Talent Development Centre

All posts by Eagle Talent

Contractor Quick Poll Results: How often are contractors checking social media at work?


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One of the biggest productivity killers in offices is social media. Apps are readily available on phones, viral videos are being discussed by co-workers, and the ability to connect with friends is always just a browser tab away.

Fortunately, according to last month’s contractor quick poll, networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t distracting very many IT contractors while they’re working for clients. In fact, nearly half said they never check social media and another 25% said they only check once per day or if they receive a notification. Here are the complete results from our readers:

Quick Poll Results: Checking social media at work

The Truth About Annoying Coworkers


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Regardless of the client, industry, project or location, if you have to work with people, you’re guaranteed to have some annoying coworkers. We scoured the world for tips on how to ensure these people never cross your path again, but all we learned is that annoying people are inevitable.

Given we can’t avoid annoying coworkers, the only next rational step is to accept they’ll be around and possibly try to understand them. This fun infographic from Olivet Nazarene University provides some insight into annoying co-workers in various industries, including what makes them annoying, how people have dealt with them, and where they’re most likely to be found. If you can’t change an annoying person, at least you can find solace in the fact that you’re not alone.

How New Grads Can Land a Job without a Resume


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Most college and university students across Canada are either just finishing or will soon be starting their Reading Week/Winter Breaks. Especially for those close to graduating and looking to get ahead of their peers, that means preparing for a competitive job search and maybe even sending out some applications.

The first step in any job search is creating a great resume that will grab the attention of employers and perfectly describe your skills and abilities. There are countless sources to help you write that resume — just last week we shared a video providing some fresh resume tips for 2018. What we often don’t talk about is how to search for a job without a resume.

This video from jobposting.ca provides 3 tips to find your next job without a resume, specifically for new grads who are just entering the job market. If you know anybody starting out their job search, you may help them reduce their stress level just by forwarding them this post. Or, if your career requires a detailed resume, these tips are perfect to supplement your job search any time.

Contractor Quick Poll: Are you really an independent contractor?


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For nearly 10 years now, the CRA has been paying close attention to independent contractors’ employment statuses and performing audits to determine if they should be deemed Personal Services Businesses (PSBs). Independent contractors across Canada quickly learned the importance of taking steps to protect their independent business status, or else suffer the tax consequences. Recently, the Ontario Government passed Bill 148 that, among many things, will also put a spotlight on independent contractors’ business habits.

This makes today a good time to assess how well you’re doing at ensuring that your independent contracting business is in fact considered a business. This month’s contractor quick poll helps with just that as it includes some basic actions you can take to separate yourself from your clients’ employees. As usual, we strongly recommend you seek legal advice to ensure you’re taking all the proper steps.

What Stats Canada Says About Canadians and Digital Technology


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When we reference Statistics Canada, it’s usually in regards to unemployment rates and stats around job trends that are important for any employer or job seeker to know. Of course, Stats Canada does more than track job trends. Among the many items they track, they keep a close eye on technology, where it’s going and how Canadians are interacting with it.

Towards the end of 2017, Stats Canada released this infographic discussing The Internet and Digital Technology. We can use it to draw many conclusions, although there is nothing extremely new. Canadians are continuing to use technology to improve their lives for many reasons and the younger generations are embracing it more. The infographic can pull you in further when you start reviewing the specific stats and trends about the types of devices used and their popularity, as well as the popularity of the Internet across Canadian provinces.

Write a Resume to Grab a Gold Fish’s Attention


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As technology advances, people spend more time attached to their devices checking social media, email, calling, reading news, etc. and this is all between having conversations and exchanges with actual human beings. The result is smaller and smaller attention spans that make a gold fish look focused!

Similar to most professionals, recruiters are also guilty of having the attention span of a gold fish. They work with so many technologies and tools that getting them to pay close attention to your resume can prove to be challenging. This video from Professor Heather Austin provides 6 tips you can apply to your resume that will make it more likely to grab and keep a recruiter’s attention:

  1. Have a clear message
  2. Include a branding profile (also known as Personal Summary)
  3. Focus on the Top Half
  4. Highlight Your Accomplishments
  5. Make it Relevant
  6. Place Emphasis on the Format

People Love Python — Are You Investing in It?


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There are many programming languages to learn, and which one you’ll tackle next may depend on your industry, clients or preferred type of work. It’s also a wise choice to learn the languages that are in high demand and most likely to bring more opportunity. Therefore, if you haven’t already, it’s a wise choice to learn Python!

Python has been around for nearly 30 years and, according to a recent Dice report, is showing no signs of slowing in popularity. They reviewed job postings on Indeed to find the most popular languages in 2017 as well as predictions for 2018. While Java, Python and JavaScript topped the list, Python was the only one of the top 3 expected to grow in popularity this year. In fact, Dice predicts Python will see a 12% increase in demand, while the only other language they say will grow is PHP by an expected 7%.

If Dice’s claims don’t convince you that learning Python would be a great investment in your skills, Glassdoor also released an article towards the end of last year encouraging the same thing. In addition to the growing demand, they provide three arguments to learning or improving your Python abilities:

  1. It’s useful to a wide range of employers
  2. Employers like it because its trendy
  3. It appeals to programmers, which appeals to employers

As already noted, even if it’s growing and trendy, Python may not make sense to you depending on where your contracting business is taking you. However, we can guarantee that a new skill or training of some sort will be relevant to you this year. How will you be investing in yourself and your professional development in 2018?

Do You Have the “Winter Blues”? It’s Time to Talk About It


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Do You Have the "Winter Blues"? It's Time to Talk About ItLast week, the country’s social media accounts were once again taken over by Bell Let’s Talk, a day encouraging people to discuss mental health issues while raising money for mental health initiatives at the same time. In the spirit of that initiative, let’s talk about one of the most common mental illnesses to hit the workplace this time of year, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

Year-round, independent contractors are concerned with their health.  Not only is there a health concern but also a financial impact when taking unpaid sick days. Especially in the winter, you do whatever you can to avoid a terrible cold or flu but how much are you doing to treat mental health illnesses like SAD? Surely, this is also something that can lead to decreased productivity or prolonged periods of time off.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), SAD, also sometimes known as the Winter Blues, is a type of clinical depression that can last until Spring and is the result of shortening days with less sunlight that result in people feeling extra gloomy. While it’s common for us to have down days, those affected by SAD feel the symptoms for longer periods of time.  Inc. recently published a post describing 9 of these subtle signs:

  1. You’re irritable and sensitive to stress
  2. You get into little arguments
  3. You have low energy
  4. You dread previously enjoyable social activities
  5. You feel a general sense of apathy towards your goals
  6. You have trouble concentrating
  7. Your appetite changes
  8. You have trouble making decisions
  9. You need more recovery time

If you find you experience these symptoms for long periods of time, the CMHA recommends you schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss options. There are a number of treatments including light therapy, medication and lifestyle changes. Melody Wilding, a social worker and blogger committed to helping women overcome emotional challenges of success, also provides 3 quick and simple ways to stave off the winter blues:  Put effort into getting dressed at work, try a negative detox, and bookend your days.

How do you ensure you remain healthy throughout the Winter?

The Design Trends You Need to Know in 2018


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It’s vital for every professional to stay on top of trends in their field and we try to help independent contractors do that by sharing articles and research in the Talent Development Centre. At the start of 2017, we shared an infographic for Graphic Designers, outlining the hottest design trends expected for the year. Because of the fast-paced, quick changing nature of design, it’s only safe to assume that there are new trends again in 2018.

Fortunately, Coastal Creative continued their research and created an updated infographic with their predictions for the digital and graphic design trends coming to the Internet in 2018. If you’re in the web or graphic development field, have a look to ensure you’re providing your clients with the latest and greatest techniques. Even if design isn’t your trade, we recommend you have a look and see just where this year is going to take us.

Design Trends 2018 Infographic

Surprising Tests that Reveal the Truth About You and Your Co-Workers


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It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself and others based simply on the way we perform everyday activities like walking and holding a bag. Being armed with this information is not something you’d put into a resume to differentiate yourself during the job search, but it can help you improve as a person. Both understanding yourself and others makes you more likely to succeed in a team, both as a follower and a leader, and that will make you more in-demand by clients and recruiters.

This interesting video from Bright Side goes through four simple things that can reveal a lot about one’s personality. Check it out and see what you learn. Are there any other small details you pay attention to in your co-workers that helps you work better with them?