Click play on the following audio player to listen along as you read this section.

As you enter the workforce, it is important to understand the major trends in employment and how to find this information. In this competency, we’ll look at some of the current major trends in employment in Canada and British Columbia. This review includes an overview of the economy, skills that employers look for, and employee expectations. We’ll also look at effective strategies for entering the labour market and finding a job.

In general, employers look for and hire individuals who they believe will be a good fit for their company, in both the short and long term. This includes hiring individuals who have both the “hard” and “soft” skills they desire. Your hard skills are skills that you have accomplished or have credentials for, such as a trade certificate, WHMIS, first aid training, or proficiency in a foreign language. Your soft skills, sometimes referred to as “people skills,” are those you acquire through your education and life experiences. Examples of soft skills include effective communication, problem-solving ability, flexibility, creativity, customer service skills, and the ability to work with others. These skills are necessary to keep a company or organization competitive and able to adapt to changes in the workplace. As a tradesperson, having the appropriate trades qualifications will get your résumé in the review pile, but it is all of the additional soft skills you possess that will help get you an interview and determine whether you are the right candidate for an employer.

Learning Objectives

When you have completed the Learning Tasks in this Competency, you should be able to:

  • describe the trends affecting employment in the Canadian and British Columbia economies
  • describe employer expectations and job satisfaction
  • describe respect in the workplace
  • describe how to maintain healthy customer and co-worker relations
  • describe stress management techniques
  • describe effective problem solving and decision making
  • describe effective job-search strategies
  • create a cover letter and résumé


Resources icon.You will be required to reference publications and videos available online.

Media Attributions