WhereDoIStart: Job Maintenance

Job maintenance is the stage of career development that is often forgotten. Most people think career development ends when you get a job, however job maintenance is all about keeping that job and being effective in that job. In this article, we will cover two important things about job maintenance; firstly, how to deal with any barriers you may encounter in maintaining your job, and secondly how to ensure you are using your skills and keeping yourself effective. 

Barriers to Maintaining a Job

People may experience many potential barriers to maintaining a job. Barriers to maintaining employment can often be complex and difficult to deal with. From lack of access to reliable transportation, to lack of access to childcare, to mental health concerns, many of these barriers will not disappear overnight. Below are a few steps to help move your forward in addressing these obstacles:

1. Assess possible barriers

The first step of dealing with any barriers you may have to maintaining a job is to identify those barriers. Do you have a criminal record? Do you have a child that needs care during the day? Do have a serious health problem? Write down any possible barriers you can think of that may impact your ability to get a job.

2. Connect with resources

The next step is to connect with resources that may be able to help you with the barriers you are facing. If you are dealing with a criminal record impacting your ability to keep a job, try contacting the John Howard Society; if you are dealing with mental health challenges, CMHA may be the way to go. An amazing resource to find out what agencies are providing services that can help you is the Thrive Directory of Services

3. Prepare for success

The final step is to work with the supports you have found to prepare yourself for success in your career. The supports you find can help you eliminate or decrease the impact of the various barriers you identified in the first step. 

Skills Maintenance

Once you have minimized the impact of your potential barriers to maintaining employment, it’s time to focus on maintaining the skills that helped you to get your job. You may have heard this phrase before: use it or lose it. This is a great mantra to have around the career related skills you have developed in your efforts to get a job. Below are a few ways you can make sure you are maintaining those skills


  • Look for ways to use your skills around your workplace. Are you trained in First Aid? Find out if your workplace has a safety officer program! Are you bilingual? See if it would be helpful to translate some of your workplace’s resources!
  • Challenge yourself. If you find that your job is getting somewhat monotonous or stagnant, try giving yourself new challenges. Can you take on another project? Can you try doing your current project differently?  
  • Examine how you can incorporate more of your skills into your job itself. Can you put your social media training to use in your position? Can you apply the knowledge you gained by volunteering with the community?

Hopefully by keeping yourself feeling effective and minimizing potential barriers to maintaining your employment, you can move on to growing in your career, the next step in your career development journey. For more information about Job Maintenance, check out this workbook developed by the CCCD! 

  • December 5, 2019