Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: happiness

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to happiness.

10 Tips to Improve Your Life

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
CEO at Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on October 25, 2015

Look for the good in others quoteI think the “pursuit of happiness” is a goal for almost everyone.

People think “if only … ” and list things or situations as being the answer to their happiness.  If only I had more money, that person would marry me, I had a house in that neighbourhood; I owned a Porsche; and on and on.

At the same time that we are wishing for changes in our lives that will “fix things”, we are focused on all that is missing in our lives and THAT gets in the way of happiness.

The single biggest cause of unhappiness is focusing on what we don’t have!

Similarly we often focus on what other people in our lives don’t have … and THAT adds to our angst!  My partner is messy, my kids don’t listen, my parents don’t understand me!

So … 10 tips for those who truly want to be happy.

  1. Focus on what you have … not what you don’t have.
  2. Do not be envious of other people.
  3. Make plans and set goals … and improve the things that are meaningful to you.
  4. Celebrate your wins.
  5. Look for the good in the people around you.
  6. Look for the good in your circumstances.
  7. Focus on the things that you can control.
  8. Push yourself … and understand what you are truly capable of achieving.
  9. Don’t look for the easy way.
  10. Give more than you get!

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  Audrey Hepburn

How to Stay Happy Throughout the Day

Demanding clients, frustrating team members, insufficient resources, dysfunctional equipment — just a few things that can easily take your mood from great to terrible. You have very little control over any of these factors, so don’t let them destroy your day. Instead, take a look at this infographic from Career Savvy and find out how you can quickly turn your workday into 8 positive hours.


Useful Tips for an Independent Contractor (Infographic)

Independent contractors have to be productive in order to succeed and very often have to depend on themselves to spark some motivation.  For some that comes naturally, but for others it can take a bit of creativity to ensure it happens.  This infographic created by Anna Vital of Funders and Founders has a number of unique and useful tips that will help you get up early, start the day, work fast, think faster, and, still keep a simple life.  Is there anything you would add or remove from the list?



You Can Say “No” and Still Be Successful!

You Can Say "No" and Still Be Successful!There’s a lot of advice out there (this blog included) that seems to tell independent contractors what they have to do if they want to be successful. In reality, if you followed all of the advice you receive, you’d be swamped with work and never have a personal life — that’s not the definition of success for many people! Paul Jarvis recently wrote a great article on The Muse around this topic and we wanted to share a few of his key points here:

You have the choice to say yes. You also have the choice to say no if it doesn’t serve your goals. What does this mean?

  • You don’t have to attend that networking event or conference—even if you think your whole industry will be in attendance.
  • You don’t have to accept every project that comes your way. Especially if it’s a client who doesn’t seem like a good fit. Or worse, seems like he or she would be awful.
  • You don’t have to take interviews or calls if you’d rather be in a heads-down work mode.
  • You don’t have to use a social network just because other people use it.

Now, before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about choice versus responsibility. Sometimes we don’t have the choice to stop doing something we don’t like. Rent needs to be paid, food needs to be eaten—and often there are people depending on us. So, we have to drum up meh gigs, or work with difficult clients, or do another completely undesirable job that we’d honestly rather not do. Choice is what we’re talking about now. Specifically, having two options, and picking one over the other simply because someone else told you that’s the way that it is.

Too often, well-meaning experts give us all advice on what we should do and how we should do it—all in the name of getting ahead. Advice is great when you need to learn a new skill for the first time, but the problem is when it comes to running a business, or marketing, or dealing with clients, there are endless ways of going about it.

So, it’s not enough to be blindly led by the advice and best practices of those who’ve made it in your field. There needs to be a further step taken where you ask yourself some tough questions:

  • Do I truly care about this?
  • Does this conflict with my values, personality, or style?
  • Will this make me happy and keep me excited?
  • Is this something I need in my life right now?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • If someone hadn’t given me this advice, is this how I would do it?

Now, if you feel scared or unsure about doing something, don’t just take it off your list and say, “Paul said I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.” Instead, take a moment to consider why that is. If it’s a fear of trying something new or something that could push your limits—that’s a bad reason to not try something. (Typically it’s those things that lead to the most growth.) But if the reason is simply a lack of interest, or that it doesn’t align with your values, or that it won’t further your goals in any way, then you can just say no.

Take control of how you work, so you can enjoy it more. After all, working for yourself isn’t just about the money and success. It’s also about having the ability to craft a life for yourself that you love. Because when you’re your own boss, you don’t just get to pick what you want to do, you also get to take control of how you do it. So take advantage and learn that there’s always a choice.

10 Softer Things to Remember on Contract This Year

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 yet?  If so, did you include any professional goals? While many of us will create objectives to improve technical skills, network, and maybe be a bit more organized, we don’t always remember to improve on the softer side of things.

What do we mean by that? A great contractor knows the technical requirements to do their job and meet their client’s expectations.  What sometimes lack, though, are the softer pieces of knowledge that help exceed client expectations, improve our reputations, and, most importantly, increase our happiness in life.  Here are 10 examples of these softer areas you may want to pay a bit more attention to in 2015:

  1. We spend a lot of time working, so we might as well be proud of what we do.Happy Independent Contractor
  2. We may not be defined by our work but we can take pride in our work, which will affect who we are.
  3. If you have a good attitude you will get ahead, even if that is sometimes hard to foresee.
  4. If you have a lousy attitude people will treat you accordingly and you can expect your opportunities to reflect that.
  5. If you think you are getting away with something you are wrong, it is amazing what people know.
  6. If you think your hard work is not noticed, you are likely wrong too.
  7. Most clients and/or recruiters will give you feedback, good and bad. It is what you do with that feedback that will determine what happens next.
  8. There is always someone worse off than you.
  9. If you go looking for disparities that you believe are unfair, then you will find them and they will make you bitter.
  10. Focusing on doing the best job that you can will bring the best returns in what matters most — self-respect, as well as money!

Knowing how to do your job is important and obviously crucial to winning a contract. If you can also master the steps to be happy with your work and your life, you will achieve much more success this year.  Do you agree?  Can you add to the list above?  Let us know in the comments below.