The Job Market

"There's nothing out there."

It is a rare and unique (and possibly insane) individual that actually enjoys job hunting. Especially in the current job market. Especially in this city.

London, Ontario, has a few factors that make looking for work here both challenging (if you like those kinds of challenges) and frustrating (if you don't like those kinds of challenges).

First off, and in most places around the globe, it's presently an "employer's market". But going into globalisation, economic issues, fears of recessions, corporate welfare, massive lay-offs and job cuts or a myriad of other issues would take volumes. Suffice it to say, so many people are looking for work that employers can offer low wages, poor hours, no healthcare benefits, etc, and people are taking those jobs because, while the best things in life may indeed be free, it's rather hard to enjoy them if you're poor.

Another factor is that London is home to two major post-secondary schools:

The University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College. That means that every year, tens of thousands of students ebb and flow from this city and that has a massive effect on the job market.

The third factor, and second particular to this city, is that London is challenging for the title "Call Center Capital of Canada".

Inbound, outbound, sales, customer service, surveys, tech support, the list goes on. From massive offices to dimly lit rooms in someone's basement, with varying degrees of ethics and professionalism, we've got the whole spectrum. My rough estimate was about 30 call centers in the city but I've had several people tell me it's closer to 50. And with a population of 350,000, that's disturbingly disproportionate.

With retail and restaurants aplenty, my guess based on observing the various job sites is that those three industries comprise roughly half of the available jobs in the city. And I've spent my time in all three.

There are other jobs of course:

Jobs I'm not qualified for, jobs in fields that don't interest me or that I've no aptitude for and jobs that you just couldn't pay me to do. And of course, some great jobs that are damned hard to get without luck, timing, extreme persistence, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms or just some good old fashioned connections.

Let's be honest, connections help. They shouldn't be an answer in and of themselves. I loathe favouritism and nepotism but for just a foot in the door, they're great to have.

The Job Search

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

Times have changed. It's the 21st century and the internet has certainly made job hunting different.

Online jobs sites with hundreds of postings, the ability email your resumes to hundreds of employers, to search and submit on a far wider scale than pounding the pavement with an arm full of printed copies is a testament to technology. In fact, with a lot of companies now, you can only