Monday, December 03, 2012
Paul was accepted into a government-assisted program, which grants him a minimum wage salary to learn small business skills with other budding entrepreneurs.
It was pretty competitive this year as they received 80 applications and narrowed the candidates down to 20. However, the first month has been a bit of a joke because the instructors have been focused on teaching life skills (i.e. showing up on time, learning to finance a car, etc.). But Paul says the pace is picking up: the students are expected to register their businesses and apply for HST numbers in two weeks.
I've been working at an advertising agency called McLaren McCann. They're pretty well-known or so I hear (their sister company in Australia produced the "Dumb Ways to Die" viral video). I've never worked in advertising, so it was a little intimidating at first. I'm in the TV/radio department, so I support the producers. The job has come pretty naturally to me because of my experience as both an executive assistant and assistant director, so I can handle complex paperwork and understand the production pipeline. It's a one-year mat leave contract, so it's relatively short, but at least I'll have some agency experience under my belt, hopefully making it easier to find work after this. ("Agency experience" is a very big thing for recruiters; I've been turned down for not having any in the past.)
Anyway, so far, I really enjoy the job. I only got it because I had stayed in contact with someone I had worked with on that TV show "Being Erica" and she recommended me to her friend who happens to work there. Her friend overheard the producers talking about how they were desperate to find someone to cover for the woman leaving because the person they had initially offered the job to turned it down. So the producers went through HR and received over 250 applications in two days, forcing them to pull down the ad. That's when my resume found its way to the department head's desk. She invited me in for an interview the next day and offered me the job the following morning.
Good thing, too. My employment insurance application had been extended only a month prior to getting this job offer and I wasn't keen to see where I'd be once it stopped this upcoming March.