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Your Career: a lifelong journey

Your career is something much larger than a job or an occupation.

Your career is the variety of experiences of learning and work (both unpaid and paid) that you undertake throughout your lifetime.

Career: the sum total of paid and unpaid work, learning and life roles you undertake throughout your life.

Occupation: a group of similar jobs found in different industries or organisations.

Job: a position in which you perform tasks for payment.

Our careers are influenced by many things, such as our interests, our age, our education, our families and our cultural values — most of which change over time. In the 21st century, very few people will have the same job or occupation for life. You can expect to make several changes throughout your career.

It’s up to you to actively manage the process of building your career, rather than just letting it happen. You will need to plan and manage your lifelong career journey. You are the person best suited to make choices on the basis of your own skills, knowledge and interests. But as you get started, remember that there are people who can help and support you along the way, and that you can provide help and support to others as well.

While building a career can seem daunting, it’s simply a matter of planning, preparing, and remaining open to opportunity
Assess your skills 
How do your Essential Skills measure up?
Build your skills 
Get access to learning resources.
Why are they important? 
  • Essential Skills are career building blocks.
  • They provide the foundation for learning technical skills and working safely.
  • Basic Skills are the foundation skills you need to be successful at work.
  • They include reading, document use, writing, numeracy, oral communication, computer use and thinking skills.
People with strong essential Skills are:
  • More employable: They find work 29 weeks faster than people with poor Essential Skills.
  • Wealthier: They earn more money. In Canada, about 28 percent of what we earn is directly related to our level of Essential Skills. Nothing else - not even education and experience - contributes as much to income.
  • More productive: They make fewer mistakes and better decisions.
  • Safer: They are less likely to injure themselves or others on the job.
  • Fast learners: They learn technical skills for work, like how to operate equipment, faster.
  • Better at adapting to change: They apply what they've learned in the past to new situations and need less retraining.

Last Update: May 20, 2014

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