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



Job Hunting – Little things to help you overcome those tricky obstacles

Job Hunting can be mind boggling.  Knowing what kind of job you are qualified for can be intimidating.  Don’t let things overwhelm you.  Think of the positives and form a plan to accomplish your goal.  First thing I do when anything is overwhelming me is make a list.

  • What kind of jobs does your education qualify you for
  • What experience do you have and is it transferable from industry to industry, ie banking to government
  • Who do you know in the industry
    • Call them and set up an information interview to find out what types of jobs you would be qualified for or that would interest you
  • Network – let everyone know you are looking.  Do you volunteer, let the board know you are looking for a new job.  Play sports or children play sports, teams are a great place to network.  The gym, yoga studio – everyone knows someone who knows someone and most people are more than happy to lend a hand.
  • Use a Recruiter.  Recruiters have job boards sometimes exclusive to them.  Research your recruiter and find the one who deals with the companies on your list of places you would like to work.  Also find the Recruiter who deals with your skills.  Recruiters specialize – IT, Finance, Admin, etc so make sure you contact the right one.  Be diligent don’t them forget about you, keep in touch with him/her.
  • Check the job boards.  Don’t be afraid to recontact your Recruiter and let him/her know about job openings.
  • Check specific company websites.  Again before applying online check with your Recruiter to see if he has a contact there.
  • Connect with people on LinkedIn who work for specific targeted companies that you are interested in
  • And then go back and do it all again
There is a job out there with your name on it.


Don’t stress the stress test

In this week’s P4Capital discussion, the executive team talks about something most of us try to forget – the great recession of 2008.

The news isn’t bad though; for the first time since they were invoked, all American banks have passed the Stress Test.

The P4Capital team investigates what this means, and how it will protect the world economy should the worst come to pass again.

Stay tuned.



Amanda: Do you remember the recession of 2008? When the banks all caused the world economy to crumble? When  jobs evaporated like shallow water and dollar values plummeted worldwide? Well, the banks certainly do, and to make sure the Great Recession doesn’t happen again, they introduced a series of stress tests. And for the first time, in 2015 all the American banks have passed.

Jim: This week’s topic is about the American banks passing stress tests, and the significance to not only the North American economy, but the global economy as well.

Jeremy: For those of you that don’t know what a stress test is, the top 30 or so US banks have all agreed to undergo stress testing, in which they will look at different factors and variables and examine how these would affect their capital reserves, and their ability to do business. So for example they might look at what would happen if unemployment was to rise by 2%, inflation were to rise by 3% and interest rates were to be cut by  .5%.

Archana: Just backtracking a bit here, the stress tests were essentially introduced after the financial meltdown of 2008, and it’s seen as a huge step in boosting consumer confidence in the US financial system.  In 2008, we all know how that story played out; the banks had to be bailed out, the government essentially funding about 700 billion to bail out the biggest lenders in the US.

Shaheerah: The whole purpose of these tests is to ensure that the banks will have enough capital, and they will be able to continue to lend to businesses and households even in a very dark economic recession. These stress tests focus on some important risks, and those risks are credit risk, market risk and liquidity risk.

Jim: The interesting part, now the US Greenback is soaring  out there and the banks that support the US dollar are now passed all the latest stress tests, is that it looks like the US economy is now back on extremely firm foundation and footing, and will be the engine that drives the global economy. We haven’t seen that in a while. The argument can be at least 7 years, some argue all the way back to 2000.

Jeremy: It’s actually the sixth year anniversary today of the low of the S&P 500. It’s up over 200% over the past six years, so it’s been one heck of a bull market.

Amanda: The date we are recording this is March 9, 2015 for our listeners who are tuning in at a later date. What does this mean for the Canadian economy?

Shaheerah: Yes, so now bringing that discussion back to Canada, Canadian banks are ranked the world’s soundest for seven straight years by the world economic form. Canadian banks are actually outperforming the US banks even in the midst of the dropping oil prices, and part of the reason is we have fewer regulations and less competition than the banks of the US. And both TD and BMO, among other banks are also expanding in the US because the US will see more economic growth than Canada over the next two years.

Jim: Therefore, expansion equals more jobs and more overall health to the Canadian economy which has in fact had a phenomenal bull run itself for almost a decade, with the exception of that mid, let’s call it September 2008 to September 2009 period, which is very good news indeed. The interesting part was the measurement of risk as well, and watching how the different financial institutions are now responding by getting rid of their archaic technologies and moving into faster engines which are allowing them to monitor risk with more clarity and make better decisions going forward.

Jeremy: Also, if banks in the US don’t pass their stress testd then sanctions can be placed on them such as what happened with Citibank. I believe it was last year they failed some of the stress tests so they weren’t able to have any share buybacks or authorize any dividend increases. They did pass them sufficiently enough so they didn’t have to cut dividends though. Not coincidently there is a new CEO implemented there.

Jim: Yeah, no kidding! How many of the competent Citi people fled to get to financial institutions that would pay them appropriate bonuses and how many should have got fired?

Jeremy: True. Goldman actually didn’t do as well as expected on these tests, so their share price was down 1.7% the day the tests were released, largely as investors are concerned that the similar sanctions may be in the future for Goldman Sachs.

Jim: Well, considering the US government is one of the largest borrowers on the planet, and they’re only going to borrow money from their financial institutions that pass their rules-

Jeremy: and China!

Jim: -And China, yeah! I think it’s very important that these FI’s that are on the line get up to speed.

Archana: Incidentally, this is apparently the first year since the Dodd-Frank act stress test, or as it’s called DFast,  that all the 31 US banks actually passed the test. Citigroup actually flunked the test last year and the CEO actually went on record saying that he is quite intent getting the books in order, or otherwise his job is on the line. And apparently they did well this year. Again, this DFast is apparently round one of the new stress test measures that the government has introduced. Part two is to be unveiled this week, which is primarily concerned with whether the Fed will announce whether the capital plans of these big banks are going to be accepted or rejected in terms of their share buyback and dividends. So it’s not exactly clear whether all 31 banks will go through – that remains to be seen.

Jim: Could be a lot of nervous executives wondering if they can get their bonuses paid or not!


That was the P4Capital team discussing the Stress Test, and how it will protect the economy going forward. Want to know more? Check out our website  and previous posts at or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

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.



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



  • 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 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


Resume Formatting can be the Key to getting the Interview

Resume Formatting can be the Key to getting the Interview

Resumes can be the key to opening the door to your first interview or a direct path to the trash bin.  Hiring Managers and Recruiters see 100’s of resumes for every job opening.  There are 1,940,000 entries on google for “the 6 second scan of your resume”.  Yes – 6 seconds.  Barely more than a blink.  If you pass the scan the resume gets moved to the “follow up file” for a more in-depth look at.  At this point you might get an email or a phone call looking for more detailed job related exposure.

Planet4iT has been using the format in our slideshare presentation very successfully for the last 15 years.  Give it a try and good luck with your job hunting.

Through the Crystal Ball Part 2

Last week we speculated on what the future might hold for fossil fuels and renewable energy. Now, the P4Capital executive team concludes that discussion with this week’s round table discussion.

Stay tuned.


Amanda: And we’re back! Here is part two of through the crystal ball: the future of oil.

Jeremy: So that immediately suggests again that demand for oil will drop due to a technology shift. In fact, if one actually looks at the history of oil as a technology driver it’s less than 100 years old. In most economies it’s less than 75 years old. Which, that breakthrough that Shaheerah noted right now, will change the composition and make up of most trading markets around the world instantaneously as that becomes a commercialized venue for fuel.

Shaheerah: I also wanted to mention some predictions that scientists have made. So currently right now we are in 2015. By 10 years from now, scientists predict that by 2025, methods of converting and storing solar energy will be so advanced that solar energy is actually going to become the primary source of energy on the planet. A company called Tesla has predicted that by 2025, electric vehicles will take over the traditional vehicles we have. Batteries will store more energy in 2025, and batteries will recharge 10 times faster, resulting in electric vehicle fleets that can be used both on the ground and in the air. And so, small-scale commercial aircraft will be powered by light lithium ion batteries. This will actually be the preferred way of short-haul flights.

Jim: And again as a supplements to Shaheerah’s point right now, Tesla is a fine, fine automobile. There are no fossil fuels in Tesla what-so-ever. So how long will it be that one can drive your car from here to 500 km away without worrying about any refuelling. I think that day is within the next year.

Amanda: On a side note here, a car called the Strati is hoping to hit the roads later this year, that’s in 2015. This is a 3D printed car. It takes 24 hours from conception to finished product.

Jim: And when had I talked about the smart manufacturing that in fact is exactly prime example A of what smart manufacturing is. You walk in, you work with a 3D cartographer, and you’re able to come back the next day for your finished product. Mind blowing, is it not?

Archana: It sure seems like we’re living in exciting times, all the data that Shaheerah and Jim just provided to us, I mean it just seems like the amount of technological advances that we’ve made. Obviously, oil is going to become less and less relevant over the coming years. But a recent study by a US government backed energy information administration actually estimated that only about 11% of the world market energy consumption at the moment comes from renewable energy sources, which includes your geothermal, your hydro power, your solar, wind and other sources. BP actually puts this at 9% of world-wide energy consumption in 2013. So just about 9% of worldwide energy consumption was attributed to renewable energy resources in 2013. By estimates, they put this number by, 2040 at 15% of global energy needs coming from renewable energy sources. All these technology advances does make me wonder why has the adoption been so slow. One of the reasons that I, while I was researching this subject, that I can across was the cost of production, storage and the transportation of these bio fuels still remains very high.

Jeremy: There’s another point to be made here about how the future of manufacturing is dependent on oil. To look at it from a different angle that we have, and to quote the movie The Graduate, plastics – the future is plastics.

Jim: Again, somewhat interesting commentary by Jeremy. P4Capital is dedicated to the women and men who work within the trading systems; all sorts of products and monies as they’re being trading. This change in the way fuel is developed into the overall economy will mean dramatic, systematic shifts in the way money is moved around the world. I’m wondering if today’s technologies in the capital markets, and those that have invested in their wealth management portfolios, are quite aware of what’s going on in these changing times.


That concludes the P4Capital teams discussion on the future of fossil fuels.  To listen to part one, or just check out some of our other round table discussions, check out our website  at or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

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



Looking through the Crystal Ball: Oil – Part 1

How important is oil to our future? Will prices continue to decline as new sources of power take their place, or will they sky rocket as world economies continue to shake. In the first of a two part series, the P4Capital executive team speculates on what the future holds.

Stay tuned.



Amanda: Last week CEO Jim Carlson speculated on looking through the crystal ball to see the future of oil. In the first of a two part series, the P4Capital executive team does just that. Join us as we speculate on the future of renewable energy, the economy, and if fossil fuels will become fossils themselves.

Jim: Today’s topic is, is oil relevent for the next 20 – 30 years? We examine the impact of the recent price decrease in oil as a natural resource, and some of the findings that have been published as new manufacturing direction under industry 4.0, which is basically to paraphrase: a smart factory.

Shaheerah: Okay, just to recap a little bit from our last Podcast, demand is low because of weak economic activity, increased efficiency, and a growing switch to other fuels instead of oil. America has become the world’s largest oil producer. Although ti does not export crude oil, it imports much less. And so that’s creating a spare supply. Saudi’s and their Gulf allies have decided not to sacrifice their own market share of oil, so they decided not to lower their production supply. Countries that they don’t like, like Iran and Russia would benefit from that so, they don’t want to give up their market share. Saudi Arabia can actually tolerate lower prices quite easily. They have 900 billion dollars in reserves, and their own oil costs only 5 – 6 dollars per barrel to get out of the ground.

Amanda: That’s Saudi Arabia, right? Do you know anything about Dubai?

Jeremy: Well, it’s interesting that you bring up Dubai Amanda. I don’t know what their cost of oil production are, I image they’re similar to Saudi’s same general area of the world, but if we’re betting on the future of oil it looks like United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular, have been trying to diversify their economy and kind of position themselves as a modern-day Disney World for adults. That where they see oil going.

Jim: Coming back to market share as Shaheerah pointed out, Iran and Russia obviously see the benefits of being a net exporter of oil. The other nations that are being analyzed right now is North America itself. The oil sands coming out of Alberta and regardless of when the pipeline will be commissioned into operations, that will give North America a complete footprint from the ground into pump, where the need for importing of oil will be dramatically reduced. Therefore what you’ve done is you’ve taken the appetite from oil and now said to the major oil producers, I really don’t need your oil to come across the seas as it is right now. I can produce my own.

Archana: Talking about Alberta, yes I mean, it is a very oil dependent economy, but there is a major push in fact on Alberta’s premiere to make it more resistant to these oil shocks. When the economy is so dependent on oil and the sustenance of the economy depends on upheavals that are going on in the market, it can be quite a volatile situation. So there is a major push in Alberta to diversify and to look at other avenues as well. Also, another thing to be noted is that this week, Canada’s top banks are expected to bring out their results this week, and it is expected that the results would show a major decline in investment banking profits, primarily due to the oil prices.

Jim: The crystal ball of the future, which is not too much in the future, says smart manufacturing is going to be the way the, quote unquote western economies will be headed, and they are in fact headed their right now. Which is a heavy adaptation of technology with the use of breakthroughs, and the internet of everything, cybernetics, etc. Currently, if one looks at global manufacturing, the engine is China, and China has to import all its fuel to keep its manufacturing plants up and running. And the interesting part about what China does, is they do first and secondary manufacturing, but finishing manufacturing normally goes back to the domiciled country. So therefore, manufactured parts have got to be, the raw materials have got to be shipped to China, and to the semi-finished parts have to be shipped to another country. That requires a huge amount of fossil fuels to make that happen right now. As I mentioned int he crystal ball, that model is now under attack primarily from the western based economies saying “Wait a minute, if I can manufacture at a lower cost than I can currently right now, I don’t have to rely on China and I don’t have to rely on the price of fossil fuels in my overall manufacturing price, so that’s what’s happening right now – as we speak, in the technology fields.

Jeremy: Now I’m no geologist, I don’t know what you guys heard, but how does China – a country that’s almost as big in terms of land mass as Canada or the United States, fourth biggest in the world, how do they not have a major domestic oil production of their own?

Jim: If you’re asking me the question becomes rhetorical, because I have no idea of what the answer is.

Amanda: It should be noted that P4Capital is capital experts, not necessarily geographers.

Shaheerah: I also wanted to mention some recent advances in technology and science. Last year in April, the US navy scientists actually found a way to turn sea water into fuel. This new fuel is initially expected to cost around 3 – 6 dollars per gallon, according to the US naval research laboratory. They have actually already flown a model aircraft on that as well. So the scientists found a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from sea water, and then these gases are then turned into a fuel by a gas process with the help of catalytic converters.


That was the P4Capital team discussing the future of oil and what could replace it. Want to know more? Stay tuned for part two next week, or check out our website  at or follow us @p4capital. Thanks and see you next time.

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



Ping Pong Diplomacy – COMPLETE

Ping Pong Diplomacy


Match One
Match Two
Match Three
Match Four
Upper Bracket Semi Final

Thanks to everyone for participating!