Linda Mooney

Linking people with jobs

WorkLink offers wide array of services for employers and the unemployed

One of the toughest jobs in the world is searching for a job. It can be incredibly time-consuming, depressing, and isolating. But it doesn’t have to be that way and the staff at WorkLink want people to know there is help out there.

Work Link is a non-profit agency funded by the government, but it is not a government office. They offer a full range of employment and career-related programs and services through various government and community agencies in the Sooke and Victoria area.

“Any unemployed person can use our services,” said Jen Harrison, Community Coordinator for WorkLink. That includes those who are retired, semi-retired, have handicaps or disabilities or are young.

She said anyone, and stresses anyone, can access workshops, one-on-one employment counseling and services providing they work under 20 hours a week. And anyone, whether they are working or not, can come into the office and use the self-serve computers.

“A lot of people in the community don’t know we exist or can assist,” said Janice Hlady from the Sooke office of WorkLink.

WorkLink, at Unit D-6625 Sooke Road, offers programs for employees as well as employers. For example, employers can access wage subsidies for employees looking to gain new skills on the job or post their job openings on the WorkLink website.

“We want to remind employers that we’re here and advertising job postings is free – people come in daily looking for work,” said Hlady. “If you’re a new employer in town – come see us.”

Those who come to WorkLink can access numerous workshops where they can go old-school and network and meet others who can offer suggestions and ideas on where to find work. It’s about making personal connections, and those connections can make a job search easier. They can speak with advisors, write resumes and cover letters and acquire basic job search skills. WorkLink connects people with the skills they need to connect to employers.

“You don’t have to job search alone,” said Harrison. “A job search is a full time job.”

Harrison said WorkLink staff can help you develop a system.

“We remind people that 80 per cent of jobs are not advertised. Eight hours on the computer is not effective, you have to get out in the world – step out of your comfort zone,” said Hlady. The staff at WorkLink take son the role as your personal job search coach, keeping you on track and focussed while providing fresh ideas.

Workshops take place in Sooke every Wednesday.

And they agreed that amazing things can happen in those workshops like ideas shared experiences and job leads.

A lot of the people coming through the door these days are professionals and oil and gas workers.

Harrison said people will likely change careers many times and they need to develop transferable skills in these challenging times.

“We help develop employment resiliency and it is way more successful when you get your own job.  Losing a job is like grieving and we help people rise through that,” said Harrison.

On May 7, at the  Langford Legion (761 Station Avenue) there will be a Job Fair, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,  where job seekers  can connect with a number of employers. While the employers are mainly from the Westshore, WorkLink would like to see Sooke employers take part.

Many unemployed people in Sooke prefer to find work in either Sooke or Colwood/Langford. The job fair is a aware chance to meet hiring employers face to face and potentially get an op-the-spot interview.

To make an appointment at with a case manager in Sooke call 250-642-3685 or drop into the office.