Some pretty dire news on Canadian unemployment this week.

It seems that almost 39% of unemployed Canadians have completely given up on looking for work. This is according to a report by Harris Poll for Express Employment Professionals that surveyed 1,502 unemployed Canadians.

Findings include:

    – 39% of respondents agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job.”

    – 44% say there are no available jobs.

    – 13% say their last interview was in 2012 or before.

    – 94% agree that they are “working hard to find a job.” But 32% say they spent five or fewer hours looking for work in the last week. 8% spent more than 31 hours looking.

    – 37% are “not at all willing” to relocate to a new city or town for a job. 62% are not at all willing to move to another province to find work.

    – 51% have no plans to go back to school. 13% are currently enrolled in classes and 10% have already attended classes or earned a new degree.

Am I the only one who sees some fixable problems here?

Finding work is hard. I know. I get it. I was once out of work for several years.

One thing I started doing towards the end of that time is paying attention to successful people, hoping to learn a thing or two. And I have. I have learned that successful people do things differently from the rest of us, certainly differently from how I was doing things.

Success, of course, means different things to different people. I’ll never have a private plane – or real estate in Manhattan. For some, that’s financial success. For others, it’s making enough money to have a roof over your head, feed the family and pay the bills. Regardless, people who achieve the success they seek – whatever that is – would have responded differently to those survey questions.

Here are five things that successful people do that are not present in those responses.

    They don’t give up: Even when things look their worst, successful people don’t throw in the towel. They keep trying until they are successful or until they are dead. They learn from their failures. Continuing to try doesn’t mean doing the same thing over and over again. Successful people examine their setbacks, take what they can from them and learn not the repeat them.

    They vary their approach: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This quote that has been attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, and various others. Regardless who said it, if you have sent out 100 resumes and nobody is interested, it’s time to try something else.

    They go to where the success is: A tech wunderkind doesn’t stay in Regina, if she wants to be successful. She moves to California, where the tech jobs are. Similarly, if you can’t find a job in Ontario, you should go to where the jobs are – like Regina. There are so many jobs in Saskatchewan, they can’t even fill them. And many of them pay more than they would elsewhere. Successful people don’t dig their heels in wherever they are and refuse to budge, even if things aren’t working.

    They do whatever it takes: If they have to, they go back to school. They take courses, they volunteer. They put in the required effort. Looking for a job is a full-time job, yet only eight per cent of survey respondents said they have put in more than 31 hours. A full time job is 40 hours.

    They don’t lie to themselves: Successful people don’t lie around on the sofa while insisting they’re giving it their all. If 94% of people say they are “working hard” to find a job, but a third of those are spending less than five hours a week actually doing so, some folks are kidding themselves. Not all. People are busy, and some are looking after families or other important things, and five hours is really all they have. But not all 32%. And that sort of dishonesty is not going to get you anywhere.

Be honest with yourself. If you are not finding a job, what more could you really do? The answer probably isn’t “nothing.”


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