The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie is running a Workforce Series sharing stories from local people who work in some of our region’s most important industries. We explore their background, training, experiences and insights in order to inspire and engage our youth and workforce with these industries.

In launching the series, we talk to Josh Reid who currently works for Goodminds, an Indigenous-owned publisher and bookseller in Brantford, Ontario where he was originally hired as a shipper/receiver after completing the Skills2Advance 6-week Manufacturing Warehousing training program in Brantford.

His current position encompasses an array of roles including producing a podcast, inventory management, editing and education guide writing. Josh previously worked in education and has married his background, training and experience into a dynamic role at Goodminds.

Our recent Work-Life Balance Study tells us “The 3rd most common reason for residents considering quitting their jobs was an inability to use their skillset to the fullest”. In our feature Josh talks about starting a second career, work-life balance and the fulfillment and growth he is experiencing in his newfound career.

Watch the interview with Josh:


Some additional parting thoughts from Josh:

I am currently working for and as a small business (less than 10 employees), my main role is as a shipper/receiver, but I do much more than that and the company is growing fast!  I may be heading up the publishing wing as it grows, and the potential for management is there as well!

I wish I had looked for a change earlier. I feel very challenged and very fulfilled in my new career, and who knows what more I could have accomplished if I had made the change earlier? I wish I had known – or at least listened more carefully – that most people go through two, three, or even more careers in their life!  I stayed in my first career too long and it led to burnout.

In terms of mentors, I think Earla Smith, one of the Skills2Advance instructors , gave me some great advice about selecting positions when I was job hunting. That advice was that a good fit for a career is more important than pay. Don’t base decisions on salary alone. In addition to that, I think it was a “lucky break” that one of my favourite book sellers was hiring right when I was looking!

As far as advice for others starting their careers, I would say take more risks. I was very risk averse when I was graduating. I’d also say that “work smarter, not harder” is great advice. These days, many employers expect you to be “on” 24/7. That isn’t realistic. Take advantage of technology not to make you work LONGER hours, but rather, to be able to establish clear boundaries about when you are “working” and when you are “living”.

Mental health and work-life balance continue to be two of the biggest obstacles I face. It is SO important to take care of your mental health, and that is accomplished by setting firm boundaries between your work, and your life.

Thank you to Josh for sharing his story with us! Stay tuned for more from our series each Friday in October! Looking to explore a career or find a job? Check out Grand Erie Jobs – the biggest career and job site in our region!


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