Wendy Terry —
If you live in Toronto in the vicinity of Jarvis St. and Wellesley, and have been unemployed, you have more than likely found work with the help of the counsellors and job developers at the offices of JVS at 111 Wellesley St. East. Now JVS has moved to 184 Front St. E., 2nd floor, at the intersection of the Front and Princess, one block east of Sherbourne St. With the revitalization of Regent Park, and the development of more condo communities, the St. Lawrence area has become a growing labour market. JVS will be able to help you get a job close to your home base.
JVS takes a holistic approach to your job search. The first person I met, Irena, facilitates a 4-hour workshop called “Who You Are Matters.” Sometimes when we are unemployed, we try to remake ourselves to fit each employer as we move from one application to another—and we feel awkward. This workshop helps you think about who you are so that you will feel comfortable talking about yourself in an interview. Then you set out to look for a good match between yourself, the position and your employer.
To help you find a good match, JVS Toronto provides a “Career Exploration Opportunity Workshop.” Wendy explained to me how this workshop helps you become familiar with labour market research. Labour market research is a big challenge today—given the ever-changing job market and the overload of often-conflicting information on the internet. Getting help to make sense of all this would be extremely useful.
I was fascinated when Debbie, the site manager, explained how the JVS team shows clients how to use LinkedIn in order to network—a means of making contact with others who work in a field or with a company you feel a good fit with. This opened my eyes about how to approach the daunting challenge of “cold calling.” JVS Toronto offers a workshop in “Networking and Social Media” to help you make contacts through Social Media.
JVS Job Development counselors like Julia can open doors for you. They are constantly contacting employers to identify positions needed and looking through the resume of JVS clients on file to find a good fit. Then, through a job development grant, the employer is given a training incentive to offset the salary costs to help them through the first few months while you are learning the job. This service greatly increases the odds of you finding an employer. Remember many jobs are not advertised—you get the job before it hits the advertisements and everyone is sending in a resume. Just imagine what it is like to be an employer looking through hundreds of resumes. JVS Job Development Counsellors help both the employer and you find each other more easily.
Recruitment events are another way that JVS Toronto makes the employer’s search and yours easier. When employers come to JVS for a day, with several positions in mind, JVS Job Counselors have already sorted through the resumes on file and have set up interviews. Think how this focused recruitment event compares to the job fairs you have been to where you hand out your resume to many employers, just hoping against hope that something will work.
Several times as I was learning about JVS, I spoke to Rosalie. She is an Administrative Assistant who answers the phone and greets you at the door. Front line workers, who make the first contact with a client, are special people. They know the team they work with, and make it easy for you to get started. They make you feel comfortable.
Walking back from my JVS Toronto visit, I thought to myself that finding a job doesn’t have to be so scary after all. Drop in any time at 184 Front Street, Suite 203. JVS is there to help you. No appointments necessary.