Daniel moved to Victoria from the province of Quebec in the fall of 2016 at the age of 55. He had decided that he would eventually retire there, even though he was definitely not ready to retire. Daniel had lived in Victoria in the late-1990s and long ago fallen in love with the city. He assumed his earlier knowledge of the city and his extensive experience in his chosen field would allow him to secure employment within a matter of weeks.
But this was not the case. Daniel had underestimated how much the local job market had changed in his field.
Here is Daniel’s story of job search in Victoria:
At the suggestion of a family member living in Victoria, I hedged my bets by applying for services at WorkBC through GT Hiring Solutions the very same week I landed in Victoria.
A wise move on my part, considering it quickly became obvious that knowledge of the city and a glowing resume do not automatically translate to instant employment. I was lacking four essential ingredients: recent local work experience, knowledge of the local job market, a strong and supportive network, and familiarity with enhanced job search strategies. GT Hiring Solutions helped change all that.
The friendly and helpful staff at GT Hiring Solutions, my assigned case worker (Employment Services Advisor) chief among them, quickly became my de facto network in Victoria. Or, rather, they were the seed that allowed my network to flower. I drew from their extensive knowledge of the pool of employers to which I wished to submit job applications. When it became clear over time that even this would not be enough to secure employment, I availed myself of many of the more focused services on offer at GT Hiring Solutions.
With my case manager as my co-pilot, I explored more fully my expectations in terms of the type of job that best suited my aspirations and that would make best use of my experience. Alternatives were also considered as gainful employment was a top priority for me, with the continuing search for employment in my chosen field a secondary concern, one that could be addressed at a later date once I had found a job.
Once set on this particular course, I started attending GT Hiring Solutions workshops. Particularly useful to me were the ones dealing with job search strategies, social media networking, resume building, and cover letter and interview tips and techniques. I have mastered the “30-second elevator speech” and have even used it on a number of occasions in an actual elevator!
I also attended job fairs organized by GT Hiring Solutions, which allowed me to come into contact with potential employers I may not have automatically sought out. My vision was broadening and my hope renewing as a result of my participation in GT Hiring Solutions’ activities and services.
“While the vouchers for the purchase of professional clothing … were invaluable aids in my job search, so were the basic humanity and generosity exhibited by the staff at GT Hiring Solutions – from their simple availability to their occasional donations of staple foodstuffs. For all the above, they are to be thanked.”
I soon realized that I would have to upgrade some of my certifications in order to access a broader range of employers and to increase my chances of securing employment. My case worker and I explored various training programs available through government subsidies, and I chose one that would both allow me to find a job much more easily and would serve to strengthen my qualifications with regards to the type of employment I intended to continue seeking even after having landed a job.
As the weeks turned into months, GT Hiring Solutions and WorkBC gave me the focus and strength to persevere even through, or perhaps especially through, difficult times when my material and financial resources dwindled into nothingness. While the vouchers for the purchase of professional clothing and access to a monthly transit pass were invaluable aids in my job search, so were the basic humanity and generosity exhibited by the staff at GT Hiring Solutions – from their simple availability to their occasional donations of staple foodstuffs. For all the above, they are to be thanked.
As a result of my GT Hiring Solutions workshop attendance and participation in job fairs, especially training programs, I am now gainfully employed. I’ve obtained certification in a field that is actually not far removed from my target “dream job.” I can now continue to search for that dream job (with my current employer’s blessing, no less!) while not having to worry about paying the rent and putting food in the refrigerator.
While I have never tied my identity to a specific job, it was always crucial to me to feel that I am wanted and needed as a productive member of the workforce in the society in which I live. I have gotten that feeling back thanks to the activities and services of GT Hiring Solutions. The various threads unspooled by its staff members – again not the least of whom is my case worker – have meshed into a beautiful tapestry that made me fall in love all over again not only with Victoria, but with my own intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being.
Thanks, GT Hiring Solutions! Thanks, WorkBC!