Career Advice

Can I Talk About Pay With Colleagues?

Mark Swartz · Sep. 14, 2018

There’s no law in Canada that says you can’t. But if you do, beware the landmines. Pay’s right up there with politics, religion and race as minefield topics at work. People tiptoe around them ‘cause they’re laced with tripwires. Except your dying to know if Keisha (your rival) or Randall (the owner’s moronic nephew) are pulling down bigger bucks than you. Hacking into HR’s data is out of the question. And company policy forbids pay chats among workers.

Combine Writing And IT Know-How As A Technical Storyteller

Mark Swartz · Sep. 11, 2018

Combine Writing And IT Know-How As A Technical Storyteller These multi-talents scribbles and yak about what techies produce, in language that rouses non-geeks. “Storyteller” used to be a synonym for full of @rap. Now it’s the buzzword in job ads for marketing communications. Apply this to the tech world for a niche IT career. Tech storytellers are part public relations guru, writer and public speaker, with an undercoat of nerd. A dope combo, much in demand.

Top 5 Ways To Quantify Results On Your Resume

Mark Swartz · Sep. 6, 2018

Forgot to name numbers when describing results? Add them into razzle-dazzle recruiters. Lies. Damn Lies. And stats. Keep the first two the hell away from your resume: fibbing could get your ass thrown to the curb. Statistics, on the other hand – numbers, percentages, rankings – make recruiters drool. Quantifying deeds shines a spotlight on results. Employers love hiring achievers, especially proven ones. Metrics are the Holy Grail. Here are the top five ways to use ‘em.

Get Your Employer’s Help To Support Your Favourite Charity

Steve Mahoney · Aug. 27, 2018

If you don’t ask, for sure, you won’t secure donation matching, exposure in company communications, and more. You’ve got a cause your gung-ho about. On your own, you’re a drop in the bucket booster-wise. What a super splash you’d make with your employer’s backing. That might be achievable, so long as there’s a registered charity to support, and it’s not something divisive like religious beliefs, abortion, or a “save the Trump children” fund.

Bumping Into Senior Management As Junior Worker

Mark Swartz · Aug. 22, 2018

As a low-ranker, it’s common to freeze up when first meeting an executive. Here’s some advice for making a good impression. Three days after the tragedy of 9/11, I found myself suddenly face to face in an elevator with our company’s CEO, leader of 40,000+ employees, at one of Canada’s top five banks. Just 72 hours earlier every person in that downtown Toronto skyscraper had been evacuated, as a precaution. It’s hard to imagine how sombre this lift trip was. I couldn’t stop thinking about the man’s New York colleagues and friends, some of whom had been forever affected by the attack. Nor could I shake how weighty it must be for him to carry on, to continue setting an example of resilience.

6 Jobs Of The Future That Don’t Exist Yet

Mark Swartz · Aug. 21, 2018

Drone air traffic controller for delivery companies. Moon miner. New careers are coming sooner than you think. Your job may suck today, but there’s a whole new era of careers coming. Good thing, given how robots and AI will augment steal many current roles. Technology’s on a tear. Fighting work’s future’s like battling the Borg: resistance is (virtually) futile.

Six Questions About Taking Stress Leave

Neil MacIntosh · Aug. 14, 2018

The option to opt out of work for a while, even if available, might come with a high price tag. Polls show 3 out of 4 Canadians are stressed. No shock there. Job uncertainty, money worries, health issues. They’re the biggest blood pressure raisers. Can make you want to chuck it all for a while. PGA golfers ain’t immune. Don’t let the lavish prize money fool you. With crushing expectations and public glare, even leaderboarders flee on a Tiger Woods time-out occasionally.

Career Risks Only Numbskulls Would Take

Mark Swartz · Jul. 31, 2018

Zapping your comfort zone to grow is fine. Just make sure you don’t cross the line. Want to commit career hari-kari, sans gut-ripping wound? Not a problem. Vocational self-immolation comes in lots of tasty flavours. Claim a fake degree on the resume. Blackmail your boss with incriminating photos. Keep ignoring the employer’s chain of command. No ceremonial dagger needed for these kinds of risks. They’ll pierce your progress just as sharply.

So You Think You’re A Disrupter, Eh?

Neil MacIntosh · Jul. 26, 2018

Seems like everyone wants to add “disrupter” to their resume. Measuring up’s no cakewalk. 77 million dollars over seven years. That’s the payday for John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leaf’s newest wonder boy. For a team that last won a Stanley Cup when Canada turned 100 (1967, over half a century ago!), disruption doesn’t come cheap. Your salary’s a pittance in comparison. Still, you fancy yourself a game changer too. Shaking things up. Stickhandling past dumbfounded defenders of “That’s not how we do things here.”

Get Noticed At Work By Doing One Thing Special

Steve Mahoney · Jul. 24, 2018

Pinpoint your competitive advantage, then power-drill it into the eyes of higher-ups. Your coworkers are smarter and harder working than you. Those who aren’t, sometimes go Machiavelli – backstabbing, sabotaging, swindling and kissing up. I’ve had to dive into that same swamp as an employee. I also found a legit way to make myself less disposable: find at least thing to contribute that leaves challengers begging for dregs.

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