Northeastern British Columbia






Job Maintenance



Starting Out

Staying On Track

Moving On

Moving Up

Moving On

We have already discussed how to make a good first impression.  We seem to have come full circle, because in this section we are once again focusing on new jobs.

If you have followed the guidelines set out in this handbook, and have maintained a good reputation, then you have what you need to take the next step. You have knowledge, work experience and a good reference to serve as solid stepping-stones on your career path.

  1. Developing a Career Path

  2. Job Search While You Are Working

  3. Leaving:  When and How

Developing a Career Path

If you have put solid effort and an appropriate amount of time into your current job, but feel that it's a dead end, it may be a good time to assess your situation and decide where you want to go from here.

Ask yourself what you have learned at your current job:

You may have established a career plan prior to starting your current job. If so, look at it again.

Ask yourself these questions:

The answers you get to the previous questions may lead you to look for career counselling and career exploration materials. Or you may begin to write out a plan for yourself.

Be aware that plans are not carved in stone — yours will probably change as you move along your career path, just as the world of work is constantly changing. Look at your plan often and revise it when necessary.

One very simple career planning exercise follows. If you need more help, Career Exploration workshops, along with vocational testing, are offered at community employment agencies and at schools and colleges.

Career Planning Exercise

  1. Where do I want to be working in six months? In what sort of position?
    What have I done that will help me get there? What do I still need to do?

  1. Where do I want to be working one year from now? In what sort of position?
    What have I done that will help me get there? What do I still need to do?

  1. Where do I want to be working five years from now? In what sort of position?
    What have I done that will help me get there? What do I still need to do?

Job Search While You Are Working

Whether your career plan is to move on or not, it is always wise to keep your job search up to date. That way you can be more prepared for unexpected downsizing and ready to apply when a great opportunity presents itself.

    • Update your resume and keep a few copies on hand.
    • Use your contacts at work to expand your network.

    • Keep a list of job ideas and contacts.

    • Continue to do information interviews in different sectors, at similar companies and internally if you are with a large organization.

    • Keep an eye on employment postings, business community news items and ads for job fairs.

    • Know where help is available if you need it -community agencies, drop-in centers.

    • Build a portfolio. In a binder, a file folder or a box, keep: your resume, references, transcripts, diplomas and certificates, lists of accomplishments, written evaluations and your career plan. That's called being prepared!

Portfolio List

Keep track of items that you need to obtain or find for your portfolio.

    • Updated resume
    • References/Evaluations, from:
    • Certificates/Tickets from:
    • Transcripts/Diplomas, from:
    • Career Planning and Job Search Materials
Job Search:  Contacts & Ideas
    Name Company Phone #


Leaving:  When & How

If you are fired or laid off:

  • Allow yourself to feel angry, guilty or ashamed, but try not to display negative feelings openly.

  • Listen; try to understand the reason. If it is not about your performance, ask for a reference.

  • If you are given notice, take it. It will buy you a little time to begin your job search.

  • Try to learn something from the experience.

If you are choosing to leave:

  • Know the consequences of quitting — you may be disqualified from benefits.

  • If there are problems at work, don't react in anger and quit — use that energy to job search.

  • When you find another job give as much notice as possible — this is often negotiable.

  • Leave your work, space and equipment organized; offer to help train someone.

  • Leave a number where you can be reached.

  • Ask for a reference and your record of employment.

  • Thank your employer and say goodbye to everyone; don't burn bridges.