Monday, August 3, 2015

Talent Egg/ "Habits that may be holding you back at work"

Jun. 10 Talent Egg: This website is for new graduates.  It does provide good articles that are a fast and easy read on how to improve your resume and look for a job.  The articles are also printed in the Metro.  

However, my main nitpick is that a lot of these articles, I can't find on the internet or on the Talent Egg website.  Now I have to manually type it up.  I won't type up the whole article, only parts of it.  If it's not from this year 2015, it's hard to find.

"A need- to- know for workers-in - waiting" by Shaheerah Kayani on Apr. 30, 2014:

"51% of job seekers who use only one method of job-hunting gave up on their job hunt by the second month."
Tip: Use 4 methods like Linked In, school job board, etc.

"More jobs aren't filled by recruiters picking your resume online."
Tip: Email your resume directly to a recruiter.

"80% of all positions are filled without employer advertising."
Tip: Companies hire within, so network."

Email your resume on Sun. or early in the morning so it will most likely be read first thing.

Jun. 11 "How to organize your workspace": I cut out this article by Riana Topan in the Metro on Jan. 26, 2015.  She's from Talent Egg.  Here's the whole article:

No matter what size your workspace may be, it’s important that you keep the area tidy. An organized desk and office helps you to be more productive because it means you can find things quickly and easily.

It’s a sign of professionalism and, more importantly, an organized employee.
Here are four top tips for making your workspace work:

Develop your own colour code

Use coloured office supplies to help you keep track of things.

Try using colour-coded sticky notes for reminders or to flag items; multi-coloured inks on a calendar where you write in meetings, deadlines and vacation time; folders for keeping related documents together; and highlighters for organizing your to-do list and notes from meetings.

Having your own colour code will help you navigate documents and organizers faster. Not only is it a huge time saver, it will show co-workers you’re on top of your game.

Use the tools at your disposal

Think outside the box: a handful of office supplies can go a long way toward keeping your desk de-cluttered.

Try wrapping up loose wires and cords with binder clips, twist ties or elastic bands. Get a small file tray or organizer to keep papers organized and out of sight, and use a mug or jar to hold your pens, pencils and other writing instruments.

You may also want to use dividers in your desk drawers to organize loose items like paper clips, push pins, magnets, scissors and more.

Keep it clean

At least once every other week, wipe down your computer, keyboard, mouse and phone with disinfectant — you’d probably be surprised how much bacteria and dust builds up in your workspace over time.

Don’t leave dirty dishes lying around, either, since that will make your desk look messy, and could attract ants or other unwanted guests.

Add a few personal touches

While it’s great to keep your workspace neat and tidy with minimal clutter, it doesn’t have to be completely devoid of personality.

A few pictures, a piece of artwork or a crafty item like a homemade paperweight or one-of-a-kind mouse pad can help to make the space your own.

You get bonus points if you can find organizers or stationery that fits your personality as well! Chances are you spend a lot of time at your desk, so you want to make sure you feel comfortable at it.

"Give your portfolio a noticeable pick-me up": I cut out this article by Celine Tarrant (Talent Egg) in Metro on Jan. 14, 2015.  Here's the whole article:

Many professionals make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need a portfolio because they don’t have anything to put in one. Here’s how to put together a professional portfolio that will help you showcase your work, highlight your skill set, and can serve as a valuable career planning tool.

What is it? What should you include in it?

This is not a resumé; it’s a collection of your professional achievements. Unlike a resumé, there’s no page limit, so it should include all the projects you’ve worked on, recommendations, reference letters, awards, side projects, publications, a listing of conferences and events you have attended or spoken at, courses and workshops, and anything else you feel is relevant to your professional life.

Why do it?

To jog your memory (and your manager’s): Simply put, most people are terrible at remembering things. Unless you write down and reflect on relevant and important experiences, it’s easy to forget about them.

If you forget about your own achievements, what are the chances a potential employer will remember? It’s important to document and showcase what you have accomplished so you can communicate more effectively with your manager about how you have contributed to the team, and demonstrate ways you have gone above and beyond.

To help you land your next job:

As you advance your career, this tool should also make it easier for you to quickly gather and comment on relevant work experience. For example, if you’re in PR and applying for a marketing job, you should be able to look to your portfolio and very easily gather all the marketing-related projects you have worked on and identify the overlapping skill sets because you have carefully organized and tracked them over the years.

Career planning and development:

As you go through the exercise of putting together your portfolio, and continue to add to it over time, patterns will start to emerge. Maybe you notice that all of your projects have been internal and you need some more client-facing experience.

Or that you’ve been to five social media workshops this year, and you still haven’t put up your hand to run the next Twitter campaign. It should help you identify where you are over- or under-indexed in certain areas, highlight gaps in your skill set, and draw your attention to opportunities for personal development.

Putting  it together

How you actually collect everything and organize it is up to you.

Maybe it’s a formal hard-copy document that you use publicly and share with others. Maybe it’s just an informal folder on your computer where you keep relevant documents for your eyes only. However you choose to do it, the thing that matters is that you are keeping track of all the amazing work you are doing, and keeping it up to date and relevant.

Set a recurring calendar date with yourself each month and commit to revisiting your portfolio to reflect on your experiences so far, update it with new information, and plan for the month ahead.

"The stress you suppress while aiming to impress": I cut out this article by Lakshmi Gandhi in Metro in NYC on Oct. 29, 2014.

It's aimed at women in the workforce.  Shelley Zallis, the CEO and founder of the Ipsos Girls Lounge, a networking space for women.

Breaking the apology habit: Zallis says we need to stop apologizing because of the inflexible nature of workplaces.

Build up your confidence: Have a support network to energize yourself.

Don't hold yourself back: Zallis: What makes you special?  Embrace it.

"Habits that my be holding you back at work": I cut out this by Lauren Marinigh in Metro on Mar. 11, 2015.  Here is the whole article:

Do you feel held back at work?

It’s easy to blame competition or management when you hit a brick wall in your career. It can be awfully frustrating, especially when your day-to-day life seems to become more and more repetitious.

But it’s important to remember that there is always something you can be doing to change your situation – but the first step is recognizing what you might be doing (or not doing) that’s stopping your career advancement.

1. Not speaking up

One of the things that may be holding you back from moving up the ladder in your workplace is keeping quiet.

Speaking up when you have an idea or something to contribute shows your employer that you not only care about your job, but also the company you work for. Sharing your input is also a great opportunity to demonstrate to your employer that you are capable of much more than doing assigned tasks, which could lead to bigger and better opportunities within your workplace.

It is also important to make sure you’re asking questions. If you don’t understand something, need more clarification, or you just want to learn more, don’t hesitate to speak up and ask. People often fear that not understanding something may make them look bad – on the contrary, speaking up and asking the right questions will show your eagerness to learn.
2. Being overpowering

Often, leadership is confused with being the most “powerful” person in the room. This is not always the case – overpowering your teammates when working on a project not only gives off a bad impression to your colleagues, but also shows that you aren’t capable of working harmoniously with other people.

Nobody likes the bully in the workplace, and being too abrasive about your ideas and the projects you’re working on can create negativity and tension. The reality is, every workplace involves working with others, and everyone has a different work style.

Adjusting yourself to be able to work with any type of person is one of the best qualities you can bring into a workplace, and one that can only benefit you.

So how do you demonstrate leadership? Listen to everyone’s ideas, and act as a mediator. Yes, you can put your foot down when it’s absolutely necessary, but a true leader is able to come up with solutions with their team, and make everyone feel included while doing so. These qualities are sure to be noticed by management, and it will hopefully result in your career progression.
3. Not taking initiative
There is almost nothing more irritating to an employer than having to babysit one of their workers. They want to see what you are capable of – but if they’re constantly on your back about what you are working on, they are not likely going to give you additional responsibilities.

Taking initiative and getting stuff done before it is asked of you is a quality that employers look for in their employees. Every supervisor wants to know that even if he or she is busy, they don’t have to worry about delegating tasks to you. Be the type of employee that your boss doesn’t have to worry about because you are always one step ahead.

This means staying organized, and knowing what tasks you have for the day. Get your work done on time (or ahead of time, if possible). If you have questions, reach out to someone – don’t wait for someone to come up to you. And if you’re done your work, ask if there’s anything you can assist with. These qualities will show your employer that you’re, at the very least, a dependable employee.
4. Lacking positivity
Having a positive attitude is key in any workplace – after all, nobody likes a negative Nancy.

No matter how efficient you are at your work or how intelligent you are, you will have a difficult time advancing your career with a company if you don’t demonstrate that you enjoy the work. Employers will be hesitant to promote someone who doesn’t seem passionate about their role, especially since individuals in management positions are often expected to represent the company in a positive fashion to both their team, clients, and customers.

You might be exuding negativity at work, and not even know it. You might love your work, but forget to smile or show enthusiasm. It’s understandable that everyone displays their emotions differently, but be aware of the fact that management usually bases their judgements based on their observations. If they get the impression that you don’t enjoy your work (even if you do!), then the outcome will still be the same.

Luckily, this is fairly easy to remedy. Be sure to smile during the day, and try and greet your colleagues on a daily basis. These actions may feel forced at first, but you’ll find you’ll adopt to your new habits soon enough!
5. Not showing commitment
Not showing that you are committed to your job and workplace can be a huge reason that you aren’t advancing. Employers look for people that are willing to go above and beyond and that aren’t just there for a paycheck.

Ways to show commitment to your employer is being dedicated and hardworking, you may need to come in early or stay late to get a project done on time, or hook your email up to your cell phone to stay on top of everything. There are many big and small ways to show commitment, and commitment is going to ultimately be a factor in advancing within your workplace.

Perhaps you’re doing this already, and management simply hasn’t noticed. Consider sending your manager a small, casual update through email, letting them know what you’ve been working on and how it’s been going. Briefly mention the different processes you’ve implemented, or the different steps you’ve taken to make sure everything is taken care of. This is a subtle way of making sure you’re on their radar!

"A roadmap to the realization of your dreams"

Jun. 10 "A roadmap to the realization of your dreams": I cut out this article by Riana Topan in the Metro on Oct. 29, 2014.  She writes for Talent Egg.  Here's the whole article:

You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time thinking about what you want to accomplish professionally.
If you haven’t already put together a personal career plan, it’s a good idea to set aside an hour or so and sit down to plot out your short-, medium- and long-term goals.

Developing a plan will help you maintain a sense of direction and keep you working towards your “end goal” (whatever that may be).

Your career plan should be well-thought-out, realistic and, most importantly, flexible – don’t look at it as a set-in-stone plan for your professional life, but rather as a road map that may grow and change as you move through the world.

The short term (present – 2 years from now)

This section focuses on your plans for the immediate future.

What your plan should include:

Start by identifying your immediate goals.

Examples: “Finish undergraduate degree with honours,” “Complete 100 volunteer hours” or “Find an entry-level position in my chosen industry.”

Next, get set with detailed steps that will enable you to accomplish each goal.

If your goal was to complete your degree with high academic standing, you might boost your achievement by arranging to connect with your instructors for more extensive feedback, starting a peer study group and setting aside additional time to review your notes.

You’re almost there! Once you’ve figured out what and how, set down the when.

Create a timeline, breaking your plan down into monthly increments to ensure you have enough time to realistically complete each step, and to give yourself a checklist for what you need to finish each month.

Questions to ask yourself:
  • How is your short-term plan going to help you achieve your end goal?
  • Which factors of your plan are within your control? Which are outside of it?
  • What will you do if you are unable to accomplish part of your plan?

The medium term (2 – 5 years from now)

The second section of your career plan will build on the first and does not need to include as many specific action steps (more detail is definitely better though).

What your plan should include:

Unlike your short-term plan, it’s ok for your goal to be less specific here.

Examples: “Work upwards to become a mid-level manager or supervisor,” “Pursue a postsecondary degree in marketing” or “Develop a professional network with contacts at all levels of my chosen industry.”

In a medium-term plan, having an overall sense of the steps you might take is key. Identifying this information early will help you keep your short-term plan up to date.

To pursue a postsecondary degree, for example, you would want to set aside time to pursue any necessary prerequisite courses, reinforce your contacts with relevant referees and even plan to set aside money to cover the cost of tuition and relocation, as appropriate.

Next, build your timeline using periods of 6-12 months. Take into account time-based factors you can’t control, like application deadlines, necessary years of study, and so on.

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Is each part of your plan directly relevant to your goals?
  • What will you do if your plan doesn’t work out? Do you have a backup plan?
  • Can you anticipate any personal or professional conflicts that might complicate your plan?

The long term (5+ years from now)

The final section of your career plan will inevitably be the most abstract, but will also probably be the most exciting because it centres around your most ambitious professional goals!

What your plan should include:

This is a place to identify your “big goal” – where you want to be professionally after spending years on your career.

Examples: “Own and operate an independent business,” “Work as an environmental consultant with a specialization in sustainable agriculture,” “Publish industry handbook about the role of diversity in the workforce.”

Here, you’ll want to build on the path you’ve planned in your short- and medium-term reflections. Assuming many (or all) of your plans in those areas are successful, ask yourself how you’ll be better equipped to pursue these lofty career ambitions.

For example, owning and operating your own business will call for significant financial resources. If you have major purchases like property, a car, or extensive travel as some of your medium term goals, you may have to reevaluate.

Build a timeline using 5-year blocks for 5+, 10+ and 15+ years from now. Putting your major long-term goals in perspective will help you understand the steps you need to take today – and tomorrow.

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Where do you expect to be financially, physically, emotionally, etc. in 5+ years?
  • What else do you hope to accomplish, outside of your career, in the long term?
  • What are some potential changes in your desired industry that could affect your career or your ability to compete in the job market?
  • Do you have a second career choice in mind that you will have access to as an alternate option?
Once you’ve created your career plan, don’t forget to revisit it regularly to check in with your goals, make changes as needed and ensure that you’re following the timelines you set for yourself.

Remember that this is just a plan – although it’s great to be prepared and to know what you want to achieve, it’s impossible to plan out every detail of the future.

You’ll be much better off if you’re able to adapt to challenges as they arise and take advantage of new opportunities that come your way, without losing sight of what’s important to you in the long run.

Jun. 11 "Rejuvenate your resume before the warm weather runs out": I cut out this article by Meghan Greaves (Talent Egg) in the Metro on Aug. 6, 2014:

With 80% of employers on the search for eggs-traordindary candidates this fall, you may be trying to get all your eggs lined up in a row to make the most of all the career-hatching opportunities.

There’s a lot to think about when heading into the recruitment season – from what you’re going to wear to networking.
Though your outfit might be on the top of your priority list, there is one other thing you need to ensure is perfect: your resume!

Do some research

Preparing your resume effectively will take some quick research to figure out which employers are hiring, what jobs interest you, what skills you need to focus on when tailoring your resume for each opportunity, and to learn about the companies themselves.

Once you do this, it will be easier for you to focus your resume and gain important company information and align this information with your content (e.g.,  their business environment, recent projects, goals).

Tailor, tailor, and tailor

Yes it might be tedious to tailor your resumé to every specific employer, but it will pay off in the end.

Each employer has very different roles available and having a generic resume is less likely to make the hiring cut. In addition to having different roles, each employer comes from very different work environments, cultures, and are the hunt for employees who they feel will transition smoothly onto their team.

For example, Company X is hiring a Management Trainee. Their ideal employee is able to work Monday through Friday (9:00 am to 5:00 pm), has very strong leadership and teamwork skills, and doesn’t need extensive experience.

Company Y is hiring for a Sales Trainee. Their ideal employee will be flexible with hours (weekdays and weekends), is able to work successfully on a team and individually, and needs to have previous sales-related experience.

Would the same resume work for both of these opportunities? Maybe, but probably not as successfully as a resume that had tailored skills, knowledge, and experience included. This is why it’s so important to research which jobs you’re planning on applying for and tailoring your resume to suit.

Perfect your content

Contact information: Be sure to include all the necessary contact information (i.e., full name, permanent address, school address, professional email, two phone numbers). Increasing text size or bolding your name always helps to make your info pop to a reader. Depending on the position, including your professional online profile URL could be a good idea too.

Objective/Professional Profile:
  • Include the title of the position you’re applying for
  • Emphasize your skills/knowledge by expanding on each on (e.g., specific times where you developed and applied said skill)
  • Keep this section concise
Skills: List the three skills you have that relate to the job you’re applying for (check the job description for some ideas for this). For example: teamwork, marketing, and computer skills. Including three to four points underneath each skill that covers how you develop these skills is an efficient way to prove to an employer you can utilize these skills in their workplace.

Education: Organize this section listing the most recent institutions first and working from there. Include the institution’s name, the location, the degree/certification that you earned, a major/minor if applicable, key aspects of the program, and any awards.

  • List your most recent experience first and work down from there
  • List the experiences that most relate to the job you’re applying for
  • Include company name, location, your title, the duration of role, and 3 to 4 responsibilities per experience
Associations/Volunteer: List volunteer and association involvement from the more present on. Three to four is sufficient and they should each include the title of the company/organization, the duration of your time there, your role, and key responsibilities.

Prep hard and soft copies

Each employer has a different way they’d like you to apply to their opportunities.

Some will take hard copy resumes and some may give you their contact info and have you send your resume via email. Be on the ball by having copies of your tailored resume printed and ready to send to them on the spot.

It’s also smart to have generic resumes ready to give out and send in the likely chance that an opportunity or employer will be there that you weren’t aware of.
Aug. 3: Talent Egg is aimed more at new graduates.  However, I still find that these job articles are helpful for people at any stage in their careers.