Careers & Job Skills
How to Handle a Bully at Work
By Peter Harris
A reader reached out to me through our Twitter channel. She wanted to know how to deal with a bully at work. Apparently, there is a manager from another department who consistently raises his voice in meetings to angrily intimidate other people into not disagreeing with him. It is creating a hostile and fearful work environment.
Here are some steps you can take for putting a stop to it.
How to deal with bullying coworkers
Start with a conversation.
Sometimes people don’t know how their behaviour may be impacting others. The very first thing you should try to do is talk to your bullying colleague. Do it in the moment, when an incident occurs. “Look, X, I have to tell you that I feel like my opinions aren’t being heard at the moment and that you may be overreaching into my department’s responsibilities. Let’s take a step back and assess how our respective teams can best each contribute to the success of this project.”
You should keep a record of any kind of abusive behaviour. Save emails, quotes, events, and dates. If you have to end up going over her head, then you will need to be specific about the incidents, precisely what took place, and the impact that it had.
Gather your allies.
You mentioned that there were others negatively impacted by this coworker. Find out if they have specific incidents of their own to report. Will they back you up if and when the time comes to escalate to a formal complaint?
Do the math.
Have good people left the company because of this manager? Staff turnover is expensive. One person dragging down the working environment becomes more of a liability to a company than an asset – regardless of how personally productive they might be.
And that is the math you need to do for your employer: because of the toll this person is taking on the overall morale (and therefore productivity), X is a liability for the company. Her behaviour, if unchanged, is costing us more than the value she brings.
Cut your losses.
Sometimes you just have to leave. If your boss doesn’t care that employee behaviour is negatively affecting the team’s self-esteem and happiness at work, that should tell you everything you need to know about who you’re working for. You need a job, but you need something else more.
You shouldn’t have to leave your job because of someone else’s negative behaviour, but staying in a hostile environment can take its toll on your self-esteem and your health. It might not be worth it. Living well is the best revenge, as they say. The situation will look much better in hindsight from your new job where you are happy and successful.
9 Tips on How to Quit Your Job
By Elizabeth Bromstein
Some of the most common questions about jobs are about how to quit them. So, we thought we would offer a few tips about giving notice, how the boss should be told, whether you have to do it in person, and more. Here are nine tips on how to quit your job.
Two weeks is pretty standard. Your contract may specify something else. According to Robert Half, “In most provinces, employment standards state that an employee must give the employer a written notice of termination of at least one week if the employee has been employed between three months to two years, or at least two weeks if the employee has been employed for longer than two years.” Find out what you have to do, and do that.
Keep it quiet until you tell your boss
Don’t let your boss be the last to know you’re leaving. They will feel slighted and hurt, and a hurt boss is bad for your professional reputation. Worse, if you tell your people you plan on quitting, but haven’t actually made up your mind, your mind might be made up for you and you could be let go. This could mean you get unemployment benefits – if you’re fired without cause – and termination/severance pay. But it might not be what you planned for.
Line up another job first
It’s easier to find a job when you already have one. Try to get another job before quitting if possible.
Maybe you hate your boss, and the company is the worst place you’ve ever worked in your life. You want to give them all a piece of your mind, and then some, but avoid doing this. If there is an exit interview, that is the time to share your grievances. Even then, state your comments calmly. Avoid getting upset and trash talking. It won’t do you any good and may harm your professional reputation in future.
Do it in person
Quitting should be done in person, if possible. It’s a courteous way to do it. Of course, email or phone are fine if you have no choice. I’m not sure where the in-person rule came from but people expect it. You might also write a resignation letter. I never have. But some employers might want one. Make sure you do it within the required notice period.
Send a goodbye message
Email your colleagues and let them know how much you’ve enjoyed working with them (or, well, if you haven’t enjoyed working with them, lie). Include a link to your LinkedIn and suggest you connect there. You never know who might be willing and able to help you find your next opportunity.
Say thank you
Even if you think you have nothing to say thank you for, say thank you. Thank your employer for the opportunity they gave you… (stop arguing. Say it anyway). Thank any mentors or trainers you might have had. Thank your boss.
Ask for a reference
If you’ve handled things well and been a good employee, you should have no problem getting a letter of recommendation, right? Get it in writing, as a letter or reference on LinkedIn.
Leave things better than you found them
A lot of these types of articles say to “go out on a high note,” like after a big victory or accomplishment. But that not always, or even usually, possible. At least, don’t leave a mess. Finish your projects, train your successor, wrap up any unfinished business, clean your leftovers out of the office fridge, and take everything from your desk. You don’t want anyone looking around and thinking about what a jerk you are for leaving them a bunch of spills to clean up. At the end of the experience, You want to leave an impression of professional courtesy. You want people to miss you and think highly of you, and to say nice things to your network. Make the right professional decisions and hopefully that’s what will happen.
Study: You Only Need 50% of Job Requirements to be Interviewed
By Peter Harris
You see a job posting for a role that you would love to have, but you don’t have all of the qualifications the employer is looking for. It’s not a lost cause. It turns out that you don’t actually need to have every credential in the bullet-pointed list of requirements.
Wanted: 15-years experience in software development, a proven track record of exceeding sales quotas, MBA, CPR certified, must speak English, French, Mandarin, and Portuguese, and provide a portfolio of published scholarly works.
Okay. Nobody has all of that. Sometimes what employers ask for in a job description is a wish list. They shoot for the moon, asking for more than they actually expect candidates to have. This helps discourage less-qualified candidates from applying, giving them fewer resumes to sift through.
So, how much do you actually need?
The team at TalentWorks was curious to find out exactly. They analyzed job postings and resumes for over 6,000 applications across 118 industries. Their research found that while matching requirements is important to land an interview, you don’t actually have to match all of them.
Candidates with fewer than 40 per cent of the qualifications requested had less of a chance of getting called in. When candidates applied to jobs where they matched 40 – 50 per cent of job requirements, they were 85% more likely to get an interview than when they matched less.
Applicants with 50 – 60 per cent of matching qualifications were an extra 192 per cent more likely to get an interview over the 40 – 50 per cent matches.
Interestingly, dream candidates with just about every qualification and credential the employer was requesting were not any more likely to be interviewed than those who have half of them. Candidates with 90 per cent of the requirements were interviewed at the same rate as those who had 50 per cent.
When they broke down the data along gender lines, the researchers found that women landed interviews at higher rates with only 30 per cent of the qualifications – and they were as likely to be interviewed with 40 per cent as with 90 per cent of matching requirements.
There is an important lesson here – particularly for female candidates. Studies have shown that women are far less likely to apply for jobs where they don’t match all of the qualifications listed in the job posting. Second guessing yourself and holding back could be costing you valuable opportunities.
Stop filtering yourself out of contention. Both men and women should feel confident applying for jobs where they match 50 per cent of the requirements. Any more than that isn’t increasing your chances of being interviewed anyway.
The 10 Highest (and 10 Lowest) Paying Jobs in Canada
By Peter Harris
Statistics Canada released its top 10 list of the most talked about stories of last year. Coming in on number two on the list was their data on employment in Canada. (The number one story was cannabis.)
The big employment story was Canada’s lowest unemployment rate in 40 years at 5.6%, but Stats Can’s regular statistical and analytical releases uncovered many interesting trends, including changes to wages, specifically by occupation.
Part of that story is a report the data agency put out a few months ago including a list of the ten highest and ten lowest paying jobs in Canada. Once again, specialist physicians claimed the top spot at $70.00 or an annual median wage of $145,600.
Stats Can’s 10 highest paying occupations in Canada (hourly wage)
- Specialist physicians – $70.00
- Senior managers–financial, communications and other business services – $65.15
- Chemical engineers – $59.00
- Lawyers and Quebec notaries – $57.05
- Statistical officers and related research support occupations – $46.80
- Supervisors, mining and quarrying – $46.70
- Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities – $44.35
- Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades – $44.20
- Producers, directors and choreographers and related occupations – $37.05
- Real estate agents and salespersons – $35.00
On the other end of the spectrum, bartenders and food and beverage servers earned the lowest wage at a median of $12.00 an hour. This would fluctuate regionally with the provincial minimum wage rates. (And this number does not take into account tips, which often go a long way to supplementing the income of service workers.)
The 10 lowest paying occupations in Canada (hourly wage)
- Bartenders – $12.00
- Food and beverage service workers – $12.00
- Nursery and greenhouse workers – $13.65
- Harvesting labourers – $13.65
- Industrial sewing machine operators – $13.90
- Home child care providers – $14.05
- Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs – $14.60
- Collectors – $18.25
- Artisans and craftspersons – $18.25
- Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians – $18.75
- Restaurant and food service managers – $18.80
- Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists – $21.20
The average Canadian wage is $996.66 a week, or just shy of $52,000.00 a year right now. You can see the latest data on income for occupations by specific region here.
The Most In-demand Jobs & Skills for 2019
By Elizabeth Bromstein
A new report shows which skills will be in high demand in 2019, as well as the emerging jobs for which demand is growing the fastest.
The annual Emerging Jobs Report from LinkedIn uses data from the company’s Economic Graph to find the roles that companies are rapidly hiring for, the skills associated with them, and the roles that have emerged over the last five years.
The report can help professionals make good career decisions and figure out which skills they need to develop in order to be successful.
AI skills are increasing in demand, even in industries outside of tech and are among the fastest growing. Basic business functions, however, are also very much in need. “AI may be on the rise, but it can’t replace the power of humans,” says the report. “Basic operational functions like Administrative Assistant, Assurance Staff and Sales Development Representative also landed spots on the Emerging Jobs list.”
The top 15 emerging jobs and the skills they require:
- Blockchain Developer (33X growth)
Top Skills: Solidity, Blockchain, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, Node.js
- Machine Learning Engineer (12X growth)
Top Skills: Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Tensorflow, Apache Spark, Natural Language Processing
- Application Sales Executive (8X growth)
Top Skills: Software as a Service, Cloud Applications, Human Capital Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Solution Selling
- Machine Learning Specialist (6X growth)
Top Skills: Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Tensorflow, Python, Artificial Intelligence
- Professional Medical Representative (6X growth)
Top Skills: Pharmaceutical Sales, Sales Effectiveness, Product Launches, Medical Devices, Gastroenterology
- Relationship Consultant (5.5X growth)
Top Skills: Banking, Retail Banking, Loans, Consumer Lending, Credit
- Data Science Specialist (5X growth)
Top Skills: Machine Learning, Data Science, Python, R, Apache Spark
- Assurance Staff (5X growth)
Top Skills: Auditing, Accounting, Financial Reporting, Internal Controls
- Sales Development Representative (4X growth)
Top Skills: Salesforce, Cold Calling, Software-as-a-Service, Lead Generation, Sales Prospecting
- Business Support Consultant (4X growth)
Top Skills: Risk Management, Credit, Banking, Business Analysis, Business Process
- Solar Power Consultant (4X growth)
Top Skills: Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, Sales, Business Development, Marketing
- Administrative Assistant (4X growth)
Top Skills: Receptionist Duties, Administrative Assistant, Data Entry, Office Administration, Microsoft Office
- Background Investigator (4X growth)
Top Skills: Investigation, Background Checks, Private Investigations, Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice
- Machine Learning Researcher (4X growth)
Top Skills: Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Tensorflow, Python, Algorithms
- Data Science Manager (4X growth)
Top Skills: Data Science, Machine Learning, Apache Spark, Python, R
When it comes to skills as a standalone category, the largest gaps are found with soft skills. While technical skills are obviously in high demand with many of the emerging jobs, soft skills – like oral communication, leadership and time management – are also in short supply and high demand.
“While hard skills are important, it remains imperative for professionals to maintain their arsenal of soft skills in this rapidly changing jobs landscape because those that have them, have a leg up,” says the report.
Oral Communication is the skill employers are having the most trouble finding. On the tech side, basic skills such as social media, graphic design and web development are always sought after. People with these skills are, reportedly, hired at faster rates than people without them.
The skills with the biggest gaps:
- Oral Communication
Skills include: Public Speaking, Communication, Presentation Skills
- People Management
Skills include: Teamwork, Supervisory Skills, Personnel Management
- Development Tools
Skills include: Java, C++, Linux
- Social Media
Skills include: Social Media, Digital Media, Social Media Measurement
- Business Management
Skills include: Management, Strategic Planning, Business Process Improvement
- Time Management
Skills include: Organization Skills, Time Management, Multitasking
Skills include: Leadership, Team Leadership, Team Building
- Graphic Design
Skills include: Adobe Photoshop, Web Design, Illustration
- Data Science
Skills include: Data Analysis, Forecasting, Statistics
- Web Development
How You’re Most Likely to Get Caught Lying in Your Resume
By Peter Harris
Most companies conduct background checks on potential hires. They go to the extra time and effort because they know that many candidates include exaggerated or false information on their resumes. A working relationship is built on mutual trust. Employers don’t want to enter into an association that starts out with dishonesty. Here’s what the experts say are the most common resume lies – and how they find out about them.
Human Resources professionals say that this is by far the most common resume ‘exaggeration.’ People claim to have graduated and obtained certificates or degrees that they may have began studying for – but never completed.
How you’ll get caught: A simple background check. Most employers have a program in place for verifying information about potential new hires. A school will confirm the dates that you attended and the certifications that you earned.
Start and end dates
Employers say that candidates routinely alter the dates of their previous employment on their resume. This is usually done to increase the length of their employment in a role or to mask periods of unemployment in between positions.
How you’ll get caught: Similarly, a background check will uncover whether or not you worked at a company and what your beginning and ending dates of employment were.
Second language proficiency
Applicants who have conversational ability in a second language regularly claim to be ‘fully bilingual’. This can cause problems if they are hired for a job that requires native fluency in oral and written communications in both languages.
How you’ll get caught: Proficiency tests. For any job where bilingualism is vital to the role, employers are likely to bring in a fluent speaker to the interview. Many organizations will also include written proficiency tests as well. You don’t want to be caught out in a lie. List the language skills that you do have, but don’t exaggerate them.
Candidates are frequently tempted to boost their job titles either to equal the job they’re applying for or to at least elevate their role with a previous employer to increase their chances of being hired.
How you’ll get caught: Background check – and social media. Previous employers will confirm your job titles and how long you held the roles. Potential employers also routinely look up candidates on social media. One of the things they check for is to see if your online information matches with the details in your resume. It is more difficult to fudge your job titles on social media since your connections could call you out if you list a role that you never actually held.
This is the worst lie of all because it is the least likely to be found out during the hiring process. People looking to boost the number of skills-related keywords in their resume are sometimes tempted to list technical abilities and hard skills that they do not actually possess. This may help your resume pass the ATS filters, but it won’t do your career any good if you’re called upon to actually use those skills on the job.
How you’ll get caught: The worst-case scenario would be getting hired for a job that you can’t actually do. What happens when you are asked to use those programming skills you claimed to have – and you can’t do the work? Not only would you be terminated for dishonesty, but your professional reputation will suffer a severe blow as your new employer has wasted time and resources recruiting and onboarding you based on a lie. Don’t do it.
You might be tempted to exaggerate the truth on your resume in order to boost your chances of landing a coveted job. It’s not worth it. Most of the common lies are easily detectable with a basic background screening or social media scan. Both of which most employers routinely conduct.
And even if you can get past that process, failing a proficiency test or getting hired for a job that you can’t actually do could be even worse for your career. Your professional reputation could suffer a severe blow if you’re terminated for a combination of incompetence and dishonesty.
This is a great time to be looking for a new job. Unemployment is at record lows right now. Studies have shown that you only need 50 per cent of the qualifications listed in a job description in order to land an interview. So, don’t fudge your credentials. Demonstrate how the skills and credentials you do have to make you a great contender for the role.