Conestoga news

March 14, 2013 3:37 PM

Developing new skills leads to job-search success

George's job search began about two years ago when he decided to relocate back to Canada from Europe, where he'd been living and working for thirty years. He still had contacts in Canada (family, friends, colleagues), so he thought he would have a good chance at re-establishing himself.

He soon realized that it was going to be tougher than he had first thought. George had three sets of skills: music performance, music teaching and language teaching. All of his contacts in Canada were in the music industry, so this was his first job-search target. He sent out dozens of resumes to HR addresses and didn't receive a single reply. Not even "Thank you, we'll let you know." Something was wrong.

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) program helped George develop a new approach to his job search. "I had been sitting at a computer expecting a job to arrive by email," George said. "TIOW taught me that looking for a job is a full time job in itself. There are skills required, just like any job, and I began to learn them. I learned to cover all the bases: I developed three resumes, one for each skill set, and started sending them out. I networked. I learned that networking is an attitude, a state of mind. Some of us do it unconsciously, but others, (like me), need some clues. TIOW gave me those clues."

George began to think of networking as targeted socializing. "Through networking I got some very good work in music," he said, "but I didn't trust the long-term viability or security of that kind of work, so I kept covering the other bases."

Finally, last November, a consulting firm George had contacted a year before offered him a part-time contract. "On my first day of work," George said, "I added the employer to my resume and resent it everywhere. Immediately I received job offers from two other companies. Now I am working full time as a language consultant in Toronto. Thank you TIOW!"