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As an upcoming or recent work-optional graduate, you may hold the balance of power in discussing modified work arrangements when you are thinking about leaving your career behind. In a May 21st article published by the CBC, experts consulted say while the economy is currently losing jobs, there are even more mature workers leaving the workforce, and when combined with longer schooling times for Gen Z (and there are fewer of them) this creates a shortage of labour in many key areas.
A highlight of this shortage was felt by thousands of BC coastal residents on the long weekend who waited up to eight hours for a BC Ferry. Apparently one crew member, just one, called in sick on the route between Bowen Island and Horseshoe Bay resulting in BC Ferries cancelling many sailings as their pool of casual workers was already down to zero. Labour shortages are being felt across many sectors including health care, construction, manufacturing, restaurants and transportation.What does this labour shortage mean for you or your clients? There has never been a better time to negotiate with employers on modified work arrangements that would suit your work-optional life. If you are one who enjoys your work but you just don’t want the meetings, night shifts or full-time commitments, it may be worth your while to approach your employer with what you would consider workable. Negotiate such aspects as hours, contract work, remote options, part-time, as well as benefits and pay.

Slowly evolving from the ageist beliefs that are embedded in much of North American culture, many employers are quickly realizing a seasoned employee not only brings a depth of experience their younger colleagues cannot match but they also provide a deeper level of emotional maturity, and are generally more loyal and likely to stay. It is recommended if you are applying to a company that does not know you, drop by and introduce yourself so you can quickly dispel the stereo types many have about older workers (I would stop short of doing a cartwheel in their lobby though;)


Whether it is your current position you enjoy or you are ready for something new, for your own longevity and happiness you should always be ‘working’. Paid or volunteer, we all do better when we have a compelling purpose needing us…of course on our own terms.