Discover Careers in Banking and Insurance

by Roberta - 1 Comment(s)

Canadian banks are coming up roses amidst global economic instability. Home to some of the strongest banks in the world, the sector is growing and diverse. According to Banks and the Economy, nearly 2/3 of the workforce is comprised of women. Moreover, full time positions have surpassed the 80% marker.

Given the increased need for workers in this sector, and those in the insurance industry, Calgary Public Library is pleased to once again be hosting Discover Careers in Banking and Insurance on Tuesday, September 30th at the Central Library.

This full day event is designed to provide comprehensive introductions to both sectors during morning information sessions, followed by a hiring fair in the afternoon. And to round out the day, we have invited local career practitioners to review resumes in the afternoon while you are waiting to speak to a recruiter, and have invited representative from Mount Royal University’s Financial Services Programs to be on hand to answer questions.

Confirmed recruiters include:

Servus Credit Union, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Canadian Western Bank, National Bank of Canada, Alberta Treasury Branch, Dejardins, Rogers Insurance, Aviva Canada, Northbridge, Intact Insurance, and the Insurance Institute of Canada

Need advice on how to prepare for job fairs and how to make the most of your first meeting with one of these companies? Review our previous blog post on strategies – you can never come too prepared.

We are excited to be partnering with The Insurance Institute of Canada, The Canadian Banker’s Association, and Alberta Job, Skills, Training and Labour to offer this career exploration event. To register for the morning session use our online registration link or call 403-260-2620. For the afternoon hiring fair, simply visit us at the Central Library. Don't forget your resume!

Older Workers in Canada

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

"With the leading edge of the baby boom generation now in their mid-sixties, there is considerable interest in how and when these individuals will retire. To help place this issue in a broader context, this paper provides information on the employment histories of individuals who were aged 33 to 38 in 1983 and aged 60 to 65 in 2010."

(Executive Summary, An Overview of the Working Lives of Older Baby Boomers)

A new Statistics Canada survey, An Overview of the Working Lives of Older Baby Boomers, highlights the work experiences of older baby boomers (for this study that means those between 1945 and 1950) and finds that these olders boomers are likely to have worked long-term—more than 12 years—in one position and with one employer.

"Baby boomers mostly hold jobs long term, StatsCan says" (CBC News, October 2, 2013)

As the population of Canada ages so too will our workforce. Living longer (and healthier) means more older Canadians will be part of the workforce.

"Five Financial Realities of Living Longer" (Globe and Mail August 19, 2013)

Most of us will work several different jobs and even have to reinvent ourselves in new careers or by starting our own businesses. Mid-life career change is a hot topic right now. If you're looking for more information on this or related topics, you may want to check out some of our many books on this or register for our popular Mid-Life Career Change program:

Career Basics: Moving Forward—Mid-Life Career Change

Learn about the unique challenges and opportunities that come with looking for work mid-life, along with resume strategies. Workshops are led by professional career practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection.

Monday, November 25, 2013
6:30 to 8:30 pm
Saddletowne Library

Book & ebook

Women in Work Boots

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

There’s a new gal in town with a Backer Board and a mission.

She knows that if you were to ask a group of high school girls what they know about the variety of work in the trades, it’s pretty likely their knowledge on the subject would be slim. The industry continues to battle an image problem, especially with women who last year represented only 4% of those working in the construction trades. Yet for those women with successful careers in the industry, they are quick to point out many advantages: their ability to advance in the profession, continual learning, and gratifying, tangible, and independent work.

The Canadian government is working to create greater economic opportunities for women in many sectors, including non-traditional occupations, especially given current and looming shortages. They admit however, that there is a serious lack of knowledge about hands-on professions, which contributes to the problem. Post secondary institutions are working hard to improve and change the situation, along with business, government, and industry groups. But more inspiration is needed.

Here’s where Calgary’s Jill Drader comes in. An educator at SAIT, Tile Setter, and consultant associated with the skilled trades since 2007, Jill recently created the Women In Work Boots site. By sharing stories of local women working in a wide variety of trades, her mission is to inspire more to make career changes, own and run a related business, or explore the industry as a viable option after high school. And stories are important. Subtle changes in the way women talk about their roles in construction and how they got started in the industry will go a long way in bringing more women to it, according to Debbie Wadsworth, female construction leader and former president of the Canadian Association of Women in Construction in a recent interview. "Sometimes the things that count are really subtle, like what you do, how you got there, or talking about how much money you make.”

Featuring links to education, industry resources and apprenticeship guidance, Jill’s site is an excellent supplement to provincial initiatives such as Tradesecrets. But I was curious about mentorship opportunities, and asked Jill for her opinion and to share where this whole journey is taking her:

Jill, let's talk about mentorship opportunities. Do they exist in Calgary, and how important are they?

Mentorship is a critical part of passing on relevant information to women thinking of entering the industry. I've found career fairs sometimes have female mentors working the booths for various companies as recruiters, or as union members. I've also seen third part organizations create interactive career fairs and use round table discussions featuring mentors to deliver and share information.Unfortunately, there are so few women in the skilled trades that to take a percentage of those and make them visible mentors would prove challenging. This speaks to why I started the website: one, to use stories as a means of mentoring, and second to use the advice offered in the stories as a means of coaching women by using a web platform of storytelling.

What kind of feedback have you had to the site?

It’s been incredible. I've had emails from across Canada and USA, and even the UK and Australia, from women who found and follow the site. I've had the provincial government and oil and gas companies ask me to do events, public speaking, and conventions speaking about the the project. I've had representatives of the government call me to thank me for Women in Work Boots, and my MLA office is helping me. I have men emailing me and asking for advice. And most important, the women whose stories I featured and shared have told me they cried because they were so proud to read their journey and the way I told it. It brought to light that their work is meaningful, important, and a source of pride, which was my goal.

What is next on the horizon for you?

Taking this information to national and international audiences. Currently, I'm in Toronto waiting for a meeting with a national TV network that found me and invited me for an audition/interview of a show they want to pitch to me. This proves my previous point, that this movement was created to spread organically and wholeheartedly through storytelling and word of mouth.

This fall, I will be launching a digital magazine version of the website. I'm also writing a few chapters for a U.S. Women's Study program that asked me to contribute to their course, Women Work and the Web. And it turns out that I found a missing link to women in the trades: business education, and how it will enable men and women to run a great enterprise. With an industry in such high demand, I find that those hard at work often don't have any extra time to study, explore and learn more. To address this, I've created an online course to launch this September where they can purchase, download, and learn business trade fundamentals at their own pace, with access to me and my team for questions and follow up.

Oh, and raising my 1 and 3 year old sons is the first priority!

Employer Sleuthing

by Roberta - 1 Comment(s)

Canada’s Oil and Gas industry will need to find a whopping 125,000 to 150,000 new workers by 2022, according to a new report by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada. With issues such as retirements and turnover, compounded by strong industry growth, there is a heavy demand for skilled workers in the sector.

Hence, the upcoming Global Energy Career Expo June 12 & 13 at Stampede Park, a chance for job seekers to meet face to face with recruiters. Words of advice for attendees this year, however: come prepared. I spoke with recruiters after last year’s event, only to find out that the majority of attendees were going to employer tables without targeted questions, and without knowledge of the company or industry. One recruiter told me “When I asked what kind of job this gentleman wanted and why, he responded, 'Well I don’t know, I just want to work for your company.' He knew almost nothing about our company. And he expected me to look at his resume and figure out what he’d be good at our company, or our how he’d fit in. That’s not my job. That’s his.”

Being properly prepared for these opportunities is my theme when I present at the Oil and Gas Job Search Boot Camps: Employer Sleuthing: How to Research Employers and Stand Out in a Crowd. We also came up with a cheat sheet of suggested questions when researching employers, maybe a few you haven’t considered. Library staff answer questions like this on a daily basis, so don't hesitate to contact us at 403-260-2782 if you need research support.

Employment Agencies—Hope or Hype?

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

This Saturday, October 22nd, come to the Central Library to take advantage of our Accelerate Your Career All-Day Career Event.

Sabrina Souliere, President of Executive Steps, will be at the library to discuss Employment Agencies—Hope or Hype?.

We asked Sabina a few questions about the current job market in Calgary and about employment agencies.

What is your impression of Calgary's work environment right now? Do you see that companies and organizations are starting to hire again?

The market is in a positive hiring situation. Many businesses are hiring fast to hire the best talent that fits their culture; from oil and gas and all related service industries, to retail and manufacturing sectors.

Are there any industries in particular that are currently showing a high growth activity?

According to Statistics Canada, growth industries in Alberta are: technical, scientific, and hospitability to name a few. What we are seeing in the recruiting world is companies wanting and needing to use services in order to find the best talent that fits, both the skills, and of course in organizational culture fit.

How do you feel the Calgary recruiters are poised to help professionals get hired? How do employment agencies help in this process?

Employment agencies help to qualify and source talent. Recruiters allow companies to circumvent the long, expensive process of managing many candidates applying for jobs, and bring forward the best fit for the role in the company. Employment agencies also offer candidates additional methods for making connections with hiring managers at potential employers who have relationships with these recruitment firms. In short, agencies give candidates or job seekers more options and access to an abundance of jobs to which they may otherwise not have access.

Sabina Souliere is the President of Executive Steps Inc and has more than 13 years of experience in the specialized staffing industry. Sabina will be presenting Employment Agencies—Hope or Hype? during the Accelerate Your Career All-Day Career Event this Saturday, October 22nd at the Central Library. Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.