How to make yourself stand out and be noticed
By Amy Ellen Soden, Staff Writer
The unemployment rate in Canada remains steady at 7.3%, we’ve heard this stat repeated over and over again in 2012, but what’s interesting is the significance this single statistic has for the younger generation and student demographic of the Canadian population. 7.3% of our national population constitute avid job seekers, qualified applicants, and creative entrepreneurs… so why are 7.3% of us unemployed?
It’s all about perspective and knowing what you have to offer.
One single percentage indicates how it has become increasingly important for students and young professionals to find new avenues to employment and career success given our current economic climate. It’s not enough anymore to fire off a few resumes and hope for the best. Combatting a saturated job market means smart, forward-thinking, and ingenuity-driven approaches to career success for even the best of the up-and-comers.
“The bathtub analogy.”
It is useful to understand the nature of the labour market in order to appreciate why unemployment rates seem to escalate quickly and decline so slowly. A recent MacLean’s article on the labour market recovery aptly describes how employment rates are determined by inflows and outflows: “hires represent the flows of workers employment, and separations are the flows out of employment.” To put it simply, separations subtracted from hires determines our employment rate. The analogy of a bathtub filling up with water (new hires) while simultaneously emptying down a drain (released employees) is a useful staple for describing this process. If the bathtub keeps filling up with water but none is released down the drain, then there are no outflows and saturated inflows. This is what we’ve been seeing in the Canadian job market.
The good news? Our unemployment rate is remaining fairly stable, job security expectancy is on the rise, and wage increases are expected in the coming fiscal year. The long story short is that we’re recovering and we’re recovering nicely. Heavy and wordy jargon – so what does it all mean? And why does this matter to Canadian students? It’s important to be aware of the environment that awaits students upon graduation. The labour market can take quick turns, which is why it has become a necessity to develop unique skill sets and to emphasize standout abilities.
“Make your move.”
Edmonton, Alberta currently has a 4.5% unemployment rate (the third lowest in Canada); Edmonton’s job market saw an increase of 3,500 jobs in July and August of this year alone. Booming industries currently include fishing, forestry, oil & gas, mining, business, support services and health care. Edmonton is a close 3rd to Regina, Saskatchewan’s 4.2% and Kelowna, BC’s 4.1% unemployment rates, suggesting that similar industries are seeing job market success in those cities as well.
So we’ve identified which cities have the lowest unemployment stats, and which industries seem to remain successful, but that’s just one way of looking at it. The point isn’t that Canadians don’t have to up and move to Edmonton to find a good job, or that students must relocate to the above cities out of necessity. It might be more useful to look at those stats from an optimistic perspective – noticing that there are opportunities for growth and improvement in the Canadian job market. If you want to live in Montreal, Toronto, or Calgary, it seems like opportunities abound there as well among some intense competition. It’s all about perspective and knowing what you have to offer.
Two of the best ways for students and young professionals to endure the changing nature of such an economic climate are as follows: be awesome (find what makes you different and what it is you do well), and be flexible (be willing to move for work, seek out new and booming industries, and expect the unexpected).
Opportunities for growth and expansion abound if students seek out new modes of entering the job market – forming a creative roadmap for career entry may mean moving, it may mean examining new entry points to a chosen career via a different industry, or it may simply mean starting small and working towards something bigger. All the while, it remains critical to have a foundation of understanding relevant to labour markets, employment rates, and how those factors can affect us in the months and years to come.
Stay current and stay confident – generation Y has a lot to offer the Canadian job market. Savvy students are breathing life into recovering cities both on the east coast and out west. It’s up to us to play a pivotal role in the changing face of the Canadian economic climate to the best of our ability.
Amy is a recent graduate of the Sauder School of Business holding a Master’s degree in Business Management as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She is interested in marketing & advertising, PR & communications, arts & culture, and new business development.
Personal Blog & Portfolio: http://definebusiness.wordpress.com/
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