|By Cameron McCallum,
Branch Manager at Eagle
It’s funny how we develop preconceptions of things. While there might be some semblance of truth involved, often the evidence that we use for forming our opinions of something comes from anecdotal or third party sources. So how, without experiencing something directly, can we develop such strong feelings? This seems to be particularly true when we talk about places and locations. We associate a place or location with very specific words or emotions and those take on a life of their own. I currently live in Edmonton, Alberta, a vibrant northern city with a ton of exciting urban projects and a population hovering close to 900,000 and rapidly closing in on a million. And yes, I get it, winter can be long and summers short but honestly, this is a great city with lots to offer. Can a million people be wrong or completely crazy?
Every place has its positives and negatives and we humans are pretty good at adapting and making a place our home. But I’m not here to defend my choice for living in Edmonton. Instead, I want to talk about Winnipeg. Why? Simple — Eagle works across Canada with clients from all geographic locations, including Winnipeg. As it turns out, Winnipeg happens to have a lot of great opportunities right now and it is a challenge filling these roles. So I want to highlight why you as a contract professional, might want to pay more attention to what is happening there and why it is important for you to do so.
- There are lots of opportunities in Winnipeg!
It may not be a large city (600k) but Winnipeg has a healthy market for IT professionals and any number of exciting initiatives to take part in. I’ve seen an increasing need for Project Managers, Business Analysts, Programmer Analysts and Management Consultants along with a number of other skills. Rates are competitive and it is not overly difficult to find accommodation and settle in, and Winnipeg is the center of Canada (no it is not Toronto) so it’s an easy flight home for a weekend visit, typically not more than 2 hours, whenever you might need to be there.
- There is less Competition!
Competition in major markets can make it a challenge to line up contracts, especially when the market slows down in your particular location. If you are living in Toronto, sure there is a lot of volume but the number of applicants for a single posting means you are competing against many, equally talented and skilled workers. And if you happen to be in Calgary right now, you know the impacts of the price of a barrel of oil on the job market. The volume of work is certainly less in Winnipeg, but there is also a shortage of professionals to do the work, so if you’ve come to the conclusion that you wouldn’t mind a change, you just might find that Winnipeg has a lot to offer.
- Winnipeg is fun!
Stop rolling your eyes! I lived in Winnipeg for a number of years and I can speak from experience. I also had the chance recently to visit Winnipeg and talk to a number of out-of-town contract resources that we’ve placed with clients there. All of them spoke of being a bit reticent about moving to Winnipeg initially. But all of them also said that once they were established, they began to see that the city had a lot going for it. They talked about golfing, joining the Running Room, visiting the new Human Rights museum and just generally getting a feel for the vibe of the City. I know that Winnipeg has a vibrant cultural scene, great restaurants and lots of options for entertainment.
- This doesn’t have to be forever!
You never know, you might actually find you like it so much, you end up staying. And that is exactly what one of our contractors decided to do. He found things that he really liked about Winnipeg and he also found a place with a decent economy and good opportunities for someone with his skills. But even if you don’t end up deciding to stay forever, Winnipeg represents an opportunity to work your next contract while seeing what makes the city tick. Just remember, traveling for a contract is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not only do you have to take care of the logistics of moving and the impact that will have on your life, but it is also extremely important that once you’ve accepted a contract, you are committed to seeing it through to the end.
So what do you do if you are interested? Just follow this link and see what we have open and if you see something that matches your experience and skills, simply apply. Who knows, a new life adventure might be waiting for you in Winnipeg.