Careers & Job Skills
5 Great Personality Tests to Help You Find Your Dream Job
Written by Kay Benedek
Whether just starting out or looking for a change, choosing a career is no easy task. It’s something that takes time, research, and a lot of insight. Luckily, there are several online tools that are available to help you get to know yourself and explore options that might be the best fit.
Think of them as the first steps on your journey to a new profession. Take a minute and gain some insight into your potential future with these five great personality tests.
Sokanu career assessment
This in-depth test delves into your personal interests, past careers, education goals, and more to determine what careers may be right for you. It may take some time to complete, but the results are worth the effort. https://www.sokanu.com/dashboard/
Skills you need
This test explores your interpersonal skills (often known as “soft skills”), determining where you excel and where you can improve. From listening and communication skills to working in teams, the Skills you need test will help you figure out what your strong suits really are, which can be invaluable when you’re trying to identify the right field and career path. https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ls/index.php/343479/lang/en/newtest/Y
The MAPP career test
The MAPP career test may be one of the best available online. This 20-minute test provides you with ten possible career options, with the dominant personality trait needed for each career path. Although you have to pay to get the best results out of this test, the free version can still be very thought provoking. https://www.assessment.com/
My Next Move O*NET Interest Profiler
Sponsored by the U.S. Labour Department, the O*NET Interest Profiler finds out what your interests are and relates it to possible career paths you may like to explore. It will even break down how much additional preparation is needed for each job option, or where your current skill level fits. https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip
A unique kind of test, Pymetrics uses a series of mind games to measure cognitive and social traits. It will then spit out a list of strengths and weaknesses that will help you delve further into potential careers, and figure out what sort of schooling or skills training you need to get there. https://www.pymetrics.com/
Some people are fortunate enough to know what they want to do with their lives. Most of us, however, need some help on occasion. Reaching out to friends, family, and career counsellors is always a great idea when making these kinds of decisions. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration (and some food for thought), these tests are an easy and accessible way to get you started on the right path. Happy hunting and good luck!
3 Types of Toxic Co-workers (& How to Handle Them)
Written by Lauren Pelley
Sometimes working in an office can feel more like swimming with sharks.
While we’re all familiar with workplace conflict, particularly toxic coworkers can leave their fellow employees drowning in stress, be it through bullying, gossip, or cutthroat behaviour.
Career experts say these kinds of coworkers can put you in sticky situations, but it’s important to deal with them smartly — and professionally — if you want to stay afloat.
“Being able to handle these challenging, competitive individuals is a crucial skill for career success,” says Cal Jungwirth, an Edmonton-based director at Robert Half.
So how do you do that? Well, it depends on what type of office shark you’re dealing with.
Imagine if, every time you run into Joe, he makes a snarky comment about your suit, or picks on you for your lackluster sales numbers, or teases you for flubbing up in the infield at your company’s softball tournament.
Sound familiar? This type of colleague feels more like a mean kid in the schoolyard than a professional, employed adult — but grown-up bullies do exist in the workplace, and they can be a pain to deal with.
How to handle a bully
Jungwirth says it’s important to make a mental note about these types of individuals and understand that if they bully you once, they’ll likely do it again. “Do not stoop to their level, and don’t take the bait,” he adds.
“If it’s one individual that’s the bully — and it’s not just you, but many people that feel that way — it’s probably something that should be escalated,” adds Katie Bennett, president at Edmonton-based Double Black Diamond Coaching.
Picture this: Your team member, Sue, doesn’t agree with your manager’s direction for an upcoming project and voices her opinion loudly-and-proudly at the water cooler.
It’s her usual tactic. And, like several times before, instead of just buckling down to do her part, Sue shirks her responsibilities, adding more to your plate and potentially getting you and your other team members in trouble with your boss.
She’s a classic slacker, and while it might seem less dangerous than a bully, a chronic this-is-your-problem-not-mine attitude can lead to even more problems for you.
How to handle a slacker
Bennett says it’s important to create a culture of peer-to-peer accountability from the beginning, to ensure you don’t need to call someone out to a manager.
In the case of someone like Sue, if you’re worried about her missing a Thursday deadline, nip her behaviour in the bud early, rather than escalate things up the chain — or worse, wait until the project goes south.
“It’s better that you go to Sue on Tuesday and ask, how’s it going for Thursday? Are we going to be ready? Is there anything I can do to help you get there?” Bennett suggests.
If there is a lack of trust between you and a co-worker, she also recommends bringing it up gently but directly. “You can start addressing that by asking that person out for coffee and getting to know them better to build that trust,” she says.
Some people might feel pressured to stand out from their coworkers to move ahead, and making others look bad might be one tactic they use to promote themselves, says Jungwirth.
That could be like your colleague Abdul publicly criticizing your work in a meeting — yikes — or even worse, taking all the credit for a project where you did the bulk of the work.
This type of cutthroat behaviour can also manifest in “toxic gossip,” says Jungwirth.
How to handle a self-promoter
While you don’t need to completely change your approach to this person, you need to be graceful, according to Jungwirth.
That means staying professional regardless of their conduct, and remembering that there’s safety in numbers — so it’s important to also maintain healthy relationships with the rest of your peers and keeping people on your side.
You might also want to sit down with a manager to explain the situation if it’s an ongoing pattern, or loop in Human Resources if you want to avoid looking like a tattle-tale or getting stuck in a he-said, she-said situation.
The bottom line
Whatever situation you’re in, you need to gauge if there’s someone who keeps being a bully, slacker, or self-promoter — or if the broader office culture is toxic.
Bennett suggests asking yourself a few key questions: If I’m constantly in conflict with people, do I fit here? Do I share the same values as this company? Do I want to work here?
If the answers are “no,” it might be time to look for another job where you won’t be spending every day in shark-infested waters.
The 10 Most In-demand Jobs in Canada Right Now (& What They Pay)
Looking for something new right now? We’ve crunched some numbers to find out what jobs are most in-demand from coast to coast.
Here are the 10 most in-demand jobs in Canada right now (and what they pay):
Salary range: $20,802 – $29,490
- Pharmacy assistant
Salary range: $23,483 – $41,212
- Registered nurses
Salary range: $44,686 – $86,110
Salary range: $22,835 – $38,818
Salary range: $22,823 – $35,842
- Sales executive
Salary range: $31,511 – $100,334
- Sales representative
Salary range: $21,000 –$67,000
Salary range: $22,943 – $40,297
- Customer service representative
Salary range: $23,592 – $44,797
- Front store supervisor
Salary range: $23,755 – $47,581
According to our data, these jobs take approximately 45 days to fill. Job postings that stay up the longest – or those that are immediately reposted following the job ad’s expiration – indicate a perpetual need or a difficulty to fill.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get to work!
*Salary ranges posted in CAD, courtesy of Payscale and Glassdoor.
5 Things to Watch for in a Job Posting (That Many Candidates Miss)
Analysis of user behaviour on Workopolis shows that most candidates view an online job posting for 50 seconds before hitting the ‘Apply’ button.
Of course, you want to know who the job is for, what you will be doing, and what is required of you before applying. That’s what most people scan for in those few seconds. But there is much more information that you can potentially find in a job posting – if you spend more than a minute reading it.
Here are some key pieces of information to look for in a job ad that can help you tweak your application and greatly increase your chances of at least getting an interview.
Obvious (and subtle) clues to watch for:
The job title
The job title isn’t a subtle clue, it’s generally right there in bold font at the top of the job ad. Use it. Many candidates don’t. Whatever the job title is, make it the title of your resume, and include it in the filename of your resume. If you’re applying by email, also use the job title in the subject line.
Recruiters could be hiring for many jobs at once. They want to save and sort the most relevant applications for the roles. If your resume has a different title from a specific opening, it can look like you applied for the wrong job, you’re just mass mailing your resume, or you don’t care enough to customize. There’s also a greater chance that your application may simply get lost in the shuffle.
The recruiter’s name
This is more subtle, but you can sometimes obtain the specific name of the person you should address your application to right from the job posting. A personalized application will fare much better than a generic one. This is particularly true if the hiring manager knows that their information is available to candidates who put the effort into finding it. Those applicants who do will stand out right off the bat from those who didn’t.
If the instructions say to apply via email, can you learn anything from the address? For example, if you were looking for a job at Workopolis and you were told to submit your resume to email@example.com, it would be a safe bet that the hiring manager’s last name is Forde and their first name begins with M. A quick Google search of “Forde Workopolis” should help you find the name, job title, and bio of the person you’re addressing your resume and cover letter to.
Job postings also include the title of the person you’ll be working for. It might say something like, “Reporting to the Director of Communications, you will be responsible for…” Again a Google search for “Director of Communications” with the company name is more than likely to reveal the identity and often a LinkedIn and Twitter profile for your potential boss.
The exact instructions for applying
Job postings usually contain details of how to apply for a job. These are not suggestions, so ignoring them will likely sink your chances. If the job ad says to include a code number in your subject line or refer to it in your cover letter, be sure to do so.
If the job posting requests a Word document resume, don’t send a PDF or a link to an online profile. If the employer asks for samples of your work or specific pieces of information from you, provide them.
Not following the instructions can get you screened out before the hiring manager ever sees your application. It could also make it appear as though you don’t pay attention to detail or that you can’t follow instructions.
Keywords to use in your resume
Read the job description carefully for the exact wording they use to describe the credentials, skill, and software required for the job. Mirror these phrasings in your application if you can. Recruiters use software to filter applications by relevance, and often these are ranked according to their use of specific keywords the employer is hoping to see.
Matching your language use to the employer's – and mentioning the credentials they are specifically looking for – can help ensure you score higher on the relevancy scale.
Actual qualifications required vs. credential creep
Reading the job description carefully should help you to separate out the actual requirements to do the job from the cut and paste requirements that the employer likely includes in every job posting by rote.
Companies are often clear about what they are looking for, and what skills you will need to have in order to do the job. If you don’t actually have the ability to succeed in the role, then applying is a waste of time for you and the employer.
But there is such a thing as ‘credential creep’ where employers ask for more qualifications than any one applicant is likely to have, so don’t worry if you fall short in a few areas. For example, employers now request university degrees for many roles that will not actually require them on the job. So this may be a screening tool, but it is one that you can get past if you clearly demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to contribute and excel at the job itself.
The same goes with ‘years of experience.’ If the job description asks for five years in a role or using a particular skill, and you only have three, demonstrate your expert knowledge and accomplishments from those three years. It’s the ability to deliver results that really matters.
Careful reading and customization allow you to demonstrate this in your resume. A red flag for employers is when candidates highlight and focus on skills and accomplishments they have that are irrelevant to the job they’re applying for.
This makes it appear as though they either don’t understand the nature of the role (and would therefore bring little value to it) or that they have simply (once again) applied to the wrong job.
Spend more than a minute reading a job posting before sending in your resume. Make sure your application follows the specific instructions and highlights how you’re a great candidate for the job at hand. The clues you need to stand out are often available right in the job description. Sometimes you just have to put a little extra time and effort into finding them. Of course, that’s what employers are looking for: candidates who are willing to put in more time and effort to go the extra mile.