On July 10 2014, IWIS held another event focusing on sharing tips to achieve career success in BC as well as providing information to newcomers and graduate students. About 25 people with diverse backgrounds, including engineering, nursing, dentistry and transportation, attended the event.
Afshan Basaria, a certified career development practitioner, was the speaker. She started her speech by asking what the audience would like to learn from this session. The topics of interest included “how to find the first job after years of education”, “what is the job market in the engineering field in BC”, “what are the designations needed to pursue a career in a discipline” and “what are some of the ways to obtain Canadian work experience”.
She began her informative presentation by applying the fundamental economics concept of “Supply vs. Demand” in the job market. Before deciding to move to a new town or province, it is helpful to conduct labor market research, to find out what are the most in-demand jobs and whether there is an over-supply of applicants – a sign that the market is competitive.
Other important issues to consider include obtaining license and designation relevant to the discipline. For graduate students, it is important to identify the transferable skills that allow them to work in fields different from their backgrounds.
She highlighted that there is an increasing number of job opportunities outside of Lower Mainland (eg. Nanaimo, Prince George) due to a growing number of development projects in those areas. She then showed the audience how to conduct labor market research on the web and to find investment projects in a particular area. Some helpful resources include Hellobc.com/british-columbia.aspx, Workbc.ca, Woekingincanada.bc.ca and Chamber of commerce.
Afshan encouraged the attendees to expand their professional networks by attending networking events and maintaining their visibility by participating in online professional discussions , like LinkedIn and Twitter. She suggested ways to gaining up-to-date experience and credentials by pursuing designation and volunteering. She also recommended the attendees to continue to improve their language and communication skills.
At the end, Afshan posed a thought-provoking question to the audience: “ What are the skills, qualities and experience do you need to be an outstanding candidate and to compete with others in the job market?” She then ended the presentation by encouraging the audience to conduct informational interviews. The event went on with great questions from the audience followed with networking.
Written by: Zhila Pirmoradi
Photo Credit: Samaneh Khakshour and Zhila Pirmoradi
Edited by: Lee Ling Yang