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Finding a Job in Today's Market

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
this was in the star today: Life as a member of the precariat: Fiorito | Toronto Star

it's an eye-opening article, about a 39 year old dude with a university degree that has not been able to find a full-time job that pays more than minimum wage. is this an unusual situation or is the job market really that much worse today than when i graduated?

when i think of my group of friends from highschool, almost all went to university or college and almost all ended up with decent jobs. even the ones that didn't go to university/college ended up as store managers, bank tellers, etc. and worked their way up from there, making a decent living. not all of them could afford or wanted to live in toronto, and so they moved to mississauga, oakville, brampton, barrie or ajax or wherever, and they bought houses and are raising families there.

is it a lot harder to find a decent job these days than it was, say, 10 or 20 years ago, or is the guy in the star article more of an exception than anything else?
 
Its a university degree but the guy had a Fine Arts university degree.
This.

The thing is too, they're not really saying what he's got in the way of marketable skills - computer design skills is kind of vague in describing what he can do. There are still plenty of people that I know that have skills that are applicable to a wide range of fields and don't have a degree - it's applicable experience that counts a lot towards their having got hired. Networking really helps as well, which I find some of the younger generation can do really well on social media, but in person, it's kind of tougher for them to speak the language that employers are looking for when selecting a candidate.

The other thing is - some places are hesitant to give full time status (with benefits/vacation/the whole 9 yards) unless they know that the employee is looking at what they're doing as more than "just a job".

Din (the guy in the article) is kind of in a tough place, but getting a job with a degree in music is pretty much going to relegate you to a life of contract work, if that's what he wants to do for a living. My brother has a degree in music, is doing very well for himself, but all his work is contract and could be cancelled at a moments notice. That's the price of doing what he loves most, and he worked his way to a point where even if something catastrophic happens, he'll still be comfortable and able to support his family - he had the foresight and coaching from others to prepare himself for that.
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
given the increased competition among the youth that are unemployed I'd suggest the job market has drastically changed since unemployment has increased among the 18-25 bracket.

Being 39 with a burn degree probably doesn't help unless you have the experience relative to the job you're applying for.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I changed roles within my own company and my old boss had to handle over 150 off-the-street applicants, not even counting internal applicants, for my old role.

Im hearing that open positions in a lot of places are just getting slammed with applicants these days, hundreds coming in for every open position.

Certainly feels like there's an increase in people looking for work and I've had a few friends struggle a little longer than expected as the competition is so fierce for open positions - even in more specialized roles like engineering jobs, in fact it can be even harder in some of these areas to find work!!

More graduates than open roles PLUS the economic disruption in Alberta maybe bringing people back east??
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
I changed roles within my own company and my old boss had to handle over 150 off-the-street applicants, not even counting internal applicants, for my old role.

Im hearing that open positions in a lot of places are just getting slammed with applicants these days, hundreds coming in for every open position.

Certainly feels like there's an increase in people looking for work and I've had a few friends struggle a little longer than expected as the competition is so fierce for open positions - even in more specialized roles like engineering jobs, in fact it can be even harder in some of these areas to find work!!

More graduates than open roles PLUS the economic disruption in Alberta maybe bringing people back east??
When I applied for my current position I was one of 1200 applicants. it's pretty insane when I think back to how luck I am to have been the successful candidate. That was in 2012
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
For me it was like, "well as unhappy as you may have been in your old role, a few hundred people would have loved to be in that chair instead of you!!"
 

newstyle666

TRIBE Member
Not sure what the deal is with having a degree or not.

Personally believe it's more about ambition and a little bit of common sense than anything else. Certain professions aside [doctor, lawyer, professor etc] you should be able to succeed in your chosen path based on persistent efforts. Education is always good but not necessary to succeed.

Barely finished high school but things turned out better than expected.

Life is a chess game. Wake up and realize the world is your oyster. We are all here for a limited time so put your cards on the table and have fun. We can't bring any assets with us in any case... cannot understand why people live such worried, negative lives.
 

Krzysiu

TRIBE Member
^ Enough of you mollusk board game metaphors!

But I agree that actively striving towards a goal - like the career path you want - is as much a part of success as having some accreditation.

A degree doesn't entitle you to a job, it just prepares you for the hunt.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Holy fack I'm glad I left Canada. Between the cost of living and the wages I'd never be able to afford to really "live" there.

I will come back and buy some sweet-ass property in the future by sacrificing my time away.

Sacrifice isn't even the right word. I've had an awesome time.
 
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newstyle666

TRIBE Member
^^ agreed. Life really opened up in my case after moving to Japan. Was able acquire multi-family properties during my time as a salaried employee in real estate development field. The passive income allowed me to be choosy finding a good fit in Japan as a gaijin with no language ability or employment prospects...

Turned out that international shipping is about the only field that office staff and counter-party consignees [reciever of goods] use English to conduct business. At first had no interest in the field, it was just a way to keep my wife at the time happy.

Once the opportunity arose, left the company and launched a new KK [kabushki gaisha, something like limited company] which surprisingly foreigners can own 100% of registered share capital. Foreigners can also buy and build property. Probably only country in Asia with little foreign ownership restrictions, but make sure you have a good lawyer / notary.

End result // we own and operate chemical tankers lifting cargoes in Arabian Gulf, discharging in FE Asia [Japan / Korea / mid-China] and plying the oceans intra-Asia. I try to stay humble and now give as much as possible back to the community and as a guest lecturer at NUS in Singapore, where we opened our second office. So trust me on this as a former small time rave promoter from Toronto with no degree and over ambition -- anything is possible guys.
 
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KickIT

TRIBE Member
I've done alot of interviewing for both entry level and management positions. My advice to young people is get as much experience as you can. Get a job or volunteer in highschool and carry through to university and put it on your resume.

Entry level positions are tough because academically most people are the same. As an interviewer I look for people who differentiate, who have previous work experience and know how to work. The team project you worked on in university just doesn't cut it in my eyes.

I also think startup culture and university teachings create unrealistic expectations in people coming out of school. It amazes me how many people I interview think they're applying for a management role not an entry level one. Like they will become managers or directors in 2 years and move straight to the top.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
It amazes me how many people I interview think they're applying for a management role not an entry level one. Like they will become managers or directors in 2 years and move straight to the top.

THIS!!

I am astonished at the sense of entitlement among new graduates. Like they won't take a job for less than $50K to start etc. then they complain that they can't find a job and have to continue living with the rents.

We all go through it, it's part of becoming an adult, pay your dues and deal with it, if you're as good as you say then the success and salary will come.
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
The older I get, the more I realise that degrees don't matter nearly as much as experience in most professions. A relevant degree gives you a boost for a brief window of time right when you finish school, but once you've been working for a decade plus, the fact that you graduated with honours from program XYZ at Top University in 2002 won't count for very much at all if your work experience has been middling. It may get you through the resume screening program, but it won't seal the deal by any means.
 
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the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
I keep hearing that the market is shit especially in Alberta (where I live) since oil prices tanked.

In the IT sector, people from Calgary are flocking to Edmonton for some reason. Business Analysts are coming up to Edmonton expecting the Calgary rate of $120/hr for a senior contracting resource. In Edmonton, it all sort of depends but typical BAs usually top out at the $100/hr mark depending on the role, company, etc.

I took the entire summer off by choice (I wasn't really aware of the market -I worked so much OT during my previous contract that I needed the downtime). So, I took June, July, and August off. I started looking for a job in early August (I think like the 9th) and, apparently, it was a shitty time to look.

I had 4 interviews and got 3 of the jobs and started working again by early September so it was perfect for me. I think I got lucky, though. IT never stops.

I've noticed that degrees are a deal breaker for PM/management positions in the IT sector, though (thank you to that massive mushroom trip in my first year that made me change my major). These days, you won't even make it past the initial screen if you don't meet their bare minimums as laid out in vendors' SOWs (i.e. no degree, no dice) UNLESS you know someone. I'm slowly learning that it's definitely who you know. Being in IT, a lot rides on what you know if you don't know anybody. Otherwise, you can easily one-up someone that knows more than you if you know someone.
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
It always comes down to charm.

At least it has for me. Work hard minimally, work smart(i.e. streamline and automate) as often as possible, and charm them when you need to.

Also, this must be a regional thing, because the market for IT folks in Sask is still largely untapped. We don't get that many applicants to postings.
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
IT is defo an island of stability. Somebody has to grease the job-killing machine!




...unless you work in IT at a bank.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
okay, so from the sounds of it, it's not as hard to find a job as that star article makes it seem. also, we should all move to japan and start companies in shipping.

all good to know.

i have a niece and a nephew that just graduated university, so i'm curious about the market for fresh grads.
 

kennyboy

TRIBE Member
My oldest nephew is in his 4th yr of a commerce program with co-op.

He's been fortunate to find a placement everytime he needed to work as part of his degree, but there have been a couple of times that it's been a challenge.

What he has going for him, and I think it's been said before, is that he has a work ethic, a good head on his shoulders and he understands that you don't start at the top.

Hard work still has it's place. I think that the next generation doesn't get that.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
yes there will be room for AI Maintenance workers and AI output validators

The trick is to be one of those people.
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
yes there will be room for AI Maintenance workers and AI output validators

The trick is to be one of those people.
Those won't be people. It'll just be more AI. Cool thing is, then we can be free...depending on how you look at things. I enjoy my work(much of what I'm starting to do now is automation...Puppet), but to be able to pursue other interests because the behind the scenes is being automated or run by AI...isn't that the goal?

Perhaps at that point we may need to take a hard look at currency and our culture of "work" and evolve a bit. It'd be cool if it actually happened in my lifetime.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
^^ I was going there in the back of my head.

Productivity is an interesting to look at historically both from the analysis of productivity itself but perhaps more interestingly, how we *thought* about it and how that lead to ideas about what it would like in the future - you can read tracts from the 1800s predicting how much leisure time we were all supposed to have right now...

...while the AI Doom seems more imminent/real/disruptive with the potential to actually realize some wholly different way of ordering our work lives and giving everyone more time for intellectual pursuits and their family, something tells me the AI Doom will be doom for the middle and lower classes and an acceleration of profits for the upper crust.
 

loopdokter

TRIBE Promoter
Klubmasta Will said:
is it a lot harder to find a decent job these days than it was, say, 10 or 20 years ago, or is the guy in the star article more of an exception than anything else?
I can only speak from my experience (and I've yet to read the article), but at the exact same age I can say my 'career' has hardly been that. I work in IT, and my experience has been that everyone is hiring in contracts. I have bounced around five different companies in as many years. Very few companies in my area (K-W-Guelph-Cambridge) seem to want to bring people on full time. Everything is a contract and often they don't renew. If they do, they just renew your contract.

I went back to college in 2010 to rid myself of not being able to find well-paying jobs that develop into a meaningful career. The end result is that I've been unable to find well-paying jobs that develop into a meaninful career. Companies seemingly don't want to invest in their employees anymore. They'd just rather have mercenaries.
 
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