Employment

Digital Platforms to Enhance your skills

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Have you heard about SAS? Do you know how to use it? This week we break down what it is and what other skills and platforms are needed to make you and your company competitive.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Death of the Salesman

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital rotating round tables.

Our special guest this week is an expert in sales, and how new technologies are changing how they are being conducted in both corporate and retail locations.

Curious about the future of sales? Well, stay tuned and enjoy.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Company Culture – does it affect your Career Change Decisions

 What is Company Culture?  Company Culture isn’t just the mission statement, but also the values, ethics and goals of the company and how they affect you and the way the Company conducts its business.  Like people, Companies have their own unique personality and so do departments within each company.  This personality will decide whether you love your job or not.

Company Culture is now a major factor to consider when planning on a career change.  20 years ago you went to work, did your job and you left.  9 to 5 wasn’t just a movie, it was the company culture.  Clock in at 9 and out of there at 5.  An hour for lunch which you ate at your desk or you went to a restaurant.  Most professional companies didn’t have lunch rooms, if you were lucky there were vending machines for coffee.  Sales departments used to do team building events and some departments might have had corporate baseball teams, but that was it.

I remember when Ontario Hydro went to the open concept office.  Walls came down, everyone sat in pods.  One big happy family.   Oops – within a month, buffer panels came in for individual departments and groups.  Walls went back up for key positions, ie HR, CFOs etc.  It was a nice concept but unfeasible.  Too noisy and distracting.  Now we have the innovative Google office, new technologies and company culture has become an important part in career planning.

You will spend 1/3 of your life at work.  Not only do you have to like what you do, but you have to like the company and the people you work with.   Your company and your group within that company are like a baseball team.  Would you stay on the team if you weren’t enjoying yourself?  If you hated the Team Captain and didn’t like the way he was running the team, you would be out of there.  Yes it is harder to leave a job but if you don’t like the culture eventually you will move on.  Companies want you to fit in with their culture.  Retraining and rehiring new people is time consuming, costly and disruptive to running a business.  The Company will be assessing your culture fit.  It is important for you to recognize what the company will expect from you.  Experience, job satisfaction and salary are important parts when assessing a new career.  But so is the atmosphere in the company.

Start assessing the company as soon as you walk in the door.

Are the people in the elevators, hallways, reception desks friendly?  Look at everyone and everything as you walk through the office.   Does the atmosphere seem positive?  Or do the employees look bored and disgruntled.

Assess yourself honestly?

Are you the type of person who wants to show up, do your job and head home?  Do you like to read your book at your desk at lunch?  Or do you want to go into the lunch room and play ping pong?  Do you like team building outings or do you consider these an infringement on your free time?  If you have the attitude I’m paid for a 40 hour work week and that’s all you are getting from me then you need to make sure you find a company that only expects that from you.

Technology has changed the face of company culture.

Companies provide laptops and phones to their employees.  Along with that comes an expectation that they can reach you whenever they want.  Deadlines don’t fall within a 40 hour work week.

 

Team Building is becoming a fact of life in organizations

Find out what is expected of you.

Are there ping pong tournaments, Ax throwing parties (yes I said Ax throwing parties).  

Dinner nights, weekends away.

Is the atmosphere very competitive as a team or is it based  more on the individual.   

 

 

1/3 of your day will be spent with your team members and your group.  Enjoying the atmosphere and camaraderie where you work will make a big difference in your attitude about your job.  During the interview be sure to ask about the company culture.  At the interview with your actual team members assess their characters, are you on the same page, will you be able to get along.  Your team is like your family with less space to escape from them.  Do you like them?  If you do then grab this position, there is nothing better than wanting to get up in the morning to go to a fulfilling job.

Terminated or Fired – Now What?

Being fired is a tough experience and it narrows your options.  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with this situation.

 

Prepare yourself to move on:

  • Take responsibility for what happened.
  • Deal with the pain, anger or shame.  Talk to your friends for support.  Consider getting professional help.  There is not much in life that teaches us how to deal with bad situations so take corrective action.  The alternative is a lot of unhappiness for a lot longer.
  • Don’t confuse a lay-off with firing.  Layoffs happen all the time when organizations go through change. Don’t beat yourself up over something that wasn’t your fault.

 

Goal

Get a new job, even if it will be for a short term, as in a contract, and may not be your dream position.  This job will re-establish your resume credibility.

 

Steps to find a new job

Job

 

  • Contact people you worked with in the past who could take you back.
  • Contact friends and colleagues who know you as a good person and will support you –maybe hand your resume/recommend you to their boss.
  • Contact everyone who could be a good reference for you.  Often there are people from the company from which you were let go who are aware the firing may not have been entirely your fault. People from the prior jobs would not be affected by what happened recently.

 

Options to Answer the Question Why You Left

 

Full disclosure – I was fired because…

If it was a personality conflict, explain that it had never happened before and that what you learned from the situation is that sometimes conflict can’t be resolved and that you should have taken action to move on earlier, yourself.  Immediately offer a list of references whom you know will say positive things about you.

It was a mutual decision and explain you have a severance plan.

Immediately offer a list of references.

Say nothing about the termination.

This may back fire if an employment check reveals you were fired and you had not been candid about it.

Don’t ruminate/blame.

I can’t think of a way this approach will ever work.  It is a sub-set of never criticizing a former boss, company or colleagues. It just makes people feel uncomfortable and you look  like complainer/whiner and  leave the impression you are immature and untrustworthy.


Nadine

Nadine is one of the original members and owners of Planet4IT, and has watched the company become something great.
She is the Chief Financial officer here, and her hard work ensures everything is kept in tip top shape.
Another role she has is to help companies find the top talent out there.
Her track record speaks for itself.
Nadine can be reached through email, or by calling Planet4IT

 

Job Revolution: Recruiting in the Digital Age

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

This week we have a special guest star – Nadine Lamothe, one of the officers here at Planet4IT. She will be joining us today, along with Jim Carlson and Andrew Carlson, to discuss Job Hunting and Recruiting in the Digital Age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Rise of the Digital Space

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Who among you would love to work from home. With Digital technologies it’s becoming easier to do. This week the P4Digital executive team examines the rise of the digital space.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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References – when Job Hunting have them ready to go

“References available upon request” – the most unnecessary sentence on a person’s resume.  Every job hunter, interviewer, Hiring Manager knows that the chances of being offered a position without references are NIL.  Even worse than that sentence is “Referees available upon request”.  Yes it is amazing the number of resumes I have seen with that sentence on it.  LOL  please don’t bother applying if you are sending me your referees!!!

Applying for a Job:

Read the job description carefully, references are usually only requested when you are getting to the offer stage.  Don’t send them in if they aren’t asked for.  Don’t put them on the bottom of your resume.  References are doing you a favour, don’t pass along their information until necessary.  Yes there are exceptions. There are a number of online company resume submission sites (usually large companies like Banks, IBM, etc) who ask for everything up front:  Resume, Cover Letter and References.  Don’t bother submitting to these sites unless you have all the information requested.

Interview:

This is one of the times when you may be asked for your references.  Employers don’t want to see  letters from your references starting with “To whom it may concern”.  They don’t want a list of your LinkedIn recommendations.  They want a straight forward copy of your references.  So be prepared.  Take a copy of your references with you,  in the following format:

 

Offer Stage:

Most employers will ask you for your references when they are getting to the offer stage.  You may be given a verbal offer dependent on your references.  When it’s a hot job market, employers know that you may be interviewing for more than one job.   They want to let you know that they want you, but your references are the final stepping stone.

References:

    • 3 minimum – including someone from your current employer.  Nothing better than having a reference from your current boss, this might be difficult so a colleague or team member will work.  Job appropriate references are nice to have, if you are interviewing for a job as a programmer in a financial institution and you have worked for a bank before then a colleague who can relate to the actual position is a bonus.  If you are a new graduate then a reference from a professor/teacher is better than your parents.
    • Keep your references up to date.  Make sure they are willing to do a positive reference for you.  Send them a copy of the job description and your resume so they know what you are up to.  Ask them what the best number and “time” to be reached at is.  Employers use reference checking services now so calls can be made before 9, during lunch, after 5.
    • Try and get references that would answer the question “Would you hire them again” with an emphatic “YES”.  References are very careful about how they answer questions and companies don’t want to get sued so they will tend not to say anything negative, but sometimes a non answer speaks volumes.
    • Use LinkedIn – keep in touch with the colleagues you would like to be your references.  Ten (10) years ago you would call your reference and if they had left their job good luck finding them.  LinkedIn makes it so easy to keep track of people and communicate with them.  Keep the relationship fresh and up to date.

References are an integral part of the successful job hunting journey.  Always try and leave your last job on a positive note and you won’t have to worry about your reference check.  Keep them up to date and keep in touch with them.