Advice on getting a good job
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Colin Campbell appeared in the McKellar Room yesterday to dispel career myths and display future employment trends for many who have only begun to chart their path into the real world.
The importance of continuous training and becoming more professionalized was reiterated by Campbell, chief executive officer for Human Resource Strategies Inc., who added the most serious social problem of our society is the growing skills gap.
As illustrated through numerous slides, Campbell explained that rather than a lack of jobs there is a serious lack of qualified applicants. "There are 300,000 jobs in Canada that go unfilled every year because of the inability to find qualified applicants," he said.
The importance of adaptability to the changes inherent in our technological world which is becoming increasingly globalized through tools like the Internet was also stressed. "We are in a world of change and need to plan for a number of possible futures," Campbell added.
The good news is university graduates have the best chance of getting a job after graduation with college students faring slightly worse and high school students standing at an almost zero chance of employment without further training as shown by a Statistics Canada poll taken between 1990-1994.
"[We are] going to find people may need more than a degree in our world of continuous training," Campbell said. "The challenge is to become the best in the world."
But a degree is only a small part of the complete package prospective employers now desire. The top characteristics include a disciplined work ethic, reliability, a willingness to stay at the job and adaptability.
A second silver lining for students who generally get stuck in a paradox of unmarketable skills is the increasing importance of creativity and intuitive skills generally acquired with an arts degree. "It's a challenging world but finally creativity will begin to be rewarded," Campbell said.
These rewards are shown in the type of skills employers now look for where applied knowledge is just, if not more, important than characteristics like emotional intelligence and confidence in personal ability, he added.
The compass with which to navigate one's future career were set out in four points by Campbell which include being a specialist or expert in one area, the importance of generalizing knowledge to others, remaining connected as a team and self-reliance.
But only by building appropriate relationships through networking can people truly survive in our changing economy, he added. "[Networkers] tend to live the longest, are the highest paid and the happiest."