Women in Trades

Over the next five years Canada will need at least 75,000 new tradespersons to fill the gap of people retiring – and that does not even take into account the natural growth that trades will see.

Jill of All Trade (JOAT) recommends five steps to greatly increase your chances of not only landing a job in the trades, but one that you and your employer both consider a great fit:

1. Know yourself

Before you can conduct a good job search and tell an employer why they should hire you, you need to know why they should hire you. Make yourself familiar with your strengths and weaknesses, passions and skills. Think about what you need in a workplace to be happy. Think about what you need in a job to be engaged. We spend a lot of time in the workplace, and you want to make sure that you have a good understanding of the kind of work you want to do and kind of employer that would suit you best.

2. Know your trade and how it works

Different trades have different employment requirements and it is important that you know what they are to be able to find work. For example, if you want to become a plumber it is imperative that you find a ticketed tradesperson to apprentice under. However, if you want to become a carpenter you can decide whether you want to apprentice under someone who is ticketed or not. Find out which trades have compulsory ticketing or are non-compulsory at Skilled Trades Ontario.

3. Do your employer research

There are many ways to find employers hiring tradespeople – one of the best is to search for employers and organizations who match your values. For instance, if you are very environmentally conscious perhaps you want to find an employer who is the same. A couple of the best strategies for finding employers is by using the keyword search feature in Google maps and by looking up “Best of” lists – for instance Canada’s Top 100 Employers identifies top employers by city each year.

4. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself

Doing an online search for available positions is an okay idea, but making phone calls to speak with employers is a much better one. Only 20% of positions that companies have available are advertised, which means that 80% of positions available are not searchable online. To find this “hidden job market” requires some sleuthing and that you break out of your comfort zone to have conversations with prospective companies.

5. Have a resume ready

Resumes are a quick and easy way to show an employer what skills and experience you can contribute to their company and your role within it. Be sure that you have an up-to-date resume that includes experiences like Jill of All Trades within it. Explain the projects you completed and the skills you acquired – do not be afraid to show off what you can do.