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

Tip of the month

February Tip of the Month

Every job seeker will realize at some point in their search that they will need to learn new, and maybe not so comfortable, job search skills.  Networking could be one job search task you are avoiding, but it is one skill that will increase your success. It may mean getting out of your comfort zone, but how far out depends on your definition of ‘networking’.

Networking is often confused with sales but if sales is a dirty word to you, you are probably sticking to simply firing off resumes to online postings, hoping for the best.

To accelerate your job search success, open your mind to this definition.

“Networking is the process of gathering, collecting, and distributing information for the mutual benefit of you and the people in your network.”  (Source:  Power Networking.  55 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success by Donna Fisher & Sandy Vilas).

No need to be aggressive and impersonal.  All you have to do is get to know more people outside of your current network.   The research supports that this is the best way to get leads.

In a 1973 landmark study called, The Strength of Weak Ties, Mark Granovetter of John Hopkins University, found that the best leads for job opportunities are more likely to come from your more distant acquaintances (weak ties) rather than your close friends (strong ties). Why? As explained by Cornell professors, David Easley and Jon Kleinberg in Networks, Crowds, and Markets, “The closely-knit groups that you belong to, though they are filled with people eager to help, are also filled with people who know roughly the same things that you do.” The point: our distant acquaintances have the ability to expose you to job openings that you and your friends just can’t know about.


 It’s less about selling yourself and more about developing mutually beneficial relationships.  You are networking for advice and information, you are not asking for favours or jobs.  Networking in this way will certainly enrich your life,  is less frightening, yet still very effective for job seekers.

In order to network, you do have to feel good enough to get out there and meet people.  Don’t neglect your own self-care.  Take care of yourself, take breaks, and be kind to yourself.  Your inner networker will shine through and help you get the job you want.

January Tip of the Month

New Year – New Job

Tips to Stay Motivated While Job Searching

Happy 2018! The New Year can be a great time to bring new energy into your job search.

Here are a few tips to get you started and help you stay motivated:

  • Set SMART Goals (and write them down):
    • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
    • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
    • Achievable (attainable)
    • Relevant (realistic and results-based)
    • Time bound (time-based, time-sensitive)

For example: Monday – reach out to two contacts for an informational interview; or apply for two jobs a week. Keeping a list where we can check things off as we go along can help to create a sense of accomplishment.

  • Take a Break: Yes, looking for a job can be a full-time job. However, taking a day off and looking after yourself is also an important part of job searching. Pre-determine days that are going to be “off days,” where you will re-energize, re-focus and relax. How you unwind is up to you, the important thing is making time to do it.
  • Buddy Up: Having someone to talk to or check-in with about your job search can be a valuable tool to staying motivated. Having someone to not only debrief with, but also to hold us accountable for the things we say we are going to do, can help us to stay on task. It can be hard to ask for help, but support is proven to foster more success.
  • Lend a Hand: See if you can find an opportunity to volunteer in the community. Volunteering allows us to connect with others, network, and could lead to employment. Giving to others creates positive energy and a sense of accomplishment, which can help to keep us motivated!

December Tip of the Month

Create Employment Opportunities by Volunteering

In celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Canada, Canadians are encouraged to join the Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge to promote Volunteerism in Canada and participate by engaging in volunteer hours in their community. Who has time to volunteer while doing an extensive job search?  Here are some benefits of volunteering that will help you with your job search and create employment opportunities:

Exercise your interpersonal skills – About two-thirds of volunteers benefit from improved interpersonal skills such as: verbal and non-verbal communication, listening skills, negotiation, conflict resolution and mediation, problem solving, decision making and communicating clear ideas in a team environment.  All of these skills will help you when working with your new employer and co-workers.

Networking opportunities – The more visible you are in your community the more you will be remembered. The additional people you meet increases your chances of someone telling you about a great job, or offering you a job after witnessing the work you’ve done at your volunteer position. The organization you volunteer for could give you a good professional reference.

Try out a new career possibility – Thinking about starting a new career?  Volunteering for a position in the field you’re interested in gives you the opportunity to try things out in a risk free environment.  By doing this you will receive a realistic picture of the career you think you want. For example:  Do you like the duties affiliated with the position?  What are the expectations of someone in that career? Will you need more training before accepting a job? The last question you may ask yourself is whether this the best fit for you.

Develop new skills – Volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and there is no better place to practice sometime new than in a volunteer position you’re interested in. Developing new skills will help you stay sharp and up-to-date with things like technology and/or machinery you haven’t had the chance to work on before. Your new skills will look great on your targeted resume.

Gain employment through volunteer work – the inside advantage. Employers respect an individual who gives to their community.  If the organization you are volunteering for has an employment opportunity open you can bet on them hiring a volunteer that has done a wonderful job for them already.  You have already been trained, demonstrated your enthusiasm, work ethic, productivity, and skills needed to do a great job. It just makes sense to hire you.

Have fun and enjoy – Volunteering can give you energy, excitement, fulfillment, a positive perspective on life and an up lifted spirit.  All qualities employers notice and are impressed with. If nothing else do it for the fun of it – it’s the Canadian way.

Volunteer Postings for Oceanside area http://www.oceansidevolunteer.org/our-programs

Volunteer Postings for Nanaimo http://www.volunteernanaimo.ca/volunteer-opportunities/

November Tip of the Month

Benefits of Seasonal Employment

While taking a seasonal job may not seem like an obvious step forward in your employment plan, these types of jobs can help you in many ways:

  1. Flexibility – seasonal jobs can fill the time gaps between other projects. For example: school, childcare, or another job.


  1. Earning Potential – several employers pay higher wages or offer signing bonuses for seasonal employment. Often there are more chances for overtime in short-term employment.


  1. Work and Travel – some employers pay the travel cost of getting you to a job in a different province or country. This gives you a chance to work, travel and explore new opportunities while on location. Accommodations may be paid for by your employer as well, which in turn keeps your living costs down.


  1. Finding Your Niche – seasonal jobs give you the opportunity to try out different jobs to see if they are a good fit or not. If not, then a short-term commitment is an alternative to resigning. If it’s something you enjoy then it’s a good introduction to a field you may want to pursue.


  1. Building Skills – each new job brings to the table a list of new skills to build on. For instance, good customer service skills will serve you well in every position dealing with the public. Many employers provide training courses which offer valuable certificates or tickets that will help you gain long term employment.  For example, First Aid, WHMIS, FoodSafe, Serving it Right, a Forklift ticket and many more. These are transferable skills that can be added to your portfolio and may be required in your next line of work.


  1. Building Character – starting a new job is exciting and can be a little nerve racking at the same time. New experiences help you to practice determination, self-control, patience, and eventually confidence. These are all good values that build characteristics which will impress your next employer.


  1. Employer Perks – some seasonal employers will entice you to join their team with perks. Who wouldn’t enjoy working a summer job and receiving employee discounts at a spa, free lift passes, or tickets to special events for example?


  1. Networking & References – the people you work with and for, can help you find other employment opportunities. For example, they may hear of other opportunities they feel you would be perfect for, or they may be a good reference for you in the future. The more people you impress the greater your chances are of finding that dream job you’ve been waiting for.


  1. Getting Your Foot In the Door – starting out with a seasonal position gives your employer a chance to see what you can do and gives you the opportunity to gain the skills you need to do the job. Often employers hire someone for work ethic and attitude, they can always teach you the skills you need.  If you impress your employer they will want to keep you and may offer you more work within their organization if possible.


  1. Resume Building – seasonal work will fill gaps in your resume. It will demonstrate your new skills, it will show that you’re flexible to try new positions, that you’re eager to work and that you’re a go-getter making things happen instead of waiting for things to happen.

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