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

As a community, we have done well at being kind, being calm, and being safe.
With many safeguards in place at our local businesses, and as vaccinations roll out,
we can also be involved, be productive, and be a part of Building Back Better!

We are here to assist you with your return to work search, training and employment. Call us at 250.248.3205.

Tip of the month

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.

October Tip of the Month

Micro-Enterprise Your Talents

Self-employment may strike fear in some people, especially if you are a person with a disability, but it does not have to be that way.  We all hear stories about entrepreneurs that work 24/7 and do everything in their business, but that is not for everyone.  Hire yourself by turning what you enjoy doing and are good at, into a business to earn an income.  A micro-enterprise gives you the flexibility to work around your personal and lifestyle requirements, develop skills, gain independence, and feel a sense of purpose.

The first step is to determine if a micro-enterprise is a good fit. Find out what situations you thrive in and what supports and skill sets you might need other people to provide. Make a list or ask people that know you really well, what they think you could do and how they can help you.  If you uncover business ideas that you think might be a fit, it’s time to go into greater depth exploring them.  If you are not going for a business loan, you might want to consider a lean start-up approach.

“Lean Start-Up’ is an approach that ‘favours experimentation’ over elaborate planning; customer feedback over intuition; and iterative design over traditional ‘big design up front’ development”’ (‘Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything’ by Steve Blank).

The Business Model Canvas is a great tool to evaluate your ideas and make a choice.  Not sure what that is? Here is a 2-minute video explanation:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoAOzMTLP5s

If you are unemployed and need to work part-time, give us a call and perhaps our local WorkBC staff can help you work through this discovery process.


Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP)


The Launching Pad: Exploring Micro-Enterprises for People with Developmental Disabilities (includes success stories)


Self-Employment Program (SEP) for PPMB & PWD




September Tip of the Month

September is Disability Employment Month in BC

September is a time to celebrate and recognize inclusive employers and the important contribution people with disabilities make in the workplace.

If you have a disability and are seeking employment, you may be torn on whether to disclose your disability to the prospective employer.

Firstly, you have no obligation to disclose your disability, but consider your strengths and barriers and apply for a position in which you will be successful. For example, if you have issues with your back you probably don’t want to apply for a position loading trucks.

Secondly, ensure you can do the job safely. Employers may have bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR) for certain positions. For example in order to perform their jobs safely, persons employed as drivers require acceptable vision and an appropriate driver’s licence.

The more you can get to know the employer and what they are looking for can help you find and market yourself to the prospective employer. How can you learn more about employers? Some ideas could be to attend our Beyond the Postings workshop to learn more about informational interviewing, look at prospective employer website and facebook pages to learn more about their culture, or check out employers listed on Canada’s Best Diversity Employers https://www.canadastop100.com/diversity/. As well, we are here to assist you and have a team of staff ready to discuss and brainstorm your strengths and job search strategies to help you find the right employer.

So you’ve found the perfect job and have an interview! Employers legally cannot ask if you have a disability in an interview. An employer can ask if you are able to meet the requirements the job – for example are you able to lift 30 lbs?  You may want to disclose you have a disability if you require accommodations for your interview (such as an accessible entrance and hallways). However, you are not legally required to disclose your disability if you do not need accommodations.  The publication, Disclosing Your Disability – A Legal Guide for People with Disabilities in BC, produced by the Disability Alliance of BC, has great information on disclosing your disability and accommodations, including a table on the advantages and disadvantages of disclosure at various stages of your job search.

At the end of the day statistics show hiring people with disabilities benefits an employer. Presidents Group – a network of change-driven BC business leaders who are champions for more accessible, inclusive workplaces list the following benefits for hiring persons with disabilities on their website:

  1. Improved Productivity – Research shows that diverse and inclusive workplaces are:
    • 2x more likely to meet or exceed financial targets
    • 6x more likely to be innovative
    • 6x more likely to effectively anticipate change
  2. People with Disabilities Make Great Employees – Among employees with disabilities:
    • Staff retention was 72% higher
    • 86% had average or better attendance
    • 90% performed equal or better than their coworkers without disabilities
  3. Expanded Consumer Reach
    • The spending power of people with disabilities is over $55 billion dollars
    • 90% of consumers prefer to engage with companies that hire people with disabilities

Basically, hiring people with disabilities is a good business practice.

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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Career Centre logo

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