Monthly Archives: September 2014

5 Family Friendly Things To Do This Weekend

We all know how much of a struggle in can be sometimes to come up with ideas that the whole family can enjoy. Not only do you have to worry about “Bobby” and “Sarah” having different interests, you often have to make sure it fits within your budget. Here’s a list of five family friendly ideas that you can do this weekend in Edmonton that won’t break the bank:

1. On Sunday, September 28th, the City of Edmonton is having a free admission day at many of the city’s favourite attractions, such as Fort Edmonton Park and the Edmonton Valley Zoo. One word of advice: Use public transportation. Parking is bound to be a nightmare! For more information on participating locations, click here. FAD_green_black

2. Head to 104th Street this Saturday to experience the outdoor vibe of City Market Downtown before it moves inside City Hall for the winter. Sample foods, listen to buskers, and browse hundreds of handmade items. Can’t make it this Saturday? Don’t worry! There are still a few more Saturdays left until they move indoors on October 18th.IMG_2472

3. Go for a walk, or play outdoors in your back/front yard. Fall is the perfect season for outdoor activities as the temperature has cooled down since the summer, but winter’s nasty below zero weather hasn’t quite hit. Aside from the temperature, the foliage is rampant with colour. Collect pretty leaves to use in a craft, take photos without having to add a filter on Instagram, or rake and then jump into a giant pile of leaves. No money required!IMG_2499

4. Have you ever heard of geocaching? According to the official website “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” Think of it as a technologically advanced treasure hunt. All you need is a GPS, or a smartphone, and some mode of transportation. It can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get the feel for it, can be strangely addicting! Plus, your kids will be super excited once they find the “cache”. You can find tutorials on how to go geocaching

5. Go to a sports game! The highly anticipated CFL game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders is tonight at 8pm and tickets are still available! Check out availability here. Make sure to purchase a warm cup of hot chocolate- DECSA staff and volunteers will be in the back preparing it!

Football not your thing? FC Edmonton plays the New York Cosmos at Clarke Stadium, September 28th at 2pm. You can buy your tickets online here.FC Edmonton

Happy weekend everyone!

Resume Basics: Part 1, Chronological

Chronological Resume template

A couple weeks back, we asked what were the three basic types of resume formats that people knew about. Most people knew about the “Chronological” resume, but there is also a “Functional” and a “Combination” resume style. For those of you who weren’t quite sure, we thought we’d go explain what they are, and give some pros and cons of each type in a three part series.


This style of resume is probably the most commonly used. It lists your work history in reverse chronological order, which means your most recent employment is listed first. Each job listed specifies your position at the company, the name of the company and the dates you worked there. Under this information, roles and responsibilities are highlighted, usually in a bulleted form.




Smith’s Grocery- Edmonton, AB                         2012-2013

  • Identified price of goods using electronic cash register
  • Accepted payments from customers and gave change and receipt
  • Encouraged and assisted customers to sign up for store rewards programs 


So, what are the good and the bad points about using this style? Here is a list of pros and cons:


  • It’s a commonly used format, which makes it recognizable to employers
  • It showcases your work history in an easy to read style
  • It is easy to edit/update any changes in  your work history


  • Any gaps in your employment history are highlighted, which depending on the reason, may be something you don’t want a potential employer to know
  • If you don’t have any work experience, or very little work experience, it will be noticeable to the employer
  • It might be harder for an employer to recognize your skills, if they aren’t highlighted in your roles/responsibilities


Not sure if a chronological resume is right for you? Part two in this series, the “Functional” resume, will be posted next week!

Need some one-one-one assistance? We can help! Visit our Community Resource Centre at 11515-71 Street for resume assistance, as well as job searching tools such as computers, fax machines, photocopiers, phone, and job postings.




Cardboard boxes, scissors, construction paper… Some of you saw the photos posted yesterday and wondered what on earth we were up to here at DECSA.

IMG_2458 IMG_2459

Well, we were making a giant cereal box! Even more confused? Let us explain.


Our friends over at Ivory Noir Salon are running a “We Heart Cereal” Fundraiser from September 3rd to October 31st, and we want to support them. Their goal is to collect 1500 cereal boxes and create a life like domino effect, which will be set up at Crystal Kids Youth Centre. Once the domino effect has been set off, all proceeds will be donated to the Edmonton Food Bank.

How are we helping? From September 22nd until October 24th, we will be collecting cereal boxes here at DECSA, which will then be dropped off at Ivory Noir Salon.  Our giant cereal box  (DECSA O’s!) will be right in the main entrance starting Monday, so make sure to drop off a box, or two!

For more information on the We Heart Cereal fundraiser, you can check out Ivory Noir’s Facebook page here.



Better than sandwiches!

Those of you who work outside of your home, and either pack a lunch, buy a lunch, or do a combination of both, will most likely agree that sometimes lunch routines can get a little boring. Sandwiches, fast food, sandwiches, salad, sandwiches… you get the drift. That’s why we were so excited to have Chipman 1/4lb. Fries, an Edmonton food truck, park on our property for lunch hour on Friday, September 12th, selling fish and chips! What’s even more cool is that “Chipman” was a participant in our Ventures program, and now has this yummy food truck business!

When asked what they thought of their fish and chips lunch, staff and other visitors had comments such as “We want more!” and “The fries are so good!”. Even Jake, a maritimer who is pretty picky about his fish said “Yeah, it was awesome.”

Jealous that you missed out? Don’t worry! Chipman 1/4lb. Fries will be back at DECSA (11515 71 Street) on September 24th and October 23rd.  Make sure you check out their Facebook page here for more information on times and dates.


Employment Supershow

Today we headed over to Northlands to take a look at the Edmonton Journal Employment Supershow. It started at 10am today and runs until 6pm, so if you are looking for employment, head on down!

Too Young To Drink

Today is International FASD Awareness Day and we were so excited to be a part of this year’s festivities. Beth braved the gloomy weather, and joined Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society (EFAN) at Beaver Hills Park to help raise awareness about FASD. EFAN members handed out free coffee to the public and engaged passers-by in discussions about FASD.

You can find more information on FASD here and here

Joe Day!

In today’s day and age, people tend to hop from job to job, not staying for more than a few years at a time. It’s not uncommon for even a younger worker to have quite a few different places of employment on their resume. So when we hear about someone who has worked at the same place for more than twenty years, it’s hard not to feel a sense of respect and admiration for them. To devote themselves to one place shows the passion and drive that they possess for not only their line of work, but also their place of work.

On Friday September 5th, we had the honour and joy of celebrating with our colleague Joe, who has spent the last twenty years working here at DECSA. During his time here, Joe has witnessed lots changes, worked with many people, and of course, touched countless lives.

Please enjoy the following photos from this special day, and be sure share any memories that you may have of Joe with us. More photos to be added soon!



The Formula for Success


Today’s blog post is from one of our staff members, who has worked here for twenty years. I’d say that they are knowledgeable on this subject! It is something to think about for those of you who are returning to school, or looking for employment, or any other goal for that matter.


“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure – try to please everybody.”  (Herbert Bayard Swope)

In the world of success there could be various areas of goal setting and whatever your particular goal is you have to keep working on it and to stay focused on it.  If you are a person of certain principles and rules, both personally and professionally, nothing or nobody should be allowed to interfere with the realization of your goal.  In other words, your interest, energy, time and focus on that goal cannot be compromised in order for you to attain what you planned to achieve.  The bigger your goal, the bigger your commitment to it!   Although family, friends, hobbies and various other spheres of life are important, you would need to prioritize it all and put yourself in charge of your long-term objective and be smart enough to not slow yourself down or weaken your motivation by any people or events that would have a negative side-effect on your staying on schedule towards your goal.   It is important to separate your reason from emotions.  Your standards and timelines would have to come first and, therefore, whatever would have a potential to play on your emotions to distract you or make you change your goal, it would have to be assessed as not serving your best interest and personal and professional integrity.  So, having said that, is there any room for flexibility?  What about some emergencies, something to be attended to with some obvious consequences for your “important goal”?   Would it not be simply rude or impolite to say “No” to those legitimately asking for help in their life circumstances?  If you were to show “flexibility” what would be your conditions for it? What is your golden rule for a healthy balance between saying “Yes” and “No” or between pleasing and displeasing others?  What are your thoughts?