by Stella Shepard
Career Development Services (CDS) has provided job search and career counselling support across PEI since 2003. Here is a look at what help clients need and are getting with the job search.
Nicky Perry is a Career Development Practitioner with CDS based out of Souris. Nicky recently did a question-and-answer interview with The Employment Journey.
Q: What are the employment needs of CDS clients? Are they searching for full-time, part-time, seasonal, entry-level positions, or specialized areas of employment?
A: “Clients often seek full-time or seasonal employment but there are also many who seek part-time roles where they can work around school, family, or other obligations.
“The employment needs of clients are diverse and often shaped by the opportunities available in their communities. In rural areas, for example, there are more opportunities for seasonal jobs tied to major industries such as fishing, farming, and tourism.”
Q: What are some of the specific employment opportunities in your area?
A: “Many industries typically increase their hiring in spring and summer. There have been job fairs for seasonal sectors such as tourism and hospitality, and job opportunities with farming, construction, restaurant, and retail businesses.”
Q: What are employers looking for when hiring?
A: “Aside from skills and qualifications required for a position, employers often tell me that they want workers who are dependable, trainable, and able to work effectively with other people. In many businesses, the owner often wears several hats, so workers with personal initiative and accountability who require less managing stand out.”
Q: What are some of the challenges job seekers are being confronted with?
A: “Some common job search challenges include a lack of experience or skills for the available jobs, and a lack of opportunity in a job seeker’s area of expertise in their community. Childcare and transportation are also long-standing challenges, in addition to finding jobs that provide a liveable wage.”
Q: How well are clients navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of job searching?
A: “Even before COVID-19, the job application process was moving online and through email. Now there is a bit less opportunity for the type of personal networking that happened when people were out in the world more, either socializing or attending professional events in person.
“There is a greater sense of isolation for some people who are not active on social media or able to access online resources, and many are frustrated with the extra precautions required for many daily activities.
“Some clients have expressed reservations about working in certain service roles impacted by pandemic restrictions, with specific concerns around personal safety and working enough shifts per week to meet their financial needs.”
Q: What advice could you offer job seekers struggling to secure employment?
A: “There are still ways to connect with employers and find opportunities, but there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. Job seekers can create a supportive network of personal and professional contacts of organizations like CDS.
“During uncertain times, hope can be fragile, but people can often look to past challenges for evidence of resourcefulness and resiliency.”
For more information about Career Development Services, visit www.cdspei.ca
Funded by the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Agreements.