Labour Market Trends and Employment Counselling can guide Job seekers in the time of COVID

By: Maripi Leynes

The pandemic may have added more challenges in the search for the ideal job but it may have opened an opportunity to assess one’s goals and expectations. That may mean considering a career shift, an upgrading of skills to adapt to new opportunities or to jumpstart one’s career development plan while waiting for things to be back to normal.

Reassessment of goal and action

A timely virtual information session was organized by the UPAAT Education and Awareness Committee on November 26 to help with this reassessment of goal and action of jobseekers. This was presented by Norma Bernal, an employment counsellor at Skills for Change who was the guest speaker of event. She said that in the time of COVID, trends respond to change and employers adapt. Without mentioning it, so should job seekers learn to adapt. She spoke about the new normal where most job search is done online with little human interaction and everything is done virtually with no face-to-face and in-person interaction during interviews.

Identifying short-term and long-term goals

In her presentation on labour market trends, Bernal classified the information according to need. The first is for new immigrants to consider looking for survival jobs while settling in. She defines “survival job” as a short-term goal, something you take on out of necessity, because someone has to pay the rent and the bills, and not where you want to be in the long term, not until retirement. It can also be a part-time job you take while taking refresher courses or reviewing for a licensing or certification exam. For these job seekers, she recommends to read the article “Who’s Hiring in Canada” (updated November 25, 2020) by Juliette Faraut on LinkedIn. During the pandemic, there has been many job postings for essential workers and WFH (work from home). Some employers even offer incentives like higher rates (example, for PSWs). There are also new jobs created during the pandemic like “fulfillment associates, software developers” at Amazo