Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TURBULANT TIMES IN AN OCEAN OF OPPORTUNITY



The local economy may be booming but opportunities are more scarce than the seven percent unemployment rate might suggest.

The demand for skilled and technical trades appears insatiable. However, some couples, like us, are starring at a lean winter and a possible relocation in the Spring. It appears that we do not have the skills employers are looking for at the moment.

After six years of replacement positions, my wife has hit a brick wall as a teacher. It is back to the grind on marketing herself as a substitute in the substitute saturated St. John's market.  

It is hard not to question one's career choices when the pickings are so slim. 

It makes me wonder why Memorial keeps pumping out  young people laden with debt, waving professional degrees, with not much chance of gainful employment. Sometimes I think there are more teachers working in retail and call centers than classrooms.

Despite a few callbacks and a plethora of 13 week temporary contracts, the civil service remains closed to me. I have not met with a great deal of success landing a full-time gig since the bump out of Student Aid in the Spring.

A few interviews, a pile of rejection letters and a few hobbles keep the bills paid. I have never known so many under and unemployed peers. Providing solace, one out-of-work friend said at least you are getting rejection letters and interviews.

The options in this market for many are low paying jobs but even these positions are denied to the underemployed - companies are reluctant to hire them fearing they leave at the first opportunity.

Retraining is not an option. A couple of university degrees ensures you can drive a cab or sling fries. Retraining funding goes to those who seem to be in and out of sponsored programs every couple of years running the gauntlet from dog grooming to scaffolding. Pay taxes, work all your life and well, you are out of luck. Great system.

Even if I wanted to retrain for a trade, where there is such a demand - I would not qualify for assistance leaving many people like me looking at the job boards up North or in Alberta.

If you know anyone who might be looking for someone processing  a communication and advocacy background covering 20 years in the fields of strategic planning, public administration, journalism, public relations, project management, media and government relations – let me know.

Perhaps it is all poor timing, something will break. In the mean time you do what you have to do to keep it all together.


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