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Aug
18

Don’t Make Any Assumptions: Inside U of T Mississauga’s Career Centre

Aug
18

“Don’t make any assumptions,” said self-confessed career geek, Felicity Morgan, “about what you think about any career area.” Felicity is director of the career center at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. The UTM career centre serves over 13,000 students, with 15 staff. When we make assumptions we risk “not seeing our own biases and not identifying career opportunities.” Instead, Felicity recommended career exploration: “Check it out, talk to people, check yourself out internally if it’s the right thing for you. You can only make the best decision with the info you have in front of you. So get that info in front of you.” Hear the whole interview with Felicity Morgan.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Read the Obituaries First

Aug
05

Historian Ramsay Cook’s obituary clinched it for me – I decided I would start with the obituaries first when I read the newspaper, in paper or online. Though I’ve become more interested in history, I didn’t study it and hadn’t heard of Ramsay Cook. Then this: “we see Canada today through Ramsay Cook’s eyes,” John Ibbitson wrote in the Globe and Mail feature obituary (July 21, 2016). “More than any other historian of the last half of the 20th century, he defined Canada as we now live it.”

You’d think such an important historian would have a solid career story where you could connect the dots from a childhood interest in history, or at least from high school.

But no. His school interest? Chemistry.

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Ibbitson wrote, “School was both effortless and boring, and it took a stern parental command to convince him to attend United College (today the University of Winnipeg), where he slotted in a first-year history course only because his much-preferred chemistry class was in a far-away building and he was too lazy to make the commute.”

What? The spark that ignited the career of Canada’s most famous historian was… that he was too lazy? I love stories like this, that reveal the secret turning point. Reading or hearing dramatic career change stories helps normalize these kind of small inputs that create big career changes. It’s chaos theory’s flap of a butterfly wing that results in a hurricane half a planet away. And having interviewed hundreds of people on Career Buzz radio about their career stories and counselled thousands more at two big universities and at CareerCycles, I can assure you, these kind of happenstance stories are surprisingly common.

I’m grateful for Ramsay Cook’s story as written by John Ibbitson, which gave me this idea to share six reasons why you should read obituaries first. They help you:

  1. Believe that small moments can lead to big and meaningful changes in career and life. Rather than trying to fill in the blank, ‘In my career I will be a ___,’ it’s more likely your career won’t follow such an organized trajectory. Better to be ready for career surprises and embrace that next small moment – like a newfound interest in a course you take. Our team of Associates likes to prepare clients for career surprises by priming them with a fund of self-awareness through a narrative assessment – we call that fund a Career Statement. With Career Statement in hand we encourage clients to: a) watch for clues related to your Career Statement, b) take inspired action to explore those clues, and c) welcome opportunities. To learn more about this approach and evidence of its effectiveness, see Franklin, Yanar & Feller (2015).
  2. Be inspired by the long view of career stories. When you read an obituary you get both the long view and the highlights of that person’s career. You begin to see that one chapter follows another, and we can create many chapters in a lifetime. Celebrate the good chapters. And when a chapter, or even a page, isn’t working out, tell yourself, ‘this too shall pass.’ The long view helps put current career crises in perspective.
  3. Feel relief in your own career drama. I teach a career management course at the University of Toronto (scroll to APS1030 here), and in it, I have groups of students interview business leaders in the community. One of the most useful insights the students reported, was realizing that even these leaders were still asking themselves, ‘What am I going to do when I grow up?’ If these leaders are still evolving in their careers, the students realized, ‘then maybe it’s okay for me not to be sure what I’ll do when I grow up.’ In other words, it’s normal not to know what to do next. The best we can do is make well-informed choices funded by a wealth of self-awareness, and then be ready to ‘error-correct’ as the need arises.
  4. Avoid being dragged down by daily bad news and instead, be uplifted by a positive story. I don’t know about you but when I read or hear the news, I think it would be more descriptive to call it the ‘bad news.’ Let’s face it, there are many problems in the world, and they show up first in the news. Even though 99.9999% of people were safe yesterday, safety is boring; the news tells us the terrible things that happened to the one in a million people. So start your day with a dose of good news. Yes, the person in the obituary has died, but their career and life highlights infuse your day with themes of overcoming adversity, making a difference, and lives well lived.
  5. Appreciate lives well lived and making a positive impact on others. Obituary writers seek comment from those whose lives were touched by this person. These quotes often support the accomplishments and impact of the career and life story. Of Ramsay Cook, Ibbitson wrote, ‘“He was a giant,’ his friend and fellow historian John English concludes.” Then we get this accomplishment: “At a critical moment in the life of the nation, when Canada seemed on the brink of dissolution, Prof. Cook succeeded in explaining French Canada to the English and English Canada to the French…” Pretty impressive impact!
  6. Be your best self. In Youree Harris’s obituary, The Associated Press quoted Harris’s colleague, “he found her to be ‘warm and welcoming and bigger than life. …She was smart as a whip and very intuitive.’” No matter what has come before, we all have it in us to be more of our ‘best selves.’ Laura Morgan Roberts et al (2005) define ‘reflected best self’ as “a person’s cognitive representation of the qualities and characteristics that a person displays when one is at his or her best.” Wouldn’t it be great to experience more moments of being our best self? Wouldn’t we all want to be remembered when we were at our best?

Read obituaries first, and watch for clues of inspiring people at their best. Then take inspired action, and welcome opportunities.

Arlene Dickenson – Feature interview with Dragons’ Den Star

Aug
02

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Originally broadcast in January of 2013, we’ve edited, slimmed down and re-posted our feature interview with Dragons’ Den star and prominent Canadian business woman Arlene Dickenson.

At 30, Arlene Dickinson was divorced, had a high school diploma, no savings, and no idea how to feed four young children. She is now the CEO of Venture Communications, a co-star of the CBC TV hit Dragons’ Den, and one of the country’s most sought-after female entrepreneurs. Hear Arlene’s career story and advice from her book Persuasion. Plus, hear what it was like to be on Dragon’s Den from the founders of SMARTeacher and Urban Cultivator.

6 Easy Steps to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile: Tell your Story and Own your Brand

Jul
22

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“LinkedIn is the site where we’re investing time, not wasting time,” Leslie Hughes, LinkedIn optimization specialist and owner of PunchMedia, told Career Buzz listeners. “Linkedin is not the sexy social media site, it’s not the one everyone goes to gleefully every morning,” said Leslie, but it is the business network, so it pays to make it good. How?

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Leslie highlighted 6 steps to start optimizing your online presence and improving your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Do a digital audit. Find out your “online first impression,” Leslie recommended. Conduct a search on yourself to see how you are being perceived by potential hiring managers or clients. Make changes to remove unflattering content.
  2. Get a professional head shot. “If you do nothing else, focus on a really good head shot so you appear confident, smiling and approachable.”
  3. Craft a strong headline that’s not your job title. Bypass LinkedIn’s default headline which is your most recent job title, and go for this formula: _[descriptive title]_ helping _[these clients]_ deliver _[these results]_, for example, Career management leader helping individuals and employees manage their careers for the future
  4. Understand the Summary is the most important content. “You have 2000 characters to effectively tell your story.” Need ideas? Leslie recommended watching Simon Senik’s TEDTalk, Start with Why.
  5. Go long on copy. In your Experience and Volunteer and other sections, “long copy outperforms short copy,” Leslie said.
  6. “Put the ‘social’ in social media.” Don’t just rely on a static profile, engage with others through Shares, Posts, and interactions in Groups.

Leslie Hughes recommended listeners use these social media tools and steps “to own their brand and to become their own digital media agency.”

Also in the show Denise Raposa discusses the careers of older adults in our changing work environment.

Positive Psychology experts discuss Hedonia, Eudaimonia and the Virtuous Organization

Jul
14

With so much interest in positive psychology, how can we use it to enrich our careers and lives? How can it help us to flourish?

These are questions that today’s podcast guests help answer. Guests were speakers and exhibitors at the recent Canadian Positive Psychology Association’s national conference held in Niagara on the Lake, June 2016.

2016.07.06---Positive-PsychologyFirst up: Veronika Huta, professor Huta obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at McGill University. At the University of Ottawa, she teaches statistics and positive psychology. Her research compares different ways of defining and pursuing the good life, or eudaimonia (which is the pursuit of excellence, virtue, personal growth), and hedonia (which is the pursuit of pleasure, enjoyment, comfort). She studies these pursuits in relation to personal well-being, the well-being of the surrounding world, cognitive and physiological responses, and predictors (such as, parenting styles, worldviews). She is a founder of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Today’s second guest is Kim Cameron, Professor of Management and Organizations in University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.  His past research on organizational virtuousness, downsizing, effectiveness, and the development of leadership excellence has been published in more than 130 academic articles and 15 scholarly books. His current research focuses on virtuousness in organizations–such as forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, and compassion–and their relationship to performance.  He is one of the co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan.  Kim was recognized as among the top ten organizational scholars in the world whose work has been most frequently downloaded on Google. Kim Cameron is today’s first guest.

Finally… frustrated after a workplace accident, Hardy Premsukh started focusing on whole-body health as part of his recovery plan. Unable to find the proper tools to help him with this goal, he started working with psychologists, medical doctors, mathematicians, and other experts to develop a comprehensive platform that could create a more complete picture of how the body and mind work together. That platform – the FlourishiQ platform – knows how behavior and lifestyle choices impact health.

Importance Of Toys and Play In Learning and 3 Immigrants Share Their Secrets Of Success In Canada

Jun
30

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Ilana-Munari_twitter_400x400Ever wonder what it’s like to immigrate to Canada? Mark interviews 3 immigrants from the Toronto Region Immigration Employment Counsel (TRIEC) about the strategies they used to find success and ways immigrants can make new connections, integrate into the Canadian workforce and learn to love their new home.

Also on the show Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of 21 Toys discusses her growing start-up company, the importance of toys and play in learning and her company’s new game The Failure Toy, which teaches how to reframe failure as feedback.

 

CareerCycles & SFU Sign Affinity Agreement to Help SFU Alumni Access CareerCycles’ Career Management Programs

Jun
12

Simon Fraser University and CareerCycles have signed an agreement, June 2016, to give SFU Alumni preferred rates on CareerCycles’ career management programs.

SFU’s Career Services and Alumni offices have supported this new arrangement to benefit SFU Alumni wherever they live and work. In the complex and uncertain world of work, career management is among the most important skills that professionals can develop.

CareerCycles is a team of career professionals solving the ‘wicked problem’ of career dissatisfaction. The CareerCycles team of Associates uses an evidence-based, narrative method of practice that clients love. Associates are based in Vancouver and Toronto, and clients can be served in-person, by phone or Skype. Career management matters because we spend over 100,000 hours in our careers, and yet most Canadians invest less than 10 hours into career planning.

SFU Alumni wanting to take advantage of CareerCycles career management programs and preferred rates are encouraged to contact SFU Career Services at 778.782.3106 or check http://www.sfu.ca/career/contact-us.html

To find out more about CareerCycles call for a free 15-minute career conversation toll-free at 1-844-465-9222 or visit www.careercycles.com

Starting over at 35

Jun
10

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On the surface Melissa Hughes had it all. In her words “On the outside, my life at 35 looked great  —  a promising career, a doting partner, an elegant home, things, vacations, a big engagement ring, money in the bank… There was just one problem: I wasn’t happy.”

After a series of career error corrections Melissa sums up her career aspirations as “…wanting to do meaningful things with good people”. Melissa, a communications professional with past careers in journalism and classical music, publicized her tumultuous story of Career & Life change in her Huffington Post article Starting Over at 35.

In this episode of Career Buzz we talk to Melissa about her inspiring story and learn about her mantra on career & life.

Also in this episode; we speak with David Bowman, founder of TTG consulting, a consultancy specialized in corporate career change & transition, about Career Management in organizations and the importance taking control of your own career.

CareerBuzz: Arlene Dickenson – Feature interview with Dragons’ Den Star

Jun
08

At 30, Arlene Dickinson was divorced, had a high school diploma, no savings, and no idea how to feed four young children. She is now the CEO of Venture Communications, a co-star of the CBC TV hit Dragons’ Den, and one of the country’s most sought-after female entrepreneurs. Hear Arlene’s career story and advice from her book Persuasion. Plus, hear what it was like to be on Dragon’s Den from the founders of SMARTeacher and Urban Cultivator.

Jun
08
 

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