Archive for March, 2013

Don’t Just Get a JOB – Get In The Worx!

ITW postcardThere are in excess of four hundred and fifty publicly-accessible internet job boards where employers can advertise job postings and over four hundred recruiting agencies serving British Columbia each with their own listings for available employment positions. Not accounting for the numerous “internal job boards” that large corporations and organizations have, in addition to hundreds of governmental job boards, there are literally more than a thousand places on the internet that a job seeker can look for a job in this province. Is it any wonder, then, that embarking on a job search is an overwhelming exercise in frustration?

This over-abundance of job boards in its current state of disarray creates a needle-in-a-haystack situation for both job seekers and employers. With over a quarter million unemployed British Columbians and an untold number of people who are working but actively seeking alternative employment, employers are faced with the daunting task of guessing which job board(s) to advertise on to attract the kind of candidates they are looking for, with the hopes that their ideal candidate will inadvertently find their job posting.

Wouldn’t it be convenient if ALL of the jobs, ALL of the employers and ALL of the candidates were able to intersect in ONE PLACE? intends to revolutionize the chaotic online employment industry with its unique, job seeker-centred approach. As job boards are discovered, they are categorized by industry and added to the roster under “specialty job boards”  ( ) which helps to effectively focus a job seeker’s search for employment. There are directories for both recruiting and employment agencies that service British Columbia. Resource sections have been created and tailored to particular demographics: Newcomers to BC, Students & Graduates, Disabled/ Barriered, for example, with expansion and development being a constant process of the website.  Job seekers have the option to register as candidates and construct profiles of their skill sets that employers will be able to search – gone are the days of uploading a resume into cyber-space and risk having it fall into unscrupulous hands. Using personally constructed skill sets are more accurate, thorough and effective than uploading resumes into a databank that relies on exploder technology.

Despite the size and scope of and the plans to continue expanding, we are real human beings who actually answer emails and we encourage requests for information and welcome suggestions / comments. On occasion we will receive an email via the “Contact Us” form from a job seeker who has hit a dead-end in their search and with a little research from the employment team, we have been successful with locating specific resources and leads for these people (for free, I might add). has been added to the repertoire of resources utilized by employment agencies in the public sector (federal, provincial and municipal), university student employment centres, as well as independent job seekers looking for available opportunities. In the first month after launching the website, saw almost 1000 “hits” in a four week period (February 2013) which undoubtedly substantiated the need for this service.

No matter how evolves to meet the needs of the employment industry, it will never be to the exclusion of the job seekers – we will always be an independent, Canadian enterprise working for the employment success of other Canadians.

This blog post was submitted by


Leave a comment

Fraud Alert: Job Scams

MysteryShopperI recently visited the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website because I was frustrated with number of weird phone calls I received.  While on the site I came across this information about job scams:

“Any false, deceptive or misleading solicitation offering employment and requesting an advance fee to secure the job or obtain the materials to perform the job or any job offer involving money transfer or wiring funds related to cashing monetary instruments.

The “mystery shopper” scam is still victimizing Canadian consumers. The victim answers an enticing ad to become a mystery shopper. The ” employer ” sends a letter, with mystery shopping tasks to be completed, and a cheque to help the victim fulfill his/her mystery shopping tasks. The victim will likely cash the cheque he/she was given first. One of the tasks will be to use a money transfer company and wire a large portion of the money to a name provided, in order to test the company’s procedure and customer service skills. The victim will find out later that the cheque is counterfeit, thus making the victim accountable to pay for the funds he/she wired.”

When I worked in the retail and hospitality industry I was visited by mystery shoppers frequently.  Sometimes I see job ads for mystery shoppers and think that it would be an interesting job.

Anne-Marie Rolfe at the has done some investigating on exposing job scams.  Here are her steps:

  1. Research – look for opportunities that fit what you are looking for
  2. Investigate – do some poking around on their website to find the facts about the company who’s posted the job add
  3. Validate – use outside sources to confirm the facts you’ve discovered
  4. Stay Informed – watch out for scams and note when others post about them
  5. Safety 1st – you personal information is currency on the internet, don’t pass it around lightly. She strongly suggests a separate email account for applying online.

Have you run into any jobs postings that are too good to be true and end up being a scam?

This article was written by Miranda Vande Kuyt, a blogger for the My ESC website. Find out more about Miranda through her website:

1 Comment

10 Things To Do On Your Lunch Break

relaxWorking a long is draining, that is why the government of British Columbia requires employers to give a half hour unpaid lunch break to those who work a 5-hour shift or longer.  Some employers choose to give even longer lunch breaks.  So what can you do in 60 minutes or less?  Start with a plan.  Think about what you’d like to accomplish in your day or over the course of a year but don’t seem to find the time to do.  Then be creative in figuring out how you might be able to do these things during lunch break.

Think about it.  If you have a 30 minute lunch break and say you take 10 minutes to eat lunch, that would still leave you 20 minutes a day x 5 days a week, totaling 100 minutes a week or over 6 and a half hours a month. That works out to close to 80 hours a year.   If you have a 60 minute lunch break (minus 10 minutes to eat) you would have over 200 hours a year. What could you accomplish in that time?

Eat.  Start with the basics.  Eat right so you have the energy to do the things you want.  Change it up a bit.  Don’t eat the same thing each day.  Try eating something different, eating lunch with someone different, or eating lunch somewhere different.

Socialize.  Is there a friend that works close by, or a colleague you’d like to get to know better?  Try meeting up for lunch or another activity during your lunch break. Consider having a staff potluck once a month or inviting other departments to socialize.

De-stress.  Take time to relax.  Listen to calming music, meditate, or squeeze in some time for a quick manicure.

Go On An Adventure.  Try visiting some of the tourist attractions in the area, parks, or some other place you’ve been thinking about checking out.

Run Errands.  Squeezing in a quick errand during lunch will save you time after work.  Some places like the bank and the post office are only open during office hours.  You can also use this time to make important phone calls and address other tasks on your to-do list.

Learn Something.  Webinars, articles, journals and websites are great ways to learn something new.  The hard part might be figuring out what you would like to learn.

Read.  There are so many books and so little time.  Think of how many books you could read in 80 hours, or 200?  Think about all the magazines and other journals that have been piling up.

Exercise.  Go for a walk, stretch, or even consider hitting a near by gym.  Exercise is a great way to de-stress and get motivated.

Pick Up A Hobby.  Some hobbies are more portable than others, but most have some aspect that you can accomplish in 20 minutes, such as research for your next project, watching tutorials, and getting inspired.

Join Or Start A Club.  Some workplaces have extra curricular activities that are organized for employees. Almost all of them were started because some need was identified.  Look around at your coworkers, or other workers in your building and brainstorm what needs there are.  Maybe your workplace would benefit from a Toastmasters club or something similar.

Change it up.  If you only chose one lunch time per week to do something differently than you do now, you would still be gaining over 15 hours a year.  What are you going to do on your lunch break?

This article was written by Miranda Vande Kuyt, a blogger for the My ESC website. Find out more about Miranda through her website:

Leave a comment

Dogwood vs. GED

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are a few different ways to become recognized for having a high school education or equivalent in the province of British Columbia.

Dogwood Diploma: The British Columbia Certificate of Graduation, also known as the Dogwood Diploma is awarded to students who complete high school and successfully meet the Ministry of Education’s requirements set out in the Graduation Program Order.  Visit the Ministry’s site for more information:

French Dogwood Diploma: This certificate is awarded to those who complete high school in a Programme Francophone or French Immersion and meet the Graduation Program Order requirements set out by the BC Ministry of Education.  Visit the Ministry’s site for more information:

Adult Dogwood: This diploma is awarded to an adult student (18 or older) who completes at least 3 courses as an adult (or through a prior learning assessment), and meets the British Columbia Adult Education Requirement Order as set out by the Ministry of Education in BC.  Visit the Ministry’s site for more information:

GED: The General Education Development is a group of five multiple choice subject based tests.  Those who complete is successfully will be awarded the GED Secondary School Equivalency Certificate as laid out by the Ministry of Education.  Visit the Ministry’s site for more information:

This article was written by Miranda Vande Kuyt, a blogger for the My ESC website. Find out more about Miranda through her website:

Leave a comment