Let the Games Begin!

Introduction For many, September signifies the start of a new school year.  For some it also conjures up images of baseball World Series or the start of the National Hockey League season.  For me, sadly, September brings back not so fond memories of a time-honoured, ancient ritual in the workplace:  [...]

Don’t Take “No” for an Answer

Introduction Apart from the question about when and how to follow up after applying probably the most frequent query I get from job seekers is:  how many times should I apply to a company or job posting before I just give up?  There’s no simple answer to this question, but [...]

Stick to the Knitting…..Please!

Introduction Recently the President and CEO of a U.S. company, Basecamp, issued a directive banning employees from discussing politics at work while using company-messaging tools.  Jason Fried apparently called these discussions a “major distraction”.  In a blog post he is quoted as saying “Every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy [...]

Saying Good Bye Gracefully

Introduction President Donald Trump’s recent departure from the White House reminded me of how not to leave a job.  Sometimes, when employees leave a position they like nothing better than to tell their boss exactly what they think while leaving nothing to the imagination.  However, a graceful exit is often [...]

Hitting the Job Search Reset Button

Introduction The turkey has been eaten, and so have the leftovers.  The presents have been opened, and the wrapping paper and boxes have long been discarded.  The Christmas tree is packed away for another year as are the outside lights.  Life, such as it is in this apocalyptic pandemic shutdown, [...]

Practice Makes Permanent, Not Perfect

Introduction I have a business acquaintance who has made a habit of e-mailing me at least once a year to lament his lack of success in securing alternate employment.  This individual is in a highly specialized field for which employment opportunities are seldom advertised, and where networking has long been [...]

Walking the Ethical Talk

Introduction The word “ethics” frequently arises in the daily routine of many businesses.  Companies today have almost universally incorporated the ethical mantra into their mission statements.  Corporate social responsibility reports extol the benefits of a particular company’s business practices, environmental sustainability, and broader societal concern.  Organizations tout their code of [...]

Going It Alone

Introduction With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing rise in unemployment, many are contemplating whether to start their own business.  Certainly, being self-employed has a certain appeal.  However, the two pivotal questions anyone should ask before going it alone are: 1) Do they have the requisite temperament [...]

Don’t Be Stereotyped at Work

Introduction I have a huge admiration for entertainers.  The dedication and sacrifice that many of them commit to honing their talent, mastering their craft, striving for recognition or simply surviving never ceases to amaze me.  I’m especially in awe of those rare performers who have multiple talents and can operate [...]

The ABC’s of an ATS

Introduction Does this sound familiar?  You check your usual job board and find the ideal opportunity.  You review the position description and believe it fits perfectly with your background, experience and qualifications.  You revise your resume and covering letter, and then submit it online.  A day or two later you [...]

Five Powerful Words to Use in your Job Search

Introduction As I write this month’s blog the unemployment rate in Canada has risen to roughly 12%.  Approximately 3.2 million Canadians have applied for some kind of employment benefit or relief.  Major businesses have either gone into bankruptcy or have filed for creditor protection.  The prospects for a short-term economic [...]

Where Will the Jobs be Post COVID-19

Introduction It probably goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most existential threat our society has faced seen since the Second World War.  I’ve lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the War Measures Act in 1970, the Stock Market Meltdown in 1987, the 2000 Recession, SARS [...]

The Long-Term Employment Impacts of COVID-19

Introduction What will be the long-term employment impacts of COVID1-19? I have been contemplating this question as the COVID-19 virus worsens and governments everywhere undertake dramatic measures to contain this contagion.  Almost overnight phrases such as “shelter in place” and “social isolation” have crept into our vocabulary.  Everyday, we turn [...]

Maintaining Job Search Momentum

Introduction I think one of the hardest things applicants face is maintaining job search momentum. When one first embarks on a job search there is often a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation.  The thought of finding new or more challenging employment is energizing.  The initial online application, or the [...]

Activity Generates Success

“Activity generates success”. Those three sage words of advice were the first I received on my first job after graduating from Queen’s University in August 1978. I was offered a position as Coordinator of Co-operative Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. The person who was my first full-time boss [...]

Handling a Difficult Boss

Introduction Bosses. We’ve all had them.  Some are good while some, unfortunately, are not so great.  We all yearn for a boss who will be supportive, encouraging and instructive, but realistically, the exceptional ones are few and far between.  Recently, I did a little exercise, and wrote out the names [...]

Gaining Power by Letting Go

Introduction How do you know when it is time to end a relationship?  How long do you continue in a relationship before realizing that things won’t improve?  Is it possible to gain power by letting go of a relationship? These questions were brought home starkly to me recently as a [...]

Advice to a Younger Me

If I could go back in time what advice would I give to a younger me?   I asked myself this question last month as I reflected upon the approach of a new school year.  Next month will mark the 46th anniversary since I started my post-secondary education.  I recall [...]