Critical Research for Your First Career - or Your Second


When it comes to assessments not all of them are created equally. Some are better suited to certain occupations than others. Once you’ve completed a career self-assessment to determine your strengths in terms of hard skills, soft skills and essential skills, you’ll have a clear indication as to where you stand and what your field of interest is. 

Now you’re ready to look at the labour market and perform an assessment on how your skill set corresponds with positions currently available, job trends and occupational patterns. Each industry needs people with particular kinds of job skills and characteristics.  

Labour force 

The main industries in Canada include manufacturing, service, construction and primary resources. According to the most recent National Household Survey, the Canadian labour market looks like this: 

  • The service-producing industry needs people in a broad range of occupations: about 11 per cent of jobs are in management occupations; 21 per cent in business, finance and administration occupations; and, 28 per cent in sales and service occupations. 

  • The largest share of employment in the manufacturing industry is in occupations that are unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities. 

  • In the construction industry, trades, transport and equipment operators represent 69 per cent of employment. 

  • In primary resources industry, 68 per cent of employment is unique to that industry, although these industries also employ people in management, business, finance and administrative, natural and applied science and sales and service occupations. 

Labour market trends

At organizations such as Career Professionals of Canada, it’s their job to keep current on employment news and trends. Lise Stransky is a certified Career Development Practitioner with Career Professionals of Canada who has helped hundreds of clients to find meaningful work over the past decade. She applauds the decisive decision-making that prompts a client to perform a career assessment and to make a career transition. But she also encourages her clients to do research on the labour market for their new role before making the leap.  

According to Stransky, comprehensive labour market homework includes knowing the following: 

  • What skills employers are looking for;  

  • Which industries are hiring and where they are located; 

  • Where to find employers who are hiring; 

  • What working conditions are like for specific industries; 

  • What education and training you need for specific jobs; 

  • Which factors can stop you from getting a job; and, 

  • Which job areas are growing in the future and other statistics. 

“The labour market is a critical factor in career decision making, yet, anecdotally, it seems that most people don’t consider this crucial source of information when planning their employment path,” says Stransky. 


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