All names and identifying information have been changed to protect the privacy of our participants.
“In 2013, my dream job ended suddenly when the company was acquired by another firm. Feeling uncertain about the future of my 14-year design career, I began to consider a change. While I had hoped to manage exploring career options and continuing to find a fit within interior design at the same time, I was ultimately unsuccessful. Feeling increasingly discouraged, I began to develop physical challenges that eventually prevented me from working in the same capacity in the design field.
I attended an information session about the Career Development Practitioner program at SFU, and the program director recommended that I visit the WorkBC Midtown West Centre to conduct an informational interview with one of their career advisors. Shortly thereafter, I received an unexpected invitation from the centre to register as a client. During my intake interview with my case manager I was astounded to learn the wide range of employment.
My case manager connected me to workshops through the centre that were suited to my situation. These included Mastering Workplace Culture and Communications, Interview Skills in Action, Where the Jobs are, Job Search Express series, LinkedIn Lab, Personality Dimensions, Prep Career Planning which included MBTI and Strong Interest Inventory assessments and, most importantly, the Career Planning and Education Planning workshops. The results from the career assessments and planning workshops showed overwhelming evidence that I was meant to be in the helping field, specifically in Career Counselling. Everything came full circle and my case manager began to build a rationale that led to me receiving the funding and living support needed for my training at SFU to become a Career Development Practitioner.
I am now a Youth Career Advisor and Facilitator at YWCA Metro Vancouver. It has been a dream come true. I love helping young people and adults with their career challenges on a daily basis. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing clients grasp new concepts during a workshop or reaching out to share that they have landed an interview or a dream job. Supporting the clients to achieve their career goals affirms to me everyday that I am on the right path and fulfilling my life’s purpose.”
-Jennifer, Youth Career Advisor and Facilitator
“I had resigned from my job in Saskatoon and relocated to Vancouver. The biggest challenge was entering a new labour market in a new city. It was quite overwhelming at first. I had been working at the same institution for 15 years, and was out of touch with the labour market and job application processes. WorkBC provided the training I needed to succeed in the job search. The centre I visited nearly every day was bright, friendly, and hospitable. I could work on my laptop, put my lunch in the fridge, use the microwave, etc. It was just like being at a day job. This gave me the stability and focus to research and apply for jobs. I’ve recently been hired in a full time permanent position. This is my dream job, working at a dream employer. It is very similar to the work I did back in Saskatoon, and this is the exact work I was aiming for.”
– Melissa, Investigations Advisor and survivor of violence
“I really had no idea how to negotiate the work world. I felt afraid of being stigmatized for having a mental illness. I have been on provincial disability for 22 years. I came to WorkBC in May 2018. We explored my interests and challenges, and over time a picture emerged and I began to have more of an idea of what would be realistic for me. Customized employment was a great option as I wanted to find work that was manageable and not too stressful. I need a highly structured work environment with clear duties and customized employment is helping me create that environment.”
-Anna, Dietary Aide
“I had been teaching ESL for a number of years and was typically getting laid off every year for up to six months. Although it is easy to find temporary work in the ESL industry, it was very difficult to find a full-time year round position in the industry. I had been laid off a month earlier than normal when I walked into the Work BC office to discuss options for winter employment or possibly a career change.
Work BC provided clarity about what I needed to do to find an industry I worked well in. They gave me the skills I needed to research the labour market and to do information interviews to find out what it was really like to work at a specific job. Finally, Work BC provided the support I needed to receive EI while I was attending school to get my CDP designation. I am now employed as a Career Advisor.”
-Amy, Career Advisor
“With the Job Developer’s help, I am busy and happy to work. The Job Developer was able to talk with my manager about the hours, which made me very happy and satisfied. In addition, the Job Developer helped me to find a volunteering job at the Heart and Stroke Foundation for 48 hours per month. Now, I have a lot of work to do. I’ve been very busy and I love it.”
-Allan, Parking Attendant and community volunteer
“I was unemployed when I came to WorkBC. I hadn’t been working for about a year. I worked in my old job for 9 years and I was left with an uncertainty of what to do next. I wanted to find something new but was not sure how to identify the transferable skills. I am now working in the film industry coordinating box offices and providing audience services. I have enjoyed the research and problem solving part of my job the most. I also conducted outreach marketing to schools and food blogs. This year our organization has increased attendance and revenue and it feels great to be part of that success. I am picking up tons of knowledge/skills that I didn’t have before and also using old skills in new ways. I’m just really loving it!”
-Shelley, film buff
“I was unemployed for about a half year before coming to WorkBC. I wanted to work an in English speaking environment so that I can continue to learn and use English. However, I was not sure how I can find such jobs by myself. I decided to try the WorkBC Centre because I felt like I was stuck doing the job search on my own. I got to attend the resume and interview workshops and received one-on-one job search coaching and much encouragement through my Case Manager. He sent me various job posting aligned with my job target and followed up with me to ask whether I would be interested in being referred to those positions. I also received support from a Job Developer, and she even accompanied me to job interviews after she referred me to employers. When I was offered a job at a hospital, WorkBC supported me by covering the cost to complete all the requirements and public transportation for the first two weeks of my work. I think without their support, I would have felt very burdened financially before starting my job. This new job fulfills all the things I wished for and even more! I get to use my food handling skills, work in an English speaking environment and work for a very good company!”
-Raj, Dietary Aide
“As a very new comer, I came to Canada on March 31, 2018. Before I came to Work BC and met my case manager, I was quite confused and doubting if I could get a job here in Canada. To me, writing resume and cover letter is quite challenging. Preparing the job interview is not easy. But the most challenging one is to find the job opportunity. Work BC gave me information about job fairs and helped me to write resume and cover letter. My case manager gave me a lot of advice about culture of Canadian work place and preparing for job interview. Also I could get financial assistance like transit pass, clothes for job interview and even gift card for lunch during the workshop. After I got a job, I could get help for preparing document for employment. Actually I got help a lot and I really appreciate it.”
-Ming, full-time customer service agent