• How to Seek Mental Health Support/Re ...

    Being a student can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges and stress (with 20 years of experience as a student, I can confirm this is true). Taking care of your mental health is crucial, and fortunately, Canadian colleges and universities offer various resources and support systems to help students cope with mental health concerns and challenges. In this blog, we will explore how you can seek mental health support as a student, along with highlighting specific resources provided by Canadian educational institutions.See also: Student Self-Care Advice From Psychotherapist Victoria EmanuelSee also: Self-Care Isn't Selfish1. Recognize the Need for SupportThe first step towards seeking mental health support is recognizing that you may need it. I want to remind you that it's okay to ask for help. It takes a lot of strength to reach out and prioritize your well-being. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, or experiencing a mental health condition, there are resources available to assist you.2. Explore Your Campus ResourcesEach college and university in Canada offers unique student resources to support mental health and well-being. Visit your institution's website and navigate to the student wellness or support services page. You will likely find information on counseling services, workshops, support groups, and other mental health resources tailored to students. Here are some examples:University of Toronto: Health & Wellness CentreMcGill University: Student Wellness HubUniversity of British Columbia: Wellness CentreUniversity of Alberta: Counselling & Clinical ServicesMcMaster University: Student Wellness CentrePlease note that these are just some examples, and it's recommended to explore your specific institution's resources. If you don’t see your school listed here, I would encourage you to do your own search. 3. Reach Out to Counseling ServicesMost colleges and universities have counseling services available to students. These services typically offer one-on-one counseling sessions, group therapy, and workshops to address various mental health concerns. Reach out to your institution's counseling center to schedule an appointment or inquire about the available services.4. Take Advantage of Peer Support GroupsMany educational institutions have established peer support groups where students can connect with others facing similar challenges. These groups often focus on specific topics such as anxiety, stress management, or depression. Participating in peer support groups can provide a sense of belonging and understanding. Inquire about these groups at your school's student wellness center.5. Utilize Online ResourcesIn addition to on-campus resources, several online platforms offer mental health support and resources specifically designed for students. The following websites can be valuable sources of information and tools:Mind Your MindHere2Talk (B.C.)Good2TalkPlease note, seeking professional help from licensed therapists and counselors is essential if you are experiencing severe or persistent mental health challenges.Final ThoughtsPrioritizing your mental health as a student is crucial for your overall well-being and academic success. Remember to utilize the resources and support systems available to you. Keep in mind that while this blog provides a general guide, each college or university has its own unique resources, so be sure to explore your school's website for specific details.
  • Does Networking Really Work?

    To answer this quickly, YES. And, according to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking.But, similar to just about everything else, the results very much depend on the effort you put it. Build those relationshipsAs someone who just started taking networking seriously this year, I can confidently confirm that networking makes a difference. It has opened doors for me, mostly leading to job interviews for positions that were never even posted. Networking goes beyond merely connecting with others for job opportunities. It is about building meaningful relationships in your industry, meeting mentors, and gaining insights from experienced professionals. Through networking, I have been able to tap into so much knowledge and expertise that has significantly contributed to my personal and professional growth.Networking isn’t the only answerNetworking isn’t the only pathway to success. I recently secured a new job without relying on networking connections. This experience reminded me that while networking can be powerful and provide great opportunities, it is not the be-all and end-all of job searching. While networking may not have directly led me to securing this specific job, it has been an essential part of my personal journey. Through networking, I have had the privilege of meeting and learning from mentors who have provided invaluable guidance and advice. Their insights have helped me navigate this new industry more effectively and most importantly, make informed career decisions. Building a strong network is essential, but equally important is honing your skills, staying updated with industry trends, and seizing opportunities as they come. Networking complements your efforts and enhances your chances of success, but it is not a shortcut to achieving your goals.You get what you put inGetting the most out of networking takes effort, and it’s important to connect with the right people. Just having a broad network does not ensure success; it’s important to establish lasting relationships with individuals who can provide valuable mentoring, insights, knowledge, and support.Building a strong network requires actively seeking out individuals who share your interests, passions, and career aspirations. Attend industry-specific events, reach out to professionals via social media, and engage with them in meaningful conversations. Make an effort to follow up with your new contacts periodically and find ways to offer genuine help and support to them in return.Remember - networking is not just about what you can get out of it, it’s a two-way street. Networking should not be seen as something transactional. Instead, it's a great way to establish trust and create a supportive professional community. Final ThoughtsNetworking is an important component of career development, serving as a great way to grow, learn, build a supportive community within your field. Embrace networking not only for the immediate benefits it brings but also for the long-term relationships and insights that can potentially shape your professional journey. Remember, networking isn’t just the connections you make, it’s the opportunities and knowledge that come from it. Networking does work. I encourage you all to get out there and start networking - you never know what opportunities it might bring you.
  • How to Stand Out in Situational Inte ...

    Are you preparing for a job interview and feeling a bit overwhelmed by the thought of facing situational interview questions? Don't worry, you're not alone.  Many candidates find these types of questions challenging they require you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and showcase your ability to handle various scenarios.  However, with the right insights and preparation, you can approach situational interviews questions with confidence and increase your chances of success.In this blog, we will explore five key takeaways from the article, 5 Ways to Prepare for Situational Interview Questions from Harvard Business Review.  These insights will help you understand how to anticipate and respond to these questions effectively!Use a proven format: The STAR(T) (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Takeaways) or CARL (Context, Action, Result, Learning) method provides a structured framework for answering situational interview questions. By following this format, you can make sure you provide the necessary information in a concise and organized manner. For example, when discussing a problem you solved, start by providing context about the situation, explain the task or goal, describe the actions you took to address the problem, discuss the results of your actions, and reflect on the key takeaways or lessons learned.Focus on alignment: It’s important to demonstrate how your past experiences align with the requirements of the job you are interviewing for. Review the job description and identify specific skills and qualifications that you possess. When answering situational questions, highlight experiences that showcase these relevant skills and abilities. Make sure to clearly connect the dots for the interviewer, and explain how your experiences and achievements align with the job requirements and the type of candidate they’re looking for. Tailor your stories: Consider your audience when determining the level of detail to include in your answers. Recruiters may not have technical knowledge, so you would simplify technical language to ensure they understand the main points. However, when speaking with hiring managers or other technical stakeholders, it is important to provide more technical details to demonstrate your expertise and hands-on experience in the specific area. Be adaptable and adjust your narrative throughout the interview process based on who you are talking to.Keep it concise: It is important to keep your answers concise and to the point. Adhering to the "two-minute rule" will ensure that you are able to effectively communicate your key points without overwhelming the interviewer with too much information. Practice your answers out loud and time yourself to be sure you’re able to present your information clearly within two minutes. Remember, interviewers appreciate candidates who can articulate their thoughts well and separate important details from less relevant information.Ask for feedback: After providing your answers, it is a good practice to ask the interviewer if they have a clear understanding of how you would handle the situation or if they need any further details. This shows that you are attentive to the interviewer's needs and are open to providing additional information if necessary. If the interviewer asks a follow-up question, listen carefully to ensure you understand the specific focus of the question, and respond directly and concisely.Situational Interview Sample QuestionsDescribe a time when you had to work under pressure to meet a deadline. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?Tell me about a situation where you faced a conflict with a colleague. What happened?Share an example of a difficult decision you had to make at work. What factors did you consider and how did you reach a conclusion?Describe a time when you had to adapt to a major change in the workplace. How did you manage the change and what were the results?Tell me about a situation where you identified a problem and took the initiative to solve it. What steps did you take and what was the outcome?Final ThoughtsBy following these tips and practicing your responses to common situational interview questions, you can confidently showcase your skills, experiences, and suitability for the job. Remember to be clear, concise, and adaptable to the needs of your audience.I’m confident that if you follow these methods, you’ve just increased your chances of success in landing your first choice job. Good luck! 
  • Entry Level Job Descriptions 101: Ho ...

    Let’s be honest - the job market is competitive these days. Understanding how to read an entry level job description is a critical skill that can (maybe) make or break your chances of landing the job. By breaking down the various components of a job description, conducting thorough research, and crafting a tailored application, you can increase your chances of capturing the attention of recruiters.We spoke to Charlotte Marvin, Human Resources Manager at Total Credit Recovery Limited, about the right way to read an entry level job description, and she shared some valuable tips. [Please note the views and opinions expressed below are specific and individual to Charlotte, and not that of TCR.]  “Paying attention to the bulleted “requirements” of jobs is key - this is how recruiters will often decide what resumes to pre-screen, and which to reject without contact. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements for items such as location, working hours and availability, etc, its not worth a recruiters’ time to call you, when we know it doesn’t align right off the hop or if there will be a large barrier to getting you employed.” “When it comes to entry level jobs, a lot of applicants are either fresh out of school, new to the country, or experiencing a career change- or all 3 cases may apply to one applicant. For this reason, I’m a big fan of cover letters, especially when you have no work experience, or no relevant experience on your resume relating to the role you apply for.” “If you tell me in that cover letter that you understand you have no prior experience, but love a certain aspect of the job, then I’m more likely to call you. This helps show me that over other applicants, you want this role and have motivation, vs just appearing like you’ve applied for every job under the sun available on Indeed, which is how unrelated applications can sometimes appear.”Let’s dive a little deeper into how you should read a job description:  Breaking Down the Job Description A well-structured job description usually has several key sections, each providing important information for potential applicants. By reading and understanding these sections, you can gain deeper insights into the role and tailor your application accordingly. As Charlotte suggests, paying close attention to these sections is crucial in catching the recruiter's attention.1. Employment TypeTake note of the employment type mentioned in the job description. Understanding whether the position is full-time, part-time, temporary, or contract-based is essential in determining if the job aligns with your availability and preferences.2. LocationConsider the geographical location of the job. Pay attention to the location details provided in the job description. Assessing the location is important in determining if the job aligns with your lifestyle and needs, including factors such as commute times and potential relocation.3. Overview and ResponsibilitiesPay close attention to the overview and responsibilities section of the job description. Look for keywords and phrases that indicate the primary tasks and objectives of the role. Analyze these sections carefully to assess if your skills and interests align with the job requirements.4. Required QualificationsThoroughly read and analyze the qualifications section of the job description. Charlotte highlights the importance of taking note of specific skills, education, and experiences desired by the employer. Pay close attention to mandatory requirements as well as preferred qualifications that could give you a competitive edge. Assess how well your qualifications align with the job description to determine if you are a suitable candidate.It’s also important to note that even though the heading might say “required,” this list describes the ideal candidate, who may not exist! If you meet 60-70% of the requirements, and you feel you have the potential to excel in this role, apply anyway. (Please use your judgment: don’t apply to a role that asks for fluency in French if you only took the mandatory french class in grade 9.)Researching the CompanyIn addition to analyzing the job description, conducting thorough research on the company is important to your application and also your interest. Familiarizing yourself with the company's values, mission, and culture helps demonstrate your genuine interest in the position. Remember - it’s not just about if you’re a fit for the job, but if the company is a good fit for you. Utilize resources such as the company's website, social media platforms, and news articles to gather information that can help you tailor your application and showcase your alignment with the organization. Whatever information you come across can make you more enthusiastic about the role (yay!), or it could help you decide that the role isn’t for you. If you do find something that makes you excited to work there, mention it in your cover letter! Crafting a Compelling Cover LetterFor entry level job applicants like you and me, a well-crafted cover letter is incredibly valuable in showcasing your motivation and suitability for the role. As Charlotte emphasized, a tailored cover letter provides an opportunity to address any potential concerns and give context to your application. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and transferable qualities, even if they come from outside traditional work settings. Explain how your unique background and perspective make you a valuable asset to the company, in addition to WHY you want to work there. Remember: It’s important to edit your cover letter according to each job - recruiters know when it’s simply a copy and paste cover letter.  Final Thoughts By focusing on requirements and tailoring cover letters to address any concerns or lack of experience, you can stand out from the crowd! Now’s your time to apply! Lots of new jobs are out now on OCC. Good luck!  
  • 20 Skills New Grads Should Have on T ...

    As a fresh grad, crafting an impactful resume with relevant skills can be challenging (believe me, I know). Recruiters are looking for specific skills and experiences that make you stand out from the competition. Let’s chat about the top 20 skills that every new grad should consider including on their resume:Communication: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for any job. Highlight experience with public speaking, writing, and collaborating with othersTime Management: Show that you can handle multiple tasks effectively by including examples of how you prioritized and organized your workload during internships or academic projects.Adaptability: Demonstrate your ability to adapt to new environments and work well under pressure by showcasing real-world examples where you effectively handled unexpected challenges. All of us were students during the pandemic - if that doesn’t scream adaptable, I don’t know what does. Leadership: Even if you haven't held leadership positions, highlight teamwork and leadership experiences, such as projects or mentoring roles in school. Problem-Solving: Employers value analytical skills. Include instances where you identified and solved problems, implemented innovative solutions, or contributed to process improvements.Technical Skills: Depending on your field, highlight relevant technical skills such as programming languages, software proficiency, or knowledge of specialized tools or programs. Research and Analytics: Showcase your ability to gather, analyze, and present data through research papers, thesis work, or any data-driven projects you worked on during your studies.Critical Thinking: Emphasize your ability to evaluate information objectively and make informed decisions, using real-life examples where you demonstrated critical thinking skills.Teamwork: Collaboration is super important in most workplaces. Highlight experiences in group projects, extracurricular activities, or internships that demonstrate your ability to work effectively in a team.Interpersonal Skills: Showcase your ability to build professional relationships, manage conflicts and work well with colleagues, clients, or customers. Emphasize your ability and willingness to listen actively, provide feedback, and communicate in different settings. Presentation Skills: Whether it's presenting a project or pitching ideas, employers appreciate candidates who can communicate effectively. Mention instances where you successfully presented ideas or findings to an audience.Problem Identification: Show your capability to identify issues and gaps. Discuss projects or internships where you pinpointed problems and proposed solutions.Self-Motivation: It's essential to demonstrate that you can work independently and take initiative. Include examples of self-driven projects or instances where you went above and beyond what was expected.Organization: Employers value candidates who can stay organized. Mention experiences where you efficiently managed resources, schedules, or events.Data Analysis: In the age of big data, the ability to analyze and interpret data is valuable. Showcase instances where you utilized data analysis techniques to draw meaningful insights.Digital Literacy: Demonstrate your proficiency with relevant digital tools, platforms, and social media, as these have become integral in many industries.Project Management: Highlight instances where you successfully managed projects from start to finish, taking into consideration milestones, deadlines, and resource allocation.Continuous Learning: Employers value candidates who have a thirst for knowledge and are eager to improve themselves. Mention any certifications, workshops, or online courses you've completed.  Customer Service: Emphasize your proficiency in providing excellent customer service. Discuss any experiences you've had working directly with customers, handling inquiries or complaints, and ensuring customer satisfaction.  Attention to Detail: Showcase your ability to focus on the fine details and maintain a high level of accuracy in your work. Highlight instances where your attention to detail resulted in error-free deliverables, meticulous documentation, or successful quality control.20 skills is a lot. I know you may have some questions, so here’s a few FAQs: How do I determine which skills to include on my resume?Consider the job description and requirements of the position you're applying for. Identify the key skills mentioned and align them with your own strengths and experiences. Also, think about the transferable skills you've gained through internships, projects, or extracurricular activities. Basically, if you have a skill - great, include it! If don’t have a skill - don’t include it. Should I include every skill I possess on my resume?It's important to tailor your resume to the specific job you're applying for. Include skills that are relevant to the position and highlight those that set you apart from other candidates. Avoid listing irrelevant or basic skills that are totally unrelated to the job you’re applying for. How can I showcase my skills effectively on my resume?In addition to listing skills, provide specific examples and achievements that demonstrate how you have utilized those skills in meaningful ways. Whenever possible, quantify your results to showcase your impact. For example, instead of saying "Excellent communication skills," mention "Effectively presented research findings to an audience of 100+ people."What if I lack experience in certain skills?If you are lacking experience in specific skills, focus on the skills you do have and emphasize your willingness to learn and grow. You can mention relevant coursework, personal projects, or initiatives you've taken to develop those skills. Additionally, emphasize your transferable skills, such as problem-solving or teamwork, which can be applied in various settings. Where should I place the skills section on my resume?There are different ways to structure your resume, but a common approach is to include a dedicated "Skills" section after your work experience or education section. This allows the hiring manager to quickly identify your key strengths without having to search through the entire document.Final Thoughts As a new grad, your resume should showcase a variety of skills that make you an attractive candidate to potential employers. By incorporating these 20 essential skills into your resume, you will increase your chances of securing the job you’re hoping for. Good luck!P.S. There are tons of new jobs for students and new grads on OCC - check it out! 
  • Five Workforce Trends to Watch This ...

    As we approach 2024, it's important to stay ahead of the curve and understand the trends that will shape the modern workplace. ??Recently, I came across an insightful Forbes article by Dr. Samantha Madhosingh, sharing the key trends shaping the future of work in 2024. Let’s take a look at the trends and how they might impact the jobs we have and land this year: Embracing the Return to OfficeAs we know, a big trend is returning to the office. Many companies are moving towards a hybrid model, blending both in-office and remote work. While remote work became popular during the pandemic, studies have shown that many employees crave the structure and interaction of working in the office. However, the flexibility of remote work arrangements is also highly valued by employees. As we enter 2024, businesses will need to balance in-office and remote work that works for their teams and employees. Fun Fact: Some analysts suggest that we may see a full return to in-office work by 2026, but for now the hybrid model is likely to remain in effect. Increased Salary Transparency The topic of salary transparency is becoming more and more important in the workplace. New legislation requires companies to reveal salary ranges in job descriptions, leading to reduced pay gaps and creating more informed discussions around compensation. Younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z (like us), are particularly open to discussing salaries and money. As Gen Z continues to enter the workforce, salary transparency is likely to become an even hotter topic. Prioritizing Mental Well-being and Preventing Burnout Mental well-being has rightfully taken the spotlight in the last few years and will continue to be a top priority for workplaces in 2024. Burnout and workplace stress can seriously impact productivity, and studies show that more than half of employees experience moderate burnout. To address this issue, businesses will be focusing on providing resources and implementing policies prioritizing mental health. Leaders should examine their company culture and foster an environment of trust to prevent burnout. Integrating Generative AI Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the workplace, and generative AI is expected to continue to play a role in 2024. Many professionals have already started experimenting with AI-driven solutions, but there’s still a lot of room for exploration and understanding. This year, we can expect to see businesses increasing investments in AI solutions to understand how it can be integrated within businesses and how that will affect employee roles and responsibilities. By embracing generative AI and providing employees with training, our employers can explore its potential, enhancing productivity and streamlining workflows. See also: AI in the Workplace: How It’s Changing the GameCaring for the Planet Climate change and environmental sustainability are major global concerns. Employees now seek out companies that are actively working to limit carbon emissions, reduce waste, embrace clean technology and implement sustainable practices where it’s appropriate. In 2024 and beyond, businesses will be under more pressure to take proactive steps to address environmental issues and play a role in making a positive impact. By implementing sustainable practices, businesses can attract and retain talent, while also making a positive impact on the planet. Final Thoughts As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of work, it's essential to stay informed and adaptable. It’s important for us, especially as students and new grads, to embrace these trends and reshape the way we work for the better.
  • How to Capitalize on This January Hi ...

    No! You did NOT miss it. The window for hiring continues into the new year as recruitment rarely, if ever, completely closes its cycle by year-end.January, in particular, stands out as a pivotal month in the hiring landscape. In this blog post, we'll explore the unique opportunities that the New Year hiring season presents for job seekers and provide actionable strategies to help you make the most of this promising time. Leverage New Year's Resolutions: Align Career GoalsAs individuals across the globe set new goals and resolutions for the year ahead, hiring managers and companies also reflect on their staffing needs or work to fulfill staffing needs not met in December. January is an opportune time for you to align career goals with the evolving needs of the job market. Review and update your career objectives, ensuring they align with industry trends and the skills in demand. Craft a compelling narrative around your aspirations and be ready to articulate them in interviews and on your resume. The hiring window is not yet closed for 2023 and many new roles open in 2024 - stay fixed on your goals.Refresh Your Professional Brand: Polish Your ImageThe start of a new year is an excellent occasion to refresh your professional brand. Update your resume, ensuring it highlights your recent achievements and any new skills acquired. Take the time to polish your LinkedIn profile, adding a professional photo and refining your summary. Showcase your accomplishments and contributions from the previous year, demonstrating to potential employers that you are a candidate worth considering.Tap into Budget Allocations: Early-Year Hiring InitiativesMany companies receive new budget allocations at the beginning of the year, leading to an uptick in hiring activities. Job seekers can strategically tap into these early-year hiring initiatives by actively monitoring job boards, company career pages, and industry newsletters for new opportunities. Be swift in submitting applications and tailor your cover letter and resume to emphasize your skills and experiences that align with the specific needs of the hiring companies.Networking Renewal: Engaging with Fresh EnergyJanuary brings a sense of renewed energy, making it an ideal time to revitalize your professional network. Attend industry events, both virtual and in-person, to connect with professionals in your field. Engage in online forums and discussions related to your industry to stay informed about current trends. Leverage the optimism of the season to reach out to contacts for informational interviews or to express your interest in potential opportunities.Prepare for Quick Turnarounds: Stay Interview-ReadyThe January hiring season can move swiftly, with companies aiming to fill positions promptly. As a candidate, it's essential to be interview-ready at all times. Practice common interview questions, research companies you're interested in, and have thoughtful questions prepared for potential employers. Ensure that your professional references are up-to-date and ready to vouch for your skills and qualifications.In conclusion? There is always no better time than now to get moving toward your goals and don't be discouraged, the New Year presents many opportunities in terms of companies allocating new budgets, growing revived or refreshed goals by adding team members or roles, and an urgency for those recruiters who did not fulfill their 2023 recruitment commitments on deadline. Keep moving forward, you got this.
  • Mastering the Art of Salary Negotiat ...

    As a student entering the workforce, the prospect of negotiating your salary can be both exhilarating and daunting. While the thought of securing a well-deserved compensation package is exciting, many find the negotiation process intimidating. However, mastering the art of salary negotiations is a crucial skill that can significantly impact your financial future. In this blog post, we'll explore three tips to help students excel at salary negotiations.  Research and Know Your Worth: One of the most common mistakes individuals make during salary negotiations is undervaluing their skills and qualifications. Before entering into negotiations, take the time to research industry standards, company salary ranges, and the average compensation for similar roles in your location. Websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and LinkedIn can provide valuable insights into salary expectations. Compile a list of your accomplishments, skills, and any relevant experience that adds value to the role. This will serve as a foundation for your negotiation, allowing you to articulate why you deserve the salary you're requesting. Confidence in your abilities and a clear understanding of your market value will strengthen your position at the negotiating table. Practice Effective Communication: Effective communication is key to successful salary negotiations. Practice articulating your achievements, skills, and reasons for deserving a higher salary. Be prepared to discuss specific examples of how you have added value in your previous roles or academic endeavors. During negotiations, focus on the value you bring to the organization rather than personal needs. Employers are more likely to respond positively to arguments based on your contributions to the team, your ability to solve problems, and your commitment to professional development. Additionally, be attentive and listen actively. Understanding the employer's perspective and being open to compromise can create a positive negotiating environment. Remember, negotiations are a two-way street, and finding a mutually beneficial agreement is the goal. Timing is Everything: The timing of your salary negotiation is crucial. Ideally, you should wait until a job offer is extended before discussing compensation. This allows you to evaluate the entire offer, including benefits, before entering into negotiations. Express your enthusiasm for the job and the company before discussing salary. This ensures that your focus is on the opportunity rather than just the financial aspect. If possible, delay the salary discussion until you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities and the expectations associated with the role. If you're asked about salary expectations early in the process, provide a broad range based on your research. This allows for flexibility and prevents you from undervaluing yourself before fully understanding the job requirements. Mastering the art of salary negotiations is a skill that can greatly impact your financial well-being throughout your career. As renowned negotiation expert and Harvard Law School professor, Roger Fisher, once said, "The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts." By conducting thorough research, practicing effective communication, and understanding the importance of timing, students can approach negotiations with confidence and increase their chances of securing a competitive compensation package. Remember, negotiating your salary is not just about the money—it's about recognizing and communicating the value you bring to the table.  
  • Resilience in Rejection: A Recruiter ...

    Believe me, I know that job rejection can be disheartening and demotivating. However, it's important to remember that it isn’t always about your qualifications or abilities. Sometimes, a lack of connection with the employer can be the decisive factor.  In this blog, we will explore the insights and advice shared by Ali Gharaei, a recruiter from Reichmann International Development Corporation, an employer hiring on OCC right now, on how to bounce back from job rejection and find the right fit for your career. According to Ali, "No matter how perfect of a candidate you are, sometimes being able to connect with an employer is purely the reason another candidate will get the job over you. Don’t let a rejection bring you down, you just have to find the right fit for you where your personality and skills will be appreciated and in return will bring a more enjoyable experience for you in your career as well." This advice highlights the importance of interpersonal skills and building a connection with potential employers. While it is easy to feel discouraged after facing rejection, he reminds us that it is not always a reflection of our abilities or qualifications. Don't take it personally It's easy to feel frustrated or question your abilities after facing rejection. However, it's essential to remember that sometimes it comes down to factors beyond your control. It doesn't mean you are not good enough, but rather that there was a better fit for the specific position. Don't let rejection bring you down; instead, see it as an opportunity to find somewhere that you’ll be a better fit!  Find the right fit Instead of dwelling on rejection, focus your energy on finding a work environment where your personality and skills are genuinely appreciated. Look for organizations that align with your values and offer a culture that supports your growth. By finding the right fit, you will enhance your career and enjoy a more fulfilling professional journey. Embrace resilience The ability to bounce back from rejection requires resilience (easier said than done, I know). Treat each rejection as a learning experience and an opportunity for growth. Use the feedback received, if any, to identify areas for improvement and continue refining your skills and expertise.  Network and connect Building a strong professional network can increase your chances of finding the right fit. Attend industry events, join relevant online communities, and connect with professionals in your field of interest. Networking provides valuable opportunities to meet potential employers and gain insights into various job opportunities.  Final Thoughts Job rejection is a common experience that can take a toll on anyone's confidence. However, by adopting a resilient mindset and incorporating the advice shared by Ali Gharaei, you can bounce back stronger and find the right fit for your career. Remember, rejection is redirection, and it is simply a part of the journey towards success. Stay positive, keep improving, never give up on your career aspirations, and apply for your next role on OCC today! 
  • What to Consider Before Using AI for ...

    It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming integrated into various sectors of our lives, including the job application process. Many companies are using AI tools to streamline the recruitment process and identify the most suitable candidates. However, while using AI tools like ChatGPT can be beneficial to refine your resume and cover letter, it’s important to consider best practices when applying to jobs to increase your chance of success. What do recruiters think?After doing some research, it seems that recruiters’ opinions on candidates using AI vary. Some acknowledge the benefits of using AI tools to enhance job applications, and some disagree. According to a 2023 insights report by HR software company iCIMS, 39% of HR professionals say a candidate’s use of AI during the hiring process is a deal-breaker. Yet, at least 25% of employers themselves are using AI and automation in hiring and recruitment, and more plan to embrace the technology over the next several years.It’s worth noting that using AI in your job search can be extremely helpful when it comes to finding synonyms or rephrasing things. It’s a helpful tool and resource to use when you need to find keywords, find alternate ways to say things, and present your skills and experiences in the best way possible. The consensusYour job application needs to sound like you wrote it. AI can’t exactly talk about why or how much you want to work at a company. Only you can do that. Emphasizing AI skills might help you during the hiring processThis could involve demonstrating AI knowledge during interviews simply by explaining how you might integrate AI tools into workflowsSee also: AI in the Workplace: How It’s Changing the GameIt’s important to be careful when using AI in your job application. There’s potential for it to do more harm than good. Do’s and Dont’sUsing AI, such as ChatGPT, in job applications can have its advantages if done properly and with caution. From what I’ve gathered, here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to using AI in your job application:Do:Use AI to brainstorm and refine first drafts of your applicationReview and edit AI-generated content to make sure it’s accurateResearch the company’s use of AIShowcase AI projects and knowledge professionally during interviewsUse your judgment to determine ethical AI useDon't:Submit AI-generated content without reading through it and making editsLie on your resume because AI told you toRely completely on AI to write your application for you Forget to customize general AI output to fit specific rolesAssume recruiters will not detect AI-generated contentFinal Thoughts We know that AI is transforming the job application process, and by carefully selecting areas in which you incorporate it, you may enhance your chances of getting noticed. Carefully consider all of this information before jumping to AI to write all of your applications for you. Good luck with your applications! 
  • CareerTok: A Reflection on TikTok’s ...

    Over the last few years, TikTok has quickly become so much more than an app for dances and funny videos. Today, for some users, the platform is a hub for a ton of advice for all things career. #CareerTok currently has over 1.5 billion views, with content talking about everything from interview tips, ways to spice up your cover letter, how to negotiate your salary, entering the workplace as a young person, and more. As a frequent #CareerTok follower myself, I’ve come across some great advice. Let’s break it down so you can use it to hopefully land yourself a job on Outcome Campus Connect (OCC). Some Helpful Advice: “I’m Just Following Up” Leadership and career coach, Mari Carmen Pizarro, stresses the importance of avoiding phrases like "I'm just following up" when communicating with potential employers. By using such phrases, you unintentionally diminish your authority and give the impression that your relationship is based solely on someone meeting your needs. Instead, Pizarro suggests phrasing your follow-up with confidence by asking something like, "Does it make sense to hop on a call for XYZ?" This approach establishes your confidence and shows that you are actively engaged in pursuing your goals.Three Things You Need to do on Your First DayContent creator, Erin Mcgoff, highlights three essential actions often overlooked on the first day of a new job. Firstly, she emphasizes the importance of setting a positive tone for your work interactions and relationships from the outset. Secondly, she advises creating a cloud folder to store compliments, awards, and achievements you receive, ensuring easy access to them when updating your resume or preparing for future job opportunities. Lastly, she shares the significance of setting standards and boundaries politely, as it is crucial to establish early on what you can and cannot do within your role. How to Stand Out in an Interview Recruiter and TikTok personality, thatcareercoachcaty, explains that standing out in an interview is not solely dependent on resumes and education. Instead, she encourages candidates to focus on the questions they ask during the interview process. By demonstrating a genuine interest in the company and understanding the role, candidates can stand out. Some questions she recommends asking include: Why is this position open? How is success measured in this role? What is the company's definition of work-life balance? Thoughtful and well-prepared questions can leave a lasting impression and showcase your enthusiasm and dedication. Landing a Job on OCCNow that we've explored these valuable pieces of career advice from TikTok, let's apply this knowledge to hopefully land a job on OCC. OCC offers a reliable and comprehensive platform for finding exciting career opportunities. Here's how you can leverage these tips: Confident follow-ups: Use Mari's advice to confidently frame your follow-up communication with potential employers on OCC. Avoid using phrases that undermine your authority and instead showcase your active pursuit of your goals. Setting a positive tone: Apply Erin's suggestion to set a positive tone in your interactions on Outcome Campus Connect. Display professionalism, build relationships, and approach your job search with enthusiasm and positivity. Thoughtful interview questions: During interviews facilitated through Outcome Campus Connect, utilize Caty’s tips to stand out. Ask insightful questions that demonstrate your interest in the company and role, showcasing your dedication and enthusiasm. Final Thoughts #CareerTok is a great resource on social media, especially for new graduates and young people who are beginning to enter the workforce. There is a lot of valuable advice shared on social media that we can use to our advantage as we job search! There are loads of new jobs on OCC now - check it out! 
  • Why Expertise Alone Won't Get You th ...

    Job interviews can be busy experiences, especially when it comes to landing a dream job. Candidates often fall into the ‘halo of knowledge’ trap, assuming that their expertise and competence in their current role will automatically equal success in interviews. However, this assumption can damage the chances of securing a position if you don’t prepare accordingly. Let’s consider the concept of the halo of knowledge trap, examine its implications in job interviews, and look at the importance of showing up as your best self during the interview process.The Halo of Knowledge TrapI came across an interesting article on LinkedIn where Daniel Rizea, director of engineering at Google, talked about what he calls “the halo of knowledge trap”. This concept refers to the false sense of preparedness that candidates experience when they excel in their current job.Just because someone performs well in their day-to-day responsibilities does not guarantee success in a job interview. The tasks performed in an interview may be very different, requiring candidates to showcase their problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and theoretical knowledge, which may not align with their regular job requirements. Rizea suggests that if you haven’t been actively interviewing, regardless of seniority or experience, chances are you won’t be good at it.Implications in Job InterviewsJob interviews are designed to assess a candidate's suitability for a specific role, and they often involve evaluating a wide range of skills beyond what is exercised in someone’s current position. While impressive job performance indicates competency, it’s equally essential for candidates to demonstrate their ability to respond to new challenges and learn new skills. Simply relying on your existing expertise probably won’t effectively showcase the qualities and potential necessary for excelling in the new role.Preparing For the InterviewTo avoid the halo of knowledge trap, candidates should put time and effort into interview preparation. This involves researching the company and role, familiarizing yourself with common interview questions, and developing well-thought-out responses. Candidates should practice answering these questions concisely and articulately. By preparing thoroughly, candidates can confidently navigate different interview scenarios and make sure they are well-equipped to demonstrate their best selves during the interview.See also: Overcoming Pre-Interview Jitters: Navigating Curveball Interview Questions with ConfidenceShowing Up as Your Best SelfWhile it’s important to carefully prepare for interviews, it’s just as important for candidates to present themselves authentically. A genuine passion and enthusiasm for the role, among other things, can significantly impact an interviewer's perception. Employers are not only looking for technical competence but also for candidates who align with the company culture and demonstrate a true desire to contribute to the organization. By showing genuine enthusiasm for the opportunity, candidates can set themselves apart from the competition.See also: How to Introduce Yourself During the Job SearchFinal ThoughtsThe halo of knowledge trap is a common trap that candidates may fall into during the interview process. Recognizing that more than expertise in your current role is required for success in interviews is crucial for overcoming this. Showing up as your best self and emphasizing the importance of adaptability, willingness to learn, and displaying passion for the role can increase the chances of securing a job offer
  • Beware the Office Ghouls: Spooky Tra ...

    Boo! It's that time of the year when the ghosts and goblins come out to play, and the office is no exception. While we love a good scare during Halloween, there's one place we'd rather keep free from frights – the workplace. But beware, for lurking among your colleagues, you may encounter some spine-tingling, bone-chilling traits in your managers that are scarier than any haunted house. In this blog post, we'll explore the hair-raising characteristics to look out for in your boss, making your work life a little spookier (but not in a good way).  The Phantom Micromanager:Picture this: you're diligently working at your desk when you suddenly feel a cold breath on your neck. You turn around, and there's your manager, hovering like a ghost, scrutinizing your every move. If your boss micromanages every aspect of your work, they've got the haunting "Phantom Micromanager" trait. They're the ones who won't let you breathe without their approval. Their obsession with control can give you goosebumps and make your job a living nightmare. Tips to Deal with The Phantom Micromanager: When dealing with a micro-manager try to understand their perspective and ask probing questions to see if there are ways you can manage-up so that they do not feel the need to be persistently checking-in on your work and guiding it. Keep the lines of communication open so that they understand the type of space you need to do your work and how you work optimally for the best possible outcome - ahem, the one both you and they are seeking!!! If all else fails, seek a private conversation to address how you're feeling and how the micro-management is hindering your work abilities. If that still doesn't work, you may require a third-party within the business, a mediator, to speak with you both and remedy the management style issue alongside you.The Zombie DeadlinerEver had a manager who assigns you tasks and then vanishes into the abyss, only to reappear when the deadline has passed, like a zombie rising from the grave? These "Zombie Deadliners" are experts at procrastination and can transform any project into a blood-curdling rush to meet last-minute deadlines. Watch out for them – they might just make you lose your sanity! Tips to Deal with a Zombie Deadliner:Again, try and see their perspective, it rarely fails and is crucial in a work environment where everyone thinks different and operates on a unique level to achieve their best. Recognizing this, if you feel that you are being delegated tasks, or working alongside someone to reach a milestone, and the deadlines are unclear or aims are a disappearing act - address it and work to clarify how it is influencing your ability to work successfully. Sometimes people get overwhelmed and don't even know that their work style is negatively impacting others. The Vampire Energy DrainerVampires don't just come out at night – some of them lurk in the daylight too! "Vampire Energy Drainers" are managers who seem to feed off your energy and enthusiasm. They drain your life force with endless meetings, tedious reports, and relentless demands, leaving you feeling like a lifeless, hollowed-out shell. Tips to Deal with an Energy Drainer:Sometimes people have things going on in their personal lives that influence how they interact with others and not always in a positive, uplifting, energizing way. If you are feeling drained by someone on your team try to de-personalize it and recognize it likely has little to do with you. Next up, if that fails for you, is to address it - maybe have a coffee with that person and gently bring up the feeling that there is a lack of synergy between your communication styles that you'd like to fix. If all else fails, ask for a mediator within your team to help guide you both to a more momentous place.  The Werewolf (Mood Swinger)Howling at the moon one moment, and docile as a lamb the next – if your manager's mood swings are unpredictable, you might be dealing with a "Werewolf Mood Swinger." One day they're jovial and approachable, and the next, they're snarling and irritable. This unpredictability can leave you walking on eggshells and fearing their next transformation. Tips for Dealing with a Werewolf Co-worker:Keep in mind that they may be feeling a full scope of human emotions, which is a very human thing, and have empathy for this person. If seeing it from that perspective isn't helping, try to talk to them about it. If that fails...again...find a mediator on your team who can help lead you both to more predictable, less moody pastures.  The Mummy of CommunicationWrapped in layers of ancient bandages, the "Mummy of Communication" is your manager who seems allergic to regular, clear communication. They bury essential information under layers of jargon and vague instructions, making it feel like deciphering an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph. It's not a fun archaeological dig when you're trying to understand their expectations.  Tips for Dealing with A Mummy of Communication Colleague:Eek! This is a tough one. Dealing with those who dislike clear communication, or aren't good at it, puts the onus on you to level-up and overcommunicate.  The language you choose and the formats you use to communicate your message need to be multiple - don't just say it, email it or Slack or Teams it as a follow-up. If it isn't working you will need to address it - seeing a constant theme in this blog post? While Halloween is a time for fun and thrills, the traits of scary managers are no joke. They can turn your workplace into a haunted house of stress and frustration. But fear not, for you can always wield the torch of professionalism and speak up when you encounter these chilling characteristics. With open communication, you can help your manager leave their spooky traits behind and transform into a more approachable, effective leader. After all, work should be a treat, not a trick..... ;)
  • How to Introduce Yourself During the ...

    During the job search process, you are constantly having to introduce yourself, and effective introductions can make a lasting impression. At career fairs, networking events, or even during interviews you have a moment to tell your story. Of course, you tell different versions of that story within your resume and cover letter, but sometimes it’s hard to know when to say what.I’ve curated a guide (with examples) to help you decide on the best time to use different introduction techniques like the elevator pitch, written bio, and answering the “tell me about yourself” question. Elevator pitch When to use it: In-person at networking events, career fairs, or when you have limited time to make an impression.Why use it? A concise and impactful introduction showcases your skills, experience, and value proposition. Networking is just talking, so think of it as a conversation where you’re sharing the most notable facts about yourself. What it can sound like: At a career fair:“Hi! I’m Courtney, a grad student in public relations, I’m interested in working in marketing communications.”“Great to meet you! What area of marketing are you interested in?”“Well, last summer I interned at a learning and development company where I was helping launch a new B2C brand on socials. It made me realize that I really love writing and creating content, so I’m looking to use those skills in a full-time role. Are you hiring for any marketing communication roles?”At a networking event:“Hi! I’m Courtney. I’m a grad student studying public relations and I’m here because I’m exploring how to start my career in marketing.”“Nice to meet you! I’m the senior marketing manager at Acme. What area of marketing are you interested in?”“That’s so interesting! Well, last summer I interned at a learning and development company where I was helping launch a new B2C brand on social media. It made me realize that I really love writing and creating content, so I’m exploring where I could apply those skills. Could you tell me a bit about what you do in your role?”Written bioWhen to use it: Written bios are commonly used in cover letters, resumes, and social media profiles, like LinkedIn. Why use it? Written bios are a great place to talk about yourself in your own words, highlighting your professional background and achievements. When recruiters look at your LinkedIn profile, for example, your bio can give them a quick snapshot of you as a candidate. What it can sound like: “I’ve always had a passion for writing and understanding consumer insights, so I knew studying business and public relations was the right path. Through my education and internships, I’ve honed my writing, video editing, and content creation skills. I’m a contributing writer for OCC, a tap dancer, and a big fan of stationary.” “Tell me about yourself” When to use it: Most often in job interviews or informal networking conversations.Why use it: To offer a brief overview of your professional background, skills, education and interests to set the stage for further discussion.What it can sound like: I’m a recent McMaster graduate with a degree in Commerce, and I’m currently a PR grad student at Humber College. Over the course of my studies, I’ve had the chance to explore opportunities in marketing, communications, and customer success. In my most recent internship at XYZ company, I had a lot of freedom in creating a social media strategy to launch a new product. During that time, I realized that I love working cross-functionally with different people and teams, being creative and working on things that challenge me.Final ThoughtsBy tailoring your introduction to the situation, you can properly convey your skills, experience, and passion. Remember to customize each introduction to align with the specific job inquiry or opportunity and also maintain your authentic personal brand.
  • Forbidden Interview Questions: Thing ...

    In the world of job interviews, some questions are strictly off-limits. It's important that you know what questions are fair game and what questions can't be asked of you - what questions you have every right NOT to answer.To help prepare you for interviewing, our team put together a list of a few of the questions that can't be asked of you:"Are you planning on having kids soon?": This inquiry is invasive and potentially discriminatory. When evaluating candidates, focus should remain on their qualifications, skills, and experience, rather than their personal life or reproductive choices. Not. Okay. "What's your religion?": Inquiring about a candidate's religious beliefs is a direct invasion of their privacy and threats a violation of their right to practice their faith without discrimination. "Do you have any health issues?": Questions about a candidate's health, disabilities, or past illnesses are not only inappropriate but also illegal. Your health is your business, not any business's.  "How old are you?/What year were you born?": Age-related questions are forbidden because they can lead to age discrimination. The focus should always be on the candidate's qualifications and experience, not their birthdate.  "What's your marital status?": Marital status is irrelevant to a candidate's qualifications and ability to perform the job. Inquiring about it is inappropriate and can lead to gender and marital status discrimination. This question, like the other so far, is not okay on any level. "Tell me about your political affiliations": Political affiliations have no place in the interview room. Asking candidates about their political beliefs or activities is not only inappropriate but can lead to discrimination and bias.  "What is your sexual orientation?": Whoa! In today's diverse and inclusive workplace, it's crucial to respect and protect every candidate's rights and privacy. Asking about a candidate's sexual orientation is not only invasive but also discriminatory. "At what age do you hope to retire?": Nope! Don't need to answer this. Your retirement plans are just for you. As you prepare for interviews, remember that certain questions should remain strictly off-limits. Hiring managers must avoid asking about personal, sensitive, or discriminatory topics and stick to questions that assess a candidate's skills, qualifications, and experience in the spirit of maintaining a respectful, equitable, inclusive hiring process.
  • Overcoming Pre-Interview Jitters: Na ...

    Job interviews are like a high-stakes game of chess, with both candidates and hiring managers making strategic moves. Just when you think you've prepared for every conceivable question, a curveball is thrown your way. These unexpected and often challenging questions can leave you feeling jittery. But fret not! In this blog post, we'll explore the most common curveball interview questions and provide you with tips to help you tackle them with confidence.1. "Tell me about a time you failed.": This question is designed to assess your ability to handle adversity and learn from your mistakes. Rather than focusing on the failure itself, emphasize what you learned and how it has made you a better professional. Share a specific example, and don't be afraid to show vulnerability and humility. Tip: Have a few well-rehearsed stories about your professional growth through failure ready to share. 2. "If you were an animal, what would you be and why?": Curveball questions like this aim to evaluate your creativity, ability to think on your feet, and self-awareness. When answering, consider the qualities of the chosen animal and how they relate to your strengths and the role you're applying for.  Tip: Think about your answer in advance to ensure it reflects your suitability for the job. 3. "If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have, and how would you use it in this job?": This question assesses your creativity and your understanding of how your strengths align with the position. Choose a superpower that highlights your professional skills, and explain how you'd use it to excel in the role. Tip: Familiarize yourself with the job description to tailor your response effectively. 4. "Tell me something that's not on your resume.": Interviewers use this question to dig deeper into your personality and uncover your unique attributes. Share a personal anecdote or a hobby that showcases your character or skills. Tip: Prepare a short, compelling story that helps interviewers see a different side of you.5. "Tell me about a time you experienced challenging dynamics in the workplace and how you overcame it.": This is a tough one because you have to tread lightly on the dynamic itself, ensuring that you're expressing the situation from an objective and democratic perspective. Tip: Focus on the positive end-result to showcase how you handle team challenges rather than the emphasize the inner-workings of the challenge itself. 6. "What can you do for us that no one else can?": We can't answer this one for you but what we can tell you is to be as honest as you can, maybe the answer is that you can't do something no one else can - and that's okay. Whatever your answer, thinking on this in-advance will ensure you are prepared to answer in your own unique expression.7. "Imagine a perfect work environment, can you describe it to me?": This is an opportunity to express your values and what you are seeking in a work environment. Tip: If you seek out more information on the company in-advance, you can see what types of values and culture they offer and try to align your answer with what the company is already serving-up while also offering opportunities for the interviewer to truly get to know you and what you want.8. "Tell us about a time you had to think on your feet and how it worked out.": Pondering your answer to this 'q' in-advance will certainly support you to have a smoother answer as this is the type of answer that can be tricky to think of...on your feet! Tip: Focus on the end result and relate it to how it supported the team's successes rather than on the stress of the moment - a given, really.Curveball interview questions may catch you off guard, but with preparation, you can face them confidently. Remember, these questions are not meant to trick you, but to assess your problem-solving skills, creativity, and cultural fit. So, don't let pre-interview jitters take over. Embrace these unexpected inquiries as opportunities to showcase your adaptability and unique qualities. Prepare in advance, stay composed, and remember, your ability to handle curveballs can set you apart from other candidates and lead to interview success. 
  • The Art of Effective Questioning in ...

    Finding a job can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know the right questions to ask. By mastering the art of effective questioning, you can increase your chances of success. Let’s take a look at the importance of asking the right questions at each stage of the job search process, from research to interviews.  The Benefits of Effective Questioning Demonstrates Interest and Engagement: Asking thoughtful questions throughout the job search process shows employers that you are genuinely interested in the role, the company, and its future. This can set you apart from other candidates who may lack curiosity. Enables Informed Decision Making: By asking questions, you gather valuable information that can help you make informed decisions about job offers. Understanding key aspects of a role, company culture, or growth opportunities allows you to assess if a job aligns with your aspirations and career goals. Creates a Positive Impression: Asking intelligent and relevant questions makes you memorable to employers. It shows that you are prepared, proactive, and capable of critical thinking – all of which are qualities of the kind of candidate they are looking for! When to Ask WhatResearch PhaseAsking questions during the research phase helps you gather information about potential employers and job opportunities. Here are some examples of questions you can consider:Company Culture: What values does the company prioritize? What is their management style like? Have others in this organization had positive experiences?Job Description: Are there any specific skills or experiences they are looking for in a candidate? Opportunities for Growth: What career development programs or advancement opportunities are available?  Networking and Informational Interviews Engaging in conversations with professionals in your target industry is an effective way to gather insights and expand your network. When interacting with industry professionals, ask questions such as:Industry Trends: What upcoming changes or developments are you anticipating in this field? Skill Requirements: What specific skills or certifications would make me more competitive?Company Recommendations: Do you suggest I explore any organizations for potential opportunities? Application and Interview Stage Asking relevant questions during job interviews not only demonstrates your interest in the position but also allows you to evaluate if the job aligns with your goals and values. Consider asking:Role Expectations: What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this position? What would be your best advice to someone starting out in this role? Team Dynamics: Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with? What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned during your time at Company X?Company Vision: What are the long-term goals and plans of the company?  Final ThoughtsMastering the art of effective questioning is a skill every job seeker should develop. By asking the right questions at each stage of the job search process, you can gather valuable information, make informed decisions, and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. So, start today by creating your own list of your favourite questions to ask! Good luck!
  • Green Flags That an Employer Operate ...

    Are you on the interview circuit (or hoping to be)!? Working for a company that operates rooted in trust, with a culture of trust for those on their team, results in higher productivity, retention, happiness levels, lower burnout rates and sick days, and so on.Here are some green flags hinting that the company you're interested in, more than likely, is operating with employees IN their circle of trust. If you see any of these, or hear about them in the interview process, take it as good sign that the employer is doing the work to build a culture of trust. 1. ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment):Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE, is an exciting concept that measures employee performance based on results, rather than the number of hours worked. In a ROWE, employees have the freedom to manage their time and work from anywhere, as long as they meet their goals. This approach promotes trust in employees' ability to manage their tasks effectively and efficiently.2. Flexible Work Arrangements:Flexibility is a cornerstone of trust-building in modern workplaces. Employers are offering flexible work arrangements that include remote work, flexible hours, and compressed workweeks. These options empower employees to balance their personal and professional lives, leading to increased job satisfaction and loyalty.3. Open and Honest Communication:Transparency and open communication are essential for building trust. Employers are fostering a culture where employees can openly voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas. Regular feedback sessions, town hall meetings, and anonymous suggestion boxes are just a few ways this is achieved.4. Emphasis on Well-being:Modern employers prioritize employee well-being. They provide resources such as wellness programs, mental health support, and initiatives that promote a healthy work-life balance. When employees feel valued as individuals, trust naturally flourishes.5. Recognition and Appreciation:Recognizing and appreciating employees' contributions is a powerful trust-building strategy. Employers are implementing programs to celebrate achievements, milestones, and exceptional performance. Regular praise and rewards create a positive and trusting atmosphere.6. Skill Development and Growth Opportunities:Investing in employees' growth demonstrates a commitment to their success. Employers offer opportunities for skill development, mentorship programs, and clear paths for advancement. When employees see a future within the organization, trust in the employer's intentions deepens.7. Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives:Inclusive workplaces foster trust among employees from various backgrounds. Employers implement diversity and inclusion programs, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. When employees feel they belong, trust in the organization strengthens.8. Work-Life Integration:Modern employers understand that work is a part of life, not separate from it. They encourage work-life integration by offering benefits such as paid time off, family leave, and support for caregivers. This approach shows that the employer values the overall well-being of their workforce.9. Agile Decision-Making:Employers are increasingly adopting agile decision-making processes, allowing teams to make decisions quickly and adapt to changing circumstances. This approach empowers employees and strengthens trust by involving them in important choices.10. Ethical and Sustainable Practices:Trust extends beyond the workplace to the broader community. Employers that embrace ethical and sustainable business practices build trust with both employees and customers. Sustainability initiatives and corporate social responsibility efforts are central to this approach.In conclusion, modern employers are actively redefining workplace culture by placing trust at the core of their strategies. Through ROWE, flexibility, open communication, and a commitment to employee well-being, they are creating environments where trust thrives. By implementing these tactics, they not only attract and retain top talent but also inspire a sense of purpose, engagement, and dedication among their workforce. In such workplaces, trust becomes the foundation upon which success and growth are built.
  • Recruiters Vs. Hiring Managers: Key ...

    Finding a job can be a complex process, so understanding the roles of recruiters and hiring managers can come in handy. Both play important roles in the hiring process, but they have different perspectives and responsibilities.Let’s explore what a recruiter does and how they can help you in your job search. By understanding the key differences between recruiters and hiring managers, you can make a great first impression, ask the right questions, and hopefully land the job you’ve been thinking about.Note: Some positions on OCC give you the option to contact the recruiter directly! So, who does what? Recruiters: The MatchmakersRecruiters (sometimes referred to as talent acquisition specialists) play an important role in helping organizations find the right candidates for job openings. They act as the middleman between job seekers and employers and facilitate the hiring process from beginning to end. The recruiter is usually both the first point of contact and the main point of contact during the interview process. They help keep the interview process running smoothly and ultimately deliver job offers.Insights for Job Seekers:  Build relationships with recruiters in your industry for valuable connections and opportunities. Network with them, engage on professional platforms and attend industry events.Leverage recruiters' knowledge of the job market to tailor your resume and interview preparations to align with current market demands.Maintain open communication with recruiters and promptly respond to their calls and emails, as they may have valuable feedback or time-sensitive opportunities. Hiring Managers: The Gatekeepers Hiring managers are individuals within a company who are responsible for making final hiring decisions. They typically have leadership or departmental roles and have a strong understanding of exactly what kind of candidate they are looking for. The hiring manager’s main objective is to find a candidate who will be a great fit for their team.It’s also important to note that the hiring manager will be your direct supervisor if you are hired. Your earliest interviews (after the recruiter screening) will likely be with the hiring manager. Insights for Job Seekers: Tailor your application by customizing your resume and cover letter to highlight your qualifications. Hiring managers focus on candidates who possess the necessary skills and experience relevant to the role. Research the company to showcase your genuine interest in working for the organization. This will come in handy, especially during the interview process.Hiring managers prioritize candidates who align well with the company’s work environment. You can highlight your fit by emphasizing adaptability, teamwork, and alignment with the organization’s values during the interview process.  Pro Tip: Sign up to be a part of OCC’s community today to get access to hundreds of jobs and put your new knowledge on recruiters and hiring managers into action! 
  • How to Discover Your Purpose & Use i ...

    Have you found your purpose yet? In a rapidly changing world filled with distractions, finding your purpose can often feel like an elusive quest. Making things trickier, many don't just have one sole purpose and the evolution of one's purpose(s) can therefore be a moving target - a lifelong learning journey (sigh).Why is finding purpose important? Ultimately, human-beings with purpose clearly recognize the meaning in what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how it is valuable. By identifying our purpose, particularly with reference to career path, we can more clearly see the path and steps ahead - more deliberately and effectively take action. To add to this, having purpose lessens one's bounce-back rate when things go wrong. We know that something didn't work out but we also have the wherewithal and gumption to sustain it because our mission and vision is larger and more significant than any mistakes on the way. Finding purpose means finding motivation, in almost all cases, so prioritizing finding your purpose when starting out should be at the top of the pile.In this blog, we pull from some of Jay Shetty's teachings on finding purpose to support you in finding your own!Use Self-Reflection as a Tool to Prompt Exploratory Questions on Your Path to PurposeJay Shetty emphasizes the importance of self-reflection as the foundation for finding your purpose. Begin by asking yourself probing questions:What values and principles are most important to me?What activities ignite my passion and bring me joy?What unique strengths and talents do I possess?How can I contribute positively to the world?Self-reflection is the key to uncovering your true self and the purpose that aligns with it.Don't Underestimate the Power of Passion to Guide You on the Right PathJay often speaks about the significance of embracing your passions. What activities or interests make your heart sing with excitement? Your passions often contain vital clues about your purpose. Identifying and nurturing these passions can lead you towards a more purposeful life.Take Time to Get Familiar With Your Innate Skills & TalentsJay Shetty encourages individuals to harness their innate skills and talents. Consider what you excel at effortlessly, and explore how you can use these abilities to serve others or make a meaningful impact. Your skills can be a bridge to your purpose.Set Intentional GoalsSetting meaningful goals is central to Jay's philosophy. Craft both short-term and long-term goals that resonate with your values and passions. These goals serve as a roadmap, guiding you towards a life of purpose.Seek Wisdom and InspirationJay Shetty's work is a rich source of wisdom and inspiration. Dive into his books, podcasts, and videos to gain insights on discovering your purpose. Learning from his experiences and teachings can provide fresh perspectives and guide you on your journey.Embrace Challenges as GrowthChallenges are integral to personal growth and purpose discovery, a concept Jay Shetty emphasizes. Embrace difficulties as opportunities to learn more about yourself and your purpose. Overcoming obstacles can bring you closer to your true calling.Experiment and LearnJay encourages individuals to explore various interests and career paths. Be open to experimentation and learning from your experiences. Discovering what doesn't align with your purpose is as valuable as finding what does.Don't Underestimate the Significant Meaning That Can be Found in Serving OthersContributing to the well-being of others is a central theme in Jay's work. Look for opportunities to help and serve your community. Volunteering for causes you're passionate about can connect you with your purpose on a deeper level.Long story longer, Jay Shetty's teachings on finding your purpose offer a profound roadmap to a more meaningful life. Remember that the journey to purpose is a personal one, and it requires patience, self-discovery, and a commitment to growth. As you commit to navigating this path, your purpose will become clearer and your life will be filled with deeper meaning and fulfillment. 
  • Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourse ...

    In the pursuit of a successful and fulfilling career, it's often not external obstacles that hold us back, but the limitations we place on ourselves. These self-set limitations can manifest as self-doubt, fear of failure, or even a lack of belief in our own abilities. However, overcoming these barriers is essential to getting on the right track in your career and achieving your goals. As author Gabby Bernstein once said, "The only thing that's keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself." In this blog post, we explore the concept of self-set limitations, their impact on our careers, and practical strategies to break free from limiting belief systems - drawing inspiration from Gabby Bernstein's wisdom. Understanding Self-Set Limitations Self-set limitations are the mental barriers we create that hinder our progress and potential. They can take many forms, such as: Negative Self-Talk: Constantly criticizing ourselves and doubting our abilities can erode our self-confidence and hinder our progress. Fear of Failure: The fear of making mistakes or failing can paralyze us and prevent us from taking risks that could lead to career advancement. Comparison: Constantly comparing ourselves to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and prevent us from recognizing our unique strengths. Imposter Syndrome: Believing that we don't deserve our achievements or that we are not as capable as others can limit our career growth. The Impact of Self-Set Limitations on Your Career Self-set limitations can have a profound impact on your career in several ways: Stagnation: You may find yourself stuck in a job that doesn't fulfill you because you believe you're not qualified for something better. Missed Opportunities: Fear and self-doubt can cause you to pass up opportunities for advancement or personal growth. Lack of Innovation: Holding back due to fear can hinder your creativity and innovation, which are crucial for career growth. Health Issues: The stress and anxiety caused by self-set limitations can lead to physical and mental health problems, further hindering your career. Breaking Free from Self-Set Limitations Now that we understand the impact of self-set limitations on our careers, let's explore strategies to overcome them: Self-Awareness: Recognize when you're engaging in negative self-talk or limiting beliefs. Journaling and mindfulness practices can help you become more aware of your thought patterns. Positive Affirmations: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. As Gabby Bernstein suggests, "When you think you've surrendered, surrender more." Repeat affirmations that reinforce your abilities and worthiness. Challenge Your Inner Critic: Whenever your inner critic starts doubting your abilities, challenge it with evidence of your past successes and achievements. Set Realistic Goals: Break down your career goals into smaller, achievable steps. This can make them feel less overwhelming and boost your confidence as you make progress. Seek Support: Talk to mentors, friends, or a therapist about your self-set limitations. They can provide guidance, encouragement, and a fresh perspective. Embrace Failure: Understand that failure is a part of growth. As Gabby Bernstein says, "Obstacles are detours in the right direction." Learn from your failures and use them as steppingstones to success. In short, overcoming self-set limitations is a crucial step toward achieving success and fulfillment in your career. By recognizing our personally set or adopted mental barriers we can better challenge negative thought patterns and adopt a positive mindset that will help unlock true potential. As Gabby Bernstein reminds us, the stories we tell ourselves can either hold us back or propel us forward. Choose to rewrite your story and embark on the journey toward a more rewarding and successful career. 
  • Now Hiring: Join One of Canada's Fas ...

    Self-storage is one of the fastest growing industries in Ontario and it has a wealth of career growth opportunities for students and recent graduates who want to enter this evolving field. In 2023, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) found that there was 37.3 million square feet of self-storage in Ontario, which grew by 9% in the last three years with 4.2 million square feet added. Some of the key reasons that contributed to the growth of the self-storage industry in the last several years appear to be people downsizing, clearing space to allow for more work-from-home options, and smaller living spaces in urban centers.Another upside, is that the self-storage industry offers stable career growth opportunities as it is one of the few industries that is unaffected by economic downturn and recession. There is a common misconception that the types of career opportunities available in the self-storage industry are limited to general labour jobs- this could not be further from the truth. Self-storage is a multi-faceted industry that features job opportunities from a wide array of different disciplines. Outcome Campus Connect is now bridging opportunities in this expanding industry right to you from our employer partners at Storwell, one of Canada's fastest growing businesses and an employer who is now diversifying its offerings to include a hotel - yep, you read that right, a hotel!Here' s some more information on this promising company and the roles it is hiring for on our platform now.About StorwellStorwell is one of the premier storage companies in the GTA with self storage in Mississauga, Etobicoke, and Scarborough. Storwell Self Storage offers careers in a multitude of different areas including IT, software development, sales, marketing, security, maintenance, and more. Storwell has been providing accessible and affordable storage solutions for over 20 years. The family owned and operated company spans over 4 generations and prides itself on fostering a positive and welcoming workplace culture. Storwell helps develop great leaders who ensure employees feel valued, with a common vision of purpose and success. As an integral part of Storwell, you will work directly with the owners of the business and you will be given the opportunity to contribute your own ideas as you grow in your role within the company. About Storwell's BID13 Online Storage AuctionsAnother section of the self-storage industry that has seen significant growth in the past several years is online storage auctions. During the COVID 19 pandemic almost all storage auctions moved to online platforms. During that time BID13 became one of North America’s largest online storage auction websites with thousands of daily auctions happening across Canada and the United States. Working at BID13 means that you are on the cutting edge of online auction technology. This is an incredibly exciting sector for recent graduates with degrees in computer science, business, or marketing and communications. BID13 is a rapidly expanding company, if you are interested in a fast-paced environment with tremendous growth opportunities, BID13 is an excellent option.Along with competitive wages and a host of employment benefits, BID13 is also very active in industry conferences that are amazing opportunities for network building. Recently the team at BID13 hosted a booth at the SSA Conference and Trade show at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.About The Rook Hotel, Storwell's Newest Offering In addition to self-storage units and online storage auctions, our company has embarked on an exciting new project, the Rook Hotel. The Rook Hotel is a start-up high-tech hotel in the heart of Mississauga. Located conveniently across from Square One and 15 minutes from Toronto Pearson Airport, this hotel will be composed of cutting-edge technology offering an innovative and novel experience. Much like self-storage, the hotel industry has seen sustained growth over the last decade and offers wonderful opportunities for recent graduates looking for careers in hospitality, property management, building development, IT, food services, and more. Job OpeningsHere are a few of the latest job openings available at Storwell Self Storage, BID13 Online Storage Auctions, and the Rook Hotel. All of these positions have the option for fully remote work or hybrid work. Job Title: Embedded Software EngineerLocation: Mississauga, Ontario- Remote Work Available Type: Full-time Salary Range: $67,000 – $75,000 annuallyDescription: As an Embedded Software Developer, you will architect, design, build, and test embedded software for Rook Hotel. In this role, you will participate in the design and implementation of both the prototype and development of various technologies needed at the Rook Hotel. The successful candidate will also demonstrate excellent development practices and seamless collaboration.  Job Title: Senior Graphic DesignerLocation: Remote Type: Full-time Salary Range: $70,000 – $75,000 annuallyDescription: We are looking for a skilled, talented designer who has experience in web, mobile and print design. You will be collaborating with the web and marketing team to maintain the company’s multiple large website applications, as well as be responsible for creating print and online marketing material as needed. The ideal candidate will be able to take written ideas, spoken ideas, or existing design templates, and expand upon these directives resulting in clean, polished, consistent and functional design. Job Title: Social Media Content CreatorLocation: Mississauga, Ontario- Remote Work AvailableType: Full-time/ Part-time/HourlySalary Range: $17.00-$19.00 per hourDescription: This is a part-time or full-time position supporting our communications team and you will report to our Chief Technology Officer. The main responsibility of the Social Media Content Creator will be to create and implement a brand and social strategy to drive the Rook’s Hotel online presence showcasing its construction status and invoke visibility by creating and posting blogs, and various social media posts. Job Title: HR RecruiterLocation: Mississauga, Ontario- Remote Work AvailableType: Full-time Salary Range: $50,000 – $55,000 annually Description: Are you our next all-star recruiter? Do you enjoy the challenge of recruiting a wide range of positions and taking a leading role in the recruitment and selection of A-players for the organization? Are you someone that takes initiative and can do more with less? We are looking for an HR Recruiter that is ready to hit the ground running with our Group of companies which includes our Storwell Self Storage business. Job Title: Sales Development RepresentativeLocation: Scarborough, Ontario- HybridType: Full-time Salary Range: TBD based on relevant experienceDescription: This is a full-time hybrid position (work from home 2 days a week and join the other great A-players in the office 3 days a week). The selected candidate will also be joining and attending trade shows across North America so a valid passport is required and the willingness to travel. As a Sales Development Representative, you will be reporting to our Chief Technology Officer. The mission of the Sales Development Representative is to grow our online network and be responsible for prospective outreach. The Sales Development Representative will be a key asset to the BID13 at an exceptionally high level allowing the company to grow and our revenue and profitability goals. Careers include a variety of benefits such as yearly bonuses, company events, and exclusive employee discounts. Sign in or up to Outcome Campus Connect to check out these roles and directly apply today.
  • Why I'm Pursuing a Graduate Certific ...

    First things first, how is it already back to school season?! It feels like just yesterday I was celebrating the completion of my undergrad degree. Yet here I am, gearing up for another exciting chapter - pursuing a graduate certificate in Public Relations at Humber College. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this new adventure, I wanted to take a few minutes to chat about why I’ve decided to pursue this education. So, grab your favourite cozy spot and join me as I spill the tea on my motivations, my love for learning, and the exciting possibilities that await in the world of PR.  I wanted to fill the gaps in my business education While the degree I took at McMaster provided me with an incredibly strong foundation in business and numerous relevant experiences, it left me wanting a little bit more - especially insight into the world of Public Relations. After giving it some thought, I realized that because this world is so digitally connected, effective PR strategies can basically make or break a company. By pursuing this graduate certificate, I’m confident I’ll be able to fill my personal gaps and ensure my education is comprehensive and relevant to the challenges of today’s business and communications landscape. I wanted to enhance my knowledge My love for learning is always a driving force in my life, whether it's through actually furthering my education, participating in a cool extracurricular, or a new internship. To me, pursuing this graduate certificate in Public Relations isn’t just about acquiring another credential (although, that is a nice bonus); it’s about immersing myself in a field that intrigues me, challenges me, and that I can see myself being incredibly passionate about. It’s also about acquiring new perspectives and insights that can enrich both my personal and professional life. I’m so excited to dive into the complexities of PR, learn from experts in the field, and keep my ever-curious mind engaged, inside and outside of the classroom. z I wanted to be more confident marketing myself I’m always searching for ways to stand out or ways to make myself more marketable - pursuing this certificate is a great way for me to do that. While I’ve gained valuable skills and knowledge during my undergraduate years, I want to be even more confident in marketing myself to potential employers. Let me be clear though: this graduate certificate won’t get me a job on its own, but what it will do is provide me a platform to tell a story. As a PR professional, I’ll know how to create a compelling story and really understand the art of personal branding. I feel confident in saying that this program will make me even more confident to show up to a job interview or hold a conversation with a leader in a company and explain to them my experiences and the value I can add to the professional world of PR.I wanted to further embrace digital innovation through learning With the world of PR constantly evolving, I knew it was important for me to realize that learning new skills for what works in the now is crucial for my career success. The digital age has transformed the way we communicate, and the PR industry is no exception (obviously). Social media, content marketing, and data analysis have become integral components of modern PR strategies. To remain both relevant and effective, I knew I wanted to learn even more to stay on top of things. Pursuing this graduate certificate isn’t just about adapting to the latest trends, it’s about embracing them, experimenting with new tools and techniques, and becoming a proficient digital communicator. I wanted to expand potential career opportunities Ultimately, I see this journey as an investment in my future. The PR field is so dynamic and offers a lot of exciting (and growing) career opportunities. Whether it’s in marketing, corporate communications, crisis management, or public affairs, a background in PR opens doors to diverse roles and industries that I may not have had such easy access to otherwise. I’m eager to explore these possibilities when the time comes, and position myself as a versatile professional capable of adapting to the evolving demands of the business/communications world.  Final Thoughts At the end of the day will this certificate give me an immediate promotion? Probably not. Will it give me a huge raise or a one up on every one of my competitors? Not necessarily. What this graduate certificate will give me, though, is an expansion on my knowledge about the profession and allow me to connect with talented and successful individuals who can help guide my career. Does this mean that you should also pursue a graduate certificate in Public Relations? Maybe and maybe not (that’s up to you!). For me, I’m so excited to further my education and feel confident in saying that completing the program will bring me one step closer to reaching my personal and professional goals.  
  • What is the “September Surge” and ca ...

    Picture this: September rolls around and it’s not just pumpkin spice season - it’s also prime time for job hunting, thanks to the “September Surge”. The September Surge refers to the significant increase in job openings and hiring activities that tend to occur between Labour Day (the first Monday in September) and Halloween (October 31). According to a study by Glassdoor, September consistently ranks as one of the top months for job openings, with a notable increase compared to the previous months. This surge is not limited to a specific sector, but is rather a widespread occurrence that spans over many fields such as technology, finance, healthcare, and more.Let’s explore the concept of the September Surge and understand how it can potentially help you find a new job!Factors Driving the Surge End of Fiscal Year: Many companies operate on a fiscal year that aligns with the calendar year. So, as the fiscal year draws to a close, companies often take the time to reassess their financials and strategic goals. This evaluation can lead to workforce adjustments, including hiring new talent to support upcoming projects and initiatives. Post-Summer Planning: The summer months usually mean vacations and a more relaxed atmosphere in the workplace. However, as September approaches, companies will usually shift their focus back to regular business operations. This transition usually prompts companies to ramp up their hiring efforts to address any staffing gaps that may have come up during the summer months. Budget Allocations: With new budgets set for the upcoming fiscal year, companies have a clearer understanding of the financial resources available for hiring new employees. This financial clarity facilitates the recruitment process, as budget constraints are often a key consideration in hiring decisions. Academic Calendar: The beginning of September aligns with the end of summer break and the beginning of a new academic year in many regions. This timing is convenient for companies looking to hire recent graduates or individuals seeking career changes after pursuing further education. Leveraging the September Surge for Your Job Search Prepare Accordingly: To take full advantage of the September Surge, start preparing your job search materials as early as possible. Update your resume, tailor your cover letter, and polish your online presence, including your LinkedIn profile. Tap Into Networking: September is usually a busy month for networking events, conferences, and workshops - use this period to connect with professionals in your desired industry. These events and interactions provide a unique chance to connect with industry professionals, hiring managers, and potential colleagues. Whether attending in person or virtually, make it a point to participate in these opportunities to expand your network and gather insights into your target industry. Research Companies: Identify companies and roles that align with your career goals and values. Research their hiring patterns and upcoming projects, positioning yourself as a candidate who can contribute to their success. By being proactive, you can position yourself as an early applicant, increasing your chances of catching the recruiter’s attention. Pro Tip: Always look on the company’s website for job openings - bigger companies sometimes avoid using job boards/posting positions on LinkedIn. Showcase Your Flexibility: September is usually the start of new company-wide projects and initiatives, making it an ideal time to bring in fresh talent (that’s you!). Make it a point to highlight your adaptability, willingness to learn, and ability to contribute effectively to new teams and projects. Employers who wish to ramp up their efforts in the last quarter of the year will be particularly drawn to candidates who can seamlessly integrate into their existing workflows. So, Can The September Surge Help You Find A Job?The September Surge in job opportunities can be an incredibly favorable time to enhance your chances of securing employment. With increased hiring activity, there is a higher probability of finding a job that aligns with your skills and interests. Of course, increased hiring activity means an influx of candidates, which can create an atmosphere of competition, but it also offers many opportunities for networking and building connections within industries. At the end of the day, utilizing this September Surge effectively can significantly increase your chances of getting hired!  
  • Before You Start School: Your Fall 2 ...

    Transitioning back to school from the summer months takes preparation - trust me, I've done it a handful of years running. To help you conquer back to school, I've put together a comprehensive checklist that guides you, step-by-step, to make the transition into the school year, and campus, as easy as possible. You Can Find The Complete Checklist Here [be sure to make a copy]!Of course, it wouldn't be the start of a new school year without considering the academic, financial, and personal impacts that being a student takes and mentally preparing for what's ahead. A few considerations that will help you organize your life so that you avoid overwhelm:Academic PreparationAs the fall semester approaches, it's essential to lay a strong foundation for your academic journey. Begin by thoroughly reviewing the outline for each of your courses (once they become available). Take note of crucial dates, including exams, assignments, and project deadlines. Believe me, creating a clear picture of your academic responsibilities will help you plan your time effectively and manage it alongside all of your other commitments. Consider setting up a digital organization system to keep track of assignments and class materials, which will contribute to a streamlined and successful semester. I highly recommend a spreadsheet or Notion template to keep track of these items (check out our IG @joinoutcomecampusconnect for a mini tutorial!)Financial PreparationEffective financial planning is crucial for a successful semester. Confirm your financial aid, scholarships, or loan arrangements, and ensure that tuition and fees are settled before the due date (this happens now, so don’t put it off too much longer). Crafting a detailed budget that encompasses all your expenses – including groceries, transportation, and entertainment – will help you manage your finances effectively. For those seeking part-time employment, secure a job or internship and coordinate your work schedule with your classes to strike a balance between academic and professional commitments. Note: OCC always has jobs on our job board! Check it out! Academic ResourcesTake full advantage of the academic resources available to you. Familiarize yourself with the library's offerings, including online databases and borrowing policies. Research tutoring options, study groups, and academic support centers on campus to ensure you have access to valuable assistance when needed. Additionally, connect with the career services center to explore opportunities for internships, job fairs, and workshops that will contribute to your personal and professional growth. Most schools have a job board curated specifically for their students, so take advantage of this while you’re a student!Social Engagement and Personal GrowthYour college experience extends beyond the classroom. Explore opportunities for social engagement and personal growth by researching and joining clubs, organizations, and student groups that align with your interests. Attending introductory sessions or annual general meetings will introduce you to like-minded peers and expand your network. Mark important dates for orientation sessions, welcome events, and networking opportunities to ensure you're making the most of your college experience. Take the initiative to connect with fellow students, roommates, and classmates to build lasting relationships that contribute to a rich and fulfilling experience in school.See also: Extracurricular Experience Makes You a Candidate in a League of Your OwnSelf-Care and Well-beingPrioritize your self-care to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Establish a consistent sleep routine that supports your focus and energy levels. Plan nutritious meals and snacks that provide the sustenance you need to excel in your studies. Incorporate regular physical activity into your schedule to reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Practice stress-relief techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, or journaling to ensure you're equipped to manage the challenges of the semester effectively.See also: Student Self-Care Advice From Psychotherapist Victoria EmanuelTransportation and CommutingIf you'll be commuting to campus, make necessary transportation arrangements. Plan your route and schedule, and ensure you have all the information you need to navigate your daily commute smoothly (even if you’re walking, knowing where you’re headed before your first day is always a good idea). If you'll be using a vehicle, confirm parking permits or arrangements to avoid any last-minute hassles.Final Thoughts Getting ready for a new semester in college or university is a little bit like putting together pieces of a puzzle. By checking off the different items on this checklist, you’re setting yourself up for an awesome (and successful) school year. Get ready to rock your semester - we’re rooting for you!  
  • Letting Your Genuine Interests Vs. S ...

    In a world often driven by societal expectations and external influences, it's all too easy to find ourselves pursuing paths that don't align with our authentic selves. The allure of external validation and the pressure to conform to certain standards can lead us astray from our true passions. It's crucial, however, to recognize the difference between genuine interests and superficial ambitions, and to let your true passions guide your life's journey.Understanding the DifferenceBefore we delve into how to let your real interests guide you over fake ambitions, it's important to grasp the distinction between the two:Real Interests: Real interests are those activities, hobbies, and pursuits that genuinely spark joy and enthusiasm within you. They're the things you'd engage in even if there were no external rewards or recognition. These interests reflect your authentic self and contribute to your overall sense of well-being and fulfillment.Fake Ambitions: Fake ambitions, on the other hand, are pursuits that you may choose due to societal pressures, external expectations, or the desire for status and recognition. They might involve chasing after goals that aren't aligned with your true passions, but are pursued solely for the sake of appearing successful or meeting others' expectations.Cultivating Self-AwarenessThe first step towards letting your real interests guide you is cultivating self-awareness. Take the time to reflect on your passions and aspirations without the influence of external factors. Ask yourself:What Truly Excites Me? Make a list of activities that genuinely bring you joy and fulfillment. Consider what you loved to do as a child, as these early interests often hold clues to your genuine passions.When Do I Lose Track of Time? Identify the activities that immerse you so deeply that you lose track of time. This often indicates a true passion that resonates with your core being.What Are My Values? Reflect on your personal values. Aligning your pursuits with your values can bring a profound sense of purpose and satisfaction.Overcoming Societal ExpectationsOne of the biggest challenges in letting real interests guide you is breaking free from societal expectations. Here's how you can navigate this:Embrace Uniqueness: Remember that your journey is yours alone. Embrace your uniqueness and understand that your path may differ from others', and that's perfectly okay.Ignore the Noise: Tune out the noise of external opinions and judgments. Stay focused on what truly matters to you, and don't let others dictate your choices.Reframe Success: Redefine success on your terms. Instead of measuring success by external markers, measure it by how fulfilled and content you feel while engaging in your genuine interests.Taking ActionIdentifying your real interests is just the beginning. To truly let them guide you, you need to take action:Set Authentic Goals: Craft goals that align with your genuine passions. These goals will be more motivating and fulfilling in the long run.Continuous Learning: Invest time in learning and improving within your chosen pursuits. Passion often fuels a desire to grow and excel.Embrace Challenges: Challenges are an inevitable part of any journey. When pursuing your true interests, challenges are more likely to be met with determination and resilience.Final ThoughtsIn a world that often glorifies superficial ambitions, it's essential to recognize the importance of letting your real interests be your compass. Embracing your passions and aligning your life's journey can lead to a more authentic, fulfilling, and satisfying pursuit. Remember, your passions are not frivolous distractions – they are the key to unlocking a life rich in purpose and meaning and along the path you will likely take on roles that serve the primary purpose of financially supporting you so that you can continue to aim toward where you really want to go. Don't be afraid let your true interests light the way and embark on a journey that's uniquely yours - at a pace that is too.
  • How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs & H ...

    Did you know that the average human has around 50,000 thoughts a day and 95% of these thoughts repeat each day? The totality of our thoughts creates our mindset and it can be one dedicated to growth or that keeps us acting and feeling small (er-than).What narratives are you telling yourself? Once you determine what your inner dialogue is saying about your potential, you can unpack it. Where did this story start? Did you fall into an unhealthy relationship with your self worth? How can you break it? Sometimes, our inner dialogue, this narrative, kick-starts from outside influences. Recognizing who and what contributed to your current mindset can help you understand what you no longer need (and, sometimes, who you no longer need around you) and who you should be spending more time with. The people and energy we surround ourselves with really matters. As a student or recent graduate, self-limiting beliefs are particularly harmful because this is time where you are working hard to grow your skills, network, and own the value you bring to an organization. (In the job hunt, self limiting beliefs can look like: "I am awful at interviewing", or "I'll submit an application but there's really no point, I won't hear back" OR "Sure, I'll take this low-ball job offer because it's my only option and better than nothing"). As an employee, self-limiting beliefs can actually start to sink in because of an unhealthy workplace culture. A positive workplace culture builds you up and provides mentorship and growth opportunities to foster retention. Workplace cultures should also recognize if colleague dynamics are hindering progress and identify how to put an end to it. It is possible for others to try and project self-limiting beliefs onto you but it is your choice whether or not you accept those beliefs (hint: don't). In the quest to overcome negative self-talk and take agency over your career path (and life) there are plenty of tips available but our favourite advice comes from this talk by Simon Sinek. Watch here and see our top seven tips from this talk, below. A Few Ways to Overcome Your Personally-Set Barriers to Success  1. Start with Why: Finding Your PurposeSinek's "Start with Why" concept applies perfectly to students and graduates. Identify why you're pursuing your education or your chosen career path. What drives you? Connecting with your inner purpose fuels your motivation to overcome challenges and push past limiting beliefs.2. Identify Your Current Mindset & Reframe Negative Self-Talk Scan your current thoughts, write them down, even. There may be some that surprise you (and keep in mind, you're repeating these daily). Identify when you feel these thoughts started and , sometimes, who contributed to forming them if it wasn't just you. Clean out negative energies from your life so that you are not surrounded by those who do not support you, particularly when you need support most. Then, try reworking your thoughts when negativity creeps in. Instead of saying "I'm not good enough" or "I can't do this," reframe your self-talk. Shift these thoughts to "I'm learning and improving" or "This challenge will help me grow." Positive affirmations reshape your mindset and encourage a growth-oriented perspective and if you repeat them, they will come more naturally.3. Embrace Challenges to Help Build a Growth Mindset As a student or recent graduate, embracing a growth mindset is essential. See challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. Remember, setbacks aren't failures but stepping stones toward your goals and you are new to all this, after all. This mindset shift helps you view limitations as temporary obstacles that can be overcome with effort and resilience and also helps you to speak to your employers about where you want to go and how you want to grow.4. Ongoing Connection & Support is KeyDon't hesitate to seek support from peers, mentors, or professors. Surrounding yourself with individuals who believe in your potential and challenge your limiting beliefs can provide valuable insights. Engage in conversations about your goals; diverse perspectives can offer fresh insights that break down self-imposed barriers. Be honest about where you are and who can help you. This is a great way to also build respect for yourself.5. Celebrate Small Wins & How Far You've ComeIt's important to celebrate even the smallest achievements. Whether it's acing an exam or securing an interview, acknowledging progress reinforces your self-belief. Each accomplishment serves as evidence that your perceived limitations are not insurmountable. Hindsight is 20/20 but if you can identify how you are moving the dial in the moment, you will feel more promising about who you are and where you are going. This will help you feel more positive.6. Stay PersistentPersistence is anyone's ally. Remember that growth and progress take commitment and time. Academic challenges and job searches may have setbacks, just like anything in life, but these are opportunities to learn and refine your approach. Stay persistent, and view each hurdle as a chance to grow - particularly when it feels hardest.7. Take Action to Build Agency Over Your LifeAction is key. Take baby steps toward your goals each day, no matter how small they seem. Sinek reminds us that proving our capabilities requires action and determination. Every action taken, no matter how small, reinforces your belief in your abilities. (Small tip: Make your bed every morning. It sound silly but it's one way to be productive and clear out chaos right away).In Summary?By starting with your purpose, surrounding yourself with those who believe in and support you, identifying and reframing self-talk, embracing growth, seeking support, celebrating progress, staying persistent, and taking action, you can break free from limiting beliefs. It's important to note that you possess the power to reshape your beliefs and shape your narrative - ONLY you have agency over your future. With determination and a positive mindset, you can unleash your true potential and pave the way for a future career (and life) filled with purpose and success.
  • Small Talk, Big Impact: How Casual C ...

    In the fast-paced and competitive world we live in, networking and making meaningful connections are usually considered essential for success. While formal networking events and business meetings are undeniably important, it’s the seemingly insignificant chit-chats and casual conversations that can have a surprisingly outstanding impact on shaping our paths to success. Whether you’re a student like me, a professional, or simply seeking personal growth, learning the “art” of small talk can be a powerful tool to have in your back pocket. The Power of Casual Connections Small talk, by definition, involves light and non-committal conversations with acquaintances or strangers. Although it seems pretty superficial, it actually serves a crucial purpose: breaking the ice and establishing connection. These seemingly unimportant but casual conversations create a comfortable atmosphere, allowing for deeper conversations to evolve naturally over time. In a professional setting, small talk can help build trust and familiarity with colleagues, clients, or potential investors. In social situations, it can lead to new friendships or even unexpected opportunities. If you think about it - small talk is like the glue that holds relationships together, allowing us to learn about each other’s interests, experiences, and aspirations, and preparing us for more substantial conversations. Opening Doors to Opportunities One of the most significant impacts of mastering the art of small talk is the potential for creating unexpected opportunities. You never know who you might meet or what opportunities may arise from a seemingly insignificant conversation!Picture this - you strike up a conversation with someone while waiting for your coffee. That person could turn out to be a potential business partner, a valuable mentor, or someone connected to an industry you’ve always wanted to explore. Opportunities are often hidden behind small talk, just waiting for you to take advantage of them!Networking Can Go Beyond Business CardsTraditional networking events often involve exchanging business cards and brief elevator pitches (which I feel like I’ve prepared for endlessly pursuing a business degree the last 5 years). While these both serve their purpose, small talk allows for a more genuine and lasting connection. It’s not just about what you can offer someone, but also about building a real human connection.When you engage in casual conversations, ask open-ended questions, and actively listen to the responses, you create an environment where people feel both valued and respected. As a result, they are more likely to remember you and will be willing to support you when the right opportunity comes along. Level Up Your Communications Skills and Confidence Becoming a small talk pro isn’t just about impressing and becoming a friend to others; it also helps boost your own confidence and communication skills. The more you practice engaging in casual conversations, the more comfortable you’ll become in various social situations. Over time, this will extend beyond professional encounters and begin to make its way into your personal life as well. Why does this matter? Confident communicators can express their ideas more clearly, negotiate effectively, and collaborate seamlessly with others. These skills are invaluable in any endeavour - whether it’s pitching a new project, leading a team, or simply navigating the complexities of relationships in your personal life. Be Authentic While small talk can be instrumental in opening doors and creating opportunities, it’s important to remember that authenticity should be at the top of your mind. People are generally perceptive and can sense when a conversation is insincere or solely motivated by personal gain (I know, I’ve been there). I encourage you to approach small talk with genuine interest and curiosity about others. Be a good listener, and don’t be afraid to share your own stories and experiences. At the end of the day, authenticity creates trust, and trust leads to more profound connections and relationships. Final Thoughts Small talk may seem insignificant, but its impact on our personal and professional lives is immense. By working towards becoming a small talk pro, you can open doors to opportunities, build lasting relationships, boost your confidence and communication skills, embrace authenticity, and remember that every interaction is a chance to learn and grow. Next time you find yourself in a seemingly casual conversation, I hope you remember the big impact it can have on shaping your path to success!   
  • Top 5 Minors to Accelerate Your Care ...

    Have you ever caught yourself wondering if those “minor” things in life actually make a major difference? Well, turns out, picking the ‘right’ minor during your post-secondary journey can be an unexpected power-up for your career (speaking from experience). While your major provides a strong foundation, complementing it with a strategically chosen minor can give you a significant edge in your post-grad journey. Let’s dive in to the top five minors that can help you level up your career game and bridge the gap between your major and the practical knowledge employers are seeking:Minor in Psychology for Marketing Majors: Marketing is all about understanding consumer behaviour and creating effective campaigns. A minor in psychology can equip marketing majors with valuable insights into human motivation, decision-making, and emotional triggers. This knowledge can help you craft more persuasive marketing strategies, optimize user experiences, and tailor your messaging to really resonate with your target audience.  Minor in Business for Engineering Majors: Engineers possess strong technical skills, but integrating practical business skills can set you apart. A minor in business can provide you with knowledge in areas such as project management, budgeting, and entrepreneurship. This combination enables you to not only design innovative solutions but also understand their market viability, manage resources effectively, and even launch your own engineering-focused business venture. Minor in Economics for Business Majors: The quantitative skills and problem-solving abilities honed through an economics minor provide a versatile foundation that is applicable across numerous industries, offering you a valuable edge in the dynamic business world. It sharpens analytical thinking and data interpretation, enabling you to make informed decisions in competitive markets. With a solid grasp of economic concepts, such as supply and demand dynamics, pricing strategies, and market trends, individuals are better equipped for roles in financial analysis, strategic planning, and operations management. Minor in Computer Science for Graphic Design Majors: If you’re passionate about graphic design, complementing your major with a minor in computer science can open up a variety of opportunities. A minor in computer science can equip you with programming skills, web development knowledge, and an understanding of user experience design. This combination can make you a well-rounded designer who can effectively translate creative concepts into practical and user-friendly digital designs. Minor in Environmental Studies for Public Policy Majors: For students majoring in public policy or political science, a minor in environmental studies can be highly beneficial. As sustainability and environmental concerns become increasingly important in policy-making and governance, having a background in environmental studies can give you a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding sustainability issues. It will enable you to propose practical and sustainable solutions that align with environmental goals. Final Thoughts: By strategically choosing a minor that complements your major, you can enhance your career prospects and stand out in a competitive job market (for example, I was a marketing/business major and I minored in Innovation because that made the most sense for me). Remember, the examples highlighted here are just a starting point, and demonstrate how diverse disciplines can intersect to create the well-rounded skill sets that employers value. Good luck as you choose your minor, and remember that while they don’t make or break your degree or career prospects post-grad, they can definitely enhance your knowledge and the opportunities available to you!  
  • AI in the Workplace: How It's Changi ...

    Let’s face it: artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool that is transforming various aspects of our lives. One area where its impact is particularly significant is in the workplace (if you haven’t already noticed). As a current intern at an organization that actively promotes and embraces the ethical use of AI, I have witnessed firsthand the incredible potential of this technology to enhance workflows and improve efficiencies in our everyday lives.Let’s explore how AI is changing the game in the workplace, and the importance of ethical considerations in its implementation. How can AI be used in the workplace? There are many ways that AI can be used in the workplace to enhance our experience. Some examples are: ChatGPT: This is probably the most famous one and you’re likely already familiar with its functions. This AI-powered chatbot can generate human-like responses based on input, making them useful for various tasks such as drafting emails, generating content, or providing customer support. Salesforce Einstein: This is an AI-powered platform that offers predictive analytics, automation, and intelligent recommendations. It helps organizations improve customer relationship management, sales forecasting, and personalized marketing campaigns. UiPath: This is a leading robotic process automation (RPA) platform that utilizes AI to automate repetitive tasks, data entry, and workflow optimization. It helps organizations increase productivity, reduce errors, and improve operational efficiency. Copy.ai: This is an AI-powered writing tools that helps generate content, including marketing copy, blog posts, social media captions, and more. It leverages natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to assist with creative writing tasks. H2O.ai: This provides AI and machine learning platforms that enable organizations to build and deploy predictive models, perform data analysis, and automate decision-making processes. Their tools are designed to facilitate data-driven insights and business transformation.Some Benefits of Using AI in the Workplace Using AI at work has many advantages for employers, employees and clients. Some of them are: Increased Efficiency and Productivity: With AI taking care of repetitive tasks, it frees up our valuable human resources to focus on the fun stuff - the strategic and creative work that drives real results, and leads to increased efficiency and productivity. Enhanced Decision-Making: Thanks to AI-powered analytics and insights, we can now make incredibly data-driven decisions - no more relying solely on gut feelings or guesswork. AI provides us with valuable information and predictions that optimize our processes and help us achieve our growth goals. Improved Customer Experience: AI enables personalized customer experiences. It empowers us to deliver spot-on recommendations, craft personalized marketing campaigns, and provide lightning-speed customer support. Some Challenges of Using AI in the Workplace: Despite its benefits, its implementation in the workplace also poses several challenges that organizations need to address. The more relevant are: Ethical Concerns and Bias: When it comes to AI algorithms, our organizations need to be extra careful about ethics. Bias in data or algorithmic decision-making can cause unfair outcomes. That’s why organizations must make transparency, fairness, and accountability a top priority to ensure AI is used responsibly and that clients can feel comfortable and trust the work being done. Reliability: AI is not perfect and it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. It may make mistakes or errors that affect our learning outcomes or assessments. It may also malfunction or crash due to technical issues or bugs. Workforce Adaptation: Bringing AI into our workflows means that changes are coming. It’s entirely natural for employees to worry about job displacement. By communicating clearly, providing education and offering upskilling programs, organizations can help their teams to adopt AI technologies and showcase the collaborative potential it brings to the team. How to evolve and adopt AI into existing workflows without compromising ethics?As employees who are in the midst of technological evolution and we want to embrace AI in our existing workflows, we have a responsibility to use it wisely and ethically. These tips will help to use AI correctly without compromising any integrity: Be critical: We should never blindly trust or follow what AI tells us. We should always be questioning its accuracy, validity, and relevance. We should also compare its results with other sources of research, data, and/or feedback. Be aware: We should know how AI works and understand its limitations and implications. We should also be aware of our rights and responsibilities while using it. For example, if all of your clients’ information must remain confidential, this includes inputs into most AI platforms. Final Thoughts AI’s impact on the workplace is undeniable, and its potential continues to expand. As we embrace AI’s capabilities, it’s crucial to remember that technology should always serve as a tool to empower us, not replace us. As we move forward, let’s keep an open mind and continue to adapt to this evolving landscape!  
  • Find a Job as a Student or Recent Gr ...

    Why waste time trying to kick-start your career on job sites where employers aren't specifically seeking students and recent grads? We have an impressive array of top employers across Canada seeking to hire students and recent grads from across the country (ahem, right now). Here are just ten awesome opportunities for Canada's students and recent grads on Outcome Campus Connect now:City of Terrace - Design EngineerToronto Global -  Intern, Business Insights (Investment Attraction)Pratt & Whitney - Intern, Business Analyst/Customer ServiceBombardier - Customer Experience MarketingElite Class Development Inc - Administrative InternPrairie Mountain Health - Summer Student, Therapy ServicesFortis BC - Engineering Co-op, Distribution LinesGovernment of Ontario - Aircraft Maintenance, Engineering Apprentice Discovery Centre, Events AssistantBig Viking Games - Human Resources GeneralistSo, what are you waiting for? Your career journey starts today on OCC! Login or sign up to access employment opportunities from across Canada (for free).
  • How to Own up to Your Mistakes at Work

    Owning your mistakes and taking responsibility for them is an essential trait in any professional setting. It shows integrity, accountability, and a willingness to learn and grow. Here are some steps you can take to own your mistakes and overcome them at work:Recognize and acknowledge your mistake: The first step is to be honest with yourself and admit that you made a mistake. Avoid the temptation to deny or cover up the error. Understand that mistakes happen to everyone, and it's a part of the learning process. Take immediate action: Once you realize your mistake, it's crucial to take immediate action to mitigate any negative consequences. Assess the impact of your mistake and determine what needs to be done to rectify the situation. If necessary, inform your supervisor or relevant stakeholders promptly. Apologize and communicate: Take responsibility for your mistake by apologizing to anyone affected by it. Be sincere and genuine in your apology. Clearly communicate what went wrong, why it happened, and what steps you are taking to prevent similar mistakes in the future. This transparency helps build trust and demonstrates your commitment to learning from the experience. Learn from the mistake: Reflect on your mistake and analyze what led to it. Understand the root causes and identify areas where you can improve. Consider seeking feedback or guidance from colleagues or mentors to gain different perspectives and insights. Use this knowledge to develop strategies to prevent similar mistakes in the future. Implement corrective measures: Based on your analysis, create a plan to prevent similar mistakes in the future. This might involve refining your work processes, seeking additional training or education, or implementing new checks and balances. Share your plan with relevant parties to demonstrate your commitment to growth and improvement. Focus on solutions: Instead of dwelling on the mistake, shift your focus to finding solutions. Be proactive and take necessary steps to rectify any negative consequences caused by your error. By showing initiative in resolving the issue, you can minimize the impact and regain the trust and confidence of your colleagues and superiors. Maintain a positive attitude: It's important to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. Mistakes are opportunities for growth and learning. Embrace them as valuable lessons and remain optimistic. Avoid being too hard on yourself and use the experience to develop resilience and a growth mindset. Consistently demonstrate improvement: The true measure of owning your mistakes is how you apply the lessons learned to your future work. Consistently demonstrate growth, improvement, and a proactive approach. Show that you have taken your mistake to heart and have become a more reliable and competent professional as a result.Remember, owning your mistakes is a sign of strength and maturity. By following these steps, you can overcome your mistakes and turn them into opportunities for personal and professional development.
  • The Top Three Reasons You Got Turne ...

    Finding a suitable job can take time and sometimes, quite frankly, the process sucks. For example, there are times when, despite our best efforts, we don't receive the job offer we were hoping for even though it could have been a great fit. Rejections are a natural part of the job search process, and understanding the reasons behind them can provide valuable insights for future prospecting. Here are the top three common reasons why candidates are turned down for a job and the ways you can overcome  these hurdles:Lack of Relevant Skills and Experience: One of the most prevalent reasons for job rejections is a lack of relevant skills and experience. Employers often seek candidates who possess the necessary qualifications and experience to perform the job effectively. If you fail to demonstrate that you meet the requirements outlined in the job description, your chances of securing the position diminish. To overcome this obstacle, it is crucial to thoroughly review the job description and tailor your application materials to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Consider gaining additional skills or certifications through courses, workshops, or volunteer work to enhance your profile. Demonstrating a willingness to learn and adapt can make you a more attractive candidate for future opportunities. Oh, and, joining Outcome Campus Connect helps you skip the guessing games - employers on our site are specifically seeking student and recent graduate talent. Case in point? Your interviewer will be looking for someone who is fresh from school or still studying - a huge advantage to other job sites.    2. Poor (Workplace) Cultural Fit: While skills and experience are essential, organizations also value candidates who can seamlessly integrate into their work culture. Cultural fit encompasses shared values, work ethic, communication styles, and overall compatibility with the company's environment. A candidate who doesn't align with the company culture may find themselves passed over for other candidates who are a better fit.To address this issue, it's important to research the company culture before applying for a position. Familiarize yourself with the organization's values, mission, and work environment. During interviews, emphasize your ability to adapt to different work cultures, showcase your interpersonal skills, and highlight instances where you successfully collaborated in diverse teams. By demonstrating your compatibility with the company culture, you increase your chances of being selected for the role.      3. Weak Interview Performance: Even if you possess the necessary skills and experience, a weak interview performance can significantly impact your chances of landing a job. Interviews provide an opportunity for employers to assess your communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and how you handle pressure. A lackluster interview can make you appear disinterested or unprepared, leading to rejection.To improve your interview skills, practice and preparation are key. Research common interview questions and formulate thoughtful responses. Rehearse your answers, paying attention to your body language, tone, and articulation. Seek feedback from friends, family, or mentors through mock interviews to refine your technique. Additionally, gather information about the company and industry to demonstrate your genuine interest and understanding during the interview.In short,  job rejections are a part of the professional journey, and understanding the reasons behind them can help you grow and improve your chances in future applications. By addressing the common pitfalls of lacking relevant skills and experience, poor cultural fit, and weak interview performance, you can enhance your overall candidacy and increase the likelihood of securing your dream job. Remember, perseverance, continuous self-improvement, and a positive mindset are essential in navigating the job market successfully. 
  • The Differences Between a Letter of ...

    In the realm of job applications, two key documents play a crucial role in showcasing your skills and qualifications: the letter of interest and the cover letter. While they serve similar purposes, there are significant differences between the two. Understanding these distinctions is vital for job seekers looking to make a strong impression on potential employers. In this blog post, we will explore the disparities between a letter of interest and a cover letter, highlighting their unique benefits in the job application process.Before diving into the differences, let's clarify the purpose of each document. A letter of interest, also known as a prospecting letter, expresses your curiosity and enthusiasm for a company or organization even if they haven't advertised any job openings. On the other hand, a cover letter is submitted along with your resume when applying for a specific job position. Both documents aim to introduce yourself to potential employers, highlight relevant qualifications, and demonstrate your fit for the company.Letter of Interest: A letter of interest serves as an excellent tool to express your desire to work for a particular company. Its primary benefits include:Exploration: A letter of interest allows you to approach companies you admire, regardless of whether they have job openings. It gives you the opportunity to explore potential opportunities and express your passion for their industry or mission.Networking: Sending a letter of interest can initiate valuable connections and networking opportunities. Even if the company does not have immediate openings, they may keep your information on file or refer you to other companies within their network.Personalized Approach: Since a letter of interest is not tied to a specific job posting, you have the freedom to showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements in a more tailored manner. You can emphasize how your unique background aligns with the company's values and objectives. Example Template:"Dear [Hiring Manager's Name] or [Company Name],I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my strong interest in joining [Company Name] and contributing to its continued success. Although there may not be any current job openings listed, I am genuinely enthusiastic about the company's industry, mission, and values, and I believe my skills and experiences align well with [Company Name]'s goals.Allow me to introduce myself. My name is [Your Name], and I am a [Your Current Position or Relevant Professional Background]. Throughout my career, I have developed a deep passion for [industry/field], and I have been following [Company Name]'s growth and achievements with great interest. The innovative solutions, exceptional reputation, and commitment to [specific values or initiatives] have inspired me to explore potential opportunities with your esteemed organization.I bring [number] years of experience in [relevant skills or expertise], and I have successfully [mention notable achievements or contributions]. My background in [specific skills or qualifications] has equipped me with the ability to [mention key competencies]. Additionally, I possess strong [soft skills] that have allowed me to [describe how these skills have positively impacted your previous work].After researching [Company Name] extensively, I am impressed by your commitment to [specific initiatives or projects]. The impact you have made in the industry, as well as your dedication to [mention any values or goals], resonates deeply with me. I believe my skills in [specific areas] could contribute to [Company Name]'s continued growth and success.I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my expertise aligns with [Company Name]'s needs and potential future opportunities. I am confident that my passion, dedication, and strong work ethic would make me a valuable asset to your team. I am open to exploring various roles or potential projects where I could contribute effectively.I have attached my resume for your review, which provides a comprehensive overview of my qualifications and achievements. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you further about how my skills and experiences could benefit [Company Name]. I can be reached at [your phone number] or via email at [your email address].Thank you for considering my letter of interest. I look forward to the possibility of joining [Company Name] and contributing to its continued success.Sincerely,[Your Name]"Cover Letter: A cover letter, tailored to a specific job application, offers distinct advantages in the hiring process:Direct Relevance: Unlike a letter of interest, a cover letter addresses a specific job opening, allowing you to align your qualifications directly with the requirements and responsibilities outlined in the job description. This tailored approach demonstrates your attentiveness and suitability for the role.Showcasing Accomplishments: With a cover letter, you can specifically highlight relevant accomplishments, experiences, and skills that are most pertinent to the desired position. This focused approach helps employers quickly recognize your value and potential contribution.Demonstration of Fit: A cover letter provides an opportunity to convey how your expertise and background align with the company's needs and culture. By addressing the specific job requirements and company values, you can demonstrate your understanding of the organization and your potential fit within its work environment. Example Template:"Dear [Recipient's Name],I am writing to apply for the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name], as advertised on [Source of Job Listing]. I am excited about the opportunity to join your esteemed organization and contribute my skills and experience to further your mission of [mention the company's mission or goals].I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with [number] years of experience in [relevant field]. Throughout my career, I have developed a strong foundation in [mention relevant skills or qualifications] and have consistently delivered outstanding results in [specific achievements or projects].As I reviewed the job description for [Job Title], I was particularly drawn to the emphasis on [mention key responsibilities or qualifications from the job description]. I believe my background aligns perfectly with these requirements, and I am confident in my ability to excel in this role.In my previous role as [mention current or most recent position], I successfully [mention key responsibilities or achievements that demonstrate your skills]. This experience has honed my [specific skills] and equipped me with a solid understanding of [relevant industry knowledge or tools/software].Moreover, I have a proven track record of [mention any additional achievements or qualities that set you apart]. I am adept at [mention relevant competencies or attributes], which I believe will enable me to contribute immediately to the success of [Company Name]. I am a strong communicator, collaborator, and problem-solver, and I thrive in fast-paced and dynamic environments.I am genuinely impressed by [Company Name]'s commitment to [mention a specific achievement, project, or value of the company]. The innovative work being done at [Company Name] aligns perfectly with my professional aspirations, and I am eager to be part of a team that shares my dedication to [mention shared values or goals].Enclosed is my resume, which provides additional details on my qualifications and accomplishments. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss in more detail how my skills and experience align with the requirements of the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I am available for an interview at your convenience, either in person or via video conference.Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the possibility of joining [Company Name] and contributing to its continued success. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my candidacy further.Sincerely,[Your Name]"While a letter of interest and a cover letter may share some similarities, their unique purposes and benefits set them apart. A letter of interest allows you to explore potential opportunities, express your enthusiasm for a company, and initiate networking connections. On the other hand, a cover letter enables you to tailor your qualifications directly to a specific job opening, showcase relevant accomplishments, and demonstrate your fit within the company. By understanding the distinctions between these two documents, job seekers can effectively leverage them to stand out from the competition and increase their chances of securing their desired positions.
  • Why Learning to Code & Pursuing a Ca ...

    In order to pursue a career in coding, there are various degrees and diplomas that students can acquire to gain the necessary knowledge and skills. Here are some common educational paths for aspiring coders:Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science: A bachelor's degree in computer science provides a comprehensive foundation in coding, algorithms, data structures, software development, and other core computer science concepts. This degree typically takes around four years to complete and is widely recognized by employers.Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering: Similar to computer science, a bachelor's degree in software engineering focuses on the principles of software development, design patterns, software testing, and project management. It equips students with the skills necessary to build robust and scalable software systems.Associate Degree or Diploma in Computer Programming: Associate degrees and diplomas in computer programming offer a condensed curriculum that focuses specifically on coding skills and software development. These programs can often be completed in two years or less, providing a quicker entry point into the coding industry.Bootcamps and Coding Bootcamps: Coding bootcamps are intensive, short-term training programs that focus on teaching practical coding skills. They are typically immersive and hands-on, offering a condensed curriculum that can be completed in a matter of weeks or months. Bootcamps are a popular choice for individuals looking to gain coding skills quickly and transition into a coding career.Online Courses and Tutorials: There is an abundance of online courses and tutorials available that cover various programming languages, frameworks, and concepts. Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Codecademy offer a wide range of coding courses, many of which are self-paced and allow individuals to learn at their own convenience.Certifications: While not a replacement for a degree, certifications can be a valuable addition to a coder's resume. Certifications in specific programming languages, frameworks, or technologies demonstrate proficiency and dedication to a particular area of coding.It's important to note that while formal education can provide a strong foundation, coding is a field where practical experience and continuous learning are highly valued. Many successful coders are self-taught or have gained skills through hands-on projects and real-world practice. Ultimately, the choice of educational path depends on personal preferences, goals, and the level of depth and specialization desired.Here are some ways you will benefit from learning to code: Problem-solving skills: Coding teaches you how to break down complex problems into smaller, manageable parts and develop step-by-step solutions. These problem-solving skills are valuable in various aspects of life, not just in programming. Computational thinking: Coding helps you develop computational thinking, which involves analyzing and solving problems logically. This type of thinking helps in decision-making and enhances your overall cognitive abilities. Entrepreneurship: Coding skills empower you to bring your ideas to life. Whether you want to develop a mobile app, create a website, or build a software product, knowing how to code allows you to take control and turn your ideas into reality. Understanding technology: Coding provides you with a deeper understanding of how technology works. It allows you to navigate the digital world more effectively, be informed about technological advancements, and make informed decisions in a tech-driven society. Career opportunities: The demand for skilled programmers continues to grow across industries. Learning to code opens up numerous career opportunities in fields such as software development, web development, data science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and more. Excellent Earning Potential: Coders can expect a starting salary, in Canada, from 60K - 110K.Now, let's explore some common career paths in coding: Software Developer/Engineer: Software developers design, develop, and maintain software applications. They work with programming languages, frameworks, and tools to create functional and efficient software solutions. Web Developer: Web developers specialize in creating websites and web applications. They work with front-end technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and back-end technologies (server-side scripting, databases) to build interactive and user-friendly websites. Data Scientist: Data scientists analyze and interpret complex data to extract meaningful insights. They use programming languages like Python or R to manipulate, analyze, and visualize data and build machine learning models for predictive analytics. Mobile App Developer: Mobile app developers create applications for smartphones and tablets. They work with platforms like iOS or Android and use programming languages such as Swift or Java to develop mobile apps. DevOps Engineer: DevOps engineers bridge the gap between development and operations. They focus on automating software development processes, managing infrastructure, and ensuring smooth collaboration between different teams. Cybersecurity Analyst: Cybersecurity analysts protect computer systems and networks from potential threats. They develop security protocols, monitor for vulnerabilities, and respond to security incidents. UX/UI Designer: UX/UI designers create user-friendly and visually appealing interfaces for websites and applications. They combine design principles, user research, and coding skills to deliver optimal user experiences. Remember, these career paths are not mutually exclusive, and there are many other specialized roles within the coding field. The choice depends on your interests, aptitude, and the specific skills you develop.
  • Seven Effective Steps to Land a Job ...

    Congratulations, graduates! You've successfully completed your academic journey and are now ready to step into the professional world. Landing a job quickly after graduation can be both exciting and challenging. However, with the right approach and a focused plan, you can increase your chances of securing a job sooner rather than later. In this blog post, we'll outline seven effective steps to help you navigate the job search process and land your dream job quickly. Define Your Career Goals: Before you start applying for jobs, take some time to reflect on your career goals and aspirations. Consider your passions, skills, and interests, and identify the industries or job roles that align with them. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve will help you focus your job search efforts and tailor your applications accordingly. Craft an Impressive Resume and Cover Letter: Your resume and cover letter are your first impressions to potential employers. Take the time to create a compelling and professional resume that highlights your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. Customize it to match the requirements of each job you apply for. Similarly, write a well-crafted cover letter that showcases your enthusiasm, explains your qualifications, and demonstrates your knowledge of the company you're applying to. Leverage Your Network: Networking is a powerful tool in the job search process. Reach out to family, friends, professors, alumni, and industry professionals to let them know you're actively seeking job opportunities. Attending career fairs, industry events, and joining professional networking platforms like LinkedIn can help. Often, job openings are shared within networks before being advertised publicly, giving you a competitive advantage. Tap into Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Consider starting your career with an internship or entry-level position. These opportunities provide valuable hands-on experience, allow you to explore different industries, and build a network of contacts. Even if the position is not your dream job, it can serve as a steppingstone towards your desired career path. (You can find plenty of these open roles on our platform!) Polish Your Online Presence: In today's digital age, your online presence can significantly impact your job prospects. Ensure that your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, are up-to-date and professional. Remove any inappropriate content or posts that could potentially harm your chances of landing a job. Additionally, consider creating a personal website or online portfolio to showcase your work and achievements. Prepare for Interviews: Once you secure an interview, thorough preparation is key. Research the company extensively, understand their values, products/services, and industry trends. Practice common interview questions and prepare thoughtful answers that highlight your skills and experiences. Dress professionally, arrive early, and make a positive impression through your body language and confident demeanor. Continuous Learning and Skill Development:  The journey of learning doesn't end with graduation. Stay updated with industry trends, technological advancements, and relevant skills in your field. Enroll in online courses, attend workshops, or pursue certifications to enhance your knowledge and make yourself more marketable to employers. Finding a job after graduation requires persistence, resilience, and a strategic approach. By defining your career goals, crafting a strong resume, leveraging your network, tapping into internships, and maintaining a professional online presence, you'll position yourself for success. Remember to prepare thoroughly for interviews and never stop learning. Embrace the challenges, stay focused, and soon enough, you'll land a job that aligns with your aspirations and sets you on a fulfilling career path. Good luck!   
  • Caps Off, Dreams On: 5 Takeaways fro ...

    Graduation marks such a significant milestone in our lives, filled with so many emotions and especially a sense of accomplishment (if you’re not there yet, don’t worry, it’ll come!). As I sit here, a proud graduate of McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce, a successful internship term, and a minor in Innovation, I can’t help but reflect on the incredible journey that has led me to this point. Through my reflection, I’ve become compelled to share five invaluable lessons that have shaped me and that can hopefully inspire others in their own journeys.  Let’s dive in: Embrace Setbacks and Failures as Opportunities for Growth In life, setbacks and failures are inevitable. However, something I’ve learned is that what’s most important is how we respond to them. By reframing challenges and allowing them to fuel my determination, I’ve witnessed firsthand how they can propel me forward. Remember, every setback (or failed first year calculus course) is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and become a more resilient version of yourself. 2. Experiential Learning is your Friend While classroom education provides a solid foundation, it is through practical application that knowledge truly solidifies. Internships, projects, case studies, and other experiential learning opportunities are the best way to solidify your classroom knowledge. By actively engaging in real-world scenarios, I have not only built my confidence but also gained a deeper understanding of how concepts translate into tangible outcomes. Don’t underestimate the power of applying what you’ve learned in class to real-life situations. 3. Find Your Community and Foster Belonging When you become a part of a club or community, it’s often like finding your people and feeling a real sense of belonging. During my undergraduate years, I discovered the immense value of diving into extracurricular activities that excited me and aligned with my passions, interests, and future goals. These commitments not only provided a sense of belonging but also created opportunities for personal and professional growth. Embrace the chance to connect with like-minded individuals who share your enthusiasm, and watch how it enhances your overall experience. 4. There is Power in Asking Questions and Seeking Help Never be afraid to ask questions or reach out to your support system for help and remember that most people are in the same boat, navigating unfamiliar territory. By doing so, you open doors to knowledge, collaboration, and support. Embrace uncertainty, embrace the adventure that comes with the learning process, and know that others are there and willing to help you just as much as you are there and willing to help them. 5. Trust in the ProcessLet’s face it: nobody has all of the answers, and that’s absolutely okay. While it may feel like we should have everything figured out, we actually have plenty of time ahead of us. Life’s about the journey, not just the destination and I’ve learned that you will always end up exactly where you’re meant to be, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Final Thoughts As this special chapter of my life comes to a close, I feel so appreciative of McMaster University for all of the people, experiences and opportunities brought my way. I look forward to carrying with me the lessons I’ve learned to my next chapter at Humber College in the fall (and beyond!).Here’s to our dreams taking flight and us fearlessly embracing the possibilities that await us! Cheers and congratulations to the Class of 2023!  
  • The Impact of Outcome Campus Connect ...

    Hello, readers! My name is Courtney Crites, and as a recent graduate from McMaster University, where I earned my Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree, I’m now on the cusp of such an exciting new chapter in my life. In the fall, I’ll be attending Humber College for their Public Relations Graduate Certificate program, a step forward in pursuing my passion for effective communication. Alongside my studies, I currently work as a content creator for Outcome Campus Connect, where I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the remarkable impact this platform has had on me. As I reflect on my journey being a student content creator with Outcome Campus Connect (OCC) for the last 10 months, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the invaluable experience I have gained. It’s so special for me to get to share my personal journey of growth and the impact working for OCC has had on shaping my path from a student content creator and now a well-prepared new graduate.  Let’s dive in, shall we?:  Discovering the Power of Student Voices: Outcome Campus Connect is a platform dedicated solely to the growth and development of university and college students/grads. From the moment I became a part of this small but mighty content team, I realized the significance of amplifying student voices much like my own. Being a content creator for OCC has provided such a safe space where I could freely express my thoughts, insights and experiences on a platform that valued my perspective. This not only helped me develop my unique voice but also exposed me to diverse viewpoints and inspired meaningful conversations within our OCC community.Sharing my personal opinion: Extracurricular Experience Makes You a Candidate in a League of Your Own Connecting and Collaborating: Outcome Campus Connect has been so instrumental in developing my confidence in fostering connections and facilitating collaborations among my peers and industry professionals. Exploring OCC’s job board during my most recent job search provided me with such a wealth of opportunities to explore internships, part-time jobs, and even full-time post-grad positions. By expanding my ability to network through my work as a content creator (especially through connecting with individuals to inform written pieces), I’ve been able to seek guidance and build a robust professional network, which I feel so lucky to have as I begin my transition from student to graduate.A must-read externally informed piece: Student Self-Care Advice from Psychotherapist Victoria Emanuele Bridging the Gap: As I wrap up my time as an undergraduate student, I feel so lucky to be an OCC content creator, mainly for the transformative impact it’s had on my personal growth. Orbis and OCC’s commitment to empowering students and graduates has nurtured my potential, honed my skills as a writer and content creator, and instilled in me the confidence to embrace new challenges. Thanks to the invaluable experiences and resources provided to be my OCC over the last 10 months (and hopefully many more to come!), I feel so well-equipped to make a meaningful contribution in my field (marketing and PR) and shape a promising future.A piece I’m proud of: How to Email Effectively in your Job SearchFinal ThoughtsIf you would’ve told me in August 2022 that I would be the writer I am today, I don’t know that I would’ve bought it. OCC has allowed me to grow immensely both personally and professionally and I look forward to continuing to work with them, improving every week as both a writer and content creator! 
  • The Humble Narcissist: Balancing Con ...

    In today's competitive workplace, striking the right balance between confidence and humility can significantly impact one's career trajectory. While narcissism is often associated with negative connotations, recent research has shed light on a new concept: the humble narcissist. This intriguing blend of traits offers a unique perspective on navigating the professional world. In this blog post, we'll explore the idea of a humble narcissist within the workplace environment and discuss how adopting their practices can increase success at work.What is a narcissist?: A narcissist is an individual who exhibits excessive self-love, self-centeredness, and a grandiose sense of their own importance. They often have an exaggerated sense of entitlement and seek constant admiration and attention from others. Narcissists tend to lack empathy and have difficulty forming genuine and meaningful connections with people.The term "narcissist" originates from Greek mythology, specifically from the story of Narcissus. According to the myth, Narcissus was a beautiful young man who was known for his extraordinary physical attractiveness. However, he was also exceptionally proud and arrogant. One day, Narcissus encountered his own reflection in a pool of water and became infatuated with it, believing it to be a perfect and flawless image. He was so captivated by his own reflection that he could not tear himself away, eventually dying by the poolside.The concept of narcissism in psychology draws its roots from this mythological tale. The term was first introduced by Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychoanalyst, who used it to describe a personality trait characterized by excessive self-love and a lack of consideration for others. Since then, the understanding and study of narcissism have evolved, leading to various theories and approaches within psychology.Understanding the Psychology of Narcissism: To delve into the concept of a humble narcissist, it is crucial to grasp the psychology behind narcissism itself. In his enlightening TED Talk, "The Psychology of Narcissism," W. Keith Campbell emphasizes that narcissism exists on a spectrum, ranging from healthy to pathological levels. While pathological narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy, healthy narcissism manifests as a positive self-regard that encourages personal growth and success. Identifying the Two Types of Narcissists at Work: In her TED Ideas article, "The 2 Types of Narcissists You'll Meet at Work," Emma Seppälä highlights the importance of distinguishing between overt and covert narcissists in the workplace. Overt narcissists are more easily recognizable, as they display a pronounced sense of entitlement, seek constant attention, and are driven by power and recognition. On the other hand, covert narcissists tend to mask their self-centeredness behind a façade of humility and likability, making them harder to detect.The Humble Narcissist: A Winning Combination: A humble narcissist is an individual who possesses healthy levels of narcissistic traits, such as confidence, self-assuredness, and ambition, while also demonstrating genuine humility, empathy, and a willingness to collaborate. This unique combination can be a recipe for success in the workplace. Here are a few practices to consider adopting from the humble narcissist's playbook:Self-Reflection and Awareness: Humble narcissists excel in self-reflection, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to assess your own abilities objectively, identifying areas for improvement while also embracing and leveraging your strengths. Confidence and Assertiveness: Embrace your confidence and assertiveness, but do so with humility. Recognize your own accomplishments and capabilities, and don't shy away from expressing your ideas and opinions in a respectful manner. Remember to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of others. Empathy and Collaboration: Develop and nurture empathy towards your colleagues and team members. Seek to understand their perspectives, listen actively, and foster an inclusive and supportive environment. Collaborative efforts often lead to more innovative solutions and stronger team dynamics. Continuous Learning and Growth: Humble narcissists have a hunger for knowledge and personal growth. Invest in ongoing professional development, seek feedback, and actively engage in opportunities to expand your skill set. Approach challenges with a growth mindset, embracing them as opportunities for learning and improvement. Graciousness in Success and Failure: While celebrating your achievements, remember to be gracious and acknowledge the contributions of others who supported your success. Similarly, when faced with setbacks or failures, embrace them as learning experiences and use them as springboards for personal and professional growth. Striking a balance between confidence and humility is essential for success in the modern workplace. By adopting the practices of a humble narcissist, you can harness the positive aspects of healthy narcissism while also fostering empathy, collaboration, and personal growth. Remember, humility does not mean downplaying your achievements or self-worth; rather, it involves recognizing the value of others and creating an environment that promotes collective success. Embrace your inner (humble) narcissist!
  • How to Email Effectively in your Job ...

    When it comes to job searching, email can be an incredibly powerful tool. Whether you're following up on an application, scheduling an interview, or sending a thank you note, your emails can make a big difference in how you're perceived by potential employers. Below, you’ll find some tips and templates to help you email effectively during your job search.General Best Practices for Emailing During a Job SearchBefore we dive into specific templates, let's review some general best practices for emailing during a job search:Keep your emails short and to the point. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy people, so as you can imagine, they’d rather not read a lengthy email if they don’t have to Use a professional email address. If your current email address is something like "partygurl88@gmail.com," you should consider creating a new one that's more appropriate for job searching Address the recipient by name. Use the person's first name (e.g. "Hi Jane,") if you've already had contact with them. If you haven't had contact yet, use their full name and title (e.g. "Hello John Smith, Hiring Manager") Use proper grammar and spelling. Typos and grammatical errors can make you look careless and unprofessional Avoid using slang or informal language. Even if you're emailing with a recruiter who seems friendly, it's important to keep your language professional Use a clear subject line. Make it easy for the recipient to understand what your email is about by using a clear, descriptive subject line (e.g. Thank you! Or Interview Follow-Up) Include a clear call to action. Make it clear what you want the recipient to do next (e.g. "Please let me know if there's anything else I can provide," or "I look forward to hearing back from you," etc.).TemplatesFirst Reach Out Email Template Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your Name]. I am a [insert your current job position or educational background] with [insert number of years of experience] years of experience in. I’ve [include noteworthy achievement]. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I’m very passionate about what I do. I heard from [person/website] that your company is looking to fill a full-time position for [job title]. I’ve heard great things about your company’s commitment to [something you value], and I’m enthusiastic to hear more about the possibilities within your organization. I would love to connect and have the opportunity to learn more about exactly what your expectations are. Could we schedule a call sometime next week? I’m free [insert 3 time slots], but I’m happy to be flexible. Let me know what you think and I look forward to hearing from you! Best Regards,[Your Name]Thank You Email TemplateAfter a job interview, it's always a good idea to send a thank you email to the interviewer. Here's a template you can use:Hi [Interviewer's Name],I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the [Job Position] at [Company Name]. It was a pleasure to meet you and discuss how my skills and experience align with the requirements of the role.Our conversation reinforced my excitement and enthusiasm to join your team and contribute to [Company Name]'s success. Our conversation further reinforced my enthusiasm for the position. I am confident that my background in [relevant skills/experience] and my passion for [specific aspect of the company] make me a strong fit for this role.Again, thank you so much for your honesty, insight, and time today. Please feel free to reach out if you require any additional information or have any further questions. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps.Best regards,[Your Name]Follow-Up Email TemplateIf you haven't heard back from a recruiter or hiring manager after submitting an application or having an interview, it's okay to follow up with an email. Here's a template you can use:Hi [Recruiter/Hiring Manager's Name],I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up on my [recent application/recent interview] for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I am very interested in the opportunity to join your team, and I wanted to check in on the status of my application.Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide to support my candidacy. I appreciate your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.Best regards,[Your Name]Final ThoughtsIt’s true - effective emailing during your job search can enhance your chances of success! By incorporating the best practices and templates into your job search, you can present yourself as a professional candidate who stands out from the competition. Always remember to personalize your emails, express gratitude, and maintain clear and concise communication. Your email etiquette and attention to detail will demonstrate your professionalism and eagerness to join their team, leaving a positive impression with your potential employers! Best of luck in your job search!  
  • A Shoe is Just a Shoe Until Someone ...

    To have a career as a brand strategist takes time and first requires tackling various roles and projects within the marketing industry, ideally working with a variety or products and services, to be able to see long term growth objectives with a laser focus and seasoned vision. Before you can claim to be a brand strategist you need an education, and ideally that education is aligned (see options below) but it doesn't always work out that way. Here are a few examples of what you can study to help prepare you to gain the in-field experience you'll need on this career path:Bachelor's Degree in Marketing: A bachelor's degree in marketing provides a comprehensive foundation in marketing principles, consumer behavior, market research, advertising, branding, and sales. This degree can be a solid starting point for entry-level marketing positions. Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration: A bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus on marketing can also lead to a career in marketing. This degree offers a broader understanding of business functions while incorporating marketing courses. MBA in Marketing: A Masters in Business Administration Marketing builds on your bachelor's-level coursework and aims to better prepare you for senior level positions. It can include courses like: organizational behaviour and development, branding, strategic marketing, and so on. Bachelor's Degree in Communications: A bachelor's degree in communications, particularly with a concentration in marketing or advertising, can be relevant for marketing careers. It emphasizes effective communication skills, messaging strategies, and media relations. Bachelor's Degree in Advertising: A specialized degree in advertising focuses on advertising strategies, creative development, media planning, and campaign management. It can be beneficial for roles that primarily involve advertising and promotions. Master of Science in Advertising: Once you've completed an undergraduate program, you can chose to learn more about producing and managing advertisements. Advertising and marketing work alongside each other and education in both is critical to success. Some key topics included are: advertising theory, research methods for advertising, and communication strategy. Master of Science in Marketing Management: A master's in marketing management is a way to cover marketing-specific competencies and administrative techniques with the goal of stepping into leadership positions as businesses seeking support with: market research, account management, product strategy, and design and manufacturing management, for example. Bachelor's Degree in Digital Marketing: With the growing importance of digital platforms, a degree in digital marketing equips you with skills in online marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, and digital advertising. Bachelor's Degree in Psychology or Sociology: While not directly related to marketing, degrees in psychology or sociology can provide insights into consumer behavior, decision-making processes, and market research techniques. These fields can be advantageous in understanding target audiences.The right education can help tee you up in your career but if you are seeking to become a brand strategist you will need patience and commitment to your craft long term. Noted above, learning the many facets of an ever-changing marketing industry requires that you genuinely like and remain curious about your work and nimble in your approach  - this helps you stay innovative. The exact timeline can vary depending on individual circumstances and the path you choose to pursue.  A career as a brand strategist more about becoming than landing a role as a brand strategist - the title says nothing unless you have earned a wealth of experience, throughout years of work, to truly understand, conceptualize, and contribute to the role. Here are a few ways to help you on this path:Entry-Level Experience: After completing your degree, gain practical experience in marketing or advertising roles. Look for entry-level positions in marketing departments, advertising agencies, or brand management roles. This experience will provide you with a foundation of knowledge and skills in the industry. The duration of this phase can vary, but it's common to spend 2-4 years in entry-level roles. Advanced Education: if you're enjoying your work so far, in the field, consider pursuing a master's degree in a relevant field, such as brand management, marketing, or advertising (see examples above). This step is optional but can help you gain deeper knowledge and specialized skills. A master's degree typically takes 1-2 years to complete. Specialization and Skill Development: While gaining practical experience, focus on developing specific skills related to brand strategy. This includes understanding consumer behavior, market research techniques, brand positioning, messaging strategies, and creative development. Stay updated with industry trends and developments by attending workshops, conferences, and online courses. There are so many offerings now online which can help you hone in your skills and gain professional certifications from the comfort of home and for a fraction of the price of traditional educational institutions. Continuous learning is critical to your success in this role, as it will rely on you being on the pulse of all things at once. Find a mentor and keep networking: Seek opportunities to learn from seasoned brand strategists and people on your team or within your organization. Don't be afraid to ask questions, have informative coffee chats, and be expressive about your desire to hone your craft further - hopefully, with their support. Also, connect with professionals in the field through networking events, industry conferences, or online platforms. Mentors can provide valuable guidance, insights, and support as you progress in your career. Stick to & Be Confident in Your Vision: No idea is too big if it is broken down into steps. So long as your have a clear destination, you can work backwards to strategize the path toward it. Don't be afraid to articulate big, bold or crazy-sounding ideas to your team. Marketing requires creativity and if you're truly creative it may be new for many people because it hasn't yet been done. Listen: You won't be good at what you do unless you are tuned-in - to other people's thoughts, ideas, objectives, and motivations, as well as the feelings and attitudes of the environment you're working in.  Don't be Afraid to Fail: If you're doing it right, you'll fail and have more bad ideas than you succeed and have good ones. True innovation requires you remove your ego from who you are and what you do in this role. You have to be your biggest advocate and truly believe in what you're doing long term. In conclusion, becoming a seasoned brand strategist is a continuous journey that requires a combination of education, experience, and ongoing learning. It's important to be proactive, seek opportunities for growth, and continuously refine your skills to excel in this field. Most of all, a successful career in this role is heavily rooted in experience and so achieving this goal does take time - it is one that is more about becoming than the title itself. "A shoe is just a shoe until someone steps into it and gives it meaning." - Air 
  • How to Ask for a Promotion & Salary ...

    Have you ever held back from asking for that well-deserved promotion and salary increase? You're not alone! But fear not, we've got you covered with some valuable insights:Here are the reasons that often hold employees back:Fear of rejection: Don't let the fear of hearing "no" hinder your progress. Embrace rejection as part of the journey to success.  Lack of confidence: Believe in yourself and your abilities. Recognize your worth and the impact you've made. You're capable of more!  Uncertainty and imposter syndrome: It's natural to doubt yourself, but remember your accomplishments and the value you bring. Break free from self-limiting beliefs!  Fear of rocking the boat: Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but progress often comes from taking risks. Dare to advocate for yourself!  Lack of information: Knowledge is power. Research salary benchmarks and gather evidence of your contributions. Prepare yourself with solid facts and figures.  Perception of being greedy or entitled: Advocating for what you deserve is not selfish—it's a sign of self-worth. Communicate your value confidently and professionally.  Lack of a clear career path: If your organization lacks clarity on growth opportunities, take control of your own destiny. Identify your goals and present a compelling case for advancement. When it's time to initiate the "promotion and raise conversation," follow these steps:Assess your performance: Take an objective look at your accomplishments, projects, and additional responsibilities. Gather concrete evidence of your value. Research salary benchmarks: Understand the market rates for your role and industry. Use reputable sources to determine a realistic salary range.  Consider your timing: Choose a suitable moment, such as a performance review or after achieving a significant milestone. Avoid sensitive periods for your supervisor or the company. Schedule a meeting: Request a dedicated meeting to discuss your career progression and goals. Give your supervisor time to prepare and understand your intentions. Prepare your case: Build a persuasive argument highlighting your contributions and alignment with company goals. Emphasize the value you bring to the organization. Practice your pitch: Rehearse your key points and responses to potential objections. Boost your confidence and ensure a smooth delivery. Be professional and confident: During the meeting, showcase professionalism and confidence. Clearly articulate your request and focus on the positive impact it will have on your career and the company. Discuss future goals: Share your aspirations for growth and demonstrate how a promotion would benefit both you and the organization. Be open to negotiation: While your desired outcome may not be fully met, be open to exploring alternative benefits or responsibilities that contribute to your professional development. Follow up in writing: Send a thoughtful follow-up email summarizing the main points discussed and reiterating your request. Keep the conversation fresh in your supervisor's mind.Remember, approaching this conversation strategically doesn't guarantee immediate results, but it greatly increases your chances of success. Stay positive, bet on yourself, and trust in your hard work. Your potential is limitless!
  • Mastering Conflict Resolution at Wor ...

    Conflict is an inevitable part of any workplace. When diverse individuals come together, disagreements and clashes of interest are bound to arise. However, how we handle these conflicts determines whether they become detrimental to the work environment or opportunities for growth and collaboration. Effective conflict resolution is a vital skill for any employee or manager, as it not only enhances teamwork but also promotes productivity and overall job satisfaction. In this blog post, we will explore strategies and best practices for resolving conflicts at work, fostering a harmonious and productive work environment.Encourage Open Communication:The first step towards resolving conflicts is to establish a culture of open communication. Encourage employees to express their concerns, ideas, and opinions in a respectful manner. Actively listen to each person's perspective, providing a safe space where they feel heard and understood. This not only helps in identifying underlying issues but also prevents conflicts from escalating by addressing them at an early stage.Practice Empathy and Understanding:Empathy plays a crucial role in conflict resolution. Put yourself in the shoes of others involved in the conflict, seeking to understand their viewpoints, motivations, and concerns. Recognize that people have different backgrounds, experiences, and communication styles. By showing empathy, you create an environment that fosters understanding, reduces tension, and promotes a collaborative mindset.Identify the Root Cause:When conflicts arise, it's essential to identify the underlying causes rather than merely addressing the surface-level issues. Encourage individuals involved to reflect on the core reasons behind their disagreements. Are there miscommunications, differences in values, or conflicting goals? By delving deeper, you can uncover the true source of conflict and find a more effective resolution.Seek a Win-Win Solution:Conflict resolution is not about determining winners or losers but finding a mutually beneficial solution. Encourage individuals to brainstorm ideas and alternatives collaboratively, promoting compromise and cooperation. Look for common ground and shared objectives, highlighting areas where both parties can achieve their goals without compromising the interests of others. A win-win approach fosters positive relationships and strengthens the overall team dynamic.Utilize Mediation and Facilitation:In complex or escalated conflicts, consider involving a neutral third party to mediate and facilitate the resolution process. A skilled mediator can help facilitate communication, ensure fairness, and guide the conflicting parties towards finding a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation provides a structured environment for open dialogue and can be highly effective in resolving deep-rooted conflicts.Encourage Conflict Resolution Skills Development:Conflict resolution should be viewed as an essential skillset in the workplace. Provide training and development opportunities for employees to enhance their conflict resolution skills. These programs can focus on active listening, effective communication, negotiation, and emotional intelligence. By equipping individuals with these tools, you empower them to address conflicts constructively and contribute to a positive work environment.Implement Clear Policies and Procedures:Establishing clear policies and procedures for conflict resolution sets expectations and provides a framework for addressing disputes. Communicate these guidelines to all employees, ensuring they understand the process and know where to turn when conflicts arise. Clear procedures not only streamline conflict resolution but also promote fairness and transparency within the organization.Conflict resolution is an essential aspect of any thriving workplace. By fostering open communication, empathy, and understanding, organizations can transform conflicts into opportunities for growth and collaboration. Encouraging a win-win mindset, utilizing mediation when necessary, and investing in conflict resolution skills development are key to creating a harmonious work environment. By prioritizing conflict resolution, businesses can enhance productivity, teamwork, and job satisfaction, ultimately leading to long-term success.
  • How an Asynchronous Workplace Cultur ...

    The traditional 9-to-5 office grind is gradually being replaced by a more flexible and dynamic approach known as asynchronous work. Asynchronous work is a style where employees are free to complete their tasks and collaborate with team members unbounded by strict 'real-time' communication or rigid schedules. This shift is gaining momentum, and for good reason. Below, we explore the concept of asynchronous work and how it can revolutionize productivity, employee well-being, and teamwork.Enhanced Productivity: One of the key advantages of asynchronous work is the potential for enhanced productivity. By allowing employees to work on their own schedule, they can optimize their energy levels and focus during their most productive hours. This flexibility enables individuals to better manage their personal and professional responsibilities, reducing stress and distractions. When employees can set their own pace and work autonomously, they often experience a boost in creativity, problem-solving, and overall output. The elimination of constant interruptions from real-time communication platforms can also result in fewer distractions and uninterrupted periods of deep work. Work-Life Balance and Employee Well-being: Asynchronous work promotes a healthier work-life balance, which iscrucial for employee well-being and satisfaction. With the ability to choose when and where they work, employees gain the freedom to structure their day around personal commitments, such as childcare, fitness, or pursuing hobbies. This flexibility can reduce burnout, increase job satisfaction, and improve mental health. By granting employees more control over their time, organizations can foster a culture of trust and empower individuals to take ownership of their work and personal lives simultaneously. Global Collaboration and Time Zone Flexibility: In an increasingly interconnected world, asynchronous work breaks down geographical barriers and enables global collaboration. With team members spread across different time zones, synchronous communication becomes challenging. Asynchronous work allows team members to work on their own schedules, contributing their part and passing the baton to colleagues in other time zones. This approach not only ensures smoother handovers but also facilitates a continuous workflow, leading to increased efficiency and faster project completion. It also opens the door to a more diverse workforce, as location is no longer a limitation for collaboration. Increased Focus on Quality and Thoughtful Decision-making: Asynchronous work encourages employees to approach tasks and decision-making thoughtfully and intentionally. Without the pressure of immediate responses, employees have the time to gather information, conduct research, and carefully consider their contributions. This leads to higher quality outputs, more innovative ideas, and thorough problem-solving. With asynchronous work, decisions are made based on analysis and reflection rather than rushed opinions, contributing to better overall outcomes. Reduced Meeting Overload: Meetings are often criticized for being time-consuming and unproductive. With asynchronous work, the reliance on synchronous meetings can be significantly reduced. Instead of spending hours in back-to-back meetings, teams can leverage asynchronous tools to collaborate, share updates, and discuss ideas. This shift minimizes interruptions and allows individuals to dedicate uninterrupted blocks of time to their tasks, resulting in increased productivity and greater focus.Embracing asynchronous work can revolutionize a workplace. Prioritizing flexibility, productivity, employee well-being, and global collaboration, helps organizations unlock the full potential of their teams. While synchronous communication still holds value, incorporating asynchronous practices encourages a more balanced, efficient, and inclusive work environment and with this shift organizations can adapt to the changing needs and expectations of modern employees. The result? A happier, more engaged workforce and ultimately...greater success.
  • Why Companies Need Stay Interviews - ...

    In today's highly competitive business landscape, retaining top talent has become a paramount concern for organizations. Companies are increasingly investing in strategies to retain their skilled employees, recognizing that the cost of turnover goes beyond the direct financial implications. One powerful tool that has gained significant momentum in recent years is the "stay interview." Unlike traditional exit interviews, stay interviews focus on engaging employees who are still with the company, creating an opportunity for dialogue and understanding their needs and aspirations. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of stay interviews and how they can foster employee retention and organizational success.What are Stay Interviews?Stay interviews are structured conversations between employees and their managers designed to identify factors that contribute to employee satisfaction and engagement. Unlike performance reviews, which typically focus on past performance, stay interviews are future-oriented, seeking to understand employees' motivations, concerns, and aspirations to help organizations retain valuable talent.Proactive Retention Strategy: Stay interviews empower organizations to take a proactive approach to retention rather than waiting for exit interviews when it may be too late. By regularly engaging employees in meaningful conversations, employers can identify potential issues and address them before they become critical concerns, increasing the likelihood of retaining top performers.Individualized Approach: Every employee has unique needs, aspirations, and motivations. Stay interviews provide a platform for open dialogue and allow managers to gain valuable insights into what drives each employee. By tailoring engagement and development strategies to individual preferences, organizations can create a more personalized and fulfilling work experience, boosting employee satisfaction and loyalty.Employee Engagement and Satisfaction: Feeling valued and heard are crucial components of employee engagement and job satisfaction. Stay interviews demonstrate a genuine interest in employees' opinions, concerns, and career aspirations, making them feel respected and appreciated. This increased engagement positively impacts overall job satisfaction, productivity, and commitment to the organization.Uncovering Challenges and Concerns: Stay interviews enable employees to voice any challenges or concerns they may be facing within the organization. By proactively addressing these issues, employers can create a supportive work environment, prevent potential burnout, and enhance the employee experience. Furthermore, by identifying common themes or recurring challenges, organizations can make data-driven decisions to improve overall workplace culture and practices.Talent Development and Succession Planning: Stay interviews can help organizations identify high-potential employees and create tailored development plans. By discussing long-term goals, aspirations, and career paths, managers can align employee objectives with the organization's strategic goals. This not only fosters professional growth but also establishes a clear roadmap for succession planning, allowing organizations to nurture internal talent and fill critical roles from within.Retention (ROI): High turnover can be a significant drain on resources, both in terms of time and money. The cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees is often far greater than investing in the retention of existing talent. Stay interviews offer a cost-effective means to retain key employees and reduce turnover, leading to increased productivity and overall organizational success.Implementing Effective Stay InterviewsTo harness the full potential of stay interviews, organizations should consider the following best practices:Train Managers: Provide comprehensive training for managers to conduct effective stay interviews. Equip them with active listening skills, empathy, and the ability to ask open-ended questions to foster meaningful conversations.Ensure Confidentiality: Assure employees that their feedback will be kept confidential to encourage open and honest communication during stay interviews. This builds trust and facilitates genuine dialogue.Take Action: Act on the insights gathered during stay interviews. Develop action plans to address concerns, provide growth opportunities, and enhance employee satisfaction. Communicate progress to show employees that their feedback is valued and acted upon.Regularly Schedule Stay Interviews: Integrate stay interviews into regular performance management practices, such as quarterly or annual reviews. Consistency is key to building a culture of engagement and retention.In an era where talent retention is a strategic imperative, stay interviews offer organizations a powerful tool to understand and address the needs and aspirations of their employees. By conducting these proactive conversations, organizations can foster engagement, enhance job satisfaction, and increase retention rates. The insights gained from stay interviews not only benefit individual employees but also help shape a thriving and successful organization in the long run. By investing in stay interviews, companies can cultivate a culture of open communication, employee growth, and loyalty, ultimately driving organizational success.If you work for a company that has not yet implemented stay interviews, why not ask? If your company culture is open and receptive to improvement it will be a value-added tool that they will appreciate being notified of.
  • Summer Reading List: 10 Books to Rea ...

    Ah, the sweet freedom of summer! Whether you’re lounging by the pool, embarking on a road trip, or simply wanting to catch up on some reading (for fun or for learning… instead of for your level 4 chemistry class), I’ve curated a summer reading list just for you. Here are 10 recommendations based on what type of book you might be looking for! If you’re looking for…  A light read at the beach or the park: Happy Place, by Emily Henry: A contemporary romance novel that follows the story of two best friends with opposite personalities, embarking on an annual summer vacation tradition. With its charming characters, witty banter, and heartfelt exploration of both friendship and love, this book is the perfect choice for a summer read, especially for those who enjoy a mix of humour, nostalgia, and tender moments. I love heading out to a nearby park on my lunch break during the summertime, so this is a great option for a book to read while out in the sun!  Discovery of a debut Indigenous author: Becoming Kin, by Patty Krawec and Nick Estes: This book is a powerful collection of essays that explores Indigenous struggles for justice, land, and sovereignty. This book offers personal narratives and insightful analysis, shedding light on the ongoing fight for Indigenous rights, challenging structures, and envisioning a future rooted in solidarity. For anyone interested in understanding Indigenous perspectives, I know you’ll find this book to be a very thought-provoking read.  A classic to binge-read: Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison: This is a groundbreaking novel in American literature that follows the journey of an unnamed African-American narrator navigating the complexities of racial identity, social invisibility and personal discovery, living in the United States in the early 1900s. Any readers interested in a profound exploration of the African-American experience, the effects of systemic oppression, and the quest for individual identity will absolutely find this book to be a compelling and enlightening read.  A change of perspective: 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, by Brianna Weist: One of my personal favourites, this a thought-provoking collection of essays covering a wide range of topics including personal growth, spirituality, relationships, and self-reflection. The writing really challenges you to question your beliefs, expand your perspectives, and embark on a journey of self-discovery. This book is perfect for quick reading, and for individuals seeking inspiration and to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. A title that is trending on #BookTok: The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller: The amount of times I’ve seen this book talked about on TikTok is enough reason to go out and read it! It’s a captivating retelling of the mythological story of Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, from the perspective of his companion and lover, Patroclus. Any readers who enjoy Greek mythology, beautifully crafted narratives, and emotionally resonant storytelling will find themselves encapsulated by this book and its extremely vivid portrayal of ancient legends.  A book to help you learn something new: Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker: This is a fascinating exploration of the science behind sleep and its crucial role in our overall health and wellbeing. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the science of sleep, improving their habits, and prioritizing the vital role of sleep in our lives. It provides educational and eye-opening insights that will inspire readers to reevaluate their sleep routines and make positive changes for better overall health.  A cookbook for your free time: Half Baked Harvest, by Tieghan Gerard: Half Baked Harvest has been the talk of the town these days! This is a cookbook filled with delicious and accessible recipes that emphasize simplicity without sacrificing flavour. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, this is a super great resource for anyone who wants to explore new flavours and enjoy homemade meals in their free time! Some advice to follow: Atomic Habits, by James Clear: If you’re looking to optimize your productivity, improve your habits, and make incremental but meaningful progress towards your goals, this is the book for you. It is a transformative guide that explores the power of small habits and their compounding effects on personal and professional success. This book offers practical and actionable strategies and advice for building positive habits, breaking bad ones, and creating an environment that supports lasting change.  A thriller you may not have heard of: When No One is Watching, by Alyssa Cole: This gripping thriller explores themes of gentrification, racial tensions and psychological suspense, following Sydney Green, who suspects a sinister conspiracy brewing in her Brooklyn neighbourhood. This book is both a compelling and thought-provoking read that delves into issues of race, community, and secrets, making it such a great choice for fans of psychological thrillers and social commentary.  A biography by an iconic role model: The Light We Carry, by Michelle Obama: This is an inspiring and insightful biography offering practical wisdom and powerful strategies for navigating uncertainty and staying balanced in today’s world. Through fresh stories, personal reflections, and candid discussions, Michelle Obama addresses important questions about building relationships, finding strength within differences, and overcoming self-doubt. It is absolutely a must-read for those seeking guidance and inspiration - her confidence, determination, and worldview are bound to inspire you as a reader and as an individual.   
  • Becoming an Employee With Big Ideas ...

    The ability to generate and execute on big ideas is crucial for success on any team. Businesses seek employees who not only possess innovative thinking but have the drive and capability to transform those ideas into tangible results. In this blog post, we will explore essential strategies and mindset shifts that can empower you to become an employee who effectively executes on big ideas.Foster a Growth Mindset: Adopting a growth mindset is fundamental to unlocking your potential. Embrace the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. Recognize that failures are stepping stones to success and view obstacles as opportunities for growth. By cultivating a growth mindset, you'll be more open to taking risks, experimenting, and ultimately executing on big ideas with resilience. Seek Knowledge and Skill Development: To execute on big ideas, you need to continuously expand your knowledge base and develop new skills. Take advantage of learning opportunities such as training programs, workshops, online courses, and industry conferences. Stay updated on the latest trends and advancements in your field. Broadening your expertise equips you with the necessary tools to execute your big ideas effectively. Nurture a Collaborative Spirit: Great ideas often flourish when individuals come together and synergize their strengths. Foster a collaborative spirit by actively seeking diverse perspectives and valuing input from colleagues. Engage in meaningful discussions, brainstorming sessions, and cross-functional collaborations. Embrace feedback and be receptive to constructive criticism, as it can lead to improved execution and enhanced ideas. Break Down Big Ideas into Actionable Steps: Executing on big ideas can feel overwhelming if not properly organized. Break down your ambitious goals into smaller, actionable steps. Create a clear roadmap with specific milestones and deadlines. This approach allows you to focus on one task at a time, making the overall execution process more manageable and less daunting. Regularly assess your progress and make adjustments as needed.Embrace Agility and Adaptability: The business landscape is dynamic, and unforeseen challenges are inevitable. Being agile and adaptable is essential when executing on big ideas. Embrace change with a positive mindset, be open to new strategies, and adjust your plans when necessary. Flexibility allows you to pivot quickly, leverage emerging opportunities, and overcome obstacles that might arise along the way. Cultivate Effective Communication Skills: Strong communication skills are crucial for executing on big ideas, as they facilitate effective collaboration and ensure that your vision is clearly understood. Articulate your ideas confidently and concisely, tailoring your message to different stakeholders. Practice active listening to foster better understanding and gather valuable insights. Clear and transparent communication helps build trust and garner support for your ideas. Develop Resilience and Perseverance: The journey of executing big ideas is rarely smooth sailing. There will be setbacks, failures, and moments of self-doubt. Developing resilience and perseverance is essential to stay motivated and overcome obstacles. Learn from your failures, adapt your approach, and remain committed to your vision. Remember that the most successful individuals often faced numerous challenges before achieving their goals.Becoming an employee who executes on big ideas requires a combination of mindset, skills, and strategies. Embrace a growth mindset, continuously seek knowledge, and collaborate with others. Break down big ideas into actionable steps, remain agile and adaptable, and communicate effectively. Above all, develop resilience and persevere through setbacks. By following these principles, you'll be well on your way to executing on big ideas and making a significant impact in your organization.
  • Student Self-Care Advice From Psycho ...

    In today’s fast-paced and demanding academic landscape, students often find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of responsibilities, pressures and deadlines, sometimes leaving them burnt out, exhausted and lacking motivation. To shed light on the crucial role of rest and relaxation in students’ lives, I reached out to Victoria Emanuele, a seasoned psychotherapist with a deep understanding and passion for mental health and well-being, who owns and operates Moving Mountains Psychotherapy (@mm.psychotherapy on Instagram). Below, we will explore Victoria’s insights and discover the importance of prioritizing self-care, finding balance, and nurturing mental health through the restorative power of rest and relaxation: What makes rest and relaxation important for students, especially during the summer break? Maintaining a healthy balance is so important especially because of the demanding nature of the school year. Juggling academic tasks, social commitments and other responsibilities can leave you feeling drained. It’s so important to prioritize self care and to listen to your body and your mind throughout the year, but especially in the summer months. Taking the time to reset and recover from the academic and exam season will help you enter the upcoming school year or work with a refreshed mindset. Investing in self-care not only allows you to recharge but also equips you with the necessary energy to pursue your goals and excel in your endeavours. By prioritizing self-care, you can nurture your well-being, improve your overall productivity, and approach your tasks with more energy and intention.Are there any specific activities or practices that you would recommend for students to help them relax and recharge?Finding the right approach to self-care and relaxation can be challenging just because it’s different for everybody. Listening to your body and mind means recognizing and honouring your unique needs, which can look different from person to person. Some days, you may feel the need to take it easy and engage in low-key activities, while other days, you might crave movement, socializing, or solitude. I think mindfulness is the root of a lot of relaxation. I always encourage people to incorporate mindfulness into their lives in whatever way works best for them, because it enhances focus and allows you to be present in the moment, rather than being consumed by thoughts of the past or future. This could involve engaging in meditation and yoga, but it could also be as simple as savouring the present moment, practicing deep breathing exercises, or engaging in conversations with friends or family about how you’re feeling. Recognizing that relaxation and self-care are highly individualized experiences, it’s important to explore and discover what works best for you. Embrace the diversity of relaxation methods and find what resonates with your unique needs and preferences. How can students work towards balancing rest and relaxation with other important activities such as summer jobs, internships, or academics? Achieving balance in your life can be difficult, but oftentimes it comes down to self-awareness. It’s important to recognize when you’re putting all of your energy into one area, and make conscious efforts to avoid that. One way to do this that I’ve found to be effective is to seek accountability from friends, family, or even a therapist. Creating a well-balanced schedule for yourself can also be very helpful. For instance, if you work a 9-5 job, make sure that you allocate time in the evening for self-care and engage in activities you enjoy on the weekends. This way, you can prioritize both your personal well-being and the things you love outside of work, whether it’s pursuing a hobby, watching TV, or exercising. It’s crucial to be mindful of not pouring all your energy into a single aspect of your life, be it work or relaxation. Striving for balance means filling the different areas of your life to prevent burnout. I always encourage people to remember that balance is quite subjective and varies from person to person. Some individuals may require more social interaction, while others may need more alone time. It’s about understanding what balance looks like for you and ensuring you don’t exhaust yourself by overcommitting to any one thing. What are some of the benefits that students can experience from taking time to rest and recharge during the summer? Taking time to rest and recharge can have noticeable benefits, especially when transitioning into a new school year. Allowing yourself to rest without feeling guilty creates a positive mindset and a renewed sense of motivation. By prioritizing rest, you set yourself up for success by being able to balance your commitments and approach your work with clarity and focus. When you give yourself permission to rest, it creates a positive cycle. You become more motivated, energized, and dedicated to your endeavours. Taking time to rest and recharge during the summer allows you to enter the upcoming school year feeling refreshed instead of continuously drained. What are some negative consequences or challenges students might experience if they don’t take time for resting? Burnout is the first thing that comes to mind and that affects individuals in various areas of their lives, whether it's work, school, or other responsibilities. When we neglect to give ourselves the necessary time to rest and meet our own needs, we may feel burnt out, leading to feelings of exhaustion, lack of motivation, and diminished excitement or passion for things we once enjoyed. This burnout can significantly impact our mood, leaving us with anxiety, sadness, or a decreased desire for social interaction. It creates a negative spiral that can be challenging to get out of. The root of self-care lies in establishing a positive feedback loop. By recognizing the importance of rest and making it a priority, we can prevent the onset of burnout and avoid falling into a negative cycle. Taking the time to rest allows us to recharge, regain motivation, and preserve our enthusiasm for the things we love. It’s really important to break free from the misconception that rest is unproductive and indulgent; instead, it’s a vital component of maintaining overall well-being and sustained productivity. What would you say is your best advice to students?In the midst of challenges, it might feel like time is running out and that everything weighs heavily. Remember, you have time to figure things out. Prioritize self-care and your mental health above all else. Taking care of yourself is so important because without happiness and fulfillment, the efforts you’ve been investing won’t be truly worthwhile. There’s always time to go to school or get a job, but taking care of yourself is the baseline for any next step in life.  
  • What to Look For (& Look Out For) in ...

    Effective leadership is the lifeblood of any successful organization. It serves as the guiding force that influences the culture, performance, and overall direction of a company. Good leadership inspires and motivates teams, while poor leadership can lead to demotivation and stagnation. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between good and bad organizational leadership, drawing insights from the renowned leadership expert, Simon Sinek.  Vision and Purpose: One of the key distinctions between good and bad leadership lies in the ability to articulate a compelling vision and purpose for the organization. Good leaders inspire their teams by painting a vivid picture of the future, emphasizing the "why" behind their work. Simon Sinek often emphasizes the importance of starting with the "why." For example, leaders like Steve Jobs of Apple or Elon Musk of Tesla have succeeded in inspiring others by communicating a clear sense of purpose and vision for their companies. In contrast, bad leaders often lack a coherent vision or struggle to communicate it effectively. This leads to confusion and disengagement among team members, as they fail to understand the overarching purpose of their work. These leaders may prioritize short-term gains over long-term objectives, causing employees to lose faith in the direction of the organization.  Trust and Empathy: Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, and it is no different when it comes to leadership. Good leaders foster an environment of trust and psychological safety, allowing individuals to take risks, voice their opinions, and contribute their best efforts. They listen actively, empathize with their team members' challenges, and provide support when needed. Simon Sinek stresses the importance of creating a circle of safety, where team members feel valued and supported. In contrast, bad leaders erode trust through micromanagement, lack of transparency, and a focus on blame rather than learning from mistakes. These leaders may exhibit poor communication skills, fail to listen to their team's concerns, and prioritize their own interests above those of their employees. Consequently, a toxic work environment ensues, stifling creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Development and Growth: Good leaders invest in the development and growth of their employees. They provide opportunities for learning, mentorship, and advancement. By empowering their team members and nurturing their talents, they create a culture of continuous improvement. Simon Sinek encourages leaders to be "infinite-minded," focusing on long-term development rather than short-term gains. On the other hand, bad leaders may hoard knowledge and opportunities, hindering the growth of their team members. They may be threatened by their employees' potential and fail to provide the necessary support and guidance for their professional development. This results in a stagnant workforce that lacks motivation and fails to reach its full potential.Overall, good leadership sets the stage for organizational success, while bad leadership can lead to frustration, disengagement, and decreased productivity. Not shocking right!? Simon Sinek is a renowned for his work to support effective organizational leadership and his work shows that vision and purpose, trust and empathy, and room for development and growth are just a few areas that distinguish effective leaders from their ineffective counterparts. Aspiring leaders should strive to inspire, build trust, and foster continuous learning and new skillsets within their organizations. By adopting these qualities and practices they can create an environment where individuals are motivated, engaged, and empowered to achieve their fullest potential, propelling the organization and its people to new heights.
  • Unleashing Your Social Aptitude: A G ...

    In today's competitive job market, technical expertise alone is often not enough to secure your dream job. Employers increasingly recognize the value of social aptitude and seek candidates who can not only excel in their roles but also thrive within a collaborative and dynamic work environment. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies for expressing your social aptitude as a job candidate, enabling you to stand out and demonstrate your ability to connect, communicate, and collaborate with others.Showcase Effective Communication SkillsEffective communication is the cornerstone of social aptitude. Demonstrate your communication skills throughout the application process:a. Well-crafted Resume and Cover Letter: Craft a clear and concise resume and cover letter that highlight your ability to articulate ideas, present information, and express your passion for the role. Pay attention to grammar, tone, and organization to create a strong first impression.b. Engaging Interview Responses: During interviews, listen actively to the questions asked, and respond thoughtfully. Be concise, yet informative, and provide specific examples from your experiences that highlight your ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, or team members.c. Active Listening: Display active listening skills during interviews or conversations. Show genuine interest, maintain eye contact, and ask relevant follow-up questions to demonstrate your engagement and understanding of others' perspectives.     2. Highlight Collaboration and Teamwork ExperiencesEmployers value candidates who can work well in teams and foster a positive work environment. Here's how you can showcase your collaboration skills:a. Emphasize Team Projects: Highlight any collaborative projects or initiatives you have been involved in during your academic or professional career. Describe your role, contributions, and how you effectively collaborated with others to achieve common goals.b. Share Success Stories: Provide specific examples of situations where you successfully collaborated with diverse teams to overcome challenges or achieve exceptional results. Discuss your ability to listen, respect others' opinions, and contribute constructively to group discussions.c. Volunteer and Extracurricular Activities: Discuss any volunteer work or involvement in extracurricular activities that required teamwork. Highlight how these experiences allowed you to collaborate effectively, resolve conflicts, and work towards shared objectives.        3. Demonstrate Empathy and Emotional IntelligenceEmpathy and emotional intelligence are essential components of social aptitude. Employers appreciate candidates who can understand and connect with others on an emotional level:a. Display Empathy: Express empathy by sharing stories that demonstrate your ability to understand and relate to others' experiences, perspectives, or challenges. Discuss how you have supported colleagues or clients in difficult situations and helped create a positive work environment.b. Self-Awareness: Reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses, and be open to discussing areas where you have actively worked to improve your interpersonal skills. Employers appreciate candidates who exhibit self-awareness and a commitment to personal growth.c. Conflict Resolution: Describe situations where you effectively resolved conflicts or diffused tense situations in a professional manner. Highlight your ability to stay calm, listen actively, find common ground, and seek mutually beneficial resolutions.       4. Cultivate a Positive Online PresenceIn today's digital age, employers often evaluate candidates' online presence. Ensure your social media profiles and online interactions reflect your social aptitude:a. Professional Online Profiles: Optimize your LinkedIn profile and other relevant professional platforms. Highlight your interpersonal skills, teamwork experiences, and any testimonials or endorsements that showcase your social aptitude.b. Thoughtful Online Interactions: Engage in meaningful online conversations related to your field of interest. Demonstrate your ability to communicate respectfully, offer insights, and collaborate with others in digital communities.c. Online Portfolio or Blog: Showcase your interpersonal skills through an online portfolio or writing for a personal blog aligned with the career you're interested in - this can also help showcase your personality     5. Be prepared to demonstrate social aptitude in your interview through:a. Behavioral Interviews: Behavioral interview questions assess candidates' past experiences and responses in social situations. Asking open-ended questions that require you to provide examples of how you have handled teamwork, conflict resolution, or challenging interpersonal scenarios in the past gives your interviewer a greater glimpse at your character - specifically, in the workplace environment.b. Role-playing Exercises: This interview technique simulates real-world scenarios that you are likely to encounter in the prospective role and helps employers to evaluate how you communicate, collaborate, and navigate through these situations, while paying attention to your ability to empathize, listen actively, and respond effectively.c. Reference Checks: References will be asked for (most likely)! By reaching out to those you've worked for, with, and peers, your hopeful employer gains insights into your social aptitude. In doing so, they will ask specific questions regarding your ability to work in teams, communicate effectively, and build relationships with colleagues and customers - no pressure (but so much pressure)!d. Team Interviews: Being interviewed by one person can be nerve wracking for most but a team interview adds multiple team members into the mix, throughout the interview process, to gauge how well you will interact and engage with others. Team interviews provide your employer with valuable insights into how you respond to different personalities, your ability to adapt to different communication styles, and your overall compatibility with the team.e. Personality and Emotional Intelligence Assessments: Emotional intelligence is closely tied to social aptitude. Your employer may incorporate assessments or exercises that measure your emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, and/or add personality tests into the mix to gain understanding of how you think, feel, and are 'wired'. As the workplace continues to evolve, hiring for social aptitude is now a critical element in building high-performing teams and driving success. By considering a candidates' social skills alongside experience and overall skillset organizations are seeking to foster more collaborative environments, effective communications, and fast problem-solving. By understanding what social aptitude is and how you can express your social aptitude, you add competitive edge to your application, interview impression, and overall candidacy. Best part, by connecting your sense of social aptitude and social skillset to those required to thrive within the company and team you are more likely to have long-term success. 
  • Crafting a Professional Response to ...

    Receiving a job rejection can be disheartening and discouraging, but it's crucial to remember that it's a common part of the job search process. What sets successful professionals apart is their ability to handle rejection gracefully and use it as an opportunity for growth. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to craft a professional response to job rejection and provide examples and helpful links to guide you in bouncing back stronger.Acknowledge and Express Appreciation: Upon receiving a job rejection, it's essential to acknowledge the decision and express your appreciation for the opportunity to apply and interview. This demonstrates professionalism, gratitude, and leaves a positive impression for future interactions with the company. Here's an example:"Dear [Interviewer's Name],I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to thank you for considering my application for the [Position] at [Company]. While I'm disappointed to learn that I wasn't selected for the role, I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to interview and gain valuable insights into [Company's] vision and culture. Your team's professionalism and expertise were truly inspiring."    2. Seek Constructive Feedback: Politely requesting feedback is an excellent way to gain valuable insights into your application and interview performance. It shows your commitment to self-improvement and can provide valuable guidance for future endeavors. Here's an example:"If it's not too much trouble, I would greatly appreciate any feedback you could provide regarding my application and interview. Understanding areas where I can enhance my skills and qualifications will be invaluable in my professional growth. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration."   3. Express Continued Interest and Offer Assistance: Reiterate your interest in the company and the potential to contribute in other capacities. This demonstrates your commitment and professionalism while leaving the door open for future opportunities. Here's an example:"Although I didn't secure the [Position], my enthusiasm for [Company] remains undiminished. I believe in the company's mission and values, and I would be delighted to explore other potential avenues where I can contribute my skills and expertise. Please keep me in mind for any future opportunities that may arise."  4. Maintain a Positive Attitude: Even though rejection can be disheartening, it's essential to maintain a positive attitude and not let it deter you from your goals. Remember that job searches often involve numerous rejections before finding the right fit. Share your optimism and gratitude in your response. Here's an example:"Once again, I would like to express my gratitude for considering my application and for the opportunity to learn more about [Company]. I am confident that our paths may cross again in the future. Wishing you and the [Company] continued success and growth."Helpful Links:How to Deal with Job Rejection: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/09/03/how-to-deal-with-job-rejection/?sh=1a106ae0b71f8 Tips for Responding to a Job Rejection: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-respond-to-a-job-rejection-letter-with-examples-2063749How to Respond to a Rejection Email (with Examples): https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-respond-to-a-rejection-email-with-examplesCrafting a professional response to job rejection is an essential skill that sets successful professionals apart. By acknowledging and expressing appreciation, seeking feedback, expressing continued interest, and maintaining a positive attitude, you can bounce back stronger and keep your career aspirations on track. Remember, a rejection is not a reflection of your worth and it isn't the end of the road for your hopeful career. 
  • Advice to Graduates From Graduates, ...

    Graduating is a major milestone, and it's a time for both some celebration and reflection. As you prepare to take the next step in your journey, it's important to remember that many people have walked this path before you (and with you), and they have valuable advice to share. Here are some words of wisdom from recent graduates that will help you navigate this exciting and sometimes overwhelming time:"Take the time to embrace this change. Everything will be new - the people, surroundings, and the things you do, but take this time for yourself to reflect. Think thoroughly of your next steps and where you want to be in the next few years. In the meantime, hold confidence in yourself, and be positive. Everything will work out. Take a chance on yourself!" - Janhvi TiwariJanhvi's advice is all about embracing change and taking a chance on yourself. This is a time of major transitions, and it's important to take the time to reflect on your goals and aspirations. Think about where you want to be in the next few years, and don't be afraid to take risks to get there.“Congratulations on graduation - it definitely is no easy feat and all your hard work deserves to be celebrated! While it is a very exciting time, it can also be a very intimidating time. Also as a recent grad, I can definitely understand the feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty about the future. When I get into these funks, I remind myself to keep things in perspective and that there will be so many opportunities and people who are rooting for my success. There’s no rush to be where we THINK we should be because everyday we grow. While it may not feel like it, we have so much time to develop into the person we aspire to be. Don’t be afraid to be seen trying, take up opportunities as they come and you never know where you may end up! You got this!” - Tina LamTina's advice is all about keeping things in perspective and not being too hard on yourself. There will be ups and downs in your journey, but it's important to remember that you have a lot of people who are wishing for you to succeed. There’s no rush to get where you’re going, so don't be afraid to take risks and try new things - you never know where they might lead you.“Congrats on graduating! This is one accomplishment of many and if I had to share some advice it would be to always celebrate your accomplishments no matter how big or small they may seem. Whether it’s landing an interview, the first day of a new job or celebrating a 10+ year work anniversary, always take time to reflect and be proud of all you have accomplished along the way to get where you are. Another piece of advice is to not be afraid of failure as you enter this new chapter. It's a natural part of the learning process and can help you grow and improve! Take care of yourself along the way. Prioritize your physical and mental health, get enough rest, and take breaks when you need them. Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup, so make sure to fill yourself up first!” - Emma Dobson Emma's advice is all about celebrating your accomplishments and not being afraid of failure. It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, but it's important to take a step back and reflect on all that you have accomplished. And when it comes to failure, remember that it's a natural part of the learning process, and that your biggest priority should be taking care of yourself. "My best piece of advice is to be open to change - graduating from post-secondary comes with many mixed emotions. I saw school as my safety net, each year I would repeat two semesters with five classes and I was used to the routine. After graduating you realize you need to adjust to change whether it’s starting your career, or pursuing another term of education. Secondly, make connections - networking with your peers, family, friends after graduation is so important. Oftentimes it will help you land the next step in your career. Lastly, keep pursuing your dreams and do what you feel is best for you. While you are still young it is okay to try out new jobs, enroll in continuing education to grow your passion, try out online courses, be a better version of yourself and keep moving forward."  - Lauren NigroLauren's advice is all about being open to change. Graduating can be a big adjustment, and it's important to be flexible and adaptable. Whether you're starting a new job, pursuing further education, or exploring different career paths, be open to new experiences and opportunities. Building connections with people in your field can be incredibly valuable when it comes to finding new opportunities and advancing your career. Don't be afraid to reach out to people you admire or to attend networking events. Ultimately, this is a time to explore new opportunities, try new things, and take risks. “Congratulations on graduating! This is an exciting time filled with new possibilities and opportunities. As a recent graduate myself, I understand how daunting it can be to navigate the post-graduation world. First and foremost, don't be too hard on yourself. Graduating is a major accomplishment, and you should be proud of yourself for making it this far. It's okay if you don't have everything figured out yet. Secondly, be open to new experiences. This is a time to try new things, meet new people, and step out of your comfort zone - you never know what opportunities may come your way. Lastly, remember to take care of yourself. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of post-grad life, but it's important to make time for yourself and the people you care about. Remember, you've got this! Graduating is just the beginning, and there are so many exciting things ahead.” - Courtney CritesMy advice is all about taking pride in your accomplishment and not to be too hard on yourself if you haven’t figured everything out yet (I know I haven’t). You should embrace new experiences and opportunities and realize how many exciting possibilities are ahead. Focus on enjoying this new phase of life, and smile knowing you can look back on your post-secondary experience with fond memories.Remember, as a recent graduate, you have accomplished so much already. And with the right mindset, attitude, and work ethic, you can accomplish even more in the years to come. So take these words of wisdom to heart, and keep pushing forward! Congratulations!  
  • Discovering Your Career Path & 'Beco ...

    Congratulations, recent and soon-to-be grads across Canada! Graduation is an exciting time filled with recognition, celebration, and promise. However, post-graduation, it's common to feel a little lost. No longer a student, your schedule, workload, living situation, environment, and expectations quickly shift. If you're feeling unsure about who you are or who you want to become, what career path to pursue, know that you're not alone.The good news is that discovering your hopeful new destination can be done one step, one day at a time. In fact, small, consistent changes coupled with self-reflection can lead to epic transformations. Fortunately, there are entire books and even new terminology created to break down larger, often overwhelming, goals so that the future you want for yourself comes sooner. One term is coined in James Clear's book, "Atomic Habits", which emphasizes the concept of...atomic habits...small, consistent improvements over time leading to significant results. He notes that the key to creating lasting change is to focus on small, manageable habits that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and suggests tracking progress over time to stay motivated and on track. Each habit helps you reach a smaller goal which you discover by breaking own your larger goal first.Seth Godin, author of "The Practice: Shipping Creative Work", and former .com business executive proposes that we best reach our goals when we recognize and understand how we can create lasting value with our work - value for others. Instead of just working hard, he emphasizes being intentional with your approach so that our daily work, our practice, is filled with meaning. "There's a practice available to each of us - the practice of embracing the process of creation in service of better. The practice is not the means to the output, the practice is the output," - Seth Godin, The Practice: Shipping Creative WorkAs recent graduates, you can use these theories to achieve your career goals by following these steps:Define your career goals: Begin by setting clear and specific career goals. Identify what you want to achieve in your career and where you want to be in the next few years.Align Your  Values System with Your Goals: To be successful in your career is one thing but successful in life?!? Well, that can be another. The trick is sustainable success is a fine balance between what you do, who you are, who you want to be, what you believe in and stand for. Take a look at your career goals and incorporate self-reflection to refine each one so that your vision for the future is aligned with becoming someone you want to be - for yourself and the world.Break down your goals into atomic habits: Once you've defined your career goals, break them down into small, manageable atomic habits. For example, if your goal is to develop strong writing skills, you might start by writing for just 10 minutes each day.Develop a habit-tracking system: Use a habit-tracking system to monitor your progress and hold yourself accountable. You can use a physical notebook, a habit-tracking app, or even a simple spreadsheet to track your daily habits and measure your progress over time.Embrace failure and learn from it: Understand that failure is a natural part of the learning process. Use the failure postmortem technique to anticipate potential problems and obstacles that could arise in the future and address them proactively before they happen.Focus on impact: Rather than just working hard, focus on creating impact in your work. Use Seth Godin's approach to measure progress and focus on the value you create for your organization and customers.Continuously improve: Don't be afraid to experiment with different habits and routines to find what works best for you. If a habit isn't working, adjust it or try something new until you find a routine that works for you.By following these steps, you can use habits to achieve your career goals and become who you want to be. Remember to start small, track your progress, embrace failure, focus on impact, and continuously improve. With these habits, recent graduates can develop the skills and habits they need to succeed in their chosen careers and create the impact they desire. So go ahead and take the first step towards your goals, and believe in yourself!And remember: "Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." - Albert Einstein. Whoever you are, whatever you decide to do, there is no one path. If your daily "atomic habits" are intentional and aligned with your inner voice - just keep going.
  • How to Know if Grad School is Right ...

    So, you want to go back to school, but you're not sure if it's the right choice. I get it - there are so many factors that can make grad school feel like a good or bad fit - I know, I recently made the decision to pursue a grad program. From experience, before making a choice on grad school, consider the following questions: 1. What is my motivation for pursuing grad school?Knowing why you want to pursue grad school seems obvious but don't discount the importance of your answer. Having a clear vision for your career path and how graduate school will help you get there means that you're doing the groundwork before making a big leap (and investment). For example, if your goal is to earn more money by getting another degree, then think about how much time and money grad school will cost and if those resources will yield enough value in your hopeful future career. It is possible that your resources could be better spent elsewhere so investigate all possible avenues. But, if your goal is to enhance your career prospects, gain new skills and knowledge, and pursue a specific passion or field of study, it's likely grad school is something you should genuinely consider.  2. Am I (really) ready for this? Let’s be real: any post-secondary education is expensive, and grad school is no exception. Before committing to the time and financial investment, I encourage you to think about your current debt level, tuition costs, and your expected salary once you graduate. (This was touched on in the previous paragraph but if the cost of your program and its interest rate on student loans is very high, resulting in ongoing student debt, consider whether or not the investment is worth it in the long run).  While pursuing a higher degree may require some sacrifices, ensure that they won't negatively impact other areas of your life - from financial to personal.3. Will it improve my career prospects? In some industries, work experience tends to be more valuable than the book-learning you do in grad school; this is especially true if you want a position where practical skills are highly valued by employers. I encourage you to make a list of different roles you can see yourself in post-grad. On these job postings, make note of what is typically required - do need graduate degrees? Or do these roles and employers favour previous work experience? Don't hesitate to network and ask your circle, and their 'circles', what they've found to be the answer so far in their career journeys.Final Thoughts Deciding if grad school is right for you can be difficult. It’s ultimately your choice and everyone's life circumstances and underlying motivations are unique but it is true what they say: there's no wrong choice, only what's right for you.     
  • Graduating Soon? Tips to Refine Your ...

    What are the fastest growing industries in Canada this year?Data foretells an abundance of future open opportunities across Canada in: technology, healthcare, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, clean technology, the creative industries, data analytics, and construction. It's a good thing too, because the number of graduates nationwide has been increasing. From 2000 to 2020 the number of graduates across the country rose from 176, 556 to 326, 991. If you're an employer this is fantastic, and likewise for the country and future workforce but it also denotes more competition. Thankfully, there are things you can do to standout and ensure your resume hits the top of the pile, time after time.  Notably, our nation's 'grad growth' is doubly awesome, as the more educated candidates in the marketplace, the more innovation, the greater the need, arguably, for bigger teams leading to more career pathways and economic stability - for all.Considering which industries are growing as you plan your career journey shows where the greatest possible growth lies. As a new grad, we recommend pinpointing opportunities in these industries that align most with your degree or diploma. In doubt but still keen on the role? You know the 'ol adage: apply anyway.What are the Most Wanted Skill-sets by Employers in Canada This Year? Digital skills: With the increasing digitalization of the workplace, digital skills such as coding, web development, data analysis, and digital marketing are in high demand. Soft skills: Employers value soft skills such as communication, collaboration, adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking, as these skills enable employees to work well in teams and handle complex tasks. Business skills: Graduates with knowledge of business concepts such as financial analysis, project management, and business strategy are in high demand. Sales skills: The ability to sell products or services is always in demand, especially in industries such as technology and software. Customer service skills: With the rise of e-commerce, customer service skills such as empathy, problem-solving, and communication are increasingly important. Marketing skills: Graduates with skills in digital marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing are in high demand. Healthcare skills: Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in Canada, and graduates with healthcare-related skills such as nursing, physiotherapy, and medical technology are in high demand. Creative skills: Industries such as design, media, and entertainment require graduates with skills in graphic design, video production, writing, and other creative disciplines. Environmental and sustainability skills: Graduates with knowledge of environmental sustainability, green energy, and eco-friendly practices are in demand in industries such as construction, engineering, and transportation. Language skills: In a multicultural country such as Canada, graduates who are fluent in multiple languages are highly valued in industries such as tourism, hospitality, and customer service. How do I showcase my skills on my resume to grow my chances of getting hired?When creating your resume, we recommend creating a skills-specific section which you adapt each application to tailor it to the job description, industry, and company you are working to land an interview with. Limiting your skills section to the 10-15 most noteworthy for the role will avoid the resume becoming cluttered and keep your language direct and strong. To maintain a streamlined and easy-to-read resume, also incorporate skills messaging in each role by giving examples of the work you did and your achievements. Of course, badges and awards can be meaningful tokens of achievement to share.What can I do, beyond application, to get the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager?There are some old-school tips and tricks you can try to support your application reaching the right eyes. For example, if the job opportunity shares the name of the Human Resources professional, recruiter, or team member hiring you can reach out them to affirm your expression of interest in joining their team and introduce yourself, personalizing the process while flagging your application with them. Another important thing to consider is your digital presence. At present, what are your social and job-search profiles saying about you? If you can align who you are online with what you bring to the table it helps your candidacy - particularly for roles in marketing or with companies who heavily invest in their online presence. 
  • How to Overcome Career FOMO, By: Cou ...

    Have you ever checked LinkedIn and come across your connections sharing news about their recent promotions or moving to companies that you’ve always wanted to work for? Are you worried your career isn’t progressing as it should be or are you always looking for the next “big break”? This feeling is known as career FOMO, or the fear of missing out on so many things in your career, while it seems that everyone else is achieving and enjoying more success than you. Experiencing career FOMO can have a significant impact on your job satisfaction, overall well-being, and can negatively affect your work life. Here are a few ways you can avoid and control this feeling:           1. Take a Break from LinkedInWe can’t control the actions of others, or what happens to them, but something we can control is what we expose ourselves to. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to feel truly happy for your peers when their achievements overwhelm you. However, it’s important to acknowledge that these feelings don’t make you a bad person, it just means that maybe it’s time to take a break from the platform that makes you anxious and intensifies your career FOMO. By limiting your exposure to LinkedIn, a platform that may trigger your FOMO, you’ll be able to reduce comparison, decrease pressure, increase mindfulness, and gain perspective on your own situation and priorities.             2.  Define your Career Goals  Defining your career goals means setting clear, specific and measurable goals that align with your interests, values and strengths in the workplace. Working on that definition can provide clarity and focus, allowing you to improve your decision-making, reduce anxiety and increase motivation. When you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, you can focus on that, and confidently say no to opportunities that don’t align with your goals, instead of feeling like you’re missing out on something. By focusing on your own career goals, rather than the success and achievements of your peers, you can avoid the trap of career FOMO, and make progress towards your personal definition of success. 3. Build a Support SystemBuilding a support system is one of the most important things you can do when navigating career FOMO and working towards avoiding it. Finding people like mentors, colleagues, friends and family members to support you can create a sense of belonging and can improve your communication, which can boost your performance in your job, and position you as a team player. Having a support system can provide you with guidance, advice, encouragement, and perspective on your career path and how to stay focused on your career goals and achieve them.  Final Thoughts Career FOMO, or the fear of missing out on career opportunities, can be a real challenge in today’s highly connected world. It’s important to note that success is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and that your journey is unique, just like how everyone’s career goals are unique. At the end of the day, letting career FOMO consume you isn’t going to ensure you’re a part of the coolest projects with the best people, maximizing your potential and/or making you feel fulfilled and happy at work. Keep growing and striving to be the best version of yourself and experience your own definition of success!  
  • The Ten Most In-Demand Work From Hom ...

    Some jobs require a lot of patience and people skills, which might not suit everyone. Undoubtedly, if you fall into this category there are huge benefits from a work-from-home role and many companies across Canada are currently seeking to fill roles that require very little in-person interaction.  The top in-demand work from home jobs in Canada this summer, according to current trends and job listings, are:  Content writer: With the increasing need for digital content, the demand for content writers who can create engaging and informative content for websites, blogs, and social media platforms is high. Canadian News Media  and Hive Media are currently seeking online content writers to join their teams through OCC. Online tutor: With the rise of remote learning due to the pandemic, the demand for online tutors who can provide academic or language support to students remotely is increasing. Liberty Tutoring is currently hiring online tutors to join their team, through OCC. Web developer: With the growing need for businesses to have a strong online presence, the demand for web developers who can design and develop websites and web applications is high. CAE Inc is currently seeking to hire a full-stack developer to join their team in a (hybrid) work environment – check out the role on OCC. Virtual assistant: As businesses continue to adapt to remote work environments, the demand for virtual assistants who can provide administrative support remotely is increasing. The Whispering Song School of Medicine is currently seeking to add an Administrative Assistant to their growing team, find the job on OCC. Graphic designer: With the need for visually appealing and effective digital content, the demand for graphic designers who can create logos, infographics, and other visual designs for websites and social media platforms is high. AdHome Creative is looking for a graphic designer to join their team through OCC. Social media manager: With the importance of social media for businesses and organizations, the demand for social media managers who can create and manage social media content is increasing. Western University is seeking a Library Ambassador, Social Media, through OCC. This role requires once a week meetings in-person. Data entry specialist: With the need for accurate and up-to-date data management, the demand for data entry specialists who can enter and manage data into computer systems or databases is high. Online marketer: With the shift to digital marketing, the demand for online marketers who can create and manage digital marketing campaigns for businesses or organizations is increasing. Online Customer Service/Sales representative: With the shift to online shopping, the demand for customer service and sales representatives who can support product sales and services, remotely, is very high It's important to note that the demand for certain work from home may vary depending on the industry and company. These are just a few examples we found that we hope will guide you in your search for your next role.   
  • Can an Employer Change Your Job Titl ...

    It’s true, an employer can change your job description. That may sound weird, but the fact is job descriptions are not set in stone and your employer may adapt it to meet changing business needs or better align with your skills and strengths. However, any changes to your job description should be communicated clearly to you and you should be given an opportunity to discuss the changes with your employer to ensure that you fully understand your new responsibilities and that you are comfortable with them. Additionally, any changes to your job description may be reflected in your salary, benefits, or other aspects of your employment, so it's important to review and understand any updates to your job description carefully. What are the reasons that an employer would change your jobs description? An employer may change an employee's job description for various reasons, including: Business needs: As a company evolves, there may be changes in the way work is organized or conducted. The employer may need to adjust job duties to keep up with new technologies, changing customer demands, or shifts in the industry. Performance: If an employee is not meeting the expectations set out in their current job description, the employer may revise the job duties to better align with the employee's skills and strengths. Alternatively, if an employee is performing exceptionally well, their employer may modify their job description to provide them with new challenges and opportunities for growth – a lateral move or a promotion, for example. Restructuring: When a company goes through a restructuring process, job descriptions may be adjusted to fit new roles and responsibilities. Organizational changes: An employer may need to modify job duties due to changes in the company's organizational structure, such as mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures. Compliance: Employers may need to modify job descriptions to ensure compliance with legal or regulatory requirements, such as workplace safety regulations or industry-specific rules. Overall, an employer may change an employee's job description for many reasons, and it is important to communicate with your employer to fully understand any changes to your role and responsibilities. If an employer changes an employee's job description, the employee may want to ask the following questions: What specifically has changed in the job description? Why has the job description changed? Will there be any changes in the employees' pay or benefits as a result of the changes? Will the changes in the job description impact the employee's working hours or schedule? Will the employee need any additional training or support to perform the new responsibilities? Will the changes in the job description impact the employee's career growth opportunities within the company? Is there a trial period for the new responsibilities? If so, how long will it be, and what are the terms of the trial period? How will the employee's performance be evaluated with the new responsibilities? Can the employee provide input or feedback on the changes in the job description?  It's important for employees to understand any changes to their job description and how it will affect their work and career growth within the company. These questions can help clarify any concerns or confusion the employee may have.  Ultimately, changing a job description is done by an employer to best suit the needs of the company by reflecting the strengths of the employee, however there are instances where it is closely tied with larger business strategies or, sometimes concerns. Open communication and asking the right questions will help both in the long term. Don’t' be afraid to speak up and say what you need to get the information essential to doing the right thing for your career path. 
  • Your Guide to Applying Classroom Kno ...

    To succeed as an employee, it's important to be aware of the skills you acquired during your education and how they can be applied in the workplace. This will help you bridge the gap between theory and practice.Here are ways you can self-guide what you've learned toward supporting real-world, on-the-job success: Create a list of skills learned in school and align them with relevant workplace applications. This can help you identify acquired skills that may have been overlooked. If you're not sure where to start, think of it as a mind-mapping experience where you start big - all the things you remember learning and all the skills you are hoping to apply in your role - and then connect the dots.  Identify how these skills can translate to various aspects of your new role. The findings may surprise you. For example, public speaking and presentations you did in-class can translate to communication skills fundamental to running meetings successfully. Simply having an understanding of what it is you bring to the table will contextualize the value you bring to each aspect of your role, giving you confidence and more self-awareness as an employee while revealing growth opportunity areas. For example, if you're missing a skill, you can seek out a mentor on your team, or elsewhere, who you know to be really good at that 'thing' or acquire these skills through continuous learning programs.3. Take Initiative to apply what you've learned and seek out ways to expand your knowledge and improve. Don't simply wait for opportunities to come to you! Take the initiative to apply your classroom knowledge whenever you can - this includes seeking feedback, guidance (mentors, colleagues, managers) and maybe, even, courses (see #5). This can demonstrate your value to your employer and help you build your skills and knowledge.4. Continue learning and stay on top of industry trends. Learning is continuous, and I encourage you to remember that learning doesn't stop when you leave the classroom. It’s important to keep seeking opportunities to learn and grow, both on and off the job. Attend training sessions, read books and articles on your field, participate in professional development activities, seek out support systems (mentors, managers, colleagues, friends) who can teach you what they know, and look for workplace environments that offer financial support or programs to invest in your ongoing professional development. Final Thoughts: While all of the wonderful skills you’ve picked up while in college/university are great, I think one of most important things you’ve learned is to never give up. The resiliency you’ve developed is exactly what employers are looking for - they want people they can trust to keep going even when things get tough. And I strongly believe that it’s this quality, most of all, that makes it easy for you to apply everything else you’ve learned in school in the workplace!  
  • Remote Onboarding Tips, By: Courtney ...

    I’m sure at this point, none of us are strangers to remote work. While working remotely is a convenient option, it also comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to the onboarding process. Sometimes, as a new employee, it can be easy to feel disconnected from your team and to feel overwhelmed by your new responsibilities.To help new (remote) employees navigate this process, I’ve put together a list of tips for remote onboarding. From setting up your workspace to building relationships with your teammates, these tips will help you get off to a great start in your new role, even if you’re working from home. Let’s dive in:  Meet your new BFFsThis is the first on the list because it’s arguably the most important - your teammates are the ones who you will be spending so much of your time with (virtually), and can make your experience so much better (speaking from experience). It can be challenging to build relationships remotely, but it’s important to make an effort to get to know your colleagues. Schedule some virtual coffee chats or meetings with them to introduce yourself and learn more about your team and their roles. Use this time to ask any questions you might have and to establish some expectations for both collaboration and communication.       2. Build your ToolkitMake an effort to get familiar with the communication and collaboration tools that your new company is using. These can be anything from video chats, messaging apps, new softwares, or other digital tools. It can be a challenge to learn something new, especially when something else has been the norm for so long, so spend some time learning how to use company-specific tools effectively. I know that when I got a new job and switched from the Google Suite to Microsoft, it was an adjustment, but it was so much smoother because I made an effort to navigate the platform and build a new toolkit!       3. Set up your WFH space Make sure you have a dedicated workspace that is conducive to your productivity and has all of the equipment and tools necessary to perform in your new role. A lot of companies that offer flexible and remote work environments offer their employees an allowance to make sure they’re fully set up to work from home! Take advantage of this and make sure you’re set up for success with a workspace that you will enjoy working at everyday. Some game-changers for me: a laptop stand, a wireless keyboard, and a good desk lamp!      4. Organization is your Best Friend Onboarding can feel very overwhelming, especially because there is so much to read, so much to learn, and so many people to meet. Do your best to stay organized by taking notes and making lists to stay on track and have everything you may need to refer back to readily available to you. Be sure to keep track of the progress you make and any deadlines that are given to you so that you’re able to stay on top of your tasks and meet or even exceed expectations.      5. Develop a Communication PlanWork with your manager to establish a regular communication plan, including scheduled check-ins and updates on the progress that you’re making in your new role. This, coupled with the relationships you are building with your teammates, will help ensure that you stay on track and can ask questions and ask for help when needed. In my experience, during my first week, it was really helpful to chat with my manager about communication expectations, preferred methods, and to schedule recurring 1:1 meetings so that we could catch up and reflect on my progress.       Final Thoughts: Onboarding remotely has its challenges and definitely requires an open mind, but by implementing these tips, you’ll be able to navigate the process successfully and with confidence. By making a conscious effort to stay engaged, stay organized, and be communicative, you will be able to establish a strong foundation for your remote work experience, and be a phenomenal new addition to your team.  I hope you enjoy WFH as much as I do! Wishing you nothing but the best of luck as you prepare to onboard remotely.  
  • Becoming an Architect, By: Zoe Mills

    In this Becoming Series we explore sought-after occupations and dissect what it truly means to become it. From study to pursuit and practice, every job is different. Below, we're exploring becoming an architect.  What is an architect, really? What do they do? Plainly put, an architect is qualified to design, plan, and supervise the the construction of buildings, homes, and structures. Beyond the creative, designing a building is also structural (duh) so there is a scientific element to it - you need to comply with what the client wants, if designing for a client, and with the local standards, codes, laws, and regulations of the region where the build is happening to ensure compliance and safety for all involved. What are day-to-day tasks like for an architect? Like any occupation, the daily to-dos differ however there are fixed elements that will be consistent to your role as an architect, and they can include:  working on construction drawings,  (many meetings),  coordination or management of staff,  invoicing clients or preparing invoices for finance,  reviewing the work of contractors, managing employees and clients,  handling client expectations and communication with clients,  ideating and building the vision for your project (often collaboratively),  overseeing the site where a build is happening, calculating (to scale designs and keep on budget), dependent on how or where you work, finding your next project may also always be at the top of your list.   What are some examples of roles you can take on as an architect?  Internship Architects and Designers Project manager or project architect Senior architect or designer Department head or senior manager Mid-level junior partners Senior partners What are examples of different architecture types to consider for a career? Residential architecture Commercial architecture Landscape architecture Interior design architecture Urban design architecture Green design architecture Industrial architecture What do I need to study to become an architect? What degree do I need? The majority of Architects in Canada earn a bachelor's or master's degree in architecture from an approved university or program that is approved by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). An alternative approach to becoming an architect is to take an apprenticeship through the RAIC Syllabus Program. To become an architect, you need to first also gain experience in addition to your education through the Internship in Architecture Program. In Canada, this program is provincially offered through the associations of architects, and you need to apply to be accepted into it. Once accepted you will need to find a mentor, someone who is a licensed architect to guide your work throughout a period, ensuring you meet the criteria to pass the Internship Architecture Program. This entire process is around three years of your time in addition to your education. Typical skills architects require include: technical design skills, numeracy: mathematics, algebra, geometry, adept with Computer-Aided Design (CAD), AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, SketchUp, Fusion 360, 3D printing, and associated design-focused software, people skills to aid projects and sales, creativity and vision, strong communication skills, patience, understanding and knowledge of latest laws, regulations, codes for each build/region, leadership skills, networking skills, problem-solving skills, and more!  Where do architects typically work? Typically, architects work for architecture firms or independently.   From there, licensed architects can work for: construction companies, real estate developers, individuals, businesses,  schools, the public sector, organizations (sports, museums, art galleries), retail,and more.  How much do architects make per year? Starting out, on the low end, architects make around $79,000 annually but as you build your portfolio you can gain significant rises in your salary - the average architect salary across Canada is $147,000 annually and a successful architect can make upward from $221,000 yearly. Five of the most popular architectural styles in Canada are: Cottage  Traditional Modern Craftsman Ranch   Five top-of-mind architecture firms and small studios in Canada are: ACDF MGA, Michael Green Architecture Omar Gandhi Diamond Schmitt Atelier RZLBD     
  • Does Work From Home Really Work?, By ...

    Let's start this off by looking at how dramatically the workplace has changed in the last decade, shall we? Nah, let's start with seven years! In 2016, a mere four percent of our nation's employed humans worked from home, and it took just three years more for that percentage to skyrocket 26%, fueled, of course, by a once-unimaginable worldwide pandemic: COVID-19. Just as the virus was not to be underestimated, neither was its capacity to transform just about everything we do and how we work changed (potentially) for always and in all ways. Today, post-pandemic, roughly 39% of jobs around the world are found to be feasible in a work from home approach while a study by Statistics Canada, "Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on productivity growth in Canada", by Weimin Wang, ultimately found that there is zero conclusive evidence showing that working from home increases OR reduces industry productivity or performance. Notably Wang did find that nearly six in ten workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher education can work from home versus 10% of their counterparts – those with no high school diploma – so it can be said that working from home is a very large privilege held by the privileged, overall. So, the question is not if working from home effects industry productivity rates, we know that a huge portion of jobs, in an array of industries, globally, can be carried out from home, and its fact that we’re just 10% shy away from half the “Earth’s (privileged) workers” doing their jobs at home. What we want to answer is if working from home is really working, long-term, and on a human level. After all, studies have shown that feeling connected to others is a basic human need. Sociologists Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karas Montez emphasize that interpersonal relationships have a significant impact on our overall health –mental, behavioral, physical, and, even, mortality. The good ‘ol Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs even displays our need for human connection under the psychological need of 'Belonging and Love' and theorizes this basic psychological need, of every human being, as foundational to self-actualization – the tip of the pyramid. It seems our species can’t reach our potential without first conquering and understanding ourselves I.e., connecting. Relationship-building is important, so too is community, and I’ve got to wonder if a remote world of work is really supporting us to connect. The World Economic Forum has found that working from home is limiting our abilities, as employees, and for companies, to build healthy relationships and learn from our peers while also stunting career growth. They found that working from home hinders our abilities to spark conversations spontaneously and genuinely connect and receive feedback that helps shape how we approach what we do and our (perceived) value on a team. Sigh. Don’t get too down, the data dips only slightly in favour of in-office but the mere concept of not being able to have spontaneous, relationship-catalyst conversations within a team does feel big, doesn’t it?  Beyond connection to others, it is critical to have connection to ourselves and this is where the remote work reviews are again divided! It appears that working from home does have different distractions but sometimes this means less (no one to spontaneously talk to except your cat can do that, right). What’s seen now is that one in three millennial workers report feeling overwhelmed by lack of work-life balance when working from home (the lines do become blurred). However, there are preventative tactics to help with these feelings and, actually, many ways both the employed and the employer can adapt to deepen support for remote work – a huge part of this means accepting that working from home cannot look or have the same “rules” as working in-office.  This has prompted many to turn to technology, lean into status message updates, carefully calendar, optimize Teams and Slack channels, and carve-out personal time. Reflecting on the remote work shift, many employers are now embracing the concept of hybrid too. This requires not just thinking about how employees work remotely but carefully considering what the office can look like and feel like to better support workers when they do come in to tackle their jobs. These methodologies and new approaches are helping us to create space to reconnect with ‘be human’, not just ‘an employee’.  It seems that working from home truly working relies not just on the individual but collective effort. While employees vary personality-wise, at the very root of human health and potential is genuine connection - not just a strong Wi-Fi. Fostering this isn't always easy and may not come naturally, particularly in the corporate world, however even slow shifts toward creating cultures of care and innovation are adapting us toward a clearer connection-consciousness. The future of work relies on embracing new ways of working too.  
  • Becoming a Consultant, By: Courtney ...

    What is a consultant? A consultant is an individual who is an expert in a particular field and who gives professional advice to both individuals and businesses within their area of expertise, typically on a temporary or contract basis until a particular need has been met. Companies typically hire consultants to: Provide objective outsider opinions on processes or systems Solve for internal blind spotsProvide expert guidance on solving a problem or implementing a solutionFill temporary staffing gaps in a scalable wayOffer access to expertise that is difficult to source and hire for Typical Employers of Consultants: Consulting firms Self-employed (consultant works with clients by freelancing their services/expertise)As a consultant, you will: Work with clients to understand their needs, set goals for the relationship and understand the scope of consulting projectsLearn the existing process of systems in an organization Perform analysis and diagnose issues Analyze and translate data into concrete action items Oversee and track results Compile and present information orally, visually, and in writing to keep clients up to date on progressWhat education do consultants typically have? Consultant education requirements are subjective and fairly flexible. The importance of education really comes down to the buyer's perception of educational value, and if you do freelance consulting or work for a consulting firm. Most consultants, however, do have a bachelor’s degree. Some popular degree’s for consultants include: BusinessAccountingFinanceManagementEconomicsMarketingPublic RelationsLawIt’s important to consider a degree that helps you to learn core concepts within the field of consulting like data analysis, strategy, project management, leadership, public speaking, and more. Do consultants need to have previous experience? Although having prior experience can be an advantage, it is not an essential requirement to landing a consulting job. However, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to become a successful consultant. These days there are plenty of entry-level consulting jobs out there, you just have to showcase your competence and draw from your previous experiences whether those are your education, internships, extracurriculars, etc.What essential skills should consultants have?Time managementOrganizationFlexibilityOral and verbal communicationCritical and analytical thinkingSelf-motivationPresentation skills Comfortability with risk What is a typical consultant salary? The average salary for a consultant in Canada is $68,000 per year or $35 per hour. Entry-level positions typically start around $45,000 per year, while most experienced consultants will make over $100,000 per year.    
  • Five Awesome Apps to Find Your Focus ...

    More often than not, the apps we use on a daily basis cause distraction and can make us feel overwhelmed, rather than calm and focused. Truthfully, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve accidentally spent hours scrolling TikTok or Facebook Marketplace. When you’re feeling distracted and overwhelmed it’s important to understand how to help yourself and mitigate these feelings rather than just keeping busy to avoid processing them. For some people, it’s going for a long walk, taking a bath, or watching an episode of their favourite TV show. However, it's common not to know where to begin, so if you’re unsure of what helps find your calm in tough times that's okay too.I don't have all the answers but I do find that despite being an all-too-often diversion from life, there are apps out there solely made to do the opposite. Here are five apps I've found, used, and have proven helpful for me: Flora Flora is a gamified pomodoro timer, habit tracker, and to-do list app, that encourages you and your friends to put down your phones and be productive while a tree is planted and grows on your phone (if you leave the app, the tree will die). Flora blocks distracting apps like Facebook, Instagram, and other games in a pleasant way to make you focus on what’s actually important. AppFinica, the parent company of Flora, partners with Trees.org to offer real tree planting services in the app to allow users to do their part in helping the environment while staying focused on their tasks.  2. Brain.fm Brain.fm is a music focus app designed to provide you with science-backed music for meditation, relaxation, sleep, work, or focus. After 15 minutes of listening, advanced AI systems will give you results designed especially for the brain. Brain.fm knows that most music is made to grab your attention, which makes it hard to think and work. That’s why they’ve created focus music to help you both work and perform better, by blending into the background so that you are able to focus distraction-free, while your brain is stimulated with gentle rhythmic pulses, supporting sustained attention. 3. Calm Calm is a relaxation app for both beginner and advanced meditation fans. They have over 50 million downloads including music and masterclasses to aid you in beating insomnia, stress, anxiety, and improve focus, self improvement, and more. On the app you can set daily challenges to discover your calm and develop a further understanding of your mind and body, or you have the freedom to choose an open-ended and unguided meditation. They also offer in-app breathing exercises, and nature scenes and sounds, if that’s what you need to relax. 4. Smiling Mind Smiling Mind is a unique tool developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life. It is a not-for-profit app that features hundreds of meditations - which for many is enough to keep them engaged without being overwhelming. They have organized these meditations into several structured programs such as sleep, digital detox, mindful foundations, relationships, and stress management. Smiling Mind also has a variety of specialized programs for families, children and teenagers, corporate employees, healthcare workers, and educators (including items they can use in their classrooms). 5. OthershipOthership is a breathwork and guided meditation app from the founders of Othership, a social bathhouse and immersive breathwork company born out of Toronto. The app is not free but provides comprehensive offerings for members with the option to pay monthly or annually. The mind-body connection is very real and Othership can be a tool, right there in the palm of your hand, to tune into how you are feeling, process it, and recalibrate so you are energized and clear on your next steps. 
  • Resources & Reads for International ...

    Women shouldn't just have ' a day' but should be celebrated every day. The reason we have International Women's Day (IWD) is because all-too-often women are not supported or given equal access to the same resources and opportunities for growth - and that's the simplest way to explain it but it doesn't even really do the subject justice.As we know, progress means being informed so below you can find an aggregate of information and insights we found inspiring this IWD. This year's theme?: Embrace Equity.  Just The Facts: International Women's Day 2023. Statistics CanadaInternational Women's Day: Date, History, & This Year's Theme, National PostFive Stories That Show That International Women's Day Remains as Relevant as Ever, Globe & MailWhy Paying Women an Equal Wage Helps, Not Hurts Your Business, Entrepreneur6 Facts About International Women's Day, Mental Floss27 International Women's Day Facts to Celebrate the Holiday, BustleThree Important Facts from the World Bank's Gender Data Portal, World Bank BlogWe have come a long way but there is so much room to grow. Today, we hope you are celebrating the women in your life - your peers, family, friends, colleagues, mentors, and more. :)
  • Dear Applicant, Here’s How to Nail y ...

    Have you ever heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Generally speaking, for employers that request you to submit a cover letter, it’s the first thing they will see. This means that it is the first impression your prospective employer will have of you, so it has to be both convincing and grammatically correct.Your cover letter is meant to differentiate you from other candidates and to be used as a tool to to pitch yourself and your relevant experience/transferable skills, highlighting why you’re the best candidate for the role. Here are some tips to help you nail your next cover letter:             - Address who you’re speaking toAddressing who you’re speaking to sets a tone of respect for the rest of the document, and also aids in making a good first impression. Try to find out who the hiring manager or recruiter is, and address them by name. I would suggest avoiding writing, “to whom it may concern” as it seems disingenuous. If you can’t find anyone’s name specifically, feel free to put, “dear hiring manager,” or my personal favourite, “dear (insert company name) recruitment team,”.- Tailor it & use keywords! No two jobs you’ll apply for will be exactly the same. Your cover letter shouldn’t be either. You’ll want to slightly tailor your cover letter for every job you apply for, and choose a few important skills or responsibilities from the job description provided to you, and explain how you can fulfill them, pulling from examples from your previous experiences. Bonus points if you use keywords from the job description! - Do your research! You probably hear this all the time but research really is so important (and by the time you’ll be prepping for the interview, you’ll already be a pro!). It’s important to showcase in your cover letter the main reasons why you want to work for the company you’re applying to. This doesn’t have to be long, I’d say 2-3 sentences is a pretty safe rule of thumb, but use this to share with the company which of their mission and values resonate with you, explain why, and demonstrate how this could translate into you being a great fit within their organization. - End with a call-to-action. Adding a CTA to your cover letter leaves the reader with ‘something’, and encourages them to take action after reading. Use this opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role and your eagerness to connect with someone from the company in the near future. Here’s a good example:I am confident that my relevant skills and experiences can bring a new perspective to (insert company here)’s (insert team you would be working on here) team and allow me to boldly contribute to the (insert role you’re applying for here) position. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to discussing my qualifications and the role in more detail.- Proofread… please! The last thing you want is a spelling or grammar mistake, or worse, the name of another company in your cover letter (yes, I’ve done this. Please learn from my mistake). Proofread your cover letter and run it through a reliable spell check to make sure everything is correct and exactly how you want it. Bonus Tip: Focus on giving the company a solution (hiring you) to their problem (having an open position). In your cover letter, you should focus more on how you can help them vs. how they can help you.  Final Thoughts Here’s a fact about cover letters: If an employer is asking for one, it matters. Nailing yours could be your ticket to the yes pile instead of the maybe pile. Cover letters aren’t necessarily hard, they just take some time and effort to get it right. Now that you have some tips, go nail yours! You got this! 
  • Dear Applicant, Here’s How to Nail y ...

    Have you ever heard the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Generally speaking, for employers that request you to submit a cover letter, it’s the first thing they will see. This means that it is the first impression your prospective employer will have of you, so it has to be both convincing and grammatically correct.Your cover letter is meant to differentiate you from other candidates and to be used as a tool to to pitch yourself and your relevant experience/transferable skills, highlighting why you’re the best candidate for the role. Here are some tips to help you nail your next cover letter:  Address who you’re speaking to. Addressing who you’re speaking to sets a tone of respect for the rest of the document, and also aids in making a good first impression. Try to find out who the hiring manager or recruiter is, and address them by name. I would suggest avoiding writing, “to whom it may concern” as it seems disingenuous. If you can’t find anyone’s name specifically, feel free to put, “dear hiring manager,” or my personal favourite, “dear (insert company name) recruitment team,”. 2. Tailor it & use keywords!No two jobs you’ll apply for will be exactly the same. Your cover letter shouldn’t be either. You’ll want to slightly tailor your cover letter for every job you apply for, and choose a few important skills or responsibilities from the job description provided to you, and explain how you can fulfill them, pulling from examples from your previous experiences. Bonus points if you use keywords from the job description! 3. Do your research! You probably hear this all the time but research really is so important (and by the time you’ll be prepping for the interview, you’ll already be a pro!). It’s important to showcase in your cover letter the main reasons why you want to work for the company you’re applying to. This doesn’t have to be long, I’d say 2-3 sentences is a pretty safe rule of thumb, but use this to share with the company which of their mission and values resonate with you, explain why, and demonstrate how this could translate into you being a great fit within their organization. 4. End with a call to actionAdding a CTA to your cover letter leaves the reader with ‘something’, and encourages them to take action after reading. Use this opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role and your eagerness to connect with someone from the company in the near future. Here’s a good example:"I am confident that my relevant skills and experiences can bring a new perspective to (insert company here)’s (insert team you would be working on here) team and allow me to boldly contribute to the (insert role you’re applying for here) position. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to discussing my qualifications and the role in more detail."5. Proofread… please! The last thing you want is a spelling or grammar mistake, or worse, the name of another company in your cover letter (yes, I’ve done this. Please learn from my mistake). Proofread your cover letter and run it through a reliable spell check to make sure everything is correct and exactly how you want it. Bonus Tip: Focus on giving the company a solution (hiring you) to their problem (having an open position). In your cover letter, you should focus more on how you can help them vs. how they can help you.  Final Thoughts Here’s a fact about cover letters: If an employer is asking for one, it matters. Nailing yours could be your ticket to the yes pile instead of the maybe pile. Cover letters aren’t necessarily hard, they just take some time and effort to get it right. Now that you have some tips, go nail yours! You got this!  
  • Relationships With Work Take Work, B ...

    Relationships require constant work. No surprise, our relationships with work do too.  A certain amount of synchronicity leads to anyone landing a job offer - the career version of  a "meet cute".  A specific sequence of events and decisions fall, like dominos, leading us forward.  Any relationship has three phases. Some call the first ‘honeymoon/falling in love’, the middle ‘being in love’, and the final stage, ‘unconditional love’. Without the first you can’t sustain the last.  Like life, we’re all just playing the odds, and no one gets out of this thing entirely unscathed – hence the undying question “All is fair in love and war?”.   To be blunt, what we do for a living, where we do it, who we do it with, well, it’s not always a cakewalk – like any relationship. Recognizing Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a “quick and dirty” list of questions to ask yourself in determining if your current role is ‘the one’ or it’s time to move on. Our Top Three Questions to Ask Before Breaking Up with Your Boss One: Do you have room to grow? This is arguably the most important question in our Top Three. By answering it honestly you don’t only discover if you will continue to be challenged and fulfilled at a company but the possibility that you have outgrown what you do and where you are.  If we’re working for a dynamic organization committed to employee retention and engagement, one interested in making (at minimum) 21% profits more than their peers who don’t have engaged employees, you are far less likely to outgrow where you are and what you do. You will continue to be engaged.  A recent Corporate Leadership Council study found that 87% of people are less likely to quit when they feel engaged. If you’re scratching your head wondering why a poll of 50,000 individuals needed to be done to uncover this obvious reality no one blames you, but this kind of data is still critical to keeping employers investing dollars in upskilling, training, and more to grow with their teams. In short, we can’t just get married and stop trying. We know this doesn’t work, 50% of marriages end up in divorce, with good reason – it's easy to get comfortable. However, if we stay within our comfort zones we don’t grow and we get bored.  Two: Are you really tired or just burnt out? Like relationships O.O.O, often what we seek outside ourselves is just what we’re lacking. This is just a given, so applying this to your job...can you honestly say that you are sick of what you do, where you work (the people you work with?) or are you just exhausted and not thinking clearly? If you’re not giving yourself what you need to feel fulfilled as a human being and then wondering why you’re “over” your work life you’re in an especially common place. You’re also mirroring what most people do in relationships. And, although walking away feels temporarily easy what’s easiest long-term is taking time to actually work through why you’re feeling what you are to adapt unhelpful patterns.  Sometimes this process of change takes difficult or initially awkward conversations but without transparency and vulnerability in the workplace there really is no progress overall. Feeling burnout is common, so you’re not alone if you are in this boat. More than one third of the population is currently self-identifying as burnt-out. It’s no fun, but like a healthy relationship, not every moment is and if your boss can be made to witness how you’re actually feeling and what you’re processing then there are ways to give you what you need to bounce back “For no one can fill Those of your needs that you won't let show”  Bill Withers  On the other hand, perhaps you’re feeling swell! Heck, maybe you’ve got pep in your step, a big Starbucks in your hand, sunshine on your face, and are humming a jovial tune every morning! Then, without fail, you open your laptop or office door and feel your insides recoil. That, frankly, means it’s time to move on. Any relationship dynamic that makes you feel this way is better prefaced with an EX.  Three: Do you think it’s worth saving? We saved this “real doozy” of a question for last and only you can answer it. If you feel there is enough ‘still there’ to have the meetings, open conversations, and open-minded approach that can get you to greener pastures without leaving then by all means DO. Loyalty is something that goes a long way – both ways. If you can really commit to people, that says something about you and your dynamics with other people in your career speak volumes. The question is: Are they really committed to you? If the answer is yes, you’ve still got something to work with here. This could even mean changing your role but not the organization. After all, from an employer’s perspective, what better hire than one who is internal and already conscious of organizational culture, departmental and client needs, and the overall aims of your business? What better team member than one you can implicitly trust?  In the end, not all relationships with work, as in life, are supposed to last forever. Everyone and everything in our lives is a teacher - if we listen carefully. Whatever you decide, make sure you’ve done all the work, asked all the questions, and fully shown up before determining “It’s not you (insert me), it’s me (insert you). Because the truth is, relationships with work.... take work. Any relationship does (including the one with yourself). 
  • You Had Me at Hello: A Look at Workp ...

    Jerry Maguire, A BackgrounderSpoiler alert for any of you who have not seen the classic (iconic?) film Jerry Maguire, our title is, indeed, a quote from the movie. A flick about one man’s search for meaning in a ‘cut-throat' corporate world where values are just wall decals sometimes articulated to ‘prospects’ to achieve a desired outcome and employees are easily replaceable profit generators.“What am I? Just another Shark in a suit?” - Jerry (Jer)Essentially, Jerry ends up getting fired from a massive athlete management firm, realizing he was just another shark in a suit (all those years) and that his use of an inherited saying from his mentor, “The key to business is personal relationships” was just words – hollow, meaningless (like his soul...). Oh, the drama!  The drama!Having been ‘canned’, well, Jerry decides he wants to be a better man but not before ‘losing it’ in front of his peers and very publicly stealing the company’s goldfish from its tank, plopping it in a Ziploc bag, and exiting “stage right”. Post ‘thespian display’ of “just fired emotion”, Jerry gets down to brass tax, working tirelessly to conceive a (hopeful) competing company, all with the help of a sweet, kind of lost, single mother and colleague...enter Dorothy Boyd. His new company is a slow build founded on an ethos he wrote mid-midlife-crisis and driven by the concept of people over profit. He photocopies his ethos, puts it into the mailboxes of all his, now ex, co-workers and throws his ‘all’ into building this ‘revolutionary’ new business managing athletes ‘the right way’. Arguably? Despite ultimately being a love story between ‘Jer’ and ‘Dorothy’, this is a film about company culture from the get-go. Although Jerry’s new venture is all peaks-and-valleys it eventually takes off when, in an emotional scene, he showcases how much he genuinely cares about his injured client and its broadcast internationally. In closing, his phone starts ringing and people want to work with Jerry. Why? Because people want to work with people who truly care. A Look at Why Workplace Culture MattersAs employees, we want to be empowered to be our best selves and not compromise who we are, how we feel, and how we live. Good leadership is rooted in clear, communicated, and upheld values systems – good business and brands are purpose-driven. How we feel about work matters and this reverberates out of the workplace and into our lives. Even if it didn’t, we spend an average of 90,000 hours a lifetime at work so the very concept of workplace culture – from ethos to implementation – has tangible, real-life impacts “9-5” and beyond.Aside: Cambridge Dictionary defines organizational (insert ‘workplace’) culture as “the types of attitudes and agreed ways of working shared by the employees of a company or organization”. So, if you’re just getting caught-up on the concept of workplace culture it’s simple.Basically, every employee, at any organization anywhere, knows that ‘workplace culture’ either makes you feel good or (seriously) crumby (insert bad, negative, upset, sad, and other downer words). A recent viral post online reads “Culture is about how employees’ hearts and stomachs feel about Monday morning on Sunday night.” - Bill Marklein. I couldn’t agree more. The culture of your workplace is experienced. Human decisions, interactions, and processing of top-down organizational decisions, practices, and policies are what make or break workplace culture. Like any innovative thought, it only works if it’s made to work.People either make or break “culture”. It takes someone saying “that’s not how we do things here” or “that’s not okay with us” or, even sometimes, “you’re fired” to embody the intended culture wholly. And those start-ups without workplace culture intact, well they say goodbye just as quickly as they said hello.  (Grab the goldfish!)Before communicating an organizational culture and hoping humans/employees will uphold it, a company needs to decide who they are, what they offer, and what they stand for. Just like Jerry did. Easy, right? The Ways Workplace Culture is Implemented, Upheld, & GraspedIn building a workplace culture, leadership needs to have asked the following (at least). If you read these questions and feel your leadership hasn’t, that could be a red flag that the workplace culture is unclear at your organization: Do my employees feel good about what they do – about who we are? Have we been crystal clear on our core values and “why”?Are we embodying our values and showing up authentically for our team and our clients?Are we implementing systems to build up a sense of ‘psychological safety’, belonging, openness, and trust within our teams? Within this, are we upholding and speaking for human rights in the process?Are we listening more than we speak? Do we have assessment processes in place to correct every step of the course? (Example of assessment processes: listening posts, feedback forms, anonymous surveys, open-door policy, point-person for company culture or HR)Are we tapped into the ongoing trends that are influencing the future of work? (Flex work hours, benefits, and the ways to support humanistic approaches) As Brené Brown says in her Netflix special, The Call to Courage, “When we build cultures at work where there is zero tolerance for vulnerability, where perfectionism and armor are rewarded and necessary, we can’t have productive conversations.” If you haven’t yet been hired by a company and are interested in knowing more about their workplace culture, here are some things you can do: Before applying, or prior to your first interview, check out reviews of the company by former employees. You can find reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Rate My Employer. What people who worked for the company say about it is important.If you do land an interview with a company and want to know more about their workplace culture, you can ask them about it in the candidate question portion of your interview. Questions like, “What is your employee turnover like here?”, “How do you celebrate small and big wins for your team?”, “Do you offer mental health days? Benefits packages?”, “What are your company values and what do you do to uphold them?”, and more - examples here: Company Culture: 25 questions to ask your employees (skeepers.io)Go onto their website and check out if they have made their “why” and people front and center to their brand representation. What feeling are you getting about working for the company, right out of the gates?If you already work somewhere and want to mull-over whether your company has a positive workplace culture, firstly just ask yourself how you feel about going to work each day. To back up your feelings, which take precedence overall, you can reference a checklist like this (we like this one): 12 Signs Your Company Has An Enviable Workplace Culture (fastcompany.com) In Summary What do we hope you take away from this blog post?  Workplace culture MATTERS. Personal relationships are important.What we think and know is critical but who we are means more (paraphrasing Brene here, can you blame me?). Jerry Maguire is an old, but incredibly good movie that, in essence, is more than just a love story and kicks-off with a good look at workplace culture. If you haven’t seen it go watch it with your mom, your dad, your grandparents, someone who will appreciate it as much as me....Receiving an offer from a company is great but getting a job offer somewhere with a positive workplace culture? Well, that’ll leave anyone saying “You had me at hello. You had me...at...hello.”It’s really, really nice to love what you do but not at the expense of loving and respecting yourself and your peers.      
  • 7 Smart Questions to Ask at the End ...

    Job interviews are not just a way for your potential future employer to get to know you - they’re also a great way for you to get to know the organization and the people you might work with one day. Of course, nine times out of ten the part of the interview where you get to ask questions comes at the end. This means that the questions you ask can have a big impact on how your interview ends and how the interviewer remembers you. I spoke with Talent Management Coordinator at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Kayla Vink, for her perspective on candidate questions: “Candidate questions are always welcomed - in fact, I strongly encourage them! I believe it facilitates a positive dialogue between candidates and the employer where they can further express their interest in the role and can help determine if it’s the right fit for their career.” So what are some good questions to ask? Here are 7 questions that you should consider asking at the end of your next interview:  What is your best advice to someone joining your team?This question gives great insight to how you could be a fit within this specific team, and what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate (also my personal favourite!).  What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned while working here? Most interviewers are probably used to hearing, “What is your favourite part about working here?”. They may not be anticipating this question, so it will encourage them to share a unique experience and will also give you some different stories and insights to the team and company. 3. A (insert period of time here) down the road, what can I have done in this role for you to look back and say, “I knew (insert pronouns here) would be a great hire!”This shows the interviewer that you are results-oriented - you want to know what success looks like within this role so that you can make it happen!  4. Is there anything I could do before starting this job to set me up for success? This will likely make you stand out as a high-achiever, already looking at what you can do to succeed and achieve positive outcomes within the role! 5. Is there a project you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?If they’re allowed to share, this will give you some insight to what’s going on internally and the interviewer will get to show their passion for their projects! 6. What are some of the biggest challenges faced by this department? This is a great question to ask as it will tell you a lot about how the company reacts to challenges and change. It’s also a great opportunity for you to understand how you may be able to help!   7. What does your recruitment timeline look like?This is a great ‘next steps’ question, and a great way to close the interview so you’re not wondering what’s next! Final Thoughts While it’s ALWAYS a good idea to ask questions, it is not a good idea to ask them all. Of course, there is no perfect number, but I’d say keeping it between 2-4 is usually a safe range. You should also always see if your interviewer has a hard stop, so you know how many questions you can get through in the time you have left.Remember: you’re seeing if the company is a good fit for you, just as much as they are seeing if you’ll be a good fit for them! By preparing ahead of time and asking thoughtful questions, it will make the decision easier for you both! Now, get out there and nail your interview! I know your interviewer is going to be so impressed!   
  • How to be a New Hire, By: Courtney C ...

    Word on the street is you got a new job! Congratulations! I know you’ll feel more confident starting your new job if you spend some time preparing for this transition. Here are some tips to help you start off strong:  Do your homework before jumping in Sometimes (and especially for bigger companies who are often very transparent about company culture and employee experience) you’ll be able to find company videos, YouTube channels or even TikTok pages of employees talking about their experiences and showing off their office space. It might also be helpful for you to read blogs, forums, or even browse through Q&As on websites like glassdoor. If none of these are helpful to you, you can always ask a friend or reach out to someone on LinkedIn to get a better idea of an average day for someone on your team, or the general dress code for your office - both of which can help you to prepare for your first day.        2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions & smile!            You’ll enjoy your time at your new job a lot more if you like being around your coworkers. Smiling, being genuinely interested and showing it by not being afraid to ask questions can go a long way to ensure you get started on the right foot. It’s kind of like dating in a sense - everyone wants to be around someone who makes them smile and makes an effort to get to know them. Ultimately, it's important to note that making connections (or better yet, making friends!) at work can be just as important as being good at your job.           3. Get used to saying yes (at least for a little while)Give yourself a few days of grace because we know onboarding can be stressful and starting something new can be overwhelming. But, as the newest addition to your team, I would encourage you to say yes to coffee chats, lunch outings, to volunteering on a new project/initiative, or anything else that comes your way (use your own personal judgement, of course). This is a good way to get to know others around the office, and is also a great way to demonstrate your willingness to help/learn and be agreeable. Bonus: Offer your helping hand wherever you can! Teamwork makes the dream work!           4. Seek Support We’ve already talked about how important it is to make connections and get to know others at work. Use this time to find a mentor or “buddy” that can support and guide you through any ups and downs you encounter within your role. There’s a pretty good chance that this person has already been in your shoes and encountered the same thing, so they might have some good advice that can help you to succeed.           5. Listen Twice as much as you Talk This kind of ties back to not being afraid to ask questions. It’s important to take in as much information as possible! Remember to listen and take notes - you won’t be new forever so use this learning opportunity to your advantage. Congratulations again on being a new hire! The hardest part is over and you should be so proud of that! Now all that’s left for you to do is make a great first impression and be the best employee you can be! Go get ‘em!  
  • Your Guide to Landing a Summer Job i ...

    It’s no secret that it’s easy to get discouraged when applying to jobs and checking your go-to job boards every single day, hoping for a new opportunity.Remember this: you WILL land a job and have a great summer. But, if you’re still not convinced, feel free to look into these growing industries for 2023, and to use these tips to help you stand out from the competition and land a fun new opportunity: Top 3 Growing Industries in Canada this Year (2023) Sources: IBISWorld & The Globe and MailTech Of course this comes as no surprise - tech is everywhere (and as someone who worked in tech, I can confidently say it’s a great industry to be in). According to a recent report from Business Development Canada, “growth in the tech sector is expected to be 5.3 per cent in 2022, and growth for the 2021-24 period is expected to be 22.4 per cent.”  Tourism As we know, COVID-19 had direct implications on travel and tourism across the world. Now that things are “back to normal”, tourism continues to be a growing industry, whether that’s through travel agencies, air transportation, hotels and hospitality, and other tourist experiences, we can expect a growth within this industry as a whole for 2023. Concert and Event PromotionAgain, many organizations and venues are amidst a major “comeback” post-covid. According to IBISWorld, revenue saw an average decline of 5.1% per year on average between 2017-2022. This created a lot of potential for industry growth, with expected revenue increases of 76.4% for 2022/23 as consumers return to in-person sporting events, concerts, theatres, and fairs.  How to Hedge the CompetitionAdd a personal touch Honestly… it all starts with your cover letter. Employers know when your cover letter has been copied and pasted over and over again. My best advice is to write a custom cover letter for each job (I know it’s tedious but it will be worth it) and make it as personalized as you can (to the role, company, etc.). Search the company and learn about them! This way you can mention in your cover letter why you admire them and how your values align with theirs.Don’t be afraid to take a risk Even if you don’t have previous/relevant experience, don’t be afraid to apply anyway. You never know if an employer will see your potential and offer you an opportunity. Keep in mind, this position will be short-term - that means it’s a perfect time for you to learn what you like, and what you don’t like. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll still come out on top with valuable knowledge and experiences that you can take into your next opportunity! Start small to reach big dreamsTake what you can get - don’t take this the wrong way but if you get offered a job that’s not your dream, I encourage you to take it anyway. If your dream job doesn’t come along this summer, I can confidently say that it will come to you eventually. I always tell people that any experience is a good experience and I stand by this.  Especially if the position is only for the summer - it will give you experience in your field of choice and will set you up for success in the future. Final ThoughtsY’all know what time it is! Time to get applying! Of course, we are a little bit biased, but Outcome Campus Connect has so many amazing opportunities for summer jobs. Whether you’re applying to jobs in tech, tourism, event promotion, or any other field - we’ve got you covered! Good luck as you start applying to land a great role this summer! I’m crossing my fingers for all of you!  
  • Transferable Skills to Make You a St ...

    What the heck are transferable skills? You ask? Transferable skills aren't limited in value to a specific role or industry, which is empowering for anyone's career journey. By definition, these are real reasons to seek out transferable skills.  Acquiring, identifying, articulating and incorporating transferable skills into your elevator pitch will undoubtedly benefit you. Importantly, our country's (and the global) shapeshifting employment landscape means employers will only continue to bet on applicants who can demonstrate both experience and transferable skills learned, showcasing agility and adaptability in one swoop.Here are ten transferable skills to supercharge your candidacy and career path - in a variety of industries and roles - courtesy of (our friends) at Indeed:(1) Communication (2) Dependability(3) Teamwork(4) Organization(5) Adaptability(6) Leadership(7) Decision-making(8) Empathy(9) Initiative(10) Technology literacyMasterclass also beautifully outlines several other notable skills, such as interpersonal skills and time management, exploring how the simple act of acquiring transferable skills adds perceived value from employers considering your future training, innovation-capacity, and overall potential.If you're not sure if you already have transferable skills, try this brainstorming excercise:(1) Easy button: Grab a pen and paper(2) Begin writing down your post-secondary takeaways, if you've yet to acquire work experience, or both(3) Once complete, review your experiences to-date(4) Cross reference each experience with the above list (or add more, as works for you) of transferable skills and write in a column beside each work experience section which transferable skills were gained(5) Inject this language into each work experience section(6) Attempt articulation of your elevator pitch but interweave your top three transferable skills acquired to strengthen the pitch and, simply as an exercise, become clearer on how you can contribute to (any) employer(7)  Now might be the time to re-type up that resume, repackage your understanding of yourself as a candidate, and proceed with more confidence  ;) You got this!
  • Rage Applying - Trend, Fad, or Here ...

    People are in search of better wages and work environments, always, this is not news. Our modern everyday is a sundae of possibility, complete with, cherry on the top: zero options shortages. What we do with what we know is up to us. It's no surprise then, that we're seeing worldwide attention to the concept of what is collectively now coined "rage applying". This term means taking out frustration on your boss(es) or the company who employs you, by applying to as many jobs as possible so that you get hired, offered more compensation, and utilize your "sought-afterness" as leverage to get more value out of where you are OR abruptly leave (cue dramatic exit music). It's the opposite of quiet quitting, but more often than not the loudest in the room is the most insecure. This proactive, some call aggressive, approach to job seeking through mass-and-fast applications to roles is also due to reasons outside office politics. With the economy at a possible tipping point, scales arguably leaning toward recession (maybe) people are in-pursuit of higher (paying)  safer ground. To say our environment these past few years and what's ahead feel unpredictable is just an honest observation at this point. And, when people feel change afoot they get, for lack of better word, "squirrely" (relating to characteristics of a squirrel, restless, unusually active, eccentric, nutty). The nuanced combination of factors contributing to rage applications considers the volatility of our times and what's come of it. By virtue of being a human in the workforce, more considerations are now at play and we're all grappling post-pandemic consciousness, post-pandemic merging of life and work, a search for purpose and meaning in what we do, how we do, and who we do it for,  employment gaps due to the mass resignation, and a refusal to continue to be overpassed for promotions, raises, or recognition for what we contribute.  With a slew of employees, worldwide, now also candidates eager to "jump ship" with fewer hesitations, a wider net, and high-visibility social networks and platforms supporting vocalization and mobilization of the rage applying craze, we're in a critical moment.Rage applying has resulted in testimonies of applicants quickly landing roles resulting in $30,000* pay increases but what was lost in the process? Time will tell if rage applying continues to catch on with TikTok's 800 million plus monthly users or it's simply a fad like quiet quitting or "acting your wage". What we do know is that knee-jerk reactions usually realize into decisions we regret.  *‘Rage-applying’ is the new ‘quiet quitting,’ and it’s helping Gen Z and millennials land $30,000 raises (yahoo.com)   
  • Extracurricular Experience Makes You ...

    My experience with extracurriculars Being a part of extracurriculars will change your post-secondary experience. From introducing you to new people, a community, to making you a more well-rounded person through knowledge-sharing. Some of my most relevant and exciting experiences are from participating in extracurriculars and executive teams at school - something I’ve done since first year. Each experience has taught me something different, and allowed me to gain skills and make connections that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. (Bonus point: these experiences give me more things to talk about during job interviews.)Importantly, this increased involvement on-and-off campus has made me really proud and increased my appreciation of others who voluntarily take on roles like this. The greatest takeaway, though, is truly knowing when I love something and am passionate about it (meaning I want to do it on my own time even though I’m not getting paid).  What I’m doing now I’m a part of an executive team that I am so proud of - the Canadian Marketing League. I joined about 8 months ago and evolved into the role of Chief Marketing Officer (sounds cool, I know). Essentially, it is my job to create content, oversee our social channels, create and brand a variety of documents, and produce items for print! It’s been a lot of fun and such a great way for me to be creative and learn from peers who have similar passions to me. What is the Canadian Marketing League? Here’s the pitch I give to everyone when we go on road trips to visit schools across Canada (I just came back from a trip visiting 5 schools last week): The Canadian Marketing League (CML) is Canada’s Largest Marketing Case Competition. We have several corporate sponsors that we like to call ‘learning partners’ and some of these include PepsiCo, McDonalds, Kraft Heinz, General Motors and Microsoft (I know right… amazing). As far as the competition goes, there are three phases. We call the first phase the “pre-season” (and it’s out now… due January 23rd if you want to participate). This is where students submit a pre-recorded 3-minute video pitch following a case from PepsiCo. The top 25 students from the pre-season will move on to the “regular season” and will complete two more cases from different learning partners, presenting them live via Microsoft Teams. From there, the top 10 will move on to the “playoffs” and will be presented with an all-expense paid trip to Toronto over a weekend, where they will compete in one final case and present it live in-person to our industry judges. Here’s ‘the kicker’… the grand prize is $20,000. Yes, you read that right. AND… because we have so many corporate sponsors a lot of them have jobs up for grabs (exciting, I know).  Essentially, CML is a way for undergraduate and graduate students interested in marketing to challenge themselves, earn recognition, and open doors to career opportunities.Shameless plug but here’s our website if you’re interested in learning more: marketingleague.ca What makes CML different from the rest? To keep it short and sweet, CML is exactly what I was looking for in an extracurricular: It has introduced me to some amazing people who I feel confident will be my friends for years to come. It challenges me all the time to think outside the box and be creative. It has allowed me to network and connect with numerous people from the industry who have had similar experiences to me. It’s allowed me to visit some incredible corporate offices and go on trips across Ontario and Quebec visiting different universities. It allows me to focus on my passion for marketing and sharing an amazing opportunity with my peers! Cool, I know. My advice This is my advice for anyone looking to feel the same way I do about their extracurricular - join things that bring you joy and that you want to participate in during your free time. If more often than not, it feels like a chore, it’s not the extracurricular for you, and that’s okay. It took me until my 5th year to find something I am truly passionate about and love, and I know you’ll find yours too! Good luck out there!  
  • How to Make an Academic Comeback thi ...

    Of course, the winter holidays are a much needed break from classes, reading, studying and exams (and when I say much needed, I mean it). Time off from school is the best for spending time with family and friends, relaxing, eating good food, and, especially, catching up on the sleep we lack during the semester. Before you know it, your time off is over and it’s time to head back to school - and you may have mixed emotions. It’s totally normal to feel sad that the break is over, or even stressed when you realize that you’ll quickly have to transition back into the student routine.Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure you’re set up to do your best this semester: Plan ahead While you’re still on break and have the extra time - start preparing yourself for the new semester. This can mean starting to wake up a little bit earlier as the countdown to the term begins, starting to get ready for writing notes whether that is digitally or on paper, or simply focusing on adjusting to what a typical schedule looks like for you when school is in session. If you do these things a few days before the semester starts, it will be so much easier to adjust to reality when you do go back to school. Set goals Before you start classes again, make a list of some things you want to achieve during the semester. Maybe that’s getting good grades in all of your courses, going to the gym, or joining a club. Whatever that looks like for you, make sure to be realistic and to think about HOW you will reach those goals. It will be helpful for you to break down how you will get there and what you need to do to achieve these goals - this will make it a lot easier for you to reach your full potential! Stick to a schedule You know what they say… “proper planning prevents poor performance”. Obviously, you have a regular class schedule and that is arguably the most important thing you have to do. Be sure to use a calendar (digitally or paper, whatever works best for you) to schedule time in your day for extracurriculars, work, study time, exercise and social activities. This will be very helpful in making sure you stay on top of all things you have to do AND want to do. Don’t be afraid to ask questionsDo yourself a favour and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether you have specific questions about a project or assignment, or simply need help with the course material, it’s never a bad idea to ask questions. After all, your professors, teaching assistants and classmates are there to help you and genuinely want to see you succeed. What better way to ensure your academic success than by asking questions to make sure you’re on the right track!Final Thoughts Getting back into your routine after a long break is never easy, but with thoughtful planning and some attention, it can absolutely be made easier. Just be patient with yourself (it will go a long way, I promise). I’m wishing you all the best of luck as you begin a new semester - I’m rooting for you!  
  • Self-Management Tools for Success

    Returning to work or school post-vacation can feel uphill. Yes, this Monday is a Tuesday, a four-day work week, but reviving routines for success, whether as student or 'employed', takes additional planning. Critical to moving the dial will be using tried-and-tested techniques for self-management. Self-management is the bedrock of any successful business or individual and yet only 1 of 10 managers are considered leaders or successes. A big part of the feelings we experience when returning to work are a loss of control over our days that we had when we were "O.O.O" so what better time to elevate our self-management skills and give us agency over what we do, how we do it, and where?A handful of tips we hope you consider trying to alleviate the post-holiday angst include:Working by Chronotype: Physiologically every human is on a relative 24-hour time cycle - rinse and repeat. Not all brains and bodies, not all humans, thrive at the same hour. This is, in part, due to surviving the species - differentiation is a massive part of what makes humans adaptable as a species. If you're most energized in the evenings, block out your most important projects for a few hours then and tackle lighter tasks throughout the day. If you're most energized in the morning, wake up and go!The Pomodoro Technique: 'Pomodoro' translates to 'tomato' in Italian and this name gets its roots from the use of a kitchen timer, designed to look like a tomato, that was used to create this working design. To do this technique you work for 25 minutes and break for 10-12 minutes, completing this process three times consecutively. One the fourth go-around, you work for 25 minutes then take a longer break - between 20-30 minutes. This diversifies your hours and keeps your brain on its toes.Brain Blinking:  Essentially a reset, a 'brain blink' is a reminder to take pauses throughout the days, maybe, even, closing your eyes to shut down your mind. The purpose is to slow down what's going on in your mind and around you so that your brain can receive optimal flow of information without all that noise and overthinking. This is particularly useful for 'creatives' and a component of finding your 'flow' - which everyone aspires to, not matter occupation.Burst Working: Burst working is similar to the Pomodoro technique in that it incorporates focused spurts (bursts) of work and then rest but burst working means taking longer 52-minute intervals of work followed by 12-17 minutes of rest, and continuously cycling this throughout the day.Boundary-setting: Boundary setting is really important. While some companies have fully adapted post-pandemic to hybrid. flexible, or results-only work environments that give employees complete agency over their contributions and successes others are slower on the uptake. No matter where you study or work it will help you to thrive if you can make a list of boundaries that you need respected in order to successfully work. For some, this may be blocking out chunks of time throughout their calendars for personal care or to be with family or it may mean setting a status message on your Teams, Slack, or Outlook to show that your response time may be 'X'. Boundaries give you clear parameters to work within that uphold your values and life outside the office - what makes us human. By having boundaries clear for yourself and others you are more likely to yield results, for everyone, long-term. 
  • The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Five Ye ...

    We never know what we're getting into until we experience it. I didn't know what my university experience would be until I went through it, and if you asked me when I started that I would be here I'm not sure I would have believed you. As I round out my fifth year at university and second-last in undergrad I thought I'd share what I learned (the good, the bad, and the (not so) ugly). I have learned so much from what others share with me about their experiences and hope my reflection helps you reflect on what you've learned or where you'll go next. The good I actually did a really good job at managing my time. I knew going into this semester that I’d have to balance school, 2 part-time jobs, a demanding extracurricular, and still be able to make time for myself and my social life. Of course this isn’t always easy and some weeks absolutely proved to be more challenging than others, I made it work. I stuck to a strict calendar and set appropriate boundaries when I needed to, in order to make sure I met all my deadlines and performed to the best of my abilities. I think I did a good job of being in control of my schedule, instead of my schedule being in control of me, which allowed me to be a lot more productive in my day-to-day.  I took courses that were actually interesting to me, which sounds like a given, but anyone in undergrad knows that sometimes you don’t get to be in control of what courses you take until your upper years. I was able to choose my courses and learn things that I was actually interested in, which allowed me to be a lot more productive when getting work done, simply because I actually wanted to do it. That made a huge difference for me, which I’m really thankful for.  I was able to make some great memories with my roommates and friends. Because I was able to manage my schedule so effectively, I was able to make time to go out with my friends and enjoy different things around me. This year I’ve had the privilege of exploring my university city and finding all of my favourite local places, which has been so much fun! The “bad”I was lucky in the sense that with the way my school schedule worked out, I only had classes two days a week. So, this meant that I really only needed to be on campus a couple days a week, which for some people, might sound amazing, and it did to me at first, too. But, as I approach the beginning of my last semester of undergrad, I realize now that I didn’t spend enough time on campus. Next semester, I plan to make more of a conscious effort to spend time on campus and really take in and enjoy my surroundings while I still have the chance.  I’m approaching graduation in spring 2023. Luckily for me (I guess) I’m pursuing a post-graduate certificate starting in the fall, so I don’t have the same post-grad stress that most do while job searching. But, I still experience a lot of stress about the future and about what’s next. I need to remind myself that everything will work out how it’s supposed to and that worrying about the future won’t change the outcome.  And the not so ugly I had a lot of flexibility in my schedule, which was really nice. Considering I only had 2 days of classes, I was able to fill the other 3 workdays with work and other things I was working on (i.e. extracurricular items, post-grad applications, summer job applications, etc.)  I have been able to pursue things I love, outside of the classroom. The job I have writing these blogs has been such a wonderful creative outlet for me and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. It’s been so fun and rewarding for me and has given me a lot of confidence in my writing, which I am so thankful for. As you can see, reflection can be a very useful tool. Being able to reflect on the last four months reinforced the fact that I am doing a lot of great things that I can be very proud of. Without reflection, it can be very easy to focus on all the little things and become unnecessarily stressed. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but it’s important to remember that everything happens for a reason and that you’re meant to be where you are right now. I have loved my undergraduate experience so far and I wouldn’t want to change any of it for the world! 
  • A New Way of Work: How to Spot a Com ...

    We live in a changed world still navigating the ripple effects of a pandemic that asked us to reconsider our relationship with work, our boundaries, expectations, and our physical and mental health. The past few years have been evolutionary for employers.Companies who want to hire and retain talent now have to meet talent where it's at and we're all looking for, well, (much) more than we were initially. Supporting the wellness of employees is not just about a benefits program but a deeper understanding of the new way of work. Here are some things to look for in an employer when seeking out a company that supports wellness initiatives and 'the new way of work':Comprehensive benefits packages that include mental health benefitsA four-day work weekWell-being goals created alongside your work goalsFlexible and remote work environmentsResults-only work environmentsOn or off-site wellness events Two-way communicationThese are just some of the things you can do research on, ask about, and seek when on the job hunt. Work environments that have adapted to provide flexibility and greater levels of care have higher employee satisfaction, retention, and results. Not bad, right (eh)!?`
  • New Year, New Career: Jump-Start 202 ...

    While the most popular New Year's resolutions revolve around self-care many also scream self-help and unsurprisingly increasing support for oneself coincides all-too-often with a career or job change. The foundations for being happy in a job include good pay, room for progression, and a positive company culture. When those foundations are disrupted the statistics show that our needs are not met and we begin to lack what we need to succeed and contribute. So, if you're one of the many who find yourself seeking a career or job change why not roll it into a New Year's resolution and jump-start 2023 with the right steps toward fulfillment? Our team sieved through countless tips online on this very topic to find you the most helpful words of wisdom.Top Tips to Start the New Year With a New Career:Be Intentional: This tip comes right from Forbes magazine, and it says so much quickly. Being intentional requires recognizing that where you want to go is not where you currently are and having agency in the situation. Knowing what you need to get where you want to go gives you the reflection essential to fill the gaps and reach your new goal with realistic expectations on your progress, timing, and results. Take Stock: Another good tip courtesy of Harvard Extension School outlines 'taking stock' as assessing your values, interests, personality, and skills (VIPS) and seeing where these findings intersect with a career path or role you are interested in. The value you can get out of your role is related to the value you can give and some of the factors that determine this are hard-wired into who you are as a person and how you live, or want to operate, your life. Seek potential job prospects: Thank you, indeed! We can't forget this step. There are countless pathways to finds new opportunities online. We recommend first boiling down what your findings were from your assessment (stock-taking) and then searching out industries and opportunities who value the types of qualities and credentials you're bringing. You may find opportunities you didn't even know were meant for you! Rebrand YOU: You've heard it before but you are your own brand. If you're looking to make a job or career switch looking over your social presence, updating your LinkedIn profile, adjusting your resume, and writing down that which aligns you to where you want to go can help you contextualize yourself, as a 'brand', that is 'on-brand' with your hopeful new career or employer. Thoughtful tips on rebranding for a career change here. Stay Open: This one is from us and it's a tip that combines networking with simple social investment. This means that right now is the time to stay open and not closed off to people, events, invitations, and conversations that may support and guide you toward your new path. Don't hesitate to let your circle, and their circle, or even people you reach out to for mentorship or 'coffee chats' online, know that you're exploring new career possibilities and use your newfound intentionality (step 1) to clearly advocate for yourself and your credibility. Apply: Go get 'em! OCC is a place to support you in your quest to start a new career, whether it's from scratch or as a switch from previous roles. Employers on our platform are specifically hiring students and recent graduates in Canada. So, while the advice within this blog post is about switching a career or role it is also all applicable to starting a career or role right out of university or college. If you don't see what you are looking for here, there are so many job sites to begin your journey. Please don't hesitate to tell us if you see an opportunity elsewhere that you want to see here. We're happy to reach out to the employer and make sure their next posting is here, for you, on our platform. :)
  • Turn That Feedback Frown Upside Down ...

    Let's be honest, no matter the method, receiving feedback at work (or in life) can easily feel like receiving criticism. This is amplified if the feedback was not solicited or deployed by someone who doesn't employ or manage you - ouch!Yet, there are ways to receive feedback, even if it's delivered poorly or unexpectedly, with (total) grace. In doing so, you will exude professionalism and turn that feedback into opportunities to improve, evolve, and show your growth (turn that feedback frown upside down)! Heck, months down the road you could use that feedback and how you incorporated it into your role as an example for that raise or even office you've had your eye on. So, here are our top tips for receiving feedback, directly:Treat the feedback like a gift: Do you receive a gift and look sad or look away? No! Maintain direct eye contact with the 'gift giver', nod your head, respond when appropriate, and give thanks. Displaying active listening shows that you are receptive to what is being said and open to improvement.  Ask questions:  If you feel open to the feedback and able to remove your emotions in the process, try asking exploratory questions to gain a deeper understanding of specific examples of the feedback, ways you can do better, and how it can improve your work or role for the organization and team. Reflect on it: Like any information or anything that is said about us (both good and bad) human error and interpretation are at play. You need to decide for yourself if the feedback provided was fair, true, helpful, and in alignment with your best interest - your growth. Take time to reflect on what was said, a few days even, maybe a week or a month, and forego a knee-jerk response to hearing something that may actually help you. Evolve and apply: Feedback done, questions asked, reflection over, lessons learned....now go! This is your change to improve, apply what you learned from the feedback and improve in your role and for your team. In summary, feedback isn't easy to receive, particularly if you feel it's unhelpful. All feedback should be helpful otherwise it will feel like criticism and not serve its purpose. When listening to it, you need to take into account who is providing it, what the intention is, and if you feel it is fair and helpful.  From there, feedback is a surprisingly excellent springboard to improve your work and advance your career - a gift, really.  
  • How to Survive & Thrive When Living ...

    Living with someone new can be really tough. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s scary to adjust to a new environment away from home and be around new people all the time - your new 'roomies' can initially feel like strangers. Rest assured, I have actually made some of my very best friends because we were roommates. Although, it's not always easy to navigate the 'roommate journey'. So, here are five lessons I've learned from personal experience about living with roommates:1. Get to know them I know this sounds silly, but it's not. Inevitably, you will spend significant time with your roommate(s), so it’s wise to get to them. Do you have common interests or similar hobbies and go from there? That's a great place to start! It's fundamental to have an understanding of each other in order to live together cohesively, even if you don't form a long-lasting "bestie" out of it. 2. Know & Respect Their ScheduleIt may seem like a waste of your time to familiarize yourself with someone else’s schedule but it is really helpful to bridge your relationship with your roommate. Understanding your roommates’ schedule(s) helps to plan your own day (now you know when you’ll have the place to yourself to study or to relax) and ensure a harmonious atmosphere by showing respect for each other's space and time. For example, if you typically go to bed around 10 p.m. and your roommate is usually up until 3 a.m., you’ll likely have to compromise something or, better yet, with each other. 3. Find a study space that isn’t at home Change of scenery can be your best friend. Spending time apart from your roommate(s) is healthy. Trying to stay productive in the same place for a long time (your dorm room or your bedroom in your student house) can be a struggle, so one thing I found helpful is finding a favourite place to study, either on or off campus, that you can use as a 'go-to' for when you need space. This also gives you the opportunity bring your best self back to your house/living space. 4. Set BoundariesKeep in mind that everyone comes from a different home environment and may have different expectations about what living with a roommate will be like. To that effect, everyone has their own set of personal boundaries. Discussing whether you’re comfortable sharing things like food, appliances, toiletries, etc., sets you up for success and diverts potential miscommunication and misunderstanding. I’ve been living with one of my roommates for the last four years so we are basically seasoned pro’s when it comes to living together. This fall, we welcomed a new roommate into our home so setting those boundaries and discussing what we were comfortable sharing and what we weren’t has proven to be really helpful.  5. Share responsibilities Let me tell you - this is an important one. Making sure you’re on the same page about responsibilities can result in avoiding a lot of fighting and hostility. Keep in mind this is shared space, so it’s important to share the responsibilities of things like taking out the garbage, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom. Personally, having a chore chart has never been my thing, so it’s always been important to me to make sure I’m pulling my weight when it comes to household chores, and keeping our space clean and organized.  Final Thoughts Whether you’ve been paired up with someone randomly or you already know the person you’re living with, living in a shared space with someone that isn’t your family is a new experience and takes some adjusting to. Be patient with yourself AND with your roommate(s) because you’re all going through the same thing. If you end up being best friends, that’s great and I’m so excited for you! If not, don’t worry - I’m a firm believer that everything always works out for the best and happens for a reason.  
  • Overcoming Burnout: Use Your Workpla ...

    Many employers offer their employees workplace benefits beyond just typical health/dental insurance and retirement planning. Of course, these perks differ from organization to organization, but they can range from things like mental-health services, financial wellness benefits, massage/chiropractic services, child care assistance, fitness and wellness resources, paid vacation time, and/or simply providing flexible work environments. Why Workplace Benefits are ImportantNow, I know that the concept of workplace benefits kind of seems like a one-way street. Employers give you these benefits as a perk that may entice you to work there. While this can be true, providing workplace benefits can actually be incredibly beneficial to the organization as well. Here are two of the reasons that stood out to me: Improved Wellness and Productivity Providing employees with the resources they need to stay healthy is probably the biggest thing here. Obviously, providing health/dental insurance ensures that employees are healthy so that they can come to work. But providing other benefits like retirement plans, can give employees a lot of peace of mind, which means they are likely to be less distracted and more productive while they work. Providing benefits for self-care services (i.e., massage therapy) can also boost wellness and productivity, as employees are likely to feel like their employer is taking care of them and understands the stress their body may be put under at work.  Positive workplace culture Who doesn’t love a positive culture, am I right?! Through my research, I learned that the Harvard Business Review found that two of the major factors contributing to positive workplace cultures were caring for colleagues as if they were friends and providing support when others are struggling. While employers should always aim to do these things within their personal interactions with their staff, setting up a collection of workplace benefits can also send that message. Why you should take advantage of your workplace benefits Arguably the biggest reason why you should use your workplace benefits is because they are available to you. Essentially, it’s like using free stuff… and I know I have some merit in saying, who doesn’t like free stuff?Especially in times like these, where inflation is becoming a growing concern, the benefits and discounts that are offered to us by our employers are a great way to battle both inflation and increasing interest rates. While I was doing research, I found a quote from Paul Seegert, a managing partner at a firm in California, who said, “there couldn’t be a better time to learn about what you already have available and not go spend money on these things” - and I truly couldn’t have said it better myself. Why spend money on things when we have the resources available that are there to help us out?Similar to the reasons why workplace benefits are a positive thing for employers, as employees, they offer us a way to boost our wealth, improve upon our physical and emotional health, and increase our satisfaction with our jobs/employers. Final Thoughts Some of the best perks we have as employees are the workplace benefits offered to us. So, we would be silly not to use them! Here is your early December reminder: If you have unused benefits that have been sitting around all year, Tis’ the Season to use them!  
  • Workplace Bullying & How to Overcome It

    Something to never forget: Workplace bullying is a symptom of a toxic workplace culture. The root cause of workplace bullying is not necessarily a result of the culture of your workplace but the fact that the behaviour has a container to take place is. A company whose workplace culture creates the avenues for workplace bullying to grow is known to have 'workplace vulnerability' and this is greatly associated with psychological distress. For context, when we reference 'workplace bullying' we don't mean that someone pushes you in the cafeteria to take your lunch money. However, workplace bullying, even in its subtlest forms is really trying for any human. Harvard Business Review created and shared a taxonomy of workplace bullying that organizes bullying in the workplace by its facet, features, behaviours, and outcomes. Give it a look here. What you see is that workplace bullying is idiosyncratic, complex, and a huge lift for anyone to navigate - at any level. The archetypes of bullying range from subtle isolation and ignoring to gaslighting and placing blame, or, even, screaming - eek.94% of issues in the workplace are systemic. Read that again. So, if you're feeling like you're experiencing workplace bullying you can only go so far to deal with it alone. Whether it's 'the schemer', 'the screamer', 'a gatekeeper',  'downward bullying', 'upward bullying', or anything in-between a holistic approach to upholding organizational justice and a psychologically healthy workplace is the true solution and that doesn't always start with you, but you can (try to) support a movement toward it.In the meantime, three very simple recommendations from The Muse on how to personally deal with a workplace 'bully' are:1. Speak-up early on2. Document it 3. Take care of yourself outside of work4. Research 5. Address the issues head-on6. Talk to HR7. Move onYou can only control what is within your control, right? Hang in there! To quote Simon Sinek, "A culture is strong when people work together for each other. A culture is weak when people work against each other, for themselves."    
  • Why You Should Take a Project Manage ...

    We’ve all worked on a project at some point in our lives. Whether that’s been a group project in school, planning a party, planning home renovations, or working on a new initiative at work, these projects build skills in organization, leadership, problem solving, and critical thinking. But… isn’t it crazy that we’ve always just jumped right into projects without any background understanding in project management? Imagine how much more efficient our projects would be if we learned more about projects and how to make them successful. First things first! You don’t have to want to become a project manager to benefit from taking a project management course. It doesn’t matter what industry or role you plan to pursue, taking a course in project management can positively impact your success in both your personal and professional life. Here’s a few of the perks of having a background in project management:  You’ll become a pro at setting goals Few projects can become successful without well-defined goals. Although you probably already know what SMART goals are, it’s likely one of the first things you’ll learn in a project management course. A quick background on what SMART stands for: S - Specific M - Measurable A - Attainable R - Realistic T - Time-bound  Knowing and understanding how to set goals is important in all aspects of life, even outside of work, so having an understanding of the best methods to set goals is great to have!         2. You’ll learn how to plan effectively After establishing and setting goals, you always need an action plan (who cares about the what without the how?). In project management, an action plan means determining: Who needs to be involved in a projectThe difference between short- and long-term goals within a project Each individual’s responsibilities and deadlines Realistic and appropriate timelines for completing tasks and achieving goals There’s no secret that a plan is great - but what really matters is the execution. In addition to understanding what is essential for an action plan, through learning about project management, you’ll also learn how to: Distribute and delegate tasks within a group effectively Monitor execution and ensure the high quality of each person’s workSpot problems and solve them before any major issues come about Provide resources and support as needed Being organized and planning projects accordingly can only make your life easier having trouble getting started on a cover letter? Break the goal into smaller, shorter-term tasks and set deadlines. Want to organize a surprise party for a friend? You’ll learn how to delegate tasks and make sure everything happens on time!     3. You’ll develop sought-after resource management skills First of all, project management is an in-demand skill. Pretty much every single industry (engineering, financial services, healthcare, etc.) requires individuals who have a high level of organizational, leadership, and resource management skills. Project management is a comprehensive subject that will help you navigate the following: Time: Let’s be real. You’ll have a hard time succeeding in the “real world” without effective time management. A project management course will teach you to think in terms of timelines, schedules, and deadlines (which, if you think about it, are all essential to managing your time effectively). Finances: Learning about project management really gets you thinking about budgets and how they affect projects and the operations of them, accordingly. Most project management courses have a financial management section, which can be really helpful in understanding how to allocate costs and budget effectively. Other resources: While time and money are arguably the most important resources to many people, project management also considers all of the other resources at your disposal, such as connections, knowledge, and other competencies. 4. You’ll get a head start in any careerAny skills you gain from taking a project management course will set you up for success in any career, regardless of if you plan to pursue something directly in project management. Of course, soft skills learned make you a more desirable candidate and overall a better employee. Final ThoughtsAt the end of the day, skills learned through understanding the essentials of project management are great as both life skills and professional soft skills. Taking a course in project management will make you more organized, goal-oriented and productive, both on your own and as a part of any team.And as someone currently taking a project management course, I couldn’t recommend it enough. There are so many things I have learned and feel more comfortable doing as I navigate projects!  
  • Self-Care Isn't Selfish, By: Courtne ...

    Student life is busy. There’s no denying that. Between classes, homework, midterms, having a job, extracurriculars, and a social life, it can become a real challenge to make time to take care of yourself.But one thing I hope we all had the pleasure of learning during the pandemic is that self-care isn’t selfish. We were encouraged to believe that taking care of ourselves - staying safe and healthy, was the best way to care for our community.Now that life is “back to normal”, it’s important for us to continue to make self-care a priority.I know what you’re thinking. Self-care sounds great, but how can I fit it into my busy schedule?Here are some things you can consider:Self-care is not one size fits allSelf-care can look different for everyone. It’s not just about mani-pedis or treat-yourself days (unless you want it to be). For some, it might be as simple as taking time to recharge your ‘social battery’ by taking a nap, meditating, or reading during your alone time. For others, it might be spending time with people you love or running errands and getting things done that you may not have had the chance to yet. At the end of the day, self-care is all about doing what feels good and makes the most sense to you at the time.Little things can equal big impactWhen we have a lot on the go, it’s really easy to throw self-care out the window. This is why breaks are actually really important - they help to stay on track and avoid mental exhaustion. When we neglect ourselves, we can feel the impact it has on us, and the same goes for when we make an effort to take care of ourselves. Something as little as taking a 20-minute walk around the block or making yourself a tea can do wonders for your well-being (try it, I swear!)You gotta give yourself permission!Yes, I know that most of us have a hard time thinking about setting time aside for “self-care”. If you’re someone who has always said you don’t have time for self-care, or that self-care seems selfish and self-indulgent, I hear you. We are so used to taking care of everyone else around us that it becomes tough to switch to focusing only on ourselves. When we give ourselves the green light to understand that we are worth the time and investment, we will realize that there are significant benefits to self-care.Well, now you know! Self-care isn’t selfish and it’s also not superficial. It’s about protecting your mental health and fostering sustainability in your routine.Shameless plug to the blog I wrote on the importance of routines.I challenge you to pick one thing this week that will have an impact on how you feel. Put it in your calendar as if it were an important appointment. Pay attention to how you feel (your mood, energy, outlook, etc.) and if it’s as great as I think it will be, do it again! 
  • It’s Personal: How to Take a Persona ...

    Last year I was on a 12-month internship term, where we were allocated 3 “wellness days” or “personal days” for the year - AKA when it made the most sense for us, we were encouraged to take time off to disconnect, recharge, and forget about work.Generally, personal days are built into your company’s policy - they’re meant to be used for personal reasons like family emergencies, self-care or big moves. But, whether your company has introduced this initiative or not (if they haven’t, they should be reminded that it’s 2022), many of us aren’t using them anyways.For many people, the thought of asking for time off is weird and uncomfortable. Even if your relationships at work are extremely well-established, it can be really hard not to feel bad for asking to take time off unless everyone knows you have a vacation planned.Here are some things you should consider as you navigate taking a personal day (because you should take one!):Getting Over Feelings of GuiltSo many of us feel bad for taking a day off of work. We often feel that if we don’t have an extreme reason to be away, that we’re letting others down and not working ‘hard enough’.I think this stems a lot from the ‘hustle culture’ that we’ve all been exposed to in real life, and especially in the workplace. A lot of us have been taught and encouraged to always be at the top of our game, and to always push through hard times, even if we’re feeling burnt out or exhausted. This has caused many individuals to believe that our productivity is a direct reflection of our value as an employee - and so if we’re not working long hours and producing constant output, our performance will reflect this accordingly.Consider this: if we’re constantly working towards being more and more productive, and don’t take time to rest and recharge when our bodies need it, we’re a lot more at risk of burnout (which means we will likely be less productive).So, take that as a reminder not to feel too guilty for taking time off. You and your body deserve it (and maybe you’ll even be doing your employer a favour by avoiding burnout, while you’re at it!).How to Ask for a Day OffCheck in with your teamBe sure to look at the day(s) you plan to be away from your desk and check for any deadlines, projects and/or meetings that your attendance is really important at. Take note of anything critical that you are responsible for, and if anything significant happens to be on one of the day(s) you plan to take off, consider changing them. If you can’t, speak to your manager and your team to come up with an alternative action plan.Tell your ManagerTell your manager you’d like to take time off and go through the correct channels for approval. If you have the opportunity to call or meet with them in person to discuss your request - that would be best. It’s also not a bad idea to send them an email to remind them of your time off.You’ll also want to mark the time off in your calendar so that no one is booking meetings that you won’t be available for.Ask for HelpRemember how I said to check for any important items when considering your days off? This is definitely an important step when planning to take a personal day, but it’s also important to remember that work will never go away. There will still be meetings and projects moving when you’re not there.If you need coverage, or someone to put on your out of office email, ask your workers for support. Remember: just like you would be willing to help them out, they will be willing to help you!How to Spend your Personal DayHow you decide to spend your day off is totally up to you! If you prefer to use your personal days for an important event or a variety of appointments, that’s great. If you’d like to use it for a self-care day, that’s also great!I would encourage you to spend the day doing something that makes you happy and allows you to feel both well-rested and recharged when you return to work. Much like self-care in general, this will look different for everyone. So, whether you’d prefer to spend the day deep cleaning your home, reading or watching your favourite movie, or running errands - enjoy your time away from your computer - I know it’s well deserved!Why it’s Important to Use your Personal DaysLike I mentioned earlier, personal days are generally built into your company’s policy for a reason - and taking them can actually make you a better employee… imagine that! Here’s what we know:Workplace stress is a real thing Burnout is also a real thing Life happensSelf-care is important You are not defined by your career (and so you shouldn’t feel guilty for living a life outside of work)We’re very lucky that in 2022, many employers do encourage us to take personal/wellness days. But it’s important to remember that it’s essentially your own responsibility to check-in with yourself and ensure you’re doing all you can to make sure you’re both healthy and productive at work. And if this means requesting a personal day, congratulations! You’re putting yourself first! 
  • Pronouns Are Important, Here's Why

    It is our human right to identify our pronouns and to inform others to refer to us by the pronoun(s) we identify with. It is common for pronouns to be referred to as 'preferred pronouns', but this language is lacking - we don't choose our identities just like we don't choose our height. The use of pronouns in our self-identification and communications is not just a form of respect and inclusion but a way to systemically support the human rights of your peers, friends, and yourself.To help you understand more about the importance of pronouns and why using pronouns and other words matters, we've compiled a few resources:"Why Pronouns Matter, Here's What You Can Do to Help People Feel Seen, Heard, and Respected. Learn Why Using Pronouns & Other Words is Important", Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital"Why Pronouns Use Matters, Using People's Preferred Pronouns is a Harm-Reduction Method", By: Ariane Resnick, CNC, VeryWell Mind"Pronouns 101: Why They Matter and What to Do (and Not to Do) if You Misgender Someone", By: Kay Martinez, Medium.com"Why You Should Be Identifying Gender Pronouns in Your Company, and How to Get Started", By: Juliette Baxter, Globe & Mail If you haven't yet updated your pronouns digitally, through communications, or tried introducing your prounons in-person, here are a few places you can try:your email signatureyour name tagyour social media bioyour Zoom nameverbally (during introductions or conversations)Today is as good a day as any! Happy Fri(yay). 
  • You Can’t Recession Proof Your Resum ...

    Are we in a recession? Not yet. However, in Canada, inflation is at its highest level in 31 years. Normally, inflation sits at around 3% increase per year but right now it’s at 6.7%. Rising prices means that things are, ‘duh’, more expensive and when everyday household and big-ticket items get pricier, consumers have less purchasing power, and this causes us to hold back. What we buy and where we invest become weighted decisions in this economic climate because we can’t purchase or invest in as much as when inflation is lower. Food, energy, transportation, and rent are all examples of items that have seen price increases as of late and the less we buy the more expensive things get. Sad news, but truth be told we need inflation to increase now for the long-term health of our economy. What goes up must come down, eventually. The average recession lasts no more than 11-months. The last recession, in 2008, was more prolonged. It lasted 18 months, give or take.  On a personal note, I’m very familiar with seeking employment during a recession. The collapse of the United States housing market, due to sub-prime lending practices, rippled into Canada in 2008. This will date me, but I was a newly minted college graduate returning from travelling across parts of Europe and anticipating a smooth landing back at a promised job offer from my employer. I had interned for said employer in sales and marketing. What I returned to, in fact, was a personal debt from sunny days abroad and a fashion company that had, to the fault of no one, ended its days. I had no job and no prospects. What I did have was bills and a suitcase of colourful sweaters the company had gifted me. Time was of the essence, and I began pursuing an income but also the right experience to land me the type of jobs and career I wanted long-term.  I started by matching my skills and interests long-term with job opportunities that weren’t on my radar initially or not within the industry I desired. I ended up aligning with a handful of opportunities and took a job managing the front desk and reception at a busy real estate company. It gave me the money I needed to pay rent, keep enjoying entertainment and life, and a funky work environment in the heart of downtown Toronto’s King Street area. It also empowered me with constant learning and a set focus, at a time when so many lacked a schedule or income. Not having a job or routine and feeling like you are building something is a hard place to be in – some would call it a rut. Avoiding ruts in times when the economy is slumping can feel particularly uphill, right? But there's no better time to keep pushing above and beyond, moving forward, then when things are tough. And, by doing this job, which I graduated initially with no interest in pursuing, I not only gained a gamut of experience and learned so much about a thriving industry but built a slew of skills foundational to my future career. I also made friends, one of which was even a part of my wedding party ten years later and remains a 'bestie'.So, Step One is from personal experience and that lesson is: Work Backwards Write down a list, freestyle, of all the jobs you’re interested in long-term. You might notice that these won’t necessarily be in one industry. If they are, good on you. You might notice that these roles have parallel industries that you had not initially considered = also great. What you’ll find by doing this is the blueprint for where you want to land. If you know this, you can begin to research what skills and experiences these types of job opportunities are seeking. From here, you can go onto a job board like OCC or Indeed or Job Hopper, even, and search for the exact role titles on your ‘long-term list’. This will reveal the types of skills and experience that employers are looking to hire for in these opportunities. Sure, they may not be seeking your experience level now but now you know what you need to get there.  Next up?Step Two: Understand What Skills & Experiences Are Important to Your Longterm Career & Use This New List to Narrow Down Short-Term Career Options  Okay, you now know the skills and experiences you need to get into the roles you eventually want to land. Which of these in this list is most aligned with your personality? This might clarify, even further, your best ‘bet’ when it comes to your long-term employment goals. This will also show you what types of jobs you can look at in the short-term, now, that will give you these skills and experiences so that you can work toward landing roles that aren’t necessarily in the exact echelon or industry you had initially planned on being in but that can build you a foundation and increase your hire ability, while giving you a salary, to be hired now. Being hired now, while also working toward the big picture, means when the economy bounces back (and it always does) you can launch into a more direct route toward what you always wanted to do. People, like companies, have a choice to scale back or push forward when everyone is scaling back and go further. Your choice.Step Three: Integrate & Initiate to Bank on Yourself Now & Later Now is not the time to have a huge ego. Check that at the door during a recession and save it for later, if you two are super-tight. ?? Now is the time to integrate and initiate. Take your pursuit of a ‘foundational job’, the job that will eventually lead you where you want to go, as a full-time job. Commit to applying to five-ten jobs daily but first integrate the keywords and verbiage aligned with the skills and experiences you know you need long-term and with the roles that are currently hiring and into your resume. (This search approach could also mean dipping between freelance roles and applying there too). The end-aim is to ensure that the roles you land will work toward something bigger but offer you the chance to build a livable income and foundational experience now. This is a strategic mindset to building your future career now, and it means that you might not glide into the office, latte-in-tow, doing exactly what you’d always imagined would be your first job but, with commitment and your eye on the long game, you will earn the money and work credit you need to bank on you - now and later. Know This: It’s Not Your Fault No one and no company are recession-proof. It’s just a fact. Sorry. So many articles discuss recession-proofing your resume or recession-proofing your life but while so much we can control in life there are outliers – like, for example, you are not responsible for the global state of our economy and there isn’t much you can do to change it right now. The things you can do are fairly common sense. One thing I will note is that this article about skills employers seek during a recession seems fairly legit. After all, who doesn't like 'universal mastery'?Truth is that companies and people that hire rather than fire and invest rather than devest thrive post-recession when the competition has scaled back. “Necessity is the mother of innovation; scarcity drives entrepreneurship.” Former COO of Apple, Tim Cook, is quoted as saying “We believe in investing during downturns.”  It's only human to have knee-jerk reactions to uncertainty and fear but all we can do is adapt and keep moving forward (eyes on the endgame). So, hang in there, and hang tight because this too shall pass, even though it hasn’t technically started. 
  • Feeling Unqualified? Apply Anyway, M ...

    Have you ever been job searching and come across your absolute dream job? It sounds perfect and you can’t stop thinking about it? But then, you scroll to the qualifications section and they’re looking for someone with an MBA, 5 years of experience in the industry and experience managing large teams (sigh). You know that while you have a great set of experiences and a passion for the role, you definitely don’t have those things. I guess the ultimate question is - should you apply or should you just forget about it all together because you don’t necessarily have exactly what the company is looking for? Well - it depends. But here’s some advice you may want to consider as you’re deciding whether to apply or not: How Unqualified Are You, Really?One of the most important things you can do is sit down and understand where you’re at and how unqualified you are. Don’t assume you necessarily need to fulfill 100% of the requirements - usually these are listed simply to weed out people who are totally inappropriate (and I would hope those people would know they shouldn’t be applying, anyways). But think of it as, best case scenario, they hire someone with ‘all of the above’ requirements and if not, no big deal. One time I heard someone say that a good rule of thumb is having about 75% of the qualifications - and I don’t think this is a bad idea at all.Like I said earlier, you have to be honest with yourself and to understand where you’re at. If the job you’re considering applying for would be a huge jump (for example, they’re looking for 10+ years of experience and you have 1), your energy might be better spent on positions that are a closer fit or that may seem more realistic to the level of seniority the company is looking for. It’s Application Time! So… you’ve decided to apply! But you still know you’re a bit unqualified in comparison to others that will be applying and you’re trying to figure out some ways you might be able to set yourself apart. Here’s some ideas that might be worth your while, especially if this is a job that you think you will both love and excel at:  Filling the GapsIf the description you come across has a long list of requirements that you’re concerned about not having, figure out what you can bring to the table that will set you apart and make the playing field slightly more equal (knowledge, skills, past experiences, etc.). For example, maybe you’ve never managed a large group of people at work, but you have managed a group of your peers in an extracurricular position at school, or through a sport you’ve played. Do your best to look at your transferable skills and experiences and see if they will be able to help you set yourself up for success in this job - you may not have the perfect qualifications, but you can definitely speak to your experiences (make sure this is also highlighted in your resumé and cover letter, too!).  Actions Speak Louder Than Words If you’re applying despite some fear that you may not be meeting 100% of the employer’s expectations, a good idea might be to show them what you can do. For example, in addition to your cover letter, maybe you’ll want to include a memo outlining what you would expect the major challenges of the role might be, and how you’d go about tackling them. Going ‘above and beyond’ in any capacity will show off your passion, the skills that you’ve worked so hard on, and will also show that you’re serious about the role (what more could they want, right?!).  Network, Network, NetworkAs annoying as it can be sometimes, it’s important for us to never discount the power of networking. If you have a contact who is able to make a recommendation or personal introduction to someone at the organization you’re applying to, that’s great - utilize the connections you’ve worked hard to maintain! If that’s not an option, you can also try the cold approach (whenever I do this, I try to find someone from the organization that went to the same school as me, it’s a great way to have some kind of additional connection with alumni). It’s never a bad idea to connect with people and start building relationships - you never know what it will bring you (hopefully, success!). Final Thoughts Next time you come across a dream job that seems a bit out of reach, or that you simply feel unqualified for, don’t write yourself off immediately. Believe in yourself and give it your all! Worst case scenario, you won’t get an interview - but at least you got out of your comfort zone and tried! And best case scenario, you’ll score your dream job!  
  • Becoming a Social Media Manager, By: ...

    What is a social media manager? A social media manager is responsible for creating, managing and carrying out a brand’s online presence and social media strategy. This usually involves creating and publishing content, engaging with followers and managing the brand’s community, and monitoring conversations to ensure that the brand’s social media presence helps build a positive reputation. What does a social media manager actually do?A social media manager is responsible for the day-to-day management and development of both content and copy for a brand’s social media platforms. This may mean positioning a brand through tweets, posts, stories, and discussions via social media platforms, in addition to monitoring related discussions. An entry-level social media manager will generally be responsible for general account monitoring and for managing social media accounts on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc.Eventually, a social media manager's role may also become more focused on marketing strategy and ensuring content and the brand’s social media presence align, accordingly. What kind of education do social media managers usually have?While a degree is generally not required for social media managers, it is becoming more common for them to have a degree in digital marketing, communications, or data science. Of course, these degrees aren’t requirements to achieve success in this field, a degree can absolutely provide you with skills and experiences that can help you advance your career. What essential skills do social media managers have? Excellent oral and written communication skillsOrganizationAdaptability Strong analytical skills Creativity Ability to work under tight deadlines Enthusiasm Relationship Management Initiative Where do social media managers typically work? Social media managers have the option to work for digital marketing agencies, a part of an in-house marketing team, or can freelance their services. An in-house social media manager is an employee who manages the company’s social channels. An agency is a third-party vendor that provides social media management services to businesses. A freelance social media manager is a social media marketing expert who assists a business to elevate their social presence. How much do social media managers usually make per year?Social media managers can expect to earn anywhere from $45,000 to $80,000 per year. The average salary for a social media manager is around $50,000, with the average hourly rate at about $17.94, according to Indeed Salaries. However, it is important to note that salary varies based on important factors like location, qualifications, experience, and type of industry. How can you become a social media manager? First, it’s important to understand how social media works. This means using the platforms yourself and becoming familiar with them and understanding how they can be used to achieve business goals. It’s also a good idea to stay up to date on trends and best practices for each platform you plan to use or specialize in. As mentioned above, it’s important for social media managers to have strong writing and communication skills. Social media managers need to be able to communicate with both the external target audience and internal individuals. Finally, you’ll need to build a portfolio or collection of your work. Many social media managers start by managing social media accounts for school projects, small businesses, or volunteer organizations.  
  • Are you Better Suited for Remote, Hy ...

    I feel like we can probably all agree that the pandemic has permanently changed the way we work. In almost all professions, there was a belief that the only way to be productive at work was to have a traditionally enforced 9-5 schedule, working in the office. As we know, Covid-19 forced many companies to transition to remote work, and for many, the outcome was surprisingly positive. The majority of employees adapted well, and some even saw increases to productivity! Companies that used to function completely in person may now allow for hybrid or remote work, enabling employees to work whichever way they prefer, to focus on personal responsibilities, and to achieve better work-life balance (who doesn’t want that?!)As you approach post-grad life, it might be beneficial to determine which option (in office, remote, or hybrid) is best suited to both your professional and personal life.  In-Office The personality type that is most likely to thrive most in an in-person environment is ‘extrovert’. This type of work might be best suited to you if: You rely on social interactions in your day-to-day lifeYou work well in groups, or if the nature of your work is highly collaborativeYou value the company and support of your coworkers You prefer to follow a consistent routine and value getting ready, leaving the house, and commuting to work You like to “leave work at the office” at the end of the dayYou struggle to feel productive at home  Remote If you are an introvert, it’s probably safe to say that you saw the pandemic as a blessing in disguise as far as working from home goes. Pre-Covid, it was quite rare to find a remote work opportunity. You might be more suited to remote work if: You find the office distractingYou rely heavily on downtime and alone time You prefer to work independently and prefer the safe and comforting atmosphere of your home Your daily household/family responsibilities make work flexibility a priority You want to add time back into your day by avoiding a commute  HybridThe personality types that are likely to perform best in a hybrid environment are anyone who considers themselves to be in-between the spectrum of an introvert or extrovert. Introverted extroverts are those that prefer to be around people, but also need a little downtime (to charge ‘the social battery’). Extroverted introverts are those that rely heavily on downtime, but also enjoy socializing. A hybrid work environment will give individuals with these personalities the types of both the human interaction and alone time they need to be most productive. You might opt for a hybrid work style if:  You like to be able to schedule your work around your personal schedule Going back and forth between the office and home adds variety to your work life (change of scenery can be really helpful!)You prefer to work in the environment that best suits your mood and the type of work you’re doing that day You value both collaboration with coworkers and independent work  Which work option is best suited to you? Take this quiz. My results: Remote! I answered yes 10 times!  Final Thoughts Overall, each work style comes down to each person’s personality and their preferences. There could be introverts that love working in the office and extroverts that prefer to work from home. If you have the option to choose your work environment, always choose which feels most productive and comfortable to you!  
  • Why It’s Okay if You Don’t Graduate ...

    Completing an undergrad degree only takes four years, right? Well, maybe not… and that’s okay! The new reality is that a lot of students don’t end up graduating in the traditional four year window. In fact, a recent CNBC study found that only 41% of college/university students graduate in 4 years or less. You may feel alone as you take a 5th year or feel stressed about planning to take an extra year or two to graduate, but clearly, you are not alone (I’ll give you a moment for a sigh of relief). Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why students like you might not graduate “on time”: Changing Majors According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 80% of students change their majors before they graduate (I was surprised by this, too!). Depending on when you change your major (and for some, what you change it to), it can delay your graduation date. Although this may be discouraging to some, if you feel like the choice to refocus your studies on something else is helping you to reach your goals, then you’ve hit the jackpot! Taking an Internship TermThis is what I did. While it is taking me a whole extra year to graduate, I know that I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to supplement your classroom learning with real world experiences and hands-on learning. If you ask me, it’s never a bad idea to graduate with relevant job experience!Covid-19 I know you saw this one coming. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic presented us with so many unprecedented changes in all facets of life, including class delivery. For this reason, many students opted to pause their studies to combat the mental stress of completing school online.There’s nothing wrong with preferring to learn in a real classroom setting, and I hope this year brings you everything you wanted in terms of your education (yay for being back on campus!)Working during studies Some students have to be financially responsible and independent, and may have to work during their studies (sometimes full-time) to offset the costs of education. Some students may have to take a reduced course load to afford their post-secondary education to deal with financial barriers, if they face them. There is nothing wrong with working during your studies, and you should know that your hard work is paying off (even if it doesn’t always feel like it!) Changing Schools The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that 37% of post-secondary students end up transferring their educational career. Unfortunately, credits for completed courses don’t always transfer to the new school. Again, if you don’t feel like the school you originally chose is a good fit for you, the best thing you can do is switch! Your happiness is so important! Final Thoughts While graduating in four years might be important to some students, putting the four-year timeline on it can be unnecessarily restrictive. It is so important to consider that every student works differently, at different paces, and are faced with different circumstances and challenges during their studies (education is not one size fits all, people!)School does not define you and neither does the amount of time you spend in it!  
  • Why You Should Have a Routine for Ba ...

    Having a routine can be extremely helpful in times of unpredictability, uncertainty, and stress (and I know we’ve all had our fair share of these). A friend of mine, Ella Grant, a graduate from Bachelor of Health Sciences in Workplace Health and Wellness, notes “Having a routine can help decrease one’s stress levels, which can improve mental health and wellness. Essentially, the more you can decrease stress in your life, the better it will be.”It makes sense right? How often have you found yourself “winging it” during your day and then barely getting anything checked off of your to-do list? Does that lead you to become stressed?I hate to break it to you, but this probably happens because you haven’t set yourself up for success with a routine.  Routines help you:Lower Stress Levels Unfortunately, a lack of a routine often means having a constant worry of “when will I get it all done.”Save Time Time is money, people! By following a routine, you’re able to stop wasting time (and of course when you stop wasting time, you are more productive and efficient) and free up time that would have otherwise been spent planning, decision making, and preparing.  Make Time for Self-Care Getting your important tasks and priorities out of the way can also help you to find more time for exercise, activities, and spending time with people you love (who doesn’t love the sound of that, right?!)  Prioritize When you are creating a routine, you start prioritizing what is most important to you. You make sure there is enough time in your routine to get it done. Creating a routine Here are four simple steps to set you up for success with your routine: Determine what you need in your routine: Obviously a good place to start is to determine your priorities (i.e. do you want to make more time for exercise or meditation or spending time with family?) By figuring out what is important to you, you can start to figure out how you will fit it into your schedule and routine.  Start small!: Believe me, I know it can feel super daunting to start a totally new routine. There’s no pressure to get it all figured out right away. Start by making small changes, scheduling them in your calendar (for good measure) and then you can add to it and adjust it afterwards as you see fit.  Be consistent: While there’s no pressure to fit EVERYTHING into your routine right away, it is important to make sure you’re being consistent with the things you do incorporate to your routine right away. This will make it a lot easier to stick to them long-term.  Make it fun!: It will be a lot easier to follow your routine if you’re motivated - so you will have to find ways to make it fun! If you are enjoying your routine, you’ll find it difficult to make excuses. Parts of my routine that I value As someone that loves a good routine, I thought I’d share some parts of my routine that I value and love (this is my way of making it fun!). Maybe this will give you some inspiration, too! In the morning: Making my bedGetting ready Making breakfast Getting dressed At night: Making dinner ShoweringTidying up Filling up my water bottle with cold water and ice What part of YOUR routine is your favourite? ?? You’ll have to let us know! :)Sources: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/why-using-routines-will-make-you-more-productive.htmlhttps://alyssascreativelifestyle.com/what-is-a-routine/https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-keeping-a-routine-during-stressful-times-4802638https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/health-benefits-of-having-a-routine#:~:text=Routines%20Can%20Be%20Fun&text=Better%20stress%20levels%20lead%20to,sleep%20will%20leave%20you%20refreshed.  
  • 7 Skills Employers Look For & How to ...

    Landing a new job is about so much more than just your past experience. Most employers are looking for well rounded people with specific skill sets that will make them a good fit for both the role and the company. Learn more about about the types of skills employers are looking for (and how you can demonstrate that you have them in an interview) ??Soft Skills and Hard Skills When applying to a new job or internship, there are some skills that employers will expect their employees to possess, regardless of the position. These are often referred to as “soft skills” and include interpersonal skills and other skills you might need to succeed in their workplace/organization. These might be things like teamwork, critical thinking, and communication skills. Employers will also often require more tangible or “hard skills” that are more in tune with professional or technical skills required to perform well in a given position (which means they are likely to be more specific). These might be things like computer skills, coding ability, or presentation skills. While employers generally look for a candidate that has a combination of both soft and hard skills, I would consider that soft skills are usually more sought after (mostly because hard skills can be taught on the job).“Having the ability to explain how problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills have transferred from previous experiences gives me the confidence that these skills can be demonstrated in the workplace,” said Lauren Nigro, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Staples Canada, “it is one thing to train an individual on their core competencies in their position but it is these soft skills that allow you to perform tasks specific to your role and organization.” Top Skills Employers Look For It’s always a good idea to align the skills you have (don’t lie here, people) with the skills that are required for the position, and include them in your resume and cover letter, accordingly. You’ll want to prepare to highlight the most relevant skills during an interview by being able to provide real-life examples. Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list, but these are some skills that I know are important to employers (as someone who has consulted a talent acquisition specialist and has done her fair share of interviews!): Problem Solving Employers generally search for candidates with strong problem-solving skills, simply because no matter the position or company, challenges do occur, and they want to make sure they have capable individuals handling these situations and coming up with solutions accordingly. Problems might include things like challenging situations, personal interactions, communication errors or misunderstandings, or even coming up with new ideas within the organization. You probably use problem-solving skills on a daily basis without even realizing it, through handling customer complaints, working on a project either independently or in a team setting, or answering questions from your supervisor about your tasks. To demonstrate your capability during an interview, you can prepare to describe a situation where you developed a solution to overcome a challenge. Time Management Employees who manage their time well are a lot more productive, efficient, and more likely to meet deadlines. They tend to prioritize their work appropriately, and have the ability to focus on the more important, time sensitive tasks, rather than wasting time on tasks that aren’t as urgent. Why wouldn’t an employer look for a candidate that makes the most of their time?As a student, you’ve probably already mastered this skill, so you’re already ahead of the game. Time management really is all about a combination of working productively and prioritizing your time. To display your ability to manage your time effectively during an interview, give examples of how you’ve managed multiple projects or competing priorities and hit your deadlines.  Flexibility As an employee, being flexible means you’re often able to pivot quickly and adjust to changing priorities, structures, tasks, and deadlines, which is really important to employers, who are constantly thinking about long-term success. At this point, post-COVID, I think we have all proven ourselves to be extremely flexible and resilient to change and to not know what the future holds (please, give yourself a pat on the back!). We have all shown our ability to adjust to changes in our environments through changes to online school and remote work, especially, and have, despite difficulty, remained positive and enthusiastic about what we’re working on or towards. Luckily for us as students, flexibility also has a lot to do with having a willingness to learn and being open to alternate ways of doing things - which in my opinion, is what we do best! You can show that you’re flexible during an interview by providing an example of a time when you had to adapt to a changing environment and explain how your flexibility was valuable to those around you. Teamwork Employers are often looking for candidates that are able to work well with others - mostly because teamwork is so essential for fitting in with the company’s culture, building personal and professional relationships, and developing belonging within a group (even as a remote worker, it’s still very important to interact with others!). I don’t know about you, but I’ve done my fair share of interacting with teams during group projects, extracurriculars, and at work, so working in teams and collaborating with others is pretty much an everyday experience. You can show your willingness to work with others by giving an example of how you’ve had to navigate different team dynamics in a way that builds solidarity and encourages productive collaboration. Growth Mindset This one may come as a surprise to you, but it makes sense if you think about it. The inevitable nature of today’s corporate environment is competitive, fast-changing, and disruptive, meaning that encouraging a company-wide growth mindset has become important for success for most employers. When employees are excited about learning and growing both personally and professionally, it makes sense that their organizations see increased levels of trust, engagement, and innovation. You’ll be able to showcase your eagerness to grow by giving examples of actions you’ve taken to advance your skills and broaden your capabilities, inside and outside of work. Communication I already know that you’ve heard this one before. It seems like communication skills are talked about ALL the time, but it checks out considering you have to be able to communicate and listen all the time at work, no matter the industry. Employers are always looking for great candidates who can communicate effectively (both verbally and in writing). You need to be able to communicate successfully with your colleagues, managers, and customers in-person, online, in writing, and/or over the phone. This is something that most of us are still trying to master, but let me tell you, working in a corporate environment has taught me so much about communicating with others and making sure there is no room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Feel free to use the interview itself as an opportunity to show you can speak and listen effectively, or dive into an example of a time when you communicated something to others with ease. Self-Motivation Attitude goes a long way in the workplace. Employers look for candidates that are positive and motivated even in stressful or difficult situations. Positivity and self-motivation shows your level of resilience (remember when we talked about flexibility?). Employers want to hire people with a “can-do” attitude, who are dedicated, motivated, and willing to contribute extra effort to get the job done when faded with challenges. A good way to look at this one is thinking about what motivates you. Is it the results? Is it achieving goals? Is it receiving feedback? Think about what makes you excited and what makes you more willing to work on things. In an interview, you can share initiatives that you led, and describe how you were able to achieve the goals you set for these projects.  Show me the Skills! Before entering an interview, take a couple moments to make a list of the skills and qualities that best reflect your background, and incorporate them into your resume and cover letter. Think of real life examples where you may have gained or applied these skills, resulting in success in the classroom, at work, or in another setting. Share these examples with your interviewer so you can highlight just how much of an asset you would be to their team. Now, get out there and start applying! You got this!  
  • Why You Need Durable Skills & What T ...

    The pandemic adapted how recruiters recruit because it changed just about everything in our world and that includes how businesses think. What employers need is more team members with the ability to operate, innovate, and lead with an inter-disciplinary approach that assures long-term growth, no matter the environment. Staying agile and having a competitive edge when it comes to the jobs you want means bringing durable skills to the workforce. So, what are durable skills and how do you highlight them with your prospective future employer?Durable skills, in many ways, are another vehicle of delivery for ‘soft skills’ in that whereas we once referred to ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills the on-trend language has veered toward ‘durable’ or ‘perishable’ and the categorization of these skills is now measured by their longevity. Here is a read.In essence, durable skills are skills that are long-lasting and can't be taught but are acquired by doing - through experience - while they also have a shelf life of at least 7.5 years. Durable skills are also easily transferred between job types and industries - the value of these skills doesn't diminish when the title or employer changes.Examples of durable skills include:design thinking,project management,effective communication,leadership,creativity,critical thinking,cognitive flexibility, problem solving,risk-taking, and,mental fortitude.Why is this important for you to know? 44% of recruiters note that they would hire someone with strong durable skills over strong technical skills and right now there is a shortage of candidates who can speak to their durable skills because they have not gained the experience to acquire them. And, lest we forget the important note that technical skills can be easily taught while durable skills CANNOT. If you gain the experience you need to build on your durable skills then you will be the smarter hire - no matter the role or industry.  
  • Meet Courtney Crites, McMaster Unive ...

    Hi friends, and welcome to Outcome Campus Connect! I’m so excited for you to get to know me, and to have the opportunity to {connect}!My name is Courtney and I’m heading into my fifth (and final) year at McMaster University in the Honours Commerce with Internship program. If you don’t know what commerce is (there are so many people who look confused when I tell them what I study, so you’re not alone), I’m essentially in a general business degree program, but I get to focus on whatever interests me the most - which is both marketing and human resources. I’ve also already completed a minor in Innovation, which essentially focuses a lot on entrepreneurship, mostly because it’s interesting to me, but also because it sounds cool. Post-grad I’m hoping to go to college for a year to study public relations, and hope to get into something like corporate communications or influencer marketing, but of course, that is all TBD (to be determined).Over the past year I had the privilege of working in two internships, which were both phenomenal experiences. For 12 months, I worked as a Customer Success Intern for a tech company, which taught me a lot about relationship management, becoming integrated in an organization, and time management. Now, I’m just about to finish a 4-month Communications Internship for a municipality - this has taught me so much about communications, my ability to be creative and problem solve, and the importance of being adaptable to change.My biggest takeaways from my latest work experiences are:Don’t be afraid to ask questions - your coworkers just want to see you grow and succeed! Always offer your helping hand and show your eagerness to learn, and desire to immerse yourself in the company. Stay curious! Take advantage of networking internally and of personal/professional opportunities/workshops offered by your employer!As a new member of the OCC Content team, I’m most excited to get more experience in writing and content creation, to share my experiences and knowledge with others, to connect with both students and professionals, and especially, to be creative!If you made it this far, I wanted to share some less-exciting but still fun facts about me - some things I love are: sunsets, going for walks and hikes, working at coffee shops, pottery, dancing (tap is my favourite), and spending time with my lovely friends and family.Stay tuned for future blog posts and fun content by yours truly!I’m so excited to share any insights I have and of course, what I continue to learn along the way.  
  • Building a Career Exit Strategy

      You've likely heard of the concept of an 'exit strategy' as it pertains to business but have you considered the application of this concept when it comes to leaving the company you work to pursue something else? For those unfamiliar, an exit strategy is essentially your business plan in reverse. Just like you planned for how to build up your business, now you have to plan to transition what's been built without losing value, ideally, for all. When leaving your role, remember that although your time at the company you work for may feel over, at one point, the person you will be handing your resignation letter to was the person you eagerly gave your cover letter and resume.  Leaving a job is a delicate dance, one where you must consider the optics, feelings, and legacy of your impression on your peers and employer.   Here are some playful ways to apply the concept of a business exit strategy to leave your current role:   Liquidation What assets have you helped to build in your role, within your teams, or your company's culture that you will no longer handle? If you can identify what you have built up and achieved while working within your role, you can provide your employer with a reflection on what you've learned during your time with them while reinforcing what you have contributed.  You are not selling off the value of a business but re-selling your employer on the value you brought, which can help them appreciate what you've provided and more easily see the areas they will need to find a candidate to fulfill.   Selling to Someone You Know (Keeping it in the Family) Although it's important to know that leaving a company and recommending a candidate to fill your role won't always be welcomed, employers are much more open to and appreciative of new talent recommendations in this employment marketplace. If you know someone who is job-seeking and has the right personality and skillset fit for the role you're leaving, someone you trust and can vouch for, recommend them to your employer. Helping the company you work for find the right person to take over your responsibilities, and help to continue growing their business in your absence, is strategic and thoughtful. Heck, they may even bring you in on the hiring and onboarding of the candidates or new hire...how's that for a seamless transition? No doubt, everyone will be happy this way.   AN IPO (Public Offering) Okay, okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. Still, the idea reigns true enough: If you are considering leaving your role for salary or job growth reasons that have been non-negotiable to date, having an alternative (competitive) job offer can help you to bring strong negotiations to the table with your employer so that you can work out ways for the role to be more conducive to what you need to stay. We advise you to tread lightly here. Offering your skillset to the 'public,' i.e., another prospective employer should only be done if you are genuinely interested in leaving due to your unhappiness or discontent with your current offerings. Although it can raise your 'capital' it can also plummet it - loyalty, to this day, is invaluable for anyone.
  • When to Leave Your Job for a New One

    Like so much of life, most jobs have expiration dates. Unlike that can of soup that lets your nose know when it's time to toss it, the signs that it's time to leave your job for a new are more nuanced. Over time, though, these subtle signs can feel like one big (flashing) ad with bold copy reading: "Move On!" or "I quit"! Before you reach that fork in the road, the little signs along the way can help you avoid being held back or stuck saying goodbye to your job with no new one in sight. If you're feeling any of the following, it could be time to leave your job for a new one: Boredom It's not like work is supposed to be super fun all the time but it shouldn't be so boring that you feel like you're watching the paint peeling - you know? What begets boredom is often lack of challenge and in a typical role this comes from your skills being underutilized (or unrecognized) by your employer. If you're not using your skillset, then you're not learning and growing - not good. Burnout Burnout is a tricky topic because the reason for each individual's burnout is very personal. Some experience burnout at work because of a combination of what they are tackling in their workload, work environment, or company culture, while others experience it because those things are combined with personal challenges. This said, if you have personal challenges but can't discuss anything with your employer, that might be a sign that it's not a culture you want to be a part of anyway. Your life is your life, and you only have one, do not waste it feeling less-than or shining less-than. Undervalued In truth, what you are worth and what you are paid won't always feel balanced but it should feel, at least, close. And, while this isn't likely what you've heard the fact is that it takes time to build up your resume and your salary to get it where you want it to be - it takes experience. However, and that's a BIG 'however', if your compensation is not empowering you to live happily, with financial security, and there is no room for negotiation or clear path toward increased compensation...say bye bye! Unbalanced The tight-rope walk of work-life balance is rarely streamlined or steady but it is possible. So much of making work-life balance achievable is up to the values, ethics, and corporate culture of the company you're working for but what you choose to accept is up to you. If you are answering emails, phone calls, and feeling pressure to work outside of your scheduled work hours consistently then you won't have balance - it's either your work or living your life to its fullest - don't sacrifice your personal time for a job that is making you miss out on what's truly important.  Unethical This is a BIG one. How you feel about yourself when you rest your head on your pillow at the end of the day is arguably the most important, life-shaping considerations in life. If you are working in an environment, a workplace culture, a role, or an industry that doesn't align with your values-system, beliefs or ethics then you are not in the right place and it is absolutely time to look for an employer who will not make you feel this way. Unhappy If you feel unhappy going to work, talking about your work, or with your colleagues then it's time to have a conversation with your employer. If you want to make it work, this gives you an opportunity to constructively and proactively seek resolutions to your hurdles hindering happiness but if you feel there are too many non-negotiables, signs all point to finding a new job so you can leave your current one. Stuck This one is two-fold.  You should have opportunities in your current role to progress and advance. If you do not have a clear pathway for career progression then it is time to either speak with your employer or start looking for an employer who understands your value. You may be presented with opportunities from recruiters at other companies, or working for other companies, who offer exciting roles with competitive compensation packages - if this is the case, and you are sure that you are no longer content where you are working, then it could be time to trailblaze a new path right 'outta' your office and into a new one!   Sometimes, unfortunately, you have to choose between quitting a job or quitting yourself and we feel, wholeheartedly, that you should never stop believing in your capabilities.     
  • A Look at Life as an Entrepreneur wi ...

    A 23-year-old from Ecuador, gives us an insight on what it is like to be an entrepreneur of his own business, not only allows him to follow his dreams but finance his lifestyle.                                              Life doesn't need to be linear; especially when it comes to finding your passions. There has always been a societal stigma that pressures young individuals to decide their future early. Discovering what works for you should not be, and isn’t, a straight-forward process. It’s not about graduating from school, going to university, then doing a Masters or getting a job. At some point in life, it becomes clear that it’s important to pursue your dreams.   This is what Mateo Yanzza did and, for him, living your dreams means “nothing risked, nothing gained”.  Yanzza had always dreamed of being his own boss. The freedom that comes with owning a business is liberating. Yanzza’s vision took him to make his dream a reality, as the founder and managing partner of his own business (Pragmatic).   Where did you study and what field did you choose?   I studied at the University of “Los Hemisferios” for 2 and a half years. There, I pursued business management. and discovered my passion was not being part of a company as a worker but to run my business plans.   Did you graduate from college? Why or why not?   No. After my 5th semester, I started to observe the world around me differently. Building my businesses from the ground-up was arduous work. I made the choice to leave my studies on hold to dedicate 100% of my time to my business projects to see where it would take me.   Are you planning on graduating from college?   Yes. I think that maybe next semester or in a year I will enroll back in school and finish. Even if I do run my business now, I also believe in the importance of a degree.   When did you start your business?   I started my business when I was 19 years old, everything came from the need to be independent. For my first idea, I wanted to saw an opportunity in the lack of motivation people feel getting up in the morning to go to the gym – that's why I founded Pragmatic.   How did you manage to fund the beginning of the build-up of the company?   I’ve always been big on saving money. Finally, when it was the right time, I invested my savings on the idea of the company and everything that entails.   What’s the name of the company?   The main company is called Global Enterprise, which is divided into 4 businesses: an insurance broker, a recycling project, Pragmatic, and a marketing agency.  Global Insurance guarantees benefits to the client through micro insurances that allow low income-people access to a variety of areas, like health insurance.   The first model of the recycling project will take place in Pimampiro, a city in Ecuador. There, our company will recollect all the waste, recycle it, and turn most waste into eco-friendly fuel.   Pragmatic is a business focused on selling machines for home workouts. This allows people to be healthy from the comfort of their own homes.   The Marketing Agency manages Global Enterprise’s branding and content. Also, it associates with other businesses and companies by offering their services to manage their social impact.   What is the focus of Global Enterprises?   All these businesses focus on benefiting and improving the quality of life of the public nationwide.   How much time do you dedicate to the business?   I believe that building a brand and building credibility can’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a company from scratch and it does require full dedication, management, and hard work.   Do you have partnerships?   Yes, now we have a few with some companies that provide benefits for us and for them. I believe it is important to build credibility through partnerships with various companies, businesses and people that will make the public more engaged with our company.  Little by little we want to expand our brand and reach more and more audiences through connections.   Do you consider yourself as independent?   Yes. I moved out of my parent’s house and have been living with a roommate for quite some time. I’m the one in charge of my own bills, so that’s why knowing how to manage your money is extremely important.   How did you gain so much experience on how to manage a business?   Most of my learning was during the five semesters of the degree. I believe that self-education is a key addition, that’s why I’m always reading, learning and improving my skills.   Did you have a previous job before starting your business?  I became part of the labor force at the age of 17. Before starting my business, I worked in three different places, they all helped me to build the foundations of business management.  What is the thing you like most about having your own business?   I believe that the thing I like most is the freedom that comes with it. There are so many benefits to this, for example I get to schedule and manage my own time. Having a business is consuming, yet it feels so rewarding to have something of your own.      
  • An Interview with Jewell Gillies, Ab ...

    1) What university or college did you go to and what did you study? I attended the University of the Fraser Valley, studying Criminology (2005) because at that time I was on track to be hired by the Vancouver Police Department and Criminology was my sole interest in education.  2) You work in Aboriginal Services, Seconded to Student, Graduate, & Co-op Employment Services at?Okanagan College. What was your journey like toward working in the community of higher learning and doing what you do now? When I graduated high school, my dream was not to work in the post-secondary field. In fact, I had already pre-enlisted in the United States Army, as a combat medic, and had been taking basic training on weekends and holidays. Shortly after I graduated from high school, I moved to the United States, where I completed my basic training and my method of service training. While I completed 1 year with the US Army, I then returned home to go to school and gain life experience to be a successful applicant to the Vancouver Police Department.  Since I was 8 years old, I knew that I wanted to be a role model for my Indigenous community. Being a police officer seemed to be the most appropriate way for me to achieve that. At the age of 3 years old, my mother died, having suffered the traumas of residential school, which scarred her mentality. And, before they were adults, my 2 older brothers became addicts and lived homeless and deviant lives for over 30 years now. To me, becoming?a police offer was the best way to offset the injustice my brothers perpetrated on the world around them. It was also a way for me to be the officer that saved one young person from going down the same wrong path. While training as a police officer, I also managed several different clothing retail stores and paid my own way through university – finding my stride in leadership positions. Finally, I was hired by the Vancouver Police Department, in 2005, as an Auxiliary Jail Guard and 7 months later I was hired as a Police Constable. I graduated from the Police Academy at the Justice Institute of BC in 2006. I spent close to 6 years with the VPD, working primarily in East Vancouver and in the Downtown Eastside, serving my community – the Indigenous Community.  Over the years, I realized that my ability to intervene and make those fundamental positive impacts on Indigenous youth needed to happen earlier. Instead of responding to calls and seeing Indigenous youth in handcuffs, trying to connect with them when it was most difficult, I could work to connect with them earlier. And, while I am a status First Nations person from the Musgamwagwa Dzawadaeunx of the Kwakwakawakw Nation, people only ever saw my uniform first. I needed to find a different way to make a difference. This realization caused me to resign my position with the VPD, in late 2012, and it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I cried as I walked out of the police station as a civilian. The profession I had spent an entire life working towards, and dreaming of, the career I had spilt tears (and blood) for…that career was over. I was comforted by my Sergeant reminding me that while my position within the department was done, the impact I had on the community would live on in their memories forever.? Then, almost by accident, I found a job posting for an Aboriginal Student Advocate here in the Central Okanagan. As I applied for the job, I thought to myself: “How am I ever going to prove I am qualified to do this type of work?”. I had been a Range Officer, a K-9 Dog Quarry, an Undercover Operator, and a less-lethal Shotgun Operator for a major police department. I was calm under pressure and good with people. But, how did all those skills transform into a civilian job in a high school? Thankfully, I was hired into SD 23 (Central Okanagan School District), as an Aboriginal Student Advocate, in late 2012, and I worked for the district for nearly 5 years. I was motivated by the difference I could see my role making for our Indigenous community and this was a magical place where change – fundamental change – happened. This role filled me with purpose, passion, and vision to do even more and that’s when I applied to work at Okanagan College.   I was hired by Okanagan College at the beginning of 2018, and I have been thrilled every day to show up for work. I am inspired and motivated by the students I work with each day. The societal obstacles that they face as Indigenous post-secondary students, and the amazing things they are achieving despite the inequity they experience in society, is transformative.  In January of 2020, I was seconded into this current role for the college. Now, my goal with this work is to privilege the voice of our Indigenous students – to share their stories in a very traditional way of sharing knowledge and information. The goal is that through these stories, we can find new ways to provide equitable access to our Indigenous students and build meaningful, deeper reciprocal relationships with our student body, our Indigenous community partners, and our business community partners. 2) What do you find most meaningful about your job? What is the most challenging? The ability to connect with students and the Indigenous community in a way that uplifts their voice, that inspires them to reach further than perhaps even they had imagined for themselves – this gives me the most satisfaction in the work I do. I’m also grateful to be able to challenge deeply rooted systems that, by their very nature, create inequity and deficits for the Indigenous community. I recognize that while the work I do is impactful, I cannot change the world…not alone anyhow. To realize that I cannot fix every issue for every student, every community member I work with, but to know that sometimes the discomfort of change, or the discomfort of failure, is also the lifting–off point for many people. Not unlike my own views of my “failure” in my policing career, what it really became is a starting point for this new career path. A career path that has been exhausting, overwhelming, beautiful, and magical – all at the same time.  3) What is the best piece of advice you can give today’s post-secondary students and graduates? Go where the going makes you uncomfortable. Lean into that feeling and work through it. This is where you will realize the limitations you have in life are only the ones that you allow to exist. 4) You recently launched a Positive Space Committee at Okanagan College. Is this an easy thing to do for other higher learning institutions? Any advice on getting a Positive Space Committee up and running or tips on starting out? The Positive Space Committee has been a labor of love for me and many colleagues from all areas at our? Institution. I identify as a Two-Spirit Indigenous person, so being able to provide our students, staff, and broader OC community a safe space to own their identity has been a big personal goal of mine. To create this type of committee, one that challenges patterns of discrimination overtly or through subversive microaggressions towards the LGBTQ2IA+ community, requires support from the highest level of the institution. I am pleased to say that at Okanagan College we have the support of leadership in seeing this committee established and in supporting our over–arching wellness initiatives at the college. You often hear the slogan “Nothing for us without us” said at rallies, marches, or protests. That sentiment is fundamentally one of the most important factors to consider when creating a Positive Space committee – regardless of the organization’s size structure or clientele. Ensuring you have the voice of the LGBTQ2IA+ community present in the process is vital. Only those who have lived with historical discrimination know what is needed for them to feel safe, included, supported, and welcomed.  5) What (or who) inspires you?  Oh, this is such a big question! I find inspiration in many, many people, and in many events throughout my life – big or small. I have a 6–year–old daughter, who has the same name as me, and she is my biggest inspiration. Indigenous Peoples have a concept of the Seven Generations. In short terms it means I am the culmination of the wisdom, love, and knowledge of the 7 generations of ancestors who have come before me; the knowledge I have, the abilities I have, are because of all of them – not just me. The privilege I have in the positions I hold in society now is not just to benefit myself, but to benefit the 7 Generations that will come after me – the sense of selfless work that is done for the greater good. I look at my daughter, and each day I am inspired to renew my efforts to create a more equitable, safe, and loving society for her – because of her and with her.  6) What words do you try to live by?  If I can, I must. I am not sure where I picked this statement up, but I say it to?myself in various situations – almost daily. I have this ability, this passion, and this position in my role as Mother, Daughter, Activist, Co-op Coordinator, and the ability to make great changes for others. This work, at times, is exhausting; and the details of making events and programing happen are numerous. But if I can, I must.  I have also taught this statement to my daughter. The idea of being more than a bystander. If we see inequity or injustice happening to those around us, and we are in the position to support them in some way, then we must do so. My daughter saved up half of her allowance for 12 months, and last Christmas she bought supplies to make 15 care packages – handing them out to homeless community members in downtown Kelowna. She was beaming afterward, from seeing the look of surprise and joy on those folks’ faces, and she felt proud that she had made a real positive impact on so many people. She ended the day by saying “We are lucky Momma, that we can afford our house and our food, so we must share with others who are not so lucky.” Thinking about it now makes me tear up with how proud I am of her. This year, the allowance she is saving will be donated to the food bank.  We may not always be financially able to do things like this, but if it’s a kind word, a smile, or a voice to stand with those who face injustice; if we can do these things, we must do so.  7) How important is gaining work experience in leading effectively?  Just because we know theory does not mean we can be effective at teaching the subject. The same goes for leadership, just because someone has letters behind their name does not mean they can be effective leaders. I spent many years in various management roles, in leadership roles, and in positions of authority. The biggest thing I learned from all of those experiences is to be humble, as we will never know everything. The experience from those roles taught me to listen first to the team, to ask questions more than I give direction, to be flexible with my goals, and to accommodate other minds in the conversation. These are all things you need to go through in order to understand. I have made many leadership mistakes over the years, but I have never let them be useless mistakes, I have always utilized them as learning opportunities – determined to be better the next time. This is a reflexive lifelong mindset that I believe all great leaders use.  8) What books are you reading right now?  “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act”, Bob Joseph. (This is a book about helping Canadians make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality). “The Inconvenient Indian”, Thomas King “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone”, J.K Rowling, (A part of the bedtime stories I read to my daughter each night).?    9) With the current shift to online learning, all institutions have had to move online until we are confidant going back on campus is a safe/healthy option for everyone. What do you miss most about the in-person higher learning experience?  I was raised to believe that the best communication happens in person; when you can see the whites of a person’s eyes and feel the intention in their heart as well as hear their words. I miss collaborating with my colleagues on campus, some of the best ideas are hatched in random hallway conversations with staff members who may not even be from the same department. I miss seeing my students in person, while I still have the opportunity now to virtually meet with them, and check-in, I miss the congratulatory hugs we shared when they would tell me of their recent successes, I also miss the student potluck lunches we hosted in the Aboriginal Student Center; when the room filled with the OC community and we would share a good meal and lots of laughter.  Indigenous Peoples have experienced and continue to experience incredible trauma from assimilation and cultural genocide. The strongest quality we have is in our resiliency, and our resiliency is found in the laughter that burst-forth, in any community gathering, from the depths of our brave and strong hearts. Laughter is healing and it’s the shared laughter with my students and community I think I miss most of all.     
  • An Interview with Artist Rachel Hawk ...

    1)  What post-secondary institution did you attend and what did you study there? My education is a bit all over the place! After attending 5 different high schools, I moved from Toronto to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University, where I started in a General Arts program. After second year, I applied to the Architecture program, which required 2 years of an undergrad to be considered. The program was small and competitive, so I took Calculus and Fine Arts courses to boost my portfolio and was accepted! I completed that program (officially a Bachelor of Environmental Design) and took a year off to work and live abroad. I later returned to Halifax to complete my Master of Design at the Nova Scotia Academy of Art and Design. 2)  How did you get into your industry and land where you are now? I worked in architecture for a while but did not find it to be as creatively fulfilling as what I had imagined. The house, the rigor, and the technical aspects just were not a good fit for me. So, I took the design still I had and the experience and education in the field of architecture to start working as an in-house designer for an architecture firm in Toronto. When I moved to Hamilton to start my family, I was so lucky to find an amazing roll at IKEA, as a designer at the Head Office. After my second child was born and I experienced the loss of my little brother very suddenly, I sort of fell into painting. But truthfully, my education and work experience have always had a thread of creativity, so perhaps it was all leading to this! 3) Describe your process - what’s it like? How long does a typical painting take? My process starts with a lot of water and washes of colour, which I let dry and layer to create energy and movement through the piece. Then I go in with sharper lines to “clean up” those organic shapes and create conversations between the shapes. I paint on porous, watercolour paper (the more the colour is able to bleed, the better) and canvas. The final steps, of course, are varnishing and packing up the painting - sometimes for shipping across the country. All the while, I try to communicate with my client, maintain my social media presence, and I find that people love to see the process behind my work. 4) What do you love most about what you do? What do you find the most challenging? I love painting so much. It’s just so calming to me. It allows me to clear my head and channel my emotions. I also love that my paintings give joy to others, it’s so flattering when people express that they are moved by my work. I do find the business side of it challenging sometimes! When all you want to do is paint, but you have orders to pack and ship and invoice, it can be frustrating. But I’m just forcing myself to enjoy it by putting on a podcast or starting a painting and waiting for it to dry while I go about my work. Having two little kids at home during this lockdown, it is also obviously really challenging to find the time to get up to my studio and paint without interruption. 5) What’s a recent project you worked on that you’re really proud of? I recently “took over” an Instagram account called @carveouttimeforart, which I have been following for years. I put a lot of work into demonstrating the story and spirit behind my work and being honest and vulnerable about my life as an artist. I was proud of how it looked, aesthetically, and I was happy with the response it got from others! 6) What’s your single greatest lesson in your career so far/advice you have for university/college students? Don’t be afraid to go towards something you might not feel is your best strength — there’s probably a reason you’re being drawn to it and it’s going to teach you something. Architecture was not the best fit for me, and I certainly was not the best student in the class. But it taught me discipline, hard work, attention to detail and most importantly; that my failures are not a step back. It was all leading me to here. 7) Favourite quote? “Trust the process” 8) Who do you look up to? I’m really inspired by another woman that I went to architecture school with named Rubeena Ratcliffe, who is also an artist and parent. I think being able to see yourself in someone you admire — even in a small way — is such a motivation. Social media can give us that opportunity. 9) What are you reading right now? I’m reading Little Fires Everywhere! And my Earth to Table cookbook. 10) What skill (besides painting!) would you say is most important as an artist today? You have to be prolific in order to maintain a presence and engage with your community. Luckily, that works really well for artists; I actually read a quote this morning by Andy Warhol that I love: ”Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art”.      
  • My Personal Journey to Become a Jour ...

    Working with Outcome Campus Connect (OCC) gave me a taste of what to expect as a journalist and content creator. This journey has given me the ability to think outside the box and work efficiently. It is the first time I’ve worked as a student journalist, and here’s how it all began.    When I first started out at St. Thomas, I felt a little lost - I didn’t know where I would see myself in four years’ time. I had a lot of self-doubt about my writing skills, since I had a huge disadvantage against other students: my language. (As an Ecuadorian, my first language is Spanish). I always felt like I was behind everyone on everything, every single day, and that was extremely frustrating. I even was “advised” by a teacher to look for another career, since I lacked the ability to be a good journalist; that really threw me off. I felt lost. I even considered switching careers, but I never found something that felt as right as writing. Even as a child, I carried a notebook with me. I felt like I became the words I wrote.    I persisted in the face of doubt. Through this, and throughout college, I must admit that one of the biggest challenges of my life was learning to adjust, absorb new information, improve as fast as required, and apply myself and my work again. In this process, even in failure I won. I know that after four years I’m not the same lost person that walked into STU. I’m proud of who I have become as a writer, journalist, and individual. Overcoming all this didn’t just make me understand how much hard work pays off but the importance of good guidance.   They say, “Everything happens for a reason”, and its cliché but true. Every St. Thomas class I took played a huge role in what I have become. I wouldn’t be able to edit audio, video, use a camera, or write a paper-edit rough cut, if it weren’t for Toolbox. I wouldn’t know how to conduct a podcast, or even make one if it weren’t for Mark Tunney’s class. I wouldn't have lost my fear of interviewing if it weren’t for Jan Wong. One of the most influential people in my life, who was an inspiration and support for me was Phillip Lee, with his journalist and mentoring skills. It’s simple, if I didn’t learn all these skills, knowledge, and tools, I know that I would’ve never even been considered by Orbis OCC for hire. Before working for Orbis OCC, I needed to grow and develop skills that this company (or any company) would find valuable.  Orbis OCC, was a company listed on jobs at the STU website. By this time, I had been dragged out of Canada back to Ecuador due to the pandemic. It had been a year of the pandemic and after having to deal with economic crisis, health, and mental health issues, I didn’t want to keep living another year in ‘the oblivion of time’, waiting for something to happen. The only good thing about that year is that with everything happening around me I wrote several pieces for The Aquinian, STU’s newspaper. This didn’t last very long, since I don't feel fulfilled in the work or process. Yeah, I did get great pieces done but I really wanted a challenge. I updated my resume and, funny thing, I sent out my application for Orbis a week late. Honestly, I didn’t have many hopes of even getting a reply.   Fortunately, I did, and I was hired for two terms. OCC works by terms, in which they hire students or recent graduates from different countries to write and create content for their site. My first term in Orbis felt so magical, every little taste of it made me feel like I was floating. The ideas just fought one another to get out of my mouth. As individuals, we were expected to submit bi-weekly invoices for our payments, the workload was always manageable since it was just 3 pieces per month, and you could take the fourth off. The only big recommendation that I had during my first term that would even heighten the experience was working alongside other students. Like writing an article together or a blog, or something, just exercise the ability to learn from others. Besides that, the first term was challenging because we needed to adapt to OCC’s working style and expectations, but their execution of the program was so flawless we didn’t face major encounters.     There are two submissions I’m most proud of throughout my time working with OCC. Firstly, I challenged myself by producing a Q & A with Professor Philip Lee. Before this piece, I didn't even know how to structure a piece like this, but I knew that with some research and examples I would be able to pull it off. It took twice the time I normally take to write an article but, in the end, it made me so proud. I’m sure it is one of the best pieces I’ve written in my life. In my second term, things switched up a bit. We were expected to write the 3 pieces, plus create content for their social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. I have never been great for social media but fortunately I know the importance of it due my minor, Communications. The guidance of my superiors from OCC helped me navigate through the difficulties.      I feel fortunate to have produced numerous interviews and wrote several pieces for their website. It was a unique journey and like all journeys not without its speedbumps. Throughout this learning, I was also recovering from an accident that I had at the beginning of January, which left me slower in every aspect, and I didn't count on the workload of the last semester before graduation so was juggling deadlines. OCC was always so supportive and brought me to the light once again. They filled the new students with hopes and hypes of what we were going to achieve together, this inspired all my team to search for stories, interviews, tips, and suggest new ideas.   Once again, due to all their support and the inspiration they woke on me, and I was able to pull together another story: “Matthew Diagle’s Journey: From a kid’s dream to a professional journalist”, which I believe turned out amazing.     I personally think that working for Orbis not only will look good on my resume, but it opened my eyes to what I can expect from a future job and from myself - which I believe is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life. I’m thankful that I could experience this journey of self-discovery and getting to know the reporter inside of me. After this experience it’s only left to say that I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had with OCC. For now, I’m on my way to the next challenge: Just four weeks ago, I applied for a summer job at a magazine and several newspapers around my home city, in Ecuador. This experience also encouraged and supported me to pursue a MA in Investigative Journalism, in Spain.   The biggest difference between four years ago and now is that I know exactly what I need to do in order to achieve every little goal I’ve set for myself. I see myself now as more analytical, observing, patient, curious, and tenacious.     I am becoming who I want to be.              
  • What Makes Our Platform Different & ...

    We're well aware that Outcome Campus Connect is not the only opportunity platform but we're doing things differently and in ways that will make a difference for you. This entire platform is built for you and that's what makes it really have influence. The way that our team approached building this platform is with the intention of giving every university and college student at least one work-integrated learning experience before graduation.Why does this matter?Employers want you to have experience to get hired but you can't get hired without gaining experience first, in the majority of instances. This said, there are other platforms who are trying to fill the skills gap and help you get hired but none are doing it quite as holistically, with wraparound support, as we are.Here's what makes our platform different and why it will make a difference for you:This platform is partners with universities and colleges across the country, which enables employers to post job opportunities through Outcome Campus Connect by specifying which universities or colleges they want to hire from and funneling the opportunity not just onto our live site but into the opportunity platforms of our campus partners, nationwide.The opportunities you see on our platform as put there by hiring managers or recruiters who are building early-talent recruitment pipelines, meaning, more often than not, the opportunity you see is for someone with 3 years of experience or less - a student or recent graduate, like you.Skill development (internships, co-ops, work placements, research projects, etc.) and job opportunities that you see on Outcome Campus Connect are targeted to specific years or fields of study (at specific universities or colleges) so you know that the employer that is hiring on our platform has already been carefully considering the type of talent they bring on (that's you).The opportunities that you see are Outcome Campus Connect are posted by businesses who already align with our vision to support students and graduates, so you can rest assured that whoever hires on our platform understands the journey from student-to-career and is invested in supported the next generation workforce.Employment and Social Development Canada funds this platform so you pay zero fees to use it - OCC is free for all university and college students or recent graduates in Canada.When you apply on our site you're not competing with people with decades' long experience in a specific role, field, industry, or even region. This is a platform made for students and graduates and it works like that too. Employers are hiring on Outcome Campus Connect now and they are looking for early talent. Who knows? Maybe that next hire is you?! 
  • Your Resume Looks Good but What Abou ...

    We don’t mean to alarm you with the title, we’re sure you’re nice; and your personality has rave reviews.     This said, not all personality types are a fit for all work environments. That’s why we’re showing you, below, the type of personality tests your prospective employer may use as a tool to vet whether you are the right fit for their team or not.    Personality Test Types – What to Know  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator  Background & How it Works  Often referred to as MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test inspired from the teachings of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who speculated that human beings universally experience the world using our sensory perceptions of sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking and the test itself was produced by a mother and daughter – Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs.   The MBTI test is a tool that determines which four groupings, derived from Jung’s theories, an individual falls under:   extraversion vs. Introversion,   judging vs. Perceiving,   intuition vs. Sensing, and,   thinking vs. Feeling.8    After taking a 20-to-40-minute test online, for free, your answers will then funnel through the four groupings and place you as one of the possible 16 possible personality type categories (outcomes/combinations of the four groupings).     DISC Test  Background & How it Works  As stated on its site, “Simply put DISC is a personal development model that helps people understand why they do what they do! In that regard, it is a framework that brings individual preferences and tendencies to light. In so doing, it also identifies patterns of behavior that might seem at first glance to be foreign, unfamiliar or even contrary.”  70% of Fortune 500 businesses use DISC profiles, for example: Exxon, General Electric, and Walmart. The motivation for their incorporation of the test into hiring and retention processes can be categorized by the aims of the test itself: to train without judgement, to manage more effectively, to make conflict more productive, to improve teamwork, and to raise self-awareness (of employees, teams, and the employer).  DISC stands for:   Dominance  Influence  Steadiness  Conscientiousness  Taking a DISC test is usually an offering that the prospective or current employer you work with has bought into. This said, once you do take the test you will answer a variety of questions to assess where you land most strongly within its allotted types D-C.    People with D (Dominance) personalities - confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom-line results.  People with i (Influence) personalities – more open and place an emphasis on relationships and influencing or persuading others.  People with S (Steadiness) personalities - dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity.  People with C (Conscientiousness) personalities - place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency.    The Eysenck Personality Test  Background & How it Works  This test reflects the ideas of Hans Eysenck and Sybil B. G. Eysenck, researchers on personality devoted to statistical analysis, inspired by an ancient Greek personality system, and convinced that personalities were defined by three things:   Extroversion,  Neuroticism, and,  Psychoticism.  Taking this test means that you partake in the EQ (Eysenck Questionnaire) and that your answers are then measured by the EPI (Eysenck Personality Inventory).   To be honest, the way that this test populates your proposed ‘personality type’ has been questioned, criticized, revised (in ‘85), and is still slightly complicated to explain. Fundamentally, what we’re looking at here is a short or long version of the Eysenck Personality test ranging between 48 (short) and 100 (long) Yes/No questions that place you on a continuum of the above three personality types and label your as ‘stable’ or ‘unstable’. Slightly harsh, right?    The Caliper Profile  Background & How it Works  According to its site, on Talogy (previously psi caliber), “The Caliper Profile is an objective assessment that accurately measures an individual’s personality characteristics and individual motivations in order to predict on-the-job behaviors and potential. Scientifically validated by nearly 6 decades of research, the Caliper Profile measures 22 robust traits and offers local norms for several countries. The assessment data can be utilized throughout the employee lifecycle including selection, development, promotion, team building, and succession planning.  To-date this personality test has profiled 4.5 million, been used by 65.4 million companies (whhhatttt???!!!) and operates 46.7 thousand consultations annually.   Your prospective employer might ask you to take the Caliper Profile. Once you complete the questions asked from the profile, your results are measured against one+ validated job models and the managers hiring for the roles can then see how suitable you are for your hopeful role or not. This info (or data) collected can then also be used in-future to support your onboarding and development within the organization.  So, I guess it's kind of a big deal.  An important thing to remember: It’s a good thing to know if you are compatible with a team or work environment before you get started so as weird as it can feel to be assessed personality-wise by, well, a computer program, the results can help all involved. It's better to know before you get started if the fit is right or wrong.
  • How to Use the STAR Method in an Int ...

    Remember: Situation, task, action, and result. Simple enough, right?  Simple is good and it's memorable, which, in this case, is very good. Often the most complex interview questions derive from a competency-based inquiry. For example, “Tell me about a time when you faced a challenging situation and what you did about it.”  If you have work experience – if you have been an intern, worked co-op or in a work placement, or flexed your career as a part-time employee – it will be easier to seamlessly answer a competency-based question in an interview. If you have not, there’s no time like now to think on moments in life that have tested your skills and encouraged problem-solving to good results.  Suffice to say, using the STAR method will help in any interview and here is how you do it: When you’re asked to reflect on or elaborate on a time you faced a hurdle and overcame it start with ‘S’ and work your way to ‘R’:  Situation – Communicate the foundational information to lay the groundwork for their understanding of what the situation was that you were faced with.  Task – Explain your role within this situation, for example, were you a team lead or a support? What was it that you were specifically tasked to do?   Action – Explain what action you took within the context of this role and this situation outlined.  Result – Give a high-level overview of what the result was in the scenario you have been discussing and how achieving the desired result helped the team to overcome the obstacles or hurdles that threatened progress initially. Don’t hesitate to explore what you learned from the entire process.  Example:   Question: Tell me about a time you confronted a stressful situation and how you handled it?  Situation: Our senior graphic designer left without providing notice and we were in the middle of a large-scale brand strategy project, days left until the deadline, and the clients were eager to see the results. Being short on both time and staff was a great hurdle as getting the project done by the deadline would have been a tall order anyway.  Task: As a key communications team member within the team I was aware of not just the situation but the importance of how we represented the progress on the project to the clients.  Action: To support the team, I worked to assure our clients of the work that was done to-date and carefully crafted a follow-up email with a bulleted list outlining our progress on the project and reassuring that we would be done within the approved timelines despite our scaled-back team. I then went to work overtime with my peers to bring the copywriting, mission, vision, values, and core communications components of the project to the finish line. Because graphic design is contingent on the strategy of the brand and messaging, I also doubled-down on the management of our outsourced graphic designer to ensure that we were consistently aligned on the vision and lessen any margin for error – and time to achieve positive results.  Result: Thankfully, because of our thoughtful approach, quick reaction, and teamwork we were able to produce an award-winning brand strategy on time and budget for a client who then helped us to win more clients because of the positive review they gave.  Remember, you are a star and asset to any team but when in doubt...use STAR. 
  • Travel While Working or Work While T ...

    Did you ‘catch the travel bug’ for good? You’re not alone and you don’t have to give it up. If a life of travel is a way of life for you then it’s time to consider a career in travel. Now, post-pre-whatever part we’re in, globally, pandemic-wise there are so many career options to consider because not only are their roles that require and empower travel but remote means the geographic point where you work is changeable.   This said, here are a few career choices that will support you to travel, while working - or work while travelling!  Tour Guide: As a tour guide you lead groups who have paid the business you work for (or you) through various regions, ensuring the safety and overall experience of customers is fulfilled. This role means you’re always learning, immersing yourself in various cultures, perhaps acquiring new language skills, and adventuring.              - Companies to consider: G Adventures. Butterfield & Robinson    Retail Buyer: As a retail buyer you are responsible for planning, budgeting, managing, sourcing, testing, and sourcing the products or apparel items that a company sells and a big part of this means visiting suppliers internationally or ‘sourcing’ the right items to maintain and expand sales.             - Companies to consider: Aritzia, Zara, Hudson’s Bay Indigo Virtual Assistant: As a virtual assistant you are available to support customers, remotely, through their virtual assistant offerings - like pop-up chat, or ‘support’ channels online.              - Companies to consider: Most businesses have virtual chat, so the world ‘is your oyster’ on this one.  Consultant: Consultant work for companies to analyze their current conditions, frameworks, offerings, messaging, and workplace cultures, even, to recommend informed approaches at betterment. Consultants can be ‘business consultants’, ‘marketing consultants’, ‘strategists’, or ‘financial consultants’ for example.            - Companies to consider: Bain & Company, Mckinsey & Company, Ernst & Young, Publicis International Aid Worker: As an international aid worker you improve the conditions of a region and the community in it by supporting those in need – in particular, in the developing world. This can involve responding to emergency situations, like disasters, war, or flooding, and the aim is to help others.            - Companies to consider: Oxfam international, Canadian Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders  Engineer: An engineer uses knowledge of math, science, and design to build and test various structures. This role means budgeting, planning and approving design specifications, creating and using detailed drawings, and more. As an engineer you may choose to work in civil, mechanical, chemical, or industrial arenas, for example. This role comes with a great deal of responsibility. You don’t wear ‘the iron ring’ without recognizing that what you build must uphold those who use it and protect them!             - Companies to consider: Aecon Corporation, EllisDon Athletic Recruiter: The name says it all. As an athletic recruiter you are responsible for keeping tabs on who is up and coming from university leagues or opposing teams and working to assess the success, cost/budgeting, and ways to acquire their athletic skills for your team.            - Companies to consider: NCSA Sports, individual sports teams  The above are more out of the box examples of the types of roles that undoubtedly require travel, we didn't even include the obvious like: working for an airline, travel advisory, ESL (English as a Second Language) Instruction, working on a cruise ship, travel photography/writing/journalism, content curation, and so on. As mentioned, today so many companies are unconcerned with where you live when you work and more concerned with how you contribute to their teams and growth - the skills you bring. Gaining experience in your hopeful fields always lays the foundation for 'take off' no matter what path you choose.
  • The Prosperity Project, By: Eileen N ...

    The Prosperity Project is a registered charity created to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on Canadian women and girls. Led by a group of more than 60 trailblazing women leaders, the project strives to explicitly link women and prosperity by underscoring the economic importance of gender equality. To achieve this goal, The Prosperity Project has launched five initiatives, one of which is the Modern-Day Rosie the Riveter-Inspired Initiative.   I sat down with Amadea Gareau, Rosie Initiative Program Manager at The Prosperity Project, to talk more about the Rosie Initiative and the upcoming internship opportunity for a co-op student this fall 2022. Keep reading to learn more about The Prosperity Project and what students can expect for this internship role.  What is the Rosie Initiative?   The Rosie Initiative was inspired by the iconic figure of Rosie the Riveter during World War II. Rosie’s , “We Can Do It!” rally call made her a powerful symbol for  women’s independence. Today, the Rosie Initiative continues to encourage women and girls to rejoin or stay in the workforce and contribute to the Canadian economy.   The Initiative’s vision is to increase women’s labour force participation and the number of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), skilled trades and leadership roles. Since women are typically under-represented in these areas, the Rosie Initiative wants to ensure that women and girls can have access to the role models and mentors they need to succeed in these careers.   What are some programs established under the Rosie Initiative?   Currently, the Rosie Initiative has two mentoring programs available for women in STEM, skilled trades, and leadership: the Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program and the Rosie Peer Group Mentoring Program.   The Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program pairs protégées with mentors for a six-month period. Mentors guide and assist protégées one-on-one as they work towards their personal and professional development goals and help them create a strategic path to reach them.  The program is now accepting applications for their 5th cohort, which will begin at the end of July. You can find more information about the program and apply here: https://portal.canadianprosperityproject.ca/mentoring-program/rosie-1-1-mentoring-program/   The Rosie Peer Group Mentoring Program provides women the opportunity to join a diverse and influential community of like-minded women who are interested in skills development and broadening their personal and professional networks. The peer groups offer a supportive and developmental environment where participants can share their work/life experiences, participate in insightful discussions, and seek guidance. Two peer groups will be launched at the end of May. You can learn more about the program here:  https://portal.canadianprosperityproject.ca/mentoring-program/rosie-peer-group-mentoring/     About the Rosie Intern Role  The Prosperity Project is looking for a Rosie Intern for the fall 2022 term. This intern will work with Amadea Gareau for a four-month work term.     What are some of the expected day-to-day responsibilities?   Some of the intern’s daily tasks will include planning, developing, and organizing online events such as workshops and information sessions, etc.   The Rosie Intern will also work with the marketing and communications team to create social media campaigns, graphics, promotions and help develop strategies for the Rosie Initiative. A key element of this role is to create relationships with external stakeholders, assist with outreach and create various communications and marketing materials to reach various demographics.   Furthermore, the intern will have the unique opportunity to work with the Initiative’s co-chairs, The Prosperity Project’s Founding Visionaries and Visionaries as well as other women in the community.  What is the company culture like at The Prosperity Project?   A total of 5 interns (including the one Rosie intern) will work with a small team of passionate, hardworking women dedicated to ensuring Canadian women and girls are supported through the pandemic and beyond. It is a welcoming and supportive environment where everyone works hand in hand towards a mutual goal.  What is some advice for students applying for the Rosie Intern role?   Show us that you are passionate about what The Prosperity Project is doing and that you can help us further our mission. We are looking for applicants who are not afraid of hard work and are eager to learn. Attention to detail, strong written and verbal communication skills and an open mind are essential to fully succeed in this role.    Applications for the Rosie Intern role are now open.  Please submit your résumé  and cover letter to Amadea Gareau by email to amadea.gareau@canadianprosperityproject.ca before  May 27. Don’t miss out on this opportunity because, when women succeed, we all prosper. 
  • What You Need To Know About Getting ...

    Deciding to go to graduate school is one of the most important academic decisions that one could make. I sat down to talk to my friend, Aleena Dar, who attends the University of Toronto about her experience with pursuing a Masters in Community Development. Aleena is one of the most motivated, career- driven, and outgoing personalities I have had the pleasure of meeting. She recently started her graduate studies and had valuable insights from her experience in pursuing graduate studies.    Q: What made you consider going to grad school?   A: I’m being quite honest, my parents. They always wanted me to pursue a masters and that was logical, especially because my degree was too broad, and I wanted to specialize.     Q: How did you decide what you wanted to study further?     A: During my undergraduate, I had a part time job within the university and made a lot of connections. My mentor’s job appealed to me greatly and I started to consider it as a serious potential career choice. I partook in a lot of varied work opportunities and volunteer experiences but, her job was what I felt most resonated with me.     Q: What was the most difficult part of the application process?     A: I applied a little later than expected. I also did my research late too, around the end of fourth year and I only applied to one program as that was what I most wanted to continue my studies in. As I was underprepared, it was a bit difficult getting the documentation, and ensuring all components of the application were fulfilled. However, I had developed a good repertoire with my professors and so, receiving a letter of recommendation and guidance was not a hindrance when it came to applying for my program.       Q: What advice would you give yourself? Others?   A: Take a few months off before pursuing graduate school. I had not and jumped straight into my master's program and I felt the effects of burn out quite early on. Luckily, I am now able to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity, but I will say it was quite difficult in the beginning. Pursuing graduate studies entails a great deal of commitment and requires genuine interest and passion so it’s not always wise to jump straight into a program. Also, imposter syndrome is almost inevitable. In my program, there are people with businesses, 5 years of work experience, and research papers published — it can be incredibly intimidating. However, it is important to recognize that you do deserve to be in that space, and you are qualified.  
  • The Most In-Demand Roles in Tech Thi ...

    Looking to break into a career working within tech? Not a bad idea, considering technology underpins every corner of society and its use will only grow with the coming of the 'metaverse' and our increased reliance on remote connection, streamlining and documentation of processes, innovation, and data analytics. This year, the top trending occupations within technology include:  Developer/Programmer IT Project Manager Cloud Architect Business Analyst Security Analyst/Architect Business Systems/ Data Analyst Network Engineer  Quality Assurance Specialist Here's what you will do working in each of these roles and how much you can get paid: Developer/Programmer As a developer or programmer you interpret technical specifications, designs, flow charts, and sometimes creative briefs, and use code and other tools to adapt or build software applications. In fact, you may be in charge of constructing the specifications, in the first place. Once the work is complete, you are responsible for testing your prototype and design thinking to ensure it is well executed and identify growth opportunity areas.  Salary range: $60,000 - $125,000 + annually   IT Project Manager As an IT project manager you oversee, delegate, and ensure smooth reaching of an organization and its departments' IT goals. This requires an advanced knowledge of computers, systems, networks, resource planning, budgeting, and more. Salary range: $77,000 - $135,000+ annually Cloud Architect Cloud architects are specialists in data storage fundamentals, Java, networks, security foundations, front-and-back-end technologies, big data, and more, in order to design and oversee the functionality supporting cloud computing at an organization. Salary range: The average base pay for this role is $125,000 + Business Analyst In this role, you will analyze the existing conditions of a company's profits and processes in order to identify growth opportunity areas, and then work within the various departments and teams to get 'buy in' on the new direction and implement the strategy for growth. Salary range: $75,000 - $150,000 + Security Analyst/Architect Security analysts and architects seek to build against, identify, prevent, and support overcoming security breaches within a company's IT systems. Salary range: $81,000 + Business Systems/Data Analyst In this role, in essence, you solve the problems or hurdles a company is experiencing within their IT systems by identifying the issue and working through the technology and/or data to strategize and implement processes that fill opportunity areas and improve outcomes. Salary range: $82,000 - $106,000 Network Engineer As a network engineer you will design the networks that empower data to pass between systems, people, and workflows. Salary range: $72,000 - $100,000 + Quality Assurance Specialist In this role, you work to monitor, test, and recommend changes to ensure that a company's final tech products meet their standards of excellence. Salary range: $45,000 - $100,000 +
  • Becoming a Strategy Manager, By: Ari ...

    What is a Strategy Manager?  Strategic managers are the key planners, analyzers, and risk leaders who establish strategic plans in a business. They also handle oversight and development of corporate strategies to support business growth and stability. Strategy Manager Activities:Planning Risk management Performance management CoachingCollaborationData analysis Crisis managementCreative problem solving Ethics development Market leadership Creating value BrandingWhat Education do Strategy Managers Typically Have?  Degree in business or related field, MBA preferred. 3-5 years of experience in business administration, management consulting or strategic planning. Excellent understanding of business operations and procedures, or branding. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. What Essential Skills should Strategy Managers Have?  Communication skills The strategic management position is collaborative and demands great communicators in speech and writing. As business leaders, strategic managers need to inform and instruct all employees. Proper communication will determine the effectiveness of the instructions they give.Exceptional communication skills are essential when interacting with consumers, gathering information, expressing oneself and preparing business reports Analytical skills Strategic managers need to convert raw information into applicable strategies. They should also be able to perform various standard analyses in the business, such as:- Competitive analysis: Assesses the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors- Performance analysis: Analyzes the business progress, systematically. - Market analysis: Gathers information on conditions affecting the marketplace Interpersonal Skills Interpersonal skills are behaviors and abilities that help you manage emotions and cope with challenges. Strategic managers need to be proactive, demonstrate outstanding problem-solving skills and work in a group setting. Strategic managers should be exemplary leaders who inspire and motivate team performance. As team leaders, strategic managers should strive to build strong and lasting connections with others. Leadership  Strong leadership is the ability to motivate, inspire, encourage and challenge the team you lead to maximize their production. Developing effective strategies for an entire company and ensuring their implementation in a set timeline requires quality leadership. Strategic management candidates need to have strong leadership qualities to help them deal with potentially difficult strategies, stiff competition, financial crises or business losses. Organizational skills  Enable you to prioritize, plan and achieve set goals. Strategic managers require strategic organizational skills to structure and rank priority tasks to meet strict deadlines. Project Management  Project management is applying knowledge, tools and techniques in a project's activities to meet its requirements. Strategic managers should be able to apply their skills and experience to help the business archive its goals. Problem-Solving Skills  Some situations in businesses require quick and sound decisions to avoid losses. Strategic managers need to be able to often make difficult decisions quickly and accurately for both immediate goals and the wellbeing of their company. What Companies Hire Strategy Managers?  Google  Microsoft Bank of America Deloitte Accenture IBMJ.P MorganMeta H.P IncHSBC (Branding/marketing agencies or individual brands/start-ups)What is the typical Strategy Manager Salary?  The average strategy manager salary in Canada is $97,795 per year or $50.15 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $82,169 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $126,774 per year.  Job Titles for a Strategy Manager Chief operating officerInvestment fund managerManagement analystOperations managerHuman resources specialist Brand strategist
  • Content Marketing Trends Dominating ...

    The social media world is always evolving. In this modern world, the art of posting has become a phenomena - a key tool to build a brand or image. Learning the correct way to generate content and speak to a targeted online audience is critical for strong social media presence. It is challenging to engage with your target audience through social media because it is a highly competitive arena. Due to the saturation of social content from brands and individual, globally, companies can easily hit a wall of doubts and feedback loops. In this article, we’re discussing the top social media marketing trends emerging this year and how to harness these tactics to empower your hopeful career in marketing, content, brand ambassadorship. or social media marketing! 1. Brands Go Niche with Content Going for a more specific audience can increase the probability of brand-building outcomes. Online posts are in competition and so knowing and writing for your audience will increase visibility. Click here to unpack how to get to know your audience and plan niche content - from building personas to writing content that is easy to read for online audiences. 2. Voice Search Will Evolve How Content Marketing Sounds How we speak and how we write can be easily interpreted differently. Having content that adapts to a natural language search will benefit your audience and make them become even more engaged with your content. Voice search accounts for at least 20% of all searching and is growing. Click here to discover ways to optimize your brand's content and copywriting for voice search. 3. Diversified Content Methodologies Expands Your Audience Diversifying how you represent your content keeps audiences engaged and helps build new ones. Try mixing it up with a range of infographics, galleries, videos, podcasts, and dynamic imagery to ensure that your brand doesn't sign its own 'death sentence'.                4. Don't Be Afraid of Using Live Video & Interactive Content Although Live Video options available through social media applications like Instagram can be scary to use, in that you are speaking in real-time with your audience, this approach also builds brand trust and has the potential to deepen connection with your followers/brand community. What's more, Live Video and Interactive Content give viewers the comfort that their questions can be immediately answered by you. Click here for some Instagram Live Tips.            5. AI Powered Marketing AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered content is the biggest game-changing content marketing trend to-date. AI methods can help you discover what people are searching for and create a content strategy that [erfectly captures traffic and consumer interests. For example; Netflix and Amazon suggest things their user might like according to what they previously watched. AI-powered intent analysis ups your content game as it helps you offer content that appeals to the user's intention, thereby improving your online ranking. AI can also help you check if your current marketing efforts are working. Click here to learn more.             Of course, the basis of any effective content strategy is a good action marketing plan rooted from a company who has clear sense of who they are and, in turn, their audience is. Marketing strategies this 2022 will continue to move forward into a more technological and advanced world, the real question is: Can we keep up?        
  • Breaking News: Canada Post-Graduate ...

    Recent international post-secondary graduates in Canada can now apply to extend their post-graduate work permits. Are you one of these 100,000+ grads looking for an extension on your post-graduate work permit? Here are some resources to help unpack what this means and how to make this PGWP (post-graduate work permit) extension work for you: "New Measures to Address Canada's Labour Shortage", Government of Canada "IRCC to resume FSWP & CEC invitations in July; and offer open work permit to PGWP holders", CICI News, The Voice of Canadian Immigration, Shelby Thevenot and Kareem El-Assal "Canada to Provide Another PGWP Extension", Canadian Immigration Law Firm", Lauren Boorman "Minister Sean Fraser, why exclude us from the post-graduate work permit extension?", Toronto Star, Minu Matthew "Canada Work Permits Extended for International Graduates", PIE News, Helen Packer Oh, and we've got jobs for you (from employers across Canada seeking recent grads)! Sign-in or up to start searching.
  • 50/50: Exploring Your Career Path a ...

    Finding your calling or career path is a struggle for most of us. I can say in my personal experience, that even if I knew I wanted to study journalism there were so many classes to choose from that I found myself lost. The guidance of a professor helped me choose courses wisely and shaped my career trajectory to-date. I spoke with Erin Feicht, Career Development Advisor at St. Thomas University, to get a better understanding of the path of discovery for students to experience and determine their hopes for career paths. Fortunately, the university offers plenty of paths for exploration, it’s important to take a variety of courses to gain knowledge and experience on different topics. According to Feicht, “50% of students that enter post-secondary have a clear idea of what they want to study, while the other 50% either have some areas of interest or are totally lost in a world of possibilities.” She strongly advises students to seek-out advice, and be open to the process. Her process is (about) four steps:    Resume Building   Interview Preparation,   Networking Techniques   Extracurricular Activities  [Text Wrapping Break]   The brainstorming process is important because it reveals the ways that students can gain experience and build skills while in university. Reflecting on where you want to go can help pinpoint interests and reveal where to look for internships or experiential learning opportunities that will lead you to the job you want when you graduate. Feicht also notes that it’s important to understand the salary bracket of the career you’re pursuing, to prevent unmet expectations.   Choosing a career shouldn't be scary, it can be fun and exciting to try new things. Being open to experimentation can lead you down the right career path but this path may be different than what you thought initially – that is a part of the process. Letting life ‘take its course’ rather than controlling the outcome is a huge part of the journey and it’s a process that will feel easier if you work with your career advisor or a mentor along the way. Having a guidance, like a mentor or advisor, can help you release the pressure of choosing a career path and guide your journey so that you find a career path you love.      “I didn’t have this kind of help when I was in college, so I want to encourage students and let them know that they are not alone in this process,” said Feitch.     
  • So, You Want to be an Urban Planner?

    What is an Urban Planner? Urban planners work with developers and their communities to realize development proposals while solving social, economic, and environmental issues. As an Urban Planner You Will: Plan and design transportation infrastructure policy Undertake planning and engineering work Communicate with lawyers, architects, finance, and risk people (to name a few) Coordinate with local governments Create and interpret maps and diagrams Recommend and approve or deny proposals  What Education Do Urban Planners Typically Have? To be an Urban Planner you need a master's degree in Urban Planning but Urban Design or Geography is also applicable. In pursuit of a master's program you can start by graduating with a Bachelor's degree in economics, geography, political science, or environmental design. What Essential Skills Should Urban Planners Have? research  writing analysis communications sales/outreach creativity interpersonal skills What Industries Hire Urban Planners? Government Higher education Real estate developers nonprofits landscape architecture and planning firms What is a Typical Urban Planner Salary? The salary range for an Urban Planner is $70, 135 - $111,000 and the median salary for this role is $90,000 per year ($46.15 hourly).  
  • Journalism Will Always Be Journalism ...

    "Journalism is the same; we have just changed the vehicle in which we communicate it," Pablo Herraiz, Investigative Journalism Reporter for EL Mundo.  The pandemic accelerated the digital era of journalism. Since the onset of COVID-19, people have consumed news 50% more than pre-pandemic and at all hours. In addition, the media bridges people in isolation or at home, living remotely from friends or family elsewhere, to the outside world.  I had the privilege of interviewing Pablo Herraiz, Investigative Journalism Reporter for El Mundo, Madrid, Spain's largest newspaper, and exploring how the pandemic has influenced the profession of journalism – from how we consume the news to how journalists deliver it.  Pablo Herraiz started working 20 years ago for El Mundo, one of the top newspapers in Madrid. According to him, one of the most significant challenges of being a reporter is generating new information every day. For example, after the pandemic hit, many people were told to stay at home and work from there. But for a journalist, working from home is not the most effective way to get a story - even if the workplace can present it as a benefit.   "Before the pandemic, I was always in the streets looking for stories, people to interview, or covering events, but now, that is lost."  While journalists adapted to working from home, anywhere in the world, they also adopted new methods to support getting the job done and delivered in the format that was now widely consumed. Journalists can now more easily access information about government, trials, speeches, etc., which would be harder to follow on foot because everything, absolutely everything, is now online. Instead of face-to-face interviews, platforms like Teams and Zoom became the next best thing. By using these platforms, journalists have free access to create good interviews that can be smoothly edited rather than telephone interviews or other mediums. However, there are also times when lousy internet connection or scheduling difficulties due to time changes can bring another host of issues.   Despite the sudden change from where the job was done, the pandemic benefited media outlets: news traffic, subscriptions, and readership went up. The pandemic also accelerated journalists' pace, from expectations to constantly post news online to the rate of discovery and storytelling.  For print media, sinking sales were also amplified by the pandemic. Within a few clicks, people can find a news source online and don't need to go out and find (and buy) a physical newspaper. The hyper-digitization of news and the rate we consume it may be convenient. Still, everything has a cost: the loss of human interaction and an overflow of information that isn't always vetted through all the necessary channels before its release.    "Human interaction has been lost as everything now relies on online platforms."  With the chaos of the pandemic, one of the biggest mistakes media outlets committed was abusing their power. News saturation through online platforms often doesn't give people enough time to process the information. Constantly bombarding the public with information, facts, details, discoveries, and more information can also lead to confusion. A clear example of this negligence is seen in the current pandemic status: No one holds information on the updated restrictions, daily infections, and strains. So naturally,  people could no longer continue absorbing more data and the media, unprofessionally, kept giving them more. There is now an excess of information, and it gets lost in the 'vast internet of everything' that is uploaded – to read something is not the same as processing it.  "The media has failed us because it was not reported gradually. It was like a slap of information in the face of the public."   With the pandemic more controlled, journalism mediums are returning to more traditional approaches. Still, most media outlets have their offices empty since they've adopted working from home as mainstream.   Despite these drawbacks and the saturation of news on the internet, Herraiz believes that the media remains committed to standing up for the public and the world. All journalists and media outlets have worked together to keep people informed and safe. The power of journalism can impact millions, opening the eyes of those who a twisted truth has blindsided.   "Journalism, for me, has always been telling a story; in the end, it's a lifestyle," concluded Herraiz.  
  • Three Benefits of Language Learning, ...

    One of the personal goals that I have been striving for is to learn a new language. In the past academic school year, I’ve had the opportunity to learn Japanese, a language that I’ve wanted to learn for a long time. I never thought I would enjoy learning a language so much, and I’m grateful I had the chance to do so.   Learning a new language comes with many benefits, and today, I want to share with you why you should consider learning a language and some tips and tricks to help you get started!   Three Benefits of Language Learning    1. You get to learn about another culture   You can learn a lot about a culture just by studying their language! When I was studying Japanese, I found it fascinating how Japanese has different approaches to certain social situations and how it has words to phrases that don’t even exist in English! I appreciate my sensei (Japanese for “teacher”) for sharing a bit of her culture with me.   It is not every day that you can engage with cultures and communities outside your own, so language learning is an excellent opportunity to do so! Learning about other cultures is not only fun, but it also widens your perspective. Especially today, the world is getting more connected through technology, and it is important to be open and ready to learn about different cultures.      2. You get to connect with different people outside your own culture   Learning a new language also allows for your network to expand. You will get the opportunity to interact with many other people you could never have interacted with because of a language barrier. Creating those new connections can aid you in your personal life, your professional career, or even when travelling to other countries!    3. Employers love candidates who speak multiple languages  Knowing multiple languages creates more job opportunities and makes you stand out in interviews. In Canada, especially, being bilingual in English and French is an asset that many companies look for because it caters to both the English- and French-speaking communities.   Communication is a big part of an organizational structure. Thus, knowing multiple languages means more access to communication pathways to different communities, opening up more opportunities for the company and you as a worker.     3 Tips and Tricks to Learning a New Language  Are you interested in learning a new language? Here are some tips and tricks for you to get started!    1. Invest in good textbooks and materials to help in your studies  Although language textbooks can be quite 'pricey', finding some that can supplement your learning is well worth it. I would also recommend using flashcards to learn vocabulary or grammar, which has been one of my favourite tools for learning Japanese.     2. Find a good tutor to teach you  Finding the right tutor can be tricky, but the difference between a good and a bad tutor may mean feeling motivated to study or giving up entirely. Here are some ways to find a good teacher:   Check if your university offers any language courses. This is a great way to learn a new language while working towards your degree if you need elective courses.   Online Learning. There are many great apps to help you in your language learning. YouTube, for example, often has great videos on the basics of language learning that you can use to supplement your studies. Other sources include apps like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone.   NOTE: I would not recommend only using these apps to learn a new language; investing in lessons with a professional tutor is also essential.   Find language classes near you. Search your area to see if anyone is offering any language classes. If there are no available classes, there are many alternatives to finding a tutor. For example, Preply or Italki are great websites to find an online tutor.     3. Practice, practice, practice every day   “Practice makes perfect” has never been a truer statement regarding language learning. The key to language learning is to integrate it into your everyday life. Review your notes, vocabulary, grammar, etc., every chance you get and slowly incorporate them into your daily speech.   There is a lot of dedication to learning a new language because it is like adopting a new lifestyle. If you slack off in your studies, it will become harder and harder to pick up where you left off. So, don’t stop learning, and soon, you will see the results of your hard work! 
  • The Career Journey of Journalist Mat ...

    “Going into university, I kind of always knew what I was going to study because my dream job was to be a sports broadcaster. I love sports but I'm not very good at them, so I figure talking about them would be the next best thing,” Matthew Daigle As a 10-year old Daigle was already thinking of diving into the world of journalism. He used to pretend to be an announcer at family game night or his sister’s hockey games, shaping Daigle’s idea of what we wanted to pursue in the future. “I used to always watch hockey with my family and there’s always an announcer for the games, so I would pretend I was the one calling the game."  Miramichi, his hometown for 17 years, incentivized Daigle’s decision to move to another province to get his degree since they only offered a community college at NBCC as post-secondary education. Some of his options were: Quebec, Halifax and Fredericton, which were liberal arts institutions. His decision making took a last turn when he accepted admission to St. Thomas University (STU). “After knowing what I didn’t really like in high school like chemistry and physics, I understood that writing was my passion, something that motivated me and I wanted to go to a school that would expand on that knowledge.”  His main reason for choosing STU as the next 4 years of his life was being close to home. In the end it all came down to being able to go back during holidays or special dates and feeling close to the family. The second reason was being able to work alongside the CBC newsroom professionals, whose knowledge and professionalism caught Daigle’s attention. In the fall of 2017 he arrived on-campus and took his first steps toward his hopeful career as a journalist. Going into university, Daigle had no clue what 'communications' was but he fell in love with every aspect of it as his studies progressed. He says that his professors' guidance were key to his confidence and commitment to his pursuits. Daigle’s first journalism class was with professor Philip Lee, and had a significant impact on his studies, as he learned how to properly write articles and express himself in a journalistic sense. What he learned in communications and journalism classes like Professor Lee's were also complimented by his other studies. According to Daigle, St.Thomas encourages students to expand their major and minor studies, offering an arsenal of complimentary mediums to pursue as a career. Journalism is not always just print, writing, radio, podcasting or TV, it can be a mixture so diversifying your skillset helps learners. Plus, it empowers students with free access to technology like software, video, audio, and camera offerings deepen the students' connection to the world of journalism. “For me, every little tool, skill, knowledge and practicum was worth it. I can’t speak for every journalist, but these experiences  really helped me to form myself as a journalist.”  Being a student is never easy, for Daigle it definitely had its ups and downs, and it can be challenging if you are trying to gain work experience while studying. During his time at STU, Daigle worked as Editor for the Aquinian and he also took on two internships during his fourth-year. Through these experiences, he discovered that essays and report papers were all about filling information to hit the word count; while journalism writing is concise, direct, and has no grey area or opportunity to create additional information (often irrelevant). Learning to unlearn what he knew and embrace new ways of thinking was a large part of preparing him for the world of work beyond classroom walls. “It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but then by fourth year I was pretty sure about it and now I don’t even struggle with it anymore." Daigle also had to overcome personal hurdles throughout his studies and career journey. Self-described as shy, he needed to work hard to speak more confidently - a critical skill as a journalist. Jan Wong, another of Matthew’s professors, used to tell him to exercise his ability to speak up, to use that fear as fuel to get the interview done. With the help of his professors, experience building, and time, Daigle grew out of his shyness by fourth year. Above all, the pandemic was also not an easy transition since most courses had to adjust to the new online format. The stress and the workload were sometimes unbearable, plus staying inside played a huge impact on mental health. According to Daigle, friends, family, and professors made great effort to alleviate the unique pressures of being a student, an intern, and a human navigating Covid and social distancing during fourth year. “I got through it but it was not easy, I really have to thank my family, friends and some profs for helping me through that last stretch of getting my diploma. As a journalist, I believe Jan Wong was one of my biggest influences. She really helped me with my confidence and being able to stand up on my own feet, as I move forward with stories, interviews and forming myself as a professional.” Before concluding his studies in the spring of 2021, Daigle put himself out in the professional world - sending out resumes, applying for different positions, and maintaining connections to any opportunity that might be presented. This led him to his landing a job and since late May he has been working as a reporter for the Telegraph Journal with the St. John Times Globe section. In his role, Daigle covers a little of everything in print, mostly written articles and photography. Adjusting from school work load, and weekly articles to the new schedule of writing two articles per day was definitely challenging for Daigle but its a challenge he can tackle - every little bit of effort and all the ups and downs of his post-secondary and internship experiences was worth it.  “ I’m happy with how I have found my place in the world. Not everyone is as lucky.”
  • Freelancing: An Interview With a Fi ...

    What is freelancing? 'To freelance' is defined by Google as: Working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company. In fact, Google’s workforce, as of 2019, consists of more contractors/freelancers than permanent employees - 54% of the staff were considered contractors/freelancers! Forbes even has an article titled, ‘The Freelance Revolution is Just Getting Started’ and I can confidently say that I agree. Freelancing will only continue to grow and you might say it's the wave of the future - especially for graduates. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristen Parker, a verified Level 2 Fiverr Pro user and full-time freelancer. We discussed her experiences with freelancing and how it empowers her to do what she loves.   Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself (education background, work background, etc.)? A: I’m a full-time freelance writer focusing on blogs and social media captions. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Media and Communications with a minor in English from Redeemer University (Ancaster, ON.). I started working at a non-profit organization right out of school.  I switched from full-time to contract with the non-profit organization in November 2020 to have more flexibility with my time because my husband and I had converted a cargo van into a home and were travelling across the country.  I joined Fiverr in January 2021, and I had low expectations. I had been freelancing here and there since 2018, but Fiverr transformed my freelancing career and projected me toward independence and growth. Now I work with a few marketing agencies and clients on Fiverr to complete various writing assignments.    Q: Did you always know that this field (writing) was what you wanted to get into? A: When I was in high school, I was set on going into the sciences. My goal changed when I took a creative writing class in grade 12 and fell in love with embracing myself creatively. The course fueled a fire within me, and I have chased that passion since. I’ve journaled my whole life, but it wasn’t until recently that I felt the confidence to call myself a writer. I’m thankful to be in a field that embraces creativity and enables me to let the words flow.  Q: What made you want to get into freelancing? A: At my full-time job, I felt restricted by a 9-5. I felt like I could not reach my full potential and was not rewarded for going above and beyond. Freelancing offers opportunities to set your hours and be rewarded for your work.  In a full-time position, hard work doesn’t always pay off—but in freelancing, when you go above and beyond, you’re able to learn more, earn more, and grow in your career quicker.  I also love that I have more flexibility with my time. I get to set my deadlines, and as long as I meet them, it doesn’t matter when I do the work.    Q: How did you decide what platform to use to start freelancing? A: I had heard that Fiverr allowed you to create a free profile, and I just went for it. I honestly didn’t research it, I just said, “let’s see what happens.” People often get side-tracked ‘doing’ because they’re so caught up in ‘doing it right’. My mindset was that there was no harm in creating a profile, so I went for it.  One of my goals for the year is to create a profile on Upwork to see where that goes.    Q: How did/do you navigate the financial insecurity of not having a fixed income? A: I am beyond blessed to be married to someone who does have a fixed income and to have started freelancing with a contract. The contract position was a secure way to freelance because I always knew there was work. The contract role provided work while I built rapport and confidence to emerge into the freelancing world fully.   Now, I have a goal each day that I aim to hit—and if I don’t hit it, I spend time trying to find other work. I’m incredibly blessed to have a consistent flow of work where I rarely need to be on the hunt.  I’m incredibly thankful for a supportive husband who encourages me to chase my dreams. His income covers our monthly expenses, and my income covers any extras, savings, and investments. I acknowledge the privilege of being in a double-income situation, and I also note that the difference in what we bring in is relatively small.      Q: How do you navigate taxes as a freelancer with multiple streams of income (staying organized with business finances, etc.)? A: I use a spreadsheet, and I have an amazing bookkeeper who is quick to answer my questions and help me navigate the tax world. I was intimidated by taxes, and it almost made me not pursue working on my own.  Now, I’m thankful to feel confident and well-prepared for the next tax season. (This tax season went well and helped me learn).    Q: How do you maintain/create work-life balance as a freelancer? A: In the beginning, it was hard to maintain a work-life balance as a freelancer because I was eager to complete any projects, and that meant that I’d do a lot of work for not a lot of money to gain reviews. It was also challenging to feel like I always had to respond to inquiries immediately and to be on the hunt for work.  Now, I’m in a position where I can take weekends off (unless I want to work), and I avoid working at night (unless I want to). One of the benefits of freelancing is that I love what I do, so the work often doesn’t feel like work.  Since everything comes to my phone, I can quickly assess if someone needs a response or if it can wait for another time. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to respond to someone and say something like, “Hi! Thank you for your message. I’m just out running errands. I’ll get back to you when I get home.” It’s a great way to build rapport, keep my response rate quick, and avoid working 24/7.    Q: What is one thing that you've been able to do as a freelancer that you wouldn't have been able to do with a 9-5 job? A: I originally left the 9-5 because it didn’t align with our van life experience. Since then we’ve sold the van, and I’ve found joy in being able to make my own schedule. I have more time to pursue passion projects, invest in relationships, and grow into the person I want to be. I found that working a 9-5 left me feeling drained and I didn’t feel like my true self. Now, I have more energy and every day feels like a new opportunity.   Q: Do you have any advice for people who are considering freelancing as their main source of income? A: If you’re considering freelancing, just start. Every day that you don’t start is one day that you could be building a profile and gaining experience. You don’t need to start freelancing with the mindset that it needs to be your primary source of income—you may find that mindset suffocating and overwhelming. Instead, I recommend starting freelancing with the mindset of, “I’m going to pour my all into this and see where it goes!” There is an abundance of opportunities for different niches—spend some time on a site like Fiverr and see what there is and what you think you’d be good at.  At the end of the day, there’s no harm in spending an evening creating a profile. You never know where it may take you.  
  • Are Summer School Classes Right For ...

    We are now approaching that time of year when classes are finally wrapping up, and all that’s left to do are those last few assignments before you can relax and let loose for summer break. Summer break = no school… or so you think.   You might have heard the idea of summer school floating around, and although the last thing on your mind right now is doing even more school, summer school can be a great opportunity in your educational path. However, it is important to know if summer school is right for you before signing up because it can be very different from the courses you take in the regular school year. So, here is a list of some of the pros and cons of summer school.    PRO #1: Summer school can help you graduate early   If you are looking to graduate early, summer school is an excellent way to do so. By taking additional classes during the summer, you can work towards your degree quicker than if you were only to take courses during the Fall/Winter term.   TIP: I would highly recommend researching and planning which classes you need to take. It can be tricky to find out what classes you need. Consider visiting your Academic Advising Offices to ask for help in planning your course loads for both the Fall/Winter and Summer terms.     PRO #2: Summer school can help spread courses out throughout the year  Enrolling in summer school could allow you to take a lighter course load during the Fall/Winter term, spreading out your course load more evenly but still keeping you on track for your expected graduation date.  For example, at York University, a full course load during the Fall/Winter term is 30 credits. Summer school allows students to take a maximum of 12 credits. So, throughout the year, I could take around 21 credits and do 9 credits in summer school. This makes it so my course load is lighter and more manageable during the year. This could be extremely helpful if you find yourself overwhelmed with school work.     PRO #3: Summer school classes are usually smaller  Classes during summer school are usually smaller, which can be beneficial if you enjoy learning in that environment. Smaller classes may mean a better connection with your professor and more in-class discussions.     CON #1: Some courses may not be available during the summer  One big thing to consider is that some courses, usually available in the Fall/Winter term, will not be available during the Summer term. If you need a particular class for your degree, it is important to check if these classes are available during the summer.     CON #2: Summer classes are faster-paced with more assignments and class time  Because professors need to fit in a semester (or two) worth of course content into only a few months, you will find that professors will cover two or more topics during the week. This also means more assignments and more class time. This is something to consider if you prefer a slower learning environment or are taking a course that requires more work than usual.     CON #3: It may be difficult to get OSAP funding for classes  The process for getting OSAP funding for summer classes may take longer and depends on whether you are taking a full course load. I highly recommend doing research to find out what OSAP funding is available for summer school for your post-secondary institution.   For example, when I took summer classes in my first year, it was challenging to get funding because I was only taking half the course load. In the end, I had to enroll in another class to be considered a full-time student because the OSAP application for full-time summer students was much easier.     I hope that this post was able to clarify what summer classes may look like. Please be sure to check your post-secondary institution’s website for more information about summer school if this is something that you are considering!       
  • Why Fake It 'Til You Make It is Bad ...

    “Fake it ‘till you make it.”  Sounds like solid advice right? If you’re not confident, just pretend that you are and the confidence will follow. Not so fast! As a new grad, who has gone through the interview process many times, I've learned to do better. Knowing what you're doing is one thing but admitting when you don't know can be much more valuable. In fact, it tops my list on why you should NOT fake it 'til you make it.   1. Admit When You Don’t Know I promise, it’s going to look a lot better if you’re upfront about what you don’t know than if you pretend you do know it. Honesty is more valuable than embellishment of your skills and knowledge base. This approach also helps employers help you because they can teach you, and help fill your skills gaps, at the beginning of your training with them. During one of my interviews, the manager asked me how much knowledge I had about the field. As it was the first job remotely in my field that I was interviewing for, I told him I didn’t know much. He told me he knew that I was a new grad and that I had no work experience. It wasn’t necessarily a trick question, but he wanted to see how much I was willing to admit. And because I was upfront, even though I didn’t meet all the requirements as an applicant, he was ready to give me a chance.     2. Be Willing To Learn “I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn” is such a powerful sentence. It shows that you’re taking the initiative to follow through and be proactive about your learning. I lack experience and knowledge as a new grad, and chances are you will too—there’s no shame in that. However, when I was hired, my manager told me that he appreciated that I said that I was willing to learn when I didn’t know the answers to certain things he asked me. It let him know that I was ready to put in the work and not be passive about it.   3. Ask Questions Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It shows that you want to take charge of your learning and know what you need to learn. As mentioned earlier, you’re not going to know everything about the field you’re in. Even when you gain more experience, you’re never going to know everything, so ask the questions. Then, take that step to make sure you know what you need to know about the job you’re doing.  I ask my manager and coworkers for clarification about what I need to be doing daily, if not multiple times a day. When new tasks come up that I’ve never done before, I make sure to ask how to do it. It reiterates that I want to know, and I’m not just going to sit around and wait for someone to ask if I know what I’m doing.  In my experience, “fake it ‘till you make it” hasn’t been a valuable piece of advice (however well-intentioned). It tells us that we’re not allowed 'not to know' and that we can’t ask questions or make mistakes. It forces us to paint the best picture of ourselves to employers and be inevitably disappointed in ourselves when we mess up or don't meet the mark. Instead of 'faking it 'till you make it' why not do better? Try bringing your whole, true self to work and be open to learning - especially from peers or mentors. You may be surprised what you can do…  
  • Tips From Professors on How to Ask Y ...

    It is no secret that working or learning remotely or in hybrid learning environments makes it challenging to connect with professors. If you’re like me, you’ve likely reached a point in your academic journey where you need recommendation letters - either for a job or graduate studies. So, how do you ask for letters of recommendation when you’ve been interacting with your class mainly online? I spoke with a few professors to ask them insights on teaching in this new environment and how it impacts what they look for in students’ approaches to asking for recommendation letters.  Here are their tips:  Show Up & Turn Your Camera On It seems simple but when students show up every day, turn on their camera, and regularly share their thoughts it’s easier for professors to reason writing letters of recommendation.   Share Your Future Hopes & Dreams With Professors   The professors I spoke with expressed that they would prefer to know your future plans and that the more details you can provide, the better the chance of getting a letter of recommendation – and one that will have an influence. Also advised, is to share your CV, cover letter, or any other information that can support you to get a letter that is tailored to your strong suits and aims.  Express Interest in a Letter of Recommendation Early-on  Asking for a L.O.R. is nerve racking enough when you are in-class but especially difficult due to the lack of interaction of online classes. Some advice offered by given by professors I spoke with is to express interest in a L.O.R. early-on (also, obviously: go to office hours, ask about the exam, engage in class, and build a rapport with them).   Quality & Content  Professors I spoke with note that both quality and quantity of engagement are considered – one doesn’t’ trump the other. However, depending on whether the letter is needed for academic studies or more interactive jobs, there will be a greater focus on whatever the situation requires.   The biggest takeaway from these conversations was the importance of interacting with your professors. Your professors want to help you but to get their help you need to show up and do the work. Something as simple as turning on your camera can make the world of a difference and put a face to the name on the screen. Ask early if you would like a L.O.R., get to know your professor, and build a rapport with them.       
  • Lollipop Moments: Redefining Leaders ...

    Today, I wanted to share a video that my team shows us every year as a reminder that leadership is not always about grand gestures and breakthrough moments but can be something as simple as a kind gesture or a helping hand.   In the Ted Talk above, Drew Dudley does a fantastic job redefining leadership. I encourage you to watch the video when you get the chance and think about your lollipop moments! This could be a moment where you impacted someone in a small way or a situation where someone else has impacted you. Many times, the word ‘leadership’ can be daunting because there are preconceived notions about how a leader should be—assertive, taking charge, and being successful—but I wanted to show how leadership is not always like that. Even small actions of leadership should be celebrated.  To drive home this thought, I wanted to share with you my lollipop moment of a professor who greatly impacted me during my time at university. In my introductory blog post, I talked a bit about myself, noting that I’m studying English and Philosophy. Although the reason I decided on being an English major is straightforward—I simply love reading, writing, and analyzing text—the reason I also chose to study philosophy is very different.   In my first year, I took a wide range of courses to see what other courses were available, and I took an introductory philosophy course to see what philosophy was about. The content of the course drew me in, but what sparked my passion for philosophy was the professor. My professor always came to class with a bright smile on his face, delivered his lectures with extreme giddiness and passion, and always made classes so enjoyable. For that reason, I decided to continue studying philosophy, and to this day, he is still one of my favourite professors.   This professor didn’t do anything newsworthy, but the simple act of just being passionate about his work and caring towards his students encouraged me to pursue the field. Although I didn’t speak with this professor often, he was one of the reasons that led me towards my particular educational path. This is an excellent example of how our day-to-day actions significantly impact the people around us, and it is important to be aware of that. We have a lot of power in our actions, and we don’t necessarily have to have a leadership title to lead others around us. So, I encourage you to lead with lollipop moments and share your own lollipop moment with us! 
  • Meet Deanne Williams, English Profes ...

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Deanne Williams, an English Professor at York University as well as author. I took her class this semester and had the incredible opportunity to become acquainted with her. I chose to interview her on Women’s History Month as I wanted to showcase a female professor excelling in her field in a relatively male dominated field. If you're interested in pursuing English as a major, minor, or a profession, keep reading to learn more about Deanne’s journey and advice.    Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. A: I studied English and Religious Studies at the University of Toronto. I got to study with Northrop Frye (Author of international bestseller Fearful Symmetry). I also completed my graduate studies at Oxford and a fellowship at Stanford where I took part in field work as well. Close to my final year, I was offered a position at York University, completed my dissertation, and joined the English department at York.  Q: Did you always know that you wanted to become an English professor?  A: No, I thought maybe I would go into publishing. I also thought maybe I would get involved with law and find a way to interconnect the two. The moment I knew that I wanted to go into graduate school, I was in my third year of university and enjoying my courses so much that I realized I just wanted to continue studying. I had a prophetic vision and dream that I would go to graduate school in California.  Q: Which steps did you take? Did you have any guidance?  A: I became quite close with the Dean of English Studies at my university, and he actually proposed that I go to Oxford to pursue Medieval Studies. A little later, I continued my graduate studies at Stanford. I got to study alongside several wonderful scholars. I had a friend from high school as well and he wrote me some letters praising the English program at Stanford. Professor Stephen Orgel was also an incredible mentor for me at Stanford.  Q: You mentioned several notable and highly acclaimed male mentors. Did you also have any female mentors or inspirations at that time?  A: Yes, it's true, especially during that time, the field was dominated by males but one of my biggest inspirations was Patricia Parker (professor at Stanford) who was on my dissertation committee. My work on Pericles Shakespeare, which was very important to me, and I wrote a chapter of in my book, had its origins in a graduate seminar that I took with her. I learned from her an attentiveness to Shakespearean language, their historical context, and the technicalities/ contradictions involved in literature. It was a little hard though to find female mentorships - especially in historical fields.  Q: What would you advise students that are considering pursuing a career in English?  A: It's very important to establish personal connections with your professors and other students that are serious about English as well. I spent a lot of time with my mentors and have learned from them how to teach and supervise my graduate students. There is a great joy in collaborating with others. Scholarship doesn't have to be lonely as it's often presented. Additionally, research fellowships and scholarships that universities offer if you are pursuing graduate studies because you’ll be surprised by how many opportunities there are.     
  • About Peer Mentorship, From a Peer M ...

    I have been a peer mentor at York University for the past two years, and it has been one of my favourite student experiences. In this role, I support and mentor first-year students, whether that be answering any questions they have, helping them adjust to their first year, or just being there as mental and emotional support.  Are you interested in being a peer mentor?  What is a Peer Mentor? A peer mentor is usually an upper-year student who helps first-year students transition into university. If you are a first-year student, a peer mentor will often lend a hand in guiding you through your first year at university. From study sessions to campus tours to fun social events, they are an accessible connection that can help you become more adjusted to student life. Even if you are no longer a first-year student, it can still be helpful to reach out and ask questions. As a fourth-year myself, there are still many things that I am still learning about my university and program, so it’s really helpful to have someone to talk to. What can a Peer Mentor Help me With? A peer mentor may offer services such as one-on-one counseling, group study sessions, and many more. One-on-one counseling can include assignment or essay help, such as going over the assignment requirements or giving essay writing tips, or it can be more casual sessions, such as talking about mental health or academic stress. Peer mentors may also host study sessions throughout the year or even hold events that you can attend. Academic events, such as writing or resume workshops, help you develop more professional skills, while social events, such as game nights, provide a space for students to connect and socialize. Your peer mentors are there to make sure your first year is as fun, stress-free, and successful as possible! My Experience as a Peer Mentor As mentioned, being a peer mentor has been one of the highlights of my time as a student. There is a great community surrounding peer mentor programs, and it gives you more opportunities to be involved in student life. As a peer mentor, you develop many skills and gain new experiences, and as a mentee, you can find the support you need to succeed academically and professionally. One of my favourite memories of working as a peer mentor is organizing various events and competitions for students, such as a Gingerbread House Competition for the Holidays and a Drag Race! If you have a chance, I encourage you to reach out to your peer mentor program and volunteer as a mentor or participate as a mentee! Where can I Find my Peer Mentor Program? Most universities will have peer mentor programs available. Here is a compiled list of peer mentor programs for most universities in Ontario. If your university is not listed, I encourage you to visit your university’s website to search for your peer mentor program.   Algoma University student?  Click here. Brock University student? Brock University has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you! Carleton University student? Click here. University of Guelph student? Click here. Lakehead University student? Lakehead University has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you! Laurentian University student? Click here. McMaster University student? Click here. Nipissing University student? Click here.  OCAD University student? Click here. Ontario Tech University student? Click here.   University of Ottawa student? Click here. The University of Ottawa has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you! Queen’s University student? Click here.   Ryerson University student? Click here. University of Toronto student? Click here. Trent University student? Click here.   University of Waterloo student? Click here. Western University student? Click here. Wilfrid Laurier University student? Click here. University of Windsor student? Click here. York University student?  York University has peer mentors for specific academic programs. I encourage you to find the peer mentor program that applies to you!
  • Why Humanitarian Work Should be on Y ...

    I wouldn't recommend underestimating the value of volunteer and humanitarian aid experience. Not only can humanitarian aid experience be grounding but it also empowers networking, skill development, and a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves through community. A few years ago, I took part in an initiative by my high school that focused on poverty alleviation in a small city in Malaysia. For a year, we worked through various fundraising projects to collect enough money to help kids in Sabah, Malaysia build a school for their community. There was an option at the end of the school year to go to Malaysia and actively help in building the school. Truthfully, the cost of the trip, as well as the fact that it would take up most of the summer, almost deterred me from going. However, I really wanted to be able to see the village and people for whom our team was collecting funds. Luckily, I did  go and the highlight was meeting the kids, teachers, and the community in-person. Connecting with people, learning how to lay cement, carrying barrels of rocks and construction equipment...everyday was tiring and incredibly rewarding. My friends and I learned so much during the trip that we implemented the practical and theoretical lessons into our lives when we returned home. I share this with you because as a third-year student of York University, I found myself hesitant to even apply for many of the internships I was interested in because I didn't have work experience but decided to take a chance on myself and apply anyway. Much to my delight, I did secure an internship with Orbis and Outcome Campus Connect, and have recently landed a summer internship for Public Policy. Both times, my volunteer experience, genuine interest for their companies, and willingness to learn gave me a competitive edge. In short? There are so many reasons humanitarian work should be on your resume, these are just some of mine and how I was empowered to where I am now by empowering others.  
  • 5 Ways to Connect with your Campus C ...

    For the past two years, going to school meant signing onto Zoom. Unfortunately, with everything being online, students have found it way harder to connect with their community, make new friends, or experience university life. It’s already hard enough transitioning into university from high school outside of a pandemic; it is now especially challenging because of the lack of in-person interaction.   Community is one of my favourite parts of the university experience—you meet so many new people, gain new experiences, and enjoy school more. So, whether your university has finally returned to in-person learning or decided to stay online for the rest of the year, here are five ways to get more connected with your school community:   1. Attend events and participate There are always so many events happening around campus. These events are an excellent opportunity for you to meet new people and engage with your community. Events can be academic-related, such as writing workshops, or social, such as game nights and competitions.   As someone who has attended and organized many events, I can vouch that they are always super fun! Some examples of events my team has helped organize are a speed-friending event, a gingerbread house competition, and even a drag race! All you have to do is sign up, show up, and participate! These events are a great way to meet new people and have some great fun along the way.   Most universities will have social media accounts or weekly newsletters to inform students of upcoming events. Keep an eye out for these events, register, and participate!     2. Join clubs and organizations   Another great way to connect with others at school is by joining a club or organization. There are always plenty of student-run clubs all around campus. There is something for everyone from more casual clubs, such as book clubs, or more formal clubs, such as student associations.   Start by searching what clubs are available at your university and join one that interests you! Joining a club creates a great opportunity for you to meet people with the same interests as you.     3. Volunteer or take part in a work/study position  Want to help your community a bit more or make some money on the side? Chances are, there are many volunteering and work/study positions available to you. Check out your university’s career portal or look out for opportunities around campus, in emails, or on social media.     4. Create group chats for your classes  Attending an online class can feel lonely. People don’t have their cameras on most of the time, and communicating with your peers is limited. One way to connect with your peers is to create a class group chat! Not only are these group chats helpful when discussing course materials, but you can also make new friends who are part of the same program or year as you. No longer will your peers be black boxes on a screen, but people you can interact with.    5. Connect with your professor  Last but not least, connect with your professor. It might seem strange to be friendly with your professor, but your professors genuinely want you to succeed and want to help. Instead of treating classes as a transactional process, I encourage you to go to office hours, ask questions about the class or assignment, and discuss the class topics more with your professor. Not only will this help you understand the course material more (and help you get a better grade), but this is also a way to network during your time as a student. I’ve had the same professors for a few of my classes, and I have to say, it is very nice when they remember you. 
  • These Four WFH Tips Made My Days Bet ...

    As a new graduate who completed half of her post-secondary education online, did two fully remote internships, and has received both in-person and WFH positions, here are four things I’ve started incorporating into my work-from-home (WFH) routine to help create better work-life boundaries and succeed in my positions.   —   Wake Up Early—Or At Least Try To   It can be super tempting to roll out of bed 5 minutes before your work or school day starts and just jump into it. It’s easy, takes little to no effort, and sounds like a great idea if you’re not a morning person. But doing that blurs the boundary between work and general life. If the first thing you do in the morning is start working, what is there to stop that from being the last thing you do before you fall asleep at night?  Waking up early also gives you time in the morning to go through a morning routine, whatever that may be. Whether it’s lounging around in bed for half an hour scrolling through social media, going through a morning skincare routine, or whatever else you choose to do.  I was not and still am not a morning person. But giving myself the extra hour between waking up and starting work has been so helpful in giving me time to decompress and actually wake up. I don’t feel as groggy and grumpy when I start working and I don’t feel like my brain is constantly stuck on a “loading” page.    Get Dressed Before Work How tempting is it to work in loungewear? Office appropriate clothing can feel so restricting and uncomfortable, especially when comparing it to the loungewear worn around the house. When wearing the clothes you wear to sleep to work, it blurs the lines between work and home.  By making the effort to get dressed in the morning, even if it’s just changing into an office appropriate top, it can help you differentiate the two areas of your life and make a cleaner transition into working. It also sets good practices into place if you either plan to WFH from a local café or get a job that’s in-person. As someone who has a WFH job and an office position, getting dressed for both jobs has been a big part in starting off my day right. It helps me get myself in the headspace for work and shift away from the “lounge at home and do nothing all day” mindset.    Make An Effort to Eat Breakfast Before, Not During   Breakfast may not actually be the most important meal of the day, but being able to separate your eating time from your WFH day is important. Whether it’s making and eating a full, balanced breakfast or just having a coffee or tea in the morning, do it before you start work. Decompress in the mornings with your breakfast and beverage of choice. Take the time to eat and/or drink without working. Relax, take a breath, and when you’re done, start working. I’ve found that taking the time to eat and drink before working generally has me starting off my day in a better mood. I don’t feel as rushed and anxious about time and I can generally enjoy my hot breakfast and hotter coffee.    Separate Your Workspace From Your General Living Space It’s definitely easier said than done, I mean how often are we using our laptops and phones in bed? It’s so comfy and warm, especially when the weather is colder and all you want to do is stay in bed all day. Creating a workspace separate from your bedroom, or at least separate from your bed, is helpful in establishing and enforcing a healthy work-life balance.  Keeping work and general living separate is hard to do when working and even harder to do when working from home. Whether you choose to do your work in the kitchen, dining room, or you have a desk in your room, make sure to keep it consistent and to have that be a dedicated space for you to work. Lines are blurred and if you’re not able to separate those areas of your life, you may start to feel guilty for stepping away from work at any point during the day. Before I separated my workspace from my living space, I had horrible work-life balance. I had a desk in my room, but it was too close to my bed and I would just end up moving my laptop and other devices into bed to do work “because it’s cold”. After moving my work area to the kitchen, it’s helped me to stay focused and minimize those kinds of distractions during the work day.    —   These things, though they are simple, are habits that I am still trying to practice in working from home. I’m not perfect at it, nor do I claim to be an expert in working from home. These are just things that have been working for me lately as I navigate a WFH and an in-person job. These are just my personal tips and though they may not all work for everyone, I hope this has been helpful in either affirming what you’ve been doing or introducing new tips for creating better balance in your life while WFH!  
  • The Work Environment: Does it Work f ...

      As a pandemic grad, I know how intimidating finding a job can be. Online applications can be daunting and online interviews can be few and far between. So it’s a huge relief to receive an offer of employment from somewhere finally, and most new grads, myself included, jump at the opportunity immediately.  Something you should remember is that as much as employers are vetting you through the interview process, you’re vetting them too. Part of the interview process for them is seeing if you fit the company. So during the interview and probationary period, you should also be seeing if they’re a fit for you. But how do you know that place is right for you?  What should you be looking for in a place of employment?  Here are three questions I’ve kept in mind throughout interviews and during my time working.   ——   1. What is the Training Process? How do you learn best? Are you someone who needs to walk through the process of doing something a couple of times before picking it up? Are you someone who likes figuring out how to do things independently? Do you like taking notes while being shown what to do so you can follow your takeaways for future reference? Think about all this, and ensure that employers can appropriately accommodate what you need to fee onboarded. As new grads, you’re not going to know everything about the field you’re entering. There will be a training process, whether on procedures, protocols, software, hardware, and more. If you’re told that the training process is relatively hands-off and you need that extra guidance, maybe that isn’t the place for you and vice-versa.   2. What is the Management Style? Is management overly involved? Distant? Available? Take that into account with your work style; what do you need from your manager? Do you need them to be around or more hands-off? Do you want daily check-ins? Weekly? Bi-weekly?  Management is a considerable part of the way you view your job and can affect whether you enjoy working or not. For example, you may love the field you’ve chosen for yourself, but if the management style doesn’t work for you, it may be hard to love your job. Vice-versa, if you struggle to find enjoyment in your new work (the job), but management is stellar, it can be easier to find joy in your role.   3. What Kind of Atmosphere is It? You can only really answer the above question after you’ve started working. Discovering what your co-workers and the departments are like comes through interaction with your team. Everyone needs different qualities out of their workplace atmosphere. For example, if you go into work expecting to talk to your co-workers about things that may be unrelated to work, maybe you’d prefer a more casual atmosphere. Your coworkers can make up a big part of how you view your job. If you don’t get along with them or the department’s atmosphere isn’t what you want in a workplace, maybe that isn’t the place for you. It may take a period of adjustment for you to figure out your groove with your coworkers, but give it ample time! You’ll soon see if the atmosphere is conducive to growth within and outside your workplace.   ——   Based on these questions, I’ve figured out what I want (and alternatively what I don’t want) in an employer. It’s helped me be a little pickier in what I’m looking for in work and filter out what I’m not looking for. Being “picky” isn’t bad; remember that you’re an asset to the company as much as they are to you. Make sure companies meet your criteria as much as you’re meeting theirs; this is an equal partnership, even if it’s not presented that way. Check to ensure that your work environment works for you as much as you work for the company.  
  • Meet Brenda Nguyen, OCC Content Writer

    My name is Brenda Nguyen, and I'm a recent (honours) graduate from Humber College’s Graphic Design program! Since graduating, I've been working, 'in print', as a Junior Prepress Technician and, 'in digital', as an OCC Student Journalist. I also run a small business (NGYN Designs) and volunteer in content creation with AZN Zine (creating social media posts and layouts for their digital and print magazine), and with my local church. In short? I do a little bit of a lot of things...and I'm learning how to manage all these 'things' as I go. I am super excited to join the OCC content team as a student journalist and to grow my experiences and knowledge about digital content creation. I will be sharing my tips and tricks on graduating, job-seeking, and working throughout a pandemic because these are subjects I always navigated, and am still navigating, and wish someone had shared with me. Hopefully, by imparting what I’ve learned (and what I’m continuing to learn), I can help ease some of the anxiety of graduating and job-seeking in a highly competitive and unprecedented environment.  
  • Celebrating Black Diversity in Canad ...

    With the arrival of February comes Black History Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on Black history in Canada. Diversity always has and will always be part of Canada, and today, Canadian society is proud to accept people from different races and backgrounds. However, we must not forget that racial discrimination persists even in 2022, and we still have a long way to go.   In celebration of Black History Month, here are three notable Black Canadian figures that have paved the way for Black Canadians. Even after February passes, let’s continue celebrating Black diversity all year long.     The Honourable Jean Augustine  In 2002, the Honourable Jean Augustine became the first Black female MP and Cabinet minister in Canada. Later that year, she was also selected to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, and in 2003, was appointed as the Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women).   In parliament, Jean Augustine served for three terms as Chair of the National Liberal Women’s Caucus. In 2005, she retired from politics but remained actively engaged in advocacy work. In 2007, Ontario appointed her as the first Fairness Commissioner, an office that ensured foreign-trained professionals received the credentials required to work in Ontario. In 2014, the Jean Augustine’s Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment was founded, an organization that supports the well-being and prosperity of young women and girls.   In the mid-1990s, Jean Augustine played a significant role in establishing Black History Month in Canada. Back then, many communities celebrated Black culture and history informally, but it was through Jean Augustine’s support and push that aided the unanimous agreement that February would be named Black History Month.  (The Canadian Encyclopedia).    Rosemary Sadlier  From 1993 to 2015, Rosemary Sadlier was the president of the Ontario Black History Society. There, she sought to raise Black history awareness through education, research, and programming.   In 1993, Sadlier proposed the idea of Black History Month to the Honourable Jean Augustine, both of whom played a significant role in pushing the Canadian government to acknowledge February as Black History Month, to which they were successful. In that same year, she also helped establish Emancipation Day, now acknowledged on August 1st. Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of when the British Government abolished slavery. Today, Sadlier continues to spread awareness of Black history throughout Canada.    (Speak Truth to Power Canada).     Dennis Mitchell   Dennis Mitchell is the CEO and CIO of Starlight Capital. Before acquiring this leadership role in 2018, Mitchell held high leadership positions in the financial industry, including the Senior Vice-President for Sprott Asset Management. Mitchell has won several awards, including the Brendan Wood International Canadian TopGun Award in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and the Brendan Wood International 2012 Canadian TopGun Team Leader Award (Starlight Capital).   In a study conducted by Corporate Knights, which surveyed 60 companies, they found that out of the 79 executive leaders, only 6 were Black—that’s less than 1%. Black people make up 3.5% of Canada’s population, and this ratio gives us a stark reminder that although Canada has become much more inclusive, there are still ways to go.  (Toronto Star).  In an interview in The Globe and Mail, Mitchell discussed the importance of diversity in organizations. “When you’re putting together a work force, you want people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. [...] If your work force is diverse, you can pull the answers from a wider range of knowledge and experience.”   . . .   Works Cited  McLeod, Susanna McLeod. “Jean Augustine.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 23 Feb. 2016. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/jean-augustine Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.   “Our Team.” Starlight Capital. https://starlightcapital.com/en/about-us/our-team Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.  Ravilojan, Uhanthaen. “New study finds less than 1 per cent of Canadian corporate leaders are Black.” Toronto Star, 4 July 2020. https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/07/04/less-than-one-per-cent-of-corporate-leaders-at-tsx-60-companies-are-black-researchers-find.html Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.  “Rosemary Sadlier.” Speak Truth to Power Canada. https://sttpcanada.ctf-fce.ca/lessons/rosemary-sadlier/bio/ Accessed 15 Feb. 2022. “Where we stand: Four leaders on being a Black person in corporate Canada - and what needs to change.” The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-where-we-stand-three-leaders-on-being-a-black-person-in-corporate/ Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.    
  • Meet Eileen Nugraha, York University ...

    Hi there, welcome to Outcome Campus Connect, and thank you for stumbling across my introduction! I’m Eileen, a fourth-year student at York University, currently studying English and Philosophy—a weird combination, I know, but not as weird as you think. Philosophy has a lot in common with many areas of study and it has enhanced my learning—but that’s a story for another time. I’m a new content writer here at Outcome Campus Connect, and so excited to start this position. Ever since I remember, I’ve always had a passion for writing, creating content, and engaging with various communities on social media. In the beginning, I started with a small Instagram account dedicated to book reviews and now I help run social media channels for school and work. One of my favourite aspects of content creation is how creative you can be—the sky’s the limit, and I love exploring new avenues of creativity. I’m so excited to work with Outcome Campus Connect to continue my journey in learning more about content creation. Please keep your eyes out for my future blog posts, and I hope what I write and produce 'connects'!
  • Is Loving Your Job a Unicorn with a ...

    Studies have shown that over half of Canadians hate their jobs and over half of our country's senior managers are considering quitting due to exhaustion: Is the idea of loving your job 'a unicorn with a rainbow horn'? While statistics give us a meager fifty-fifty chance of happiness in our jobs, studies also show passionate workers outperform their peers, accelerating their career journeys. The trick to landing on the upswing of that fifty-fifty is to see each role, even the ones you aren't excited about, as an opportunity to learn something new, improve, and advance your personal career journey. To back us up, here is how some wickedly successful people started their careers: Jeff Bezos - McDonalds Bernie Sanders  - carpenter Elon Musk - lumber mill worker Ellen Degenres - oyster shucker Richard Branson - amateur 'bird breeder' In short, your first roles won't likely be love at first sight but will teach, test, and strengthen you for what's next. Like any good 'unicorn', your ideal role will also be hard to catch, rare, and highly valued aka: extremely competitive. This said, the only myth in finding your ideal role is that it's luck - the competitive advantage you need to end up where you'll truly love your job is acquired through skill and experience building - through time. This said, here are 3 easy ways to (try) to love your job (even if you don't like it): See it for what it is: A stepping stone. This means approaching your days strategically so that you squeeze the most value out of your work for your personal and professional (hard and soft skill) development.    Write down a list of skills and experiences you want to be able to own and articulate: Apply yourself toward those skills and experiences each day and document what you did so that you can easily articulate this new value to your future employer.    Find a mentor: Look within the company and see if there are roles that you can work toward, ones that excite you more than where you're at, and then find a mentor within the company - someone who can teach, motivate, and inspire you (maybe even advocate for you).  Loving your job is earned. Like anything valuable, a great career takes time, dedication, and patience. We're not saying that following the above three steps will instantly make you feel positive about your work but reframing how you see your work can make your pursuit toward bigger goals more meaningful - and that, well, that's something to love.
  • The Seven Worker Archetypes + How Pa ...

    Is 'the only way to do great work, to love what you do'? Steve Jobs thought so, and he was worth $250 million by the time he was 25, just over two decades following the launch of Apple, with his friend Ronald Wayne, out of Job's parents' garage. Finding passion in our careers and applying ourselves to grow professionally is essential. As seen in a study by Deloitte University Press, "Passion at Work: Cultivating worker passion as a cornerstone of talent development," passionate workers outperform non-passionate peers. The study outlines seven worker archetypes and the virtues of passionate vs. non-passionate workers. "Passionate workers," sometimes also referred to as "Explorers," exhibit three consistent characteristics  questing, connecting, and, commitment to domain.   'Questing' means: the drive to go beyond core responsibilities. constantly probing consistently testing,  pushing boundaries,  seeking out new opportunities,  learning new skills, resourceful, imaginative, Non-complacency - always seeking out the next level of achievement.   'Connecting' means: seeking out others to help find solutions to challenges they are facing, searching for deep interactions with others in related domains to attain insights they can bring back to enhance their approach and improve their value (vs. 'networking), building connections not for the sake of a larger network but to bridge deeper meaning in their careers and expand their capabilities. 'Commitment to domain' means: the desire to have a lasting impact, the intention to commit to building and expanding on long-term impact through consistency, constantly seeking out lessons and new practices from other domains to influence and innovate their domain.   According to the study, all workers can be siloed into one of the seven archetypes, but to be a truly 'passionate worker,' sometimes referred to as 'The Explorer,' you need to embody all three of the above characteristics - all the time.   How do you embody passion in your career? Find your archetype below:   The Performer: Committed, connecting The Mad Scientist: Committed, questioning The Player: Questing The Learner: Questing, connecting The Loyalist: Committed The Connector: Connecting The Passionate Worker/Explorer: Questing, connected, committed No Elements of Passion (none of the above)   Passionate workers make the most dramatic impact and drive transformation within any organization, and Deloitte's study found that businesses need to get better at recognizing them.  However you pursue your career, remember this: "A great leader's courage to fulfill his/a vision comes from passion, not position." - John C. Maxwell
  • You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don't ...

      Whether you're studying sports marketing, sports administration and business management, sports management, recreation and leisure, sport conditioning, or maybe even something entirely unrelated to sports but you'd like to gain applicable skills to apply to your hopeful industry, be a good sport and check out these 15 job opportunities on OCC NOW:   Marketing and Advertising Coordinator, Elite Soccer Clinics Ice Hockey Scorekeeper, JAM Sports Toronto ASICS Running Apps, Development Manager ASICS Running Apps, Development Manager, Technical ASICS Running Apps, Sales Manager League Associate, JAM Sports Toronto Security Analyst, Goodlife Fitness Summer Camp Afternoon Specialist, Bayview Glen Day Camp Water Sports Equipment Rental Associate, Muskoka Wake Water Sports Equipment Rental Manager, Muskoka Wake Active Sports Coach, Kleinburg Nobleton Sport Club Summer Camp Staff, Royal City Soccer Club Swimming Instructor, North Hatley Club HR Agent, YMCA of Greater Toronto Team Lead, Membership Services, YMCA Muskoka-Kawarthas TOUCHDOWN and access these opportunities by signing into your account today.  
  • Ten Signs You've Landed in The Right ...

      The path to success is subjective. Many different drivers excite people on their career journeys, and while money is a basic need and motivator, it is not the root of long-term career motivation or personal success. Recent studies show that employees seek community, cause, and career (autonomy and purpose) when pursuing fulfilling careers.   But how do you know that you've landed the right role for you?   Here are ten signs:   1) The Sunday Blues are gone - Those feelings of anxiety about the week ahead are sure to disappear when you've found the right fit. You might even start looking forward to Monday!   2) You're always learning - Just like any relationship in life, the right role will make you feel like you're constantly learning, growing, and expanding to reach higher states of purpose and goals   3) You like the people you work with - They say there's 'no I in team'. So, it's essential to enjoy the people you work with when it comes to your day-to-day. If you're in a role where you appreciate those around you, you're on the right path.   4) You can be yourself at work - It's important to feel like you can bring your whole self to work, and feeling this way reflects a workplace culture that is conducive to you long-term.    5) Your To-Do list feels exciting - When your To-Do list feels less like a Have To-Do list, you're enjoying the work, and experiencing joy in what you do is fundamental to your long-term success in any role!   6) Your ideas are making a difference - If you don't feel like your ideas are being fully heard and you don't feel fully seen by leadership at your company, then chances are it isn't right. If you think your ideas are respected, digested, and utilized for the evolution of the business, you're definitely in the right spot.   7) There's room to grow - No one wants to stay somewhere that they can only make lateral moves. So, if you feel your career is moving side-to-side instead of 'on-up' then it's probably time to 'move out'!   8) You can have bad days - A big part of a positive workplace culture is fostering an environment where you can be honest about needing a day or taking time to focus on yourself outside of work. If you feel your role allows you to be human and go through the ups and downs alongside it, you're in the right place.   9) The company is investing in you - Not just your pay but building your skillset. If within your role you are offered chances to take courses or go to retreats to advance how you do, what you do, then you've landed in a great place career-wise.   10) You feel you're being paid what you're worth - Not just getting paid what you are worth now, but you see it only growing in response to your skillset and experience expanding. Money, after all, is fundamental to why we work despite the mentioned reasons for keeping us motivated and thriving in our own minds  
  • How to Spot a Micro-Manager & Not be ...

    Starting a new job comes with a certain level of pressure - some self-imposed and the rest because you need to deliver and contribute toward meeting the aims your boss or team has set. It's normal to feel "all the feels" that come with plugging away at a new role, within a new company, and to do everything you can to manage and meet expectations within the organization. Good things come to those who work hard (and are nice to people) but there is a fine line between having a drive for success and micro-managing others' work to get what you want out of them.    Yes, the flip side of managing yourself, is when you start managing others - and that is an entirely different tune. Sometimes, people who've come up through the ranks, working long hours and "micro-managing themselves" to ensure success, get promoted and suddenly their working style is applied to the people around them. Uh oh! Now what!? While it's okay to manage people, it's a true artform perfected only through time, and the fall-back all-too-often is that these individuals, striving and worried about meeting deadlines and gains, become what's known, unlovingly, as "micro-managers". This is, essentially, the work version of a "helicopter parent" and it's not pretty.   How to spot a micro-manager:   They have very detailed forms of communication and organization that they lure you into following, even when you've been tasked with a project and the process they use isn't how you'd go about doing your best work. (Hint: they probably didn't even ask you what works best for you, in fear they lose some control over the outcome - and you!) They constantly check in on your work and progress, popping up from behind cubicles, desks, suddenly peeping out of offices you didn't realize they were in, messaging you throughout the day, and emailing you reminders about due dates. (Ah!) They repeat themselves, even when you've heard them the first time, use detached tones, and leave no wiggle room for creativity that goes against their initial concept. For example, they may use expressions like, "With all due respect," or "Good idea, but this sounds like a 'make-work project'" a lot.  They talk a whole lot in meetings, often leaving very little room for anyone else in the forum to get a word in. When someone else speaks, they find a way to shut it down and move back to what they were saying. They run hot and cold because they are worried that maintaining a consistent positive dynamic won't equate to the base level of anxiety from you that they feel supports their positioning and stature within the organization    Now, clearly, that list is tongue-in-cheek, but, sadly, much of it can be true when you're dealing with a micro-manager - an individual who gives excessive supervision to employees. If you're lucky enough to have a long career (and we know you will), you will either come across one or verge on becoming one (it's easier than you think). Because we can't prevent you from crossing paths with a micro-manager, here's a list of things that you can do NOT to be one!   Hold group brainstorming sessions for large projects that require innovation and make sure everyone on your team gets a chance to speak, feel heard, and contribute. Applaud their ideas, and encourage or elaborate on their thoughts to push good thinking further and elevate the potential of those around you. Empower your team members to use platforms and tools that work best for their organization or work style, and then try to work around how they work best. Set check-in times periodically, and save your questions about an individual's work or progress for those meetings so that you're not always reaching out or pushing them for updates. Work alongside, don't oversee. This means asking for feedback on how you can do things better for your team and being open to your own imperfection to adapt to meet your team with what they need for success. Use "we" not "I' language when speaking of successes or wins. No human being is an island, and no achievement is due to the input of solely one individual. Spread awareness within your organization about the excellent work of those behind each project - when you manage, it's not about you, ever, really.   All in all, micro-managers are usually coming from a good place. They are Type A or "high achievers" who just want things to go well! But, unfortunately, their approach is, honestly, entirely unnecessary and brutal on team members. If you so happen to spot a micro-manager on your team, don't run; maybe try to manage up and help them understand how you work better rather than passively allowing them to guide you in a direction that negatively impacts how you feel about work or get the job done. But, how you handle it is up to you! We don't want to micro-manage...
  • The Canadian Mobility and Aerospace ...

    Orbis and Magnet are excited to announce that The Canadian Mobility and Aerospace Institute (CMAI) is turning to Outcome Campus Connect to reach students and graduates nationwide, with new WIL opportunities in the mobility sector. Through Outcome Campus Connect, CMAI is supporting the next generation workforce with skill building experiences meaningful to pursuing careers in aerospace and mobility. Universities and colleges using Outcome Campus Connect will receive these new WIL opportunities, elevating support for students in the wake of this pandemic.    “We are excited to extend our reach to even more students, from all fields and levels of study, through this partnership with Outcome Campus Connect. It reflects the collaborative spirit that has distinguished CMAI since its inception in 2018,” said Sylvain Larochelle, Chair of the Board and Technology Collaboration Office Manager.    Using Outcome Campus Connect, CMAI expands recruitment for their new WIL opportunities to a highly targeted demographic of students and graduates across Canada. Streamlining early talent recruitment is a strategic ingredient required to support the anticipated growth of these sectors through the support of post-secondary students. CMAI architected all WIL opportunities to offer the future workforce hands-on, multidisciplinary experiences reflective of what their prospective employers need for rapid business growth in a post-pandemic era.   “We’re thrilled to be working with the team at CMAI and appreciate their thoughtful approach to reaching students and graduates with opportunities to enhance their futures and our nation’s aerospace and mobility sectors,” says Daniel Gagné, Product Success Coach and On-boarder, Outcome Campus Connect, at Orbis. “Collaborations and use of the platform like this will have a tremendously positive, long-term impact.”    All WIL opportunities will funnel into Outcome Campus Connect, one of the channels that CMAI is using to build an early, career-ready talent recruitment pipeline for the aerospace and mobility sectors. Outcome Campus Connect is Canada’s skill development and job opportunity platform built for university and college students and empowered by a network of partners working together to support the next generation workforce with access to skills and opportunities to gain experience and get hired. ?   About CMAI Founded in 2018, the?Canadian Mobility and Aerospace Institute?(CMAI) is a pan-Canadian non-profit organization that provides work-based learning opportunities for students from post-secondary institutions in the mobility sectors (aerospace, rail, marine, land). Among its services, CMAI offers a talent and workforce development tool known as?Placement SPOT. Placement SPOT offers value-added collaborative services for both students and companies. It aims to support students and develop their skills. In concrete terms, CMAI and its members – SMEs, large corporations, and post-secondary institutions – organize internships, mini-WILs, and micro-WILs for the benefit of students. The WIL activities are made possible by two partnerships. One with BHER with funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development and one funded by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program.    About Outcome Campus Connect  Outcome Campus Connect is Canada’s skill development and job opportunity platform built for university and college students or recent graduates. It is Canada’s largest campus recruiting platform and experiential learning resource for university and college students. Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as a part of the Student Work Placement Program, Outcome Campus Connect is free for all students, graduates, post-secondary institutions, employers, and delivery partners. The platform is offered in partnership between Orbis and Magnet and empowered by its network of partners supporting the next generation workforce to get experience and get hired.    About Orbis  Orbis develops experiential learning and recruitment software solutions, unpacks data, and drives mindsets that lead to institutional growth through student and graduate potential fulfillment. Through?Outcome,?Outcome Campus Connect, and?Mindset, we have supported post-secondary institutions and employers to drive the success of over 1,000,000 students and graduates and 350,000 businesses. We believe experience matters and have twenty years of it.    About Magnet  Magnet is a digital social innovation platform, founded at Ryerson University. Through the Magnet Network, our mission is to accelerate inclusive economic growth for all in Canada by advancing careers, businesses, and communities. Through Outcome Campus Connect, Magnet enables employers from all sectors and regions to post job opportunities for free and connect to early talent across the country easily and quickly.     
  • A Midterm-Season Survival Guide: Wha ...

      University life isn’t exactly plain sailing. If you’ve ever made it through the midterm season as a full-time student, then you’ll know what it feels like to get inundated with multiple exams, essays, assignments, and 100s of pages of reading, all due in a two-week timespan. To say the very least, it can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. So with the midterm season on the horizon once again, it’s more important than ever to take the necessary steps to avoid burnout. The good news is, there are multiple ways to help combat the stress of midterms and prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s learning how to manage your time more effectively, avoiding over-commitment, or simply getting outside and moving your body, here are a few small steps to calm your mind and make this midterm season feel a little more feasible.   Get organized and manage your time effectively. We’ve all been guilty of putting off our essays and assignments for just that bit too long. Suddenly, it’s the night before the due date, and you have a 2000 word research paper to try and write within the evening. Poor time management is one of the biggest culprits (for myself included) when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out. That's why this first tip is arguably the most important on this list. Laying out all of your commitments and due dates in an organized fashion is a great way to break things up, allowing you to face your obligations one by one and avoid large backlogs of work.    Write Daily To-Do Lists If you don’t have concrete plans, classes, or commitments during any particular day, it’s easy to get side-tracked and spend the day napping rather than studying. Like the above point, writing daily to-do lists is a great way to break up your day, give yourself a clear schedule, and reserve some well-needed time.    Sleep This is a big one. We’ve all pulled an all-nighter in a last-minute bid to study for an exam or finish a research paper that’s due the following day. While it’s sometimes tempting to leave an assignment to the day before and finish it in one sitting, there is no denying the importance of adequate sleep when it comes to being your best, most-clearheaded self.    Exercise Studying for hours upon end can leave us feeling pent-up, stressed, and frustrated. While it may seem obvious, exercise indeed is proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Even just going for a thirty-minute daily walk is a great way to get the endorphins flowing, improve your mood, reduce your stress levels and give you some well-needed headspace away from studying. So if you’re feeling smothered with schoolwork, sometimes the best remedy is to get outside and move your body.    Learn to say ‘no’ when it’s necessary Over-commitment is a recipe for feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Sometimes our fear of missing out, letting people down, or our aversion to simply saying ‘no’ can cause us to commit to things we don’t have time for. For example, if you’re currently feeling overwhelmed with school work, now might be a good time to say no to that party or to turn down that extra shift at work.   Plan something new and exciting!!!  If you’re feeling stressed and stuck in a rut, a great way to boost your morale and give yourself something to look forward to is to plan to do something new and exciting in the near or distant future. This could be purchasing tickets for an upcoming concert, taking a pottery class, or planning a day trip with friends.   Don’t forget to slow down and take rest days. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself during stressful times! While taking a day away from university work can seem counter-intuitive to some, on days when you’re feeling burnt-out and overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take a day or a few hours away from staring at your assignments and essays. If you think that being away from your work will only make you feel more stressed, focus your energy on to other areas besides schoolwork. For example, chores, hobbies, or alternative obligations do not involve university work (such as going to the gym, cleaning the kitchen, or watering your plants). That way, you know that you’re productive while taking some much-needed time away from work and study.
  • Social Media: Friend or Foe?

    A CareerBuilder survey discovered that 70% of employers cruise your social media platforms to uncover more insights into whether you are a good fit for their team or not. Add to this staggering fact, the whopping near half (43%) of employers who use social media to "check-in" on their employees, and one third who have used what they've discovered about their employees on social media to fire them.    A recent piece by Harvard Business Review entitled, "Stop Screening Job Candidates' Social Media," asks important questions about the legaility of employers using social media as a part of their screening process for potential hires. As outlined by Chad Van Iddekinge, a Professor at the University of Iowa and one of the CareerBuilder study researchers, “You can see why many recruiters love social media—it allows them to discover all the information they aren’t allowed to ask about during an interview. But that’s a problem, because one of the hallmarks of legal hiring practices is that they focus on behaviors within the work context. There should be a clear distinction between what people do during work and what they do outside of it.”    The fact is when we opt-in to use social media, we also opt-in to revealing finer details about ourselves, according to algorithms and 'the internet' that are not necessarily within the scope of what employers need to consider, or should legally consider, when determining a new hire's "fit." Frankly, we all know that social media is, ironically, a very non-social way of maintaining a social presence and, sometimes, just a persona that we want to convey. Our decisions to be 'social' or 'make friends with' social media are also (conscious or unconscious) decisions to provide people who want to learn more about us another avenue to do so - albeit an avenue that is very surface level. Though employers are likely well-intentioned, or as HBR puts it: "to yield a better idea of whether that person will succeed on the job" (that's you), they can likely also see information about candidates that they shouldn't know when considering a new hire. Information, like pregnancy news, political views, sexual orientation, and, even things as ridiculous as  your use of profanities online.  Sadly, this process that 70% of employers are apparently leaning into is counterintuitive to hiring the right candidate on multiple levels. In truth, studies have shown that long-term fit beyond the skills and the experience you bring to an organization, is also about:  the right leader, goals, ground rules, communication, and, accountability. You can't "see" any of those qualities in a candidate by checking in on their social media, can you? Social media has its benefits. It keeps us, well, social (and it's also an excellent creative outlet)! However, as a candidate, you should know that sometimes a friend can also be a foe (more on this soon). Employers are using social media to get a more comprehensive glimpse into your candidacy and fit for roles on their teams - whether you like it or not. The discussion on the legality of this will continue to evolve, but right now: it's happening! When looking for a potential role within a company, it never hurts to make your social media accounts a little 'less social' by enhancing your privacy settings - at least, for now.
  • A Midterm-Season Survival Guide: Wha ...

      University life isn’t exactly plain sailing. If you’ve ever made it through the midterm season as a full-time student, then you’ll know what it feels like to be inundated with multiple exams, essays, assignments, and 100s of pages of reading, all due in a two-week timespan. To say the very least, it can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. So with the midterm season on the horizon once again, it’s more important than ever to take the necessary steps to avoid burnout. The good news is, there are multiple ways to help combat the stress of midterms and prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s learning how to manage your time more effectively, avoiding over-commitment, or simply getting outside and moving your body, here are a few small steps to calm your mind and make this midterm season feel a little more feasible.   Get Organized and Manage Your Time Effectively   We’ve all been guilty of putting off our essays and assignments for just that bit too long. Suddenly, it’s the night before the due date, and you have a 2000 word research paper to try and write within the evening. Poor time management is one of the biggest culprits (for myself included) when it comes to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out. This is why this first tip is arguably the most important on this list. Laying out all of your commitments and due dates in an organized fashion is a great way to break things up, allowing you to face your obligations one by one and avoid large backlogs of work.    Write Daily To-Do Lists   If you don’t have concrete plans, classes, or commitments during any particular day, it’s easy to get side-tracked and spend the day napping rather than studying. Like the above point, writing daily to-do lists is a great way to break up your day, give yourself a clear schedule, and reserve some well-needed time.    Sleep   This is a big one. We’ve all pulled an all-nighter in a last-minute bid to study for an exam or finish a research paper that’s due the next morning. While it’s sometimes tempting to leave an assignment to the day before and finish it in one sitting, there is no denying the importance of adequate sleep when it comes to being your best, most-clearheaded self.    Exercise   Studying for hours upon end can leave us feeling pent-up, stressed, and frustrated. While it may seem obvious, exercise indeed is proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Even just going for a thirty-minute daily walk is a great way to get the endorphins flowing, improve your mood, reduce your stress levels and give you some well-needed headspace away from studying. So if you’re feeling smothered with schoolwork, sometimes the best remedy is to get outside and move your body.    Learn to Say ‘no’ When it’s Necessary   Over-commitment is a recipe for feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Sometimes our fear of missing out, letting people down, or our aversion to simply saying ‘no’ can cause us to commit to things we don’t have time for. If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed with school work, now might be a good time to say no to that party or to turn down that extra shift at work.   Plan Something New & Exciting    If you’re feeling stressed and stuck in a rut, a great way to boost your morale and give yourself something to look forward to is to plan to do something new and exciting in the near or distant future. This could be purchasing tickets for an upcoming concert, taking a pottery class, or planning a day trip with friends.   Don’t Forget to Slow Down and Take Rest Days   Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself during stressful times! While taking a day away from university work can seem counter-intuitive to some, on days when you’re feeling burnt-out and overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take a day or a few hours away from staring at your assignments and essays. If you feel that being away from your work will only make you feel more stressed, focus your energy toward other areas besides schoolwork. For example, chores, hobbies, or alternative obligations that do not involve university work (such as going to the gym, cleaning the kitchen or watering your plants). That way, you know that you’re productive while taking some much-needed time away from work and study.
  • The Do's & Don't’s of Resume Writin ...

    Joining the job hunt isn't as daunting as it seems. Of course, you need to prepare yourself, as you need to advertise your employability to hiring companies. Where can you start? Well, you can start by formulating your resume and cover letter. Since fellow journalist Ariana went over how to create a cover letter, I will be covering the dos and don'ts of resume writing.    A resume, aka a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essentially your first (formal) impression for a hiring company. This document highlights your qualifications relative to the job you are applying for. While resumes can vary in format, there are various tips to keep in mind to ensure your resume gets the message across.    When it comes to the job search, it may be daunting to reach out and look for vacant job openings. Fortunately, A resume is essentially your first impression to a hiring company on whether you would serve as a great candidate.  DON’T: Make Your Resume Too Long  Keep in mind, you are not the only candidate applying for an open job. You may be competing with tens, hundreds, or thousands of people, depending on the company.  This company’s hiring team can only spend a few seconds scanning and filtering out resumes.  A common misconception is that the longer your resume is, the better.  The thing is that to make your resume longer, you would probably resort to filling out your resume with every single detail you can think of.  Despite putting the necessary information, it may be outweighed by the abundance of irrelevant information.  A hiring company would be disengaged to sift through your resume and find what they are looking for.    DO: Keep Resume Short and Sweet  Since a hiring team only looks at the resumes briefly, a good rule-of-thumb would be to make your resume anywhere between 1-2 pages. Setting this limit will make you more cautious of the information you put them and assess whether it would showcase your employability. If you are applying for a shift supervisor position, the company does not want to hear about that one school performance you did in your middle school talent show. However, they would be more interested in your time as a part-time cashier over the summer. If you are having trouble thinking of what you need to put on your resume, take a moment and think about your involvement in the following categories: Education, Work Experience, Skills, Certifications & Licenses, and Extracurriculars/ Side Projects.    DON’T: Use Passive Language  When describing an activity or job on your resume, you may be start off with phrases like “Responsible for” or “was required to.” Making a habit of writing in such a passive manner can be detrimental. These phrases somewhat distract from the description of the activity. It creates a more mundane tone. To add on, it gives hiring teams the impression that you did not place as much initiative or effort in your previous endeavors.    DO: Use Action Words & Keywords  Instead of passive language, go right into describing your involvement and responsibilities through action words. Action words bring emphasis and get straight to the point. When describing your former job as an administrative assistant on your resume, for instance, you can explain your task of preparing documents by saying: Produced company stakeholder documents by organizing company’s contacts using Microsoft Excel. To hiring teams, action words can make you seem confident in your abilities.    When you apply for a particular job, pay attention to the keywords mentioned in the job advertisement. Some of these keywords may include training, technical, research, analytical, and so forth. They are generally highlighted in the section about working expectations and qualifications. Use that to your advantage and find a way to incorporate them into your resume. Various companies utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) software. What the ATS does is scan the given resume for the frequency of specific keywords. If it achieves a certain result, the resume can then be passed to the hiring team to have a more in-depth look into it. You should aim to pass this obstacle of ATS software, so be sure to lock-in your keywords.  
  • Tackling Soft-Skills, by Justin Andrews

      For some, it’s easy to overlook the realm of “soft skills.” (In case you’re unaware, soft skills are, according to LinkedIn, related to “cognitive ability, workplace behaviors, and emotional intelligence”—qualities linked to personality and intuition). Hard skills like “cloud computing” or “forklift operation” seem more concrete, easier to pin down, than seemingly subjective, ubiquitous soft skills like “adaptability” or “critical thinking.” And yet a strong set of soft skills are needed across job sectors—they’re especially important for jobs involving public service, teamwork, ideas, etc. A US Chamber Foundation study finds that “the importance of these skills is widely acknowledged, and yet they are not taught with consistency or given prioritization.” Thus, in a competitive job market, when all applicants will have the right hard-skill boxes checked (and then some), demonstratable soft skills can make all the difference. They show, among other things, that you’re not simply a work machine but a well-rounded person; in fact, soft skills are demanded more than ever because they cannot be reproduced by the tech and AI that are increasingly central to many sectors. “Demonstratable” is the keyword here: it’s easy to ream off your soft skills like they’re favourite desserts, but if you write, for example, of your “excellent communication skills,” make sure your writing and interviews are perfect(ish)!   So, what soft skills do employers look for? A quick search will bring to you to a surplus of results pertaining to a surplus of sectors, so I’ll focus on a list with all-around appeal. Every year, LinkedIn gathers employers’ most sought-after skills from their platform. The top soft skills for 2021 include adaptability, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence, and persuasion. The top three missing soft skill areas are:    Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity Communication   The language here—“innovation,” “emotional intelligence,” “creativity”—is broad, somewhat ambiguous, and adaptable to a variety of circumstances. It’s difficult to develop skills when there’s no standard, definitive model to mimic. There’s no comprehensive “creativity certificate”; creativity for a journal editor looks different than creativity for a data entry assistant. Knowing how these soft skills translate into your field may be key to your education. Luckily, soft skills overlap. “Critical thinking” is needed to “deal with complexity and ambiguity.” “Persuasion” needs “communication.” “Collaboration” needs “emotional intelligence.” Personally, I find it helpful to think of all soft skills as different sides to the same thing: responding to my environment in constructive, meaningful ways. This holistic approach relieves the stress of treating soft skills like a to-do list. (“Now that I’ve mastered ‘adaptability,’ I can finally move on to ‘collaboration.’’) I know that when I “problem-solve” by finding a different, more effective teaching method for a particular student, I’m also learning how to adapt, communicate, empathize, etc.               So while the broadness of soft skills can be intimidating, it also has a plus side: you can develop soft skill in all areas of life. You can practice “self-control” and “conflict resolution” on the soccer field, at a party, at home. Modern science suggests that much of our behaviour derives from unconscious habit. Many pre-moderns thought so too. Aristotle, for instance, believed that we become virtuous though practice; the more we decide to, say, show compassion or “put ourselves in someone else’s shoes,” the more we’ll do it consistently and consciously, even under pressure when it’s easy to talk ourselves out of virtuous behaviour. It’s like learning guitar chords: at first, you must slowly and painfully press your fingers in the right position, but after doing these hundreds of times, you move smoothly from chord to chord just by “feel,” without looking. Then you’ll be able to perform under the pressure of a large audience. The same goes for soft skills. In elementary school, I was that kid who ran away crying amid my class presentation. As an adult, I’ve tried to jump on any chance at public speaking, despite the true torture it gives me. Why? Because it’s helped me adequately teach a class or undergo a job interview when, only years earlier, my ability to speak under any pressure was barely passable.              “Practice makes perfect” may be cliché. Still, if you’re like me, it’s easy to overlook intentionally practicing something like “listening skills,” which, in the end, may be essential for that dream job—or life in general!  
  • Five ways I Sustained Mental Health ...

     In another article, I wrote of student habits and tasks that help with career searching, including habits relating to mental health upkeep. Now obviously there are tons of resources on mental health (check the website of your postsecondary institution), but I want to look at specific practices that might be useful for students dealing with stressful studies and stressful job hunting. Most of my friends and family embrace the nerdy, bookish side of life; for better or worse, profs and doctors and masters abound in my circles. Even my wife is currently mid-PhD. I’ve heard long conversations on, How do you stay healthy amid all the deadlines, applications, reading, late nights, etc.? How do you stay healthy amid the daunting business of building a meaningful career? Naturally, every answer is different, but I’ve gathered a few habits that have helped my journey.            1. Cooking at dusk. Every weeknight, I (attempt to) cook a nice supper (or bake a dessert, if my tooth is sweet). It works several small miracles. First, it generates energy during the day, something to look forward to and work toward (who doesn’t like to relax with a delightful lil’ bite?). Second, it changes up my day. When I sit on my butt staring at a screen for hours, lost in my head, there’s nothing like using my body to unwind, turning off my thoughts and creating something with my hands. Schoolwork and career searching rarely wraps up in a day, but cooking a delicious supper does (hopefully), and man, it’s satisfying to have that sense of completion and accomplishment. Cooking in the evening helps me shut off work frustrations and brings me back to the moment, to my body. We are, after all, embodied minds; a little fine onion chopping might refresh your brain. (And I haven’t even started on the wonders of ingredient shopping or trying a new recipe.) 2. Weekend indulgence. Too often, when I’m able to set my own work/break schedules at my own work/break locations, nasty gluttonous habits creep in. While some weeks call for Wednesday Whisky or Tuesday Takeout, too much indulgence numbs me. The days blur; my health declines. It’s that cycle of relieving stress with quick fixes that eventually create more stress. While “working for the weekend” is unhealthy in some job contexts, there’s something to learn from the setup. Weekend drinking or feasting or gaming gives me something to work toward. It breaks up the week. Life’s sensual pleasures are all the sweeter and therefore more refreshing, effective. As mentioned above, striving for a kind of “mind/body harmony” can work wonders—and it’s the same with feasting and fasting. 3. At-home workout. We all know the importance of exercise for, well, everything. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll research an awesome routine, keep at it for a week, and then let it dissipate into the underworld of good intentions. During my studies, I often got sidetracked or “in the zone” only to find that I had 45 minutes to workout between class and band practice. On good days, I would quickly pack my bag, scurry to the gym, and blast out a half-hearted workout while leaving enough time to shower, change, and commute to practice. On bad days, I skipped the workout. Thankfully, as I began job hunting, I learned that I could shut my computer, spread the yoga mat, and do a YouTube workout in twenty-five minutes. Instead of sporadic gym sessions, I was able to get daily exercise—brief as it was—and thus maintain much better mental health. Sometimes it’s necessary to start small and simple before tackling ambitious routines. Even a walk around the block helps! 4. Out-of-home workouts. On the flip side, at-home workouts can make me feel cooped up. Sometimes going for a walk or making the journey to the gym will refresh my mind. Sometimes the only way to leave work is to leave the workspace. See new things, be present to new environments, engage with other beings—it may revitalize you, lift you from stagnant, muddy feelings. And it may remind you that there are larger contexts, other worlds outside of your own, that will sustain you. 5. Get a vase of flowers. Or a framed picture or a nice mug. An environment that looks like a trashcan will make me feel like a trashcan. An aesthetically pleasing space flows into my mental space. Objects and plants aren’t neutral; they act upon us all the time. A single daisy may, depending on the person, embody a host of memories and associations. Marie Kondo knows how a clean, minimalist space improves your wellbeing. Similarly, a space filled with a bit of beauty can relax, inspire, and sustain you during stressful work.   These tips won’t work for everybody, of course. And good mental health is obviously more than checking off a list of simple dos and don’ts. I find it helpful, however, to consider what overlooked habits will eventually disturb my mental health when at a different time of my life they wouldn’t. For me, surviving the pressures of student life and career building requires this attentiveness.  
  • My Experience Taking-on Extracurricu ...

    Taking part in extracurriculars enriched my university experience, and it can do the same for you. Gaining experience in clubs, sports teams, and school-wide events can support your transition into university, expand your social circle, and elevate the level of knowledge and skills you bring to a prospective future employer. Below, I look back at the experiences I gained through extracurricular activities throughout university and how I landed them.   When I started at Wilfrid Laurier University, I wanted to join a few clubs to make friends. I did not know anyone from my high school that was going there, and it was my first time living alone, away from my family, and in a new city. I wanted to make the most of my university journey but knew I needed more community to embrace university life fully.     My Experience with the Foot Patrol Club   The first extracurricular I joined was the Foot Patrol Committee - as a general member. I have to admit that this was my favorite one to date, despite being the first one I participated in. The Foot Patrol committee ran during the night. If students wanted to be accompanied on a walk back to their intended destination, they simply called the Foot Patrol office. From there, volunteers were dispatched to the students’ location to accompany them on their trip to their final destination. This volunteer activity allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills when comforting students by engaging in small talk. It also enhanced my quick-thinking and adaptability because certain situations required 'foot patrollers' to react professionally and with sound judgment. Mostly, I got to achieve my goal of making friends that I met through Foot Patrol team, and in doing so, it slowly broke me out of my shell and made me feel involved and a part of the university community. (Oh yeah, I also got to learn how to use a walkie-talkie and communicate through a two-way radio, which was cool!)   My Experience with U Walk Laurier   I was also a first-year representative for U Walk Laurier - a charity walking club. I was interested in joining the club because I'm motivated to make a difference in my community. Of course, my role as a first-year 'rep' was pretty minimal, as I essentially helped out the other club executives to fulfill their responsibilities. This experience provided insights into event planning and the immense logistics that go into it, such as a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes operations of the club event planning, logistics when it came to booking the room/space for events, spreading awareness about the event/marketing, and financial planning (when it came to monitoring the club’s budget).     As someone unsure what they wanted to do following graduation, it gave me an idea of what work environment I would prefer. I would undoubtedly thrive in a creative, fast-paced environment where I interact with various people daily. This particular club also gave me confidence in my work ethic, and I'm grateful for this. My fondest memory of this club is our “Winter Walk & Watch” event. This fundraising event donated proceeds to the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation. While the club set a fundraising goal of $3,500, it was exciting to see when we surpassed it to reach a donation total of $3,800.   My Experience in the Laurier Disney Club    During my second year, my university was operating entirely remotely. Classes happened online, and extracurriculars were no exception. Due to the transition, I did not get as involved as I would like to. The only extracurricular I joined was the Laurier Disney Club as a Marketing Coordinator. I had more structured responsibilities with this role. I designed the club’s content, managed our social media accounts, and facilitated online engagement with students. It was a great experience! While the club’s executive team could not meet in person, we managed to stay in touch through virtual meetings. As for our events, we adapted them to an online format, such as movie nights and even a pot painting class! I joined this role since I love animation. As I mentioned in my introduction, I want to create an animated show someday. Building off this passion for 'all things animated,' I am fond of many Disney movies such as Tangled, Treasure Planet, and Snow White. The company is quite impressive at what they do- creating content. It's always good to join extracurricular activities, especially for your long-term career path, but in this case the role was particularly suited to my interests, and that was nice.   My Experience with The Cord & Women Leading Politics Association   Now, I am currently in my third year, and I am participating in two extracurriculars. The first one is on The Cord, my university’s long-running student newspaper. It is a valuable news outlet that is by students, for students. I am a volunteer writer and copy editor. Since I am a communications student, I felt joining an initiative like The Cord would allow me to improve my writing and critical thinking capabilities.   As for my other position, I serve as a graphic coordinator for the Women Leading Politics Association. This club focuses on female empowerment within politics, encouraging female students to surpass any obstacles and reach their dreams with the utmost determination. Since my role requires me to design the club’s online content, I look forward to embodying the club’s values and key messages throughout the upcoming year.   Informing the Experiences I Pursue Next   By this point, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do after university. I am currently looking for a job that allows me to produce visual and written content. I also want to work in a position where my work is considered meaningful because it helps break down societal issues. My job interests vary between copywriting, marketing, or public policy. Looking back on the last few years, I found that extracurriculars allowed me to grow into my 'own person' and discover genuine interests/ passions. I am no longer anxious about my future. I attribute this (partially) to the extracurriculars I joined and the chance each experience provided me to develop skills and enhance how I navigate my career path.   What About You?   If anyone is ever interested in extracurriculars, my advice is this:    Reflect on your current responsibilities and only be sure to join clubs if you know that you have the time and energy for them Make sure your focus continues to be on your academic work vs. your extracurriculars - you need balance If you decide that you have the time to join extracurriculars, be sure to check on their social media platforms (ex. Instagram, Facebook) and try to find your university’s social media accounts. They most likely promote their internal extracurriculars there and it may give you recommendations on other accounts from affiliated clubs Usually, at the start of the year, there is a large club fair held at universities for first-year students to explore but it is open to anyone to check out. Attending it doesn't hurt! :) Be optimistic. If you are on the fence about joining a club, you are unsure about, attend the first meeting. There is no forced obligation to join a club and you are still open to dropping out of the club if it’s not appealing to you. (Of course, trying to quit a sports team after passing the tryout stage is completely different.)   If you have friends who can join with you, ask them to attend too! Joining a club with a group of friends/ acquaintances can support you to stay with it.     Hopefully, you take these tips to heart and...get involved! I appreciated all of my experiences participating in extracurriculars while studying at Wilfrid Laurier University and I know you will too.  
  • “I Don’t Know What to Do With My Lif ...

    As a fourth-year student, probably the most common question I get asked is: “So, what are your plans after you graduate?”. It’s a question that, if you don’t know what your plans are, can be scary to think about and exhausting to try to answer. Approaching graduation without a clear goal in mind feels overwhelming at times. I have never had a ‘dream career'. My goals and passions seem to change constantly, and there are times when I doubt what my interests are. Over the last few years of school and travel, my career goals have changed from psychologist, journalist, marketer, lawyer, nutritionist, and pretty much everything in-between.  I have always been amazed by those who seem to just know what they want to do. My aunt, for instance, always knew that she wanted to work within advertising. My mum always knew she wanted to work with children. I had classmates in high school that knew they wanted to work in medicine and are now (after six years in university) approaching their medical school graduation. At times, it felt like I was the only person who didn’t know. Though a lucky few find something they’re passionate about and set career-related goals to achieve it, for those who don’t know, it’s not quite that simple.  I really thought that by now, after seven years of working, two years of travelling, and three years of university behind me, I would have a good idea of which career path I wanted to take. I thought I would “find myself” during my gap-year travels or wake up one day having had a career epiphany and suddenly just know what I wanted to do with my life. Only that never really happened.  If anything, my moment of realization came when I began my university journey and discovered just how many students were having the same worries and confusions as I was. Out of the many people I have met in my three years at university, I can think of only a handful who have had clear post-graduation goals. Whether first-year, fifth-year, art students, or engineers, a large number of students and recent graduates seem to feel just as anxious and overwhelmed by the thought of entering the workforce as I do - particularly now. Statistics released in 2015 by allaboutcareers.com revealed that 44% of undergraduate students don’t know what they want to do when they graduate. While this may seem like a worryingly large number, it also shows just how normal it is to lack concrete career plans. So if you’re feeling stressed and confused about the future, you can find comfort in the knowledge that there are a considerable number of other people who feel the same. While I am still a member of the 44%, one thing that helped me personally overcome my fears regarding the future was to stop trying (and failing) to decide on one specific career. While having clear goals is impressive, uncertainty is the green light to gain experience and try out what truly interests you! Here are a few small things that have significantly eased my stress and anxiety around career uncertainty while giving me a clearer idea of my goals for the future:   Speaking with careers advisors: If you’re a student, you’ll likely have access to a host of career resources, whether online or in person. For me, speaking face-to-face (or rather, over Zoom) with a careers advisor was incredibly helpful in getting a firmer grasp on my future career options. Advisors can also look over your resume, cover letter and help you prepare for interviews, so make good use of them!   Making connections: Learning about what others in my field have done with their degree gave a great insight into my career possibilities and graduate life as an English Major. If you want to get first-hand advice, knowledge, and reassurance, speak to past or recent graduates in your faculty/major.    Career quizzes: This may seem obvious, but if you’re not sure where to start, where your interests lie, or what exciting career options are available to you – take an online career quiz!    Write pro’s and con’s lists: This is a great way to compare, contrast, and eliminate or highlight potential careers/pathways based on your personal preferences. For example, writing out my primary career interest helped me understand my options and what interests are most realistic for me to pursue.   Focus on the present: If you see a part-time internship opportunity that interests you, or a volunteer position you think you would enjoy, then apply, apply, apply! Researching graduate opportunities is great, but applying to (and trying) different roles and interests is one of the best ways to figure out what you do and don’t enjoy. Instead of trying to single out your dream future career, start exploring your interests now.   Though I spent a long time fighting my own uncertainty, I realize now that it’s okay not to know what you want to do with your career. It’s unrealistic for many to have one specific, concrete career goal, especially when there is a seemingly endless number of possible routes to take post-graduation. If you’re unsure about what you want to do after university, use your uncertainty to your advantage. Gain new skills and experience, discover your true interests, and appreciate the many exciting opportunities waiting for you when you graduate. You do not need to take one narrow path. Fact is, a non-linear career path can be advantageous when a prospective employer sees the breadth of skills and experience you've gained. In other words, go ahead, be okay with not knowing. You will figure it out in time, and 'it' might be more than one thing.       References   https://www.concrete-online.co.uk/44-students-dont-know-want-graduation/#:~:text=do%20after%20graduation-,44%25%20of%20students%20don't%20know%20what%20they%20want%20to,work%20in%20once%20they%20graduate.
  • Student Habits That Help With Career ...

    When I embarked on my education, I assumed I’d become career-ready by acquiring information and developing skills related to my field (as an English major: reading literature and writing criticism). The “in-between moments”—late nights prepping for my week, writing emails, cleaning my study space, reading uninteresting books for uninteresting program requirement courses—felt like a means to an end, a necessary-but-subjacent step toward meatier accomplishments. Then, after I graduated, I discovered that, strangely, all the organizing, side-duties, and work-life balancing played a crucial role in my ability to write a cover letter, prep for an interview, and work alongside employers. I imagine this is obvious for many, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it easy to grow impatient with the “secondary” labours of education. So here are some of the secondary labours and habits that have helped me on my career journey.    Writing in different forms. Maybe you’re a pure-blooded numbers person. Perhaps you feel comfortable writing only in specific registers and formats. Regardless, most of us have to write cover letters, resumes, emails, proposals, etc. In high school, I wasn’t taught how to write a professional email. This skill came in university. And it was only after writing hundreds of emails to professors, students, peers, and administrators, that I began to feel comfortable using email to communicate on a wide range of situations, including conflicts and misunderstandings requiring nuance and careful language. Having spent time teaching and knowing many teachers, I can attest that students who write professional, clear, and polite emails leave powerful impressions. Moreover, in the job market, where employers aren’t required to keep you around, emailing could make or break promotions and hirings.  Or consider cover letters. Honestly, cover letters are the hardest things I’ve had to write. I’m perpetually asking: What should I focus on? How do I stand out from the crowd? How do I highlight my skills and successes without sounding arrogant? How do I compensate for lack of experience without sounding desperate? Luckily, I can draw on my time applying for scholarships. University has also given me lots of practice writing when I don’t know where to start or finish. I know I should begin first thing in the morning with my coffee when my mind is fresh and sharp. I know I then have a few solid hours before I feel frustrated. At that point, I’ll have to make toast or get exercise before getting back at it. I know when to push through, keep momentum, and leave sloppy sentences for revision; I know when to slow down and take things word-by-word. Postsecondary education is a training ground for the tedious, difficult writing that accompanies career searching.   Working with different people. Postsecondary education is a training ground for communication in general. It’s a rare gift: you learn to work professionally with various people while having room for error. (Unless it’s serious, you won’t be fired). A talk with a professor mirrors a talk with a boss; a university presentation mirrors a job interview. Working through problems with an institution’s administration may continue into your career. When I go into a job interview, I take the same approach for a university committee meeting or a tutorial lecture. I ask myself, "Who is my audience?", "What are their expectations?", "What do I have to offer?", "What is the major point I want to leave?", "Should my tone be formal or casual?" As a teaching assistant, I talked to students who were angry with their marks. These situations required attentiveness, care, and sympathy on one hand; on the other, the strength and confidence to articulate my reasons for giving the mark. During my employment, I’ve come back to these experiences, again and again, as a way of remembering how to balance listening and speaking, taking, and giving. I like to think that it’s helped me establish strong, fruitful relations with employers and colleagues. Postsecondary education is more than secluded studying and good grades; it’s a communal experience demanding good interactions with a host of people and situations. Hopefully, it will provide the interpersonal skills needed to build a meaningful career.   Keeping focus: Every student post-2000 has spent workdays that are 20% work and 80% YouTube, social media, and Wikipedia rabbit holes. We’ve all had to find ways of remaining productive in a digital age, whether through timers, web-blocking programs, personal reward systems, or device-free study areas. These same tricks and practices are needed when scouring countless job boards, writing countless cover letters, and sifting through countless lists of qualifications, duties, and company values. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. Believe me, after a few days of job hunting, that Netflix icon has never looked so tempting. If you’re looking to break into a tough job market, if you experience a series of disheartening rejections, the tenacity and focus of academic work are needed. Like student life, career-building requires self-motivation, work done on your own time, and attention to your mental health.   Planning your day and week: For most students, a successful postsecondary education demands organization and planning. As mentioned earlier, career searching often involves the same self-imposed deadlines, goals, and schedule. To avoid the slippery slope of distraction, get some productive momentum by setting weekly/daily targets: apply for five jobs a week, research one prospective field a day, take a day off each week to recharge. As I hinted above, I treat cover letters like essays. I set a deadline, write when I’m freshest, take breaks, and have someone look it over (for further motivation, I tell the person when they can expect it). For me, this is how it won’t forever plod in limbo.   Ultimately, I want to promote a holistic understanding of education. Nothing’s wasted; everything matters, even the small things, even the seemingly insignificant, mundane parts of the student grind. As you embark on finding a meaningful career, remember the skills and habits that have helped you succeed during your education and find how they transfer to your new context. For me, keeping some of my student mindset has made job hunting far less stressful.
  • How do You Get Research Experience a ...

    Getting research experience is quite helpful for students. It helps determine your interests, enables you to get involved on campus, make connections, and gain valuable experience – particularly important if you plan to attend graduate school or thesis-based programs. However, departments in universities, labs, and healthcare have limited spaces. So, how do you get a research position while in university or if you have already graduated? Well, you need to do your research…before doing your research.   Step 1 – Preliminary Search for Information   For undergraduate students, the first step is to grasp what kind of research takes place at your university. One way to uncover this is by finding your university’s faculty lists online, along with links to their personal pages that often will list their current and past papers. Alternatively, you can also ask professors during office hours or by e-mail if they have any available positions at their labs. If you’re asking professors about research opportunities in-person and over e-mail, start by making a list of professors whose research and/or courses interest you, and check out their lab page. Having a better understanding of their work helps you understand how you can contribute to and gain skills from their future work.    Important information to gather: The general sense of the professor’s research interest: the big questions that their lab asks, why they ask those questions, and what kind of methods they use What kind of technology (if any) does the lab use? What their graduate students’ study Their most recent or ongoing studies What specific courses and skills they are looking for   Step 2 – Informed Outreach Next, before e-mailing, check the website for each lab - if any exists. Most labs will have an opportunities page that will directly state whether they are looking for volunteers, independent study students, or any other positions available at their lab. Unless the lab states explicitly that they do not currently have any opportunities for students, it never hurts to send an e-mail. The e-mail can be brief. Start off with a brief introduction of the year of study, major, and how the research ties into your interest and future career plans.  One of the most important tips that I have learned from a graduate student is to read the research produced by the lab of interest (as recommended in step 1) and go through their articles to get a sense of their work. This process can help you generate questions about the paper to include either in the e-mail or in the cover letter. The question could be about the paper itself, curiosity about the overall topic, or the outcome of using a different approach to the question. This helps show that you’ve thought more deeply about the article, and it also launches a discussion, especially for upper-year independent research project courses.  For your very first research positions, without any prior experience, the trick is to look into multiple different places and speak about your interests and future career plans with professors and teaching assistants. To do this, you can: Take part in summer research opportunities (see below). Look for volunteer opportunities Ask and e-mail professors Submit your relevant courses and grades   Places to look for research opportunities include: Platforms such as the OCC, Research programs and courses on-campus, University job and volunteering opportunity boards, E-mailing or talking to professors and teaching assistants, and, Hospital and healthcare centres.   Step 3 - Keep Going Last but not least, being informed in your approach means actively seeking out opportunities. Below is a compiled list of Ontario-based summer research opportunities to keep an eye out for that is mainly geared towards students:   SickKids Summer Research (SSuRe) Program SRI Summer Student Research Program For BIPOC in psychology, management or neuroscience: Canada Summer Research Opportunities Programme (Canada SROP) Women’s College Hospital Summer Student Research program Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Bloorview Research Institute Ward Family Summer Student Research Program  
  • Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone: My ...

      It all started with my acceptance letter from St. Thomas University, where I would be spending the next four years of my life. After 18 years of living under my parents' roof, it finally came time to step out of my comfort zone and explore the world. The days leading up to departure were rooted in excitement and fear. So many questions flooded my head with doubts and curiosity about my new adventure. The day I arrived at Fredericton airport, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. Coming to a new country, I now looked ahead to my first week at a new college. Meeting fresh faces and exploring a different culture and region was so exciting. Every time I met a new person I wondered if they felt as afraid (yet free) as I did. Everything was different.    The differences I experienced as an international student new to St.Thomas University, include: 1. People eat at different times here. Don't be surprised if you crave McDonald's late at night! I found myself really surprised by the Canadian lifestyle. Back home, I lived by a routine - especially my eating schedule. I was so confused because here lunch was at noon and dinner started in the cafeteria at four o'clock. But, back home, I had lunch at two o'clock and dinner at eight o'clock. By the time it was evening, with this new schedule, I was starving and fantasizing over McDonald’s fries! 2. Living in residence means sharing (almost everything) and, obviously, not living at home. Living in residence was also a brand new thing for me. Back home, I shared a bathroom with my sister, so sharing the washroom with some other girls didn’t matter to me, but it took time to get used to splitting a room with another person. Thankfully, I quickly realized that having someone there to keep me company and laugh was like having my sister there to support me. The thing is, my family was still in Ecuador, and I could still feel their distance. So, after a long day in class, I would call my parents and sister every night before bed - it was calming and reassuring to know that they supported me and were there for me regardless of the distance. 3. As a new student, you will also be tasked with making new friends (later in life it's different). All my life, I have been around the same type of people. (I don’t consider myself shy when it comes to making friends, but it was easier when we were kids, we just chose the one we thought was the craziest and started playing with them.) Anyway, making new friends in a new country felt different. Navigating classes, well, that was new to too and a challenge (at first). For example, I had a five-minute lapse to rush through three buildings and get across campus to my other class. During the fall it wasn’t bad, but I can’t say the same about winter! I am sure I had a fair number of falls in front of strangers. But, over time, strangers became friends.   4. You adapt but, like anything, you can't control the outcome. Over time, you adapt, but you need to prepare for the unexpected in life, living anywhere in the world. Year three as a student at St. Thomas can be described with one word: rollercoaster. In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and my country's borders were on the verge of closing, so I had to quickly uproot again and return home on a last-minute flight. Then, I had to finish second-year exams online before getting ready for summer. Little did we know that it would be just the beginning of a long and exhausting quarantine. I must say the relief of coming home to my family before things got worse was the greatest blessing. I spent all of 2020 re-discovering myself as an artist, a writer, and an individual. I got to make up for the two years I missed by my little sister’s side. Honestly, even if the world was falling apart, a piece of me felt so peaceful and blessed to be back home. When classes began, and the university had launched all of the right platforms to acclimate us to the online form of learning, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, with the help of professors and interactive digital platforms, I was able to push through this and overcome any lack of motivation I felt. I believe that going through this made me more deeply appreciate having access to a proper education. In summary? Growing up, I fantasized about my life in college but arriving in a new country, finally there to study, was surreal. In truth, no one talks about the deep feelings of moving 5,000 km away to a different country. There was no way to know the challenges of being a first-year international student or of what was to come - the world fighting an unprecedented global pandemic. Today, I'm grateful for my experience studying abroad and for where I am now. I am just shy of my last year and excited to return to St. Thomas for the winter semester. However, this time, I have a greater understanding of what I'm heading toward...and what I'm leaving behind.  Remember, even if there are obstacles, never give up because it will make you stronger to confront everything life throws at you. All of my experiences as an international student have empowered me to build a future worth looking forward to.
  • The Pros And Cons of Job-Hopping, By ...

    Whether you’re a student or a graduate, finding jobs can be difficult. 'Job-hopping' refers to having worked, or working, multiple positions within a short time, and it has become more common due to the pandemic. Before landing a more stable career, people may job hop throughout university or college - or after graduating. As a recent graduate, my career path did not go as planned during the pandemic, and I found myself taking different temporary jobs instead. While that was not my plan, I’ve noticed both the advantages and disadvantages.    The Advantages of Job-Hopping:   You Gain an Array of experience: Job-hopping is one of the most effective ways to try different career paths, learn more about them, and determine if they are right for you. Unlike volunteering, you receive monetary compensation and have more roles and responsibilities. In my own experience, temporary job positions and internships were also more lenient to students and graduates. Job hopping is a perfect way to try different roles and different work cultures, hours, and pay. A variety of experiences and positions on your resume now shows employers your willingness to try new things, flex your skills, and adapt.   Building a Wider network: Job-hopping provided me, so far, with a wide network of people to call on and seek out support or guidance from. By working within environments where I met more people - from my different supervisors, managers to colleagues. I ended up meeting people I could not have met otherwise, and they offered me different perspectives. I was also introduced to new roles that I did not know existed.   You Attain the Advantage of Different Types of References: Another benefit I've learned from job-hopping throughout the pandemic was that different supervisors could advocate for the breadth of my skillset from different positions I've held. I now have a wider array of strengths and experience and can lean into my contacts at each role to vouch for my skills to employers for various prospective roles. Although the references knew me for less time, I fing myself walking away with different perspectives and advice on what I could improve on and what I was already good at! The increased number of references available also allowed me to have a more well-rounded view of my performance. Not relying solely on one person to give the full scope of my performance and skills further offered me more flexibility in asking for a reference for a specific role - as mentioned above, this is worth its weight in gold.   Liberate Yourself With Fewer Restraints and Stagnation: Job hopping allows one to move to different companies and organizations and fill various roles - this goes without saying. Fact is, by doing this, there are fewer possibilities of getting stuck in the same routine or position and, in turn, becoming disinterested in it. There are also fewer restraints in terms of time commitment. It also allows a person to become more adaptable to changing environment - critical in building a long-term career path.   The Disadvantages of Job-Hopping:   Less Stability: Contract or part-time work means that you will need to keep moving and keep up the pace when it comes to seeking out new roles and keeping doors open. This constant cycle and commitment can also lead to more significant gaps in a resume - if you don't find a job immediately after their current contract ends. If you have to move or commute for their work, it could also mean less stability in schedule and place of living. This can be especially tricky for students who have to balance studying with work.   No Long-term Experience: Job-hopping often means changing roles and positions unless you stay in the same roles - just in different organizations. Holding these positions for a shorter time may limit future jobs, where recruiters may be looking for longer-term experience. It also may lead to prospective employers asking why the job let you go, or didn’t extend your contract, or why you switched jobs so often. However, it should be noted that if you’re honest about it and can show how that experience was still critical and you have the skills, this may change people's perspectives.   Fewer Benefits: Sad fact, job-hopping means that you’re less likely to get health or other benefits, which can cost more in the long run. It also means unpaid lunch, and sick days, and vacations. You also miss out on pay increases over time. When it comes to laying off employees, temporary workers are usually also the first to go. Lastly, the changes in salary range can also be tricky.   If you’re reading this and are worried about job-hopping during the pandemic and how employees will view it...don't. Worrying solves nothing, and (most importantly) job-hopping has been more common as of late, so all you need to do is be honest with your prospective employer. No one is unaware of the limiting effects of this global pandemic on our global economy and how we are all impacted. We have all been working against a tide of restrictions and a 'new normal' and employers, well, good employers, should understand this. This means that they should take away from your resume that you have committed to improvement and gaining experience and skills throughout a trying time globally - that you are resilient. If they don't? You can always hop on over to another prospective employer... Editor's Note: Job-hopping during a pandemic is a far cry from 'job-hoppers syndrome' which is when you hop from job to job and are never happy where you land. If you feel this way, it's important to assess why and try to discover how you can hone your strengths toward something more deeply aligned with your personality - with what makes you happy. :)
  • Take a Chance: A Q&A with Philip Lee ...

    The head of the Journalism Department at St.Thomas University speaks about his career and what it means to enter the world of employment.      In the world of employment, there has always been a certain level of competition. However, finding your competitive edge in a crowded candidate pool means owning the relevant skills you've earned and worked toward. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘fat resume', a resume filled with a wealth of relevant experiences. If you're looking to break into journalism, the competition is exceptionally high as it's an industry with fewer available permanent jobs and less long-term security. So, what does a path into journalism look like, and what advice should you consider when pursuing it? I sat down with Philip Lee, a former journalist and teacher at St.Thomas University, to answer these questions. Lee’s advice and personal experience show that life will not always be what we expect, but we must put ourselves out there and accept failure along the way to reach success.    Q: What was it like applying to jobs when you finished college?     A: I graduated with a major in classics. I studied greek poetry and literature philosophy. I didn't study journalism. So, after graduation, I went to an employment counselor, and I took a test. He said that my only skill was writing, then pulled out a job listing form for a Newspaper in Newfoundland. It was in central Newfoundland, in a place called Grand Falls. I applied and soon heard back. They wanted me to come in for a job interview, and I did. Luckily, they offered me a job at a paper called Grand Falls Advertiser. It was a twice-weekly paper, and I said yes.     Q: How was your first job experience?     A: When I first got there, I didn’t know how to type, and I also didn’t know how to write a news story. I had to learn everything on the job, and I decided that I liked journalism. About six months after I was there, I got a new job at a bigger paper in Saint John, Newfoundland, for a paper called  Sunday Express - that was a good paper. I did a lot of things there, it was a good job, and I learned to be a journalist there. I stayed with them for several years. That’s how it all started.      Q: What was the thing you liked most about working at Sunday Express?    A: One of the good things about working for a small paper was that I was able to do different jobs: I learned, I wrote news stories, I even laid out the paper (pasted together the pages), I went out to take photographs... I did everything! I learned a lot - quickly. I learned to rely on myself, to develop ideas and things that I probably wouldn't be able to do at a larger paper, where I would be assigned and told what to do.       Q: Did you move a lot? Work part or full-time jobs?     A: At my first job, the pay wasn’t the best, so I'd opted to move any time I got offered more money. Every job taught me new things. There are full-time jobs, but one of the things that I would tell journalists, especially young journalists: “You should expect to move often from one job to another, so when new opportunities come along, you want to be able to take them.” I was always moving, trying to find new opportunities, to work for bigger papers, to make more money.       Q: Was there a time where you outgrow your job?     A: Sometimes I would outgrow the position I was in, but sometimes it’s because things changed. I think it is very strategic to move from one opportunity to the next. It’s something to expect, and it's a good thing. For example; When I worked at Sunday Express, there was an editor that I liked working with, and when he left for another job, the atmosphere changed and I was ready to move on.       Q: Do things always go as you planned?     A: I think, in your life, you have great periods and some others that aren’t. You ‘kinda’ have to work your way through it. You are not going to have a professional life, unless you are really lucky, that every year and every job will be fulfilling. But, especially when you are young, you can move around to fulfilling opportunities that make you happy.       Q: How did your job expectations change over the years? What was the most challenging part?  A: I think that the hardest thing for me was when I came back to NB, and for a time, the paper was not that inspiring. I was doing daily editing, waking up early at 5 a.m., and doing work that I was not particularly proud of or didn't love. Maybe what I wanted to do was be in a job where I could do good work and do the work I wanted to do, not work for the sake of work. I search for that. Then a new editor came in who became a life-long mentor and friend; he changed my life. I was lucky, I stuck long enough in this job, and things got better. We did a lot of great work together. I think that if you don't want work somewhere you can’t be honest and truthful for yourself… you can’t do work you don't believe in. You don’t want a daily moral dilemma.       Q: Do you think companies’ culture, beliefs, values, morals, objectives, and image are important when deciding to work with them? How did it influence your choices?     A: Is not always possible to align morals, values, objectives from a company to someone’s perspective…Some of the best work I did was owned by a multi-billionaire family…we did great work, but I wouldn't say that our values lined up. I believe it's important, but I don’t think that is necessary. Especially in the world of journalism, you should be able to be independent in the kind of content that you do. For example, The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, and you may say, “Amazon is ruining the world. It's a terrible company.”  I'm not saying that’s true, but you can certainly take that position, which doesn’t mean that The Washington Post is not filled with good journalistic work. So, I think that is something to take into account because you are certainly not doing promotional work for your ownership; you are just doing independent journalistic work.     Q: Why do you think people settle for mediocre jobs?     A: I think that people don’t just settle for mediocre jobs. It just depends on the time of your life. I was just at this point in my life where I had small children and bills to pay. I had to make a living. I was willing to do what I needed - that was my priority. But I think when you are young, it gives you more freedom to choose what you want when it comes to jobs and being unemployed. If you find yourself in a conflict with your soul, then you should find another job. Sometimes the mortgage, health insurance, house payment…it’s more important than liking or not the job.     Q: Did you ever quit a job just because you didn’t like it?     A: My Father always told me: never quit a job before you found another one. The only time I quit my job was when I wanted to work on my book, but then I got another job once I finished the book.  Q: What do you think is the #1 mistake everyone makes when applying for a job?     A: I think not being prepared enough for the interview is a problem that I’ve seen. You don’t want to go in unprepared. I think a lot of companies weigh the interview. Let say you do poorly regardless of your experience, and you get pushed aside. You want to be strategic, have stories to tell; always have 2-3 stories ready to go in the back of your head. You should always do your research about the company but also be prepared to show who you are. You don’t want to fill up space and 'just talk' but be thoughtful about it.     During interviews asking about salary, hours, and all those types of questions are valid but should be secondary. You always want to talk about what you are going to do, how you are trying to contribute to the company, and how you will make their lives easier. You need to be useful to them.       Q: How do you handle rejection?     A: Rejection. There is a lot of rejection that comes with a creative job. You probably have this idea and believe it is a great idea, but then someone else will not think the same. I believe that if you give your best and don’t get the job it is because it wasn’t meant for you       Q: Do you think job expectations have changed from back when you were a graduate till now? How?     A: There’s a problem in journalism with creating good jobs with a decent lifestyle. As a teacher, I see that graduates are hesitant to work in a newsroom because the long hours and demands that the job has don’t match their lifestyles. Remember, balance is important, but you can also bring balance to your job, work as much as possible, and keep a healthy life - not getting consumed by the job. I wasn’t very good at that. I often would leave work with my computer to keep working.       Q:  Do you regret working at any job in the past or recently? Why or why not?     A: I don’t regret any of my experiences…taking or leaving any job. I think I tried to learn something new at every job. It was all a learning experience - for better or for worse. One thing, when you are young, you shouldn’t tie yourself down to a specific place. You want to be able to move. So take time out and don’t settle for a job. Travel, learn and see the world.   Q: Along your path did you reject job opportunities? How did you know it was the right choice?     A: You never really know if you are making the right decision by taking or not a job offer. I think considering options is important to help you make the best call you can. You never have any guarantees that things will be perfect or how you expect them to be. So I think that you need to be strategic but know you can’t control what happens.      Q: Are you happy with your current job?      A: 20 years ago…St.Thomas Vice President of Academics called to ask me if I would be interested in teaching and starting a Journalism Program. There wasn’t one. It was a program partnership with a Community College in Woodstock. So, I took a chance, I got a one-year contract teaching and working in the development of the program, for that I had to quit my job and took a big pay-cut to come to STU but I thought that my payoff was down the road and would increase. So, I took less money for a job I thought would have more possibilities. I was intrigued by the idea of teaching.       I’ve been here ever since, and I love it.       Q: What advice would you give to this future generation of students and graduates?      A: I think when you are young, it’s good to take some chances, take jobs that would make you stand out from your comfort zone; you will eventually get to settle down, but you won’t have the opportunity to jump and go, so take a chance. Also, if you are in a situation where a job is not bringing you joy, and I’m not talking about every minute of every day, there is no such thing as a job like that, if the job is not bringing you joy, then you should starting looking for another job. Find something that does, because life’s short and having joy and happiness in your life is the most important thing.     Editor’s Note: Personal growth and focusing on yourself is as important as getting a job that eases your soul and makes your life worth living. 
  • Scholarships Available in Canada & H ...

    Financial strain is a burden to anyone - particularly post-secondary students. The pandemic has exasperated this strain, creating a job shortage and diminished overall job prospects. But, before you panic, there are resources available to support you. You can fund a portion of your post-secondary expenses by securing a line of credit from a bank or applying for provincial/ federal grants and loans. Scholarships are another means to fund your education, and frankly, I believe it is one of the most underutilized options out there. Advice on Weighing Your Scholarship Options In Canada, the value of unclaimed scholarships, annually, can amount to over $10 million (Edwardson, 2021).  This number is so absurd that it makes you wonder why exactly all of us students aren't jumping at this free money. One reason could be that students may feel as though they are not qualified enough to be in the running for a scholarship. When 'scholarship' comes to mind, you would probably imagine an essay-writing competition open to students, where the best written essay is awarded a cash prize or may see the winner of scholarships as all-around students with a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) and strong involvement in their schools/ communities. All of these thoughts can be intimidating. Truthfully, all scholarships do not follow such a rigid structure nor demand for exceptional feats. Scholarship opportunities are offered by a plethora of organizations/ companies that demand a unique set of requirements - requirements you might not have thought. Although some scholarships may look at specifically academic performance or volunteer experience, extracurriculars, or ask for you to write a small essay about why you would be a great recipient (many company-funded scholarship applications ask this), others may simply ask for your resume or to input your contact information - you could win based on a random draw. Yes, scholarship opportunities come in a variety of forms! If you are a tall first-year student entering university or college, there's a scholarship for you: consider applying to the Tall Clubs International (TCI) Foundation scholarship; for the minimum height requirement, they are looking for females that are 5' 10" and males that are 6' 2.” Unorthodox? Maybe. An opportunity you probably didn't know was out there, that could help finance your education - yep! Landing a Scholarship Means Additional Support Beyond The Financial Planning out your scholarship applications is done similarly as one would prepare a resume and cover letter. Like a resume and cover letter, you would not put all your extracurriculars and community experiences onto your scholarship application. You would pay attention to the scholarship requirements and tailor your application based on that. With that, applying to scholarships can reinforce your critical thinking and make you more accustomed to marketing your desirability. This can translate to the job search as you try to advertise your employability to open companies. Speaking of employability, certain scholarships offer mentorship and exclusive activities (e.g networking or research opportunities) to its recipients.  Having a mentor would be a great asset in directly guiding your professional development and getting a grasp of your goals. You have someone you can come to for questions and concerns that you may feel uncomfortable opening up to others about. Networking does not hurt either.  Maintaining a diverse web of connections can come in handy in exposure to unique job insights and understanding what values and skills employers look out for. Who you know can take you far, especially when you have a dream career in mind! Further, winning a scholarship is a feat worth placing on your resume - no doubt. It can make a great talking point in job interviews and exemplifies your initiative to go after what you desire. You've Got to Start Somewhere When you dedicate the time and energy, scholarships can certainly be worthwhile. They carry a handful of benefits in not only financially supporting the post-secondary expenses of students, but also present a tool in molding themselves into an ideal job candidate. With seeing the bright side of scholarships, it is time to work on where to start exactly.  A good place to start would be your post-secondary institution. Colleges and universities offer scholarships that are limited solely to their attending students, so I recommend reaching out to yours to understand their process for applying to in-school scholarships. You can also ask around within your connections of family members and friends to see if they know of any organizations/ companies that are currently offering any scholarships. Hands down, the biggest tool at your fingertips for this scholarship hunt would be online scholarship websites. They bring immense accessibility and awareness to scholarships that you would otherwise never hear about. When it comes to my personal scholarship hunt, I recommend the use of Scholarships Canada, ScholarTree, Student Awards, and Yconic.  I guess what I'm saying here is, you don't have to financially support your post-secondary journey alone. At least, you have options work toward. While preparing for, submitting you application, and trying doesn't mean you'll land a scholarship, the options out there are far more abundant and varied than you may have thought. If you don't try, you'll never know, right? And that, friends, is worth its weight in gold!!! Final Tips to Land a Scholarship: Create a spreadsheet/ Calendar of scholarships, their corresponding requirements, and deadlines.  Be sure to start early. Plan out time in your schedule into making scholarship applications Given that you meet the minimum requirements, apply to as many scholarships as you can If scholarships require letters of recommendations, reach out to your postsecondary professors at an early date to see if they are available. If they aren’t available, try asking your former employers or volunteer/ extracurricular supervisors. Proofread and revise your scholarship application before submitting Be confident and proud of your accomplishments, regardless of whether you win the scholarship. It will motivate you more to continue applying, and it will shine through in your application
  • Ten (oft-neglected) ways to optimize ...

    Alas, the grueling road of resume writing! One spends hours fretting and agonizing over a resume for the glazed eyeballs of future employers skimming through reams of lists and dates and soft skills. How to craft a resume that doesn’t dissipate into the resume-ether? Here are ten frequently neglected tips to help catch an employer’s eye. 1. Skills-based resume  Without thinking, many of us stick to the basic rule: work history first. But if you’re a student applying for a job outside of your work experience, consider a skills-based resume. Here your skills are listed first and emphasized. It shows employers that you’ve developed relevant abilities through untraditional means. You may be fresh on the scene, but that doesn’t mean you’re unprepared.    2. Find key words in job descriptions  Larger companies often use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), software that filters out weaker resumes so human eyes have less to read. One way of appeasing ATS bots: incorporate key words from the job description into your resume (and cover letter, too). If the job requires “time management” skills, note how you successfully managed your time at different jobs. The ATS will see that your resume matches the employer’s requirements. Also, human eyes will see that you’ve read the job description carefully and understand their brand or goals. But balance is everything. Too much copy-and-paste looks lazy and manipulative. Remember: use your own voice!      3. Quantify, Quantify, Quantify  Sometimes a detail, a single number, turns a dull statement into something sharper. Compare: “I helped students achieve better grades,” versus, “I helped forty students achieve grade-A marks.” The latter is precise and concrete. It shows that you’re attentive to your work and allows employers to better process your accomplishments.     4. No to adverbs/adjectives   An old writer’s truth: adverbs and adjectives often (not always!) signify a weak verb. When you have limited space, when your reader will be skimming, concision reigns. A few words need to say a lot. Too many adjectives and adverbs will clog sentences and strain weary eyes. Instead of saying, “I successfully made very accurate predictions on outcomes,” simply say, “I predicted outcomes.” Everything else is unnecessary.      5. Yes to action verbs   Action verbs describe, well, action—things happening. They are dynamic, forceful, and engaging. Instead of writing, “Because of my influence, the math club was popular again,” write, “I revitalized the math club.” 'Revitalized' grabs readers’ attention. It’s more direct and sophisticated.     6.  Avoid cliches   Cliches like “team player” and “hard worker,” as true as they may be, suggest that you haven’t taken the time to write something original. Find language in your own voice, not from a thousand other resumes. Get specific: how were you a hard worker? What separates your hard work from others’? That said, avoid the other extreme: thesaurus writing. In the context of a resume, “indomitable worker” sounds forced and somewhat pretentious.      7. List volunteer work   Some conventional wisdom says that only those with little work experience should list volunteer experience, but this has changed. Yes, volunteer work can show that you’ve acquired relevant skills; it may also suggest something about your integrity as a person. Employers worth their salt look for employees who care for more than monetary success.   8. List successes, not duties   Saying you’ve built a table doesn’t prove you’re good at building tables. Saying you’ve built an award-winning table does.     9. Highlight remote work   As more employment opportunities remain remote, new skills are needed. Have you led a Zoom meeting? Have you worked independently from home? Consider highlighting your remote work on your resume.    10. Keep it clean   When formatting, don’t get creative. Keep things minimal, direct, and consistent. You can’t go wrong with 1-inch margins, 12-point font, and Times New Roman. If you want a little spice to stand out from the crowd, keep it subtle and cohesive. Do everything possible to cushion the employer’s weary eyeballs. Remember, within a short period of time, you want them to know who you are and what you offer. Fancy borders, weird fonts, and a plethora of emphasized words is tiring and unprofessional. A well-structured resume demonstrates your ability to structure things. Your resume’s aesthetics is the first impression you’ll give.    
  • The Advantages & Disadvantages of Wo ...

    During my three years in university, I decided to work part-time. I worked in various positions ranging from an event floater for homecoming, cashier, study space host, and research assistant. From my personal experience, it gave me the chance to explore different fields while providing an income. I found it quite delightful! Of course, I wanted to go more into detail about the pros and cons of working through your post-secondary studies. I am sure many students are contemplating this idea as the school year is fast approaching.    PROS of Working While in University or College    1. Improves Your Time Management   What really helped me to manage my time was the use of a virtual planner. When I got into university, I found Notion, an online multi-use workspace with a concise design and a layout that was user-friendly. At the start of each school year, I used Notion to create a weekly calendar template where I inserted all my times for classes, labs, tutorials, study sessions, and blocked out time for my work shifts. From there, I was left with an idea of how much free time I would have.      2. Better Comprehension of Personal Finance  When you begin to earn money for yourself, the realization starts to sink in that your money can leave just as quickly as you received it. In my experience, this realization makes you more self-aware and pushes you to think about finances long term. While there may be some new clothes that you’ve been eyeing, for instance, paying for next month’s rent takes your top priority! (Trust me, you'll begin to see the money you save versus the money you spend). Taking it a step further, this could be an opportunity not just to save but look at investment options. Given that you do your research and don’t make emotionally fuelled choices, you have the potential to create long-term gains - cool, right?       4. Source of Income & Work Experience  Working part-time gives you a dependable income that can be used to pay tuition fees and bills.  Depending on how much you have, you may be able to save some money (as mentioned above) or splurge on yourself (every once and a while). Having an income during university can also aid in creating an emergency fund for the event that something unexpected arises. These are more apparent advantages, but it is worth noting.   5. Personal Growth & Development  Entering university, I considered myself an introverted and reserved individual. It was not until I began working in customer service that I became more comfortable interacting with others. I started to grow more approachable and friendly. I enjoyed talking with complete strangers and became less anxious in doing so. Working a part-time job as a responsibility gave me a boost of confidence in knowing that I can challenge myself to achieve the best I can and push myself toward greater heights. Even if you never worked a job, it is a similar sense of self-fulfillment as holding an executive position in a club or playing on a sports team.    CONS of Working While in University or College 1. Stressful Sscheduling  While I don’t recall going through this issue myself, some employers may be pretty rigid in their scheduling. Due to this, you may be double-booked and have to choose between missing a shift or missing a class. It feels like a lose-lose situation where you would have been better off not getting a job during school.  If you reach the interview stage of a job, be sure to address the interviewer about your involvement in school. While some stores/ businesses may be strict on schedule, others are lenient and recognize that their employees have other responsibilities to attend to.  2. More Work, Less Play  Even if your employer is quite flexible with scheduling, work still takes up a considerable amount of time. While some students can be extremely diligent in their time management, others may not keep up. Working a part-time job comes at the cost of hanging out with your friends or even studying time; it's a choice that requires sacrifice. For me, I enjoy getting involved in extracurriculars. I acknowledge that working a part-time job sometimes took me away from club events/ activities that I would have wanted. It left me feeling like I was missing out whenever I heard my friends talk about it afterward. If there is one recommendation I could share, you can aim to work a seasonal job during the summer (a part-time or full-time job). Assuming that you will be finishing your courses for the school by April, it will give you a chance to work this seasonal job for about 3-4 months. Once you go back to school in September, you would have saved up some money and worry less about working a job throughout your studies.  3. Likelihood of Burnout  Whenever I would have a closing night shift, I would aim to study a little before heading to bed. Despite this expectation, I would occasionally underestimate how exhausted my body was from the responsibilities of my part-time job. I would end up heading straight to bed after my shift. Once I wake the following morning, I would regret my decision. There have been times when I would skip out on my morning classes, too, just because I was so exhausted.  This sense of burnout can also come from trying to juggle various responsibilities. Sometimes, we tend to get caught in this possible cycle of school, work, sleep, and repeat. When we go through the motions for so long, we tend to focus on what we are doing and undermine our body’s well-being. Burnout can happen when, despite our time management skills, we simply bite more than we chew. Remember, we are not robots! We only have one mind and body, and with that, we must attend to our physical and mental well-being whenever possible.    4. Counterproductive  It would help if you recognized whether working during post-secondary is worthwhile for you when it comes down to it. Specific academic programs, like health science, can be strenuous in course material and require more time to digest. While these programs may prove to be a challenge now, your efforts can pay off in securing the grades necessary to pursue internships or even grad school. Since working a job during school can take away valuable time to complete coursework or study, you should reconsider trying to work during the school year. If your job undermines your current efforts in school, then forget it.    This proves a similar case to students who are already financially set. These students may already have the necessary savings to pay for their yearly expenses. Unless they are looking to earn extra money, these students wouldn’t be keen to spend their time working.    If anything else, it comes down to whether you will find the job worthwhile. I did not need to get a job during university, but I decided to. I felt it would have been a great way to spend my time and improve my skills. While I may miss out on time to socialize or check out clubs, it does not take away from my satisfaction. If you simply do not want to work because you do not want to take on an additional responsibility or want more time to be with loved ones, then working during school isn’t for you.    Biggest Takeaway    Working a job during post-secondary has its ups and downs.  It is ultimately up to your discretion whether a job would be worth it for you.    Nevertheless, it is good to start early in preparing yourself to enter the workforce.  From my knowledge, most universities offer a career center where knowledgeable staff provides employment-related support. I certainly recommend this resource while in school. At my university, they hold various workshops on topics like writing a cover letter/ resume and networking. The career center also holds speaker panels where professionals from industries like communications or sustainability provide insight on their career development.  Even if you are not looking for a job now, the career consultant staff can help gauge your future aspirations and aid in setting up a plan for future success. 
  • Ten jobs you can do from Anywhere in ...

    Many remote and virtual career options won’t leave you stuck in the same office cubicle (for upwards of 8 hours a day). Whether you are looking for a way to earn money while sitting on a beach in Bali, are drawn to the work-from-home lifestyle, or are simply looking for a COVID-friendly career, here are ten roles that empower you to live and work from anywhere in the world!   1. Freelance Writer Whether it’s blogging, reporting, content writing, or anything in between, freelance writing is an excellent option for those who have strong written communication skills. Not only is the job itself flexible, so is the pay. Depending on how organized you are and how much work you’re willing to take on, the amount you earn is really up to you. Salary: $42,938   2. Virtual Tutor If you have a knack for education or are well-versed in a specific subject, then virtual tutoring may be an exciting option for you. This type of role gives the flexibility of working with many different skill levels, age ranges, and subjects, and it is an occupation available to almost anyone with skills or experience in teaching. Salary: $39,000   3. Graphic Designer This role requires a strong creative flair and tech-savviness but typically comes with the ability to work remotely. A graphic designer creates visual concepts and images to help draw in their client’s target audience - such as logos, website design, magazine covers, and more. Salary: $45,000   4. Virtual Assistant A virtual assistant essentially works as a stay-at-home (or work-from-anywhere) executive or administrative assistant. As with many of these remote roles, proficiency in communications and the confidence to work independently is a must. Typical responsibilities will include managing emails and making travel arrangements Salary: $48,000   5. Website Developer If you have graphic design and computer programming skills, then consider a role as a web developer. You will be responsible for the coding and layout of a client’s website—another excellent option for the tech-savvy. Salary: $53, 762   6. Social Media Consultant This role requires strong social media know-how and the ability to market a brand, figure, or idea successfully. You must be creative and in tune with the company’s target audience. This role will involve collaborating with sales/marketing staff, posting written and visual content, and recommending new ideas and improvements.  Salary: $65, 325   7. Online Translation Are you fluent in a second language? Then why not profit off your valuable linguistic skills? Responsibilities include translating text or audio recordings and ensuring that the newly translated pieces convey the appropriate meaning and tone. Salary: $53,138   8. Online ESL Teacher Teaching English as a second language is many 'a nomad’s' dream job and a great way to live, work, and travel within a myriad of different regions and countries. Many ESL teachers have a degree in English, as well as an ESL or TESOL certification. Once you are qualified, the high demand for ESL teachers means that the world is your oyster. Salary: $42,800   9. E-Interior Designer While interior design seems like it would be a hands-on career, many interior designers work remotely, allowing them to reach an international client base. As an E-Interior designer, you will develop plans and 3D models that align with the client’s vision and wishes. Salary: $48,750   10. Accountant Accounting is a role with high growth potential and can be worked remotely in both entry-level and senior positions. The role primarily involves reviewing or preparing financial accounts for businesses and individuals while ensuring they are in line with laws and regulations.  Salary: $56,544  
  • Five Less-Obvious Careers for Englis ...

    When asking the question, “What can I do with my English degree?” the first careers that typically come to mind often include writers, librarians, or teachers. While these are great options for many English graduates, they only scratch the surface of possible careers available to someone with an English Degree. The broad and transferrable skills (such as communication and critical thinking) developed as an English major means that English graduates are prevalent in almost every industry.   So, what can you do with an English degree? This article will break down five less-typical career paths (with salaries) that you may want to consider as an English major.           1. Marketing Executive  If you have a creative flair and found yourself enjoying the research-based, analytical side of your major, then you may want to consider a career in marketing.  As a marketing executive, you will need to produce creative, eye-catching content to help campaign for and promote a product or service, such as videos and blog posts. Ultimately, the goal is to help develop and create more awareness of the company’s brand and ethos.  Other responsibilities involve conducting market research, writing/proofreading marketing copy for campaigns, and building customer relationships.  To succeed in this role, you will need to be creative and analytical, have strong interpersonal abilities to liaise with customers and clients effectively, and possess a well-rounded commercial awareness.  Median Salary: Marketing Executive: $51,202, Marketing Manager: $64,065            2. Human Resources  An HR Officer’s overall goal is to look after employees by providing adequate training opportunities and dealing with workplace grievances.  The responsibilities of a human resources officer include promoting diversity and equality, enforcing workplace policies, recruitment, and ensuring the welfare of all staff.  As a human resources assistant, effective communication (both written and verbal) is critical - an area where English majors shine! You will also need strong interpersonal skills, as employees will need to feel that they can approach you to discuss personal, confidential, and, often, sensitive issues.  Median Salary: HR Assistant: $41,500, HR Manager: $70,721          3. Events Manager/Planner  If you find yourself thriving in a fast-paced environment and have a strong set of interpersonal and organizational skills, then consider a career in events management.  An events manager’s primary responsibilities involve producing proposals for events, researching venues, and negotiating with clients and suppliers, managing staff, and all-in-all making sure that the event in question runs smoothly and within budget. Events managers are usually hired by corporations such as hotels, charities, and business associations, but some are self-employed, working on a project-by-project basis.  Excellent communication and attention to detail is the key to success in this role. An events manager must also have strong organizational skills, problem-solving abilities, and experience managing projects.  Median Salary: $53,462           4. Paralegal/Legal Assistant  Though some English graduates go on to complete a three-year graduate degree on their journey to becoming a lawyer, there are other routes into the legal realm that are less timely (and less costly)! If you are an English major interested in pursuing a career in law but are unsure about pursuing a graduate degree, then you might want to consider a career as a paralegal.  As a paralegal, responsibilities vary greatly depending on the type of employer. Still, they typically include drafting and proofreading legal documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, analyzing legal data, and providing support in the courtroom at hearings and trials.  To succeed in this role, you will need to be detail-oriented and technologically savvy. Effective communication (much like within the other roles we’ve discussed) is also critical.  To become a paralegal in Canada, you will need to complete a paralegal diploma, which can be completed in as little as 12 months.  Median Salary: $53,409            5. Public Relations (PR)  If you’re quick-thinking, adaptable, and can cope well under pressure, then maybe consider a role in public relations.   In general, a public relations officer uses all forms of communications and media to manage the image and reputation of their client. These clients can range from businesses to public bodies.  Responsibilities within a role in public relations involve planning and implementing PR strategies, researching and distributing press releases to targeted media, monitoring media opportunities, and managing social media platforms.   To succeed in this role, you will need excellent interpersonal and writing skills, organization, and creativity.   Median Salary: $65,908    If you have an English degree, you will be a strong candidate for roles in various industries. If none of the above careers interest you, there are many alternative opportunities to consider. Other possibilities include multiple careers in psychology (with additional studies), media and journalism, publishing, freelance writing, and translation.     All information on median salaries sourced from payscale.com 
  • Motivated by Activism, By: Shoffana ...

    Working a job has become an integral part of our lives. It is as though finding a full-time position following your post-secondary graduation is like this “rite of passage” into adulthood. When we contemplate precisely why we strive to work, a prominent reason would be to ease our impending financial obligations. Other common answers would be to fulfill our life’s purpose or be satisfied by the work at hand.    Motivations for Work    First and foremost, I do want to highlight the prominence in why people tend to work. Richard Ryan and Edward Deci were both professors from the University of Rochester. They co-published the book “Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior,” which centered around a human’s internal and external motivations and their application into certain life aspects (McGregor & Doshi, 2019). One of these aspects that they covered was work. They were able to compile six reasons why people worked, these reasons include:          1. Potential    If you are motivated by your potential, you perceive your job as an avenue to elevate your capabilities and achieve your fullest potential. For example, a store cashier would feel inclined to perform well on the job as they believe that they can obtain a higher position as a store manager by working at fulfilling their potential.          2. Play     If you are motivated by play, you tend to work because you find the work to be entertaining. For example, a veterinarian who likes taking care of animals would enjoy their work.           3. Purpose    If you are motivated by purpose, there is a strong alignment between the job’s result and your identity. You acknowledge the work’s significance as it resonates with your self-fulfillment. For example, a policy officer may resonate with their job as they value morality and justice. Moreover, a police officer may identify with their intentions to ensure the safety of their citizens.         4. Economic Pressure  If you are motivated by economic pressure, you are driven to work by an external force/ circumstances that relies heavily on money. These economically fueled stressors include paying monthly rent or providing for your family.         5. Emotional Pressure  If you are motivated by emotional pressure, you seem to work as outside forces/ circumstances threaten your identity and well-being. These external forces exert emotional strain, whether it is guilt from your past actions or fear of not having a roof over your head.         6. Inertia  If you are motivated by Inertia, you frankly do not have a clear-cut reason for why you are working. In this case, it is tough to put into words what exactly drives you.    Some interesting trends have arisen regarding these work motivations. We can arrange these six reasons into two groups. The first group comprises Potential, Play, and Purpose. Research has backed up that possessing any motive in group one can improve your overall performance. The second group consists of Economic Pressure, Emotional Pressure, and Inertia. Conversely, research has showcased that having any motive in group two can hinder your overall performance.    Jobs in Activism    With these motivations in mind, I feel that there is a growing demand for activism-related jobs. With the widespread use of technology, connecting people and events globally, we can transcend borders and boundaries. We have also grown in self-awareness towards social issues and become deterministic in making headway against the ordeals around the world.   Now, activism jobs do not have a concrete image of what they entail, unlike the job descriptions of, for example, a teacher or scientist. Activism, in itself, is such a broad and abstract concept. Activism-related jobs and roles within the field do not exist in the same industry or demand the same skill set. The key principle behind both is that activists push through obstacles to facilitate positive change in society. Considering all this, those interested in pursuing roles in activism or related fields need to have a firm resolve for working with a purpose and making a difference in the lives of others. I will be going over a few jobs that employ these activist elements below.    Social Worker    Social workers pave the path for their patients when it comes to navigating their everyday lives. They recognize that their patients may endure prominent hurdles, so social workers try to provide their patients with resources to overcome these hurdles. Social workers develop and monitor a patient’s treatment plan, refer patients to suitable community initiatives, conduct research to draw connections between their patients' struggles and overarching social issues, and administrative work. They operate under various categories such as family life, school, mental health, and so forth.  Social work is a job sector that heavily intertwines with activism. Professionals within social work advocate for change, especially for marginalized groups, and work to increase accessibility for these groups to pre-existing services and resources.   Activism Jobs in Social Work    Child welfare specialist  Mental Health Counselor  Case Management Aide  Behavior Supervisor      Policy Analyst    Policy analysts look to implement long-lasting, meaningful policy initiatives. To achieve this goal, they are expected to do the following: Assess the effectiveness of current policy legislation. Conduct extensive research. Consult with third-party stakeholders. Make sure that their policy recommendations align appropriately with their given objectives.   You can specialize in a particular field as a policy analyst. If you are interested in improving healthcare, you can look to be a health policy analyst. If you are interested in improving education, you can look to become an educational policy analyst - and so on.   Policy analysts possess an element of activism when enforcing laws/ recommendations to address social issues impactfully. Little known fact, policy analysis is considered a legal field. Besides the duty to enforce the law and exercise morality in society, legal professions are responsible for protecting the rights of vulnerable citizens and establishing suitable punishments for those who do not comply and put these rights at risk.    Activism Jobs in Law    Lawyer  Probation Officer  Prosecutor  Government Lobbyist    Photojournalist    A picture is worth 1,000 words. As a photojournalist, one intends to capture the compelling narrative of significant events through taking photographs. On top of that, they need to develop captions for their pictures. This job certainly sounds more accessible than it seems. Depending on a photojournalist’s vision, it may require them to travel to different countries to get a genuine glimpse of these events. Of course, these events can be either good (ex. Presidential inauguration) or bad (ex. A natural disaster). To add on, the combination of visual elements (color, size, proportion) can encapsulate engaging dynamics between notable individuals and vivid emotions. It takes a creative talent to excel at this talent truly. Going back to a previous point about the widespread use of technology, it has disrupted the traditional means of photojournalism through newspapers. Alternatively, social media more quickly distributes these impactful images while sparking a conversation online for thousands who are invited to engage freely.    Jobs in the media are crucial in activism. They help to record these precious moments from the present. Years from now, we can look back on these archived photographs or written pieces as evidence of past events. More importantly, the archived material can be a learning resource to have citizens reflect on the dual-sided nature of humanity. With the 'good side' captured in positive world events, we can be more appreciative. With the 'bad side' captured, we can reflect and ensure history does not repeat itself from adverse world events.     Activism Jobs in Media    Documentary Director  Biographical Writer  News Reporter  Social Media Manager    Become a Fundraising Director    A fundraising director generally works within a nonprofit organization (NPO). They work on the financial side as they are responsible for monitoring an NPO’s fundraising patterns. With this responsibility, the director must brainstorm effective fundraising strategies to implement in the local community, create positive relationships with stakeholders (ex. event sponsors, media companies, donors), and prepare crucial documents (ex. Budget statements, press releases).     Fundraising directors can determine the existence of NPOs. If these NPOs cannot obtain government grants or rather the grants cannot cover all the necessary costs, members of the NPO must secure other forms of income. Their money can be generated from merchandise, memberships fees, and mainly donations. By focusing on the longevity of these NPOs, these organizations can hold community events and initiatives that can spread awareness about social issues alongside assisting disadvantaged groups in the community. After all, any extra revenue made by these NPOs is meant to go back and help the community in any way possible.    Activism Jobs in Nonprofit    Grant writer  Community Outreach Worker  Administrative Services Manager  Event Manager    With that, I would like to emphasize that you do not have to wait. You do not have to wait until you achieve an activism-related job to give back to your community. You can give back through volunteering at a local community organization or even donating. Moreover, the amount of information disposable is incredible. We need to utilize this privilege of knowledge to understand the underlying circumstances of social issues, how they vary across countries/ continents, and whether there are pre-existing mechanisms in place to alleviate these social issues. We cannot tackle a problem through naivety and ignorance.     Though, there is another point I want to make. At the start of this article, I mentioned that there are various motivations for one to work. Even if you are not interested in an activism-related career, I want you to know that you should choose a job that fulfills you. Recall around the start of this article where if you were motivated by either Potential, Play, and Purpose, you will find yourself achieving better results. Many of us have encountered a situation where we were inclined towards a specific job just because a friend/ family member wanted us to pursue it. Despite the job not resonating with us, we tried to go down a specific path out of fear of disappointing our loved ones.      How are you supposed to do well out of your job if you find it mundane and draining? Sticking to a job you do not enjoy or feel fulfilled by is a regret that will eat away at you. Everyone has their unique aspirations that they want to reach. No ambition is better than another’s. It is relatively based on an individual’s personality and skill. Even if you do not intend for an activism-related job, we all have to eventually advocate for our desired futures in the face of adulthood.      Work towards your goal, and do not get discouraged.      ------ Work Cited  McGregor, L., & Doshi, N. (2015, November 25). How Company Culture Shapes   Employee Motivation. Retrieved from   https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-company-culture-shapes-employee-motivation
  • An Introvert's Guide to Networking D ...

    Ah, networking! Can we agree it's an introvert’s worst nightmare?! I’m sure many of us would rather put pins in our eyes than attend a five-hundred-person networking convention, or awkwardly amble around handing out resumes and business cards. For an introvert, networking is not only anxiety-inducing, it’s physically and emotionally exhausting. Luckily there are ways to make the process a little bit easier.  Whether it’s making the most of your close personal relationships, taking advantage of the current COVID-related restrictions, or increasing your online presence, there are many introvert-friendly ways to network effectively. Here are a few tips and tricks to make networking more stress-free for introverts.    Make the Best out of a Bad Situation The current state of the world isn’t exactly ideal, but when it comes to networking, we can try to make the best out of a bad situation. Introverts may find a kind of guilty pleasure in the current climate. Being forced to spend more time at home also means that there’s a great excuse to avoid all unnecessary physical and social contact! While it may seem like the worst time in the world to network, for introverts, networking just got much easier.   Most networking events are now digital, which removes much of what makes them so stressful and exhausting for introverts. Would you rather attend an in-person networking convention with hundreds of people, or sit in the comfort of your own home and simply leverage your online presence?  If you’ve considered attending a networking event but are put-off by the idea of large crowds, then join a virtual event. Where you would have previously made only local connections, digital networking opens the door to endless new possibilities.    Go Online  Establishing yourself online is not just a professional asset, in the current climate, it’s crucial. With businesses, events, and just about everything else transitioning to the digital realm due to this pandemic, it is has become just as important for us to move our own professional and personal achievements online.     Polish up your social media accounts: Refine your LinkedIn profile, put your profession (or your desired one) in your social media bios, and join job-specific Facebook groups.  Make sure you’re staying active on social media: There’s no need to leave the house, take just 10 minutes a day to interact with accounts and posts that inspire you. If your goal is to one day work in marketing, follow inspiring marketing professionals and take a few minutes during your morning coffee break to like and comment on their posts. This not only increases the likelihood of building a relationship with the individual, but also elevates your online presence, making it easier for other aspiring or established professionals to come across your account.     Don’t Underestimate the Power of Existing Contacts (i.e. Friends and Family)  A large part of what makes networking so intimidating is the idea of reaching out to total strangers. It goes without saying that meeting new people is the key to networking, but there is no reason that this can’t be done through existing close connections.   Maybe your friend is close with someone that works for a company you’re interested in, or maybe a family member happens to have connections with someone who is interviewing for an exciting internship. Whoever it is, your network and professional opportunities can be increased tenfold simply by reaching out to your nearest and dearest for help. Whether it’s a cousin, a dad, a best friend, an old acquaintance: reach out and ask! Not to mention, ties with close friends and family greatly increases the probability for new relationships to be more long-lasting and meaningful. If this feels intimidating, write a list of the people you’re closest to: Start with your closest friends and family to get more comfortable with the idea of reaching out. With time, you may feel confident enough to also rebuild old connections.  Despite the current restrictions, people all over the world are more within reach and more eager to make meaningful connections than ever before. Though forming new relationships can be particularly difficult for introverts, now really is the best time to go online, leverage your social media and job platforms (like this one), and reach out to those closest to you.  
  • Kick-starting Your Career with a Can ...

    It’s a truism and an understatement: Starting a career in the arts or a creative industry is difficult. But for some, a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts could be the first step. You don’t need to belong to the stereotypical “arts crowd”—thespians, musicians, illustrators, etc. Canada Council supports a range of creative types: programmers interested in emerging digital arts, gymnasts interested in circus arts, engineers interested in the artsy side of robotics—the list goes on. You can apply for grants at any time, for substantial amounts (tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands), for projects of any span (okay, most spans—think weeks to a few years). A grant can help you develop a portfolio for that dream company or provide the needed expertise to start your own company. If you want to build a non-profit (say an arts program for low-income families or a festival that celebrates deaf and disabled artists), then developing your own artistic practice may be the first step toward future funding and opportunities. Regardless, Canada Council grants look great on resumes and CVs. They show that professionals in your field—who are hired to assess applications—believe in your project and abilities.    Obtaining a grant is a particularly competitive process, but don't let that sway you. Applications are free, and Canada Council is committed to supporting new voices. Peruse the website: you might qualify for as a “New/Early Career Artist,” an applicant profile that requires little experience and keeps you from competing with veterans who’ve perfected their craft. Canada Council also commits to supporting underrepresented voices. There are particular opportunities for Indigenous or deaf and disabled artists. If you have a disability or face cultural or language barriers, you may qualify for “Application Assistance” where someone helps assemble your proposal. And while the application process is long, it’s straightforward: introduce a project, supply a sample of your work, and create a tentative schedule and budget. Four or five months later, the results are in.     I’ve talked to those who have applied for Canada Council grants and those who have assessed Canada Council applications. I've also won one myself. If you’re interested in applying, here’s some wisdom I’ve gathered:  Start early. Like, months before the deadline. This pertains to both the application and your project. Before applying, you must create a “profile” that, among other things, shows you’re committed to your discipline. The “New/Early Career Artist” profile, for instance, asks for some evidence of “training, experience or accomplishments” within your field. Then, once your profile is accepted, the application may require long responses to difficult questions. Five hundred words explaining how your project will contribute something new to the genre and yourself: more difficult than it sounds! Also, if you begin your project before applying, you will have a better sense of what you’re proposing and how to propose it. Projects can billow in unexpected ways; you want your budget to cover your costs. Grant writing is an artform. Start now and take it slow!  Don’t get fancy. I’ve heard a grant assessor emphasize the importance of clear, unpretentious project proposals. Often artists will have a strong intuitive grasp of their project, which, when translated to paper, seems convoluted or ostentatious. Remember: assessors may read your application at the end of a long day, hours beyond their last coffee. Keep it neat and down-to-earth. You’re selling a proposal, not a finished product. Assessors are artists too, and they know projects have nuances and theoretical underpinnings that cannot be fully articulated in an application. They know end results may look quite different than what’s first proposed. Concentrate on writing an elegant, compelling proposal, even if means leaving out certain aspects of your project.  Don’t be afraid to ask for money. Assessors find that emerging artists frequently ask for too little. You want to demonstrate a realistic understanding of your project’s viability. Don’t be sheepish; be fiscally truthful.    All in all, don’t be discouraged by rejection. I’ve heard a grant assessor call the process a “lottery.” Assessors, no matter how open and fair, are humans with preferences and perspectives. A rejected project isn’t necessarily a subpar project. An editor at a respected press told me that one of their authors, despite years of applying, hadn’t received a Canada grant. Why? Who knows. He’s a talented writer who’s published several books with a respected press. The point: rejection, or the fear of rejection, shouldn’t keep you from trying. Keep going for it!     
  • Meet Fahmida Islam, OCC Graduate Jou ...

    My name is Fahmida, and I graduated from UofT with a life science degree. I am very excited to be part of the OCC Journalist team because it gives me a platform to share my experiences as a recent graduate. I wish I had this during undergrad because I love learning from others' experiences. Everyone's career and learning path are different. My journey begins in healthcare, working mainly with seniors. I'm excited to share advice and stories with fellow graduates and students, informed by my current roles as an assistant at a psychology lab, a community organization worker, and a volunteer. Look out for my pieces on navigating jobs, internships, and volunteering with a life-science degree.
  • Meet Shoffana Sundaramoorthy, OCC St ...

    Hey, my name is Shoffana Sundaramoorthy, and I am a third year student at Wilfrid Laurier University.  While I am majoring in communications, I am also pursuing two minors in political science and psychology. I am excited to join the OCC Student/Graduate Journalist Team as it will further my interest in writing. What I enjoy most about writing is that it gives me a chance to express how I feel without any boundaries. Putting my mind on paper is relaxing and second nature for me. In addition, I strive to write with purpose. When I write a piece for OCC, I hope it resonates with its wide audience - whether it is with students, friends, or even alumni. I want to use the platform to speak on issues/ topics that matter to me and ideas for action for these issues. I hope to share valuable resources or insights that resonate deeply with my audience while aligning with the OCC’s core values.
  • Meet Justin Andrews, OCC Graduate Jo ...

    Hello, my name is Justin Andrews. I am a writer living in Hamilton, Ontario, and a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with an MA in English in creative writing. My work has been published in Canadian literary journals, and, currently, I'm writing a novel (or attempting to, at least!). Beyond writing, I spend my free time reading, board-gaming, and meandering down backstreets and trails. Writing for the OCC Student and Graduate Journalist Team is meaningful because I understand the difficulty of making substantial career connections, especially amid the hastiness of academic life. As an OCC Graduate Journalist, I’ll be eager to help students gain work experience and find fruitful careers. It’s a pleasure to support a platform that simplifies and democratizes a complicated and frequently inaccessible process.
  • Meet Anna Langmuir, OCC Student Jour ...

    I am a fourth-year UBC student from the U.K, graduating with a Major in English Literature and a Minor in Psychology. While my love for traveling, writing, and literature inspired me to move to Canada for university, my hospitality experience has also given me many amazing work opportunities worldwide, from managing luxury villas in Spain to living and working in Egypt. My goal is to work in journalism and media one day, start a travel blog, and combine my two biggest passions!   Joining the OCC Student & Graduate Journalist team is meaningful to me because, in the past, I have struggled to navigate being a university student, gain work experience related to my degree, and am still trying to decide on my 'dream' career. Approaching graduation and deciding on a particular career-related goal to work towards is daunting and confusing. I understand that many people might feel similarly anxious about making such a significant transition. I am so excited to join a group of like-minded student journalists whose primary goal is to support, reassure, and inform others who may be feeling lost or intimidated by a future beyond university. By sharing my own and others' career successes and experiences, I hope to bring some reassurance and valuable insight to those at a similar stage in their university journey.  
  • Meet Ariana Calvachi, OCC Student Jo ...

    As an Ecuadorian living 5,000 km away from home, adapting to new surroundings has been quite a challenge but the first step to my dream of becoming a journalist - a dream I've had since I was a little girl. Journalism is a good fit for my personality because I am ambitious, generous, thoughtful, determined, and calm. I believe in fighting for what you desire, no matter the obstacles.  I´m a full-time student, and I will be entering my fourth year in the fall at St.Thomas University in NB, Fredericton, where I´ll complete my major in Journalism with a minor in Communications. I continue to be motivated by my love of learning and writing. It is my goal to become an outstanding and successful woman in today´s society. I want to become a professional and well-known journalist who empowers the voices of others.  My passion for writing also awakens my curiosity and leads me to explore different fields of knowledge such as arts, science, and history. I dedicate my time to learn from the outside world since it makes me grow and understand the different situations in which people find themselves daily. That's why in the summer of 2019, I was an intern at Diners Club International. In this role, I engaged in a community project while working with Human Resources to better their customers’ experience.  As an artist and writer, I have written several pieces alongside The Aquinian as their reporter - jumping outside my comfort zone to connect with my community. Since the pandemic hit, I have pushed to adapt my journalistic skills online, but even though many challenges presented themselves, I pulled through, and it was worth it.  A new chapter in my career journey is now starting as a part of the Orbis’ OCC Student and Graduate Journalist Team, where I am excited to keep developing myself as a professional. I’m looking forward to exploring my fields of study, connecting with projects to help my community, and gaining experience.    
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