Career Resolutions for 2017 You’ll Want to Steal (and Actually Keep) Jan11

Career Resolutions for 2017 You’ll Want to Steal (and Actually Keep)

Rolling into 2017 without a resolutions list? Fear not. We asked a few top marketing, sales and HR professionals from Vancouver (and beyond) where they’ll be investing their time and energy this year. Read their replies to get your ideas flowing for a new year and new you.  “This 2017, I resolve to…..” Focus on the fundamentals  Get more sleep. Drink more water. Prioritize relationships IRL. Work within my “circle of influence” (without wasting energy on things that are not). And always take the default position of assuming the best of people. We’re all trying to navigate our way to success in challenging times – and we all deserve the “benefit of the doubt.”   – Rich Workman, Sales Manager, NA West, Sophos Inc. Slow down and breathe.  In 2017, I will be more focused on taking strategic breaks to reflect, think things through in a quiet space, and breathe deeply on a more regular basis throughout each day. Easy to say, hard to do, but I know my best work is done from a thoughtful, present state of mind. That’s my one big resolution for a successful year ahead.  – Dorit Shackleton VP, Head of Integration, Global Corporate Affairs, SAP Favour quality over quantity  I love my line of work and the people and organizations I get to work with – so much so that I I have a really hard time saying ‘no’ when new opportunities arise. But all that “yes’ can dilute my good intentions. I’m working towards achieving a work-life balance, and being confident in saying ‘no’ will be an important step in reaching that goal. – Bianca Bujan, Owner, Bee Communications  Be pro-social Things are getting faster and faster every day. What I believe we need now more than ever is community:...

Why Starting a Career in Sales Pays Dividends Jul07

Why Starting a Career in Sales Pays Dividends

Do the words ‘cold-call’ or ‘sales pitch’ make your palms shake in fear? Do you shy away from job descriptions with the word ‘commission?’ To many new grads, sales is the dreadful career path of absolute last resort. Too often, a career in sales is disregarded before giving it a fair go.  If you’ve never pictured yourself starting a career in sales, you may want to reconsider what you’re leaving out. Not only does a career in sales give you the opportunity to earn more than a capped income, but more importantly it teaches you life-long transferable skills. At the end of the day, everything revolves around some form of transaction. By starting your sales career early on, you can learn valuable skills that separate you from the competition and that apply to any career path you may find yourself on. Ask yourself, do you want to invest in a career that continues to pay dividends years down the road?   Input in. Input out. A career in sales gives you the opportunity to have your hard work pay off. What other career do you get to see direct results and reap the benefits of your blood, sweat and (occasional) tears? With a career in sales, the results of your efforts are tangible, in both quotas and commissions, and you have the potential to make more than $100K per year. Unlike most jobs, the harder you work, the more you can make.   Set Goals. Reach. Repeat. Learn to set goals, eat targets for breakfast, and then do it over and over again. Sales positions have performance metrics that are clearly defined and easily measured. Although this may seem intimidating at first, once you learn how to set goals and blow them out of...

e-LeaderLounge: How Would You Address the Grad Class of 2015?

Grad season is upon us [cue Pomp and Circumstance].  Diplomas will soon be traded in for resumes and white papers, and classroom schedules will be traded in for the rigours of 9-5. We asked the leaders participating in our e-LeaderLounge™ how, if given the chance, they would address and inspire the graduates of this year’s 2015 class…. If you were going to address the 2015 graduating class at (insert university of choice) what would be the theme of your talk? “Everything you do or don’t do, say or don’t say has an impact.  The impact that you will have in your career and life is too important to be a reflection, it has to be an intentional act of the will.  What is the mark you want to leave on this world? What do you want people to say about you long after you leave them? Make decisions and take actions based on the impact you want to have.  Not saying or doing anything can often have the same impact as what you do or say. You will have an impact, make sure it is the one you want!” – Sue Wigston, COO at Eagle’s Flight. “I’ve narrowed it to two themes. 1) When challenges arise, and they will, always strive for an optimistic stance.  Your mental attitude itself will bring inner strength and self-confidence. You’ll surprise yourself with the challenges you are able to tackle when your attitude is solution-focused. 2) Manage your ego.  Nothing will bring a project (or an organization) to it’s knees like an unbridled ego.  Keep close watch and manage accordingly.  Saying that, sometimes you will need to put your ego to work for you in full force!” — Ryan Hanawalt, President at Domain 7. “Push Away from Shore.  There are so many...

Tips and Tricks for Skype Interviews Mar26

Tips and Tricks for Skype Interviews

As recruiters, we Skype on the daily and we’ve encountered the best of the best and, unfortunately, the worst of the worst. Since everything comes with its learning curves, we thought we’d share our accumulated insights about Skype do’s and don’ts. The overarching theme is simple: act as if the interview is the same as a face-to-face meeting. Would you shave for an in-person interview? Then please, get rid of your 5 o’clock shadow for your Skype interview. Would you wear a button-up shirt with PJ bottoms to an in-person interview? Then please, wear a complete outfit and don’t just dress up your upper half. (Besides, you never know when you need to stand up to go grab something during a Skype interview…). Based on Smart Savvy’s collective years of experience, here are our recruiter’s tips for that upcoming Skype or Facetime interview you have and want to ace. 1. No Narcissism Just kidding – but really, don’t stare at yourself the whole interview. We know Skype offers that lovely little “picture in picture” screen that shows yourself and severely heightens your sense of self-awareness, but do your best to ignore it. Our Comms/PR guru Marina Guy even suggests covering the screen of yourself with a post-it note so you can instead focus on staring into the camera and at the screen of the other person. Focus on the recruiter and maintain good eye contact, which will also limit other bad habits we’ve seen, such as constantly fixing your hair. 2. Build a Frame Once a recruiter can see your dirty laundry basket, that is the only thing they’re going to see the entire time. If you think a bedroom with open doors to your wardrobe or a psychedelic painting in the background is a good idea, think again. In the case of a background...

#StandApart: Jacquie Loch, VP & Group Publisher, TC Media

“My favourite thing is a blank page.” For having change as the common denominator in her professional life, Jacquie Loch is a woman of certainty. She knows what she’s been through and why – and she knows how to put uncertainty on a leash and tame it (and make it shake a paw). Jacquie Loch is VP & Group Publisher at TC Media and is Publisher of a large portfolio of consumer magazine brands that includes Canadian Living, ELLE Canada, Style at Home and The Hockey News. She had built a career in the publishing industry, although she may not see things that way. “I’m in the media and communications business. I am in publishing but publishing is a verb – it’s not a media platform. I’m in content creation and storytelling that engages audiences.”  With an industry based on transitions and fluidity, Jacquie mirrors the career she has chosen. She is a professional nomad – working out of her purse and working on a day-to-day regimen that has “no normal”. The first time change stepped on Jacquie’s toes, it was a shift in the industry. While her peers had chosen to forgo pursue Business school or Computer Science degrees, Jacquie turned her heels in the opposite direction and chose an art school education at The Ontario College of Art (now OCAD) and a final post-grad year spent in Florence. “An incredible thing that happened over my career is when the industry started valuing creative thinking and lateral thinking. I just happened to crest in that space when all of a sudden what was perceived in the 80’s as a wacky skill set, became the skill set.” Things turned in her favour. After graduation, her time spent at The Financial Post moulded her to...

Back to Basics: Phone Interview Tips Jan13

Back to Basics: Phone Interview Tips

Even with the growing popularity of Skype, Google Hangouts and Facetime, the old-fashioned phone interview is here to stay. After all, once your resume’s been flagged for a skill match, it’s a recruiters’ next logical step: phone interviews are efficient, cost-effective and often a great predictor of cultural and behavioral fit. But for many, it’s just downright hard to have a thorough and relaxed conversation on the phone with a stranger – especially when that stranger’s evaluating you. Is that silence because the interviewer is writing down what you’re saying? Or are they still waiting for you to say something interesting? The phone interview is your one opportunity to get in the door. You need to take the time to prepare yourself, just as if you were having a real face-to-face interview. As pointed out by learnvest.com, “You might have the best intentions, but what you say and how you say it (tone, pace, inflection, etc.) can easily be misinterpreted.” So, after you’ve done all your essential pre-interview research and connected with your #standapart self, take some time to review these six essential tips for giving your best phone interview – some of them obvious and some of them definitely not: (A special thanks to Jane Terepocki, HR Administrator and Recruiter at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)  for sharing her experiences and tips with us.) 1. Make a List, and Check it Twice Preparation is a given. What might not be so obvious is the importance of creating an “example list” to refer to during the interview. Think of the standard interview questions (strengths, weaknesses, skills, conflict) and create a list of 8 to 10 examples that you can access during the conversation (without the long thinking pauses). Jane @MEC recommends that you choose examples from across your entire work history. Hiring...

#StandApart Profile: Ben Smith, VP Sales +Marketing, Rennie Marketing Systems

Ben’s home in Whistler is long gone from his rear-view mirror before half of Vancouverites have even opened their eyes to the morning rain (it is November in Vancouver, after all). While Vancouver sleeps, Ben is plowing through his to-do list—undoubtedly part of the reason why he’s one of the most well-known real estate sales and marketing gurus in BC. Ben leads marketing and sales for Rennie Marketing Systems – North America’s leading real estate marketing organization, known around the world for developments like the Olympic Village and Woodward’s. Throughout his career Ben has seamlessly jumped up the corporate ladder from consultant, to director agency side, to real estate marketing and sales frontrunner. Ben has proven himself a strategic sales and marketing leader. Don’t let marketing and sales innovation fool you. Ben is the Chuck Norris of time management and always makes time for his #1 priority; his family (wife and four children), and his passions; skateboarding and snowboarding. How does this #standapart sales and marketing executive and family man do it all? Learn his story and his secrets – here is Ben’s #standapart profile. Describe your current role in 140 characters or less… I lead a team of people who market and sell multifamily residential communities. One word that best describes how you work. Hard. What is your superpower? (What is the one thing you do you do better than most?) Making change. Intentionality or Happenstance?  Which has played a greater role in building your career path? Both, they are inextricably linked. “You can either have a job or make a career.” Where does your motivation come from?  Does motivation come easy for you or is it work/discipline to sustain it? I think I was born driven to some degree. On the days...

Keep Your Resume in the Follow-Up Pile: 5 Resume Must-Haves Oct23

Keep Your Resume in the Follow-Up Pile: 5 Resume Must-Haves

The other day on LinkedIn, I came across a conversation that reminded me of this important rule of thumb: don’t underestimate the basics. Holiday party invite: don’t forget to RSVP. Cooking for co-workers: check for allergies. Interview etiquette: turn off your phone. Whether you’re applying for a job, following a business lead or even just replying to the boss’ last email, the ‘basics’ are the foundation of your personal brand. The smallest details can signify big things. Personalized content on a cover letter shows investment. Clean grammatical work speaks to diligence. Contact details prove common sense. Before you hit ‘send’ on your resume, give it a second look with these 5 basic reminders for keeping your resume in the follow-up pile: 1. Contact Information David Rogers, Recruitment Partner  for BC Hydro posted this on his LinkedIn the other day:“Reminder, as an applicant applying to any job out there, please remember to include phone # and email on your resume.” I had to give it a hearty “like” – just the other day I’d dealt with a candidate who’d listed an invalid phone number on her resume (no wonder no one was calling her back)!  While you’re updating your contact info, don’t forget your LinkedIn profile url, your Twitter Handle and any other relevant social media accounts (i.e. personal blog) too. 2. Spelling & Grammar 6 hours spent on your Vine Resume means nothing when your introductory email is full of spelling erors (oops). Double check everything. Don’t sound like a template. And certainly don’t plagiarize someone’s LinkedIn summary. For all its world-class fare, Vancouver is still a small town by many measures. And if you’re serious about the job (whether you’re a VP or a recent grad), you’ll need a second set of eyes on your final...

Who To Hire? Oct16

Who To Hire?

“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-colour boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64-colour boxes with the sharpeners on the back.” John Mayer, Singer-Songwriter I’m perpetually surprised by how few companies seem to know “who” they need. Some can identify a needed skill or two but often those are the exception rather than the rule. And the temptation in a time consuming job seach is to take a narrow/linear approach to finding ‘the right person’. Mistake. Potentially costly. Possibly fatal. The adage, “hire for character, you can always teach skill” is a useful framework particularly when hiring someone who is responsible for critical deliverables like media relations, research or marketing strategies. A great character hangs from the solid framework of a balanced ego – all the positive “self” qualities: self-aware, self-motivated, self-restrained, self-confident. The balance is maintained by a reasonable sense of judgment or perception – an ability to gauge yourself in relation to others in diverse situations – and a desire to self-correct. You don’t have to be right 100% of the time (because you won’t be!), but you should always be willing and able to correct yourself when you’re wrong. On the other hand, an imbalanced ego creates a framework with potential weaknesses – all the negative “self” qualities: self-centered, self-seeking, self-righteous, selfish, and sometimes self-conscious. Unfortunately, these are often compounded by a lack of perception and an unwillingness to self-correct. With a balanced ego to anchor them all, desirable characteristics like curiosity, creativity and eloquence, become further assets for your company. The curiosity of a balanced ego is inspired by ideas and plans generated by others not just themselves. They are capable of focusing their creativity on other people and their projects, not...

Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide Oct09

Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide

Trouble letting go of your BlackBerry? Still cutting the crusts off your sandwiches? Eating California Rolls as adventurous as it gets? Favourite tie seen better days? Time to finally kick the “ex” to the curb? Change is a constant. Change can be good – especially in marketing. We need to move with the times and keep up with the trends. The very same could be said for our careers. Stats tell us that the average North American can hold up to 10 different jobs or careers in their lifetime. This means that coming and going can be fairly frequent, and that you may be faced with counteroffers along the way. Here’s 4 tips for how (and why) YOU should ‘counter any counter’ with a “no.” 1. Your reasons for leaving have NOT changed. (Unless, of course, the problem was wholly financial.) Give it 6-8 months and you’ll find yourself standing in the same place—grossly unhappy and cringing for a change. 2. Office chemistry will take a hit.  Your once close office mates may view you suspiciously or resentfully, as they are now aware of your comparatively inflated salary. Leaders and executives may view you similarly, with a study from the Creative Group stating that 28% believed those looking elsewhere are ‘disloyal.’ 3. The company’s trust in you will waver. If there’s a shift in office politics, suspicious eyes may fall on you and you could be the first to go. As career counsellor Arlene Hirsch puts it, “your motives will be suspect from that point on since your boss will wonder whether your resume is still on the street.” 4. Being offered more money is probably a subtle way of telling you have been underpaid during your time there. An increase in salary can be...