Montreal Job Search Strategies Forum Report

First-Hand Experience in the Job Market

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Daniel Pilote, Vision-Clip inc.

Daniel Pilote said the Quebec Mode d’emploi program has been of help to him for 27 years. In 1982, they helped him find his first job as an electronics technician. He found that he was ready for a change after four years at that job, and so looked for another position. He faced limitations: “At that time I could walk a little, but it was difficult.”

“But I have always been a fighter,” he said. Pilote would find jobs that typically lasted for six months before some practical problem would arise. For example, he might find that he couldn’t access files when he needed them.

The Association des paraplégiques du Québec supported Pilote’s efforts as he continued to work at various jobs. “In 1984, they asked if I wanted to take part in training in financial services in collaboration with BMO. I accepted, and in nine months I was part of the second reduced mobility group.” When he received his diploma, BMO guaranteed him an internship with the possibility of employment. In 1995 Pilote started his internship, and was subsequently offered a position at a BMO branch at Galeries d’Anjou.

Although his office was wheelchair accessible, it was still difficult to get all the materials he needed for customers. It was a frustrating situation for both Pilote and the other employees. After six months, he left that job, but continued to meet with people who had heard about his situation. BMO offered him a job with MasterCard, and he worked there for five years. However, at 22 hours a week, he could not earn enough to make a living.

In 1999, Pilote founded Vision-Clip, and then in 2001, Télénation. Both of these ventures produce online video profiles. High-speed connections were not common at that time. “So we waited for five years, and in 2007, we did a feasibility study for online TV projects.” He now has three branches of activity: TV programming, a commercial directory, and a service that reports on whether Internet users view advertisements in their entirety. The last of these has been the most successful because it is a new service.

Pilote finds that being self-employed is a greater challenge than being an employee, but he prefers it. Technology has played a large role in his working life. “Thank God for the mouse, because I can’t hold a pencil.” He added that the Internet is a boon to him.

Pilote has developed a system that has allowed him to flourish—even though it is not perfect.

He acknowledged the positive collaboration he has had with Mode d’emploi over all this time. The Contrat d’intégration au travail, which supports entrepreneurs with reduced mobility, has also provided assistance for six years. As a result, he now has an employee who assists him with daily tasks.

Profilia, a third company Pilote founded in 2005 as a sideline, offers home services for people with disabilities. Pilote concluded that as an entrepreneur, he is able to work at his own pace. He performs well in his line of work and he is proud of what he has accomplished.