Randstad Canada HR Blog

Marie-Noelle Morency

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Resume Tips: No experience? No problem! How to showcase your value

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

000072114305-fb.jpgYoung workers, as you venture forth into the world of work you are armed with many things: your degrees or diplomas, fresh ideas (lots of them), work ethic, networks (social and personal) and your work experience.

Take stock of what experience you have and expand on it with projects, personal references and storytelling. Discuss your professional and educational journey and walk your resume readers through these five facets of your work experience:

Promote your skills and certifications: When you leave school you will leave with more than one piece of paper – you will leave with skills. What can you do? Who has trained you to do these things? Remember to discuss the skills you use to complete work in detail in your experience section. Breakout what tactics you’ve used in your work. Better yet, if you have any certifications that prove you are proficient in a method or with a tool be sure to highlight that in your resume.

Include all of your work experience: Whether it was a Co-Op placement, or a temporary position, your experience matters. You ability to conform to corporate methodology and practices is important especially if you have management experience. What training did you receive how many people did you manage, what did your teams achieve? Just because it wasn’t your dream job doesn’t make that experience irrelevant it is a matter of story-telling. You need to look at the job description and funnel your experience through its lens.

Get recommendations, include quotes: Whether it is with former employer, colleagues, professors or volunteer managers ask for recommendations on Linkedin, they help. You can even use them in your resume. When someone says something about you, that comment has a lot more strength than when you say it about yourself.

Break out your project work: Include insight into projects that you worked on, not in terms of tasks, but accomplishments. Describe what the projects’ objectives were, how you helped the team achieve them and what the end results were. This way you share more value.

If, while you visit the company’s website, or read about the industry, you have some ideas, interesting questions or suggestions why not share them? Without pretending that you can solve anything, as at this point you don’t have the full picture, at least you can show that you are curious and creative!

Include your blog: Depending on the role you are applying for, showing employers that you are active digitally and are experienced at building out your own personal audience shows people a few things. One, that you understand tone knowing how to shape content and messaging in a successful effective way and two, that you have web and social media skills, very much valued but today’s employers.

Companies are looking for you, they need to bring you in to become the next generation of leaders, experts and specialists.

When you get to the interview stage it is your time to weave a web through these five factors. Connect the dots between your work experience, your studies, the networks and communities you participate in. Showcase how you have grown and learned through the relationships that you’ve developed with past managers and companies. Explain how the skills you have learned can be useful to the organization, give concrete examples and share your ideas. Employers are looking for bright, well-rounded young workers, so show off your enthusiasm!

 

 

Tags: Gen Y, Gen X, career tips

Resume tips for experienced workers: 7 questions to ask yourself

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Mar 09, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

 

000057840900-fb.jpgI have experience. Lots of experience acquired throughout 15 years of experience in the field. If I was asked to describe my experience without any constraint, my resume would be a 10-page essay. Front and back.

 

 

This is the challenge for experienced workers: how can you talk about your professional background while displaying the skills that really matter?

Here are questions you should ask yourself when sharpening your resume:

What is this job description asking for?

Read the job description a few times, and write your resume to align with that description and so that you are placing relevance on the projects or work experience that demonstrate your ability to perform the tasks described in the job offer. For example, if my resume features my public relations skills, as they reflect my current role, but I want to apply to a marketing role, I will put the projects I have worked on that are relevant to that field on top, above the others.

What new experience and results do I have to share?

Outside of a copy edit and a design refresh you should add something new to your resume every time you update it. You have new project results, new responsibilities and they are your most important. Remember the adage from the newspaper industry you are only as valuable as your last article.

How has the industry changed since I last updated my resume?

For some industries three years is a lifetime. Think of what it meant to marketing when Facebook started, or how technology influences the engineering or manufacturing industries. Employers expect professionals to have a certain knowledge of these new developments and to be able to adapt. Does your resume reflect those changes and if it doesn’t, what risk does that pose? Have you participated in training sessions, webinars, conferences? Your current role has incorporated new developments and your resume should reflect new learnings that you are expected to have maintained.

Who should I source as a reference to my new experience?

We may not always see it, but our careers evolve fairly quickly, and we often have drastic shifts in roles and activities. In your resume you showcase that evolution and your references should too. While a reference from three or four years ago can still be relevant, how do they know your current habits or professional development. The more recent a managerial reference is the more valuable to you they are.

What should I keep from my previous roles?

You need to showcase all of the years of experience you explore in your cover letter or LinkedIn profile. If you say you have 10 years of experience, you have to include at least a note of where you worked and over what period of time. That doesn’t mean you need to write half a page about a nine-month contract that wasn’t terribly eventful. If you have too many experience points to outline, showcase the best-of and include a sidebar timeline of your work experience to allow people to reference all of your past work.

Is the design of my resume holding me back?
Through your resume, you only have six second to make a last impression, that’s how quickly someone can be disengaged to what you’ve written. The formatting of information can be integral to it being read effectively. Try to move people along in your resume from who you are to how you can help an employer as quickly as possible. To achieve this, include on top of your resume a keywords that allows the reader to grasp who you are and what you can do, as well as a little hints on your ‘’personal brand’’.

+ I have proven expertise in interactive content strategy
+ I have a creative mind and a structured, results-driven work method.
+ I have 8 years experience in communication program management.
+ I have received industry recognition awards for the quality and originality of B2B campaigns.

Use bullet lists, visual cues, alternate text blocks with quotes, stats on your results, recommendations, to make it visually appealing to the reader.  Show a trend line in experience and be sure to organize your work chronologically, to show managers that you actually have all of the experience you’ve spelled out in your cover letter or objective statement.

Would I hire myself based on this resume?

Another test to work through on your resume is to think about the work you do today and then evaluate the information you have shared in your resume – do they align? Does the work detailed in your CV reflect the work you do now and does it encompass all of that you can do?

With years of experience, key skills and an extended network of professional colleagues, you are a highly sought after candidate. But employers do need to want to know more first. I recently reviewed my resume. I managed to keep in within 4 pages. How about yours?

 

Want some more tips on networking and job hunting, tweet at @RandstadCanada #WorkWithMe to learn more.

 

http://cdn.theladders.net/static/images/basicSite/pdfs/TheLadders-EyeTracking-StudyC2.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/resume-design-eye-tracking-study-6-seconds_n_1503037.html

Tags: career tips

Engaged or just dating? The fear of commitment at work

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

 

000066173871-fb.jpgWe talk a lot about employee engagement and what employers can do to ensure optimal production through optimal engagement. That repetition, by the way, is not accidental. The only thing wrong with that approach is it assumes employee engagement is a one-way street, when, really, it’s a two-way, fully integrated highway linking employer and employee, with on ramps for happy customers and special rest stations for investors. That’s how it should work, anyway.

What we’re suggesting here is that the onus for engagement is as much on the employee as it is on the employer. It’s a symbiotic, give-and-take relationship at its best. It’s the same kind of responsibility you have when you go to the theatre. There’s only so much the production crew and cast can do to ensure you have an optimal experience. The rest is up to you. If you’re chatting to your neighbor, checking email or snoring, you’re not only interfering with your neighbours’ ability to engage with the production, you’re impacting your own.

The same holds true for behavior and expectations in the workplace. By owning your engagement, you can enhance your experience and that of your co-workers, impact your company culture, increase production and look like a hero. When people are happy where they work they’re less likely to look around. Less frequent turnovers result in more stability, consistency, growth opportunities and more of what we all say we want: a work/life balance.

Maybe this sounds a little too precious, but consider this:  Companies that actively engage their best employees attract other top employees who bring new skills, fresh faces and perspectives and elevate the company culture. They’re more likely to stick around for the long haul. That’s a measureable benefit to everyone in the organization. Who wouldn’t want to be part of an organization like that?

Here’s what you can do to enhance your own work experience and contribute to that of others:

 

Market your organization

Your organization’s first, best magnet for attracting and keeping great employees is you. You make the organization irresistible to potential employees by how you talk about and market it.  We’re not suggesting you create a fairy tale, but do think about the things you really like about the company and tell others. If you can’t think of anything, your next stop should be a great recruiter.

Ask hard questions

What does engagement mean to you? How far are you willing to go to help make it happen?  Do you see a desire for employee engagement reflected in your corporate culture and behavior? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be better positioned to determine a strategy. If your organization isn’t into employee engagement, maybe they need someone like to you drive the initiative. Suggest opportunities for employee events, ways of rewarding and recognizing initiative and effort, or opportunities for your company to support community involvement. At best, you’ll awaken a sleeping giant. At worst, you’ll know you did what you could, add impressive skills to your resume and know what you’re looking for in your next job -  a company that understands the benefits of an engaged workforce. What you’re doing is developing yourself as a leader so that when opportunity knocks, you’re right there to open the door.

Make yourself indispensible

You’re the boss of you. Drive your own engagement. Offer to cross-train to learn skills and processes inherent in other jobs. You’ll pick up new skills and be the person people come to when they need something done. You’ll increase your own productivity (can’t hurt when it comes to asking for a raise), be more autonomous and help co-workers who in turn will back you up when you need it.

Empower yourself

Most of us hang back and get by because it’s the path of least resistance. That’s the antitheses of leadership behavior. Instead of trying to stay below the radar:

  • Set measurable, quantifiable goals over quarterly, yearly and five-year plans.
  • Coach others.
  • Hone your skills and learn new ones.

 

Organizations where employees are empowered shine like beacons to customers and attract would-be customers, in the same way they attract potential employees.

Optimal engagement doesn’t mean you’re always going to get along with your coworkers, like your job or drink the company Kool-Aid. What it does mean is you’re going to have more chance of finding satisfaction in the considerable amount of time you spend working, greater appreciation of the diverse working population that makes up your colleagues and make a more significant contribution to the organization that pays you. Win-win-win. And that’s what it’s all about.

 

 

 

Becoming irresistible: A new model for employee engagement, Josh Bersin, Deloitte Review Issue 16, Pub. Deloitte University Press, January 26, 2015

 

 

Tags: career tips

Resolution, Revolution – It’s All About Ch-ch-changes

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 @ 03:27 PM


000010604812-fb.jpgIt’s fitting that this, the first article of 2016, comes on the heels of the loss of a huge pop and cultural icon, David Bowie. Love him or not, you can’t deny his impact over decades on people everywhere. His message?

Follow your own path and don’t be afraid to be who you are.

His message is our message with a caveat – we’re here to help you find and define that path.

How did you spend New Year’s Eve? I always approach it with conflicting emotions. I’m either glad or sad the year is winding down, and excited or anxious about the year to come. In my younger years, I’d be wondering what to wear, where to party, who to be with when the clock struck midnight. Now, I just hope I can stay awake.

It’s a magical time, those seconds leading up to, or - depending on your outlook - counting down from the place where both hands embrace the magical twelve, the moment you become a prince, a princess or a pumpkin.

New Year’s is an opportunity to clean house, a time for good hard looks. Maybe you’ve been thinking about changing jobs, careers, cities. Maybe there are skills upgrades you’ve been putting off or a resume you intended to update but haven’t gotten around to. If you think of New Year’s Eve as a point on a turning wheel, you realize that one complete revolution of the wheel is a year. While your position on the wheel stays the same, you’re seeing it from a whole different place. You couldn’t sit still if you tried. Stasis – the state of inactivity caused by opposing equal forces – is not an option. That’s because if the wheel turns, it has to move you somewhere, forward or backward. You get to choose. Where do you want to go?

If the idea of resolutions makes you cringe or fills you with guilt, think of what follows as suggestions for how to position yourself on the wheel so that, even if you only accomplish one or two items on your list, you’re always moving forward.

1. Get to know yourself. Determine your worth – that will go a long way to feeling confident in your abilities. Stand tall even when you don’t feel like it. Look at your capabilities honestly so you can say with certainty what you can and can’t do. Think about what you really want to do and start exploring the possibilities. 

2. Establish or clean up your online presence. Make sure it’s professional. More and more job opportunities come via LinkedIn contacts. And pretty much every potential employer checks out your LinkedIn profile at some point during the hiring process. What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?

3. Target your job search. Go after opportunities you are qualified for and that you really want. No sense going after a data entry position if you’re a people person who thrives on interaction and collaboration. We spend the majority of our time at work; shouldn’t it be a job we enjoy?

4. Learn something new. Hard scientific data tells us that challenging our brains by learning new things, including languages, increases the brain’s natural neuroplasticity and affects the onset of diseases like dementia, often associated with aging, in positive ways. At the very least, lifelong learning affects our self-esteem by making us feel better about ourselves. If money’s an issue – and it is for most of us – check out courses through your local library or school board. Some local government agencies provide seminars and low-cost or cost-free training for job seekers who qualify.

5. Hone your existing skills or learn new ones. The best way to increase your salary is to increase your skills. Talk to people who’re doing what you want to do. Focus on opportunities for advancement and see what skills and education are required for those roles. Then start acquiring them.

6. Chat less, talk more. Technology is great; just don’t let it do all your communicating for you. Phone people – yes, the telephone, an antiquated piece of last century technology. Let them hear the inflections in your voice. A videoconference or phone call can really help create stronger and positive bonds in the workplace, especially when you have colleagues and partners working in different locations. Like the 1980’s AT&T commercial said, reach out and touch someone in a ‘let’s connect’ kind of way. Deciphering non-verbal communication – reading people’s signals – is a dying art. Anyone who can do it is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. But you have to get face-to-face for it to work.

7. Hold regular meetings with yourself. You’re the boss of you. We are often so caught up in the nitty-gritty of our day-to-day that we often forget to see the big picture. Ask yourself questions that not only reflect your to-do list but help you evaluate your evolution. Am I on track? Did I learn something? Did I succeed at something? Did I fail at something and what did that teach me? Did I take a risk/step out of my comfort zone, and what did I feel/think/learn about the experience? Did I feel pride at my progress and how did I express that? Not only will questions like these raise your capacity for self-assessment, but you’d be surprised at how often these questions come up in job interviews.

8. Adapt. Life throws us curves. You can duck or you can learn how to catch and return. Your flexibility and adaptability will become increasingly important skills for employees of the future. Business, commerce and technology change with lightening speed. The organizations you interview need to stay well ahead of the competition; to do that, they’ll be looking for employees who can keep their balance and stay focused in the face of change.

If change makes your stomach knot, you’re not alone. You don’t have to throw everything out and start anew. In fact, that’s the fastest way to make sure your resolutions – or revolutions – don’t succeed. It’s simply not sustainable. Instead, pick one item and make small, manageable, bite-sized modifications. Once you’re comfortable, increase the size and scope of the changes. You’re expanding your comfort zone, which wasn’t never designed to be hard and fast, but elastic and expandable. You’ll find you’re better at this than you think and you’ll build confidence and self-esteem with each success. Step by step, day by day.

That’s how you ride the wheel.

 

 

Tags: career tips

Ask Our Leaders: Sue Markos, Director, Information Technology, Randstad Canada

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Dec 02, 2015 @ 11:17 AM


Through our Women Shaping Business program, we want to provide you with valuable insights that you can use to assess the leadership of women in your organization, evaluate your own professional career growth plan, and inspire you to reach out, connect and keep the conversation going.

With this in mind, Randstad Canada’s Leadership team invites you to submit a burning question you have on career development, mentorship, leadership skills, or any other topic
around women in business. Submit your question using the form here and a member of our Ask Our Leaders panel will provide insightful advice to help you manage your career.

 

This week’s featured Randstad Leader is Sue Markos, Director, Information Technology, Randstad Canada

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Be yourself!  Being you is what got you the position, so don't change what you are doing.  Don't try to be something you're not.  Treat all colleagues, peers and subordinates with the respect, honesty and integrity.  Don't be afraid to admit what you don't know and endeavour to get the answers.  And laugh.  Life is too short not to enjoy time at work... it's infectious.  People will want to work with you if you don't take life (and yourself) too seriously!

 

What are the best resources that you would recommend to someone looking to gain insights into becoming a better leader?

Observation and Networking.  Look around and observe who you admire, respect and want to work with.  Ask for tips.  Ask for feedback after meetings or interactions. Watch what works for others and what doesn't.  Why do you like to work with certain people?  What behaviours in other leaders frustrate you?

 

What are the most important traits of successful leaders today?

Respect, integrity and honesty.  Do what you say you are going to do.  You will always be wrong on occasion and be right on occasion, but it's how you handle each is what makes a great leader.

 

What are the top three challenges that leaders are facing today?

Balancing - resources, time, money, priorities.  It is a constant challenge to find the right mix of people, focusing on the right priorities (for the organization), and achieving strong results with limited amount of resources.

Engagement - keeping a team motivated and energized when organizations go through slower periods or are downsizing.  Finding new ways to ignite passion and drive results within your team.  Being creative to achieve results with breaking the budget.

 

Have a question for our leaders? Submit it now!

 

About this week’s featured leader

As Director, Information Technology, Sue Markos is responsible for the design and operation of all aspects of the Randstad Canada computing environment.  Sue provides leadership to a team of dedicated IT professionals that deliver a robust infrastructure, award-winning applications and support services, arming Randstad Canada with a competitive differentiator in the staffing market. Sue joined Randstad Canada in 2000 as a Network Analyst overseeing the re-engineering of the core data infrastructure and migration to Windows 2000 / Exchange 2000 architecture.  Her pragmatic approach to technology solutions has delivered significant business results and has landed Sue in her current role from Manager of Network and Support and Team Lead.  Sue received an Outstanding Performer Award in 2002 and Outstanding Employee of the Year Award in 2005.

Prior to joining Randstad Canada, Sue spent 14 years working in various roles at the Toronto District School Board.  Sue gained a wealth of IT experience working in the capacity of LAN Administrator, End User Computing Analyst and Network Administrator.  In 1999, she was selected from over 450 IT Staff to provide leadership for the project management and execution of the amalgamation of the e-mail systems from the 7 distinct school boards into one new enterprise.  Sue was also selected to the Sr. Technical Team responsible for the implementation of the first Enterprise Windows 2000 environment in a cooperative effort with Microsoft Corporation and Dell Computers.

Sue studied Computer Science and Actuarial Science at the University of Toronto, Victoria College.

Tags: Women Shaping Business

Ask Our Leaders: Sandra Pickering, Vice President, Business Development, Randstad Sourceright

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 01:30 PM

 

Through our Women Shaping Business program, we want to provide you with valuable insights that you can use to assess the leadership of women in your organization, evaluate your own professional career growth plan, and inspire you to reach out, connect and keep the conversation going.

With this in mind, Randstad Canada’s Leadership team invites you to submit a burning question you have on career development, mentorship, leadership skills, or any other topic around women in business. Submit your question using the form here and a member of our Ask Our Leaders panel will provide insightful advice to help you manage your career.

This week’s featured Randstad Leader is Sandra Pickering, Vice President, Business Development, Randstad Sourceright

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Live Leadership - define what leadership means personally to you, to your organization and to your team.  In this way you have a true measure of what successful leadership looks like for all key stakeholders.  It becomes a living, tangible personality trait, culture, feeling, driver and style that inspires progress, growth, innovation and transformation. 

Be open to collaboration - a true leader is only as strong as the team they are able to build, guide, inspire and surround themselves with.

Be transparent - be open to feedback, challenges and uncertainty; change management at any level is large element to work through.

Encourage lots of communication - learn what forms of communication drives others to success - this includes understanding your new executive colleagues, your new team, the Board, potential new team members/candidates, and your clients/suppliers/external buyers.

Network outside your organization - share and exchange ideas with your network of professionals; ideas, thought leadership, best practices that resonate with you.

What are the best resources that you would recommend to someone looking to gain insights into becoming a better leader?

Take a broad view of what leadership means today; take into account intellectual leadership, emotional leadership, business leadership and spiritual leadership.  Read about great leaders in the globe, in whatever form of career, path or journey they are on.  Engage a diverse network, and take the best from each.  Lessons can be gained and transferred from a variety of sources.

What are the top three challenges that leaders are facing today?

1. The volatility and pace with which we work; so the ability to stay leading edge and at the forefront in a fast moving business environment is a challenge.

2. The global economy; and changing competitive landscape; meaning we need to be more open than ever to opportunities, possibilities, and innovation.

3. Consumer and employee expectations continue to rise; and that translates to increased expectations and increased governance and accountability being put upon our leaders; their ability to manage the pressure and challenges with diplomacy, integrity and collaboration is increasingly important.

 

Have a question for our leaders? Submit it now!

 

About our leader:

Sandra Pickering joined Randstad Sourceright in November of 2014 as Vice President Business Development. As Ambassador of the RSR brand, she is responsible for cultivating key strategic relationships and for driving growth within the Recruitment Processing Outsourcing area.

Sandra has over 23 years of strategic client development and sales leadership in the TM and HR Solutions industry.   Most recently she held the role of Director Client Strategic Partnerships with Futurestep Korn Ferry; As part of the Global Sales team, C-Level relationships and engagements were developed across multiple industries, including Financial, Consumer Packaged Goods, Industrial, Health Sciences and Information Technology. 

Her passion for the Talent Management industry started early in her career while working with Kelly Services; then during her promotion through a variety of Sales Leadership and Regional Management roles at Adecco (formerly Olsten).  As VP Ontario Operations and Head of the Office of Strategic Management for IS2 Workforce Solutions, Sandra led the growth of this value-based niche provider of industrial and skilled trades talent into Eastern Canada.  As President of her own Consulting practice, she worked with many organizations on sales strategy, market analysis, team attraction and development. 

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Science Honors degree with Majors in Psychology and Criminology from the University of Toronto.

Tags: Women Shaping Business

Influence: the magnet that draws others to you

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

 You know people of influence. They’re not necessarily the tallest, best-dressed people in the room but they definitely have something. Their carriage says confidence and composure. People watch them. When they speak, others listen. Theirs is a sphere of influence that impacts decision-making at all levels levels, changes company direction or keeps it solidly on track while all around, markets fluctuate wildly. According to Forbes, they change minds, shape opinions and inspire others to act[1]. People follow them through the storm. That’s influence.

That’s power.

These are people who exert control before they’ve uttered a word. They’re highly regarded, the people others want to hear from and follow willingly because they feel compelled to do so. While some people are born with the ability to attract others to them, the rest of us can learn the skills required to not only attract others, but keep them engaged and willing to follow our lead and heed our direction. How long and successfully we exert influence on others depends on our history of integrity, reliability, agility, flexibility, thoughtful decision-making and our rate of past success.

How to become a person – or chicken - of influence

There’s a nursery tale in which a chicken, Henny Penny, is struck on the head by a falling acorn and decides that the sky is falling and she must run and tell the king. Along the way, Henny Penny meets a variety of animals who decide to accompany her until they meet up with a fox, who is not what he claims to be. The end of the story has some unfortunate outcomes. But the point of the story, in terms of creating influence, is that Henny Penny is able to easily convince others that the sky is indeed falling and they, in turn, are compelled to follow her.

Henny Penny is hardly an intellectual giant. She engages the others by sheer force of will, not by invitation to join her but by her certain conviction that she’s right about the sky falling and that, whether they follow her or not, hers is the only logical solution. That’s influence, barnyard style. Creating a sphere of influence at which we are the center in the business world is a little more complex.

Here are some tips that will start you thinking about being the kind of influential person you yourself would follow.

 Carry yourself with confidence. Even if at first you have to fake it to make it, stand tall. Put your shoulders back, raise your head, make eye contact. Look like you’re confident. You’re communicating non-verbally about who you are and how you want others to regard you. Wear clothes appropriate to your workplace but bump them up a notch. Wear things you’re comfortable in, but not too comfortable. Sometimes a structured suit jacket, pumps or a tie remind you to stand tall and carry yourself accordingly.

Smile. Be personable, whatever that means for you, as long as you can do it honestly and sincerely. People can spot a fake a mile away. If a pleasant countenance isn’t your thing, do it anyway. You’re building others’ confidence in you and that won’t happen if you have a face like a storm cloud.

Listen.  Real power isn’t about pounding the desk to make a point or get others’ attention. Real influence is quiet, almost internal. It’s a surety that you’re hearing others, considering options, coming to wise conclusions. You can agree to disagree in a way that leaves others intact. Like being a great leader, a person of influence is inclusive of others’ opinions and suggestions even though the final decision rests with them and they’re going to make it.

Practice humility. People of real influence and authority don’t have to blow their own horns. Others do that for them. They’re not aggressive because they have an air of quiet, certain confidence. They don’t have to yell to be heard. A repetitive litany of all your successes to whoever you can corner says you’re insecure and in need of constant positive reinforcement. Not influential in the right way.

Build trust. This comes back to being the leader you yourself would follow. You want to be the kind of person you hold in high regard. Integrity, consistent performance, hard work, a lack of arrogance, flexibility, inclusivity, openness – whatever qualities you admire in people who you respect and who influence you are the ones you should emulate.

There’s no magic or mystery to becoming a person of influence. It’s based on some tweaking of the skills and traits you already have, along with careful, thoughtful observance and practice. Being a person of influence carries responsibility because people who follow you will do so based less on an intellectual decision and more on an emotional response. Respect them, respect yourself and you’ll soon find you’re drawing people to you, people who you can influence in positive ways. And that’s where power – the kind of power that counts – lies.

[1] Five steps to increase your influence, Susan Tardanico, Forbes.com, Dec. 21, 2011

 

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

 

 

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Leadership & Ethics

New study from Randstad Canada:  Canadian women still held back as leaders in the workplace

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Launched in 2012, Randstad Canada’s Women Shaping Business program aims to explore the challenges and opportunities for today’s Canadian women in the workplace. A key element of the program is a nationwide survey conducted annually by Randstad Canada in collaboration with Ipsos Reid, asking Canadian women how they feel the country has progressed toward more equal workplaces. This year, the survey was conducted between August 17 and 21, 2015. A sample of 1,005 working women (including 303 managers and executives) were interviewed online.

Here are the 2015 survey highlights: 

 

wsb-2015-infographic.en.jpg

 

Go to www.womenshapingbusiness.ca to download the study! 

Tags: Leadership & Ethics

Becoming a leader: a conversation with Shoana Prasad

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM


Shoana Prasad, executive coach and founder of Glenwood Consulting Group Inc., brings over 15 years of executive development training to her client portfolio. She offers communications training, coaching and executive branding work. Her clients include financial institutions, consumer products, pharmaceutical and healthcare, as well as media and technology. Outside the corporate space, Shoana is a regular speaker at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto and the McGill Business School in Montreal. In addition, Shoana leads programs in personal branding for Women of Influence Inc. and has prepared speakers for Toronto’s first-ever Women’s TEDx. 

 What were the milestones or “firsts” in your development as a leader?

Well, I would say I am still developing, and that will continue but…..

That said, being a “self expert” was number one. I know myself very well. This allows me to make clear, fast and efficient decisions, which is important in my work with people who are generally very busy. Any and all of my decisions are made through a series of filters including, “Is this my expertise?;” Will the client and audience be better off having worked with me?” “Does it strengthen my brand?”  So knowing myself was one of the first real milestones.

Knowing my niche skill has also been key. Once you identify that one thing you can do better than anyone else, you can start to build your brand around that unique ability.

Finally, know when to stop and listen. I think when we’re younger we have the insatiable hunger to provide evidence of everything we know. There is such strength, comfort and wisdom in silence.

What are the unique characteristics of female leaders?

I think the unique characteristics of a great leader is to lead from where you’re at. Whether you are considered a leader from your internal HR’s perspective or not, I think being pronounced a leader doesn’t necessarily make you one. There are leaders at all levels. Those that listen, ask insightful questions, play “devil’s advocate” and offer counsel when necessary. I very much admire those leaders who can be strong yet humble; smart but approachable.

Other more tangible skills include, business acumen, impeccable communications skills, ability to make tough decisions, managing constant and incessant change, investing in human capital in time (mentorship) and money (personal development funds.)

 

How do you develop your leadership skills?  How do you assess yourself?

I develop my own skills everyday in the boardroom and at the podium. I am client-facing everyday with people who have big jobs and big pressures. I am very sensitive to the stress our leaders feel to perform, grow, anticipate and implement change, and build and retain people.

I listen; I ask open-ended questions with sincere curiosity.

I assess myself in what others say about me. Open, honest feedback is a bitter pill, but a necessary one. If you don’t know how you’re coming across with others, you’re missing key opportunities to develop those necessary leadership skills.

So in general, if colleagues and clients are happy, I’m happy.

 

What is the impostor syndrome and how do you overcome it? 

The imposter syndrome is that moment we have all felt when we think someone is going to “find out I know nothing!”

I overcome it by embracing it. Trends, patterns, personalities and consumer needs are forever evolving. If you consider yourself on the cusp of growth and innovation, there will most certainly be a moment of “I have no idea what I’m doing.” Embrace it and ask questions to lead you to what you do know. Question your thoughts. I think the imposter syndrome is a rite of passage for humble yet confident leaders.

It’s a dangerous place to be when you think you know everything.   

 

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is personal branding important today and how do you develop a compelling personal brand?

 

The market place is noisy. Everyone, product, service is sticking its hand up saying “look at me, look at me!” It’s hard to cut through that.

 

A compelling personal brand is a win-win all around. For the individual, it’s a clear path of discovery of what you’re true value proposition is. Again, what do you do the best over anyone else? It’s helps any executive at any level navigate their career based on, what they love to do, are good at, and thus can offer the best value or serve.

 

For a company, having employees who have invested time into their personal brand are generally people who have clarity on what makes them happy and what drives them. That means, happy, focused people. More and more, companies are built based on culture and values. Employees are not only employees; they are brand ambassadors for the company.

 

This also means that the right people are in the right jobs. If your employees know themselves; are “self-experts” then you have a team that is driven by what is important to them individually.

 

The process of developing your brand is an evolution. There are so many resources that can step you through how to start thinking about how to build your brand, but the first place is just to assess where you’re at now. What is your current brand? In other words, “What do people say about you – good and bad – after you’ve left the room?”  This is essentially your current brand.

 

The second step is ask “What do you want people to say?”

 

The gap in-between is where the work is.

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Leadership & Ethics

You have what it takes to lead (you just don’t know it yet)

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

 Great leaders are born. Or are they? If that’s so, it means that half the population – the female gender half – is particularly challenged to achieve leadership status and be accepted as leaders. Are they really not born leaders or we the problem? Maybe it’s time to rethink what leadership is and the qualities required to be a great leader. Maybe perception is the problem. That, and bias and resistance to change.

Think about it. Think about the kind of leader you’d be inspired to follow. You may already be that person. If not, becoming that person is within your grasp.

While you don’t need all the traits identified as leadership qualities, you’d be surprised at how many you already have and how, with a little tweaking and a shift in how you think about them, they can propel you forward and upward. In other words, you can develop the skills to become a great leader and change a few minds in the process.

 

You can lead if you are:

Intelligent:  You’re smart. Period. And by the way, there are different types of intelligence and each one brings value.

Capable: You have marketable, transferable skills even if you need help identifying them. You wouldn’t be employed for long if you weren’t capable.

Understanding: Great leaders are sensitive to the people in their teams. It makes them want to help others to achieve their goals and others respond to them.

Decisive: You can make decisions, even the hard ones. You do it everyday. Nothing wishy-washy about you even if you have to fake it to make it. You get the job done.

Open:  You listen when people talk. You create an atmosphere where lines of communication are open. That’s a safe environment. You help people reach their potential, which already makes you a great leader.

Emotional: Rather than derision, the ability to know yourself emotionally and be able to connect with others in an emotional way is a skill to be celebrated. It gives you the edge when it comes to reading people successfully.

Honest: Your honesty goes a long way to building relationships. Relationships are important to you. That’s why you’re a great team builder. People know you’re a person of integrity. That’s inspiring.

Creative: Goes hand in hand with curiosity. Don’t worry if you think you don’t have a ‘head for business’. Creative people make great leaders because they’re flexible and adaptable. They think outside the box – a really powerful tool for solving problems and developing strategies. They know there’s more than one way to get there from here.

Conscientious: Meticulous detail person? As a leader, you can provide thoughtful, impactful feedback and direction to your team.  Things don’t get lost in the process when you’re in charge.

So now that you know you have what it takes to lead, how can you develop the skills you need to lead?

See yourself as a leader. You can’t expect others to see you in a leadership role if you don’t see it first. Find women in leadership roles and invite them to mentor you. Attend presentations and seminars where women are keynote speakers. Develop a network that includes successful women leaders. Act like a leader.

Develop confidence. Read, take a class, find a counselor, offer to lead or present seminars, take on smaller projects and form a team to achieve results. You’ll gain confidence with each success and learn from your mistakes. You’re building an arsenal of skills – mistakes are a big part of that.

Assess your skill set and update/refresh where necessary. Train, attend seminars, and fill your education gaps. That’s something you should be doing on an ongoing basis.

Define your style. Women are often caught between a rock and a hard place. They’re advised to assert themselves and called aggressive when they do. When they speak up, they’re considered pushy and when they’re quiet, they’re often overlooked. By identifying who you are and how you operate best, you prevent others from defining you.

Start early. Be the mentor you’d like to have. Get involved in educational institutions, programs and organizations you can mentor young girls in the skills they need to become leaders down the road.

You have to empower yourself before you empower others. That’s difficult in a society where you’re that half the population that’s underrepresented, and in a culture that undervalues your contributions and undermines your qualities as leadership material. But it’s not all negative. Things – and attitudes – are changing, perhaps with the speed of glaciers, but changing nonetheless. The more women seek, ask for and take on leadership roles, the more ‘naturalized’ the whole process will become. Think about that.

 

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

 

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Leadership & Ethics, women in leadership