Exploiting natural resources

A few years ago my young computer-nerd brother moved to another province to find work. He moved in with my older blue-collar brother and his family and reports soon started filtering back that the younger brother wasn’t working very hard at finding a job — he hardly ever came out of his room!

Not that it’s unusual for computer nerds (and I use that term with love) to shut themselves up in rooms, but my older brother, whose own job searches involved newspapers’ classified ads, telephones and a lot of shoe leather, completely misread what his sibling was doing in there. He didn’t realize that sitting at their computers was the way computer nerds found jobs.

Now, even more than then, a computer is the best online job search tool — particularly for white-collar workers, I admit to not knowing what it’s like for the trades — and especially if you don’t have a library nearby with friendly staff to help you. If you don’t have a computer but do have a library, you’re also in luck because along with all the other resources, most libraries also have computers the public can use.

Need to do research on an industry? Facts, figures and company profiles are at your fingertips, along with, generally and if you know how to look, names of people and contact information to find out more. Don’t know the first thing about putting together a CV? Kazillions of websites ready to help you with that — though you have to pick and choose carefully, because some of them have better information than others. And then once you’ve done that research, there are scads of websites with job listings — you can probably name half a dozen off the top of your head: Monster.ca, Jobboom.com, Workopolis.com, careerbuilder.ca, wowjobs.ca. Jobs.ca is a federal government website listing jobs across the country, and jobs.gc.ca is a website listing federal government openings across the country. Other websites will offer guidelines for your job search, commiseration, tips, a place to have a conversation with other job-seekers, and online is a fabulous place to network (though you should also do so face-to-face).

And if you don’t trust the information offered up by anonymousposter.com,  Service Canada’s website has a lot of really good information about applying for jobs in general, and with the government in particular, and also tells newcomers to the country what they need to know before they start their job searches. Every province has its own website giving particular information about conducting job searches there — and the ones I’ve seen are also good general resources. Some major cities, including Ottawa, also have on their municipal websites a lot of good information targeted at their local markets. I won’t link to them all, but they’re easy enough to find on your own, depending on where you are.

In short, you’re not alone. There is help to be had and it’s easy enough to find.

Seriously, when they say Canada is awash in natural resources, they usually mean water and minerals and oil and trees. This another kind of natural resource that is also there to be exploited — so make like a junior miner and find your gold mine!

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