Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: General

All general Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technoloy contractors.

8 Things You Are Doing Wrong on Your Android Smartphone

You must be thinking, “What could you possibly do wrong on an Android smartphone?” – Android has been around for quite some time now, but did you know that there still might be some things you are doing wrong with your Android Smartphone? Beebom shows us 8 things that we might be doing wrong with our Androids including killing our apps manually, installing our apps from unknown sources, and not shutting down our devices.

If you are an Android type of person, this is a definite must watch. By following these simple tips, you can improve the overall speed and performance of your Android device. Never make a mistake using Android again!

Trailblazing Failures of the Dot-Com Bubble

The Dot-Com Bubble was a period which occurred in the late 1990s when making money through the world wide web was just beginning to become popular. During this period, investors were starting to realize that big money could be made online, and began investing enormous amounts of money into sites without giving it a second thought.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately there was not a lot of profit made from most of these investments. Today we acknowledge the fact that these investors were not entirely wrong as using the web for online sales or purchases is currently a common practice, and there are large sums of money made. Yet, the market during the 1990s was extremely overestimated, and ultimately lead to the downfall of many companies. In this infographic, WhoIsHostingThis? describes some of the most memorable, horrific, and hilarious early tales of the tech world.

Trailblazing Failures of the Dot-Com Bubble - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog
Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

At Least 1 of These Websites Will Improve Your Life

Today, there are over a billion websites that exist on the Internet. With thousands of websites being launched every day, it can be hard to filter out poor websites to get the practical and handy ones.

In this video, TechGumbo shows us 10 useful websites that can be helpful in our everyday lives. Who knows? You might have wished you had known about these earlier! From quick and easy photo editing sites to free coding courses, one of these websites might just catch your interest. Tell us about your favourite websites in the comments below!

Make Every Weekend a 3-Day Weekend!

In our society, working overtime is not an uncommon practice. According to recent research, picking up all those extra hours might be negatively impacting our health and putting us at risk of various physical and mental health issues. InvestmentZen believes that instead of making employees work an entire 5-day week, we should be giving them an additional day off. Latest scientific studies support the idea that we can resolve this ever-growing problem with 3-day weekends which have proven to be beneficial to not only employees, but companies as well.

There is already a multitude of companies giving an extra day off to their employees in Japan, America, United Kingdom, and Sweden. If companies are doing it for their employees, why aren’t you doing it for yourself. As an independent contractor, you’re your own boss, so it’s just a matter of negotiating it into your next contract. In addition to increased productivity as these studies show, working different hours from your client’s employees will also help separate you as a contractor in the eyes of the CRA.

Why Every Weekend Should Be A 3 Day Weekend

Via: InvestmentZen.com

3 Years and Counting!

3 Years and Counting!

3 Years! That’s how long the Talent Development Centre has been sharing content with independent contractors about a variety of topics including job searching, technology trends, business tips, personal development. We now have thousands of subscribers and frequently receive extremely positive feedback.

To celebrate our three year anniversary, here are the top 10 posts since the very beginning:

  1. How You Can Work in the US as an Independent Contractor
  2. The Ontario Government Mandate That Will Affect Independent Contractors across Canada
  3. Do Your Part to Have a Successful Job Interview (Infographic)
  4. New Changes with Security Clearance in the Federal Government
  5. 5 Rate Negotiation Mistakes Independent Contractors Sometimes Make
  6. If You Absolutely Must Leave a Contract — Here’s How
  7. Update: The CRA, PSBs and Independent Contractors
  8. Useful Tips for an Independent Contractor (Infographic)
  9. 10 Important Points about Communication
  10. 5 Invoicing and Accounting Tools Great for Independent Contractors

When we launched the Talent Development Centre, our goal was to create a valuable knowledge base for independent contractors. If there are any additional topics or subjects you’d like us to dig deeper into, please let us know in the comments below!

This Infographic Explaining IT Jobs is Too Real

“Front-End”, “Lead Gen”, “Content Marketing” — there are so many cogs that make an organization go ’round and each has their funny quirks. Half the time one department really isn’t sure what the other does. While that may cause frustration, it will all be solved in this helpful post.

If you’ve ever been part of an organization with these business functions and had to deal with a crisis, then you are going to appreciate this infographic form Toggl. It uses a simple example — a broken light bulb — to explain the stereotypical ways that each department deals with issues.

Which is your favourite/most relatable? We can’t wait to hear your feedback in the comments below.

This Infographic Explaining IT Jobs is Too Real
Comic for Toggl.com, created by the Toggl Goon Squad

Can You Solve the Three Gods Riddle?

We’re approaching a long weekend, and that means it’s time for another riddle from TED-Ed!

We’ve had the Bridge Riddle, the Hat Riddle the Passcode Riddle and the Counterfeit Coin Riddle, but none will compare to this Three Gods Riddle. This riddle was created by magician Raymond Smullyan and popularized by his colleague George Boolos and has been called the hardest logic puzzle ever.  Can you solve it????

There’s More to Excel Than Charts!

How Independent Contractors Can Leverage Microsoft Excel to Impress Their Clients

Seriously, knowing your way around Excel is the easiest way to convince people in an office that you’re a wizard.” That’s one of the most recent comments underneath this infographic when we found it on imgur.com. And it’s true. So many people only use Excel to organize a table, add a border, shade it in and, if they’re really good, create a pie chart. But there’s so much more you can do!

STL created the infographic saying it includes great tricks to impress your boss, and we’d go one step further to say they’d impress a recruiter or client and enhance your productivity. It also complements one of their other infographics we shared last year with some Excel tricks for office workers. If you work with Excel and want to enhance your skills, you should review this infographic. If you don’t work with Excel because you don’t think it could help your job, you need to see this infographic. You may be surprised by what it can do!

There's More to Excel Than Charts!

10 Reasons to Take a Face-to-Face Interview with a Recruiter

Brendhan Malone By Brendhan Malone,
Vice-President, Central Canada at Eagle

10 Reasons to Take a Face-to-Face Interview with a RecruiterA recruiter asks you to come in for an interview but you have so much on the go. What do you do? Should you blow them off? After all, you’ve already sent over a resume and had talked to them over the phone about what kind of work you want. What more could a face-to-face interview possibly do for you?

Face-to-face interviews with recruiters are more than you may think! Here are 10 reasons to take that interview and increase your chance of getting the next job you’ve been wanting.

  1. Your Recruiter Will Remember You in the Future. Science shows that we remember faces far easier than we remember emails.  🙂
  2. Face-to-Face is Second-to-None. There is simply no technological replacement for face-to-face interaction… including Skype/video interviews!
  3. Get Across What Your Resume Can’t. Communication is over 90% non-verbal.
  4. Your Recruiter Will Better Understand You. Inevitably an unknown skill or strength of yours is going to come out in a face-to-face meeting.
  5. It Will Help Your Recruiter Sell You. Recruiters are not only interviewing you, but also working to provide the strongest presentation of your skills and attributes to the end client. You have a mutual objective.
  6. Its great practice! In today’s business market, IT skills are not enough.  We should use every opportunity available to hone communication and networking skills.
  7. It’s Efficient. Relationships are built more quickly, strongly and efficiently in face-to-face meetings. Recent surveys have shown that it takes five Skype/video meetings to equal one face-to-face meeting.  It’s a safe leap to surmise that the number of emails required to do the same would be incredibly high, and very likely still not reach anywhere near the same level of rapport.
  8. Build Trust. Face-to-face meetings foster a greater sense of trust and commitment to honesty. People are able to “dehumanize” written email communication.  Most people are committed to doing right by others, face-to-face meetings foster relationships which allow for the humanization of the communication, therefore resulting in more people doing the “right thing”.
  9. You will learn something valuable. It is almost impossible for two professionals to communicate without learning something. Recruiter and contractor meetings/interviews offer a great opportunity for each to learn about the others profession and craft.  We are working together in the end!
  10. Meeting with people is FUN! Approach these sessions positively and with enthusiasm and hopefully it will be remembered as a very positive experience.

Facebook and LinkedIn Groups for Contractors (Part 2)

Part 2: What Types of Social Media Groups Should You Join?

Why Facebook and LinkedIn Groups are Perfect for Independent Contractors in Technology (Part 2)In a recent post, we shared information about groups in social networks and did a high-level review and comparison of group functionality on the two most popular platforms — LinkedIn and Facebook. We concluded that both networks have their strengths and weaknesses, as well as promised more information about how to take advantage of groups, regardless of the network you choose.

There are an infinite number of topics and categories of groups and which ones you join will depend on your unique interest. For the sake of this post, we’re looking at three specific types of groups that would be valuable to almost all technology professionals: Subject Matter Expert Groups, Recruiter Groups, and Team Groups.

Subject Matter Expert Groups

If you have a specialty, no matter how niche it is, there is a high likelihood that somebody has created a group about it. These groups are filled with like-minded individuals who are dying to give their opinion or advice on a specific topic. It’s also a place where people doing research into a topic may come to ask questions from SMEs. As an independent contractor, joining these groups will allow you to grow your network, raise your own professional profile and learn about new job opportunities. You may even find yourself a project for a company on the other side of the world. Technology recruiters are known to frequent these groups, so the more active you are and value you contribute, the more likely you are to be contacted with opportunities from a staffing agency.

Recruiter Groups

As just noted, Recruiters are known to join SME Groups when they’re looking for a technology professional with a specific skillset, and they also frequently create their own groups. For example, it would be very simple to find a LinkedIn group owned by a recruiter and dedicated to technology jobs in Canada, or your specific region. While these groups will appear to be filled with a recruiter’s self-promotion, they are also the best way to connect with new recruiters and learn first-hand about new job opportunities in your area. The well-managed groups will have unbiased job search tips and independent contracting advice, so you can increase your odds of finding a new IT contract with any recruitment agency.

Project Team Groups

Finally, you may find value in creating a private group just for your current project team. It’s a place where you can all shoot around ideas, share information, and have casual conversations on the side. The benefit of using a social network’s group in addition to your client’s communication technologies is that you can continue the conversations after the project has ended. This is especially beneficial when you finish a project with an exceptional team.

These are just three examples of social media groups that can be helpful to an independent contractor looking to advance their career. If you’d like to join one but can’t find one, then create a group. The process is free and easy, but remember to properly manage it to ensure a steady stream of engagement. What do you think of groups? Are there any types we missed that you recommend? Share your thoughts below!