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MAY 2012

Columnist Ron McGowan explores the decline of the 20th-century job 4


Dragon’s Den small-biz hopefuls


What not to wear to a job interview 5


Surrey Bollywood could mean jobs 6

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Aerospace seeks savvy recruits



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Over 40 and out of work?


University degree may not “work”


Trading up Major projects throughout province may spark need for more tradespeople



Growth in various industries throughout British Columbia means skilled trades workers – and students thinking about their career options – may look forward to future employment. With plans for everything from ships to ski resorts to power projects in the works, more and more tradespeople will be needed to build – and, in some cases, staff – all sorts of new ventures. According to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation – which recently announced

that a record-breaking number of skilled tradespersons qualified as journeypersons this year – 104,600 or so trades jobs should open in B.C. in the next decade. This thanks to major projects like the federal shipbuilding contract won by Seaspan and the Northwest Transmission Line, which are creating trades jobs – now and in the coming years – that need to be filled by skilled men and women. “There are great opportunities in our province for skilled workers, and now more than ever we need men and women to choose a career in the trades,” said Minister Pat Bell.

“Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time, re-entering it or changing careers, there is an opportunity in the trades for you. It’s an exciting career path, and it’s great to see that this year we’re seeing a record-breaking number of apprentices qualifying for their certification.” Nearly 8,760 certificates of qualification were awarded by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) in 2011-12 – the highest number of certificates awarded since the ITA was established in 2004 – at a time when the provincial economy needs them the most. A certificate of qualification, known

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on the job site as a “ticket,” is a credential issued to skilled tradespersons who meet industry-developed standards for theoretical knowledge and workplace proficiency within a trade, either by completing an apprenticeship or a challenge assessment. With it, a tradesperson can command full market value as a journeyperson and act as a mentor for other apprentices. “This milestone achievement provides evidence that B.C.’s industry training system is performing at the level required to meet see Highest page 2


MAY 2012




1. A new ski resort in the Kootenays could mean jobs for such tradesworkers as professional cooks. 2. B.C.’s construction industry will need to attract more tradesworkers if it hopes to meet hiring requirements for planned projects.


3. Skilled tradespeople will likely be needed to help Seaspan Marine construct non-combat ships under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy program.


Highest in-demand trades from Trading page 1 B.C.’s skilled labour demands,” said ITA CEO Kevin Evans. “The record demand for an ITA credential demonstrates how highly valued it is by both employers and skilled tradespeople.” Just what types of trades are expected to be in highest demand in the coming years? To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at industry activity – and major projects – throughout the province. CONSTRUCTION According to Statistics Canada, construction spending in the Lower Mainland posted its fourth annual gain last year – and is shaping up to be even stronger this year. “The non-residential investment turnaround in 2011 is a positive sign,” said Keith Sashaw, president of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA). “We saw a large rise in November building permits, and we expect the fourth-quarter permits to come in higher than the third.” This combined with improving market conditions in Vancouver commercial real

estate and general economic growth in Metro Vancouver in 2011 offers a positive outlook for 2012. Large construction projects that will be underway this year include:  the Evergreen Line, a $1 billion-plus rapid-transit project;  Metrotower III in Burnaby, a $170 million 29-storey office tower by developer Ivanhoé Cambridge and general contractor Ledcor;  a mixed-use 820,000-square-foot mega-project at Marine Drive and Cambie Street by PCI Developments Corp.;  a $280 million expansion and redevelopment project at Guildford Town Centre;  a 1.8-million-square-foot retail complex in South Delta that will be the biggest shopping centre in B.C.; and  institutional projects like the $3.3 billion Highway 1/Port Mann Bridge project; Fraser Health’s new Jim Pattison Outpatient and Surgery Centre; and the new RCMP E-division headquarters in Surrey. In terms of residential development,


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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says housing starts continue to rise. In the first quarter of 2012, starts improved 22% from the same three-month period last year – 4,631 versus 3,808 – most in the multi-family sector. “To me construction noise is the sweet sound of jobs for thousands of hard-working men and women,” wrote Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association president and CEO Peter Simpson in a recent Vancouver Sun column. “The year-to-year starts differential generated an additional 2,304 full-time jobs for one year – or, as workplace economists like to call them, person-years of employment. Good news by any definition.” ENERGY & RESOURCES If BC Hydro’s proposal to invest about $1.35 billion in Campbell River’s John Hart Generating Station goes through, it could create thousands of jobs over five years of construction. The project will include replacing the existing three 1.8-kilometre-long penstocks with a 2.1-kilometre tunnel through bedrock, constructing a replacement generating station beside the existing station, constructing a replacement water intake at the John Hart

Spillway Dam and building a new water bypass facility. Hydro’s goal is to complete the regulatory processes and award the construction contract by summer 2013. It hopes to have the project complete by the end of 2018. “John Hart has provided clean, reliable power for people on Vancouver Island for the past 65 years, and it’s now time to reinvest so that it continues to for generations to come,” said Rich Coleman, minister of energy and mines. “The project will create about 400 jobs a year over the five years of construction, providing economic benefits to families and businesses in the area.” Added Comox Valley MLA Don McRae: “A project of this magnitude will bring many benefits to the Comox Valley area with not just construction jobs but also many spin-off jobs as well. The economic impact of this project cannot be underestimated.” Elsewhere in the province, Hydro’s 344-kilometre, 287-kilovolt Northwest Transmission Line from Skeena Substation, near Terrace, to Bob Quinn Lake, is expected to create up to an estimated 280 direct jobs per year of construction. Designing, procuring and constructing the NTL has been awarded to the team of Vallard

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MAY 2012


Construction and Burns & MacDonald. Rightof-way clearing began in January 2012 and structure construction is scheduled to begin in late spring/summer 2012. The transmission line is expected to come into service in spring 2014. Beyond its own construction, the NTL is touted as the first step in reinvigorating the regional economy of B.C.’s northwest, providing significant direct economic stimulus to the region – and jobs for years to come. “Northwest B.C. is poised to become a region of major job creation and growth, and … the province is committed to ensuring that northwest workers are ready to take advantage of these economic development opportunities,” said Bell.


B.C.’s shipbuilding industry to its oncethriving roots,” said Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth.

TOURISM Though protesters were still planning to demonstrate their opposition as of press time, on March 20 the B.C. government granted Glacier Resorts Ltd. a permit to build a new ski destination in the Kootenays that’s projected to create 750 permanent jobs once the project breaks ground, likely mid-2013. That means that, aside from the construction workers needed to build the mountain resort, many more employees specializing in tourism-related trades will be recruited to run it. According to B.C.’s tourism industry human resources association MARINE go2, tourism is one Last Oc tob er the of th e p rov i n ce’s federal government fastest-growing named Vancouverindustries. Technical based Seaspan Marine and trades jobs within Corp. as the prime the snowsport sector contractor to build the specifically include National Shipbuilding heavy-duty and lift Procurement Strategy mechanics, electricians program’s non-combat – Minister of Jobs, and heavy-equipment vessels. Tourism and Innovation operators. The $8 billion Pat Bell “A lift mechanic, program will initially for instance, is usually see Seaspan construct seven non-combat ships, including joint a millwright who installs, maintains, repairs support ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, and troubleshoots lift equipment, assisting offshore science vessels for the Canadian with the starting up and shutting down of the lifts each day,” according to go2. Coast Guard and a new polar icebreaker. Lift mechanics also perform various The federal government also has plans for a further 17 vessels, which should fall under mechanical procedures that require specialized the non-combat package. The contract is training. They work at great heights, in all expected to inject billions of dollars into the weather conditions, at any time of day or local economy and create more than 4,000 night. Many ski areas offer apprenticeships in jobs in the West Coast shipbuilding industry such trades, though it’s not yet clear whether Jumbo will be one of them. over the next eight to 30 years. Food and beverage is also an integral part New, direct marine jobs will likely include mechanics, machinists, pipefitters, electricians, of ski-area operations. Professional cooks are steel fabricators, engine fitters, sheet-metal considered tradespeople, as are bakers. And, workers, joiners, welders and other skilled with many modern ski resorts offering spa services, hairstylists – also among the trades tradespeople to construct the ships. “Seaspan is committed to returning – may also be recruited by the mountain. •

“Now more than ever we need men and women to choose a career in the trades”

Workers in the aerospace industry have evolved from mechanics to highly skilled sought-after technicians. Photo CANSTOCK

Deep-space technologies the realm of adventurers Aerospace seeks new recruits in nanotechnology, robotics and space flight theory BY DENISE DEVEAU, POSTMEDIA NEWS

program, has enough of a pool of young talent to expand.” There’s a lot of research and development Isabelle Tremblay’s been fascinated by space exploration since childhood. As head of work out there, Johnstone notes. “There’s carbon fibre for structures that is exploration systems for the Canadian Space 100-times stronger than steel, new propulsion Agency (CAS), she’s now living her dream. Her interest began when the world started and laser technology developments. The receiving data from Voyager 2. “That really aerospace industry is definitely evolving. inspired me ... even after I started working in We’re on the brink of wonderful changes.” Skill sets that will become increasingly in the mining industry.” Today she’s working on a telescope that will orbit 1.5 kilometres above demand include nanotechnology, robotics and space flight theory. Earth after it launches in 2018. “No matter what, however, you still need Tremblay’s career started in mining and metallurgy after she earned her mechanical a base to work from. And the industry needs engineering degree. But after a few years bright young people to get on board that have working on earthly pursuits, she decided to a great attitude and passion for the industry. get a master’s in aerospace engineering from I just hope one of my grads will be working on the moon in the next few years.” Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. The space-technology program at In 1997 she interned with CSA, eventually landing a full-time job. “I started out in research Ecole Polytechnique is offered to fourthand robotics, then onto flight projects,” she year mechanical and electrical engineering said. She also worked on sensor development students. A good portion of the study is based for NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft, which was on the telecommunication side of things for satellites and includes an introduction to deployed on Mars. “I get to work with the best scientists space missions course. Professor Jeanand engineers ... Jacques Laurin, who and with advanced says companies like technologies. And MDA participate in I get to work on the program to teach, something positive recruit and hire interns, a n d c o n s t r u c t i ve estimates that five to – discovery and – Richard Johnstone, instructor, aircraft 10 students get into exploration.” maintenance engineering, BCIT the program . And Fo r Ri ch a rd while space technology Johnstone, instructor of aircraft maintenance engineering at BCIT remains popular, competition for talent can in Vancouver, space programs are one part be fierce from the energy industry, which is of aeronautics still on his wish list. “I’ve had seeking the same engineering talent. For those with a hankering for deep space 40 years in the aviation industry. But space is technologies, Laurin says it’s a job for rigorous one thing I’d love to do.” Whether aircraft or space travel, people that pay a lot of attention to detail. “One thing we tell them about designing fundamentals are fundamentals. “If you have a great base, there is no ending to your career. for space, although it’s not that different from All aircraft engineers are explorers to begin telecommunications [on Earth], is that you can’t fix it once it goes up. Those guys have to with.” When it comes to space programs, he be really, really conscious about every detail said, “People in the industry have evolved and design things that exceed the norm. They from mechanics to highly skilled, sought- have to be perfectionists.” • after technicians. And the industry needs the best there is out there. I don’t think © Postmedia News. Article appears on Richard Branson, who is doing a private space

“The industry needs bright young people to get on board”


MAY 2012


Hopefuls try out for Dragons’ Den More than a dozen small businesses tried out for chance to cut a deal on popular TV show BY BO GEMBARSKY, BIV

Amid the hustle and bustle of students looking to earn degrees at SFU’s Surrey campus, more than a dozen made their pitch to CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den. One group had an app that teaches kids how

to cook. Another: an idea for charging electronic “Think about props, think about how you’re devices on the go. Still another: a mobile garburator going to present this to the Dragons. Start and composter that turns organic waste into thinking: how can this be awesome on TV?” Successful auditioners will receive liquid. Ann-Marie Fleming and her sister Jennifer were callbacks by May. Those who are called will among the applicants. Their company, Dog Quality, travel to Toronto to be recorded for the carries washable dog diapers and pads and the show. During the Flemings’ auditions, the “Dogger” walker. They sell from their home and producers asked, “Isn’t it just a fancy baby website, “We improve the quality of life for older dogs,” stroller?” Ann-Marie didn’t flinch: “That’s what we Ann-Marie said. “As they age, they have mobility issues and incontinence issues, and our products based it on, and basing it on existing designs is one way we can keep our production costs make life easier for them.” The sisters started Dog Quality three years down,” she said, while pointing out the various ago. For the first 18 months, they sold only attributes of the stroller: room for two small other companies’ products, identified holes dogs inside, an adjustable mesh canopy with in the market and designed products like wide visibility, an orthopedic pad, safety lights the Dogger to help fill gaps. The biggest and a rear-suspension feature they say is “not available on any other challenge they have dog stroller.” now is exposure. MacMillan and Dog Quality is co-producer Richard run on a shoestring Maerov have been budget; the money involved since the first squeeze means more season of the Den, and demand than supply. Maerov always finds The Flemings are asking himself impressed by for $50,000 for 20% of – Michelle MacMillan, the variety of ideas, the company. Ann-Marie producer, Dragons’ Den the presentations and believes Dog Quality is the energy he sees. worth $250,000., based “I find it inspiring to see them coming on sales last year of $160,000. As for the audition, there was a lot of waiting. out year after year,” he said. “We’re always The applicants were led into the holding area – a tapping into an unending reservoir of classroom down the hall from the theatre – where entrepreneurialism.” • they prepared to be called to face the producers. When everything was ready, Dragons’ Den First published in Business in Vancouver, producer Michelle MacMillan addressed the group. issue 1170.

“We’re always tapping into an unending reservoir of entrepreneurialism”

Dog Quality founder Ann-Mari Fleming (l) and customer service manager Jennifer Fleming with Ozzy, a fox-terrier mix. Photo BO GEMBARSKY


RON MCGOWAN The decline of the 20th-century job HOW TO FIND WORK

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A University of San Francisco study says less than 30% of the workforce in California has traditional jobs. This is where we’re all headed. We keep waiting for the Great Recession to be over and lots of jobs to come back. It’s not going to happen. For a growing number of workers the era of the traditional job, and all the stability that came with it, is over. The millions in the categories of “long-term unemployed” and “underemployed” in the U.S. and elsewhere are proof of this. Our ancestors must be having a good laugh as they watch us struggle to wean ourselves off the traditional, 20th-century job. If you look at your family tree, you’re likely to see that you’re descended from selfemployed people who earned their living as contractors, tradespeople, craftspeople, and small-business owners. When the concept of full-time employment working for someone else became widespread with industrialization, many of them thought it was a crazy idea – an unpleasant, unnatural and inhuman way to work. It’s the ultimate irony. The job, that thing that our ancestors saw as abhorrent, is the very thing we’ve become addicted to. The kids of today’s graduates may well ask, “Mom, dad, tell me about this ‘job’ thing again. You mean someone else decided when you started and finished work, when you could go on vacation, how far you could go in your career and how

much money you could make? What were you people smoking back then?” The countries that will succeed in the 21st century will tap into and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit within their workforce and support and encourage the creation of small businesses. The ones that will fail are the ones that continue to depend on the traditional job. Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for establishing the Grameen Bank, which has helped millions of people in over 40 countries become self-sufficient via access to small loans. Last year, in an effort to create more entrepreneurs by getting school kids to compete among themselves, a group of 11-year-old girls in Scotland made £4,000 from a £1 loan in four weeks. The challenge now is to give more kids the chance to participate in these types of projects and help unemployed people be more enterprising and entrepreneurial in their attitude toward earning a living. Let’s stop lamenting the decline of the traditional job and focus on giving our grads and unemployed the skills they need to succeed in today’s workplace. • Ron McGowan is the author of the international bestseller How to Find WORK in the 21st Century, currently in use at over 400 colleges and universities worldwide. The 2012 edition will soon be released.

MAY 2012



What not to wear to a job interview Sequins and spandex not the thing to wear for a job interview BY NEIL HAESLER, POSTMEDIA NEWS

 a tube top;  a leather vest with no shirt; and  a bandana and torn jeans.

Showing up for a job interview wearing a cat suit is going to get you a few laughs – maybe. But more Job candidates should always dress to impress likely it will get you thrown out on your pointy the interviewer, not the crowd on the bus on your little ears. way to the interview. So wearing a sweatsuit – or OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing a Star Trek T-shirt – is out. in temporary placements, found in a recent Interviewers have seen everything when it survey that people show up for job interviews in a comes to sartorial splendour, including people who confounding array of costumes. might have been channelling OfficeTeam asked HR the 1980s when they showed managers to recount some up in jeans and suspenders, of the odd attire they saw tank tops and jumpsuits. on applicants. Interviewers Or, the “good sports” reported a stunning variety who wore baseball caps, of people who didn’t seem jogging suits and even clear on the concept of basketball uniforms. impressing a perspective OfficeTeam’s advice: – Robert Hosking, executive director, employer. don’t assume you can dress OfficeTeam Take the person who down, even if a company has showed up wearing a a casual atmosphere. Don’t blanket as a shawl. Or the woman wearing a skirt wear anything that is uncomfortable and don’t made of plastic. And, yes, someone in a catsuit. show up ‘in clothing that is wrinkled, stained or “Although these examples seem absurd, it’s torn. easy to make more subtle mistakes when selecting And definitely don’t show up wearing a feline interview attire, particularly among those new to fashion statement – unless it’s an audition for the job hunt,” Robert Hosking, executive director Cats. of OfficeTeam, said. Some of the more interesting attire managers “Ultimately, you want to project professionalism reported seeing at job interviews: a swimsuit and and confidence and ensure your outfit isn’t coverup; Bermuda shorts; a sundress and flipdistracting or causing employers to question your flops; a Hawaiian shirt and jeans; exercise clothing; judgment.” a tie-dye T-shirt from the ’80s; a cat suit; a top held Some seem to have missed that memo. up with a large safety pin; spandex; and leather According to OfficeTeam, these flashy pants and cowboy boots. • outfits were more fitting for a night out than an interview: © Postmedia News. Article appears on  a micro-mini and fishnet stockings;

Hire me now? A job candidate should always dress to impress … the interviewer, not the crowd on the bus on your way to the interview.


“It’s easy to make more subtle mistakes when selecting interview attire”

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MAY 2012


Hurray for Bollywood Surrey bid to become an India film centre could prove a tough audition BY FRANK O’BRIEN, BIV

The first thing Surrey has to do to become a centre for Bollywood films is to forget about Bollywood films, according to the only Surrey resident to produce a blockbuster within India’s movie industry. “Bollywood is stagnated,” said Mike D’Souza, owner and executive producer of Silo Entertainment Ltd., a film producer with close links to India. The “big ticket” in India films is the independent filmmakers who are more interested in international, contemporary themes than Bollywood’s muscular musical genre. D’Souza, who produced the Bollywood hit Boom in 2003, added that Surrey should play to the strengths of the existing “world-class” Vancouver and Burnaby film studios if it wants to become a player in India’s $2.3 billion film industry. “Surrey has no sound stages, no real film infrastructure,” D’Souza said. Bollywood films are aimed at the India diaspora and India, he said, while the real focus should be on creating “smart, intelligent” B.C. movies that would appeal as much to a North American audience as one in Mumbai. “There is huge market for Bollywood films,” he said, “but they can only reach a certain level of market and can’t grow beyond that.” Still, Surrey, where 30% of households speak Punjabi as their primary language according to Statistics Canada, is hoping to break big into the Bollywood movie scene. In February, the Surrey Board of Trade co-hosted a Breaking Bollywood seminar with the Canada India Business Council and Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus. The event, which drew about 40 people, featured two Indian film representatives, including top screenwriter Anjum Rajabali and Chennai-based professor Aysha Viswamohan.


Surrey, where 30% of households speak Punjabi as their primary language, is hoping to break big into the Bollywood movie scene.

As well, B.C. is bidding for Surrey to host said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board the 2013 International Indian Film Academy of Trade. The India film officials said that talent Awards, the “Bollywood Oscars” that were last and local expertise were as important as held in Toronto and Shanghai. But B.C. has tried before to catch the lens government incentives, she said. Paul Dhillon, a producer with Surreyof Indian filmmakers. Nine years ago, famed Bollywood producer based MMM Film Finance International and a Vidhu Vinoc Chopra looked at shooting a $20 graduate of SFU’s film school, notes, however, million thriller in the Vancouver area. But the that Surrey’s talent pool is thin. Dhillon, who sold his first India-themed idea was abandoned after Chopra failed to win movie, Sweet Amerika, government incentives co - p ro d u ce d wi th and help with red tape, Bobby Nagra, to CBC, is according to industry currently producing the sources. thriller B-Town Boyz, Today, B.C. offers about Indian youth a 33% tax credit for gangs in Surrey. He labour used in the – Mike D’Souza, is looking for a “wellfilm industry, which owner and executive producer, known” Indian actor for costs the province Silo Entertainment the lead (he is hoping approximately $200 to land Freida Pinto, million annually. Ida Chong, minister of community, sports star of India’s smash hit Slumdog Millionaire) and cultural development, estimates that the and will likely recruit other Indian actors from movie business employs 25,000 people in B.C, Toronto and the U.S. Dhillon is aiming for Telefilm Canada either directly or indirectly. “What we heard at the Breaking Bollywood backing for the $2.5 million movie and is not seminar is that it is not all about the money,” shy about where he expects the money to

“It is all about attracting the best in the business”

be repaid. “If my movie is big in Canada, it might be in 40 to 50 theatres. In India it would open on 500 screens,” he said. “Vancouver has among the best technical people in the film industry,” but it is big names on the billboard that attract backers and ticket buyers. D’Souza said Surrey is on the right track – opening dialogue and meetings with India’s film industry – to encouraging a viable local film industry. But he said success would require patience, pragmatism and a reality check. “If Surrey wants to support Bollywoodstyle Punjabi-language films, and India regional language films, why not?” he said. “But the big ticket is the independent films that are going global out of India.” Said D’Souza, who is currently producing a big-budget movie with Indian and Canadian money and talent, “There is a huge opportunity [for a Surrey film industry], but it is not just between Indians. It is all about attracting the best in the business.” • First published in Business in Vancouver; issue 1170.

Make your brand work online and off Your personal brand – online and off – can help set you apart from other job seekers

Present yourself online and in person in a way that supports and promotes who you are and what you do.



A no-name brand might be just the ticket for a bargain-hunter at the grocery store, but it doesn’t do the job in a job search – not when your own brand may be all that sets you apart from the crowd. A personal brand “is the ‘X’ factor that differentiates a person from other job candidates,” according to consulting firm PwC Canada. It’s about knowing who you are, what you can do and presenting yourself online and in person in a way that supports and promotes that persona. “It’s important for students to accurately portray themselves online as they would in person,” said James Davidson, talent acquisitions manager for PwC. “Having a profile you wouldn’t be ashamed to show your parents on all of the major social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Profiles – is the first step in managing your online reputation.” It also works the other way, he added. Since the majority of millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34) tend to be techno-proficient, companies also have to present themselves online in such a way as to attract prospective employees to

their brands. “A company website, blog, Facebook or LinkedIn page can help applicants discover more about its corporate values, work environment and corporate social responsibility practices,” Davidson explained. He cites a 2008 report on millennials that suggested the majority of people in that age group wanted to work for a company that reflected their own values. They tend to be attracted as potential employees to the same brands whose social and environmental records make them appealing to consumers. One thing hasn’t changed with the age of the workforce, however – networking is still key, and not just in the job space. “People often think about networking if they need something – a job, a reference, some advice – but they don’t think about how their relationships directly shape them as a professional,” said Davidson. “If you only pay attention to your network when it’s convenient, your relationships won’t be very strong and your personal brand and career development will suffer.” • © Postmedia News. Article appears on

MAY 2012



Over 40 and out of work? Photo CANSTOCK

Avoid mistakes that have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing KIM COVERT, POSTMEDIA NEWS

Older job seekers may face a real challenge in their hunt for employment.

Losing a job is a punch in the gut at any age, but when you’re over 40 it tends to hit especially hard. At that age, you likely already have a family, a mortgage and car payments, not to mention a personal investment in the sense that part of your identity is wrapped up in being a person who works at a certain company. Even when employees are overworked, over-stressed and on the edge of burnout in an unhappy workplace, it can be hard to lose the paycheque, purpose and connections that come with any job. “ T h e w a y p e o p l e r e a c t to unemployment varies from angry and frustrated to sad and depressed. A few … are actually relieved,” said Stephen Laser, author of Out-of-Work and Over-40. “For the vast majority of people who suffer the untimely loss of a job, however, there is the immediate response to take action and go on the offensive.” Laser lists mistakes the over40 unemployed make that have a detrimental effect on their financial and psychological health.  S u i n g t h e i r fo r m e r employer. There are times when a lawsuit is the appropriate action. But they’re expensive, take time and can be a drain on your mental wellbeing. “Instead of focusing forward on your job search, you will be spending your time looking in the rear-view mirror,” he said, adding that prospective employers

may take a dim view of someone who has sued a former boss.  Hiring an expensive career coach. Many of the services offered by career coaches are available elsewhere for less money; many churches, for example, run support groups and may employ congregants who offer up their counsel as volunteers. Along with government employment centres, many communities have career resource centres that also offer lowcost support groups and individualized coaching and counselling. There are also a host of resources online to help you polish your resumé and interviewing skills.  Paying too much for a degree or special credential. People want to keep busy and feel like they’re doing something; seeking extra credentialing is a natural response to losing a job, says Laser. But before you go back to the classroom, ask yourself: is there a market for the job skills you’re adding to your CV? If you’re able to get a job in the field, will it pay for itself over the remainder of your career or will you have racked up student loans for very little return? If you want to keep busy and learn something new, Laser suggests continuing education: much less expensive than university courses but could add enough to your skill set to make your experience more attractive.  Going into business by yourself or buying a business. “After years of working for intolerable bosses or companies [that] change direction at the drop of a hat, the temptation to run your own business can be very alluring,” said Laser. But running your own show takes skills, knowledge and a lot more time than salaried work. “Are you willing to put in 80 hours a week, netting out less than the minimum wage when all is said and done? Do you want the responsibility of supervising other people?” Talk to entrepreneurs before you pledge your severance to a pipe dream; find out what running a business means and consider whether you have what it takes. • © Postmedia News. Article appears on

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MAY 2012


Videogame dealmaker rolls into town Arrival of new player seen as win for a videogame hub that remains soft on hard business skills Why did ISM pick Vancouver? “Vancouver is just a global hotbed and hub The arrival of a new videogame industry for game development,â€? Murch said. “We felt dealmaker in Vancouver is being viewed as a that it was being underserved by the existing vote of conďŹ dence in the local industry – and agents that operate in this space.â€? He said that while Vancouver’s gaming a source of potential opportunities for local industry still faces competitive challenges and companies. has lost some studios – Ubisoft recently closed California-based Interactive Studio Management (ISM), which represents its Vancouver operation – Microsoft Game Studios’ Vancouver and Victoria locations are independent game growing. developers in business Murch said transactions, launched Vancouver’s overall a one-man Vancouver videogame industry ofďŹ ce in January. ISM’s is not shrinking. He new Vancouver agent added that studios is Sean Murch, who was are opting to expand previously in charge of or contract depending central development on what they’re trying for EA Sports. to a cco m p l i s h i n Murch said ISM – Howard Donaldson, president, Vancouver. helps its videogame DigiBC “If they’re just developer clients land looking for lowest both work-for-hire p os si b l e cos t s of service contracts and publishing distribution production regardless of quality or genre – deals for their own properties. Howard Donaldson, president of the Digital then, yeah, certainly there’s going to be places Media and Wireless Association of BC (DigiBC), globally that are cheaper to do business,â€? he called Vancouver’s new ISM presence “very said. “But we have such a mature, qualified positive newsâ€? for Vancouver’s videogame talent base here in Vancouver, and often in our hub. “[Murch] is likely to attract publishing industry, quality will persevere over cost.â€? Donaldson said Vancouver’s videogame deals here, which will be industry is healthier than it was a year ago. good,â€? Donaldson said. “We’re still growing, but we could “He could place these be growing quite a bit more,â€? he said, anywhere, but because referencing the more positive tax credit he’s here in Vancouver it regimes in Quebec and Ontario. gives Vancouver an edge Murch said ISM won’t be signing up on placing deals here.â€? new deals with local companies Donaldson said the right away. fo c u s of Va n co u ve r ’s “ISM has experienced videogame industry has quite a bit of success and shifted in recent years as jobs growth so at this particular at large console-based game time, we’ve got a full makers have disappeared and plate,â€? he said. “But smaller companies have formed within the next six to to service the mobile and social eight months, we’ll videogame sectors. be looking to bring on “I think it’s an opportunity, but additional clients – and at that it’s a tougher place to compete.â€? time we’ll start talking more to the Donaldson added that some of folks that we already have great relationships Vancouver’s game companies might be with here locally.â€? • too small and underfunded to survive. He said the shift to smaller company BY JENNY WAGLER, BIV

“A lot of our talent underestimates the business skills that are required to be successful�

structures has required more business expertise in the industry. “I think a lot of our talent underestimates the business skills that are required to be successful,� he said. “Our people are generally good at product development. I’d say less so on marketing strategies and promotion and even business development.� Given those challenges, Donaldson said, ISM’s arrival is particularly welcome. He said Vancouver has one other videogame agent in town, representing Torontobased Birthplace Inc.

First published in Business in Vancouver, issue 1168.









Experts say that Vancouver’s videogame industry is healthier than it was a year ago.

MILLWRIGHT JOURNEYMAN Dynamic manufacturing and processing company requires a qualified Journeyman Millwright for our plant located in East Vancouver near the waterfront. QUALIFICATIONS: • Applicants must hold a BCTQ Millwright certification; • Be physically fit and fluent in English; • Be able to work as part of a team or independently, as required; • Be able to follow written or verbal instructions related to equipment operation and maintenance. Preference given to candidates with experience in a heavy industrial environment and competence in stick and MIG welding COMPENSATION: The company offers a very competitive wage and benefits package DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: • Perform repairs on different types of plant equipment in a safe, timely and efficient manner; • Various welding, machining or fabricating duties, as assigned; • Preventative maintenance duties on plant equipment; • Work closely with plant personnel to ensure equipment is in good, sound working condition; • Respond quickly and safely to emergency breakdowns while on shift or on call. Shift work may be required. This is an exciting career opportunity and qualified candidates should submit their resume without delay. Email resumes to: Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

MAY 2012




We asked our employees…


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MAY 2012


Career search not getting any easier University degree no longer the promised one-way ticket to a career BY KATHRYN BLAZE CARLSON, POSTMEDIA NEWS

good comes along?” she explained. To many baby boomers, though, that logic sounds just indulgent. And expensive. It is emblematic, they say, of today’s Sarah Sayed dreads small talk, particularly the line of questioning that includes, “What do you culture of entitlement, proving that generation Y wants to skip the whole “working for The do for a living?” Despite her two university degrees and a Man thing” and leap straight into a meaningful, feverish months-long job search, the 25-year- lucrative career. There is even a book that caters to the old graduate does not yet do anything for a living. Instead, she works odd jobs and lives latter bunch called Grindhopping: Build a Rewarding Career Without Paying Your at home with her baffled parents. It was not supposed to be this way. The Dues. “The funniest thing is that if generation chemical engineering graduate, who has a second degree in bio-chemistry, was supposed Y is entitled, it’s because their parents raised to graduate from the University of Ottawa and them to be that way,” said Lauren Friese, a begin a fulfilling career straight out of the 27-year-old London School of Economics academic gate – or so she hoped, expected, graduate and entrepreneur who three years ago launched TalentEgg, Canada’s leading even. But her first professional job search has online resource for university graduates instead marked the first major false start of making the career transition. “Their baby boomer parents were telling her adult life, delivering a painful reality check them that they could do anything, that it’s and a severe blow to her self-esteem. For Sayed, a guilty sense of comfort lies OK that they didn’t do well in class and ‘You only in the fact that hundreds of thousands of struck out in your baseball game but, hey, people around her age dread small talk, too: nice swing.’ “When those same youth unemployment generation Yers come in Canada is twice the into their workplace, national rate, these baby boomers are the days hovering around ones wondering why a woeful 14%. [the recent graduates] The situation has arrive on Monday as been so bleak for so long an intern and expect that some observers to be given the call Sayed’s cohort responsibilities of a the “lost generation.” – Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, CEO by Friday.” Others call her and her psychology professor, J e a n Tw e n g e , ilk NINJAS, meaning Clark University author of Generation “No Income, No Job, M e: Why To d ay ’s and No Assets.” Some analysts are ready to concede that Young Americans are More Confident, the Sarah Sayeds of this country are heralding Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable than a cultural shift: graduates and their parents Ever Before, echoed that today’s youth expect should no longer expect a seamless school-to- more than the workplace will typically offer. work transition because a university degree She said the most significant consequence is is no longer the promised one-way ticket to widespread disappointment. “A lot of [young graduates] feel like they a career. The on-ramp to adulthood is longer and were sold a bill of goods – that they were told if they go to university and get a degree, that twistier. Thirty is the new 25. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology they’ll get a job,” said Twenge, who teaches professor at Massachusetts’ Clark University, psychology at San Diego State University makes the unconventional suggestion that and heads Igen Consulting to help companies this psychic change could actually be good navigate generational differences. “Young people feel like nobody ever told for society. “We need to stop expecting [graduates] them how hard it was going to be, and I think to follow the path that people followed 50 they have a point.” To Arnett, people in Sayed’s position years ago,” said Arnett, who is leading the movement to classify the 20s as a distinct life are not stuck, they’re free. Free to ditch the job search and pursue their passions. Free stage, which he dubs “emerging adulthood.” “We should all just relax and realize that to forgo the confidence-depleting rejection life is long. People can expect to live until emails for a year of travels, much like Arnett’s niece, who quit her stable job to live in a hut they’re 80 years old, so there’s no hurry.” Perhaps smartly, then, many of Sayed’s in Ecuador. • colleagues have traded their fruitless job hunt for more schooling. “We think we’re still young, © Postmedia News. Article appears on so why not continue studying until something

“Stop expecting [graduates] to follow the path that people followed 50 years ago”


Youth unemployment in Canada is twice the national rate, these days hovering around a woeful λξ%.

COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT MECHANIC A dynamic manufacturing and processing company, centrally located in Vancouver near the waterfront has a full-time opening for a Commercial Transport Mechanic. QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be a qualified Commercial Transport or Heavy Duty Interprovincial Red Seal mechanic. An inspector certificate would be a definite asset. Applicants must also be: • physically fit and fluent in English; • able to work well with others including fellow employees; • willing to work different shifts as dictated by the needs of the business. COMPENSATION: The company offers a very competitive wage and benefits package. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: • repair and maintain company owned commercial trucks, trailers, and misc. yard equipment; • work with a computerized maintenance program to ensure all on-road vehicles meet Government standards as set out in the Preventative Maintenance Program. • have the capability to work on transport hydraulic system dump pumps, spool valves, and single / double acting hydraulic cylinders. • operate all company equipment and tools in a safe, efficient, and responsible manner. This is an exciting career opportunity and we encourage qualified candidates to submit their resume and covering letter. Email resumes to:



We thank all applicants; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

MAY 2012



Automotive Diesel Service Technician

This program provides students with classroom and hands on learning with automotive and light duty diesel engines.

Automotive Diesel Service Technician - This program provides students with classroom and hands on learning with automotive and light duty diesel engines.



MAY 2012


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There is an urgent need for more Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPN) in BC. The only program of its kind in BC, students can learn within their local communities via distance education, local and/or regional clinical placements, and some regional classroom delivery. Entry-level earnings start at $29/hr. This 23 month program is recognized by the CRPNBC.

Early Childhood Educator

Special Education Assistant

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Our program includes training and certiďŹ cation from the Provincial Outreach Program for Autism & Related Disorders (POPARD). Two POPARD courses are offered in this program: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders & Introduction to Applied Behaviour Analysis. Starting wage for Special Education Assistants is approx. $22/hr. Starting wage for Special Education Assistants is approx. $22/hr.

Health Care Assistant (formerly Resident Care Attendant / Home Support)

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You may be eligible for government student loans and funding.

Medical Laboratory Assistant This program has been reviewed and approved by British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science and exceeds their requirements in many areas. The wage range of Stenberg MLA grads working in their ďŹ eld of study is $18.04 - $23.70 per hour.

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Nursing Unit Clerk Nursing Unit Clerks, originally known as ward clerks and sometimes referred to as Nursing Unit Coordinators, act as the anchors of patient care departments. The average wage for Stenberg grads is $20.77/hr. plus 12.2% in lieu of beneďŹ ts.

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604-580-2772 ¡ Over 94% of our grads are employed in their ďŹ eld of study within 6 months of graduation.

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