LMI Research for Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs
“Google’ is not a synonym for ‘research’.”
― Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol
One of the first things anybody who wants to find work, start a business or any organization has to do is to understand the market they will be serving.
If you are a job seeker, these are the things you want to understand:
- How the work environment looks like for this profession or occupation?
- What are the usual working hours and conditions?
- What is the salary range?
- What are this industry trends? (where is it going, is it growing or shrinking?)
- What types of technologies or tools are used in this profession or occupation?
- What are the main responsibilities in this job?
- What are the basic requirements (studies, experience, specific skills)
- What are the “nice to have” skills or certifications (assets, not a must but highly recommended)
- Are there any specific licenses, designations or professional certifications required to do this job in Canada (for example, K-12 teachers require a license from the Ministry of Education, ECEs require a license from ECE Registry at the MCFD, engineers require a license from APEG, etc.)
- In what types of industry can I do this job (occupation or profession)?
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to open your own small business or just work from home, this is what you have to research:
- Is there a market for the service or product I want to offer?
- What are the characteristics of that market (i.e, stay-at-home parents, full-time workers, “greens”, seniors, etc) and what do they need and want?
- Will the service or product I’m offering add value to what already is offered?
- How much are people willing to pay for this service or product?
- How much will I need to produce and deliver this service or product?
- Are there other businesses or individuals offering the same to this market? How will my service/product make a difference/
For both goals, the approach to research is similar:
- Start by looking for information online (informal research) about what you want. Don’t take any steps yet, just explore.
- Find out specialized websites (for example, if you are looking for “green” jobs, you should look into ECO Canada, Green Jobs Canada, Work Cabin and Green Jobs.ca , if you are looking for non-profit jobs, you can check under Charity Village jobs, etc.
- Connect with people already working in the industry or occupation you want, have an informational session to learn more about trends, requirements, etc.
- Explore Forums and specialized Groups in the Internet. The best place to start is LinkedIn
- Attend events related to your profession or industry; these events may be organized by professional associations, specialized agencies, libraries and boards of trade, etc.
- Follow companies and organizations you are interested in, you can do this using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, but if you do so, make sure your profile in all these accounts is professional.
- Subscribe to newsletters and RSS feeds from the industries and occupations you follow.
- Read news and blogs and look for trends and news that may affect your industry or job goal
- Volunteer at different events and projects to gain inside experience and explore the market before you jump to it
Some of the websites you can start using are:
For Labour Market Research:
- Industry Canada (Information by Industrial sector, for LMI research): http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic1.nsf/eng/h_00066.html
- Company directories: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/company-entreprises.nsf/eng/home
- Working in Canada: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca/content_pieces-eng.do?lang=eng&cid=1
- Vancouver Public Library Info Centre for Immigrants: http://skilledimmigrants.vpl.ca/index.php/guides/
- Surrey Public Library Job Search websites: http://www.spl.surrey.bc.ca/research/4741.aspx
- National Occupation Classification (N.O.C.): http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/noc/English/NOC/2011/Welcome.aspx
- Credential Evaluation Canada: http://www.cicic.ca/383/foreign-credential-recognition.canada
- Essential Skills Profiles: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/LES/profiles/profiles.shtml
- City of Surrey Job Opportunities: http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/599.aspx (remember to google for other “cities”, such as Langley, Richmond, Vancouver, etc.)
“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” ~ Earl Nightingale