Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: holidays

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to the holiday season.

8 Merry Leadership Lessons You Can Learn from Santa (Infographic)

This jolly man makes his way into many homes over the holiday season, spreading cheer and bringing presents to children around the world. Along with his bag full of gifts, Santa Claus also carries some of the best leadership traits one can have. Don’t believe us? Just skim through this infographic from Officevibe and see what you can learn.

8 Merry Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Santa #infographic

Visit the original post from Officevibe

Contractor Quick Poll: Vacations

On Average, How Much Vacation Do You Take Each Year?

With the holiday season approaching, many employees are booking multi-week vacations.  A common downside of being an independent contractor is that you don’t get paid for vacation. When you decide it’s time for a well-earned break, you have to consider that fact that if you’re not working on a client’s project, you’re not invoicing and, therefore, not getting any income.

With all that in mind, it’s still important for everybody, employee or contractor, to unplug and enjoy their lives and the people in them. This month, we’re wondering what that means for independent contractors. Do you find you take less vacation than a typical employee? More?

Three Reasons to Postpone Your Summer Vacation

David O'Brien By David O’Brien,
Vice-President, Government Services at Eagle

Summer time and the living is easy….or so the saying goes. And why not in a country that has to pack all of its outdoor fun and vacation in about a two month window (ok West coasters you have the rest of the country on that window). The dog days of summer are now upon us but as Contractors, is it really the time to go off the radar and on vacation or wait until better times?

Canada appears to be, at least statistically, in the grips of a recession. A struggling dollar, stagnant oil prices combined with uncertainty over Europe – in particular the Greece crisis – has caused many organizations, private and public to retrench, downsize and pull back on major capital expenditures . It’s times like this that employees and contractors need to be acutely aware of their continued value proposition as companies become ever leaner and yes meaner to counter the downward cycles. In employment surveys CEO’s and CIO’s are projecting very weak hiring plans, sometimes an opportunity for increased opportunities in contracting; however,  we have certainly seen many organizations look across the entire workforce looking for efficiencies and cost-savings including those found in their contact or variable work force. Several have implemented across the board rate reductions as a key strategy.

So is all doom and gloom? No! If it is a recession, many economists look for Canada to pull out in the last half of the year. But to get back to our original question, is it really the right time to vacation? Let’s look at opportunities and reasons to consider deferring that summer vacation.

Consider the following:

  1. Summer will no doubt see a lot of full time employees take time off. What better way to strengthen and deepen your value as a contractor than to pick up the slack and fill the vacation holes?
  2. Projects need to continue to move and deliverables need to be met as September is typically a great reset. Extra hours and effort in the summer will help build that positive momentum towards the Fall and clients now, more than ever, are under pressure to deliver on time and under budget.
  3. You need to ensure your value to your client. Do you really want to be the cause of a delay or a missed deliverable or worse yet have your client deem you expendable once you’ve taken time off?

Tough times indeed and we all have to be sure we are providing good ROI.  And hey, what’s wrong with a vacation to a warm, sunny island when the snow and ice return!


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.