Critical Research for Your First Career - or Your Second


Completing a career self-assessment helps you determine your strengths, including hard, soft and essential skills, to give you a clear indication of your field of interest and how you fit within it.

Once that’s done, you’re ready to take a look at the current labour market and figure out how your skill sets correspond with the positions currently available, the current job trends and other occupational patterns. Every industry has different needs when it comes to job skills and characteristics.

Main Industries in Canada

The main industries in Canada include manufacturing, service, construction and primary resources. According to a recent National Household Survey, the Canadian labour market is as follows:

  • The service-producing industry needs people in a broad range of occupations — about 11 per cent of jobs are in management, 21 per cent in business, finance and administration and 28 per cent in sales and service. 
  • The largest share of employment in the manufacturing industry is in occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities. 
  • In the construction industry, trades, transport and equipment operators represent 69 per cent of employment. 
  • In the 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

Organizations such as Career Professionals of Canada are up-to-date on the latest employment news and trends. Lise Stransky, a certified Career Development Practitioner, has helped hundreds of clients find meaningful work over the past decade. She applauds the decisive decision-making that prompts a client to perform a career self-assessment and to make a career transition. But she also encourages her clients to do research on the labour market before making the leap to a new role.

According to Stransky, comprehensive labour market homework includes knowing: 

  • skills employers are looking for
  • industries hiring and where they are located 
  • employers who are hiring 
  • working conditions for specific industries
  • education and training needed for specific jobs 
  • factors that can stop you from getting a job
  • job areas that 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. 

Additional Resources

Government of Canada Job Bank

Employment and Social Development Canada 

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