The BC Jobs Plan tour started on Tuesday in Pitt Meadows, and was followed by another job fair in Port Moody on Thursday. It felt great to finally apply what we had learned in training. It was a bit of a struggle trying to remember how to assemble all the display items at first, but I slowly began to remember once I was handling the items. The job fair itself is an interesting experience. Each job seeker that came in had a unique story to share. There were some high school students looking for a part time job, some immigrants looking to seek employment services and programs, adults in their 40s considering a career change, and mature workers that are interested in going back into the work force. I enjoyed hearing about each person’s experience because it exposed me to careers I had never heard of and different methods of job searching.

What do the job fairs offer?
From my experience in job searching, I found it effective to tap into my network of friends, family, previous co-workers, and career centres. I strongly encouraged the job seekers to visit a nearby Work BC office which provides services like career exploration, job search workshops, and help on resumes, cover letters and interview preparation. Employer expectations are constantly changing, so it is best to seek advice from career center professionals. I also used our iPads to show job seekers how to navigate the Work BC website, which has a job bank (updated on a daily basis) of over 7,000 employment opportunities for the entire province, career exploration tools (aptitude test, career profiles, and a job trend tracker), and job seeking advice. In addition to promoting Work BC services, I informed visitors that in the next ten years, 43% of the jobs in British Columbia will require trade or technical skills. Resources were available at our welcome desk for more information.

Some notable companies
The fairs start at 11am and end at 6pm. People of all ages are welcome to attend this free event and receive help from us, as well as get an opportunity to network with companies across all job sectors and post-secondary institutions. Work BC is scheduled to attend all our fairs and provide career advice to those who are already at the job fair. They encourage job seekers to maintain a relationship with them by frequently visiting their office. STEP, short for Skilled Trades Employment Program, will also be attending almost all of our job fairs. Their presence is important because they can assist the people interested in getting into the trades by telling them where to get trained and then later connect them with one of their partner companies in the BC Construction Association. Sprott Shaw College will also be at several of our fairs to provide information to those looking to further their education. In addition, other exhibitors will be present at the fairs and these will vary depending on the area and the popular industry within that community.

This week, our team was featured on The Pitt Meadow Times to inform the community about the job fair. I was also interviewed by CKPM FM, the tri-cities radio station. I had volunteered to do the interview because I wanted to apply what I learned from training immediately, but I felt quite nervous during this interview because it was my very first interaction with the media. I survived the interview, and I asked for feedback from my coordinators. They said I did fine. However, I would like to gain confidence in this aspect of public relations because it is new to me. I plan to work on this skill for the remainder of the job fairs.  

My goal for this work term
I would like to make the most out of this co-op term, so my goal is to work on my communication skills. Most people have told me that I am friendly, approachable, and far from being shy. Upon meeting my roommate on residence, I remember talking to her for four hours because I almost never run out of topics to talk about. These are excellent traits; however, communication isn’t just about being able to carry a conversation. It is about being able to get messages across clearly and concisely. From my media training, I realized how important key messages are when speaking to the media, but I also realized its importance in the public relations industry. PR workers and clients are busy people and they often would prefer a message that was direct to the point, rather than adding “fluff” of politeness or introduction. I am interested in being able to distinguish between conversational communication and professional communication. My goal also means being confident in public speaking, by realizing that it is better to pause and gather my thoughts rather than fill the silence with “like” and “umm.” By the end of this term, I would like to communicate confidently, clearly, and concisely. 
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The team was featured in The Pitt Meadow Times to promote the BC Jobs Plan tour
 


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Stephanie Munez