Would you like to see a humourous but sadly accurate description of where many job seekers go wrong, as often today as 30 years ago?
In the sketch, a man seeks the assistance of a Vocational Guidance Counsellor to find a new, exciting job, because he is bored with his old job. He has thought about what he’d like to do; but he has no experience, no qualifications, and it turns out, at the end, that he doesn’t even have a correct understanding of what people in his “chosen profession” actually do!!
The antidote to his condition would be to conduct some ‘labour market research’. The term is an opaque one, inscrutable to many, but it simply means that the job seeker needs to find out the answers to some questions.
The basic questions are very simple: What can you do? Who wants you to do it? What will they pay you? In order to be useful, labour market information must pertain to YOU. Disguised in the silly sketch linked above is some pretty salient advice about what you need to look for when doing labour market research:
- Typical job descriptions in your field of interest (that can be compared to your personal inventory of qualifications and skills), like those found on websites such as Working in Canada.
- Typical wages or salary for the type of work you are seeking. Look online for salary surveys like those on Canada Visa and Payscale.
- The skills and qualifications typically required by employers for entry into your chosen field, like the ones found Working In Canada: Skills and Knowledge.
Once you have all this information, you will be much better able to focus a search for employers who have a need for your skills. We’ll address ways to find answers to that question in our next Radical Thoughts installment!
(To speak to a real-life vocational guidance counsellor, check out our Career Exploration services)