Marketable Skills - quickly!
October 25, 2014 7:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm a woman in my early 40s with no real marketable skills that make me stand out in job hunting. I currently have a job in Montreal, but I'm originally from Toronto and for various reasons, I'm planning on moving back. I'd like to learn some skill(s) in the next 6 months or so (planning on moving July 1) that will hopefully make a significant increase in the likelihood that I can find a job quickly once there.

(My husband will be coming with me & has marketable skills that should help him find a job there before we move.)

I don't really have an ideal job or field (I've worked in several), and I don't mind unconventional jobs or shift work. I speak some conversational French, but not enough to be considered fluent/ bilingual.

Past jobs components I've enjoyed:
- scheduling
- organizing
- research
- some manual labour
- spreadsheets
- creative-related work

Things I like in life:
- arts (design, photography, etc.)
- environmental causes
- social causes
- travel
- dogs, other animals

Things I don't want to do:
- sales

So, what should I learn that would help me get a job? What skill will make me stand out on a resumé in a field that needs people? I'd really love something that I could show, a certificate or the like, but it's not essential. Basically I just want something more substantial on my resumé than "excellent organizational skills".

throwaway email just in case (; anon since not everyone knows we're moving this far in advance.

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Become an Excel whiz. This opens a lot of doors!

I'm also a Salesforce administrator, and learning a particular program, Hyperion, Eloqua, Silverpop, Oracle, SAP, if you've ever used it, put it on your resume. There are tutorials on line and videos on You Tube if you want to learn a new one.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:14 AM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

If I were you, I'd work on improving your French. Toronto has a lot of jobs for bilinguals right now. Even good conversational French will be helpful.
posted by Coffeetyme at 7:31 AM on October 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Project management. (Example course)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:32 AM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

The other route is to build connections: can you start building connections with any Toronto based firms before you move?
posted by troytroy at 7:58 AM on October 25, 2014

For an immediate job, signing up with a temp agency doing admin work is a good bet. Lots of agencies pay pretty good wages, but there could be many more that are less than nice.

It's been several years since I've temped, but I always had decent jobs.
posted by waterandrock at 8:00 AM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Basic programming. You won't learn enough to be a professional software engineer, but you can learn enough Python in a few months to look like a wizard in pretty much any other field that involves computers (which is almost all of them). Bonus points, you can do a lot of fancy Excel stuff with Python too (though learning Excel is also good advice).

Learn Python The Hard Way is a great (free!) place to start.
posted by Itaxpica at 9:17 AM on October 25, 2014 [9 favorites]

Some PM related certificate + "excellent organizational skills" + a few keywords on the resume around how you helped teams/companies/projects succeed because of your organizational skills should get you into a project coordinator/assistant type role in a project management environment. It'd have to be a junior role but I have seen many people get their foot in the door with this type of approach.

PM/email me [username @ username . org] if you need some help/further questions.
posted by olya at 11:08 AM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you have any interest in working for environmental or animal-welfare charities, knowing Raiser's Edge would probably be an asset.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 5:41 AM on October 26, 2014

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