What employers want: Career coach shares his perspective


Newcomers to Canada may not always be as lucky as Murali Murthy, advertising strategist, mentor and career coach. “I found my dream job within 10 days of coming to Canada. I got lucky,” he says. Murthy went on to find continued success in his field and is considered a case study for all new immigrants who persevered and made their mark in their adopted country — Canada. Read more...


Improve your cultural fit, a.k.a. soft skills, for a competitive advantage


To look at Silvia Jelinek (name changed for privacy), you wouldn't immediately know she's an immigrant from the Czech Republic. Even her accent faded after living in Canada for several years. 


Jelinek who worked as a co-ordinator for the same large educational organization for many years before retiring, had a reputation as a dependable and hard worker, but she was never promoted to a managerial level, despite many attempts on her part to apply for higher positions. 


"I guess they just didn't see me as a management material," she reflected. Over the years, she had been told she didn't have the interpersonal or diplomacy skills to be a manager. "I am just honest, and I say what I think,", says Jelinek. "Canadians don't always like that." Read more...


  4 Strategies to become more confident 



A lack of self-confidence seems to be what holds many of us back from achieving more of what we’d like in our lives. Many people think that if only they had more confidence, they would be more successful and feel more fulfilled. In fact, in order to be successful we need to be confident. Apply these four strategies if you want more confidence in your life. Read more


 Looking the part for the job interview 



One of the biggest keys to being asked to join the professional world is looking and acting professional. But a recent survey of more than 500 HR and business professionals found that half of all university graduates do not exhibit professionalism.


Consistently topping the list of problem areas is inappropriate appearance and poor communication skills. Here are the top tips for nailing the interview. Read more. 



Five ways to be more assertive, not aggressive


Over the years, I’ve heard many people express their frustration at not being able to communicate assertively. They say they want to speak up for themselves, want to say what they really mean, express their viewpoint, stand up for their rights, etc., but don’t know how to do so in a way that is respectful and sensitive — and won’t cause conflict. Many newcomers face this issue in the new Canadian workplace setting, especially if they come from cultures that are used to speaking more bluntly. Read more. 


15 Powerful things happy people do differently 


What is the difference between happy people and unhappy people? Of course, it may be very obvious, happy people are happy while unhappy people are unhappy, right? Well, that is correct, but we want to know what are the things that these people do differently...Read more. 


Going back to school? Don't forget about international credential recognition.


Skilled immigrants in Canada come from every country in the world, bringing education, skills, and new ideas to help businesses grow, innovate and diversify. Yet the recognition of immigrants’ internationally earned credentials and experience continues to be a challenge for Canada and many highly skilled immigrants remain underemployed or unemployed, while skilled jobs remain vacant. These challenges have propelled many immigrants to return to school and seek Canadian degrees and diplomas to improve their chances of success in the labour market. This option is indeed working for many. Read more. 


Four excellent habits: The subtle skills that will give you a permanent edge in shaping your career or starting a new one.


A 2005 piece in Seventeen, predicting which careers would be in high demand over the next decade, scored some pretty impressive hits. Good things will come, no doubt, to the teenage girls who, six years later, are following the magazine's advice to work as “Chinese interpreters” or “energy engineers.” Faring less well, we suspect, are the girls looking for work as a “space tourism agent.” (Richard Branson can take only so many trips.)


It’s hard to forecast which jobs will be prized in the future. So to get an edge in your work, focus on what you can control: not the macro-economy or specific trades, but the way you steer your career. There are four principles—consider them navigational skills—that will serve you well regardless of what the future brings. These principles are habits of mind: How can you make better choices by thinking differently? Read more. 


I want to change careers. How do I get employers to see beyond my résumé? 


 After a successful 30-year career in the arts and entertainment sector (both non-profit and for profit) I decided I wanted a change and perhaps contribute to my community in a different way. For the past year I have applied for several executive director jobs in the social services, where my skill set made me clearly a credible candidate. In a couple of instances I was able to get to an interview with the recruiter. However, at the end of the day, the employers were unable to see past my particular experience, and to focus on my transferable skills. 


How do I get an employer to think out of the box and at least grant me an interview? I am confident that if I can get into the room, I can address their fears that I am some “flaky arts guy.” I have a track record of significant accomplishment, and can provide references from community leaders. Read more. 


10 Communication secrets of great leaders 


It is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator. I hope you noticed the previous sentence didn’t refer to being a great talker – big difference. The key to becoming a skillful communicator is rarely found in what has been taught in the world of academia. From our earliest days in the classroom we are trained to focus on enunciation, vocabulary, presence, delivery, grammar, syntax and the like. In other words, we are taught to focus on ourselves. While I don’t mean to belittle these things as they’re important to learn, it’s the more subtle elements of communication rarely taught in the classroom (the elements that focus on others), which leaders desperately need to learn. It is the ability to develop a keen external awareness that separates the truly great communicators from those who muddle through their interactions with others. In today’s column I’ll share a few of the communication traits, which if used consistently, will help you achieve better communication results. Read more. 


Sixteen reasons why people fail in their careers 



We seek success. But it’s often through failure that we can learn best.


“After all, success is often just a moment – a goal fulfilled, soon to be replaced with new goals. But failure is the ambitious person’s constant companion, often dogging us for months, years, or even decades before we finally reach our aim,” Australian leadership coach Siimon Reynolds wrote in Why People Fail. Read more.