Are you a sugarplum, rum ball or candy cane?

Admit tingly this post required a bit of research, first off I honestly didn’t know what sugarplums were, apparently they were a popular Christmas treat in 16th century England and are basically stewed plums in sugar cane cooked to gooey perfection…sounds pretty yummy! So now the big question, when job searching what are you most like? A sugarplum, rum ball or candy cane? It’s a question for the ages! Take this sweet questionnaire and find out:

1. Do thoughts of you keep dancing in an employer’s head long after an interview?

A)   No, I just hang around and see what happens

B)   Yes, I make sure I send a positive thank you card and follow up later

C)   I’m not sure, I can’t remember!

 

 2.  Are you multifaceted and have many different colourful skills to offer?

A)   Yes, I have many skills and I’m always looking to add more to my repertoire

B)   No, I don’t have a lot of skills but what I have has stood the test of time

C)   I have a sprinkling of skills here and there but only on the surface

 

3.  When you’re not offered a job do you tend to stew about it or hook up with new opportunities?

A)   I figure it just wasn’t the right fit and use the chance to catch the interviewers attention and ask how to improve my skills

B)   Yes, I stew and think constantly about what happened

C)   I just roll with the punches!

 

4.  Do you leave your job search space a big ol’ sticky mess or do you make sure that everything is hanging in its proper place?

A)   In my space everything has it’s spot. I use a job search and network-tracking sheet. You just never know when you might get a call for an interview!

B)   Yeah I have papers everywhere but my memory is good and I can recall information when needed

C)   I’m a bit messy but at least it’s all in one spot!

 

5. Are you able to fit into many different situations or are you relegated to only one type of environment?

A)   Yes I’m adaptable and can move from site to site if needed

B)   No I can only be in a specific place and don’t feel comfortable in situations outside my element

C)   I’m adaptable and can roll from one thing to another within reason of course!

 

Well this is not exactly a scientific questionnaire, but if you answered mainly:

A) You’re a candy cane; you’re minty fresh and up for anything!

B) You’re a sugarplum baby! And although not exactly current or neat you’ve stood the test of time

C) You’re a rum ball; you know how to keep your cool no matter what!

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The 12 days of job searching…and a partridge in a pear tree!

Day 1 (Partridge in a pear tree)

Start your network tree!

https://mcacesblogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/networking-tree/

Day 2 (Turtle doves)

Work with your wingman to navigate tricky networking situations.

https://mcacesblogs.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/get-a-job-search-wingman/

Day 3 (French hens)

Learn something new, maybe even a new language. Being bilingual in the work place is always an advantage in Canada’s changing cultural landscape.

 Day 4 (Colly birds)

I don’t know what the heck Colly birds are! I always thought it was “calling birds” so I’m going with that! Call your reference people and contacts to let them know you’re looking for work.

Day 5 (Gold rings)

Well not everything that shines is gold and vice versa. Sometimes a position that doesn’t look that good on paper can still lead to other opportunities within the company, remember some jobs are a foot in the door.

Day 6 (Geese-a-laying)

Make sure to lay the groundwork for new network opportunities in the New Year!

Day 7 (Swans-a-swimming)

Keep your head above water, even when things get tough take a break and go for a walk (or swim…)

Day 8 (Maids-a-milking)

Try to milk your network for advice and who knows you might be able to become a protégé to one of your mentors.

https://mcacesblogs.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/whos-on-your-bench/

Day 9 (Ladies dancing)

Keep your feet moving! Look outside the computer “box” so to speak and hit the pavement by visiting businesses in person. A friendly introduction may even get you speaking to the hiring manager!

Day 10 (Lords-a-leaping)

Be open to the unexpected and leap on new opportunities even if they don’t follow your career plan exactly, you just never know where it might lead you.

Day 11 (Pipers piping)

Next time you’re at a networking event, pipe up and let potential contacts know about your unique skills.

Day 12 (Drummers drumming)

Ever heard the saying ‘”dance to the beat of your own drum”?  Well it’s true! Job search strategies are not a one-size fits all solution. Sometimes you have to try different methods to find out what works for you and your industry. 

Is it just me or are there a lot of birds in this song! I had no idea…Happy Holidays Everyone!!

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Freaky Friday!

This is a great linkedin post by Will Price the CEO of Flite. It’s about looking at your expectations for happiness realistically. It’s easy to let your perspective get skewed through the lenses of negativity or alternatively through “rose-colored” glasses. It’s a great read if you’re finding it hard to keep yourself positive during tough times.

 http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131202200359-103827-managing-expectations-how-to-frame-tough-periods-in-life

Career Coach, Lavie Margolin writes great blog posts. I really like how they’re straight to the point and give really useful bite size pieces of information with a unique twist.

This one is called “What an Ultimate Fighter can teach us about linkedin profiles”

http://www.lioncubjobsearch.com/?goback=%2Egde_167390_member_5813021441150447617

I came across a talk by Eric Kramer on youtube and in it he outlines a different yet effective approach to the interview process. Instead of looking at an interview like an interrogation you need to treat it more like a sales call in which you’re selling your skills and expertise. Right now I know some of you are probably cringing at the idea of “selling” yourself! I totally understand I was a bit skeptical at first too, but when he talks about how you are effectively “selling” something to someone every day from getting your kids to finish their dinner to convincing your partner to do their chores, it really changed my perspective on the idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GD-ug_5s6o&feature=youtu.be

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Fridays are getting Freaky

Just wanted to introduce our new weekly feature called “Freaky Friday!” In it, we’ll be exploring questions from our blog readers and passing along information we run across during our work related research. Basically it’ll cover anything and everything career related and maybe even the kitchen sink too!

 

In social media today

 

What your profile picture says about you

 

This week I wanted to share a neat pseudo psychological experiment Jason Seiden did on linkedin regarding profile pictures. It’s funny because before reading it I was thinking of tweaking my profile pic and now I know I’ve definitely gotta get on that!

 

http://talent.linkedin.com/blog/index.php/2013/08/what-profile-photo-works-best-on-linkedin-a-real-life-experiment

 

 

 Now that we’re on the topic of linkedin…

 

On Monday November 18th, Careerealism started a linkedin lab. They describe it as a “live web show that focuses strictly on your linkedin strategy,” particularly how to properly brand and market yourself to potential audiences in the most effective way. 

 

It’s definitely worth checking out!

 

http://www.careerealism.com/introducing-linkedin-lab/

 

Just for fun

 

I know many of you have probably already seen the work of cartoonist Matthew Inman in particular his book called: “How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you” (and yes I own a copy and yes I think little D may be trying to kill me, especially while walking up the stairs in the middle of the night…but that’s another story)

 

But did you know he also has a hilarious series called the bobcats? It’s really a cautionary “tail” on what not to do on the job! You’ll see what I mean.

 

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/bobcats_monday

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Who’s on your bench?

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I have to admit I’m really excited about the Grey Cup game this weekend and not just because my hometown team is playing (although that is definitely adding to the excitement!) I just like football. Why you ask? It’s the combination of physicality, strategy but most importantly team dynamics. In football your teammates literally have your back, well more specifically the quarterbacks back, but you get the idea. So how does this apply to job-searching?

Well it’s easy to get tunnel vision and just play defense and focus on your own network, but have you thought about how you can become a part of someone else’s team, particularly potential employers? That’s the first step to becoming a mentee or protégé.

 I recently read an article entitled “The Protégé Effect,” in it researchers found:

  1. Caucasian leaders with a posse of protégés are 11% more satisfied with their own rate of advancement than leaders who haven’t invested in new talent.
  2. Visible minority leaders that have developed new talent were 30% more satisfied with their career progress.

It has been found that good leaders surround themselves with a wide field of qualified candidates. In order to become a protégé however, you must step up to the line of scrimmage and prove yourself.

Prove you can take it to the end zone!

According to research, a third of U.S. managers and nearly half of UK managers say they wanted to sponsor a “producer,” a go-getter who hits deadlines and offers 24/7 support.

Provide full coverage

37% of male managers and 36% of female managers said that loyalty is the key attribute in a protégé. They need loyal team members to go the distance and deliver clear, unbiased and timely reports of what’s going on.

Smart employers try to create a diversified team they can turn to, that way they can avoid “groupthink” and take advantage of a wealth of talent and skills each person can bring to the game. They need to know their weaknesses and hire or mentor someone who can complement their strengths by addressing their weaknesses.

 “The best piece of advice I ever got,” says James Charrington, EMEA chair of BlackRock, “was to have the courage to employ people who are better than me.”

Go Cats Go!!!

Elaine Logie is a MCACESBlogger and student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program. MCACESBlogs was designed to assist job seekers developing their own play books for a customized, effective job search. Like what you read? Be sure to follow our blog today and pass it along! The MCACES Job Search Program is also found on Pinterest; http://www.pinterest.com/mcacesjobsearch

 

What’s your motivation?

 

 

Is it dangerous to live without something to strive for or against? Is it naive to think we can achieve great success without the driving motivation that comes from ideas we hate or fears we have?

 

For most job-seekers, when it comes to finding work the drive is economic. Being out of work simply isn’t a luxury… bills need to be paid, food needs to be on the table, and cars need gas, but many times without looking at our fears do we leap too quickly at another opportunity without thinking. Fear can sometimes be good since it pushes us into trying things we’d never have considered before, it can also shake us out of our complacency from working in a job that wasn’t suitable or challenging. It’s also easy to forget that our relationship with fear is sometimes symbiotic.

 

Consider this, dentists need tooth decay since treating cavities provides them with a steady source of income, likewise, exterminators are dependent on termites, and lawyers need crimes and my job depends on people looking for work and therefore being out of work. At times it seems like an uncomfortable relationship to something nasty but it also drives me to help others and perhaps in a perfect world make my profession obsolete.

 

So what’s your relationship with fear? How does it motivate you? Are you using it to help yourself find work? Are you taking the negative and channeling it towards positive change in your life?

 

Maybe the next time someone asks if you’re letting your fear drive you, maybe you can say no my fear doesn’t drive me, it motivates me and I wouldn’t have it any other way…

 Elaine Logie is a MCACESBlogger and student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program in Hamilton, Ontario. MCACESBlogs was created to assist job seekers and their peers with many aspects of the work search and work maintenance process. Like what you are reading? Be sure to follow MCACESBlogs!Image

 

Résumé Deconstruction

There’s never a bad time to assess your employment situation. Many times job seekers miss out on what could be a perfect job opportunity because they have an imperfect résumé.

If the perfect opportunity does appear, it’s far easier to re-save this important job search document as a “Résumé for Company x” as opposed to trulresume_closeupy refining it.  Refining your resume is the basis for a “deconstruction.”

Recently, during a popular culinary related television program, the contestants were faced with the challenge of taking famous dishes and performing a deconstruction.

What is a deconstruction?

As the name implies, deconstructing a dish involves taking important elements and reinventing the meal so that the flavours are similar to the original but the meal’s composition has changed.

Why someone would want to create complexity with food where there is none is beyond me, the concept of deconstruction is completely relevant and transferable when working with your résumé.

Could your résumé use a deconstruction?

Maybe you have a résumé, but it’s not getting you any interview calls. Maybe you like your résumé, but you don’t really love it…something may feel incomplete, but you aren’t sure what’s missing.

The best part of performing a résumé deconstruction is the satisfaction you derive from putting it back together again as a focused, coherent document.

Lidia Siino has over 11 years of experience as an Employment Advisor for Distance Education and Continuing Education Students at Mohawk College. She is designated as a Certified Résumé Strategist through the Career Professionals of Canada. MCACESBlogs is a series of posts created by Career Consultant Students & Faculty. Like what you read? Be sure to follow our blog today! Happy reading!