Meeting employment challenges

By Brad Everett Times Contributor

A new year often brings new beginnings, which for some individuals will mean taking steps to return to the work force after an absence.
But such a change doesn’t come without its challenges.
“There is a lot of competition for jobs, especially locally,” said Kristin Van Oene, senior career coach at McBride Career Group in Strathmore.
Part of the reason is that in addition to a lower number of job vacancies, many people are trying to find work locally rather than tackling the challenges of commuting to the city.
Even so, there are opportunities for those willing to do the work and stretch beyond their comfort zone.
For example, some people think the skill set they used in their previous employment is only applicable to jobs in that area – but not so.
“People need to identify their transferable skills that will help make them more employable,” said Van Oene. “They need to be open to the possibility that their particular skill set does not necessarily limit them to just one area of employment, but that they can prove to be a valuable asset in another field.”
This can be unsettling for some people, but for others who are looking for a change, it can be welcome news.
It’s also important to do research into possible employers before going for an interview or even sending in a resume.
“The more a person can learn about a company, the better, because with that knowledge they can then draw attention to how their particular skills will best help their prospective employer,” said Van Oene.
An important aspect of this is the resume – making it stand out, and identifying for employers those abilities and skills they are looking for.
“A good place to start with all of this is to meet with a career coach,” said Van Oene. “A career coach can help you with your resume (and) interview skills, as well as identifying transferable skills in a effort to broaden the pool of potential employers.”
Career counselling is available at no cost at McBride Career Group in Strathmore. You can drop in at 202 2nd Ave in Strathmore (the old Royal Bank building), or call 403-934-4305.