Let’s face it – we’re obsessed with risk. It permeates everyday life in any number of ways; we employ “Risk Managers”, we look to minimize risks in our investments, apply risk management techniques to the projects we run, and even try and avoid making seemingly risky career moves. The “riskier” the choice, the greater we’re supposed to discount it.
When we’re evaluating a choice, risk has a very well-established place in this process. We use it to avoid making mistakes others have made, to heed the warnings of friends, family and colleagues, and to make ourselves feel better about the choice we ultimately end up making.
However, somewhere along the line risk has taken on a far more prominent place in our everyday decision making than it deserves. That isn’t to say you should ignore risk, but when we’re so focused on mitigating them, we can lose sight of and undervalue the importance of opportunity. This has a lot of implications for your career and the decisions you make.
You have been told you may have 10 careers in your life, but don’t let that determine how often you change jobs. Don’t run away from a challenge. Instead, use each job as a learning opportunity to become better at leading your career. Imagine your career is an arch where each experience helps support the rest.
Ultimately, the decision to stay or go takes courage, self-confidence, and knowing when not to settle.
Shortcut#1YOU DREAD BEING AT WORK EVERYDAY
“But wait! I love to sleep-in. I’m just not a morning person.” Well, you probably didn’t like broccoli as a kid. Now let’s take a reality check on this. Not every day will be your best and not every aspect of your job will add sheer joy to your life. But as you reflect, if there is a large chunk of your job that is unfulfilling and being at work is zapping your energy, then it is time for some tough conversations. Don’t feel alone here. Use your family, friends, colleagues, and bosses for support.
If you are employed by a non-profit organization, you are working to benefit charity on a daily basis. Whether you are out front raising funds, making sure those funds are spent wisely, or answering and distributing calls, you are certainly contributing each and every day that you are on the job. But did you know that even if you work for a for-profit company, there are still many ways that you can leverage your job to benefit charity?
Here are 5 ways you can do just that:
1. Do Pro Bono Work
Whether you are a lawyer, an accountant, a professional marketer, or pretty much any other type of professional, there is probably a way that you can provide your services for free to benefit charity. For example, a lawyer could take on a certain amount of cases per year for no fee in order to support the poor, or even provide free in-house counseling for a charitable organization itself. Same could be true for a marketer, who might volunteer their services to help a charity figure out how to more efficiently raise funds.
Fall’s here, and with it, a new job hunting season. It can be a nerve wracking experience for many, especially when you don’t really know how to approach it, and even for those who are confident, there may be little things you’re doing (or not doing) that are hindering you more than you realize.
We’ve written (and read) our fair share of articles on interviewing, so we thought we’d put together this handy guide of great articles we’ve come across to help you really nail the next interview you land.
1. Group Interview Tips – 5 helpful tips to get you through the dreaded group/panel interview.
“Everybody’s good at something”, or at least that’s we’ve always been told. We may all have particular talents, but most of us also have something we’re equally terrible at. Most of us figure that we’re just born gifted in some areas and lacking in others, but modern research suggests that it actually has a lot more to do with what we “do” rather than who we are.
1) Set specific goals – Don’t tell yourself you’re going to “run more”; say you’ll run 30 minutes a day. This lets you think more clearly about what you need to do specifically to achieve that goal, and it also makes it easier to monitor whether you’ve actually reached your target.
2) Seize the time that you have – We’ve all used the “no time” excuse before, but really, unless you’re working in sweatshop-level conditions, there’s always some time available during the week. Grab hold of whatever free minutes or hours that you can and set up a schedule for yourself to work toward your goals.
If you caught last week’s interviewing guide, we had some great tips on how to ask the right questions to make the best impression with an interviewer. More often than not, you’ll find yourself with the floor during the interview, and when that time comes, it’s always best to have something substantial you can pull out of your pocket. What we neglected to cover, however, is the kind of questions you should probably avoid asking if you want to keep your name out of the discard bin.
1) “What’s your background?” - The interviewer’s not the one on trial, and their background is unlikely to help you understand the position or the company better. Even if it could for whatever reason, they might not be comfortable sharing it, and it’s best to keep the conversation away from sensitive areas like that.
2) “Do you do background checks”? - Even if you’ve got a clean slate, it makes you sound guilty or that you’ve got something to hide.
There seems to be an everlasting debate about leadership and whether it can be taught or if it’s some inherent trait you’re born with – think how often you’ve heard someone say “they’re a born leader”.
It’s also become big business. Business schools have made leadership a huge focus of their curriculum and market themselves as builders of the next generation of leaders.
Yet, when you strip away all the terminology as well as the psychological definitions and descriptions of a leader you’re left with a very simple concept: leaders have followers.
You can be forgiven for thinking that to succeed in your career, all you need is hard work and great performance reviews from your manager. We focus so much on the static aspects of learning, such as books and completing repetitive tasks (to ensure we get better at them) that there’s often little attention paid to potentially one of the most important influences (or not) on your career - a mentor.
A mentor is a teacher above all else. We all remember our favourite teachers from school and how they helped shape and encourage our interests in science, education, or math. This is exactly what a mentor provides for you in your career and you need it.
There’s not always an obvious choice of mentor - it could be your direct manager, a manager in a different group, or a senior leader in the organization. The key is to find someone who can help you navigate the inevitable twists and turns of your career and inspire you all at the same time. Ideally, they should be someone who you think does a superb job at what they do and you’re confident you can learn from.
Week In Review:
Toronto - Copywriter (Internet) Details / Apply
Toronto - Digital Marketing Manager (Education) Details / Apply
Toronto - Account Coordinator (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Toronto - Marketing Manager, Program Implementation (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Toronto - Head of Community (Internet) Details / Apply
Montreal - Marketing Coordinator (Computer Software) Details / Apply
Montreal - Product Development Manager (Internet) Details / Apply
Vancouver - Online Customer Acquisition Manager (Internet) Details / Apply
Vancouver - Recruitment Manager (Market Research) Details / Apply
Ottawa - Product Manager (Computer Software) Details / Apply
For the full rundown, log-in to Vestiigo.com
Writing resumes is hard. Reading through hundreds of them is harder. Here’s a quick list of things you should do if you want to absolutely make sure that you won’t keep a busy hiring manager’s attention.
1) Write “Dear hiring committee” or “To whom it may concern” – As much as we’d all like to believe we’re on Top Chef or Project Runway, there’s no panel or committee voting you in. A good old-fashioned individual is looking over your resume, so it’s a good idea to learn their name. Contact information is everywhere online these days, so do your research.
2) Hide your contact info – Even if an employer really wants to give you a job, missing names, phone numbers and addresses will make it hard for them to get a hold of you. Make sure everything they need to know about you is clearly visible at the top of the resume. You want to give employers every possible opportunity to contact you. Your location might not seem that important, but it matters to employers whether you’re from out of town or not.
3) Overload them with information – So you know there’s a million good reasons why you’re the perfect candidate position, but that doesn’t mean the hiring manager needs to hear all of them. Pick the things that matter most for the position you’re applying for.
Whether you’re the big cheese or just another seed on the cubicle farm, Tony Schwartz of the HBR Blog has a couple of disturbingly prolific work myths that you can stand to toss out the window.
Myth #1: Multitasking is critical in a world of infinite demand.
To be short, multi-tasking doesn’t work the way we think it does. As a species, we’re not particularly good at doing more than one thing at the same time. What we are good at is rapidly switching between tasks. Cognitively, when
we’re concentrating on one thing, we’re barely registering the other, and studies show that the more we activities we try to juggle, the longer it takes us to accomplish each task (up to 25% in fact). If we want to get things done faster, it’s actually better to focus on each individual task for as long as possible. If you’re the boss around the office, you can help by not asking your employees to check their email every 15 minutes.
Week In Review:
Toronto - Senior Graphic Designer (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Toronto - Associate Director, Digital Marketing (Education) Details / Apply
Toronto - Strategic Analyst Associate (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Toronto - Software Engineer (Internet) Details / Apply
Toronto - eCommerce Manager (Internet) Details / Apply
Montreal - Analyst, Loyalty Sciences (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Montreal - Technical Product Manager (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Vancouver - Customer Success - Professional Services (Internet) Details / Apply
Vancouver - Social Media Coach (Internet) Details / Apply
Ottawa - UI Designer (Internet) Details / Apply
For the full rundown, log-in to Vestiigo.com
We hear plenty of talk about what makes an awesome cover letter, but rarely do we actually see any of that good stuff in action. Well, this week, we thought we’d give you a taste of not only what a great cover letter looks like, but exactly “why” it’s good, and what you should learn from looking at it.
The key word for this particular example is tone. It’s one thing to be able to communicate your value to a company in a way that’s concise and convincing; it’s another to be able to do it in a way that shows that you deeply and truly understand the company and its values. This isn’t a cover letter that you could send out to just any company. For most it may not work, but for this particular employer it was exactly the right approach and it ended up getting them hired.
Week In Review:
Toronto - Account Director, Media (Internet) Details / Apply
Toronto - Senior Account Manager (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Toronto - Senior Strategist (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Toronto - Project Coordinator (Internet) Details / Apply
Toronto - Account Manager, Sales - Market Panels (Market Research) Details / Apply
Montreal - Graphic Artist (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Montreal - 360 Ad Team - Adidas (Marketing & Advertising) Details / Apply
Vancouver - Mobile Product Manager (Internet) Details / Apply
Vancouver - Senior Product Marketing Manager (Internet) Details / Apply
Ottawa - Inbound Lead Specialist (Internet) Details / Apply
For the full rundown, log-in to Vestiigo.com
Some weekend reading
Career Savvy: You Don’t Find Your Passions; Your Passions Find You
Career Savvy: Why Social Networks Won’t Get You Hired
TED Talk: Lisa Bu: How books can open your mind
This is great advice - albeit a slightly contrarian view - from Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. The expectation is that we should have a good idea of what our “passion” is very early - but it’s simply not realistic. The odds are much of your time has been spent in school and you haven’t really been exposed to a world outside of that environment. Even if you’ve found something you enjoy, chances are you’ll come across something even more fulfilling once you’ve left school.
In that sense, the onus should be less on you to “find” your passion, but rather to put yourself in a situation where your passion finds you. In order to do so, Jason Fried, author of Rework and founder of 37Signals, has some superb tips on how to do so.
“I discover things as I go and don’t think you can predict your passions. You don’t necessarily know what you’re going to be super interested in in 5 to 10 years. You just have to be open to being introduced to those things and that’s what I’ve been working on—keeping an open mind about things and not limiting myself.”
Vestiigo connects the career-savvy professional with the latest job opportunities at Canada’s best and brightest companies.
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