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Career Planning

Milton Tootoosis

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER 1997      v27 n04 p29  
Milton Tootoosis
by Milton Tootoosis
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Career planning is an important aspect of our lives. Yet few parents and teachers spend the time to explain what it is and why it is so important.

Many industry leaders are concerned about the current skilled labour shortage. According to them, career planning should be a priority in high school, college and university. Curriculum has recently been designed by Saskatchewan Education, which will see some high schools venturing into the area of career planning. Most college course offerings, however, do not include mandatory career planning classes.

Career planning takes time: time to research, to listen, to observe role models and to absorb information. Today, more information than ever before is available about careers. The real task is knowing where to find the information and then how to use it to make the right decision for you. Prior to making one of the most important decisions you will ever face, you need to be aware of current trends.

The workplace is constantly changing. For example, computers and other technology have created new types of jobs while eliminating others. Knowledge, data and information are more valuable today than in the past. Also, as the Canadian population ages, the needs and buying patterns of consumers will change. Another change concerns the growth of the global marketplace. This affects the way business is done in Saskatchewan, forcing many smaller companies to consider various options: partnership, joint venture or even perhaps getting out of a highly competitive industry altogether.

Career planning takes time: time to research, to listen, to observe role models and to absorb information.

Another change concerns demographics. A recently released study commissioned by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations clearly indicates that Aboriginal peoples will be a significant human resource for Saskatchewan's economy as we enter the next century. The study shows that within the next five years, one quarter of all labour force entrants will be Aboriginal, with the vast majority being First Nation.

Chances are that you will not work at the same job for your entire work life. Most individuals will work in a variety of positions for a number of different employers. While well trained personnel is vital to the success of any company or organization, increasingly, employers seek out workers who are flexible and who can adapt to changing responsibilities with limited supervision and retraining.

Many workers today are dissatisfied with their jobs for one reason or another. By carefully planning your career now and preparing yourself for change, you can avoid being one of these individuals. Whether a truck driver in the transportation industry, a food and beverage server in the hospitality industry, a community planner, an accountant, a medical doctor or an entrepreneur, plan now and become a role model for success.

If you would like more information about career planning, visit your local outreach employment centre funded by your tribal council or band. Read career planning guides available at any Human Resource Development Centre (formerly Canada Employment Centre). Attend a local career fair sponsored by your community. Surf the Internet and websites related to careers which include those of Human Resources Development Canada, the Electronic Labour Exchange, Youth Resource Network of Canada, Work Search and Canada WorkinfoNet. You will even find virtual career symposiums on the Net. Read books like Shifting Gears by Nuala Beck, Megatrends 2000 by John Naisbitt and The Popcorn Report by Faith Popcorn.

Invest your time wisely and make a good decision today.

Tootoosis is the Regional Coordinator for the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Saskatchewan Region.