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How to Quit Your Job With Class

Written by Nick Patch

We've all been there: totally fed up with a job, impatient with a demanding or incompetent boss, and ready to quit in a dramatic flash of pent-up frustration. The trouble is, leaving your job with fiery flair is going to burn a bridge, which you may need sooner than you think.

The smarter move is making sure you're on solid ground with your old employer -- even as you head off toward greener pastures. It's all about quitting with class. Here's how.

Give as much notice as possible

If you're sure you're out the door, don't leave your employer in the lurch by giving the bare minimum two-week notice if you can avoid it. It could take months to fill your job -- if it's even possible to fill your considerable shoes -- so If you know you're leaving in a month, why wait to issue notice?

Compose a letter

Many employers require a formal letter of resignation anyway, but it's worth viewing this as an opportunity rather than a burden. This is your chance to shape the message around your departure, and to clearly put into words your reason for leaving and your appreciation for the time you've had with the company. "Don't use your letter to point to negatives, to settle gripes, or to say 'I told you so,'" said David Maxfield, vice president of research with VitalSmarts and the author of four New York Times best-sellers. "Explain the positive reasons why you're leaving."

Compose yourself

Before you submit your letter to your boss, evaluate your own emotional state. Are you still seething over being passed over for a promotion or stinging from a scathing performance review? If so, it's not the time to talk. Storming into your boss's office to quit is the fantasy of many an underappreciated worker, but it's not a sound strategy. "The key is not to announce you're leaving when you're feeling high emotion," said Janet Frood, leadership and team couch and founder of Horizon Leadership. "It's really important to pause and get grounded so you can create good conditions for communicating effectively."

Excel in the exit interview

Striking the right balance between honesty and positivity in the exit interview can be tricky. Most experts stress the importance of giving constructive feedback, but there's little sense in using this last face-to-face with your boss as an airing of grievances. "In today's generation, being candid is valued. But talk about the circumstances behind your leaving, and don't complain about the people you worked with," said Gilles Rochefort, president of PMC Coaching.

Be grateful

Even if you absolutely despised your job, it still provided an income and experience. As you look back, focus on what you learned, what you enjoyed, and what you'll take with you from your experience, and thank those who helped you along the way. "Think of the way you've been able to improve life for your customers, the friends you've made on the job, the other things you enjoyed," Maxfield said. "You want to be truthful but you want to be upbeat."

Smooth the transition

No one knows how to do your job like you, so be proactive in documenting all your job responsibilities, best practices, and workflow and offer to help training, on-boarding, or mentoring your successor.

Don't slack off

Sorry to break it to you, but the final few days of your employment are not a vacation. If anything, your employer might be eyeing your performance a little more closely than usual as you prepare to depart, and they will remember if you kept your foot on the gas or coasted aimlessly into the sunset. "At the end of your conversation with your boss, you're still at work," Maxfield said. "Make sure you end on a high note. Work hard until you're gone. Because the ending is what people remember. How you act then is totally discretionary and therefore it shows your character, so be a class act."

Final farewells

Once you've packed your things and checked on all sorts of little details -- your final pay cheque, your pension, returning any company property in your possession -- be sure to bid your co-workers adieu without alienating them. "When you connect with your soon-to-be-former colleagues, be positive and don't brag," Maxfield said. After all, they still have to work there.

www.workopolis.com

7 Habits Successful People Avoid

By Bernard Marr

We all have bad habits that we struggle with, but are your habits preventing you from being successful? I'm not talking about biting your nails or fidgeting, but rather habits you may not even be aware that you have.

If your goal is to be successful in your endeavors, read this list closely and try to identify if you have any of these bad habits -- and then see how you can try to fix them.

  1. Perfectionism

It's almost become a joke that people think perfectionism is a "good" bad habit. But it's really not. True perfectionism often means fear of doing something badly can prevent us from even beginning or trying anything new.

Successful people understand that success comes with a great deal of failure, false starts, first drafts, and do-overs.

  1. Waiting on opportunity

Opportunity doesn't always knock; and those people who tend to sit around and wait for it for it often miss the opportunities that are waiting if they just put in a little effort. This sometimes also manifests as someone waiting around for the "easy button" scheme that will help them do the thing.

As Thomas Edison said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Successful people understand that opportunity is fueled by work and putting oneself out there.

  1. Driven to distraction

If you jump (and salivate?) every time your phone dings, and start to feel itchy and unsettled if you're unable to check it right away, you might have a distraction problem. Social media, texts, emails -- all of these tasks pull us away from focusing on what you should be doing.

You'll find that many successful people turn off notifications on their devices -- if they even have those distracting apps at all. Many choose to opt-out from these distractions in order to focus on their more important tasks.

  1. Letting others set the agenda

Not having your own priorities, or putting your priorities behind someone else's is one of the worst habits of the unsuccessful person. Of course, doing the work your boss asks you to do, helping out family and friends, etc. are things that everyone should do -- but successful people understand where their priorities fit in.

Successful people tend to be the ones with the guts to say no to an invitation or a request to volunteer when they really don't have time. They also tend to be the ones who write the book, get the promotion, start the business, or go on that trip of a lifetime, because they kept their priorities front and center.

  1. Procrastinating

If you tend to put off your most important work until later, spending the first part of your day answering emails, browsing the internet, etc., you'll have trouble being as successful as you can possibly be. For most people, their most productive time is when they first start working, and so that's the time you should tackle your most challenging tasks.

If you can train yourself to "eat the frog" -- that is, do your most challenging work first -- you'll likely produce better work, more efficiently, and in turn be more successful.

  1. Resisting change

No matter your age, if you find yourself reluctant to adopt new technology, learn new skills, or try new ideas, you are, unfortunately, doomed to fall behind. Today, the world is moving and changing faster than ever, and those who refuse to change will not have the tools to succeed.

In contrast, successful people are open to learning and trying new things. This isn't to say that they jump on every bandwagon when something new comes along, but rather that they're open to new possibilities and willing to learn and try -- and then make a decision about whether the old way or new way is best.

  1. Multitasking

How many tabs do you have open in your internet browser right now? How many apps running in the background on your phone? If you find yourself constantly switching between tasks or jumping at every interruption (see No. 3), you won't ever be able to do your best work, or truly focus on any one thing.

Multitasking often results in errors and time wasted because our brains need at least several seconds to switch contexts, and those seconds add up over time. Focus is critical for producing your best work and, ultimately, succeeding.

The great thing about habits is that they are changeable. While it may be challenging to overcome an ingrained habit, it can be changed -- which means that your fate is not sealed, and you can increase your own odds of being successful.

Linked In

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Written by Natalie Sexton

When it comes to job interviews, first impressions really count. And unfortunately, you may only have seven seconds to make an initial impression, which means the clothes you wear play a key role. If your current wardrobe doesn't fill you with confidence, don't worry. With just a few tweaks, you can walk into that interview with confidence and style!

Here are some suggestions for what to wear to a job interview.

Polished and professional

First things first, you must be well-groomed.

For the ladies, the makeup you might wear dancing with the girls on a Saturday night is not appropriate for a job interview. Keep things simple and clean -- bright blue glittery eye shadow or hot pink lipstick can be distracting and look harsh in an office setting. This certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't wear any makeup, but think polished and professional. The motto less is more definitely reigns supreme here.

This also goes for your nail length and polish colour. Steer clear of wild fluorescent hues or patterns, and make sure your nails are manicured and clean (no chips or hangnails); this goes for the fellas as well. No, I'm not talking about your nail polish gents, but I do mean being clean shaven and well groomed. There is, after all, something to be said about a fresh haircut -- it shows you're putting in the effort, and it might just make you feel more confident.

If you do have facial hair, please make sure it is tidy and neat. A wild, overgrown beard might not make the best impression (unless you're applying for a job as a lumberjack).

Put the focus on you (not your outfit)

When it comes to choosing an outfit for your interview, remember that you want the focus to be on your personality, experience, and skills. So, the less distracting the outfit, the better. This doesn't have to mean boring, but you shouldn't be wearing an outfit that puts the focus on your ensemble (at the expense of why you should get the job).

To be safe, avoid overly trendy looks. If you consider it a weekend outfit, it is most likely not an interview outfit. This goes for denim as well. Sure, some casual tech offices might be ok with jeans at a job interview, but in most cases, you should not wear denim to an interview. It just looks way too casual for that kind of setting. This is especially true for distressed, ripped jeans, which make it seem as though you have not put any thought into your look -- definitely not the impression you want to make.

Similarly, over-the-top prints can be distracting, and cartoonish colours are definite a no-no, along with anything sheer, plunging, or lacy. It's also a good idea to hold off on bold costume jewelry, like over-sized earrings, bracelets, or big chunky statement necklaces; you don't want to be clinking and clanging through the interview!

To avoid a wardrobe malfunction (like a big split up the back of your pants or a dress that is so tight you can't focus because the pain is too uncomfortable from sucking in), don't choose something you have never worn or tried on before. Plan ahead and have your outfit picked out ahead of time; you don't want to be panic stricken the day of trying to find the perfect look. And don't forget your old favorites. Comfort is definitely key and this will shine through in your demeanor during the interview. So, if you own a tailored suit or an amazing sheath dress and blazer that you look fabulous in, wear it.

Stay classy

The real key is to strive for a classy look. In general, it's a good idea to choose darker colours like black, navy, and grey (they also hide sweat stains if you're a wee bit nervous!). You can always add a splash of colour with a blouse, tie, or bag.

When it comes to outfits, don't feel as if you need to buy an entire wardrobe. Investing in a tailored blazer is a safe bet, but the idea should really be to amp up pieces you already have in your wardrobe to make them interview appropriate. Think a basic black dress or silk blouse for the ladies, and classic dress pants and a simple white button down for the guys.

A sophisticated "day dress" is another great buy for the ladies, but remember that hemlines should always be to the knee. When it comes to styling, make sure to choose a flattering shift style, which skims the body, or an A-line shape that is fitted at the waist and flares out at the hip. Medium weight fabrics, like crepe, or even heavier cottons will work any season, making this a versatile buy.

Similarly, a great pair of trousers is a work wardrobe go-to for men and women. Just make sure to choose a neutral colour in a medium weight fabric -- avoid silks and linens that wrinkle easily and can look sloppy. Tailoring is key -- make sure the hemline isn't dragging across the floor or looking like you just escaped a flood!

Don't forget the shoes

This brings us to where your interviewer will finish their "once-over." Yes, your footwear.

First and foremost, make sure that your shoes are clean and polished. You can have the smartest suit in the world, but pair it with ratty footwear and you have gone from chic to eek! An easy and safe bet is a black or dark brown shoe in a simple style, without "bells and whistles." Save your sneakers for the gym, even if they are brand new and your absolute faves, a job interview is not the venue to sport them to.

For the ladies, I would strongly suggest avoiding uncomfortable pumps or high heels; you don't want to look like Bambi on ice while walking through the building! A mid-heel or kitten heel is a great option in a neutral colour, like grey, nude, or black. I like a closed-toe style, but make sure those toes are pedicured if you are exposing them.

Clothes only make part of the (wo)man

The most important accessory you can wear to a job interview is your confidence. Once you have that outfit put together, walk in there confidently, with great posture, a big smile, and a firm handshake, ready to take on the world! Good luck!

www.workopolis.com

6 High-Paying, Under the Radar Jobs

Written by Stephanie Huff

Are you thinking about a career change, but aren't sure which direction to go? Maybe you're interested in post-secondary education, but need some inspiration. Why not consider something a little different?

There are plenty of under the radar jobs out there that are both profitable and in demand, and the good news gets even better: they're currently hiring!

Here are six Canadian jobs you might not have heard of (that pay surprisingly well).

Agricultural equipment technician

Canadian farms have become more reliant on sophisticated machinery for efficient soil maintenance and crop production, as well as safe and effective support for livestock. Tractors and combines now have sensitive touchscreen operating systems, which require custom parts and specialized knowledge. Thus, these technological advances have resulted in the increased need for an agricultural technician!

While basic mechanic skills are an asset, the sheer size and scale of the machinery you can expect to work on makes this job more similar to a heavy duty equipment operator. For that reason salaries tend to be higher, especially in the Western provinces.

Commercial scuba diver

Ever wonder how structures are built, supported, or repaired underwater? What about how shipwrecks are recovered? Meet your commercial scuba diver.

Most people think of scuba diving as a recreational activity to do on vacation, but in reality, the commercial diver is a highly skilled professional responsible for a lot of unique underwater tasks. These may include cleanup operations, bridge or barge inspections, conducting water supply samples, completing underwater repairs to structures like vessels or offshore oil rigs, or even aiding in search and rescue missions. Due to the specialized nature of this career path and its unique safety considerations, the average annual salary is quite comfortable (up to $102,711).

Actuary

If you haven't heard of an actuary before, essentially the role involves analyzing statistical data to calculate an estimate of risk. Actuaries are often employed by insurance companies, financial institutions, or governments, but they can also find work in more innovative areas, such as scientific or technological product creation and production. And since they're responsible for the assessment of financial risk and reward, they're often well paid (with a salary range of $45,820 - $129,740).

Occupational health and safety advisor

An occupational health and safety advisor can enjoy a diverse career path. From working in healthcare environments to oil fields or construction sites, their primary responsibility is to promote employee safety awareness and prevent workplace injuries. With both employers and provincial health initiatives emphasizing health promotion, the odds of these positions increasing in years to come are quite good. Plus, salaries for occupational health and safety advisors can be quite high (with a salary range of $46,346 - $109,453)

Naval architect

The naval industry is not widely known for its lucrative earning potential, but positions such as naval architect or ship engineer can expect to work on a variety of interesting projects, including: vessel design and stability, ship condition surveys, repairs, and more. Unfortunately, this uniform does not require a uniform.

Field operator

A field operator may be involved in down hole operations or hydraulic fracturing projects. In non-technical terms, that means field operators are working with equipment on the oil fields. 

Though the job may involve travel to remote areas, shift work or extended hours, the salary range for this kind of position tends to be quite good (up to $78,000).

www.workopolis.com

What Your Handshake Says About You

Written by Edrick Thay

Regardless of how you feel about it -- germaphobes and the socially anxious must anticipate one with quaking dread -- the handshake speaks volumes about you.

Don't believe us? A 2000 University of Alabama study found that a person's handshake is consistent over time and related to aspects of personality. Those with a firm handshake tend to be more extroverted and open to experience and less neurotic and shy than those with a limp handshake.

So what does your handshake say about you? Does it proclaim to the world that you're confident and bold? Or does it mumble and look away, letting everyone know that you're shy and neurotic?

The good news is, if you don't like what your handshake says about you, you can change the conversation.

The ideal handshake

Think back to the handshakes you've experienced in your life. There were probably a few that were limp and clammy, some that felt as if your hand were in a vise, and others that left you pondering, "When will this ever end?" That's because the handshake is all about applying the right pressure and time.

Pressure is critical. A firm grip suggests confidence, openness, and warmth. Squeeze a little harder though and you might leave people wondering what exactly you're trying to prove. Too little pressure, and you create the impression that you either lack confidence, or that you just want to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible.

Then there's time. You don't want to rush the handshake. Breaking one off abruptly is rude and will leave the other individual feeling as if they were dealing with an internet provider's customer service department. On the other (ahem) hand, you don't want to linger either.

A long handshake is awkward and uncomfortable and signals desperation. Don't overstay your welcome. A good handshake should only last 2-3 seconds at most.

Finally, maintain eye contact, smile, and greet the other individual warmly. Looking away may indicate insecurity, a lack of confidence, and shyness.

A PSA: No fist bumps

Yes, the fist bump has become commonplace, but it is inappropriate when you're meeting with a client or in a job interview. It only undermines your professionalism, signaling immaturity, and a lack of awareness. Sure, it might be healthier than a handshake (in that fewer germs are transmitted through a fist bump), but when it comes to striking the balance between being professional and personal, the intimacy of a handshake still trumps all as a greeting. So save those fist bumps for friends and family.

www.workopolis.com