Ask The Career Coach

What is the best way to find work?

I often tell clients that different methods should be used in looking for work.  If you ask most people how they found work, people will say that they found work by applying job search web sites, work fairs, friends and professional contacts.  Depending upon what web site you check, between 65% and 85% of people will find work through their professional and personal network.  If 65 – 85% of people secure work through their network, I advise clients to spend most of their time to build their network.

People talk all of the time about the importance about Networking. I am new to Canada and I don’t have a big network. Is it possible that I can network as well?

When we network, it is important to reaching out to people we already know and to grow our contact list as well.   I have worked with many clients who said that they did not have a big network as they were recent immigrants. Similarly, to professionals born in Canada or who have lived in Canada most of their lives, I always encourage people to contact anyone whom they may have met since they immigrated.  By speaking to people who are in the same profession or not, you can find out more about your job, career and industry.  Perhaps, you can meet with a person or by zoom, who is working in an industry that interests you.  By asking more questions, you can find out more about different industries.  I do suggest that you ask anyone in your network, whom you meet, if he or she may be able to suggest other people in his company or industry whom you can meet.  The more people whom you have introductory meetings, the greater probability that you will be introduced to decision makers who are making decisions.

I was recently laid off from my job during the Covid-19 pandemic period. Is there a way that I can start looking for a job now or should I wait til another time?

As all of us know, we are living in challenging times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  I am sorry to learn that you have lost your job.  I am coaching various people who have been downsized in the months of March and April. 

I recently shared with one of my clients who is looking for a job that now can be a good time to actively start looking for work, while at home.  Many corporate managers and leaders are working from their homes and they are carrying out their same job responsibilities as if they went to their regular workplace.

My client, Robert (not his real name) started to contact various people whom he has known since university and throughout his career. Recently, he has also reached out to new people whom he did not know and he has had online several zoom meetings. These meetings are often called information or introductory meetings.  Robert has found it easier to set up meetings with his contacts while they are at home than when they at their actual workplace.  During Covid-19,  Robert has found that some people have been empathetic to his situation and they wanted to do what they could to help.  They also were interested in finding the time to communicate with other people who have experience, working in different fields.  Robert also used this time to reach out to alumni of his university, members of professional business associations and linkedin contacts to set up information meetings.

I am not sure what to say to say to someone whom I wish to have an information or career research meeting. Can you please advise me?

What you communicate to people whom you want to have an information or career research meeting, will be dependent upon his / her role and how well he know him or her.  Without doubt, you will want to be more formal in your communication with people whom you don’t know.  If you already know the person or he/she is a friend, you may want to begin your conversation talking about your common interests or how you know one another.  If the person is someone whom you were recommended to call, refer to the person whom you commonly know in your message.  If you have met the person before and you found his contact name on Linkedin or another social media platform, here is a possible template to start your discussion.

Hi ______, I noticed that you and I are members of the same group on linkedin. I see that you have many years of experience working in the _______ field. I have also learned that you are a (name of profession) and you have over (number of years) experience work in this field.  I have always been interested in your working in this field and I would welcome your perspective and insight about working in the _____________ industry as I do my career search.   Would you be available to have a 15 – 20-minute Zoom or Skype or telephone meeting in the next week? Thank you for your consideration.

Please keep in mind that people don’t always respond to a message.  You may want to follow-up with him/her after 5 or 6 days if you have not heard from him or her.

Ask the Career Coach