Archive for the ‘Employment’ Category.

5 Unconventional Job Search Strategies to Boost Your Career

If you are tired of a fruitless job search that has dragged on for months, it is time to start considering non-traditional methods of job search. This means to temporarily shift away from job boards and posting resumes etc. Instead, think outside the box, and hopefully this yields better results for you. Here are a few nontraditional methods to try. If you have one of your own, feel free to share it in the comments section below or tweet us @budgetsense_ca

Look for desperate companies

What the hell does this mean? Simply stated, this is companies that have had no luck in finding the talent they need and have to fill a vacancy in a short period of time or immediately. With such companies, you will have an easier time getting through and scoring the job than others that are in no hurry to fill in a vacancy.
The question is: how do you find these companies? Using online search and company website, look for companies that have keywords relaying urgency and immediacy. Another clue would be companies whose ad for the same job position has been on for some time: this is a sign that the job may have gone unfilled for too long, so it will be easier to get the job.
Note: such companies may also mean red flag, because the turn-over, for whatever reason, is too high, so they are constantly looking for people to fill in vacancies. In this case, it is important to do some research on the company.

Cold Outreach

Identify companies you’re interested in working for and reach out directly, even if they haven’t posted job openings. Express your interest and inquire about potential opportunities. Be sure to thank them for taking your call, making sure you don’t take too much of their time. With this in mind, have a quick ‘sales pitch’ about yourself in mind, and letting them know you will follow up with a resume to the company’s email. You never know what hiring needs they have that you are ready to fill. This will likely cost you no more tan 2-5 mins of your time, so you can easily do 5 or more companies in just one hour.

Reverse Engineer your Resume

Assuming you have a job type, career or industry in mind, scan at least 10-20 such job postings and look for common threads in qualifications, skills and experience needed and try to tailor your resume, as well as your qualifications and skills to match it. For example, let us say you are applying for ‘Corporate Communications Specialist’ related jobs and some of the required skills are in ‘communication’, ‘digital and social media’ , then be sure to get yourself familiar with these two if you are not already. If needed, take an online course to brush up on it, until you feel comfortable having it on your resume. Keep doing this until you think your resume profile closely matches what is needed for your desired or ideal job or career. You will not only go in to the interview with confidence, should you get the job, you will perform very well in it.

Let it be known through your email, social media and other outlets

Unless yo are keeping your job search a secret, go ahead and edit your social media profiles and email signature with the fact that you are looking for a job, specifying the industry or profession, your relevant skills and experience, all in a short 60 word paragraph or less. Also, be sure to include contact information and use relevant keywords wisely so that you get seen by more searches.

Use hashtags for social media searches

While this is not a secret, fewer people take advantage of using hashtags to search for jobs on social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. Tip: as you search using these keywords, try adding your city name to get more targeted results. Alternatively, you can add the words ‘Remote’ or ‘Hybrid’ if you are looking for more flexible arrangements.

  • #JobSearch: This hashtag finds extensive use across platforms such as Twitter and Instagram for the purpose of sharing job openings, providing career guidance, and offering job search advice.
  • #Hiring: Use this keyword to find posts and updates from employers or recruiters who are actively hiring for positions in your field.
  • #CareerOpportunity: This hashtag often accompanies job postings and can help you discover job openings in your desired industry.
  • #NowHiring: Employers frequently use this keyword to highlight immediate job openings, making it a valuable search term.
  • #JobSeeker: This keyword can connect you with fellow job seekers and allow you to exchange advice, experiences, and opportunities.

Incorporating these innovative job search strategies can help you break free from the traditional job search rut and discover exciting career opportunities. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box, engage with potential employers directly, and leverage the power of social media to take your job search to the next level. Remember, your dream job may be just a unique approach away. Best of luck in your job search journey!

My money motto: “what do you have to show for it?”

Have you ever had a job, stint or contract, which is long in the rear view mirror, which you are not only happy it is in the past, but was a bad experience? We have all had these jobs and experiences.

But not appreciating that job is different from gaining something out of it: if not the experience, then the money at least! It may be in the past, but have something to show for it, mainly some saved money.

From March 2017 through March 2020 – a stint ended by Covid – I drove part time for Uber. That is 3 years of working long weekend hours, night shifts away from my family and young son, and lots of mileage of wear and tear on my car. And while I did generally enjoy the job and learnt a lot from it, it is not something I would want to do again. It was a once and done type of thing. But here is the thing that made it worthwhile: in addition to using the income to pay for things, bills and vacations at the time, I also got to save more than half of that money. I wanted to be able to look at it when it was all said and done and be able to show something for this sacrifice I made. And yes, I considered the job as a sacrifice as it put me away from my family for long hours and nights. Not to mention, it was my second job besides my FT job. So it was tiring on the body.

Fast forward to March 2020, when the Covid virus started spreading and all the ensuing lockdowns, I quit my Uber driving job, and started working from home for my FT job. While working from home in the first two weeks, the stock market started to decline dramatically, to the point where a lot of stocks lost more than 50% of their value. I kept watching the market and by March 22/23, I made my move and bought several blue-chip, high yielding stocks, at amazing bargain prices. All, or at least most of it was from money I had saved from my Uber driving!

So I basically diverted this hard earned money to investment that has since gone up by over 35%, and I am getting regular and compounding dividends. As of last check, I am just over $1,500 in annual dividends.

Compare that to the alternative where I work Uber for 3 years, earned decent money, but never made that simple decision to save some of the money earned. I would basically have nothing to show for it. Thank god the reality is one where I get to enjoy the fruits of my decision to save a lot of the money earned, and be lucky to have had that money during a generational market downturn.

No matter what your revenue source is, be it a full time job, an online or driving gig, a side business etc.: always treat it like it won’t be there forever and need to save some money from it to make it a worthwhile investment of your time, effort and sacrifice.

It is a no brainer you need to save money. But it is even more important when it is a difficult side gig, one that puts you away from family and loved ones. The least you can do is to save some money from it so that you can look back at it and have something to show for it.

The best time to upgrade your resume and skills is when you are most stable at your job

When is the best time to update and polish your resume? 

This may seem counter-intuitive but the idea is simple: do it when you are stable in your job and feeling good about your future than when you are desperate. In the popular book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ , Napoleon Hill argues that the reason a lot of our prayers don’t get answered or fulfilled is due to the fact that we say them at a time of desperation, where the subconscious has a hard time reaching or connecting with God (Infinite Intelligence or Source Wisdom)

In other words and while this may not be practical for some, it is better to pray and express gratitude for your good health and fortunes in good times – and you will get more of it – than at bad and needy times, where the desperation and fear will manifest itself and give you more of what you don’t want, be it worsening health or lack of money etc.

So coming back full circle, how does this all relate to our career security and development? Just like you don’t pray only when you are in a crisis, you also don’t try to improve on yourself when you are out of a job and need one desperately. Instead, work on getting that certificate when you are most secure at your current job. It is the old adage: better have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

So what are some things you can do now, assuming you have a job and are mostly stable in it?

-polish and update your resume, including your references

-update your certification or credentials. If you are in sales for example, see if there is a new sales certification that will put you at a competitive advantage for years to come.

-Write down a few words of gratitude about your current situation, repeating them while feeling emotionally good about it. This could be something as simple as ‘I am very thankful I have my amazing job , which helps me make a great living while also fulfilling my purpose’

As they say, what you appreciate, appreciates! And what better time to do this than when you are feeling your best?

The new gigconomy: more opportunities, less benefits, but more flexibility

I know a friend who has no real job. At least not in the traditional sense of the word, you know, the 9-5 one. But if you are talking gigs, then he has 3 of them going on at once. Maybe even 4 at times.

Let us call him Mr. Gigsmith (name changed for the friend’s privacy) . Gigsmith is making a living from the following 3 different sources:

-Google Adsense (money from adverting banners and links on his websites)
-AirBnB: money from renting his downtown condo to tourists and other visitors, by days, weeks or even months.
-Uber: as if all of the above is not enough, he also drives for the popular ride-sharing program ‘Uber’.

the gig economy: you can’t resist it so may as well join it.

What is the common or dominant theme between these 3 is the independence and flexibility it gives Gigsmith. It ties him to no schedule nor does it require he has to be on a desk from a certain time to another. In fact, he can choose to work or take a vacation at anytime he likes.

According to various reports, more and more people are resorting to the gig economy for one reason or another. But the top reasons include:

-Flexibility it provides
-Ones’ belief that they can make more money in the gig economy
-Inability to find other jobs
-Some form of psychical or time limitation (i.e have FT school)
-Millennials: they embrace technology and are less traditional and loyal when it comes to their careers.

I think a lot of us can benefit from one of these gigs, even if we already have a full time job. Since you can’t resist it, you may as well join it and make some money from it.

Why you should skip the ATM machine and self-checkout aisles at your next trip to the bank or retail stores

The banking industry is changing. It is currently undergoing one of its biggest shifts. The future is all about technology. Your bank’s mobile app is

Self-checkout and automation are costing our society jobs

Self-checkout and automation are costing our society jobs

slowly but gradually replacing your visit to your local branch. And as more people become comfortable with banking on their computers and smartphones, there will be less and less need for physical branches. This will mean the loss of of jobs. In fact this may already be starting to happen in some parts of the country.

This increased banking convenience for us is coming at the expense of bank jobs. And banks certainly don’t have a problem with having less staff, it will just mean more profits for them and their shareholders. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in capitalism and shareholder equity, but I also believe stakeholder (works, consumers, vendors etc.) come first and until these are taken care of, shareholder equity won’t matter much for the economy as a whole.  Therefore, I believe it is more important than ever before, to visit your local branch and use the services of a teller. Even if it is something as simple as withdrawing money which you could do at the ATM machine. Unless you see a long line-up, always try to go inside to do your banking. Those few minutes you spend inside ensure that you are helping someone keep their job. Multiply that by millions around the country doing the same thing and the result is tens of thousands of bank employees keeping their jobs. And when these can keep their jobs, imagine the trickle-down effect that can have for the economy.

Banks are not alone at this. We are increasingly seeing more and more self checkout counters at grocery and big box stores. They are there for our convenience, but if used a lot, it means job losses for employees at thousands of big box stores and grocery stores nationwide.  Similar to your visit to the bank, and unless there is a long line up at the other check-out lines, skip them as much as you can. Ensure someone or a lot of people are able to keep their jobs. And it is only costing you a few minutes if not less. Heck, lately, I have been seeing more people at the self check-out counter than at ones attended by a real human cashier!

Restaurants have joined this trend too and introduced self-ordering and paying systems, where you can order and even pay through an automated system, and skip straight to pick your meal. Don’t bother! Skip the new automated ordering screen at McDonald’s and go to the counter instead. Help a student, a mom, or someone else keep their job. And by the way, even if you choose to the cashier, I don’t know if you are saving any time by ordering yourself. I mean the cashier knows the menu and the ordering system better and would probably be faster at taking your order than you can do it yourself.

The irony is, we may have inadvertently used these new technologies and skipped the human interaction for the sake of convenience and saving time, and in the process have cost us or someone we know their job. And if it hasn’t yet, it may happen in the future, where there is less demand for humans and more love for machines. In a previous post, we had discussed the ‘Amazon effect‘ and how it is killing jobs locally. Coming up in a future article, we will expand on that further and how buying online is also killing jobs. we all want to save money and time, who doesn’t? problem is, we are falling for it so much that we are overlooking the big picture, where we are losing thousands and thousands of jobs every month due to some form of automation. When these jobs are lost, we are losing much needed tax revenue, spending money and more, than can keep the economic cycle and prosperity going.

Be wary of automation at your local bank, grocery stores and other big box stores. Use them only sparingly and always look for real humans to check out. It will only mean less jobs lost in the future. And when when more people are working, it can only be good for the economy.

Nepotism in the workplace may be a good thing for the environment!

Nepotism can be bad, as it overlooks talent in favor of hiring and giving preference to those who are related to the people with power. But it can also be good for the environment,

Hiring family members at the same company can help the environment

Hiring family members at the same company can help the environment

especially when family members work for the same company and share the same ride to work.  Nepotism can mean smart commuting.

Where I work, there is at least 6 different groups of people who are family members and thus commute together. In fact in one instance, there is a family of 4 (father and 3 daughters) that commute together.  In total, these make up 15 individuals, commuting in 7 cars instead of each commuting in their own cars. That is an elimination of 8 cars from the road from one company alone.  And I know most of these, all are good and qualified for the job. They weren’t qualified simply based on having a relative at the company.  They just happened to have someone who works there, who told them about the vacant job and helped them get through the door.  In other words, nepotism may help make your job search easier but it doesn’t guarantee it.

Nepotism can be extended and even encouraged at other companies and organizations.  While not sacrificing talent and other important qualifications , nepotism can co-exist with other job requirements.  Companies that care about the environment can show it by various means, whether by encouraging their employees to take public transit, in their literature or by encouraging hiring new employees that have family members at the company who will end up sharing the same commute to work.

Certainly, hiring other family members may not guarantee that they will commute together and this is something that can be discussed and brought up during the interview process. The company should make it clear that one of the reasons they would hire family members or friends is to encourage group commuting in hopes of reducing the cars on the road and in the company’s parking lot. But this is a minor issue. I doubt two people living in the same house would want to drive two cars to the same place, back and fourth. It is a waste of energy, money and even time.

Imagine how many cars we can take off the road if every company could hire up to 10% of its staff from the same family members. Literally thousands and thousands. It would be significant enough to be noticed on the road every morning and afternoon rush hour.

Nepotism has often been associated with favoritism is give a negative stigma but it doesn’t have to be. If companies can balance their hiring process, putting new emphasis on nepotism as a way to help the environment, then it is a benefit for the company and the staff.  And the word ‘nepotism’ has a negative connotation, we can replace it with something else. How about ‘workplace family building’?



Is Amazon responsible for local job losses where you live?

No one can resist the temptation: you find an item on Amazon, and even after accounting for shipping expenses, it still comes out

Is buying from killing local jobs?

Is buying from killing local jobs?

cheaper than what you would pay if you were to get the same item at a local store. I, too, have done this in the past, but not as much as others do.

I like to think of this as a short term thinking, that only benefits the individual making the purchase and Amazon of course. In the long term, you and your local economy are probably both losing.

Weekly-even daily-news of some retailer laying off people is becoming a norm. Not a week passes by without some retailer, big or small, announcing massive job layoffs. Whether it is Sears, Best Buy, Staples or some other small retailers, online shopping is costing the local economy hundreds, even thousands of jobs. Many different retailers are suffering and only one is benefiting. Well, other online shopping giants are benefiting too, but Amazon stands to gain the most.

This begs the question: where does this stop? Or will it? There is nothing wrong with saving money, after all, we all want to maximizer our purchasing powers. Heck, this very blog is all about helping you organize your finances and save money. But when this saving of a few bucks is only a short term gain, we have to start thinking about how we are spending our money. You may save a few bucks today, maybe even hundreds every year. But in the long term, your very job could be lost due to this. If you work for a retailer, be it in electronics, clothing, shoes-even food-you now have direct and fierce competition from some online retailer, mainly Amazon. Of course, Amazon is the name that is most synonymous with online shopping, but there are many more out there, including Ebay, Overstock, Barnes and Nobles etc…

If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, why not shop from your local retailer’s online store? For example, instead of buying books from , why not head to instead? You will be supporting your local Canadian economy while saving money at the same time. You may not save as much as if you had bought from Amazon, but you will be indirectly responsible for saving someone’s job and that is always a great feeling.

One essential strategy to use when looking for a job

Based years of job searching and trying to find jobs for family members and friends, I have realized that one of the best and unknown

One essential strategy to use when looking for a job: look for companies that are desperate!

One essential strategy to use when looking for a job: look for companies that are desperate!

ways to get a job is to look for companies that are desperate. Let me explain what I mean by this. When a company suddenly has a need to hire an employee, whether it is to replace a sudden departure or out of pure need for extra staff, you are much more likely to get the job, all other things being equal.

Ok, you may be thinking that it is all common sense and nothing revolutionary.  After all, most hiring are born out of need or desperation on the part of the company. Sure it is but most people don’t think of it actively. That is, they don’t act on it.

When a company needs to hire immediately, chances are they will overlook many shortcomings in prospective applicants that they would otherwise insist on. And the shorter the hiring window and the number of applicants the easier it will be to score the job.

I have personally seen this happen with my own job search as well as with my wife, sister, friends and others. For most of us, although we were generally qualified to take on job, we may not have been the best candidates for some of these jobs. Not even close. But somehow we got the jobs based on how soon we applied for these jobs, shortly after they were posted. A lot of companies, when faced with a sudden and urgent need to hire someone, would rather hire from the very first applicants-assuming they meet at least some of the criteria-than to wait and risk losing time and customers. Desperation leads to panic for some hiring managers and HR department and that panic may lead to a quick hiring decision: be sure to put yourself out there when this is the case.

This is especially the case for the food and IT industries, where certain positions are either very specialized or the business can’t go even one day without a replacement.  If you are looking for a job in of these two industries and you spot an ad for a company that is urgently looking for new staff, be sure to apply right away. Always look for the date the ad was posted, as the earlier you reply the better your chances are to score that job. You can also take advantage of special email alerts from the different job sites out there (Indeed, CareerBuilder, Workopolis etc.) so you are notified of that special job you are waiting for or are interested in.

Another way to use this strategy to your advantage, and similar to what has already been mentioned above, is to look for the wording of these ‘hiring’ ads. Are they using special keywords like ‘urgent’ ‘start right away’ ‘need urgently’ etc.? These tell you that the company or business doing the hiring is a little desperate and you should jump at the opportunity.

And last, new businesses that are just opening or getting started, are often desperate to find the right staff to start the business. Be sure to look out for those. A new restaurant opening in your neighborhood can’t open without the required kitchen and serving staff. They can’t just open and worry about that part later.

Got your own special tips for getting a job? please share them with us in the comments section.

As more Robots replace Humans in the workplace, it is time for a robot tax?

robots-taking-our-jobs How to stop robots from taking more of our jobs? how about we start taxing them?

At the rate it is going, robots can probably take more than 10% of the jobs that humans currently perform, in the not too distance future. Possibly even more. For companies, this is a great thing of course, as robots can do a very accurate and great job, without having to pay them, worry about training them, getting sick etc. You just program them and they are on their way.

For us, humans, this trend is increasingly more and more concerning, as it is costing us jobs in manufacturing, automation and various other sectors.

CBS’s ’60 Minutes’  had a recent episode dedicated to this very topic: Are robots taking our jobs?

What can be done to discourage companies from using more and more robots to replace human labour?  how about tax on companies using robots? what? yes you read that correctly, and this coming from someone who doesn’t believe in too much taxation and government intervention in the free flowing of a capitalistic enterprise system. Let me explain how I could justify something as outrageous as a ‘tax on robots’ (robot head tax)

As more and more robots automate and take our jobs, we humans lose in the long term. We lose these good paying jobs and are left with these jobs at the bottom of the barrel. Jobs that pay just slightly above the minimum wage.  The government can tax companies for the usage of robots on the basis of the income they generate for the company. Just because they are non-human doesn’t mean they should be exempt from paying taxes. Individuals and companies already pay taxes on so many things such as property, cars etc. Why not robots? And to justify such a tax, it would make a lot of sense to dedicate revenues from this to fund future labor training on new technologies.  That is to fund the transition and training to new technologies needed to be ready for the new digital age.  Remember, the government is losing a lot of tax revenues when humans are eliminated by robots. Such a tax on robots would make up some of that revenue. And for companies using robots for production, paying such a tax will still generate them more profits than if they were employing humans.

Some may argue that it doesn’t make sense and is not fair to tax something just because it is helping a company save money. True, but these savings are coming at the expense of hiring human beings to perform the job.  Where does it end? when half of our jobs have been delegated to be done by robots? and as mentioned earlier, the more jobs get eliminated by robots, the less tax revenue and income is available to society, all of which will impact the economy as a whole in the long term.

If a tax is not a fair idea, how about putting a cap by the government on how much of a company’s workforce is composed of robots? And again,  this is coming from someone who believes in free enterprise and capitalism. But I believe everything has a limit and the government can and should have a role to play in this, to ensure robots don’t automate every possible job and put humans out of work.  In other words, just because a job can be done by a robot doesn’t mean it should. Humans and robots can mix in doing certain jobs.

Where does it end? Outsourcing, cyber-sourcing, robots etc. There are more and more pressures on traditional labor, where there is less need for the latter and the pay continues to dwindle. It is understandable that it is part of the realty of the 21st century and the new digital age. But we have to be careful on how we make this transition. We have to bridge the gap and not just stomp on our most valuable resource-humans-in order to make as much profits as possible. At the end of the day, if humans don’t have good paying jobs, companies will not have enough profits, never mind money for robots and automation.


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