How to Find Work in Canada’s “Worst City to Find a Job”

Canada's "worst city to find a job"


Earlier this year the BMO’s Labour Market Report Card indicated that Kelowna was Canada’s “worst city to find a job”, falling 31 (out of 33) spots in the course of a single year. With population growing and unemployment rates rising, many job hunters in the Central Okanagan are finding the task of employment seeking daunting at best.


Living local and out of work? That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move to Oshawa (currently Canada’s best rated city for employment) to get back in the game. Exploring your options and preparing for the future are constructive ways to navigate the turbulent waters. Using your predicament as an opportunity to re-evaluate professional goals can be a great idea. And understanding labour trends in the area can aid in moving forward in a successful direction.


How exactly does one accomplish this? There are a lot of places you can start, but knowing what you want, in an ideal world, is valuable. Performing self-assessment tests (ex. Myers-Briggs) help to define personality types and, essentially, match those characteristics to ideal careers.


It would be wonderful if this is all it really took to find the perfect career, but realistically our “dream job” isn’t always posted online waiting for us to bite. Knowing what the labour market looks like both now and in the future gives us a clearer picture of which of those potential careers, matched to our personalities, would be the most advantageous to pursue.


For example, say you’ve been working in the oil industry for years and suddenly find yourself out of work. The future of oil is fragile, along with employment possibilities, so you are considering making a career change. But all you’ve ever done is the same kind of work. You take a self-assessment test and find out that your personality type is suited to a service position – sales, hospitality, tourism, health care. You find a short list of jobs that excite you, but all require a certain level of training and commitment in order to pursue. What’s worth the investment?


Well, if you are in fact living in Kelowna, recent data collected by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Society suggests the following:

  • The Central Okanagan’s major industries are agriculture/viticulture, tourism, retail trade, manufacturing, forestry and construction
  • Emerging industries include film, aviation, health care and technology
  • Specifically, occupations that are expected to have significant growth and job openings in the future include software engineers, health care professionals (specifically in management), industrial electricians, administrative clerks, manufacturing managers and information systems consultants


A career coach is an excellent resource if you are feeling overwhelmed by the task. Career coaches offer guidance in defining personal goals, target options that are viable in today’s market and developing a plan to pursue objectives that are feasible given your circumstances (ex. training outside of working hours, work experience opportunities, etc.). Most importantly, a good career coach is intimately familiar with the region in which you are looking for work and therefore able to suggest appropriate paths to finding an ideal local position. After all, there’s a reason growth is so high in Kelowna – it’s a beautiful place to live. And it can be an amazing place to work, too.


Check out Kelowna HR’s Career Coach services.