So which job?

That is the most important and possibly the most elusive question to answer, but the journey is worth it.

The types of jobs that will be available beyond the next five years have not even been created yet. In Toronto, 50% of the 75,000 business establishments were not in business just ten years ago.  Fully 36% of business establishments are no more than five years old, so it can be said there are new opportunities to work emerging all the time in the city.  Finding a career that you can grow with is an important step. It is also important to recognize that your job search may happen on a regular basis as companies, positions, and professions come and go. Establishing a lifelong learning plan, with a main career goal and a backup career or hobby goal will be a very useful strategy. Often what we do as a hobby or secondary interest may become our main occupation or a strong influence to support our primary work. (My hobby of photography helped me in my work through documenting our major annual events and shooting a video for the fund raising department.)

As most work in Toronto is in the service sector – strong customer service skills and business social skills are key to long term success and common to most work. The specific technical skills of the job merely differentiate the specific jobs that you can perform. A great place to start is with the National Occupational Classification provided by the Federal Bureau of Statistics. This handy service provides full job descriptions for thousands of jobs. Using these job descriptions, you can list out the essential duties of any job you have done in the past and any job you interested in taking up. Explore these job descriptions and make sure that you use this information to describe the work and the accomplishments you have already done for your resume and your interviews.

Here is an example listing for Office Manager NOC 1221.   You will see an overall description of the job, the main duties and the education and experience typically required for the job. When you are determining which type of job to seek, this information is helpful to determine if you have the required experience, education, and interest. When you get the descriptions of all the kinds of work you have done and compare them with the requirements of work you are seeking, you can determine whether you have the existing direct or transferable skills to do the job. You may also find out that you need to take additional training to qualify for the new position. Knowing the scope of the work you are seeking will help you to have conversations with people who are already doing the same work and will enhance your impression through being able to ask relevant questions.

In preparation for resume writing, use the National Occupational Classification 2016 to get the listings of all the kinds of work you have done and use this as a starting point. As you review these listings, make sure that you identify whether you have performed the duties listed. Are there any duties not listed? You will want to be sure that the information about your previous work included on your resume reflects your actual duties and accomplishments. (Resumes are checked.)

Take a moment to consider the kind of job you want next and get the job description as well.

Is the next job a natural continuation of the past jobs, a career change, a long term goal, or something that you can do immediately? All this comes clear when you compare your work experience and education with the duties and requirements of the next job.

Have some fun with this. If you have most of the requirements of the career, you may be able to demonstrate your strong ability to learn on the job and be the successful candidate.

If you have any questions or feedback, please email me at, and I will respond to you.

Everyone is hiring. It’s true.

When people insist that no one is hiring – I am not exactly sure where they get their information. Perhaps they have approached their job search in a way that is ineffective, perhaps they have had heard this from others.

Every employer is hiring this year

In fact, in Toronto alone, 75,000 employers are hiring 11% of the workforce every year. This 11% represents people leaving their job for another job or other activity. With over 1.4 million jobs in Toronto – this represents over 160,000 jobs available every year. Finding a single job in this scenario becomes a relatively straight forward task.

The Conference Board of Canada came up with the 11% job turnover statistic, but this is the overall average number. Depending on the sector, you will find certain industries have a turnover that is much higher or a bit less than the 11% number. You can look at the overall survey that shows the turnover rates by major industry type by clicking on the following link: Industry Turnover Rates – Conference Board of Canada

So where are the jobs?

The City of Toronto surveys employers every year and the research comes out annually. The reports are available through the city of Toronto website: City of Toronto Employment Survey. You can look at the full report of the 2016 survey here: 2016 Toronto Employment Survey. Take your time reading the Toronto Employment Survey – it has a lot of very useful information, especially the location of the major employment districts.  With this helpful information, you can explore these regions across the city with the intention to find employment close to home or within an easy commute.

Mapping your Job Search

Google Maps can help you determine the commute times. Ideal commute times are less than one hour by whatever means that you choose. Need to find specific business addresses? You can use CanPages to locate businesses by category that are close to your place of residence. Using Google Maps to do a virtual tour of the streets surrounding the addresses of the business you identify in CanPages. Using these two tools can be truly helpful to organize your job search trips to visit companies.

If you have any questions or feedback please email me at and I will respond to you.


The Soul of Progress

Many have asked where this tag line, ” The soul of progress,” comes from, especially concerning a job search blog. As a practitioner in the field for over 15 years, I have seen how people approach a job search, the work they do, and the schooling they take. I have found that job seekers have been deeply distressed when they land jobs that feel like meaningless work. On the other hand, when people get work that more accurately reflects their capacity and skill level, they are happier, stay employed longer, make more money and advance in their career.

Most people reject the idea of taking a job that does not reflect their skill level. In fact, most people welcome the chance to take a job where they will grow and develop new skills, knowledge and the ability to help others to develop as well. As one of the three major areas of life, family, community,  and employment, it seems that what we choose as a profession and how we perform in that work expresses who we are as a person, how we are valued by others and by ourselves. Anything that describes our identity or social role touches upon the idea of the soul.

Helping people to find meaningful work through mapping an evolving career helps them to express and develop who they are. It matters. It is respecting the soul of progress. 

If you have any questions or feedback please email me at and I will respond to you.

The Four Stages of Learning – You are more amazing than you know!

When I was a small child I was drawn to the piano in the den of our home. It made wonderful sounds. I always played the piano tunefully and never banged it. This love for the piano translated into many hours sitting at the keyboard and picking out tunes on the keys. Eventually, over many years and several failed attempts to give me lessons, I joined a garage band at school, and the rest is history. I went from there to play piano through college, earning my way to pay rent by playing solo at the local piano bar. In the height of my musical abilities, I could play for 5 hours straight and never repeat a tune. Without even noticing it – I spent hours a day playing piano and finding joy in its sound. As Malcolm Gladwell would put it – I spent the 10,000 hours it takes to develop a sort of mastery with the instrument. Others would spend time shooting hoops, or baking and cooking, drawing, or working with wood. Whatever your passion – you gladly spend the hours, solving problems, celebrating small wins and even bringing the skill to others for acceptance.

Whether hobby, sport, relationship, or profession, the process is similar. You take an interest in something you have never even tried before, and bit by bit, through trial and error, success and failure you begin to get good at it. Eventually, you become so good that you do not even have to think about it. Being able to do things is where esteem comes from and why it is so powerful to begin your job search by doing an inventory of the things that you do well without having to think about it. You will find that your esteem and self-worth will climb as you discover just how many things you have mastered well. Anything worth doing well is worth the painful beginner’s stage.

The question is – What do you wish to learn next?

Here is a link to a Wikipedia article on the Four stages of Competence. Click on the link below:

The Four Stages of Competence (Wikipedia)

Try this exercise to identify the things you have mastered and how: The download link is below:

Click to view the Job Search by Heart Inventory


If you have any questions or feedback please email me at and I will respond to you.


The Job Search Roadmap

Job Search Roadmap in Reverse Order

In the design of any project or activity, starting with the end in mind will help guide the outcome to the desired goal. Often in a job search, we start with the résumé and hope that our trajectory will hit the target. In this case, let’s start with the end – passing probation into full employment as our end point and let’s break down the steps that got you there. When working with an Employment Services agency, the Employment Advisor may “work backward” from the goal to assess your job search readiness, employment readiness, gaps, and solutions.  The four stages of job search are Prepare, Plan, Prove It!,  and Perform.

We have provided a handy document that outlines this process in full. Just download it from the link provided below:

Job Search Roadmap in Reverse Order – Job Search By Heart



Taking Job Search By Heart on the road

So many of you have shown an interest in this topic and material that you have invited me to speak to your staff, job seekers, and others who want to land the best job as soon as possible. Here is the presentation – please share with your friends and contacts.

Click here to download the Inventory tool


If you have any questions or feedback please email me at and I will respond to you.

You never have to be strong (repost)

This is a verbatim repost of a Facebook posting by Aaron Paquette


As always, you may share if you like…


You never have to be strong. 

That’s a myth. 

Being strong means you have to fight against something, whether it’s oppression, fear, poverty or abuse of yourself or someone else.

But when you fight those things, you make them stronger and you tell yourself, “This is hard. This is difficult. Life is so tough for me!”

You train yourself to always be fighting something, to always be suffering.

There are two ways to freedom: To fight for it, which in the long term simply means you are forever caught in a struggle…

Or, to simply become free.

If you want freedom from poverty, begin counting the wealth in your life. The blessings of friends or family, of health or simply the ability to think and to experience. If you approach every day this way, you will get stronger. 

You will become more open to wealth in all it’s forms, one of which will be money. But the true step to freedom from poverty is when you can share what you have with no regrets.

If you want freedom from oppression, don’t be oppressed. Rosa Parks didn’t raise a fist, Ghandi didn’t shoot a gun. They just decided one day, “I am free. I am worthwhile.”

And they were.

If you want freedom from fear, stop living in places that don’t exist. That would scare anyone! If you woke up tomorrow with complete amnesia, you would not be haunted or dismayed by your past. It wouldn’t be real, and yet you would exist! You wouldn’t have any plan for tomorrow because all you know is right now. Today.

The past is a place where you can visit if you like, but to think it’s real is like thinking a movie is real. It’s all just light and sound and actors playing their parts and when it’s over, you leave the theatre.

Similarly, the future can’t reach out and hurt you. It has no form, it has no ability to hurt you, and yet we obsess about it. We worry about it as if we could possibly foresee every detail that has yet to be written. And sadly, most of our thoughts for the future are ones of concern, anxiety and fear.

To leave fear behind, stop fighting all these shadows.

Instead, embrace what’s good about right now. Acknowledge your challenges, utilize your thoughts and your meditations to illuminate a possible path forward, remaining open to all other possible paths, and then let the moments come, one by one. All the moments that are neither what has gone before or whats to come.

There’s literally nowhere else you can be except right here, right now.

Fear and sadness come when we don’t live where we actually exist.

You never have to be strong, you simply have to be.

And when you let go of fear of past or future (in other words, of judgement and loss and failure), then you release your ego and what’s left behind?

The true essence of yourself.

You heart, your love, your kindness.

All rules are meaningless except this one:

Be kind.

To your magnificent self and to all others.

When you feel you are important, or your problems are important you start losing sight of that one shining light.

Let go of your seriousness, your cynicism, your concerns and your pride.

Just let go and let kindness in.

And you never have to be strong again.

People will call you strong, but you’ll know different. You’ll know you are simply aware, alive, allowing, and kind.

There is no struggle to overcome, only truth to reveal.

And what infinite potential lies therein.

The potential to allow absolutely anything that is required in any given moment.

That is the opposite of control.

That is the essence of creativity.

And it’s what will transform the world.

Hiy Hiy


Artist and Writer Aaron Paquette

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