Are your clients exploiting the Canadian Labour Market?

By Sharon Graham.

I enjoyed Career Professionals of Canada’s recent Telenetworking Session on future trends tremendously. It was invigorating to share labour market information with knowledgeable professionals from across Canada. Predictions for shifts in regional, economic, and industry futures were eye-opening.

There is no question about it. The labour market affects our clients’ job search and their career development outcomes. Yet, as coaches, counsellors, and consultants, we can only advise clients in areas where we have direct knowledge and training. We cannot fully understand all positions and industries. Nor can we know about every job opportunity that may be available at any one time. Clearly, our clients need to do the work required to identify potential opportunities that are a good fit. But, are clients really buying into the process?

Across Canada, we have the benefit and privilege of sourcing many diverse sets of labour market information over the internet. Multi-layered sites such as Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) provide in-depth models and projections related to labour supply and demand. These are meaningful, but only if our clients want to use them.

The term “labour market” can be vague and mystifying for some clients. Our primary goal is to help them know what it is and understand its value. Only when our clients appreciate how various circumstances and conditions influence their career endeavours, are they ready to be directed to do the research.

Some clients may find statistics dry and tedious. Many such clients are best served through a storytelling approach. Enable them to want to do the research by discussing tangible, real-life opportunities and challenges in the target market. Infuse your clients’ individual needs, competencies, and objectives into the conversation to enable them to visualize themselves in specific roles.

Clients especially need to understand the connection between labour market information and their choices for professional development. By taking the right education and training, they can prepare themselves well for specific roles. However, there is no point in taking professional development in an area that is in decline – or worse, will be obsolete in a few years.

Discussions around compensation and benefits can be quite helpful in engaging clients. We can create interest by connecting the dots between specific jobs and associated salaries. Only when clients have bought into the idea of research, can we confidently refer them to websites such as the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

You can engage clients who are in a current job search by helping them to see potential opportunities opening up in the foreseeable future. Sites like Working in Canada are especially helpful from a micro perspective. They can zoom in and explore specific, tangible news items related to upcoming events in regions and sectors that interest them.

For our clients to succeed – both in the short term and in the long term – they need to be informed on potential opportunities and challenges. Armed with labour market information, they will be able to make informed career development decisions. What are you doing to ensure that your clients take advantage of the vast amount of labour market information available to them?

Thank you for reading my blog! Please email me if you spot any errors in this post.

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