In the pandemic’s early days, Canada reported its second-highest unemployment rate in history. Now as the year comes to an end, that rate is no longer 13% and the job market is starting to look slightly less daunting. The last labour force survey for the year reports that there is uneven employment growth across industries but there is growth nonetheless. Stalled industries include transportation, warehousing and construction. Employment exceeded pre-COVID levels in wholesale trade plus professional, scientific, technical and educational services. COVID-19 is leaving its mark on the economy and Canadians are adapting as fast as they can to the curveballs.
Michelle Nadon is a career strategist and provides recruiting and career guidance to the Canadian media, entertainment and cultural sectors. She is also the author of Careers AF a comprehensive collection of best practices for strategic career management. With nearly two decades of industry experience, she jokes that this isn’t her first recession. CJRU speaks with Nadon for insights on job hunting from home and setting goals amidst the pandemic and beyond.
While she has worked extensively in the media space, Nadon believes that her advice and her book will benefit anyone in the job market. Especially since the internet and social media have greatly shifted the scope of media.
“Don’t forget, media is ubiquitous now. And everyone needs to get up to speed with using media and developing portfolios. So I like to think that this applies to absolutely everybody that is seeking to realize their career goals more strongly and package and position themselves more strongly,” she says.
In the context of the pandemic, she urges job seekers to update their technology if they can. That includes investing in stronger internet connections or upgrading video conferencing gear to ensure the best environment for interviewing from home. Pandemic or not, she also encourages consistency across branding assets like resumes and email signatures. Maintaining an online presence is important too. Nadon’s view is that professionals who are online in their personal lives, but not their professional lives are taking a passive approach to their careers. She adds that Canadians tend to depend on these types of reactive and passive career moves and she works to shift their approach to one that is more proactive.
“Socially, we are not schooled to take care of our careers. Yes, it’s part of the curriculum when we’re in a given educational program. However, that kind of drops off once the person walks out into the marketplace and they are truly on their own with job search. And that’s not fair.”