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Academy of Learning College Blog


Once you’ve hit your 30s, it’s likely that you have invested a considerable amount of time, money and energy into building your career. You may feel a little let down by your current career situation, or you’ve outgrown your passion for your job; even with the whim of changing careers in mind, you might still feel a little apprehensive about making an actual move into a new professional field.

Whether you’re fed up with a stressful work environment, difficult deadlines, or simply looking for a higher pay, or seeking the freedom and refreshing atmosphere of a new career, there’s no bad time to change your career and refocus your professional life. Considering that most people will work into their 60s or even 70s, it is definitely worthwhile putting in the time to find a career that’s both satisfying and rewarding for you at the same time. And here’s how you do it:

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Know yourself inside out

You will likely not find the perfect career for yourself without a thorough self-assessment, professionally and personally. Look back at your past work experiences, think about the things you enjoyed doing, the environment you liked to work in, the type of tasks that brings you the most sense of achievement, as well as the tasks and environment that you despised at work. Look at how you like to work, what your career values are and the things you’d gladly do even if you weren’t getting paid to do it. This will help you identify the kind of role you should be aiming for.

Then it’s time to look at what employers are looking for when it comes to that particular role. Check out current job postings for the role that you believe you’ll enjoy, and analyze what kind of skills are required for potential candidates. This will confirm your suitability for that level of work, while giving you some idea about the skills and qualifications that you need to work on in order to land on this job.


Analyze your transferable skills

When stepping into a new industry, even though you may not have relative experience in the new field you’re aiming for, don’t be let down by it. Let’s sit down and examine your current qualifications and skill sets; this will help you figure out what skills you can take with you into your new role, and what skills you need to spend time to acquire.

Strong administration, organization, and computer skills, customer service skills as well as extraordinary interpersonal skills are easily transferable to any industry ranging from finance, marketing, to healthcare, IT, and design while communication and problem-solving skills can be applied to any role ever existed. Don’t be afraid if your new dream job seems irrelevant from your current and past work experience. All you need to do is listing out all your strong traits, assessing how they could prove invaluable to your next employer, and filling in the gap between your current skill sets and the required skill sets of your dream job.


Test out different work environment by volunteering your time

Remember the volunteer work, co-ops, or internships you’ve done back in high school or college? Remember the work experience you gained from those and how you had a taste for different line of works? Being a grownup shouldn’t stop you from trying new things by doing volunteer work. Once you’ve figured out a rough direction that you want your future career to lead to, dig up some volunteer opportunities in that particular industry (these opportunities can be found on job boards or through networking).

Volunteering is a perfect chance for you to get a taste of how these jobs would be like, find out what applicable skills you need for this industry, and whether you enjoy doing these types of jobs. For instance, if you’d like to get into conference marketing, search online or contact someone within your personal network and offer to help out at his or her venue at no cost in return for the on-site work experience. This will give you some first-hand experience that you can add to your resume; and it allows you to start gaining the necessary skills to move into your new career.


Open a door to a new world with further education

Undertaking further study can often give you the new credentials required to make a career change. Maybe the last time you received education or training feels like a decade ago, it is actually very common for professionals who dislike their current jobs to look at going back to school for a new career as a next-step. According to National Center for Education Statistics, of the 21 million people who enrolled in post-high school education programs, 2.3 million are between the ages of 40 and 64, and about 1.5 million of them are part-time students.

You may hesitate on returning to school since you are bearing the choice of giving up salary in your prime income years. In fact, it’s not about how much you are paying for school; it’s the program you choose that truly matters. Going back to school can make even more sense for people with a lower income that are looking to reach a higher level of salary in the future; by receiving further education, you’re giving up something that doesn’t satisfy you and reaching for a better stage of life.

As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost.




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Although it may seem like it is rare for an interviewer to ask a direct question regarding the age of a candidate, since asking about someone’s age is not something appropriate to do during job interviews. However, age discrimination is still a significant issue for many adult and older job seekers. Asking the interviewee’s age directly is discriminatory, but how your respond to it can have a significant impact on the outcome of your interview.

You could run into age-related questions if the hiring manager is inexperienced and unaware that this question is inappropriate, or that they’re purely curious. But it’s more probable that the interviewer has ulterior motives regarding issues like your health condition, retirement, salary, or work performance. An unethical or untrained interviewer could propose a direct question about your age; and occasionally, a recruiter might fish around with questions that lead to insights about your age like asking which year you graduated, when you started your first job, or how long you’ve been at each of your past positions.

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Here are six example responses from Business Insider, on how you could respond to an age-related question without coming off as combative and hurting your chances of securing the job:

  1.  “I’ve been in the workforce for a number of years, but I also plan to work for many more — and hopefully that includes this company. I’ve been fortunate to work at companies where age diversity is viewed as a plus. It that also your approach here?”
  2.  “I received my degree many years ago. I returned to college and later finished my degree. Since that time, I’ve gained great experience, but I’m always excited about learning more and contributing in a team environment.”
  3.  “I certainly have a great deal of experience. Are you asking this for a particular reason that I should be aware of? I want to be in-tune with every job requirement.”
  4.  “May I ask, are you concerned about how my skill set or education will apply? I think you will find that I’m an asset for the projects you have mentioned/listed. My most recent accomplishment was [xyz], and it will benefit your company because [abc].”
  5.  “If you’re concerned about my level of experience, I have focused on this specialty area for several years and contributed [xyz] to my former employers. I’d like to expound on some of the projects that specifically relate to this job description — and the excellent results I achieved. Would that be helpful?”
  6.  “My age hasn’t been an issue in the past. But you should know that I do feel confident in that I can contribute a great deal to your firm with my level of experience and maturity. Perhaps you can tell me more about your concerns so I can understand them more clearly, and better explain how I can meet your needs.”

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When encountering an age-sensitive question during a job interview, explain that you believe your age would be an asset, you are eager to learn, and you can bring skill sets and experience to the table that no one else can. Also, describing your recent experiences, whether at work or in other situations, where age diversity has been an asset could help sooth the interviewer’s nerves over the age topic.

Age discrimination exist because there are a lot of common but erroneous presumptions hiring managers often make towards older candidates. For example, when interviewing older workers, some biased and often untrue assumption a interviewer often make is that older employees lack some critical qualities such as flexible approach to changing circumstances, ability to keep up with the latest industry trends, knowledge of modern technologies, ability to communicate and work with younger works, which they assume to have a negative impact on the worker’s job performance. Moreover, health conditions and retirement dates may also be some major concerns the hiring managers have towards older workers.

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Referencing examples of past work experience on critical projects, and quantitative measures of productivity can help counteract assumptions about lack of focus and energy. By emphasizing creative approaches to problem solving, you can demonstrate your flexibility and their ability to adjust to new challenges. Mentioning your enjoyable past experience in working with younger co-workers, working with (if not, learning about) the latest technologies in the industry will help reduce the concerns regarding your ability to work with modern technologies and millennial workers.

In summary, when answering age-related questions, you want to guide the line of questioning into a more professional direction by focusing on your skill set and ability to contribute to the company. Keep in mind that if you feel the interviewers have concerns regarding your age, the best approach is to use their question as an opportunity to showcase your qualifications, skills and experience, as well as to prove to the interviewer that you are not only qualified, but also have all the other assets the company is looking for in an ideal candidate.

As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!




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What does a payroll administrator do?

Payroll administrators, also referred to as payroll managers, are specialists within the human resources field who oversee the daily payroll processes of an organization, and organize the compensation of employees for the time they have worked.

Their responsibilities include issuing employee paycheques, recording leaves of absence, verifying number of hours worked and keeping records of changes in employment.

As a payroll administrator, you will perform most of your work with computers and must keep track of employee information using accounting, database and spreadsheet software programs. Some general job responsibilities include:

  • Prepare for periodic tax reporting slips such as T4
  • Compliance with labor standards and regulations, as well as government payroll remittance requirements
  • Ensure employees are paid on time
  • Prepare payroll related reports and statements
  • Liaise with third party service providers such as insurance carries and government agencies
  • Prepare direct deposits and flexible spending accounts
  • Issue Benefits withholding, payroll deduction, garnishments and levies
  • W-2s processing

If you enjoy working with numbers, enjoy working in an office environment and have a rigorous principle for work, payroll administration might just be the perfect fit for you!

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How much does a payroll administrator make?

According to Payscale Canada, the average pay for a Payroll Administrator is C$46,317 per year. Salary increases modestly for the first five to ten years in this position. A skill in Benefits Administration is associated with high pay for this job. The annual salary for payroll administrators in Canada ranges from $35,859 to $59,697, with a possible maximum bonus of $5918 and a possible maximum profit sharing of $5.918. 

Some of the most popular skills employers look for when hiring payroll administrators include: Accounts Payable, Accounting, ADP Payroll system, Microsoft Excel, and Payroll administration. When moving forward the payroll career ladder, some immediate higher-level positions include Payroll & Benefits Administrator, Payroll Supervisor, Payroll Manager, Payroll Coordinator and Payroll specialist. After that, some professionals take up occupations such as HR manager, HR Coordinator, and Payroll & Benefit Manager.

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What kind of education and skills do I need?

When hiring a payroll administrator, employers usually look for candidates who has a post-secondary education or work experience, or combination of both in the fields of Accounting, business administration, commerce, human resources, or other payroll-related industries.

The Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification, designated through Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), is not a mandatory requirement in the payroll accounting industry, but a visible number of employers may be more favourable towards candidate who is certified or are currently working towards the designation.

Good communication, organizational and analytical skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office programs as well as Automatic Data Processing programs, including W-2 processing, audits, terminations and wage reports are also some essential skills most employers look for in their candidates.

At Academy of Learning College, we feature a professionally designed Payroll Administrator program that provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to perform payroll administrative responsibilities in the payroll department and to be able to apply payroll legislation. Students become familiar with basic payroll practices and procedures, and are eligible to apply to the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) for Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification. In addition to accounting and payroll expertise, students gain skills and experience in word processing, spreadsheet applications, telephone communication skills and performing a job search.

 As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!

After answering a fair amount of questions asked by the interviewers, you grasp a whim of relief because you feel as though you did well and you think the interview is over. However, here comes one last question “Do you have any questions for me?” Surprisingly, the most common answer to the interview question is no. Not only is that the wrong answer, but it’s also a missed opportunity to find out precious insight about the company. When interviewers ask, “Do you have any questions?” they are not just being polite. They are trying to gauge whether you’re informed, interested, and engaged.  It is important that you ask roughly 3 to 5 questions; you want to ask enough questions to show the interviewer that you are interested but you don’t want to overwhelm them by asking too many questions.

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Be prepared and ask questions accordingly

It is important to ask questions to learn about the company and the job’s challenges. This is an crucial opportunity to help you decide if the job and company is the right fit for you. During the interview, you should ask questions in regard to the type of insight you wish to access from different departments of the company.

Before you attend the interview, think about the kind of information you’ll need to decide whether to work at this company. Prepare a list of 5-10 questions to take with you to the interview. Depending on who is interviewing you, your questions should vary. According to Monster, if you are interviewing with the hiring manager, ask questions about the job, the desired qualities and the challenges. If you are interviewing with the human resources manager, ask about the company and the department. If you are interviewing with management, ask about the industry and future projections. This is your chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge.

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Clarify Your Uncertainties

This is the perfect chance to clarify any concerns or doubts you have regarding this position, the future of this position, or the company itself. Ask questions and get as much intel about the company as possible, because once and if you get the job, it’ll be too late to ask questions.

First of all, you should ask things about the position that hasn’t been cleared out during the interview. However, you should avoid questions that you can find answers to from the job description or company website; it will only make you seem ignorant not knowing the answers. You want to ask well thought-out and meaningful questions regarding more details about the position and industry. According to The Muse, some sample questions could include:”What is a typical day like on this position?”, ” What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?”, “What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?”, or “What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?”.

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Strength your candidacy

Next, ask questions that will help make a strong statement of your strengths or accomplishments that was not covered during the interview. Make sure that you present yourself to the interviewers with relevant skills and qualities the company is looking for. You can even ask what kind of person they see ideally fitting the job, then showcase how exactly you fit into what they are looking. Once they answer, you can clarify or reiterate why you’ll be a good match. You can ask things like “What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?”, “What skills or qualifications someone need to succeed in this position?”, or “What types of skills you’re looking for in the new hire as a great addition to your team?”, then tie your own skills and qualifications to their answers if possible.

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Uncover future possibilities

You should also ask question about the growth of the company and potentials for its employees. Finding out what a company’s goals are for the next five to ten years gives you a good perspective on what their values are, whether you fit in with their culture, and whether they provide you with opportunities and future growths you expect. Plus, asking about the future of the company and opportunities for your future growth shows that you’re committed and eager to learn. You could ask the interviewers “Where do you see this company in the next few years?”, “What can you tell me about your brand change or plans for growth?”, “What training programs are available to your employees?”, or “What are the opportunities for advancement or professional development like within your company?”.

As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!

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