I are a flower

Canada’s employment rate was 7.3 per cent in May and the consensus expectation is for it to stay the same in June when Statistics Canada makes its monthly report on July 6 —  at least one group expects it to rise a tick. The usual suspects of deteriorating confidence and unsettled international outlook are to blame. Lack of confidence might well be laid at least in part at the feet of those laying off workers — people who lack money to spend and who lack prospects for earning money to spend are not contributing (or feeling good about their prospects for contributing) to the economy.

That said, the Conference Board of Canada‘s Help-Wanted Index, which measures online job ads, actually rose in May. And if posted jobs are just the tip of the open-position iceberg, then it’s a logical extrapolation to think  that the numbers of hidden jobs must be growing as well.

There are a number of ways to go about getting those jobs — for example, you can do what I’ve been doing a lot, and applying for every opening (with your fingers crossed more for some than for others); or you can do what I’ve been doing a little as the job postings dry up:  researching companies you’d like to work for, and sending them targeted job applications.

Richard N. Bolles has made a career out of helping people figure out how to find their best job — and he must be pretty good at it, because his book, What Color is your Parachute, is currently in its 40th edition. And his website is JobHuntersBible.com — and you’ve got to be pretty authoritative to declare yours the last word in job-seeking orthodoxy. The book comes with a companion workbook to help job-seekers focus in on exactly what it is they’re looking for in order to narrow their job searches and more reliably end up with a job they really want — even when “there are no jobs.” On Page 1 of the workbook, readers are invited to think of themselves as six-petalled flowers, with each petal representing different wants and needs, and the centre made up of their skills.

For the exercise, readers are asked to list (all in order of priority) the values they want their employers to have, the special areas they want to work in, the people-environment they’d like to work in, the working conditions they prefer, the levels of responsiblity and salary they want and their chosen geographical locations. In the centre, they’re asked to list their top six transferable skills – physical, mental and interpersonal.

Once you are a fully realized flower, it seems, you can choose your own garden and blossom as opposed to throwing your petals to the wind.

This smacks of goal-setting to me, and as I’ve discussed, I’m not very good at that sort of thing, but it probably wouldn’t do me any harm to imagine myself as a beautifully scented wild rose with six vital petals and a bunch of black and yellow stamens in the middle with bees buzzing all around… Uncredited photo from website FreeAlberta.com

See, this is the problem with imagery, I get carried away with it… Anyway, next time you see me I will be a flower. And I will also spend some time studying my job hunter’s bible. Can’t hurt.