Social Media and Job Search

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So anyone out there actively looking for a job: you're using social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on) in your search, right?

If you're not, you may be missing out on opportunities. Employers are increasingly using social media to recruit and research potential employees and to post jobs and current news about the company or organization.

How Social Media is Changing Business — And Your Job Search (Mashable)

When you apply for a job the hiring manager will likely check to see if you're on LinkedIn. If you want to research potential employers and see if they're hiring, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (yes, Facebook!) are often the place where employers put their most up-to-date news and job postings.

A social media presence is key in creating your personal brand to market yourself to employers.

So what are you waiting for? While the upcoming sessions of our popular Career Basics: Enhancing Your Job Search Through Social Networking and LinkedIn: Get Your Profile Up and Running are full, check back at the end of the year for sessions running from January to April plus all new programs relating to business, job search and social media topics.

In the meantime, here's just a few of the great books and ebooks in our collection on using social media to help find the right job:

Books

Ebooks

Older Workers in Canada

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"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

Career Conversations—Law and Legal-Related Professions

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Interested in a legal careers? Visit us from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m. during our huge Law Connect event on Wednesday, October 23rd at the Central Library.

Sign up on event day to speak with people who work in the following professions to learn more what they do in their jobs:

  • Lawyer
  • Legal Assistant
  • Paralegals
  • Regulatory Analyst

 

Melissa is one of the volunteers on the 24th, and works as a regulatory analyst in Calgary. We chatted with her to find out exactly what she does, and how she got there:

Melissa, tell us a bit about your career path

After graduating from Bow Valley College, I went into matrimonial law. Gradually, I made the switch to regulatory law, and in June, 2013 I was offered a Regulatory Analyst position at a local firm. So what do I do? I am responsible for the scoping, execution, and commitment follow up of regulatory and environmental permits, approvals, notifications and commitments for new capital projects as they relate to local, provincial, state, and federal authorities with varying jurisdictions. I am also responsible for pipelines that are provincially regulated in the eastern part of the country, as well as federally regulated pipelines. I think my career path demonstrates that you can progress naturally into other fields and take other forms of education upon graduation.

Do you find your work interesting and meaningful?

I am challenged every day at my job, which makes my job more interesting. My employer trusts me to work independently, and I have the privilege to work with people who care about their company. I really feel as though my employer cares about honesty, hard work and integrity, something that’s often hard to find.

To find out more about this and other great legal related professions, drop by Wednesday and take part in the day's events:

Career Conversations: Law and Legal Related Services
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Central Library

You can also sign up in advance to meet with a lawyer in Law Connect: Legal Grounds Summary Advice Clinic (offered in partnership with Pro Bono Law Alberta) and learn more about local legal services during the Law Connect: Legal Resources Fair.

Contact us at 403-260-2782 with any questions.

Career Programs at the Library

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The Calgary Public Library offers regular free programs on job search and careers to library members. Below is just a taste of some of our upcoming programs. Go to our Programs page to see what else we have to offer this fall!

If you're interested in any of the programs below, you can either register online (click on program title) or by calling us at 403-260-2620.

Program

Date and Time

Location

Job Loss or Job Transition?
Learn how to cope with a layoff and explore new opportunities.
Discover how to create new strategies and how to
negotiate job offers in this interactive workshop.

Saturday, Oct 26

10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Central

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.

Wednesday, Oct 16

6:30 to 8:30 pm

Tuesday, Nov 5
6:30 to 8:30 pm

Monday, Nov 25
6:30 to 8:30 pm

Crowfoot


Thorn-Hill


Saddletowne

Career Basics: Interview Skills

Improve your skills by learning about different types of questions and
how to answer them. Workshops are led by professional career
practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection.

Monday, Oct 21

6:30 to 8:30 pm

Monday, Nov 4
6:30 to 8:30 pm

Village Square


Saddletowne

Career Basics: Resume Development

Learn how to create a professional resume to put your best foot forward.
Workshops are led by professional career practitioners from Bow Valley College's Career Connection.

Saturday, Oct 26

2:00 to 4:00 pm

Saturday, Nov 30
10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Signal Hill


Central

Love The Job You Hate: Yes, It's Possible!

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Do you feel stuck in your job, or are you day dreaming about a big change? You aren’t alone. Recent research has shown that 44% of North American workers are unsatisfied with their jobs. But is quitting or being miserable your only option?

Happily, it’s not. Due to popular demand, we've invited back coaches Ann Nakaska and Sue Styles as they present a Central Library workshops on how to Love the Job You Hate on Saturday, September 21st. Discover the top reasons employees quit their jobs, and learn the three keys to embracing the job you have.

Here's what they've had to say about work and job dissatisfaction:

Sue, in your experience as a career consultant, what are the major factors for job dissatisfaction?

Sue: In my experience, the feelings of frustration due to inter-personal relationships have a huge impact. I have heard repeatedly that people will stay at a job they don't like because the people are so great and they have built relationships.

Sue, you recently authored a book entitled "How to Enjoy Your Work." Did anything in particular inspire you to write it?

Sue: I meet and talk with employees everyday who confess they don't care at all about their role at work. In my own progress through different jobs I discovered how to enjoy my work even though I didn't like my job. There is value if you can develop an ability to focus on it, and I wanted to share my insights and strategies with others, whether or not they wanted to stay in their current situation.

Ladies, what are the signs that it’s time to quit and move on?

Sue: Seth Godin writes a fabulous little pocketbook called The Dip which addresses this question exactly. I read several years ago and it really helped me gain some objectivity. When the eight hours of one’s day is spent complaining, being frustrated, even perhaps feeling nauseas and overly stressed then it's definitely time for change!

Ann: The major signpost I use is energy levels. When I am feeling burnt out and have tried a number of different ways to solve the work issues, it’s probably a sign to start looking. That being said, I believe everyone should be actively engaged in their career planning process all the time. When people are more engaged and proactive, they are less likely to find themselves in the position of being unhappy at work.

What is your top strategy for taking charge and making a positive change?

Sue: One of my favorite quotes is "Accept conditions as they are or accept responsibility for changing them, " coined by Dennis Waitley. The first thing is to acknowledge your current conditions and then be determined to move towards the conditions you desire. It all starts with a viable vision and then a plan followed by action.

Ann: My top strategy is to be a proactive career planner. Career decision making happens every day in little ways that most people are not even conscious of. I encourage people to become more aware of the career decisions they are making.

How much control does the employee have in creating a better work experience for themselves?

Ann: I believe that people have much more control than they think they do. What they often don't have is the information they need to create a better work experience. Also, I believe the feelings of lack of control often come from seeing ourselves as "the employee.” Instead, we need to realized that we are an integral part of industry and that employers, customers and shareholders need us just as much as we need them.

Sue: My initial response is the same as Ann's—more than you think! Depending on the role and company, you can be instrumental in developing yourself as well as your role. Most businesses are not looking to make employees miserable. They want staff to take ownership and submit ideas, and they want people who want to grow with the company.

Unplug, Ditch the Cell Phone, and Make Meaningful Connections

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To say that I’m obsessive about LinkedIn wouldn't be far from the truth. I make it my business to convey to job hunters how crucial it is to have a snappy, completed profile, and write and deliver courses on the topic at the Calgary Public Library. So when I saw the title Link Out appear in our collection, my interest was tweaked.

It turns out that I heartily agree with Leslie Grossman and her premise that social media has it only partially right. That while it is a useful tool to reconnect and expand connections, only in-person and authentic one-one connections can truly build lasting, authentic, and powerful relationships. While not everything in the book is new, there are little gems and great action plans, especially for those of us who like lists. Case in point is her refresher course in etiquette:

  1. You had me at hello (look them in the eyes and make a positive first impression)
  2. Follow up Etiquette (do it right away)
  3. Lock down your cell phone (don’t be rude)
  4. Three strikes and you are out (remember people are busy and need reminders)
  5. Say thank you three times (don’t ever take your contacts for granted)
  6. Keep your entourage in the loop (keep them connected with their positive influence)
  7. Prove you can be trusted (do what you say you will do)
  8. Treat others how you would like to be treated (the golden rule)
  9. Pay it forward (focus on giving, not receiving)

All true and easy to set aside as life gets busy. And Ms. Grossman allays fears and networking anxieties with practical advice on quality over quantity of connections, how to break the process down, and (happily) how not to beat yourself up when you make mistakes or forget to send that thank you note.

Interestingly, this book aligns well with a recent article in Inc. Magazine, where author argues that traditional networking is dead, and to concentrate on quality not quantity.

And for those of you who want to get the ball rolling and put yourself out there, I'm really happy to announce that our Thursday evening Strategic Networking group is restarting on September the 5th at the Central Library. The flood of 2013 put the brakes on the group over the summer while the Library was closed, but we are all looking forward to meeting new faces and welcoming back old friends. Please stop by.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

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While Calgary continues to be an attractive and potentially lucrative destination for foreign born workers, the road to finding a great job is not always easy. On top of adjusting to a new culture and climate, there are often barriers to employment that include licensing and working requirements. This is particularly true for engineers and geoscientists, who often have extra hurdles, and we meet many of these new Calgarians at the Library every day.

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) regulates the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta, and has a website designed to help these workers.

But more was needed.

That’s why we were excited to learn of their new liaison, whose role is to listen, counsel, and help newcomers maneuver through the system. Recently interviewed for the industry magazine PEG, Guillermo Barreiro’s experience and qualifications make him uniquely qualified to help and provide an extra level of support.

And for those newcomers who are trying to understand and thrive in Calgary’s unique business culture and may have skill gaps, there are a wealth of local programs to choose from, including:

These and other program can also be found in Alberta Human Services Employment, Training and Career Services Directory. Understanding that it’s often tricky to keep on top of all the new and emerging employment related programs, they created this excellent and up-to-date resource to help keep you connected to all outstanding support available throughout the City.

Calgary Public Library also has a wide variety of books to help, including our popular You're hired-- Now What? : An Immigrant's Guide to Success in the Canadian Workplace. Make sure to talk with Library staff to help get connected to the resources, programs and events that can help you move your career forward.

Women in Work Boots

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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!

Career And Employment Agencies in our City Centre

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During our Central Library flood closure, we have been fielding many emails and calls from regular customers eager to update their resumes and push their job search forward. While Central will be closed for another few weeks, help abounds in the downtown core. Although many of Calgary’s career and employment centres were affected by the floods, all have been working incredibly hard to maintain or restore services to job hunters.

Here is the latest update as of July 10th:

  • Bow Valley College's Career Connection (150 – 615 Macleod Trail South) has now reopened, but without fax service
  • Due to the recent floods, the City of Calgary Youth Employment Centre has set up a temporary location to assist Calgary’s youth ages 15 – 24 with their career and employment needs. Beginning on Wednesday, July 10th YEC will be open, and youth can drop in anytime Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 4:30 p.m. at the University of Calgary Downtown Campus, 4th Floor Room 416, 906 8th Avenue SW. Call (403) 268-2490 for updates
  • Directions for Immigrants was affected by the flood and is therefore delivering temporary services out of Ford Tower (7th floor, 633 - 6th Avenue SW) and sharing space with the Francophone Connexion Carriere program. Call 403-355-1779 for updates
  • The YWCA’s new Employment Resource Centre (320 5th Avenue SE) is now operational, helping women find and maintain meaningful employment
  • The Alberta Works Centre (Century Park Place 5th Floor, 855-8 Avenue SW) is fully operational
  • Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (#200, 138 - 4th Avenue SE) is fully operational
  • Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (5th Floor, 1111 - 11 Avenue SW) is fully operational

 

We are eager to see our job searchers and networkers back at the Central Library as soon as possible, so keep your eyes on our website for updates on our ongoing career programs, weekly career tours, Career Coaching, and Strategic Networking.

True Grit

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For those of us based out of the Central Library, the last few weeks have been interesting. Suddenly displaced, trying to conduct our business as close to normal as possible, and dealing with the highs and lows experienced by our friends and neighbors, this crisis has really made me think: What allows some to adapt and cope better than others and what keeps us from feeling helpless, hopeless and powerless and instead be able to push forward and thrive?

“In the worst of times, there is always that person who, through amazing grit, shines, who makes ‘it’ happen in spite of all adversity….and that means using your grit to finish strong, even when the winds are blowing you back.”

The above quotation comes from Put Your Mindset to Work, a great career book that provides fascinating insights into the mindset it takes to win and thrive in a job. It provides sound strategies that can be applied to a host of challenging situations. And it’s much more than a positive attitude. Authors Reed and Stoltz start with the studied premise that “96% of employers picked mindset over skill set as the key element in those they seek and retain. Mindset utterly trumps skill set. Not by a little but by a landslide.”

The authors list the 3G Mindset for Success: Global (vantage point), Good (bedrock) and Grit. They expand on each of these three areas by focusing both on what employers are looking for and also how these mindsets can help employees retain and excel in a great job.

It was the Grit section that called me back over the last few weeks of turmoil. I agree that it’s our grit that can fuel us with what we need to forge ahead and make it through challenging times. According the authors, grit is comprised of our growth, intensity, tenacity and resiliency and their book provides tools, quizzes, worksheets and advice on how to explore, reflect on and improve these traits. Without a doubt, it’s that resiliency that’s proved so valuable to many of us in these past weeks, and will continue to be relevant in many facets of our lives.

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