Randstad Canada HR Blog

Can women really have it all?

Posted by Alexandra Levey on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 02:17 PM

I am entering that phase in my life where starting a family is on my mind, and not for the reason you’d think. It seems that this is going to be a pivotal moment in my career. I have been to quite a few conferences on women in business over the past two years and at almost all of them the conversation has steered towards maternity leave. It seems that when a women hits the point in her life when starting a family seems conceivable (pun intended), she is forced to make a choice: either continue climbing the corporate ladder and put family plans on hold (sometimes indefinitely), or take a step back from her career and focus on her family. From what I’ve heard from the women participating in the panel discussions at these events, I am going to start to fear that I will be passed over for promotions; that my career will stall. Although these are issues that do concern me, the biggest one I fear is being forgotten altogether. What happens if I take my maternity leave and my replacement is younger and smarter than me without any plans for a family? I know that there are laws in place in Canada to protect women in this situation, but they only ensure she has a job waiting for her. It doesn’t mean it will be the same one she left and it doesn’t promise that everyone will hold her in the same regard as they did pre-baby.

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Further stoking the fires, there seems to be a tendency with senior level women not utilizing the full maternity leave and only using 6 months. As much as I appreciate the ambition and dedication to their career, this trend makes me nervous. If these women are only using 50% of their leave and making sure they keep one foot in the door at their company, does that mean that the women who utilize their full leave are considered less dedicated? What happens if I decide to have children and have a difficult pregnancy, leaving me bedridden weeks prior to even having the child. Will I be penalized for that too?

I’d much rather that businesses praise women for taking these periodic breaks in their career to have a family. From what I’ve experienced, the women who take time off to raise a family are warm, nurturing, smart and excellent managers of people and time. There are certain qualities that mothers bring to the business world that should be praised and appreciated more- patience, time management, people management, prioritization, and knowing when to say no- so why don’t companies look at maternity leave as a women’s time to further develop these skills?


So, what I want to know is how do you stay relevant while you are at home raising a family? Is it easier now to keep your name out there with sites like LinkedIn allowing you to engage in the business world virtually? Or does it make it even harder to stay relevant with the amount of news and information passing through the internet on a minute-by-minute basis? Is the guilt between balancing career and family real?

 

 

10 Employment Survival Tips You Don't Learn In School

Posted by Social Team @Randstad on Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

school

10 Employment Survival Tips You Don't Learn In School

By Michelle Young, Randstad Canada proposals coordinator

1. Never stop trying

Dreamers dream big - all the time. They constantly see possibilities where others see obstacles. If you’ve always been told you couldn’t do something all your life, how would you believe anything else? Changing your mindset on your definition of success might help with that. If you believe in yourself first and work hard, you have a chance. People who believe they will succeed are the ones that dare to try to accomplish something no matter what anyone says. They are the ones that try a completely new way of doing something. Think differently, stand out from the pack, push the envelope and get recognized.

2. Do not be afraid to fail

Failing is the biggest part of success. Famous people don’t become famous overnight. They get hundreds, even thousands of rejection letters, doors slammed in their faces before someone gives them a chance. Inventors don’t stop building a product if it doesn’t work the first time. Being innovative takes time and discipline. You must first fail to appreciate success. Being ok with failing and not letting it stop you in your tracks is how will you difference yourself from a failure to a person who succeeds. Grow from your failures, learn how to do it different and keep moving forward.

3. Stick to your goals

In today’s busy world of work, we’re all guilty of setting too many priorities. The truth is that you can’t possibly become an expert in anything if you don’t give it 100%. Get rid of any distractions and focus on what you want to see being realized the most and stick to it. Work hard at it and don’t give up on it. Remind yourself of why you started it in the first place and ask others to keep you accountable to your goals. Stay focused and become an expert in something.

4. Do what makes you happy

What makes you happy might not be a conventional career or the career you currently have. Being happy at work could be because of what you do on a day to day basis or because of the people you get to work with. If your work doesn’t make you happy, change it. The solution is not always to look for another job, but to make the best out of your situation. Find the area about your job that makes you the happiest and ask your manager to do more projects with it. Work on projects that allow you to use that skill that makes you feel good about yourself and where you succeed the best. You will be working for over 40 years; you might better like what you’re doing.

5. Use the downtime to advance professionally

In the low workflow times or when you’re waiting for that person to reply to your email or phone call - use that time wisely. Read articles on professional development, career advice, and management and leadership tips. Focus on your career goals and how close you are to achieving them or try to see if you’re heading in the right direction professionally. Take career advancement courses during your lunch time, learn new skills, talk to your co-workers or go for a walk. For a creative mind, there are no down times, only opportunities to achieve something.

6. Stop taking things personally

Everyone is going through their own battles, so it’s important to always be respectful. Someone’s sharp comment to you might not be about you at all. Don’t let what’s going on in someone else’s life reflect onto you and affect your day. If that person didn’t invite you to lunch, they probably just forgot, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. If that co-worker is rude to you on the phone requesting information it might be because they are getting pressure from a higher up on the other side. Be professional, always, and let it slide off your shoulders.

7. Leave it at work

Yes, your work needs you in order to move forward in that project, but your family needs you too. At the end of the day, finish that email and shut it down. Schedule some time with your family for when you need to open up your email to check on work during the weekend, but keep it at a minimum, most of the time, it can wait. Stop taking yourself so seriously and focus on what’s really important, your family. Be there for your kids’ plays and graduations. Be present where you are, all the time.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself

So you didn’t get that promotion you were hoping for or that raise you wanted. It doesn’t mean you didn’t deserve it or that you didn’t work hard enough. You did your best, but someone had worked hard also and you know what? They were better. Or maybe your boss was telling you the truth when they said there was simply no budget but they hoped you would stay. It doesn’t mean you are not appreciated, needed or wanted. Ask how to improve your chances for the next round and keep working ahead.

9. Know how to have fun

Get up from your cubicle from time to time to chat with some co-workers by the coffee machine, even if you don’t drink coffee. Don’t run in and out of the kitchen without making eye contact with anymore. Say “hello” and “how are you?” to your co-workers. A simple gesture can go a long way. You spend over 40 hours a week with these people – get to know them. They might not be your best friends, but they are in the same industry as you and know a little about what your day to day tasks might look like better than most of your friends and family. Being friendly to co-workers can also be great networking in the future if someone leave for another company and you keep in touch.

10. Learn to say no

When you start off in your career, you feel like you need to impress. This is a deadly trap to overwork you. If you do a good job and you do it quickly, people will start to recognize this and lean on you. This sounds good, but it’s not. It’s important to learn how to say no to your co-workers when you are not able to do the task because you have your own work that needs to get done. There is a balance to this and it’s up to you and your workload. But don’t say yes just for the simple reason of for others to like you. You will get more respect from co-workers if you say no from time to time because you understand your workload and that your time is valuable.

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These are some tips to keep in your tool belt in your first year on the job and good to keep filed away as a reminder for later on in your career as well. Good luck to all of you starting out in your careers! For those who have been working for a while, we’d love to know what are some tips someone has given you in your career that have helped you move forward or become better than you ever thought you could be? Please share your tips in the comments below!

Get in contact with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada 

Want some more great career advice?

Check out these posts:

1. How I overcame imposter syndrome
2. Let's Talk About Dress
3. I Work With Nerds and That's Okay

Tags: Randstad Canada

How I overcame the impostor syndrome

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 @ 11:35 AM

How I overcame the impostor syndrome

By Marie-Noëlle Morency, PR & Communications, Randstad Canada

impostor syndrome

Reflecting back on my career path, I cannot help but think about my mother. I heard her ask me the same question over and over again: "You are smart, educated, you can write, you can sing. I wish I had so many talents. Why are you so unsure about yourself?"

Simply put, I was afraid that someone, sooner or later, would realize that I'm not that smart. I'm not that talented. Yes, I was suffering from the ever annoying, relentless, wing-clipping impostor syndrome.

The impostor syndrome is of course not a new concept. It was discovered by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. People who suffer from it are deeply convinced that they are frauds, and tend to diminish their accomplishments. Everybody can fall into that trap, but studies show women are more affected by this than men, and this phenomenon is especially observed among many high-achieving women.

Escaping the spiral of self-doubt

No matter how good people would tell me I was, self-doubt was always sitting quietly right on my shoulder, waiting to shout in my ear and crush my enthusiasm on a whim. At the beginning of my career, I would not talk in meetings because I was scared my questions or comments would sound dumb or pointless. I would be reluctant to participate in brainstorming sessions because I was afraid I would not have any spectacular, jaw-dropping idea to share.

 

 

But, I was good at what I was doing, so I accomplished things, led successful projects, made a difference in my workplace. I gained confidence over time. I also realized that to overcome the impostor syndrome, you must be the exact opposite of an impostor: you have to be real.

For a long while, I thought that to be successful in my career, I had to become that extraverted smooth talker who masters the art of working a room. We forge so many preconceived notions of what success is, that we forget who we are.

I'm not the one who will come up with a thousand clever taglines on the spot. I am the one who will regroup to gather her thoughts and come up with a well thought-out, creative and executable campaign. And it's fine. I'm not the scrupulous planner who sees every last detail of any project. I'm the strategic thinker who connects the dots and sees the big picture. And it's fine.

Owning who you are

  • Don't force yourself to be something that you are not.
  • Don't fake an answer if you don't know.

One of my bosses said to me once: being strategic is not about knowing the right answers, it's about asking the right questions. Take a break from talking, and listen, ask, challenge, probe, read, consult. Make mistakes and take risks. No matter what happens, you will gain precious insights, view things from a different point of view, be exposed to different realities, and open up to new ways of thinking, creative solutions and smart ideas along the way.

Take care of yourself. It's not about working harder, it's about working smarter, balancing it out, learning how to delegate and prioritize, keeping your body and soul healthy and recharged.

Take credit for your bright ideas and keep track of your accomplishments. Refrain from the temptation of using the words ''team effort'' every time you talk about your successes. Of course the contribution of all team members is important, but when you are the one who steered the team in the right direction, who found an innovative solution, or who made a brave decision, acknowledge it.

Know yourself, inside out, and define your personal brand. Summarize in one or two sentences what you are, what are your unique talents, how you want to contribute, where you want to go. If it's clear for you, it will be clear for everybody around. It will help you make the right choices that are in line with what you truly are and want.

This is how I overcame the impostor syndrome. And yes, my mother is very proud.

Keep this conversation going in our Linkedin group aptly named Women Shaping Business. You can register for it here today.

Want to hear from other female leaders from Randstad?

1. Let's Talk About Dress
2. I Work With Nerds and That's Okay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Marie-Noelle Morency

Let’s talk about dress

Posted by Social Team @Randstad on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 @ 07:18 AM

Let’s talk about dress

Faith TullBy Faith Tull, senior vice-president, human resources, Randstad Canada

There comes a time in everyone’s career where they realize the need to step it up and step into a new wardrobe - and moreso a new mindset.

It might be when you’re working towards a promotion, it might be when you are looking for a new job, it might just be on some Wednesday morning and you look at yourself in the mirror and think “How do I want to present myself today?”

The moments of clarity are a combination of many things, it’s about your personal attitudes towards life, work, being a woman, being a leader …it’s all about defining who you are and your personal brand.

When you are a leader your personal brand sets the tone and gives examples to your kids, spouses, friends, colleagues, bosses, and your teams of how you want to be perceived better yet, it’s the template you want emulated.

Leaders of both sexes talk about the attitudes, personalities and style, yes, the style of our team. We discuss these things in interesting ways and the terms that come from it are about more than comments on someone’s clothing - they are statements about your ambition. Are they a fit, do they want to be taken seriously? Are they 100% in it, are they in it for the long haul? We don’t talk about clothes we talk about goals.

 Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, click the banner below.

 

As most of you already know how you present yourself isn’t just about clothing, hair, or accessories, it is also about presenting yourself with clarity , earnestness and confidence. Come to work every day as fresh as you can, come as prepared as you can and come as focused as you can.

"Someone who is confident, prepared and focused carries a freshness and style all their own."

Here are three things to consider when you’re getting dressed in the morning

  1. If you can rock the outfit in the clubs, you shouldn’t be rocking it at work… unless your work is at the clubs of course.  This is a general rule of thumb that I follow and I’ve coached others to follow
  2. Be prepared for the day.  Have your “To Do’s” mapped out and plan what are the high priority items you want to make sure you get done for the day.  It could be as simple as being on time for meetings, following up on messages from phone calls, emails, linkedin or twitter.  Plan to be present in all your interactions  for the day by remembering people’s names, responding appropriately on cues, show that you’re interested in what others are saying, most importantly make sure that you’re  engaged in conversations that will highlight your skills and competencies. 
  3. Finally, follow through on your commitments and if you going to miss a deadline, communicate early your sincere apologies and set a new delivery date soon after.

I’m so happy to be sharing my experiences with everyone and I’m most happy to be doing so with Alex Levey and the Randstad Marketing team on a new podcast, titled Women Shaping Business.

You can check out that podcast here and come back for more from me next week where we chat about how the work world has changed over the past 10-years.

A little bit about me, I’m a senior executive in human resources,  I believe I’ve seen it all over the past 20+ years but I’m sure I can still be surprised! I’m also a proud Jamaican born woman who is a single mother with a beautiful teenage daughter, so I’m certain I will connect with a lot of you out there.

What questions do you want answered? What topics should we explore? You can share them with me by emailing, social@randstad.ca.

You can learn more about Randstad and the Women Shaping Business program on the WSB Linkedin group, register here today.

That’s all for now, thank your for reading! If you missed Monday's post, read about what Alex Levey loves working with nerds, here.

Before you go; think about this - what are ways your life has changed at work, how are things better, how are things worse? Let me know in the comments section or on Twitter @RandstadCanada.

 

I work with nerds and that's a great thing

Posted by Alexandra Levey on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

I work with nerds and that’s a good thing

Alex LeveyBy Alex Levey, marketing coordinator, Randstad Canada

Almost two years ago I started working with Randstad, I’ve loved it, it has given me the chance to grow as a marketer and a woman in business - I also get to work with the biggest bunch of nerds I’ve ever met.

I mean this as a term of endearment, honestly, my team is great - they work in digital marketing, they get a lot done - but I work with a bunch of guys and yes, they are nerds, unabashedly so.

I’m talking about this because it isn’t a negative, it could be so much worse. I work in a great environment and coming to work is a positive experience for me.

We’ve all heard stories about how things used to be, the Mad Men era, but workplace harassment is more pernicious than and grating than pat on  the bum from a boss - although if that happened it would be a horrifying violation - that’s something I have absolutely no fear of happening to me at work.

But it does happen to people, it happens to personal assistants of members of parliament, it happens at restaurants and it surely happens in executive offices to leaders even to powerful accomplished women - in cat calls, leering eyes and lecherous comments.

 

 

Last year at Randstad’s Women Shaping Business event in Toronto, I heard from Kirstine Stewart the executive in charge of Twitter Canada and the former head of CBC Canada.

The attitudes that she had to confront in board rooms, on television and in the media as a result of her being a woman blew me away.

Check out our new podcast below:

Think about this, you have a powerful female leader, in her prime talking about the syndication and development of a national publicly funded media conglomerate and news writers talked about her shoes and hair. Shoes and hair, not the jobs and direction of a media institution that touches the lives of every Canadian.

So I work with nerds, I leave work some days and at 5:30 p.m. the guys might be recreating the fight scene from Star Wars Episode 3, I might hear;

“I was your brother! You were supposed to bring balance to the force! ... wookie sounds, Lightsaber noises ...”

But what I don’t hear is untoward comments about my dress, or body.

I’m respected, when I tell them to get something done they do it - sure I don’t get all of their jokes about Star Trek (I get about half of them), but when I hold a meeting they get into gear and do what I ask of them. Work place equality is a reality for many but there is still work to do.

Helping do that work and keep this conversation going is a new Linkedin group aptly named Women Shaping Business. You can register for it here today.

I’m also doing interviews and my nerdy team is producing a weekly podcast on the topics that mean so much to so many.

This week’s podcast is about the impact that appearance has on professional advancement. We conduct research annually gauging the perceptions and attitudes of female executives and over 90% of those polled said that appearance plays a huge part of getting ahead.

On this weeks podcast I speak with the senior vice president of human resources for Randstad Canada, Faith Tull. She’s awesome, we’ll be sharing the inaugural podcast on Wednesday, I can’t wait for you all to hear it.

If you have any topics you want covered, or have any questions about working with a team of guys or in the world of work in general you can contact me at social@randstad.ca. You can also reach out to me on Twitter @RandstadCanada.

Next week we’ll be speaking about how the world of work has changed over the past 10-years I hope you come back for more. 

Thank you and have a great week! 

Learn more about all of this on these links; www.womenshapingbusiness.ca, here is a Globe and Mail article about the "Beauty Premium" that exists. 

Read our next Women Shaping Business blog post, by Faith Tull, titled Let's Talk About Dress, here. 

 

 

 

Tags: Alexandra Levey, Women Shaping Business

How Apple's iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch benefit Canada's jobs market

Posted by James Rubec on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 08:31 AM

Surfing in Hawaii resized 600

Why the Apple 6, and the Apple Watch Matter for Employment    

Whether you ride technological trends like a surfer hitting the next biggest wave, or just need a device to call your mum the true impacts of gadgets and jewellery like Apple’s new accessories is made of innovation and jobs.

The now discontinued iPod Classic, back in its 5 gig, 1,000 song days revolutionized the MP3 player market; it positioned Apple to dominate a market segment and prepared us for the ubiquity of smartphones.

Today we have IOS, Android, Pebble, Chrome, yes, we’ve got AppleOS and Windows  as well, but there are literally hundreds of other OS’s kicking around. Each with its speciality, each with its niche as well as advantages and disadvantages – but behind each of those core systems is either a programmer or a team of programmers building this base system on which other tools are built.

The operating systems running these new phones are our way to access the information technology infrastructure of the future. Infrastructure governments are building, that employ millions of people. Smart phones have incentivized the advancement of digital communications networks, think broadband, thing 4G, what's next? What's faster, who is going to build it in your community?

Cellphone speed drives infrastructure development 

This speed is building a democratization of the digital entertainment market. Whether it is through your phone, or through your computer we’re watching more media on the small screen than the TV.

That means that more companies are playing roles in the development maintenance and curation of entertainment content - you have more say.

Hidden again behind those systems is and algorithms that choose our Netflix queue for us are again more developments and systems analysts, behavioural psychologists and more.  

With Apple Pay, or Google Wallet, even Pay Pal, or Square, or Shopify’s Point of Sale System, there is another layer of digital democratization of the tools of retail trade. You cash register is an iPad with a little box attached to it, or a wire running into a computer into a WiFi connected cash tray that tracks right back into your business account.

Yes, these devices are flashy, yes they are expensive, but what they are supporting and what the consumer culture around them supports are the knowledge jobs of the future and the further investment in future disruptive technologies that will continue to dramatically change the way businesses do business.

In a world where cars drive themselves and we track out biometrics with the shirts on our back what side of the employment picture are you on? Are you afraid of the looming technological singularity or are you seeing ways to take further advantage of it?

I want to hear what you think, take this short survey and tell me if you are afraid of losing your job to the technology of the future.

 

 

 

 http://content.randstad.ca/tech-fear-survey

 

 

 

 

Tags: James Rubec

Personal branding infographic: Canadian's want to do what they love!

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 @ 10:39 AM

Heart over reason: Canadians value relationships and intuition when it comes to managing their careers. 

As part of its Find a job that fits you campaign, leading up to the annual National Career Day, Randstad Canada created an online survey on career management and personal branding.
Over 500 respondents answered, and here are the main findings!


Randstad Canada

Alberta's hottest job market : Calgary or Edmonton?

Posted by James Rubec on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 03:19 PM

Is Edmonton going to surpass Calgary's growth?

Over the past few months, we've covered a lot about Calgary's booming employee market. 

But a recent article in the Calgary herald put focus Alberta's more Northern population centre, Edmonton.

"There are 877,926 Edmontonians, according to the city’s 2014 census released Friday. While that remains a far cry from Calgary’s nearly 1.2 million, the capital’s two-year growth rate of 7.4 per cent is greater than Stampede City’s 6.7 per cent."

The truth of the matter is both cities are growing at an incredbile rate.

Compared to the rest of Canada, Calgary and Edmonton are on growth spurts, 50,000 or 80,000 new residents a year is amazing - Ottawa has a growth rate of about 2 %, meaning Calgary and Edmonton are tripling or quadrupling Ottawa's population growth

While Calgary has seen amazing growth it isn't an inexpensive place to live. Property values in Calgary have risen over the years and while the cost of a home in Calgary is still lower than Toronto or Vancouver, Edmonton is an easier market to enter for new job hunters looking to work in the west.

Calgary-Housing

A house in Edmonton could cost you almost $100,000 less than in Calgary. While salaries in Edmonton are generally comparable to those in Edmonton.

Calgary-Edmonton

 

Regardless of the costs of housing in Calgary it does have one thing on Edmonton in the winter it is more than 5 degrees warmer than its more Northern cousin.

To date, Calgary has the hottest job market in Canada - competition for professionals is high. 

Recruting in both markets has its opportunities and challenges. If you are looking for team members in either city, we can help you find leading talent.

Learn more about recruiting in this important market, find out how to compete against Alberta's biggest players and recruit the right people for your team on the Calgary Recruitment Webinar, Recruiting Calgary's Most Wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: James Rubec

3 Keys to staying ahead of the curve

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 @ 09:18 AM

Robot jobsToday Randstad released data from a survey that shows Canadian's fear that they'll lose their jobs to automation, computerization and algorithms.

Whether you work in IT, mining, warehousing or logistics or even law, medicine and journalism the fear of losing your job to oncoming technologies is real, if not rational and well founded in fact.

The release states that 32 % of Canadians fear losing their jobs to technology in coming years. Read more here.

Labour has constantly been displaced by advances in labour saving technologies. The first shovel change the way we dug holes, the first backhoe revolutionized ditches and new drilling technologies have replaced dynamite as a way to dig tunnels.

The same has happened in farmers’ fields, factories, call centers and head offices. Advances in technology and the streamlining of work has changed labour dynamics and not always in ways that on the face value have a general benefit to society.

Jobs have shifted from manual production to automation and the machine learning and programming that allow one complex set of machines to do the work of 100 people on a factory floor. It may still take a team of engineers to make those machines work, but overall it means fewer jobs on the factory floor, but may be not overall.

Technicians will still need to work on the machines, as production floors get larger and produce more product there will a requirement for increased infrastructure supporting these shipping and production networks to make that happen. In the coming years we will all compete for jobs not just against one another, but technology and advancement itself.

How can employees stay ahead of the curve? Here are 3 tips to avoid being made redundant by new technologies.

1. Take advantage of internal and external training programs: If your workplace is offering advance training, or certifications in your line of work, volunteer for them. Federal and local government programs are available for funding advanced training; research what your workplace is offering and apply or ask for the opportunity.

2. Stay engaged in industry innovations: Whether it is through reading a trade publication, or attending industry conferences you can see what innovations are on the rise. This can help you direct what training or career shifts you may need to address in the future.

3. Be first to introduce new tools, systems or processes: If you know about innovations first, you can introduce them to your organization. Taking advantage of innovations can put you in a leadership position, bring added value to your work help maintain your role’s security.

If you want to read more about this, or get into contact with Randstad Canada’s media team for comment, visit, our news section here.

How are you staying ahead of the curve, let us on know Twitter @RandstadCanada

Are you looking for a new opportunity? Join us on National Career Day at anyone of our branches across the country. Thousands of jobs are available, get interviewed in branches on September 10, 2014.

 

National Career Day

 

Tags: James Rubec

5 Things you learned in grade school you still use today

Posted by James Rubec on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 @ 11:35 AM

Back to school

Whether it was your years of arriving by school bus to the playground and with the ringing of a bell at 8:30 a.m. or your hard work on arts and crafts (with an autonomy unforeseen in high school) your years in elementary school were well served. 

It taught you the finer points of dress, the value of a good packed lunch and these five imporant things that you use to this day:

Getting up in the morning

Getting up in the morning is a big deal, sometimes it makes all of the difference in your career.

The job you do today is, and the one you look for on your job search is what you’ve trained for but if you can't get up and ready in the morning all is for not. Think about what you learned by getting up out of bed, taking off your Star Wars PJs and going off to elementary school.

You learned how to wake up! You got out of the house without a $5 a day coffee habit, in some cases you even packed your own lunch.

Daily commute

For those who are fortunate enough, elementary school involves a five to fifteen minute walk to school, typically on side streets with friends, discussing Pokemon or Poggs at some length. Your commute can be long and hard and that grind gets to you - the daily commute teaches the value of proximity. 

This is repeated on the way home.

For others, we waited for a bus. It was crowded, bumpy, sometimes it smelled bad, but you get where you are going and if you are lucky you’ve got a friend with you.

In cities not just in Canada, but across the industrialized world, the transit experience is not unlike a grade five school bus and you learned how to do it as a child.

Are you looking for help on your career path?

Presentation skills

In elementary school we get our first hands at presentations. I’m still sore about my grade five presentation on the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s getting short shrift to a contemporary’s piece on Highland Dancing. Sure, my 42 minute presentation included liberal portions of MLK’s I Have A Dream, and no I didn’t dance during my presentation but I think I deserved an A+, I had speaking notes!

I lost marks for going over time you see. This is a skill we all need to develop. It takes time and practice to prepare for speaking to a group, even when you think you know the topic remembering to take your time to really practice and prepare is important.

Group work. Fun!

Later in grade six or seven, you are introduced to group work – which will in later years becomes your job and career.

You are given a project, with some limited direction and as a team you are to construct a presentation on a world event. You learn how to delegate tasks, how to follow up with your co-workers and in some cases drag them through the finish line to ensure you get a good grade.

These little negotiations that are made on these projects prepare you for the team work we do everyday in the professional world. 

Personal direction

Of course it doesn’t end there, you then get asked, “Why do you want to be when you grow up?” a lot of people are still asking that.

If you aren’t completely sure, or you want a little help later in the game finding your career path, take our personal branding survey and enter to win a $300 VISA gift card. The survey will teach you  a lot about how to market yourself and who to reach out to for career guidance.

 

 

 

 

Tags: James Rubec

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