Talk to any job seeker, or go to any expat forum, and the consensus will be that Toronto has plenty of work opportunities – whereas Vancouver, while lovely, can be a tough place to find a job.
That’s what I believed myself for years, because I had heard it so often, it had to be true, right?
Guess what? Much to my surprise, the statistics actually say otherwise.
The hard figures
The September 2010 unemployment rates are out, and here’s what they look like:
– Vancouver: 7.3%
– Toronto: 10.1%
– Canadian average: 8.0%
(Source: Statistics Canada)
Not what you were expecting? I know. Same here.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics!” *
[ * By the way, does anyone know who actually coined this phrase? I’ve seen it variously attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Charles W. Dilke, and of course, the ever prolific Mark Twain…]
Sure, there’s more to the issue than just unemployment rates. One single figure, especially when taken out of context, cannot possibly show you the whole picture. And it’s always a good idea to take statistics with a grain of salt – particularly in a politically charged context like unemployment.
But still, figures like these sort of force you to challenge your own perception of the job market in Vancouver.
A shift in perspective
I’d be the worst coach on the planet if I didn’t ask you this simple question:
What changes for you when you tell yourself there is less unemployment in Vancouver than in most of Canada?
… doesn’t it make you more motivated to start looking for a better job today?
… doesn’t it make it easier to write that cover letter you’ve been procrastinating on?
… doesn’t it make it less scary to take a chance and approach someone for a job?
What happens when you stop focusing on scarcity (“There are no jobs out there”, “Everyone’s struggling, why would it be any different for me?”) and look for the positive instead?
After all, we’re doing better here than in the rest of the country, including Toronto. And if most everyone finds a job in Vancouver, why wouldn’t you find one too?
Take your daily vitamins
I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy and smooth sailing from here. I know full well that as a newcomer, you’re facing specific challenges in your job search. That’s precisely why I’m here to help.
But I do strongly believe that a “Hey, it’s not that bad after all!” attitude is ten thousand times more helpful than a “Why even bother?” doom-and-gloom outlook. Employers can often sense you’re insecure just by reading your application, you know – and they’d much rather hire a determined, self-confident candidate.
So make up your mind to look for positive signs (like encouraging statistics) – think of them as daily vitamins to boost your morale and strengthen your determination to land the job you want!
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Image by The |G|â„˘, via Flickr Creative Commons