Who are you REALLY?

Every career journey begins with a single step…whether it’s a step in the “right” or “wrong” direction is entirely up to you, the best way to know for sure is to hold up a mirror and truly recognize the person staring back. That means accepting both your strengths and challenges, they do after all define you! Honestly ask yourself the following:

Who am I?

What do I want out of my career?

What situations / experiences energize me?

What situations / experiences deplete me?

What am I truly interested in?

Where do my values come into play?

How important are my values in what I do?

You won’t necessarily come up with answers right away; after all, if we could we’d miss the excitement of discovery! To get the juices flowing think about taking some assessments to start things off.

Here’re a few you might want to check out:

At Mohawk College you can access StrengthsQuest, a free strengths based assessment that generates a list of your top 5 strengths along with a description of what they mean.

Community Employment Services

This site by the Alberta Learning Information Service has a free version of the Holland’s code quiz. It isn’t as comprehensive as the original test but it’s a good introduction.

Alberta Learning Information Service, Planning Tools

If you want to do the full John Holland’s Self-Directed Search (SDS) assessment, you can complete it for 10 dollars by clicking on the link below. It gives you a 3 letter code that best represents your work personality type, along with a list of occupations with descriptions that correspond to your code.

Self-Directed Search

The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is similar to SDS however it looks less at personality as a driver for career choices and more at interests as a starting point for career exploration.

Strong Interest Inventory

Personality Dimensions, is a test that identifies aspects of your personality such as core values, needs, talents and behaviors and how these things affect your interaction with others and therefore which work situations/environments best “fit” your personality. There’s also a Canadian version of this test called “True Colours.”

Personality Dimensions

Of course this is really just the tip of the iceberg in available assessments, as long as you begin your journey towards discovering yourself you will ultimately discover your own unique career path!

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Freaky Friday!

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Since March 8th is International Women’s Day, I thought this would be a perfect time to talk about women in the workplace.

Here’s a great website that grew out of the Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.” The site contains lots of positive messages particularly around women in the workforce.

http://leanin.org/

While I can’t say that this is a particularly women based issue, but it seems that most people in the workplace are hesitant to place themselves ahead due to a fear of failure. Although it seems counterintuitive, I believe that it’s the failures that make you a better jobseeker, employee and leader. A perfect example of this is from Tiffany Dufu the Chief Leadership Officer with Levo League who shares some great advice on finding strength in failure.

Why you need to fail to succeed

Here are two rather interesting articles on women and social media. The first is on how women are leading the charge in the use of social media yet strangely linkedin, one of the largest work related social media platforms, doesn’t have a high level of female engagement. The second article from linkedin is on whether or not women should be using their linkedin accounts more to promote their successes than they already do.

Women dominate every social media network-except one

Should women be using linkedin differently?

 Happy Friday!

What does “talent” acquisition actually mean?

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There’s been so much talk lately in the business world about acquiring “talent” like they’re buying new shoes or a new car…sounds rather impersonal doesn’t it? And really what does it mean anyway?

From what I’ve read, “talent” acquisition is about placing potential employee’s skillsets at the forefront of the hiring process and then nurturing those skills. With so many buzzwords floating around it’s hard to know exactly what’s really going on in the job market, so the BIG question is, is this really happening? Is it done at the outset but then later promptly forgotten when the buzz has passed? To avoid unmet expectations, hard feelings or worse employees jumping ship, employers can keep their talent onboard and engaged.

Here’s how: 

  1. Instead of filing away a new employees resume and never looking at it again, how about having a quick sit down with them after the whole hiring process is over and ask them what specific skills they believe they can offer the company. Making a note of what they believe are their strengths will give you some options beyond the job description.
  2. Although some new hires may embellish or have incorrect assumptions regarding their skillsets you can better assess this by setting up a meeting between the team leaders or supervisors and the new hire. This will go particularly smoothly if you’ve included the supervisors in the hiring process; they’ll be more likely to properly assess the person and see them as less of a burden and more of a valuable addition to the team.
  3. Make note of all your employee’s strengths, but beware of lumping people together into similar “talent” pools. Most people’s talents come out the most when working in a team with a variety of skillsets. Also take into account that employees can gain or discover new skills that should be added to their repertoire.

The truth is that most people will often take less pay or a lesser position if they feel that their “talents” are valued. Unfortunately, most new employees will rarely point out they feel undervalued or that their skills are underutilized and will instead remain quiet while plotting an exit strategy.

Maybe we could change the buzzword from “talent” acquisition to “talent” management!