My workday starts at 7:30am – an hour before our centre opens. As a morning person with a busy family, I am fortunate to adjust my hours to have a work to life balance. It is quiet and I maximize productivity during the initial hour. I first sort through my emails and voice messages, making notes and adding updates to our case management system database. I then review resumes or work on training proposals since the morning is my best writing time – when I am most articulate and concise. Next, I review the news of the day and interpret how this will affect our local labour market. I pull together the information and post editions of labour market information to local teams. This information assists in determining current and future job opportunities for our candidates.

Our centre opens at 8:30am during the week and we have team meetings or I have appointments with candidates. I’m fielding phone calls and emails throughout the day. No two days are alike and my schedule is not set in stone. Agility is key to this role! Things change – our projects change, government processes change, and people’s needs change. I have to be prepared to change gears in a moment’s notice to respond to whatever needs attention. Most days fly by as a result of a busy, ever-changing schedule.

I am not working in a temp agency in which a person drops off a resume and I match him/her to an ideal employer. This is a collaboration with the candidate, working towards their personal goals. My job isn’t necessarily to find a person employment, but to help guide them to realizing their goals. Sometimes I meet a person who wants or needs to work, but through exploration he/she determines that they may not be job ready or able to work. Then I connect that individual to community resources best suited to their needs. My job is to ready a person for employment – through career assessment, resume preparation, interview skills, new and up-to-date job search techniques, job matching, job development, and training. We offer a ‘buffet’ of services. I have people saddle up to the ‘buffet’ and fill their plate with what they need. I am constantly searching for and informing my candidates about job opportunities, job fairs, and labour market changes that affect them.

I’m also here to be a sounding board – to listen to fears, frustrations, dreams, goals, and barriers. My candidates figure out very early on that I genuinely care about their well-being. Therefore I hold them accountable, just as I do myself, as to what is working and what is not, and when one or both of us drop the ball. I take success personally and I take failure just as personally.

I am here to help someone grasp the tools they need to find employment. These tools are to be utilized for the rest of their careers so I take that responsibility seriously. But the best part of my day is when someone tells me they don’t need me anymore. I have a shelf life and I am fine with becoming obsolete. I always say “I hope you never need me in the future, but if you do, you know where to find me!” And people do return. After sixteen years with Agilec, I’m now seeing generations within the same family.

Bottom line, I’m here to help. And I’m listening. All you need to do is take that initial step, and walk through my front door.

by Caroline Smaglinskie, Employment Counsellor for Agilec


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