All About Employment in Victoria, BC

Welcome to yyjworks

My goal with this site is to provide a really useful resource for job seekers in Victoria, British Columbia. Sure there are other aggregating services that will deliver job postings to you but I'm local and in tune with YYJ's unique employment challenges and environment - I think you'll find YYJWorks has a lot to offer. If you'd like to let me know about obstacles you've encountered while looking for work (or workers) in Victoria feel free to use this response form.

YYJWorks – at your service

Posted By on September 27, 2016

It is now officially fall and the newness of being back at school has already rubbed off and I’ve settled into a routine of working two days a week and filling up the rest of the time with classes, quizzes, reading, jogging and other odds and ends (including YYJWorks of course). I was thrilled to receive a scholarship from Island Health which is very much appreciated. I applied with no expectation of success so I think there is a lesson there – it never hurts to try when it comes to things like awards/scholarships – after all somebody has to get them!

Something cool coming up that I unfortunately won’t be able to attend is EngagedHR’s DisruptHR event happening the evening of November 3rd. Despite being more than a month away two thirds of the tickets are already gone. But if you’d like the chance to go for free simply tweet a link to a YYJWorks page you like (or the whole website) and put @YYJworks in the tweet so that I see it. That’ll get you an entry into the draw for a free ticket which closes October 27. Alternatively you could share a post from the YYJWorks Facebook page.

For the nuts and bolts of how to use YYJWorks skip down to the rest of this post below the horizontal line.

Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by YYJWorks. I am pondering the idea of starting a ‘job finding club’ here in Victoria (to learn more about what that is see A New Approach Using an Old Technique—Job Finding Clubs: Tips for your 21st Century Job Search). If you think that is something you might be interested in please leave a comment below or email me at susanzmartin at yyjworks dot com. If using online resources is more your thing (although of course you can do both) read on!

If you are looking for work in Victoria your first stop should be the list of jobs closing in the upcoming week (what I call the ‘fresh sheet’ – typically it comes out 2-3 times a week). You may also find the list of jobs closing in the current month or the list of jobs that close after this current month (or have no closing date specified) helpful. Here’s a general guide to using YYJWorks.

If you’re just getting started with the Job Search process you might find my series on ‘Pumping up your Job Search Readiness‘ helpful and if you are new to Victoria you may find my recently completed and updated series on Victoria’s biggest employers informative. If you’re planning on moving to Victoria here are some ideas on how to get to know Victoria from afar. Finally, if you’d like to let me know about your challenges – whether as a job seeker or an employer looking to hire in Victoria – use this response form.

Recently I’ve written some articles on LinkedIn – you might find them helpful:


fountain in back

Fountain in the rear of the Parliament Buildings


On May 15, 2015 I will have been running this blog for four years. I’ll be frank – I haven’t done much with it and have taken the path of least resistance by continuing to do the same old same old and not innovating or trying anything challenging or risky. But that’s going to change in 2015.

This year I have what I am calling my ‘4-3-2-1’ ignition goals and they are all about YOU – helping YOU find (better) employment in Victoria, helping to bring you up to speed on the truth about the employment situation in our fair city, engaging you so that we can use the power of community to assist as many job seekers as possible and shaking things up a bit by discussing issues that are typically left out of the conversation about employment/job search. Here are the outcomes I am hoping for:

  • 4 likes per week for the YYJWorks Facebook page, 4 likes per week on any page/post on YYJWorks website
  • 3 posts per week on the site (with links on FB)
  • 2 new Twitter followers per day
  • 1 person per week downloading the Job Search Readiness PDF

Each page now has a Like button – if you find something you enjoy on the site please take the time to Like the page and share with other job seekers. Check out the Facebook page and if you’re not following me on Twitter (@YYJWorks) please think about doing so.

YYJWorks – helping you find work in Victoria, BC

Posted By on November 5, 2014

Welcome to YYJWorks – I hope I can be of assistance to you in your job search. I’m now back from Uppsala, Sweden, (I got back to Canada on July 27, 2014) where I spent two years doing a master’s in International Health. I am also now in the same situation as many of you reading this – looking for a job. However, I am very fortunate in that I have lots of options and some resources to fall back on that mean I can spend some time (at least a few months) exploring to find a good fit and of course enjoying being back in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.

Although I have ambitious plans for YYJWorks at this point nothing has changed so the advice below still holds. Good luck with your job search.

If you’re looking for job listings you’ve got a few choices:

If it’s other things you’re looking for feel free to explore jobseeker resources, networking ideas and articles on a variety of subjects in the posts section (accessible in the column on the left hand side of the page). If you’re interested in being notified when the fresh sheet comes out each day simply follow me on Twitter by clicking on the follow button in the top right hand corner of this page.
(November 5, 2014 – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)


I’ve added this lovely photo of Victoria’s natural beauty not just so you can ‘pin’ my website but also because I think it is a really good metaphor for employment in the city. Because you may not realize it but this photo is not of a Garry Oak meadow but is actually a snapshot of an electrical box in my neighbourhood. Yes, even here in Lotus Land not everything is as it seems and you need a job – you can’t live on air after all.

The first three months of 2012 are nearly over and big changes are on the way for me. In September 2012 I will begin a Master’s in Public Health in Sweden. I am pretty sure that I will be attending Uppsala University since I have been admitted there but there is still, I’m guessing, a small chance I could also be admitted to the Karolinska Institute’s program where I am on a waitlist. I’ll be leaving Canada at the end of June since accommodation is notoriously hard to find in Sweden’s ‘university towns’ and I want to get a jump on the arriving hordes. Stay tuned for more news.


Welcome to 2012. The job I mentioned in the paragraph below has slid from 25 hours a week to 15 and so I’ve now got more time to devote to this blog and other projects. I’m going to make a commitment to do a post every Friday by 9:00 pm Pacific Time (or else have a damn good excuse why I didn’t) as well as the fresh sheet every weekday. I may even join Facebook (should I or has Google+ made it obsolete?) – love to have your opinion on that if you’d care to comment below or send me an email at susan at yyjworks dot com. I’m also going to get back into tweeting. (January 6, 2012)


I’ve left my earlier introduction below although much of it no longer applies. I now have my own domain and although the blog isn’t perfect I’m pretty pleased with it. There are ads from our friends (they are our friends aren’t they?) at Google to try and at least recoup hosting costs. In the middle of August I’m starting a ‘real’ job that will probably be 3.5 days per week. That will of course cut into the time I can spend on this blog but despite that I do hope to expand the site by adding editorial content on a variety of issues and static pages on topics like Victoria’s biggest employers and the essential tools that every 21st century job hunter should have in their tackle box. Stay tuned. (July 29, 2011)


Welcome to my humble blog. I hope that you’ll find it useful and that you’ll tell all your Victoria-resident (or Victoria-bound) job-hunting friends about it. After getting started, both with this blog and with blogging in general, with Blogger I’ve left that platform and made the move to WordPress. This move was partially prompted by Blogger’s recent day-long outage as well as a desire to learn WordPress. Of course blogs taking advantage of WordPress.com‘s free service can’t have ads so monetization will have to wait. But perhaps this is for the best – let’s see if I can build a following and some steady traffic before I invest in the admittedly low cost option of going it on my own.

Most of this blog is built around pages but I’ll add more bloggy (meaning real-time, reactive and interactive posts rather than more static information) content as we go. Hope you visit often (although ideally I’ll be so successful at helping you find work that you will come back out of interest rather than because you’re still searching for a job). (May 19, 2011)

Tips for mature workers making career changes due to disability

Posted By on October 18, 2016

I’ve just published part 1 (of 4) in this series on LinkedIn. If you (or someone you know) are a mature – or not so mature – worker who has had to change careers due to a sudden-onset disability that made your old job impossible you’re sure to find this set of articles helpful. When I’ve written all four I’ll put them together into a PDF for download.

Upcoming events in July 2016 at GT Hiring

Posted By on July 3, 2016

If you are interested in learning more about working for the provincial government check out this upcoming event at GT Hiring’s Borden Street location. Just a week later (July 14), also at Borden Street, is an event where you can learn about training opportunities in Victoria. Big names like UVic, Camosun, Sprott Shaw and more will be in attendance.

Learn more about all the events at GT Hiring through their calendar which covers all three of their Victoria locations.

The Last (January) Haiku

Posted By on January 30, 2016

Wow—I don’t know where this first month of 2016 disappeared to. It has gone lightning fast. I had an interview on January 26, 2016, which was the inspiration for this haiku. Although I did not get this position just being given the chance to interview was a great morale booster. So, if you are struggling with the often demoralizing reality of being a 21st century job seeker take heart. Keep at it and you are likely to ‘score’ with at least an interview and eventually a job offer. As we head into the second month of 2016 I’m rooting for you.

Last Jan Haiku

Fridge Philosophy

Posted By on January 21, 2016

What does your refrigerator (the outside not what’s on the inside—that’s a discussion for another day on another website) say about your attitude toward life, where you’ve been and where you’re going? Here’s my fridge (at least from the waist up) and what the items on it mean to me.

half size fridge

First up, in the top left hand corner, is a treasured fridge magnet of Stockholm. This was given to me by classmate Sulochana as a memento of the two years I spent studying in Sweden (at Uppsala University in Uppsala—70km north of Stockholm). Next is a (very obviously) homemade ‘inspirational’ poster bearing a quote from Seth Godin (“Do work that you can believe in.”). Finally on the top row, at the far right, is a postcard from the Seychelles sent by another classmate from Sweden (Bashir).

Okay, on to the middle row. The Frozen dry-erase board is thanks to the local dollar store—what can I say, they didn’t have any plain business-like (and boring) white ones. I’ve never seen the movie (should I?). Next to it is the elegant and beautifully designed postcard that author Debbie Weil sent out to some lucky readers of her newsletter late last year. Isn’t it cool? About a year ago I was one of several winners of a book give-away that Debbie held but because I was in Canada she suggested a Skype book coaching session instead. We just did that this morning (my procrastination—not hers) and it was a great metaphorical kick-in-the-butt. As you might have guessed the book will be about finding (better) employment in Victoria and 2016 will be the year I write it (hopefully well before my July birthday).

To the right of the postcard is a ticket stub from a visit to the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence on September 19, 2012—this isn’t mine (although I did visit when I was there in 2006)—rather it was being used as a bookmark in a library book that I recently borrowed. I couldn’t resist keeping it and putting it on display. The final object is a handout from a pop up shop run for a few days over the holidays by the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society. The handout tells the reader where to get more information if you are interested in helping sponsor refugees to come to Victoria.

Finally on the bottom row, partially concealed by the postcard, is a document I put together for some friends and myself to help capture information useful in a medical emergency (who is our primary care physician, what are the names and contact details of those who we would want informed of our crisis etc). About ten of us are working together to put in place what we want to happen and who we want to be involved in the case of a health emergency that leaves us temporarily (or more gloomily permanently) unable to speak for ourselves. It’s not exactly a happy topic (it goes by the name Advance Care Planning here in Canada) but it’s interesting to hear how others feel about what makes life meaningful, where they would want treatment to stop and how such situations have played out—often badly—in their own circles. The last item is a receipt from the marvelous Bulk Barn; they do a fabulous deal where when you spend $15 or more at one time during a specific time period you’ll receive a $5 gift card upon presentation of this special receipt.

It seems my fridge reflects some strongly held personal values. My love of travel, my belief in doing honourable work and my recognition of mortality are all evident. How about you–what’s on your fridge and what, if anything, do you think it says you and your life? Tweet a photo to @YYJWorks with the hashtag #fridgephil

An application a day …

Posted By on January 21, 2016

Makes you so sick of talking about how fantastic you are! I’ve gone on an application blitz for the past two weeks—I had lofty goals of two per weekday (or 10 per week). That hasn’t happened but since January 6, 2016 I have submitted 11 applications. Frankly I find it exhausting to try and find different ways to present my skills and aptitudes to show how they match what is in the job description. And I do try to make my cover letters a little more human and (dare I say) fun as I am sure that the typical HR screening person (or machine? does your average ATS have a sense of humour?) is ready to gouge their eyes out by the end of a day reviewing applications. Here’s your weekly haiku inspired by this fatiguing exercise of ‘packaging’ your talents and experiences in this way.

Jan 21 Haiku(1)

How you can help YYJWorks

Posted By on January 18, 2016

Thanks for taking the time to learn how you can help YYJWorks. Here are some ideas how you can do that:

  • use the like/share button at the bottom of this post (or any post on the site) to share via email or social media
  • make a donation using the PayPal button in the right-hand column of the site (if the donation amounts and/or methods available don’t suit you send me an email at susanzmartin at yyjworks dot com)
  • follow me on Twitter (@YYJWorks)
  • like the YYJWorks Facebook page
  • follow my physical ‘help wanted’ sign board on Pinterest
  • submit a job listing, say ‘Hi’, tell me about your work-related challenges here in Victoria, sign up for the upcoming YYJWorks newsletter (May 2016)—do it all on the ‘How can YYJWorks help you?‘ page

Enjoy your visit to YYJWorks and good luck with what ever employment issues you are confronting.

Mural on Fisgard Street

Mural on Fisgard Street



Maybe that should be ‘MEH’ (My Employment Haiku)?

Posted By on January 14, 2016

Sorry I’m a bit late with this week’s haikuhump day kind of got away from me. What do you think of the acronym MEH for these weekly bits/bytes of doggerel? The ‘M’ could stand for ‘My’ as shown above but do feel free to add your own M-word (miserable? mystifying? maddening?). Here you gohope it makes you smile (though it may also elicit a knowing grimace).

Jan 14 2016 Haiku

This week’s ‘EH’ (Employment Haiku)

Posted By on January 6, 2016

Of course the job search and the subsequent (often agonizing) flurry of activity as you submit application after application is a serious matter but sometimes you just have to step back and try and see the humour in it. Please feel free to share your own creative efforts (haiku or otherwise) in the comments or with a tweet to @YYJWorks.

Employment Haiku

Happy holidays from YYJWorks!

Posted By on December 20, 2015

May the final days of 2015 be full of love, laughter and joy and spent with family and friends in warmth and happiness. Here in Victoria it looks likely we’ll have a green Christmas, which is perfectly okay since even a skiff of snow on the roads here results in vehicular mayhem. Hope that your ‘sleigh’ – whether metaphorical or real – is as full of good things as the one below. And if you want to share the love with YYJWorks via the new donation button off to the right I’d be very appreciative.

santas sleigh two