Don’t let your fingers do the talking — “easy-peasy” is not always the best approach
RESTOCK YOUR SKILLS Your retail job is more than just folding clothes.
every day, I’m
PAGE SPECIAL FEATURE
THE PROBLEM WITH ABORIGINAL EDUCATION IN CANADA | october 2011 |
BUSINESS DEGREES 4-YEAR DEGREES THAT ARE BUILT FOR BUSINESS. Accounting e-Business Marketing Fashion Management Human Resources Management International Business Tourism Management
Brilliant futures Jessica is building a future in PwC’s Consulting & Deals practice. Visit our website to discover a career as unique and individual as you are.
We believe in brilliant futures for our people, our clients, our business and the community. To find out more, visit www.pwcbrilliantfutures.ca
© 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved. “PwC” refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, which is a member ﬁrm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each member ﬁrm of which is a separate legal entity.
Hey. Did you know that these companies have lots of entry level positions? Visit their websites to see a full list of positions available.
every day, I’m
10 16 16 19 21 23 23 23 27 28 28
33 34 37 OBC
Being your own boss sounds awesome, right? But before you go off and start your own business, be warned: self-em-
ployment isn’t for everyone. Here are some things to keep in
— Sunil Sharma highlights
Brought to you by Rogers Wireless.
— What are you going to do
with THAT degree?!
— Lena Fevens – entrepreneur and
cake designer extaordinaire!
the importance of diversity on your resume.
Restock Your Skills — Working in retail can
— A Master’s in Project
— Money, Money, Money! Some sug-
gestions on what to do with all that money you’re making.
— Michelle Gauthier of
— Don’t let your fingers do
The Problem with Aboriginal Education in Canada
Can enrolling in one enhance your career or
It’s a startling realization that more than one-third
come with a heavy price tag?
of Aboriginal people in Canada haven’t earned a
Management Training Programs
Five Misconceptions About Sales People — It’s not always about the big sell. We separ fact versus fiction.
38 39 39 39 39 39 39 IBC
Management is a trump card in any profession.
NAV Canada offers her take on a very common
teach you important, transferrable skills.
high school diploma. In this special feature, we learn more about the education disparity between Native and non-Native peoples in Canada, along with the
Humber, The Business School (Undergrad) Humber, The Business School: Event Management Humber, The Business School: Global Business Humber, School of Media Studies and Information Technology Centennial College Brock University Niagara College Ross University Queen’s University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Sheridan College Humber, The Business School
who else? 13
Wood Manufacturing Council Insurance Institute of Canada ACE Canada
stuff to buy 7
strides being taken to fix the problem. october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Image Composite: © Sonya van Heyningen, Original Images: Man on bike - © iStockphoto.com/Ryan Lane, Road - Stock.xchng)
yay! more school
mind before you embark on a freelancing adventure.
PwC Department of National Defence Shell CGI Federated Co-operative Deloitte The Source NAV CANADA Diversey Export Development Canada TD Bank Financial Group Cameco Edmonton International Airport Canon College Pro The Home Depot RMCP
EVENT MANAGEMENT POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From trade shows to cultural festivals; from sporting events to fashion shows; from conferences and meetings to weddings: this program offers the unique skills you need to launch your career as an: • • • • • • • •
Event Coordinator Marketing Assistant Special Events Organizer Promotion Coordinator Account Representative Trade Show Planner Conference Coordinator Corporate Meeting Planner
jobpostings boxes, then I would make it the best darn magazine about cardboard boxes EVER. And I would be happy doing that job, provided that it paid
well, gave me some creative control, and my co-
workers were talented, smart, fun people to be around.
magazine (next issue, our web editor will be writing this note for our special “Women’s issue”). I found another job, or, rather, it found me — feels good, I’m not going to lie.
started, there was me, an intern, and a designer who worked from home (and a few sales people), and virtually no freelance writers. Now, we have
a web editor, two or three interns, an in-house art director, a product manager, and more free-
Did I ever tell you how I got this job? I started as an intern. I had gone back to school after working at another magazine, to
people who slept in their offices when on deadline, the people who went outside their job de-
scription, who showed intelligence, passion, and
up my apartment, and went homeless — well, not exactly. I stayed on a few of my friends comfy couches.
cess. If I got a job working at a magazine about cardboard
Harrhy, Jaclyn Law, Brandon Kevin Nelson, Alyssa Ouellette, Emma Woolley
national account managers Lori Blanchard,
some tried and tested work habits:
1. Learn how to give a presentation.
2. Shut up. Learn to listen to your colleagues, and your boss. projects (within reason, of course).
Published by Passion Inc. 25 Imperial Street, Suite 100 Toronto, ON M5P 1B9 jobpostings.ca 1-877-900-5627 ext. 221
your time. Or the company’s.
hand, is an awesome way to learn.
6. Be sincere, be humble, and set your ego aside. Beware of other people’s egos.
7. Trust your instincts. You’re smart, and good at what you do.
8. Trust your team, and the people around you.
9. Have fun and challenge yourself.
12. Eat a good breakfast (I’m still working on this one).
— not society’s or my friend’s, or my mom’s definition of suc-
Edmonds, Christine Fader,
I figured, for my last note, I would share with you
do make myself attractive to an employer. I didn’t care that
told myself, my success would be judged on my own terms
11. Get something going in your life other than work; it’ll
or getting awesome freelance assignments. From now on, I
wanted to be an editor. I knew what experience I was lacking,
my friends were landing jobs at big name publishing houses,
And that’s what you should do when you start
10. Work hard, use common sense, and make sure you care
where my soft skills needed polishing, and what I needed to
I did it because I knew what I wanted in my career. For the first time in my life, I knew with 100 percent certainty that I
brought sincerity and pride to their work.
5. Success teaches you nothing; failure, on the other
did what any sane person looking for a career would do; I gave
Miller, Allison Mitchell,
there was quickly gobbled up by people 20 years my senior.
would mean giving up shifts at the restaurant I worked at. So I
combined hard work of the people behind it, the
4. Say “no,” but delicately. Some things are not worth
to take on another one. I had rent to pay, and an internship
Michelle Gauthier, Ross
ished the program — during the recession — job boards had
I had done an internship earlier in the year, and was hesitant
I think it is safe to say that this magazine has got-
3. Don’t say “no” to opportunities to take on extra
dried up and rusted. There was nothing, and what was out
Lisa Charleyboy, Katie
complete a fabulous one-year post-grad program called Book and Magazine Publishing at Centennial College. After I fin-
lance writers than you can shake a pen at.
ten better. It has gotten better because of the
Be Smart. Be Passionate. Trust yourself. Work Hard.
Sonya van Heyningen
This magazine has come a long way. When I
This is my last editor’s note for jobpostings
about your work.
help you decompress.
jobpostings is published eight times in the school year. Issue dates are September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and May. Copies of jobpostings are distributed to over 105 universities and colleges across Canada. Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reprinted in whole or part without permission of the publishers.
my fellow Arts grads — or anyone who wants to go their own
on the cover: Image Composite: © Sonya van Heyningen
~ Jason Rhyno
Original Images: Man on bike © iStockphoto.com/Ryan Lane, Road - Stock.xchng)
Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting us! (Oh, and way — this month’s feature is for you!)
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
GLOBAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE From marketing to finance; from advertising to international trade; this program offers the unique skills you need to launch your career in: • • • • • • •
Marketing Finance Advertising International Trade Retail Wholesale Supply Chain Management
SUCCESSSTORIES Sunil Sharma
Where did you go to School? What program did you attend? I went to school at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I attended one of the most popular courses offered at the college — Business Administration.
What drew you to your current field? Company
College Pro Painters
General Manager - Eastern Ontario
Length of employment 4 years Degree
While I was in high school, I would spend every Saturday at my fathers automotive repair shop. As I swept the floors or threw out the garbage, I would watch my father deal with his customers, and coach his employees. It was because of him that I got involved with College Pro. The Idea that I could be in control of my own schedule, deal with customers, and be the leader in my business just seemed perfect.
How did you find your current position? After three intense interviews and a bunch of reference and background checks, in 2007, I was granted my very own painting franchise with College Pro at the age of 18. I operated my franchise for three years. Each year brought forth a new set of challenges and a whole new skill set that I felt I needed to conquer. After this last year, I ran the biggest and most profitable business in central Canada, and the biggest of my career. I talked to my GM about further growth and he put me in contact with the VP and president of the company. The thing about College Pro is that when you have grown beyond your current role, they open their doors to new roles with a whole new set of challenges and growth opportunities.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? After going to college for Business Administration, I had second thoughts and looked at becoming a teacher. I wanted to impact peoples lives and help grow their skill set. What I ended up discovering after a few years with College Pro was that I was doing exactly that, but in a different field. I was helping other franchisees succeed with their business, by sharing ideas and tactics that have worked
Sponsored by 6
for me. The pride I felt when someone else’s business took off in a positive direction was amazing.
What skills have you learned through your work experience? One of the most important skills that I have learned is priority management. It is best to be in control of your day, and to approach it with a well thought out battle plan. In our day and age, its almost as if we have no time for anything. Set aside an hour at the end of the week to plan out the following week. Be sure to factor in some time to yourself! Life is also about having fun!
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career? Be a sponge! Soak in as much knowledge as you can and be open to Ideas. Be an extremely selfish learner — ask questions! It’s the best way to learn.
Is there one accomplishment you are most proud of to date? I am most proud of my latest promotion. I have just been promoted from being a franchise owner in a small area in Winnipeg to being put in charge of operating Ottawa , plus Eastern Ontario. This role is going to put me up against a whole new set of challenges that I just can’t wait to embrace! It’s great to see that my hard work within the company has been recognized.
What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job? Be sure to diversify your resume and differentiate yourself from others. Your book smarts aren’t everything, be sure to get some real world experience in your portfolio. Look at each job as one of the greatest learning and development opportunities in your life! Best of luck!
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I’m pretty sure that some
are my options?” ques-
Yep, there are many great
there are multiple ways
of the students I work with
tion but it is perhaps most
reasons for choosing and
to get to the vast majority
think I have a magic wand.
prevalent among students
thriving in a non-profes-
in non-professional pro-
sional program but that
grams. If you’re a student
doesn’t mean you won’t,
at a university or college,
at some point, be staring
in a program that has the
into space during class
words “Arts” or “Science” or
thinking, “what are the
• Is there a typical edu-
“General” in the diploma
options?” And, many a stu-
cational path to this job?
title, you are likely in a non-
dent has been prompted to
• Are there any other
professional program. That
come and visit the Career
kinds of experiences (paid,
simply means that your
Centre after tiring of
volunteer) that help people
program isn’t a training
people asking in a perhaps
get this job?
program with a rigorous
well-meaning but slightly
plan for imparting specific
tactless way: “And, just
There are days that I’d love
skills that lead to a spe-
what are you going to do
to whip out said spar-
cific job (e.g., nurse, social
kly wand and magically
worker or engineering tech-
bestow the perfect career
nologist). This is especially
(and matching fabulous
true for many university
salary) on the shoulders
programs but the same
of the student seated with
also holds for some general
me. I’d be the career fairy
Of course, not one that I show just anyone who happens to wander into my office, but one that I can whip out from some secret spot for special people — people who have a certain confused and hopeful look in their eyes when they
sit on my couch and ask, “What are my options?”
by Christine Fader
What are you going to do with THAT degree?!
godmother and how fun
If you’re in a non-professional program, it usually means that you’re learning theoretical concepts and abstract principles, rather than being trained. It does
Despite the “what are my
NOT mean that you aren’t
acquiring any skills. The
the benefits of being in a
challenge is figuring out
But, alas, I haven’t received
how to connect those skills
my fairy godmother desig-
to career options. Students
would that be to put on a business card?!
• They usually allow
Students in all programs
you the flexibility to try
and at all stages (first year
a variety of courses that
through to PhD) come to
all count towards your
see me with the “what
want THE LIST of jobs that their program qualifies them for. They want to
Don’t believe me? Ask people doing interesting jobs:
• What are the backgrounds of the people in your workplace who do this job? What you’ll most often find is that many people doing the very same job have backgrounds that are related to the key skills in the work but are quite different from each other. So the answer to “what are my options?” is so full of possibilities and variety that it quickly leads to another question: “What do I WANT to do?”
know which employers
Now, this can be a doozy
hire out of this program
to contemplate but it’s
versus that program. They
one that career centres
• The subject matter is
want to figure out if they
and advisors can help you
often broad, allowing you
have a hope of getting to
with. And it lets us career
to learn a little about lots
Job X from where they’re
practitioners get one step
of things (great, if you
currently at. In other
closer to completing the
get bored easily or don’t
words, it all comes down
career fairy godmother
have anything that really
to: “What are my options?”
The National Occupational
• They often allow you
Classification (the govern-
to remain open/undecided
ment book that tries to
about your program focus
keep track of job titles in
until you get your feet wet
Canada) has upwards of
and have a few courses
30,000 job titles in it. The
under your belt.
good news is that the vast
• They impart skills that
majority of jobs (this is not
apply to a wide range
scientific but I think I can
of occupations such as
accurately say 29,600+)
analytical skills, commu-
have many, different paths
nication skills, information
to them. Unless you want
to be a plastic surgeon
• They appeal to students who don’t want to “close any doors.”
(medical school definitely required!) or a journeyman tool and die maker (apprenticeship important!),
Christine Fader works as a career counsellor at Queen’s University and is the author of, “Career Cupid: Your Guide to Landing and Loving Your Dream Job.” Visit her website at careercupid.com
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
“I got to choose from several career options when I joined. I’ve always loved working with new technology so this job was a natural fit. Here, there’s always something new on the horizon.” Leading Seaman PATTY LEE
« Quand je me suis enrôlée, j’ai eu à choisir parmi plusieurs possibilités de carrière. Comme j’ai toujours aimé travailler avec les nouvelles technologies, la décision s’est prise naturellement. Dans mon métier, il y a toujours quelque chose de neuf à découvrir. » Matelot de 1re classe PATTY LEE
CAREERS AT SHELL
LETâ€™S BUILD A BETTER ENERGY FUTURE. At Shell, we believe every individual has something valuable to offer. We understand that the more diverse the workforce, the wider the variety of ideas we bring to the table. If youâ€™re ready to tackle the energy challenge and make a real impact on the world, join a company that values diversity and emphasizes the quality of life for its employees and their families. We offer: n n n
Alternative work schedules Work and family programs Health and wellness programs
n n n
Training and development Employee networks Mentoring
To learn more and apply, visit www.shell.ca/students.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.
Shell is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Where did the idea come from for Lena’s Designer Cakes?
The initial idea came from my best friend, who was in need of a wedding cake. I was the friend who
would bring the goodies to our gatherings. She
asked me if I would make her wedding cake, so I said, “sure, why not.” And that’s where it started. I made
her cake and it came out really well. I got a couple
of cake orders that night, actually, at her wedding reception. And it has just kind of grown from there.
So you have this business idea. How did you get started with getting it off the ground?
It was sort of a slow process. I wasn’t sure if the
market was here in my local community because we’re pretty small. So I just sort of gauged the interest of people and based it on how many orders I got. I keep track of how people contact me,
when, and if I can accept their cakes or not. And then I did a bunch of test runs out at the local mall with some of the smaller desserts that I do — the
cupcakes, the truffles — to see if the interest was
What makes Lena’s Designer Cakes unique? In this area specifically, we are unique. There isn’t
any other business doing what we do at the moment. But I also think it comes down to quality
and customer care. I hold a lot of focus groups. I have a lot of taste-testers. We care about what people think instead of just shoving stuff down people’s throats.
there and if I could get the prices that I would need
In your opinion, what makes for a successful entre-
local demographic goes and the marketing oppor-
I would probably say perseverance would defi-
to charge. I did quite a bit of analysis as far as the tunities that I have here.
LENA FEVENS startup
Interviewed by Brandon Miller
nitely be important. You need to be self-driven, self-motivated. There’s nobody there motivating
you and driving you. Becoming your own boss and having your own business, it’s not glamorous by
any stretch of the imagination. It’s hard work. You stay up late.
Have you always been into baking? When I was younger, probably when I was between the ages of 13 and 15, I actually used to do a
lot of cake sculpting. I like to say that I was actually doing it before it was cool to do it. The first thing I
ever sculpted as a cake was a car. It looked terrible but you could get the idea from it.
What has been your proudest business accomplishment?
29-years old, owner of Lena’s Designer Cakes in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Studied IT and website development at Nova Scotia Community College. ACE 2011 Student Entrepreneur, Nova Scotia champion.
So far, my proudest accomplishment has been expanding my little cake business into a full-
scale retail bakery. We just opened up a couple of
weeks ago in a building in downtown Yarmouth. I got funding from a bunch of different places and they’re letting me follow my dream. Do you have any plans to expand? Oh, definitely. I’m hoping within the next 10 years to have between two and three hundred of these
stores. I’m going to franchise it and turn it into a global chain.
Do you have any advice for students that might want to start their own business?
I guess the only advice I would give is to make sure
that you are dedicated to what you are doing be-
cause, while you might have fun while you are doing it, it is a lot of work, especially while you are in
school. You need to make sure that you love what
you are doing, that you believe in it, and that you are willing to go the distance to make your business what you want it to be.
jobpostings.ca | october 2011
Tell me what you know about the company?
So you screwed up in the interview, huh? They asked the ol’ “What’s your greatest weakness” question and you responded with “cupcakes,” hoping to get a laugh. Awkward. Lucky for you we have friends on the inside — recruiting friends (the people who’ll be interviewing you). It cost us a few favours, but they finally agreed to explain why they ask what they ask, and what the best answers are.
This question is fairly standard in an interview, but it’s important to really understand how an interviewer considers your response. As an employer who is about to make a significant investment in your professional development, your response to this question speaks directly to your motivation. We’re looking for an answer that shows you made a sincere effort to research the company, beyond simply memorizing sentences from our website. Simply put: if you’re not motivated to prepare for your interview, how can I expect you to be motivated in training or on-the-job?
Knowing NAV CANADA’s mission statement is good, but it always strikes me as impressive when an interviewee scratches beyond the surface and researches our services, our organizational values and our customers. Doing this type of preparation should not be underestimated. Be prepared to speak about the company in your own words for several minutes. Not only will this show your determination in the interview room, it will help you respond to follow up questions about your skills and behaviours in the context of the company. Finally, be ready to explain how you researched the company ahead of your interview. If you went to our website or Facebook page, I’ll want to know what you learned about the company there. This question is often asked early on, and has the potential to set the tone for the rest of your interview — be ready and make a good first impression!
It’s a cheatsheet for interviews. Good luck!
smarts by Michelle Gauthier, National Manager of Candidate Selection
@ NAV CANADA
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Wood Employee Readiness Curriculum
WERC In Advanced Wood Manufacturing ENTRY-LEVEL CAREERS FOR FIRST NATIONS, METIS, INUIT, PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND NEW IMMIGRANTS The WMC WERC Skills Development program is designed to prepare individuals for entrylevel occupations in advanced wood manufacturing and recruits specifically from groups including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, new immigrants and persons with disabilities. Participants of the program are provided with skills upgrading in the following areas • • • •
Job Readiness Essential and Life Skills Introduction to Basic Wood Manufacturing Safety Training, Job Shadowing and Job Placement
Successful candidates of the minimum 8 week program will be better able to seek long term career opportunities in cabinet making, furniture, manufactured housing and other advanced wood sectors across Canada. If you are interested in participating in the WERC program in your area or a manufacturer looking for new entry level woodworkers, please visit www.wmc-cfb.ca or contact: Wood Manufacturing Council 1016 -130 Albert Street Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5G4 Tel: 613-567-5511 * Fax: 613-567-5411 Website: www.wmc-cfb.ca
130 Albert Street, suite 1016 Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
T 613-567-5511 F 613-567-5411 www.wmc-cfb.ca
Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program
R U O Y T E L T ’ N DO H T O D S FINGER G N I K L A T HAVE YOU EVER TEXTED OR EMAILED SOMEONE WHO WAS SITTING RIGHT BESIDE YOU? BE HONEST — EVERYONE HAS DONE IT AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER. AND LET’S FACE IT: IT’S CONVENIENT AND SOMETIMES EASIER TO DO THAN TALKING TO SOMEONE FACE TO FACE. BUT JUST BECAUSE IT’S EASY, DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT’S ALWAYS THE BEST APPROACH TO INTERACTING WITH OTHERS. COMMUNICATION SKILLS — WRITTEN AND VERBAL — ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT TO DEVELOP IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE, PARTICULARLY IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT.
softskills by Allison Mitchell
Think of people on a city bus or in a waiting room; chances are that they will be focusing their attention on texting and very few will be talking. These
are appropriate places to text, and keep your voice down. Yet in general, it’s not enough to rely solely
on electronic devices to communicate. They are an important part of our lives, yes, but we need to
remember how verbal communication can help us be successful at work.
So, what’s the difference between talking to someone and emailing them when both methods communicate information?
Conflicts and misunderstandings happen all the
time at work and you need to be able to effectively resolve the issues in order to move forward. Have you ever tried to resolve a conflict or misunder-
standing through email? If you have, then you know that it’s not an easy feat. It can be frustrating and time consuming with a lot of back and forth
Relationships are vital in the workplace. When you
join a company, you will need to work hard to build
relationships with your co-workers, and talking in
person allows the other individual to put a face to a name (aside from your social media profile picture). After a few conversations, you will start to build a
presence in your office. Communicating by email all of the time means that you become a faceless email.
Putting a face to your name means that when you walk down the hall, your co-workers won’t be whis-
pering “who’s the new person?” when you have al-
ready worked there six months. Get visible and get involved where you can. Every time you get up from
your desk, think of it as a mini-networking adventure and talk to people on the way to your destination.
emails that often exacerbate the issue because meaning and tone are lost in emails. It is hard to
convey tone and emotion over email, and it is equally difficult to interpret them. You can truly only understand the tone of a discussion by talk-
ing; emoticons just won’t cut it. When you are exchanging emails with someone and find yourself
in a situation where you need to resolve a conflict, pick up the phone or go to the person’s desk and
talk it out. Think of how much time and frustration you will save. If you need the resolution document-
ed, you can easily follow up by sending an email to the other person with the agreed upon resolution.
Two things are certain: one, electronic communi-
cation is critical in the workplace and will be an important tool in your communication toolbox; two,
verbal communication far outweighs email exchanges in relationship building, improving verbal
DEVELOPING COMMUNICATION SKILLS Communication skills need to be continuously
practiced and honed. Even the best communicators have to practice the art. Simple, daily conversations
will help to improve your communication skills and your comfort level in talking with groups of people. If you spend most of your time alone at your desk
,behind a computer screen, then how are you supposed to develop your verbal communication skills?
You won’t! You’ll find yourself in a position where simply talking with your co-workers could be difficult because it causes you anxiety, or because you
haven’t developed the ability to communicate clearImage: iStockphoto/Thinkstockv
ly and succinctly. Don’t get me wrong: I know that
jobpostings.ca | october 2011
email is a form of written communication, which is an essential skill to develop, but the frequency that
we talk to each other has significantly decreased with advances in electronic communication.
communication and resolving conflicts. So, how do you balance the two?
The key is to be able to identify the method of com-
munication that is most appropriate in the particu-
lar situation that you are in. Email is appropriate in some situations; talking may be a better method
of communication in other circumstances. Building relationships, sharpening your communication skills and polishing your ability to resolve conflict
are all fundamental competencies that are required in your career. The next time you are writ-
ing an email to someone, consider talking to them instead — if I could have given you this message in person, I would have
GREAT MINDS JOINED US
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Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) is proud to be a part of the western Canadian business community. For over 80 years, FCL has provided wholesaling, manufacturing, and a wide range of services for retail co-operatives across western Canada. Together, we make up the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) which employs nearly 19,000 people in over 500 communities.
Career Opportunities: • • • • • •
Accounting Administration Agriculture Engineering Environmental Human Resources
• Information Technology • Logistics & Operations Management • Marketing • Pharmacy • Retail Management
E M U S E OLD R
good. Eetz not
Co-op can offer you a stable and supportive work environment, ongoing personal and professional development, and competitive salaries and benefits
Careers with a Challenge, Careers with Growth, Careers with a Future! Learn more about our exciting career opportunities:
We helpz you make new one.
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Image Composite: © Sonya van Heyningen (Original Image: Stock.xchng)
THINK YOU COULD BE YOUR OWN BOSS? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. by Jaclyn Law
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT CREATING
your own job? Maybe you’re a college or university student or a recent graduate, and you’re planning to find steady work in your field of study. But while your crisp new credentials may be impressive, they don’t guarantee you a job, especially with today’s economic uncertainty.
jobpostings.ca | october 2011
field, but instead of enjoying it, you’re daydreaming about busting out of the cubicle farm and escaping the scourge of office politics.
Before you give up on your industry, consider flying solo. For many types of work, it’s possible to shop
your skills around for short-term work as an independent service provider — a freelancer or
consultant. You’d be in good company:
according to Statistics Canada, there were 2.67 million self-employed workers (about 16 per-
cent of the workforce) in this country in 2010 — 12 per cent more than a decade
ago. About half were sole proprietors, unincorporated and working without paid help.
Being your own boss sounds awesome, right? Imagine it: more control over the work you do,
greater flexibility in your schedule, and no more ir-
ritating commute to the office. And, in a way, you have more job security than you would working for someone else — no one can fire or downsize you.
But before you declare your independence, be warned: self-employment isn’t for everyone. Sure,
you have the freedom to make all the decisions,
but that comes with the hefty responsibility of, well, making all the decisions. The same flexibility that makes freelancing seem liberating can be your downfall if you’re not disciplined. And in addition to being the president, you’ll also be the book-
keeper, marketer, office manager, janitor and, from time to time, the collection agency.
Freelancing also means giving up three things that many aren’t willing to live without: a predictable income, health benefits, and paid vacations. Work-
ing solo also means just that — you’ll mostly be alone, with no one to help when you’re overloaded,
tired, sick or itching to rehash last night’s episode
of Mad Men. You can also wave goodbye to workplace perks like expense accounts, company cars,
subsidized gym memberships, free coffee, employee discounts and an endless supply of sticky
notes. You might work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.
Instead of being assigned work, you’ll have to chase down each client and project, which can be
time-consuming, frustrating and exhausting. And for those who think freelancing means they won’t
have to answer to a boss, here’s the truth: every cli-
ent is a new boss, with attendant demands, expectations and quirks to manage.
There will be leaner times, when work seems to dry
up and you wonder if you made a huge mistake by forgoing a salaried job.
But hey, you’ve gotta dream big. Stay focused, stay organized, do excellent work, build good relation-
ships and manage your money, and you have a good chance of thriving.
If the idea of self-employment inspires excitement
rather than fear, read on to see how others have made it work.
Do a reality check Have a frank conversation with yourself and iden-
tify weaknesses that could trip up your fledgling freelance career. Making it past the first stages
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Ryan Lane
Or maybe you’ve found a full-time position in your
of a business launch requires motivation, level-
writer and business-writing trainer who leads work-
ty, and persistence.
their efforts. “Try marketing without a focus and
headedness, discipline, a tolerance for uncertain“The first year was challenging, to say the least,”
says Rodney Weis, a freelance web designer and computer consultant in Calgary. “I went in with a lot of preconceived notions that it would be easy to make a website, hang out my shingle and wait for
people to break down my door. Of course, the real-
shops that help freelancers identify goals and target you’ll be all over the map. You don’t see Nike trying to sell you hamburgers, or McDonald’s trying to sell
you running shoes. Whether you’re a big business or small business, you have to focus, and that comes
from having a business vision: determining who you are, what you do and who you should do it for.”
ity is that, like any business, it takes a lot of work
Your business vision will change as your interests
yourself… It’s a great way to make a living as long
it fits your goals or is something you’d like to get
and a lot of groundwork. You have to really educate
as the person is prepared to put in the legwork and grow the business one step at a time.”
evolve. When an opportunity comes up, decide if into — if not, stick to your vision. If yes, build it in your business plan.
Adaptability is essential. When Weis began free-
Depending on your type of company, your plan could
of computer services. When web design turned
search your industry: Who’s hiring short-term work-
lancing five years ago, he planned to offer a range
out to be his most marketable skill, he took a
couple of extra courses and got himself on track. He was promptly flooded with work; now, he says,
“I’m as busy as I want to be.” Three-quarters of his jobs come from word of mouth.
Dry spells do happen; you’ll need to be prepared emotionally and financially. “It’s kind of like work-
ing without a safety net — sometimes you sink,
sometimes you swim,” says Weis. “There have been times I’ve had more work than I know what
to do with, and sometimes I don’t have work for a month or more.”
be a couple of pages or a couple dozen pages. Reers and how much are they paying? What services do freelancers offer and how much do they charge? What resources are available to people in your field?
Business plan tips and templates are available from the federal government’s Canada Business site (canadabusiness.ca). For more help, ask a mentor for feedback, take a class for entrepreneurs,
or seek counsel from sources such as Atlantic Canada’s Entrepreneurs’ Forum (entrepreneursforum.com), the Ontario government’s Small Busi-
ness Enterprise Centres (ontariocanada.com) or BizLaunch (bizlaunch.ca).
“YOU DON’T SEE NIKE TRYING TO SELL YOU HAMBURGERS, OR MCDONALD’S TRYING TO SELL YOU RUNNING SHOES.” Get with the plan
Set up command central
Still think you can hack it as a freelancer? Good. The
Many freelancers work from home, and their
company. Before you write one, though, you need
net, a quiet workspace, and a few reference books.
next step is a business plan, the foundation of your to figure out your goals.
At first, you might be tempted to take on anything that’s asked of you, especially if you’ve got student debt to pay off. “If you try to be everything to everybody, you’ll probably be nothing to nobody,” says
needs are minimal: desk, computer, phone, InterIf you need more space or services — or you crave
human interaction — share a rented office or join an organization that lets you work on its premises. For example, members of the Centre for Social
Paul Lima, a Toronto-based freelance writer, copyjobpostings.ca | october 2011
sTay Focused, sTay organiZed, do excellenT Work, build good relaTionsHips and manage your money, and you Have a good cHance oF THriving.
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Innovation in Toronto (socialinnovation.ca) have
access to high-speed Internet, photocopy and fax
machines, meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment, kitchen facilities and even mailboxes.
Christina Lauer, a graphic designer in Vancouver,
set up a home office three years ago. “I realized I was starting to talk to strangers in the supermar-
ket! So, yeah, I was feeling isolated,” she says, adding that people in creative fields benefit from a col-
laborative environment. “Now I’m sharing space in an agency. I don’t feel lonely at all.”
Spread the word As a freelancer, you can’t hide behind your desk and hope that projects will find their way to your
door. You need to promote yourself, network with confidence, and work well with clients.
Lauer has seen other designers struggle to find
work because they weren’t good at dealing with clients. “They might be better off working in an agency where somebody else takes care of that
part,” she says. “When you run your own business, you have to project manage and communicate with clients all the time.”
If interpersonal communication, marketing and
networking aren’t your strong suits, take heart — they get easier with practice, and you might even discover, as Lauer did, that you enjoy it. “When I worked for an agency, I never went out and net-
worked and met people, and I’ve met some really
great people by freelancing,” she explains. “Now I feel like I’m really part of the design community in Vancouver.”
Cultivate contacts by telling family and friends
about your business; attending conferences and trade shows; joining your industry’s professional
association; keeping in touch with classmates (you never know where they’ll end up); and attending
events hosted by your town’s chamber of commerce. Introduce yourself to at least five people at each event, and give them your full attention.
Don’t fret if your phone isn’t ringing the next day
— weeks or months may pass before a prospect needs your services.
Networking isn’t just about finding clients — it’s also about meeting colleagues who may be your
future collaborators or referral sources. Rather
than see other designers as competition, Lauer considers them a great resource; she even lists
their web addresses on her own site. “I’ve worked Image: Stock.xchng
with them before, and when I’m busy and can’t
take on new clients, I’m so happy to recommend
other people who I think will do a good job. For
example, somebody might have really good illus-
taxes. Stay on top of it, and if it’s too overwhelming or complicated, hire a pro to help you manage your finances.
There may also be more administrative work than
you’re accustomed to. “I have to email a lot now,” laughs Lauer. “Although I really like dealing with
clients directly, it’s very time-consuming. Some days, I have to answer 50 emails, and I wonder, ‘What did I do all day?’”
Get better at what you do
OF THE CANADIAN WORKFORCE IS SELFEMPLOYED.
Sharpen your skills and stay on top of developments in your industry. That could mean every-
thing from networking and signing up for trade journals and e-newsletters to taking courses.
Learning could also be informal. “Try to collaborate with people you think are better than you. That’s really important, especially if you work on your
own,” says Lauer. “If you don’t get input from people who have other experiences and know more that you can create a really nice base of clients that
about certain things than you, you’ll stall in your
could be the lifeblood of your business for years.”
Set your rates
Get a life outside of work
Do you know what you’re going to charge? Prepare
It can be hard to separate yourself from your com-
Slaunwhite. “I realize that, especially in creative
and no play is a recipe for misery and burnout.
are exactly alike, but you can develop a fee struc-
but self-employed people need to find a balance.
to discuss pricing intelligently with a client right
may think,” says Slaunwhite. “It’s very easy to get
Business cards are convenient for passing contact
chance of landing the job if you’re able to quote a
consuming, and think about it all the time. Keep
Moo (moo.com) or Vistaprint (vistaprint.ca) and
The biggest mistake freelancers make? Underpric-
trative skills, which I don’t have, and if I know this person can do a much better job… You always get back what you give.”
Create a website for your business. Don’t get too fancy — simple and clear is better than flashy. Look
at the sites of other people in your business, and consider investing in the services of a web designer. Depending on your line of work, social media
sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn may be helpful — just keep the personal and professional
separate. (Clients don’t need to see pictures of you swilling margaritas on a beach.)
info to prospects. Whip up inexpensive ones with
carry a couple at all times — you never know when
pany, especially if you work at home, but all work
categories like writing and design, no two projects
No doubt there will be unavoidable crunch times,
ture based on typical projects. That will enable you
“This is more important than most freelancers
from the get-go, and it significantly increases your
wrapped up in your business and have it be all-
ballpark price right away.”
in mind when planning your business that you’re also planning your life.”
ing. “They’re afraid to quote their full value. But free-
Slaunwhite recommends establishing guidelines
If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right, it is.
offering a professional service, and should be charg-
available. “Clients will be as demanding as they
might have to make dozens of elevator speeches
get a client and your price is too low, you’ll never be
of rules to build the lifestyle you want.”
that way — if clients notice that you consistently
Charging higher rates does mean, however, that
a tough haul at times, but it’s also incredibly grati-
get away. “Some people out there are unwilling
doing by yourself.
opportunities will pop up.
lancers need to realize that they’re professionals,
— for example, which days of the week you’ll be
Launching a business takes serious effort, and you
ing professional rates,” explains Slaunwhite. “If you
can be, and you want to make sure you have a set
before you land a new prospect. It won’t always be
able to raise your prices with that client, ever.”
Think you’re up the challenge? Freelancing can be
deliver the goods and are a pleasure to deal with,
you have to be willing to let lower-paying clients
fying to know that everything you achieve, you’re
“A lot of freelancers give up way too soon. They
or unable to pay professional rates for things —
Since going freelance, Lauer has been courted by
do a few things to try to promote their business,
Slaunwhite. “Some won’t be able to afford you and
good clients — they get frustrated,” says Steve
can. You don’t have to accept every client’s budget.”
consultant in Brampton, Ont., and co-author of The
Take care of business
“[Freelancing is] so much more rewarding, and I feel
Once you land clients and become immersed in
what I would’ve learned in an agency. And I find it
you’re likely to hit the jackpot: repeat work.
make a few cold calls or put their website up, and
they’re cheapskates or don’t have the budget,” says
and when they don’t get clients — or not very
that’s OK — there are plenty of other clients who
Slaunwhite, a freelance copywriter and marketing Wealthy Freelancer. “You need to take massive ac-
tion and make a big noise, contact maybe hundreds
of clients. It takes a lot of effort, but the reward is
a range of figures and be ready to quote them, says
the work, it’s easy to forget the details of running a
company — things like bookkeeping, invoicing and
agencies to work in-house, but she turned them down. “I didn’t even consider it for a second. I thought I would, if a good agency approached me, but…I just can’t imagine going back,” she says.
like I learn more — in the past three years, 10 times really satisfying that all my output is all just me.”
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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jobpostings.ca | october 2011
THE PROBLEM WITH ABORIGINAL EDUCATION IN CANADA
AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.
work in Aboriginal recruitment at a post-
general population. In the next 15 years, more
secondary institution and every day I am
than 400,000 Aboriginal young people will reach
met with the startling facts surrounding
labour-market age. These youth need to be ready
the state of Aboriginal education in Canada
for the job market, armed with an education
today. More than one-third of Aboriginal people haven’t earned a high school diploma, and there are only eight percent of Aboriginal people aged 25 to 64 who hold university degrees, compared to 23 percent of non-Aboriginals in the same age group who do.
that will enable them to participate. Unfortunately, many of these youth — particularly those who are growing up on reservations — don’t have access to standard educational opportunities. There are three kinds of First Nations education in Canada delivered to Aborigi-
There is a serious disparity between Native and
nal students. Federal schools that are controlled
non-Native peoples in Canada. What most Cana-
by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
dians don’t understand is why these gaps exist
Canada (AANDC), provincial schools, and local
— and why they should be concerned about it.
schools operated by First Nations communities.
By 2020, there is estimated to be a shortfall of one million workers in Canada, mostly in high skilled
Sixty-five percent of the 120,000 eligible on-reserve First Nations students attend the latter.
and knowledge-oriented occupations. The cur-
The issue with the majority of these schools is
rent labour shortfall has already impacted busi-
that they are grossly under-funded. Paul Martin,
ness operations and changed labour markets, and
in an interview with the Toronto Star, said “that
will increasingly do so. If there are no measure-
the per capita funding for a First Nations child
ments to fill this shortfall, Canadian business and
going to elementary or high school is anywhere
our economy could be seriously impacted.
from 20 to 40 percent lower than what non-Na-
There has been a huge push to fill Canada’s
tive kids get on a per capita basis.”
employment shortage with an immigrant popu-
Many of these schools aren’t able to recruit and
lation but the Aboriginal youth could be a key
retain qualified teachers to work on remote and
solution. In Canada, the Aboriginal population is
rural reservations, even though teachers can
the fastest growing demographic in Canada. It’s
teach without a Bachelors of Education (Bed). Be-
growing at roughly twice the annual rate of the
cause I work in recruitment for a university and
by Lisa Charleyboy
“THe noTion THaT all FirsT naTions sTudenTs receive a “Free educaTion” is Far ouTmoded and many, like myselF, graduaTe Facing HigH sTudenT loan debTs JusT like mosT canadian sTudenTs.”
jobpostings.ca | october 2011
among Aboriginal male youth was boredom, and
be an employee shortage and industries will be
for Aboriginal female youth it was pregnancy or
struggling to look for skilled workers.
looking after children.
ize that closing the Native education gap could
secondary school, they are often faced with a
add much-needed fuel to the economy. “The
serious lack of funding. The notion that all First
long-term future not only of our Native peoples
Nations students receive a “free education” is far
but of this country is education,” said Purdy
outmoded and many, like myself, graduate facing
Crawford, a prominent businessman, to the
high student loan debts just like most Canadian
Globe and Mail.
students. According to the Aboriginal People’s survey, the number one reason why students don’t finish their studies is related to finances.
One solution is to bring distance education to reservations, so that community members can access education without leaving their families and
Although education is a treaty right, there is
way of living. The First Nations Technical Institute
a serious lack of post secondary education
in Tyendinaga, Ontario offers a variety of diploma,
funding (PSE) from the Canadian government
degree and certificate programs, uses various de-
to make it accessible for all Native students.
livery methods to reduce barriers to PSE, and has
Federal funding is only increased 2 percent a
a 90 percent employment rate for graduates.
year, while tuition is increasing at 4.4 percent a year and the number of eligible students has increased significantly due to population demographics and Bill C3, which granted previously ineligible youth Indian Status.
Many corporate leaders are on board. They real-
When Aboriginal youth are eligible for post-
Resources and energy industries are also putting forth great strides to bring technical training to First Nations communities so that they can employ community members in their initiatives. In Timmins, Ont., Dumas Mining creat-
“If our students struggle through their child-
ed a partnership with Wabun Tribal Council to
hood to get to the point where they can go on
prepare First Nations people with the adequate
to advanced training, advanced education,
training for mining, and they are guaranteed
and then find that the resources aren’t there
jobs upon completion. This is just one of many
for them to move on, the tragedy is so painful
employment and education gap solutions cre-
we simply cannot allow it to happen,” (Excerpt
ated across the country. If you are interested in creating your own solution
“MANY CORPORATE LEADERS ARE ON BOARD. THEY REALIZE THAT CLOSING THE NATIVE EDUCATION GAP COULD ADD MUCH-NEEDED FUEL TO THE ECONOMY.”
and are a recent BEd graduate looking to gain experience, why not consider teaching in a First Nations community? There are so many across the country looking for eager, bright teachers that are committed to understanding First Nations people and interested in social justice. Many can be found on the Education Canada website. For those who are not on the teacher track, but would still like to contribute, I would suggest finding a local First Nations organization or
visit many of these schools in Ontario, I have also
from National Aboriginal Achievement Founda-
agency and enquire to any volunteer positions
witnessed firsthand how few of these schools offer
tion, No Higher Priority).
that suit your skills. Many local Friendship Cen-
These students are already forced to only be able to be college ready, and never given the opportunity to challenge themselves with these courses.
There are great prospects for those that do finish their postsecondary education; in many urban areas, employment rates among Aboriginal peoples with a university degree are even high-
and are a good resource at being able to find out what volunteer positions are available in your local town or city.
Students that study off-reserve don’t necessar-
er than non-Aboriginal people with the same
It is clear that the state of Aboriginal education
ily fare much better than those that stay on re-
is currently well below that of the national av-
serve. According to Statistics Canada, the range among major urban areas for Aboriginal youth school attendance is from 50-66 percent, compared to the non-Aboriginal youth who were at 60-70 percent. The main reason for dropping out
But the cost of not educating First Nations people in Canada is high. According to the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal poverty will cost Canada up to $11 billion per year by 2016. This could be detrimental to the Canadian economy, especially when there will
ters are the hub of First Nations communities
erage. It does require that all Canadians understand the complexities and see the value in increasing Aboriginal education because it will not only benefit Aboriginal peoples and their families, it will greatly contribute to Canadian society and the economy as a whole.
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
the courses required for entrance into university.
Find your perfect career at TD.
Why work for TD? At TD, you’ll have the opportunity to grow throughout your career – through access to development programs, networking opportunities, job coaching and mentoring. We encourage you to get involved! We have an active Aboriginal Employee Circle with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal employees from across Canada. By participating in the Circle, you’ll be able to provide guidance and learn about the exciting work TD is doing within Aboriginal communities across the country. So you won’t just be an employee, you’ll be a valued team member whose voice is respected and heard. If you’re interested in TD, we’re interested in you.
A Passion For Opportunity
To learn more about working at TD, visit www.td.com/careers
difference Canadaâ€™s #1 industrial employer of Aboriginal people Crystal Iron, Senior Environment Technician, Cigar Lake, SK
More at cameco.com
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
management TRAINING programs A CAREER GAMBLE OR YOUR BEST BET? by Katie Edmonds
It’s pretty safe to say that most university gradu-
their training – whether it’s eight months or three
ates don’t envision themselves working as a ca-
years — they get a better, more well rounded
shier at a fast food emporium, or as a front-line
background of different aspects within the com-
customer service representative at a car-rental
pany, rather than one particular field,” he said.
depot upon graduation.
panies like Enterprise Rent-a-Car, McDonalds,
opportunity to move beyond the sales or cus-
Scotiabank, Accenture and Staples Business
tomer service role to a position in upper man-
Depot, who all offer comprehensive training pro-
agement within just a few months of being
grams to take graduates from the ground floor to
hired? Would that change your outlook?
the penthouse of their career.
Brent Wellman, Director, Edwards Career Ser-
“The program is like Business 101 on ten cups
vices at the University of Saskatchewan, believes
of coffee,” said Erin Marsden, Talent Acquisition
management training programs are a great op-
Manager for Enterprise Rent-a-car in the Greater
tion, which often go unnoticed, for students and
Toronto Area, a company that welcomes both
new grads searching for a career path.
college and university graduates into their pro-
“Management training programs provide a lot of different opportunities in terms of the particular organization that’s offering them,” said Wellman.
gram. “We teach them everything to do with the business, so our employees see the organization from every possible level.”
“They allow new hires to get a better understand-
Enterprise, like many other training programs,
ing of different aspects within the business, while
puts their recruits through an initial orientation
giving them a chance to find their best fit.”
and training, and then assigns each individual to
According to Wellman, these programs encourage candidates to explore different career options within an organization, rather than simply focusing on the role they were hired into. “At the end of jobpostings.ca | october 2011
This is the logic used by hiring managers at com-
But what if one of those places offered you the
a branch office in their home area, where their hands-on training begins. During the first year of the program, the new recruit actively participates in everything from sales and marketing to
“THE PROGRAM IS LIKE BUSINESS 101 ON TEN CUPS OF COFFEE” customer service, to operations and finance. As
This doesn’t come as news to the team at En-
they progress, they are tested and evaluated to
terprise-Rent-a-Car, as they’ve experienced won-
determine their proficiency in each of these areas.
derful success with their management training
“The cool thing about it is that I have been a fulltime employee since Day 1,” said Jessica Ruston, a recent Carleton University graduate who is currently enrolled in the Management Consultant Training Program at Accenture Canada, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. “But instead of being thrown into the fire at a job and being
55 years at Enterprise,” said Marsden. “We truly believe that we have the best training program and our employees learn what we consider to be the right way of doing things. We want to bring someone in who has the core competencies, and then we want to invest our time and money and effort in their being successful.”
expected to figure it out by myself, I have been
But despite the appealing nature of job security,
trained constantly since the very beginning.”
management training programs aren’t neces-
If the new hires do well in their role, they are rewarded with pay increases and a wider breadth of opportunity for promotion. Many of the toplevel executives of Enterprise, Accenture, and other companies with this type of program have
sarily the best fit for everyone. “It’s definitely an investment,” said Wellman. “From an employer’s perspective, it’s time, it’s about mentorship, and it’s a buy-in from all the different areas of business that are part of the program.”
followed a similar track, as employees being
Wellman also stated that it certainly takes a
hired now at these companies swear by this type
unique individual to commit to a management
of career advancement.
training program. “Many grads in today’s era of
“Companies that offer these training programs are looking to move candidates into management roles,” said Wellman. “These programs are certainly not cheap either. They are strategic, and designed with a high level of learning, along with exposure to areas of the business that the company wants new hires to grow within.” The question then is: Are new graduates aware of this path as a possible career option? According to Wellman, new grads should consider joining a management training program if the opportunity presents itself. “I think it’s a fabulous decision to make of looking at it,” he said. “It should also be a strategic plan from the business perspective of the organization to sell the idea to new hires.”
program. “It’s a formula that has worked for over
work have this idea of ‘I’ll work at one place for a couple of years, and then move on to something else,’” he said. “But businesses invest a lot into their training programs, and it’s certainly a time commitment. They’re giving individuals solid foundations of skill sets and experience to better them, which in turn should attract them to want to stay within the organization.” For Ruston, the opportunity to join a management training program is exactly what she was looking for as she finished her degree. “I would definitely recommend it to my friends,” she said. “I am constantly being given opportunities to grow and change at Accenture and if that continues to be the case, I could see myself being here for a very long time.” october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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People may not always have very nice things to say about sales people, but really, are all sales people the same? Can we lump them all into the same cat-
5MISCONCEPTIONS SALES PEOPLE egory of being ruthless and only out to
sell, sell, sell? Let’s bust some common misconceptions about sales people.
(and how to be a good one)
THE BEST SALES PEOPLE ARE NATURALS
SALES PEOPLE EMBELLISH THE FACTS
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS
ONCE THEY’VE MADE A SALE, THEY’RE GONE
THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT CLIENTS
John Marsh, owner of Ele-
So, you think all sales
This may be true some of
Sales people promise the
Sales people often care
compack Systems Inc., be-
people will fib a little (or a
the time. Marsh, whose
world to get your money
about more than just the
lieves having natural sales
lot) to make a sale, leaving
company supplies medi-
and disappear as soon as
number of bills they have
ability is an asset, but
you wondering how you
cal offices with products
you realize it’s not all they
in their wallets — they
there are still things you
ever got through the day
such as stationary,
said it was, right?
care about the well-being
need to learn. “The very
without their better-than-
labels, paper gowns, and
best sales people come by
masks, says “the com-
most of the social skills
Simply not true.
pany tells you that you
one to be outgoing is not easy,” says Marsh. “Good sales people can deal with large amounts of rejection — try to teach someone that,” he continues. However, Marsh explains that training is still crucial, especially when closing a sale. “Obviously product knowledge in relation to your competitors is the most important.”
Brian Johnston, sales trainer for Brijon and Associates (representing
have to hit the numbers. And if you don’t you may lose your job.”
follow up post-purchase to see what worked out, and what didn’t. Amanda Fordham, CEO and president of Canadian Home
of their clients. “My emphasis is on fostering and developing the relationship for the long-term,” Fordham explains. “It is critical that clients feel they can place reliance
Hofstetter Business Tech-
But this doesn’t mean
Healthcare, says, “I do
nologies), says, “I’m here
that all sales people are
think that sales are highly
to give you an opportuni-
simply out for your hard
driven, and very competi-
Johnston agrees. “We
ty, and if it’s not what you
earned cash. “We aren’t
tive, but I’m more clinical
put the customer first
are looking for, you move
asking them for anything.
and focus on patient care.
and provide a service to
on.” Johnston explains
We ask them ‘Do you use
So, I’m there for the long-
that customer,” Johnston
that a good sales person
this?’ and if they do, we
term. I go back and I fol-
stresses, adding that, “In
needs to be honest. “Don’t
send them a price list
low up. If we can’t deliver
creating a relationship,
lie and say your product
and let it speak for itself,”
the service that they want
you create a friendship.”
or service can do for the
then I say we can’t.”
customer what it can’t.”
by Alyssa Ouellette october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
Image: Digital Vision./ Photodisc/Thinkstockv
naturally. Teaching some-
Wrong. Many sales people
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Working in retail can teach you important, transferrable skills.
Retail is really busy during holiday seasons, es-
Static jobs are becoming rare. Korchinos says it’s
pecially in small stores. In addition to serving
extremely important for employees to be “open-
customers, you may be saddled with: restock-
minded to a dynamic working environment where
Retail work gets knocked almost every-
ing items, processing shipments, folding clothes,
expectations can (and do) change frequently.”
where. It’s underpaid and rarely glorified,
tracking inventory, cleaning, and/or more.
by Emma Woolley
but working in retail is educational and often enjoyable. I worked in retail and food service for eight years, and while some of my experiences were challenging, most were rewarding. I made enough money to finish my two degrees, and I learned a lot about people and high-pressure workplaces. Most retail positions are available during the summer and winter holidays when stores need extra people to deal with extra Image: Stockbyte/Thinkstockv
customers, and when you need extra cash. While the work may seem simple, there’s lots of important and transferable skills to be learned from retail. Here are the top four. jobpostings.ca | october 2011
Today you’re a cashier, but tomorrow you could
The best way to deal with a long list of to-dos is
be a salesperson. You might not like the pressure,
learning what Steve Korchinos, a manager at Joe
but it doesn’t hurt to try out charm and persua-
Fresh, calls “the art of prioritization.” Assess each
sion in selling things. You might even be good at
situation to determine what’s most important,
it! When I worked at a LEGO outlet, part of my
which in retail is always the customer. Messy
job was running birthday parties for young kids.
racks can wait, raving customers who may hurt
It wasn’t my favourite thing to do, but I learned
which games were most engaging and how to
You’ll also learn to multi-task more efficiently by figuring out which things can be done at the same time. For example, organizing clothes by size while answering a customer’s questions. Most positions will require you to manage mul-
deal with kids and their parents. Because many professions require you to adapt to new environments, such as management changes and acquiring new responsibilities, having multiple roles on your resume is always a plus.
tiple tasks, people, or projects, so it’s wise to really hone this skill.
Coping with stress
Dealing with people
Holiday seasons in retail are the busiest and
Unpleasant people are everywhere. While many customers are
most stressful for everyone. With cranky cus-
perfectly nice, you may be shocked with how rude people will
tomers to deal with and a thousand other things
be to you as a cashier or salesperson. Whether they’re having a
to do, it’s easy to get upset. You’ll eventually
bad day or are simply cranky by nature, sometimes you just can’t
learn to roll with the punches: a valuable skill
please people. “Steve Dublanca, the Waiter Rant blogger, says that
for avoiding very public meltdowns.
80 percent of his customers just want something to eat and the
Brad, who worked at a book store to pay for his
When a customer is swearing at you because you’re out of me-
education, says to remind yourself: “It’s a store,
dium sizes, it’s hard to not take it personally. Don’t. “No matter
not an ER.” Take care of yourself to avoid burn-
how aggressive or toxic the situation, keep calm, genuinely listen
out. Going on breaks, staying well rested, and
to the customer’s concerns, and never take the situation as a per-
taking on only what you can handle is integral to
sonal attack,” advises Korchinos. “Remember that the attitudes
getting through any stressful situation.
of less-than-friendly customers... are expressions of their own
Even on the busiest days, try to loosen up. Wi-
ersema, who’s about to enter his 20th holiday
This is key in any work environment. You’ll have coworkers and
season, says that one learns to appreciate the
clients to deal with and some of them may behave badly. A little
positive. “Customers are going to be frantic and
patience and compassion go a long way. If someone’s lashing out
demanding, your boss is going to be freaking out,
at you, never fight fire with fire. “Treat the customer as you would
the music is going to be irritating, you’re going
like to be treated, and things often turn around,” says Wiersema.
to have dozens of demands on your time — you
The same strategy works for anyone else you interact with.
can’t fight any of those things and resistance just makes it worse,” he says. “Ride it out. Savour the moments in which you make the perfect recommendation or make a customer smile.” If you can stay positive while everyone else falls apart, you’ll succeed in any job — and feel a lot better.
other 20 percent are psychopaths,” says Brad.
While some customers and coworkers are awful, others can make your day and teach you something new. “My job gives me daily reality checks and opens up new worlds of interaction,” Wiersema says. “You really do meet the strangest, most wonderful sorts [of people] and it colours your whole life. As a writer, it’s so valuable for me to interact with people — readers — in the real world.”
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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managing expectations Project Management pays dividends no matter your profession.
What does a shuttle
Not only is the program pan-industry, but there are
Games and a charity
doors are open to all interested parties. “Ideally, the
launch, the Olympic fund-drive have in common? Disregard the scale; they’re all multi-faceted
ects that require a lot
of planning and resource management
to pull off. Increasingly, businesses are recognizing the need to train their managers to tackle
large, complex projects. There’s a measure of calculation, know-how and finesse needed to keep
things running smoothly. That’s where the discipline of Project Management comes into play.
Traditionally, project management was considered the domain of civil and construction engineers
overseeing large development projects. While that still applies, the past couple of decades have seen
the principles of project management applied to other industries in Canada.
no formal academic pre-requisites, meaning the student should already be in the position of managing some kind of project or in that environment
so they can apply what we’re teaching them,” explains Barrett. “This is adult education at it’s best
— there’s tons of sharing, debates and discussions.
What our students bring to the classroom is a major chunk of the benefit of our program.”
For those looking to complement their post-sec-
ondary education, The University of Calgary offers a post-grad Project Management Program that is jointly offered by their Schulich School of Engineering and Huskayne School of Business. “Most of our students come from engineering and construction, but not necessarily,” says Janaka Ruwanpura, director, professor and Canada research chair of
the Project Management program at the university. “Technically, we admit students working in the
industry, but it’s not limited to any market, as long as they have the academic credentials.”
“I got involved in this business about 15 years ago
There are different branches of the program, each
were starving for better ways to manage their proj-
industry experience. “Project Management isn’t
when large companies like Bell Canada and RBC
ects,” recalls David Barrett, the Program Director of the Centre of Excellence in Project Management at the Schulich Executive Education Centre. Partnering with various universities across Canada, the
organization offers a Masters Certificate in Project Management that is meant to address these
needs. “We don’t focus on any one industry, nor any one type of project,” says Barrett. “Anyone currently making a living managing projects can benefit.”
of which requires varying amounts of previous
a field where you can pick it up right away,” explains Ruwanpura. “People need to see the real
world before they apply.” For those in the re-
source industry, the program also has an added
benefit. “We have a course called engineering management that teaches how to deal with
managing electrical, instrumentation, process,
piping and mechanical aspects of a project,” says Ruwanpura. “Specifically in this particular course,
it’s a highly interactive program that has both in-
dustry and academic input, as it’s taught by a top engineering company in Canada.”
In recent years the university has also added its own Project Management Certification Program that is a condensed version of the degree program.
“There was a large number of industry people wanting to attend our course, and we couldn’t
always meet the demand,” explains Ruwanpura.
Being a certificate program, there are academic requirements and it’s open to people from any field. “We condense a 39-hour graduate course into a 12
hour certificate course,” he continues. “Content wise it’s a little less, but the quality is the same.”
The common link between these programs, re-
gardless of provider or focus, is that of the formalization of management processes. “Managers
need the skillset to understand expectations and
to deliver the project successfully,” says Ruwanpura. “People always say, ‘on time, on cost, on quality,’ but there’s more to it than that — it’s a matter of
[a business’] reputation. If a project runs over cost, time or money, people jump at that.”
This more studied approach to managing large proj-
ects addresses a pressing need, regardless of indus-
try. “A lot of people out there managing projects are winging it,” says Barrett. “When people come to our program, they come with a need to understand a
more formal approach and understand what they’re missing from their projects. They need a process to
follow.” If those processes results in fewer headaches, more efficient work patterns and the opportu-
nity for risk-management, putting time into improving your project management skills is a no-brainer. by Kevin Nelson
What Do be You
The Future of Learning october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
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SCHOOL eez TUFF (Need some helpz!)
careers. education. ideas. all of it. jobpostings.ca | october 2011
To begin with, if you’re fresh out of school you
most likely, though not always, have student
debts to pay back. It was okay while you looked for
that perfect job and worked at Starbucks to just pay the minimum monthly payments, but let’s face it, if you’re even lucky enough to be me with
a debt slightly lower than the Canadian average student debt, you’re still going to be paying that thing off for 15 to 20 years!
Budget accordingly and talk to the people at your
student loan office, where you can negotiate a comfortable minimum payment that will shave
some serious years off your overall repayment timeline and also counteract a lot of the interest
What to do with all that money you’re making!
that you’d end up paying. I went one year where by paying the bare minimum, I only paid the interest accruing rather than slicing off any of my
actual debt. That hurts when you get that paper in the mail at tax time.
Next, if you ever want to get somewhere and hover out of the debt-pit; owning your own house, a
nice, new car, or take a great vacation once in a
while, you need to budget a monthly addition to your savings.
Let’s look at the current mortgage scenario in Canada: if you wanted to buy a house by acquiring a mortgage, under current federal mortgage
rules you would need to put down at least 15
percent of the total purchase price of the home. All other lending and repayment rules aside, that means you would need at least $30K to
even think about a $200k home, and if you’re
For many of you, this is the beginning. It’s where
like me and live in a major city like Toronto, the
you want to start, it’s the big plan, it’s where you
minimum price for a decent home (though that
forked off down that road to the career that you
may depend on your idea of decent) is $500k, or
think may sustain you for either the next ten years
a $75k down payment. Yikes.
or perhaps the rest of your working life. You landed
Put down what you can comfortably fit into your
your first gig, your foot in the door, and it may be
budget, and consider that you may also need to
the first real full-time permanent position you’ve
dip into that money from time to time for any
ever had. Before, you spent your hard-earned
health or other emergencies — but hey, at least if
money on food, drink, and housing or transporta-
you’re making the effort you’re on your way.
tion — suddenly you’re thrust into a world where the paycheques (though not necessarily huge) are
Of course, the more you put in the more you can
bigger than anything you’ve ever cashed before…
make, but as with the previous suggestions, fig-
now what are you going to do with all that dough?
started; most investment agencies allow you to
ment, big TV, nice computer, nice clothes — I even
body else when it could be going right back to me
only add a minimum between $25-50 a month
always worked so I could afford that stuff. I was
doing with all that extra cash I was suddenly pull-
of beer that could potentially earn you hundreds
freedom, but that freedom includes a responsibil-
might also offer an RRSP incentive program that
ter Parker’s Uncle Ben was right when he told him,
small percentage each payday. Look into what
what are the responsible options?
are basically throwing away free money the com-
had a motorbike at one point, but then again, I
via a mortgage. And so I had to rethink what I was
— that’s one dinner out a month, or two pitchers
young, and had no responsibilities and no long-
ing in. Some say having more money means more
to thousands. If you’re lucky, your new employer
ity to yourself to do constructive things with it. Pe-
will match your contributions or give you a certain
“With great power comes great responsibility.” So
they offer because if you’re not taking part, you
Now, a few years later, I’m thinking about mar-
riage, which technically is starting a family, but I’ve also got student loans I’m tired of paying, and I’m really, really tired of paying monthly rent to some-
pany is willing to give you for being their bright, fresh new responsible face.
with Ross Harrhy
october 2011 | jobpostings.ca
I’ve always been one for toys myself: stereo equip-
ure out what you’re willing to budget and get
8 launch ways to
YOUR CAREER POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATES IN:
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Published on Oct 10, 2011
Published on Oct 10, 2011
The October 2011 edition of Canada's largest career lifestyle magazine for students and recent grads. This issue's cover story outlines what...