Alberta Job Seekers 2022 FAQ – Answers from Professional Career Coaches

Tactics for finding your next best job are ever-changing, not as quickly as Alberta weather, but close.

As professional career coaches supporting career transition in western Canada for over 30 years, we at Toombs Inc. have had our ears to the rails and fingers on the beat every step of the way.

Here are 2022’s most frequently asked questions about searching for and landing a job with answers from our coaches. If you would like to bring the support of professional coaches to your employees, HR department or to your departing staff, reach out to us.


  1. Which websites are the best for finding jobs?

The best place to find a job is not a website at all; it is in your network. When prioritizing your job search time, spend more time genuinely connecting with people you know than searching websites and applying online. Have connection-focused conversations with people who know you professionally. Share your vision of the ideal role you want to find, then ask the simple but powerful question – “Who do you know that I should be talking to?”  Over 80% of jobs are found through someone you know or someone they know.


  1. How do I make my resume stand out?


  1. What do I say when people ask me “What happened with your last job?”

No matter who is asking this question, you get to answer with as much or as little information as YOU CHOOSE. We sometimes feel compelled to tell people as much as we think they want to hear, no matter how uncomfortable that makes us. But you do not have to. You can say simply “Organizational changes,” and refocus the conversation on what comes next, what you are excited to be looking for. (The only exception to this is if your (potential) new employer is asking AND you were let go because of misconduct of some kind.)


  1. What work options are there for someone of retirement age who still wants to work?

Consulting or owning a business will be the most likely path to work that uses your extensive experience and has the potential for your desired levels of freedom and flexibility. Look at your core skills and areas of expertise and choose which areas you want to carry forward. This could be the perfect opportunity to turn something from a “back-burner sideline” to a fulfilling income-generating prospect. Having networking conversations can be the most fruitful and enjoyable way to explore possibilities.


  1. Do I need to pay for LinkedIn Premium to effectively use LinkedIn for my job search?

No. The basic free version of LinkedIn has all the core functionality needed for finding your next best job. Premium is most useful for business owners seeking new clients/customers through LinkedIn and for companies sourcing new employees.


  1. Do I need to check online for new job postings every day so I do not miss any?

No. In fact your time is more valuably spent networking than searching online. Obsessively searching online is a morale-killer for even the most resilient job seekers. Instead, refocus your actions on relationship-building, knowing your professional value and making inroads with companies that you would love to work with, regardless of current postings. Set a 1-hour time every few days to look online for new jobs and set targeted job alerts to receive emails about any new postings.


  1. How can I apply for roles in a different industry than where most of my experience is focused?

Creating a resume that highlights your skills that transfer effectively to a new industry is the key. Pair that with a cover letter that explains how your skills transfer and why you want to switch industries. It will also be essential to network in the new industry to become known and understand the industry-specific needs and language.


  1. How do I deal with not being needed 9-5 every day when that is the pattern of my life?

Your whole being is used to a certain work-life rhythm so being suddenly on perpetual days off is jarring on many levels. What works well for many people in career transition is to create a rhythm that mimics your workday. Get up at the same time, schedule meetings and tasks, check off items on a to-do list. Also involve people in this schedule, friends, family, and your network. Then as you feel comfortable, add self-care tasks that work did not let you have time for, and bring variety to your schedule.


  1. Will my next employer care if I am off work for more than a few months?

Generally, no. If you have more than 5 years of work experience, a break in your work history of less than 6 months is understood by employers as typical. The later you are in your career, the longer that break can be without being a red flag. Any break longer than 1 year should be explained in a resume, cover letter or interview.


  1. What if I want to start a business instead of being an employee again?

Transitioning from an employee to a business owner is becoming increasingly common. It takes quite a bit of research, understanding of risks, requirements, and market analysis but it is completely achievable. Start chatting with your network about your business idea and talk to business owners who are in related fields to get up to date inside information. Many people also choose to take an employment position while building up their business to ease the financial uncertainty of being a business owner.

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