#110 - 198 East Island Hwy, Parksville, BC V9P 2H3      Tel. 250.248.3205   Fax. 250.248.4154

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Tip of the month

February Tip of the Month

The Volunteer Connection

Often volunteerism and employment, including job search, tend to fall into two separate categories in most people’s minds, and for many there isn’t time to engage in both simultaneously. However, for job seekers, and also those who are underemployed or precariously employed, volunteering can lead to actual employment. Indeed, volunteering can even lead to a dream job.

When we consider working for free, or volunteering, we tend to make placement choices based on interests, passions and a sense of ethical responsibility. There are so many great options, including working with vulnerable populations, animals, or environmental protection. Volunteering, for most people, is about giving back and/or community engagement in a way that really resonates with who we are and what drives us. What many don’t realize is that volunteering is also a powerful assessment tool, particularly if we are considering actual employment in a specific area, and especially if we are planning to invest time and money via education in order to work in said area. For example, having a love for animals generally motivates people to train in the field. However, there are likely aspects of a job working with animals that animal lovers may find difficult or even impossible, such as euthanasia.

Investing a few hours of volunteer time to ensure a particular career choice is a solid fit is well worth it, especially as the cost of post-secondary training is expensive. The cost of being in an unsustainable job, with stress and subsequent job loss is immeasurably high. By volunteering you get the information you need to assess whether or not a career in that field is a good fit, and you also get to give back in a way that is tangible and significant. It’s a win/win!

All altruism aside, perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of volunteering is that it often leads to actual employment, and/or contributes to hands-on experience in your employment target. Many volunteer positions offer free training and all of this makes your resume significantly stronger and more effective. Volunteering also provides an excellent venue for marketing your skills/abilities, as well as networking to other potential employers. It’s a “boots on the ground” approach to your job search that cannot be understated! For more information about the benefits of volunteering, as well as resources for finding awesome volunteer opportunities, check out: https://www.workbc.ca/WorkBC-Blog/Read-WorkBC-s-Blog/Three-Benefits-of-Volunteering.aspx.

For local opportunities to volunteer check out Oceanside Volunteer Association.

January Tip of the Month

New Year, New You

Many of us set the bar high for January in terms of ditching “bad” habits and starting the year with “good” behaviour. While we tend to have great intentions, we sometimes forget that when it comes to setting goals, it is imperative we set goals that are achievable. Setting ourselves up for success builds self-esteem, which in turn fuels future success.

Self-Awareness vs Self Judgement

Change is often precipitated by feelings of not being good enough in some capacity, as compared to others. When we compare ourselves to other people, we forget that we each possess our own gifts and abilities, and each of us is unique. Spending time reflecting on what we enjoy doing and what inspires us is the key to discovering our “super power.” Tools that can help include exploration through writing/art, connecting with community groups/organizations that interest you, and taking the time to reflect upon previous positive experiences.

Set Realistic Goals

Research clearly demonstrates the link between achieving goals and building self-esteem. Conversely, failing to achieve goals can undermine our feeling of self-efficacy and have negative impacts on mental health. This is important to remember when setting goals for ourselves. Make sure goals are measurable and attainable in order to keep the momentum moving forward. It may seem as though we are setting the bar low for ourselves, however evidence shows that building on small success is more effective in the long run.

Acknowledge & Appreciate Your Success

When you achieve a goal, however small, take the time to pat yourself on the back. Tooting our own horn can feel a bit awkward, however it is essential in terms of building the self-esteem required to move forward with our transformation.

A great way to start off the new year and gain clarity on your personal strengths and transferable skills, understand job search essentials, complete your resume and cover letter and hone your interview skills is to sign up for the 2020 Employment Vision week long workshop series January 20 to January 24th.  As a bonus for completing this series you have the opportunity to obtain a first aid certificate at no cost to you. For more information contact us at 250-248-3205.

December Tip of the Month

Tips for Holiday Self Care

Another holiday season is upon us. The season can bring stress, disappointment, and overindulgence. During the season it is easy to lose sight of what keeps us physically and mentally healthy. A little thought and planning will help you stay grounded so you can survive this holiday season.

Exercise is key – During the holidays most people skip their workout to make room for other seasonal activities. Physical activity is important because it reduces stress, improves mood and concentration, and fights depression. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or take a long run, simply scale back. Research shows that even just ten minutes of daily exercise helps with positive thinking and re-energizes you in order to keep you going throughout your day.

Get in touch with gratitude –Gratitude can help with stress and depression. Research shows that simply thinking the question, “What am I grateful for?” increases dopamine and serotonin, even if you can’t actually think of an answer. Just searching for things to be grateful about builds stronger positive emotional pathways in your brain.

Protect your sleep – Chronic sleeplessness and poor sleep can mess with people’s emotional and physical health. The holiday season can be stressful and many of us don’t sleep as well this time of year. Consistent quality sleep will make you and your family happier and healthier over the holidays. Cut back on caffeine and eliminate it entirely after 2 pm. Skipping naps, especially the ones that find you sprawled on the couch after a big meal, will improve your ability to fall asleep at night. And though it’s tempting, take a pass on the goodies in the cupboard or leftovers in the fridge for at least three hours before bed. That way, heartburn, indigestion, or a sugar headache won’t keep you awake.

Feel your feelings – The holidays often bring up strong feelings for people around everything from family losses, to meeting the high expectations of visiting family. Most of us would rather avoid those difficult emotions through the holiday traditions of eating or drinking rather than just accepting that it is natural to feel them this time of year.

The Career Centre will be closed December 25, 26 and January 1st. However, we will be open all other weekdays. If you are feeling the stress of your job search during the holiday season come in and to learn more about how we can support you during this time.

November Tip of the Month

Accessing the Hidden Job Market

The elusive hidden job market: chances are you have heard the statistic that 80% of new hires occur within the hidden job market. While that seems intimidating, do keep in mind that employee referrals rank pretty high as the actual source. But what about the other mass of new hires? How did they even get considered if the job wasn’t formally posted anywhere?
This is the essence of the hidden job market: finding jobs that are not immediately apparent to the public eye. Opportunities are usually identified by a combination of research and industry events. When you pay attention to what is happening at your target companies and within your target market, you can begin to anticipate their future needs.

Ways to tap into the hidden job market:

1. Local newspapers: Read your local newspapers to see what is happening in your area. One of your targeted companies may be expanding or offering new products which may open up new employment opportunities that fit your skills.

2. Attend local networking events. The Career Centre in Parksville has weekly networking opportunities on Wednesday evenings for a chance to meet other job seekers who may have the inside scoop on jobs that are not advertised.

The Chamber of Commerce holds monthly Business-after-Business events where members showcase their businesses to other members. These events provide an opportunity to meet other business owners and market yourself to them. The Chamber also hosts nine dinner meetings throughout the year.

3. Target specific employers: As you drive or walk around your area pay attention to the businesses. Do you know what they do? Would you like to work there? Do your research.
Use membership directories such as the online Yellow Pages, Chamber Membership Listings, and Canadian Business Directory to identify a list of prospective employers that you want to connect with. Make a cold call – have your “Branding You” spiel prepared so you are comfortable marketing yourself.

4. Visit the Career Centre in Parksville and attend our workshops or work one-on-one with an Employment Consultant to assist you as you prepare for new employment.

Career Centre

#110-198 East Island Hwy,
Parksville, BC V9P 2H3
Tel. 250.248.3205
Fax. 250.248.4154

Mon-Tues 8:30am-4:30pm
Wed 8:30am-6:30pm
Thurs-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

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#110-198 East Island Hwy
Parksville, BC V9P 2H3
Tel. 250.248.3205
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-4:30pm