CAREERS & JOB SKILLS
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
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."
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
Excel in the exit
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
- Waiting on
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.
- Driven to
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.
- 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
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
- 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
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
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.
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.
First things first, you must be
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
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.
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
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
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).
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
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).
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)
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.
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).
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
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.