I’ve spent the past year or so collaborating on a global career handbook, teamed with a global recruiter based in Canada. Much of our content applies to local career landscapes and industry professionals as it does on a global perspective.
The biggest factor I can attest to when adjusting your skills and abilities to align with a new or foreign environment is ensure you research the differences from what you may expect are normal. Quite often what is normal to you in your current environment or industry is offensive or detrimental in another location.
I recommend Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison as a tool if you are planning to do business or attract opportunities in other countries. The essence of this book is “When in Rome …”
Stayed tuned for the announcement of my next publication due out this summer.
Here is an article I felt worth sharing. Many careers improve when risks are part of the strategy. I believe some of the ideas share by the author of this piece (Christopher Dottie) may be just what many of us need:
One of the highlights of my past year has been mentoring a second-year journalism student from Mount Royal University. There is pure joy in experiencing the thrill of a very publication, even if the writer never received payment for it. Such is the typical path of most new writers.
This article just happens to see me as the subject, but the pride for the writer surpasses my own pride at being featured for the second time in the Calgary Journal; the first time following the release of my first novel in 2007.
As Monique LaBossiere quotes my words, ” …to be really fulfilled as a writer, I’ll have to write that thriller.”
……any game, really.
I’m a huge futball fan, of most varieties: English Premiere, Scottish League, Euro, Calgary Women’s …..
No matter the game, soccer, football, hockey or corporate politics ….strategy is the underpinnings to the Big Win. I sat with a client today, who decided at a late stage in career (inside an extremely competitive timing of both job and economic market) to completely alter his entry back into the job market. He’d already convinced himself, so I was an easy sell: an engineer cum sales profiteer!
What does it take to re-enter into a space that no one in your knowing circles would attach to your past abilities, or (worse yet) align to your new ones? The answer is Strategy. And why the heck not?
We tell our kids they can be anything. Do anything. We remind them they are only limited by their inability to believe in themselves. Okay. So now what?
All I can attest to this notion of somewhat (seeming) impossibility is ….why the heck not? If you can pull from your past the proof of your ability to fly, then display the feathers and be ready to make them flap. If you claim to hold the secret to the best tasting salsa, then build on that dream and your ability to make palates dance. But before you lay the claim or show your glory, do yourself a flavour and take the care to strategize your moment:
plan your unveiling
build up the anticipation
take measures to mitigate the risks
be prepare to answer the awkward questions
surround yourself with safe catches
underscore your desire
….then jump in!
Today I am grateful for many things, my growing list of clients is one of them. I have had a tremendous year working with some of the most successful and illustrious professionals I could ever hope to meet, let alone collaborate with.
I wish every one of you a feeling of hope as you open a new calendar year. May success find its way to you as you put forth your very best skills, energy and aspirations.
Thank you for a solid 2016 and I look forward to your referrals and continuing to endorse your efforts in the year ahead.
I’ve recently begun a new project: co-authoring a career handbook on how to land your dream job anywhere in the world. Expectedly, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately, as well as talking to a lot of people at network events, my own resume clients and striving hard to inject positivity into what many westerners consider to be a gloomy job market. While the gloominess does linger where the energy industry lays, there are indeed many good things happening in other industries (technology, agriculture, tourism and sports) all around us. It is my full belief that corrections are required and from these cyclical downturns we can only ever go back up again.
Today I happened upon this video that I would like to share with you. It is a video advertisement from a career coach who would like you to buy his module. I am by no means endorsing his business, and I don’t believe you need to watch much past five (of the eight) minutes of the entire video. Much of the content he speaks about mirrors topics in my new book and some of the my views, and those of my writing partner (who is a global networker and career placement expert) are not in accordance with his. The value, nonetheless, is how he encourages job seekers to think critically about how they project themselves to their market, and he highlights many of the ways that most job applicants fail:
His platform is Interview Success Formula, and I believe he may be American. His advertorial is a bit quirky with cartoon-like drawings, which is a nice change from watching a single person stand before you and preach. If anyone does decide to purchase the product for $97 (USD, I believe), I’d be curious to learn if it is helpful.
In the meantime, stay focused on what it is you need to advance through your current roadblocks, whether they are at the interview stage, the search itself, career coaching or the resume. It is my wish that you will find the ways to source the very best of tools that will in return surface the best in you from which will result your most exciting career stage imaginable!
Best in career successes,
(Source of video: http://www.interviewsuccessformula.com/job-interview/job-interview-answers-wp/)
I speak mostly about how to prepare or empower a candidate for his next career opportunity. As a resume specialist, I obviously impart a strong recommendation for creating and maintaining an ideal resume to capture the attention of a prospective opportunity. What I don’t speak about often is the binary positioning about what an ideal candidate looks like from the one doing the hiring or contracting.
I found this article in the sidebar of the Beyond.com job board, written by John Krautzel (whom I believe is a great source of career advice, and he’s been around for some time now). In his piece he offers some solid counsel for the candidate seeker. In equal measures, this article will serve as a valuable preparation tool for the candidate as well:
“No matter what position you’re filling, the standout job candidates should always have three things in common: knowledge, interest and openness. While you can’t gain a definitive picture of an applicant’s personality and work ethic from an interview, you can spot red flags that a potential hire isn’t pursuing the job for the right reasons. If you want to avoid costly hiring mistakes, stay alert to these signs of an unsuitable job candidate.
1. No Facts or Examples
Professionals who are confident about their skills aren’t reluctant to back up their claims with facts. Be suspicious of applicants who are vague about their past roles and accomplishments, especially if they don’t provide examples when asked. Fitting the most relevant and impressive information into a resume is a constant struggle, and job candidates who want an advantage use the interview to highlight past experiences when they excelled and developed valuable skills.
2. Unfamiliar With the Company
Failure to research the company is a red flag that a job candidate doesn’t care where he works or only sees the position as a temporary stepping stone. Job seekers can easily research most reputable companies before applying, and professionals who are serious about making good career choices want to find an environment, duties and benefits that are compatible with their goals.
3. No Questions or Inappropriate Questions
Asking questions isn’t just a formality. Probing for information shows that a job candidate has thought about how the position functions in the company and wants to understand how the employer’s daily operations compare to those of other businesses. Be wary of job seekers who are only concerned about salary and benefits. Some may be excellent performers, but they might not stick around if they get better offers.
4. Unexplained Career Path
Whether or not a job candidate’s career path is linear, he should be able to explain how and why he progressed from one stage to the next. A cohesive narrative is a sign that a professional is self-aware, capable of clarifying past career choices and articulating goals for the future. While many candidates find it difficult to talk about themselves, they should be able to clear up any information in their resumes when prompted.
5. Hostile Attitude
Both job seekers and employers have a right to learn more about one another, making it unreasonable for job candidates to behave aggressively when asked questions. As long as interviewers don’t venture into illegal territory, applicants should feel comfortable being open about their work history, interests and previous employers. If hostile applicants also speak negatively about past jobs or bosses, assume they have a history of blaming others, and move on.
Few recruiters have a perfect, no-fail method for hunting down the best job candidates, so strong applicants are bound to be overlooked from time to time. However, you can reduce your employer’s chances of making a bad hire by ruling out job candidates who show a lack of effort and engagement in the early stages of the hiring process.”
Best in your search,
I know the majority of people do not truly love what they do as a career. Sometimes, it’s just a case of having mastered our craft and lacking daily challenge. Or it might be a cause of limitations inside the organization’s politics or structure.
Here are a few thoughts to ponder that I found on the TimeJobs website:
Do your goals align with the company’s?
Do your future plans match with that of your company’s? This is pertinent because you may be working hard to be an ace in your domain but the company may be looking for a merger or may be big on hiring lateral talent from outside.
Are your skills required?
Some companies prefer quick fix ideas as compared to laborious ground work. What is your company’s preference? Does your work style fall in that line? If no, then it’s time to rethink about your existence in that place.
Do you believe in your boss?
You may or may not agree with your boss all the time but do you have faith in his caliber? If you doubt the intention of his ideas then you are clearly in the wrong place.
Do you gel with coworkers?
Believe it or not, what your coworkers think of you decides your future in some sense. It creates a professional reputation for you. Also, in this age of 360 degree feedback, good feedback from your coworkers is as important as your boss.
Are there new things to learn?
Do you want to step up and learn new things at workplace? Do you still find new things to learn and master in your office? If no, then sooner or later the boredom will get on and you will feel like a misfit at work.
Since January, I’ve been toggling life and work between the metropolises of Montreal and Calgary. Today I happened to be in Calgary, the location and dynamics and circumstances of which surfaced immense feelings of gratitude and relief. A cause of today’s events, I affirm the notion that ‘less is most definitely more:’
Leaving Chapters bookstore today in southwest Calgary, after a two-hour research session on what styles and formats make for a smart-looking, approachable, desirable and (most importantly) best-seller for my upcoming book, I headed home on my motorbike in the rain, the demands of which surfaced three key notions of gratitude and how less is most certainly more:
Right turn on red:
Montrealers who live on the Island are denied by law to turn right on a red light. There is so much I can say about the odd laws and behaviours of Montrealers (from an Albertan perspective), but I’ll refrain in this case and beckon to consider how much time is wasted sitting at a red light. I can attest that red lights are much longer in duration than they are in Calgary, and thus I will say how incredibly luxurious it was to turn right on a red tonight as I headed home in the rain.
The QST is 10% (okay, so it’s really 9.975%!! Mon dieux!), so if you add that to any purchase, and count in the GST, the cost of everything in Quebec is simply ……so much more (and somehow so much less because of this taxation series). As an Albertan, I’ve been living the luxury of no PST for so long that I have become immune to the impact of what this added 10% has done to everything I choose to partake in, to the point where I’m feeling bruised and somewhat bitter as a resident of Montreal.
As a bicyclist and motorbike rider, I have come to accept that driving my motorbike or my bicycle in Montreal could be considered attempted suicide! Firstly, one typically looks at the foundations of anything and decides if it’s worth not only keeping, but deciding if it is a solid foundation to grow on, invest in or live upon. It appears that Montreal is schizophrenic in this regard: the freeways and side roads are in a chronic state of disrepair, construction and (in my opinion) undrivable. Add to that a culture comprised of aggressive people who are always in a rush to get somewhere, love pressing their horns (really hard!), love the smell of my bumper, drive like they are heading to a final interview with Satan, and really don’t appreciate an SUV from Alberta on their roadways.
I hung out in Chapters tonight for nearly two hours scouring the best-selling books that emulate what it takes to be the very best at life, your career, relationships and the best format and style to convey this to what will become my own and my partner/co-author, of our upcoming career empowering handbook. Several days earlier, I was in a Chapters in Montreal (okay, I love books and I love Chapters), but my experience was so implicitly different that I only stayed in the Pointe-Claire store for less than twenty minutes, due to a series of events and perceptions.
I will return to Montreal soon to resume my obligations there, but I will rest tight tonight at the close of this day celebrating my new business arrangement with my partner, Catherine Brownlee, inarguable one of the world’s most connected people in the business world. Her and I have decided it’s time to launch a best-selling book to build upon her past best-seller Want to Work in Oil and Gas, to bring the content into a more contemporary light.
Tonight I savour the small luxuries that I’d previously taken for granted and celebrate the little things.
Wishing you less,
Somewhere inside the distance fog of approaching dawn today, I reckoned an incessant beep-beep-beep that slowly revealed itself to be the house alarm. The system panel indicated the front room window on the north side of the house was left open, rendering the system unready for arming.
The day before, I had released the screen on this window in attempt to release a trapped bumble bee caught between the panes; apparently, I’d failed to reestablish the seal of the window and forgot to arm the system. Despite replacing the screen and the pane and the contacts to appease the beep-beep-beep, my efforts this early morning were refuted by the system. To minimize my growing frustration and confusion, I decided coffee was the next order of need, but that effort was quickly foiled when the coffee bean grinder would not respond to my pressure either.
With the opening of the fridge revealing a dark interior within, I awakened fully to realize the power was out. With only my handheld cell phone, I learned that I was one of two houses in the entire community of Pointe Claire, Quebec (and 1 of 313 in the larger vicinity) that was under a scheduled HydroQuebec power outage.
What made me so special this day? Why was I singled out to be so inconvenienced on this pleasantly sunny and bright summer morning (albeit without fresh coffee) on the West Island of Montreal? I pushed aside my disappointment of not being able to abide by my original intentions of the day: coffee, yoga, meditation, shower, work …..a walk, lunch, dash to the market ….. finish contract, wine-down ….
With no coffee to be drunk, my yoga was at risk, with no wifi available, my work was at risk, with no work on this horizon ……my entire day suddenly became one of two things: 1. ruined, or 2. under renovation. As a wash of anxiety rushed over me, I contemplated how pathetic our existence is with a full reliance on electricity and phantom services that don’t care to inform us of their intentions and mess with our balance and successes.
I renovated my agenda: I confirmed that HydroQuebec knew of my condition (they apparently planned this attack) and promised to rectify the loss of power, then I tucked my wee dog into his carry pouch and heading out to the streets of Pointe-Claire for what turned out to be a too-long morning stroll and to learn the rest of my world woke in their normal way: with electricity.
When I returned nearly two hours later, with sore legs, an antsy dog in a pouch and a growing hunger of my own, the HydroQuebec truck was fading into the distance perspective of my street. I resumed the bean grinding, ensured the wifi was intact and recalculated my day.
As I write this, the evening is unfolding around me: the EU is on the verge of learning the Brexit results, a raccoon is scavenging in the backyard, a cardinal is picking up the cashews I dropped on the deck outside and the traffic on the freeway within earshot is a reminder that tomorrow is St Jean Baptiste Day here in Quebec as everyone rushes home at the end of a work day. I can honestly say I do not know what that it means to a Western Canadian to celebrate this “national” holiday of which I have neither heard of nor celebrated.
It’s now safe to say that by dawn tomorrow, if the power is still intact and the alarm panel is placated, and the coffee beans are grindable, tomorrow’s agenda could render a totally unscripted array of unexpectations?