The May 2021 Update


It’s official: not only have we sold the house, but we have bought a new one in Saint John. We take possession July 5 and so will begin a new chapter.

I’m also, possibly, on the verge of hearing about a new job, as is Kerry. We’re hoping this is the week we get new gigs so we can put that bit of concern behind us. The last time I was laid off, it took almost a year to find something new. I’d like to compress that time period somewhat.

I have to say the job market in the Maritimes is different from what they have in Montreal or Toronto. I applied for a position and shortly after, received an email to participate in a Predictive Index cognitive assessment test. I then had a video interview with the hiring managers. I was then asked to provide references, with at least 2 past managers, by having them go to a link to provide feedback on me. I also had to re-do the PI cognitive assessment because they didn’t like my answers the first time (I’m not good at those things). The index could not close until I had two managers respond. I could not get in touch with my most recent manager so I had to go way back to some others to ask them if they would do this for me. Finally I was able to the feedback I needed and the reference check was completed.

In March, I was offered a job with a very generous compensation package but it fell through over my request to work remotely from New Brunswick. I was offered this job based on two video interviews with two people who didn’t know me from Adam. No references were requested.

This reference check was frustrating and I’m honestly not sure how they attract talent with this weird, inflexible process. While I haven’t lived in the Maritimes for almost 20 (!) years, I can’t help but wonder if there is still an attitude from employers that, because unemployment is higher than other regions, they make more demands of their employees in a way that wouldn’t fly in similar industries in other regions.

Of course, there are people who are treated much worse at their jobs than this middle-class, white collar guy so I don’t want to overstate the issue. I just makes me wonder, if I do get the job, what kind of workplace I’ll be stepping into.

The overall point here is that if an employer does not know if they are going to hire someone based on their CV, and more than one interview, it seems unfair to put the burden on the new hire to make their references go through this process. It seems particularly onerous when your references may simply be unavailable to enter the information requested within the timeframe they require, which is what happened with me.


The Book of Longings

The Book of Longings is a novel about the imagined marriage of Jesus and his wife, Ana. It’s a very inventive tale that seeks to give voice to someone who would have been silenced all these years. Highly recommended. Oprah Winfrey liked it as well.

By John

Former Maritimer living in the suburbs of Montreal.

One reply on “The May 2021 Update”

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