Career planning more important than ever

Dear Working Wise: I am 47 years old and have worked in many fields during my career, from warehousing and transportation to insurance and construction.

Dear Working Wise: I am 47 years old and have worked in many fields during my career, from warehousing and transportation to insurance and construction.

Currently, I am working as a finishing carpenter. I enjoy the work, but running a home-based business is taking its toll. I want to work with my hands, but have the flexibility and security that comes with working for a company that offers health benefits.

I need help finding the right career for me. Is there any help available? — Help Wanted

Dear Help Wanted: Yes, there is lots of free career help available to you.

Many people mistakenly think of career planning as something you do at the start of your career and never do again, but ongoing career planning or management is becoming more important than ever.

The world of work is becoming more complex as we move toward a knowledge-based economy. More and more jobs are requiring post-secondary education and training. And the jobs of tomorrow are likely to change at a faster pace — meaning workers will have to become more adaptable and responsive to the changing labour market throughout their careers.

I recommend you visit your nearest Labour Market Information Centre and ask to meet with a career and employment consultant. Your consultant can work with you to review your work history, discover your strengths, identify your transferable skills and explore your work preferences to help you find a suitable new career.

Career and Employment Consultants have helpful information on hundreds of potential new careers including salary, working conditions and required training.

In fact, many consultants have access to career cruising software, which takes your information and generates career ideas you may have never thought of.

Once you’ve found a new path, your consultant will be able to advise you on any additional training you require and how to get it.

If you have the training you need, your consultant will be able to provide you with job-search support and advice.

They will be able to connect you with free workshops on searching for a new job, writing your resume, and preparing for job interviews.

Many consultants can also provide information on local employers who may be hiring for positions that would be a good fit for you.

Your career and employment consultant can also show you the handy, free job-search tools available in Labour Market Information Centres (LMICs) located across the province, including:

l Computers with word-processing programs and Internet access;

l Access to the online job bank;

l Telephone, fax and photocopiers;

l Referrals to local employers who are hiring; and

l Mini job fairs held right in the LMIC.

Take that next step and start pursuing your potential.

To find the Labour Market Information Centre nearest you, visit www.employment.alberta.ca/offices. Or, if you have difficulty getting around, call the Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753. The Career Information Hotline is staffed by live career consultants who can provide much of the same information and services available at your local LMIC.

Good luck!

The theme of this year’s Canada Career Week (Nov. 2 to 7) is People Pursuing Potential. Canada Career Week offers an excellent opportunity for Albertans to pursue their potential and take advantage of the many free career services offered throughout the province. For more information on Canada Career Week events being held in your community, visit www.alis.gov.ab.ca/ce/cp/cs/careerevents.html.

Working Wise is compiled weekly by Charles Strachey, a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. Work-related questions can be sent to him at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Working Wise is provided for general information only. Help with specific situations is available through Alberta Employment Standards by calling 1-877-427-3731.

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