about their skills. For more information on the fair, please contact Kevin Watt at 866-377-3670 or email email@example.com.
Open Door has two locations:
- North Shore, 795 Tranquille Road, Kamloops, BC, V2B 3J3
Monday through Friday, 8:30-4:30
- South Shore, 100-275 Lansdowne Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 6H6
Monday through Friday, 8:30-4:30
Open Door offers personal employment planning, workshops and training, and specialized services. There are computer workstations, public telephones, a fax machine, and photocopy services.
Youth Employment Program
Are you struggling to find work? We can help!
All young people deserve a chance to reach their potential. The Kamloops Y is excited to deliver Youth Employment Services to unemployed 16 to 30-year-olds in Kamloops.
We provide information about career planning, finding a job, and what kinds of questions an employer can ask during the interview process. We provide:
• Job search information
• Resume writing tips
• Cover letter writing tips
• Knowing yourself
• Career planning
• Marketing yourself
• Interview tips
• Thank you letter writing tips
• Information on the hidden job market
We are located in the Work BC Employment Service Centres. Just ask for the Y!
For References, please go to the Kamloops Education section.
Kamloops Immigrant Services does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external website sources. Although we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy, currency and reliability of the content, Kamloops Immigrant Services accepts no responsibility in that regard. Informational materials are for educational purposes only, and are of general value.