Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: positive attitude

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to having a positive attitude.

The 5 People You Need to Succeed

By Elizabeth Bromstein at Workopolis
This article originally appeared in the Workopolis Career Resources Blog

The 5 People You Need to SucceedThere was a time in my life when I looked around me and realized that a lot of the people I knew never actually did anything. They talked a lot about doing things – writing books, going back to school, going skiing – but nothing ever actually got done.

Today I prefer to surround myself with a different sort of person – one who does things. They’re better conversationalists: talking about all the things you did, rather than all the things you’re “going” to do makes for better conversation. Also they’re a galvanizing force. Being around people who do a lot of things makes me want to do things. And doing things is good.

Of course, we all have different ideas of what it means to be successful. For some it’s great wealth, for others it’s great life balance and great love. Whatever we’re striving for, the people with whom we surround ourselves have a big impact on whether we achieve it.

If you’re looking for a job, changing careers, or starting a business, the people in your life will be absolutely instrumental in your success or failure.

Here are five people who will help you get a little closer to your goals. Feel free to add your own. Then head over here to read about the 10 people you need to ditch before they drag you down.

The connector: This is the person who knows everyone. They have thousands of Facebook friends, who are real actual friends (not random strangers they don’t actually know in person), and everyone knows who they are. The connector is well liked and always willing to connect the people they know with each other.

The cheerleader: The cheerleader thinks everything you do is awesome, and is always encouraging you to do more of whatever you want to do. You want to start a business, go back to school, invent something to end world hunger? The cheerleader is sure you can do it.

The realist: Cheerleaders are great but sometimes they’re … what’s the word? … oh, yes, crazy. Sometimes your ideas are just bad. It’s not that you want people to step on your dreams but maybe you shouldn’t quit your job to write that musical about Nazis. Oh, wait, that’s The Producers…or is it The Sound of Music? OK, so maybe that particular idea is actually great. But the realist will let you know if you have a really bad one, and be your sounding board. The realist is not a pessimist. The realist can also help you come up with realistic ways to implement your ideas.

The idea generator: I have one friend who is an endless fountain of creative energy. He has as many ideas for other people as he does for himself – art projects, writing projects, business projects, solutions to problems. He never runs out and is always willing to share. No, they’re not all great ideas and some are crazy, but many are great, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Just being around him gives me ideas. Everyone should seek out someone like this to have around when your own idea well is tapped.

The success story: The success story is the person who is living their dream, whether that turned out to be the original dream they’ve been chasing all their lives, or some variation thereupon. I’ve got many of these in my life and every one of them is an inspiration when it seems like everything sucks.

Who do you keep close?

Positive (or Negative) Influences Can Change Your Life

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
CEO at Eagle

This article originally appeared on the Eagle Blog on February 9th, 2015

We all know those “glass half full” people who always seem to be positive.  We also know negative people who always seem to have something to complain about.  Both of these characters can have a profound effect on our own mood, lifting our spirits or dragging us down.

The best thing you can do for your own happiness is to seek out the positive people, and spend as little time as possible with the negative people!

Positive people are a joy to be around, their energy is contagious and even inspiring.  When we spend time with them we feel good about ourselves, they lift our spirits and we too are more positive.

Negative people have a way of sucking the life out of you.  There is always some problem and it is everybody else’s fault.  They have a black cloud hanging over them and they pull you under it too!

“Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?” Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Francesca Reigler QuoteMake a list of the people you spend your time with and rank them on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is very negative and 10 is very positive.
  2. For all of the people that scored extremely low create a plan to either stop spending time with them, or at a minimum reduce the time you spend with them.
  3. For all the very positive people, make a plan to try and spend more time with them.
  4. Join organisations that have positive people … entrepreneurial organisations, learning organisations and charities are just some great examples.
  5. Do your part … be one of those positive people that others seek out.

This is easier said than done, but you can make a plan to improve things over time, just by increasing the time spent with positive people and decreasing the time spent with negative people.

Three classic issues you will need to contend with:

  1. Some of those negative people will be family! Clearly avoiding them altogether might be tough, but establishing new routines that decrease the time spent with them will work.  You may feel a little guilty but at the end of the day it is the right answer.
  2. How do you get to spend time with entrepreneurs and successful people? Get introductions, join clubs, get involved with charities and get creative with your networking.
  3. Do you need to tell the negative people that you don’t want to spend time with them? There is no need to be rude or even obvious about this, just change your routines a little at a time and it will happen naturally.

“Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.”  Oprah Winfrey

If you can spend the majority of your time with positive influencers it will change your life, and that is worth doing!

3 Attributes for a Job: Experience, Skills, Attitude

There are basically three things you bring to a team and project when you start a new Woman searching for a job onlinecontract: skills, experience and attitude. By improving each of them, you can secure great references from clients and impress during interviews which will significantly increase your chances of scoring your next contract .

You can’t do much about your experience, but you can do a couple of things to enhance it…

  1. add to your experience through charitable/volunteer work;
  2. put your experience in its best light highlighting how it can benefit an employer.

In order to get a job you need to stand out from the other candidates. Remember it doesn’t matter how many people are looking for a job, you only need one!  You can differentiate based on skills and most definitely on attitude!

SKILLS:

What can you do to add to your skills?

(i)      Take some courses;
(ii)    Get an unpaid job (intern) that gives you new skills;
(iii)   Do some self-learning online.

If your skills are too generic, can you consider going back to school and starting a new career?

ATTITUDE:

This is THE number one way to differentiate from everyone else but to truly take advantage of it you need to really buy in to your new attitude.  It is not enough to say the words, you need to live and breathe it.

  • Recognise that your job is an important part of your world so be truly grateful that you have it no matter what the job is!
  • Do everything you can to be a great contractor.  Even if it’s not your ideal contract, do it better than anyone else would and with a smile on your face. You can find a better contract after this one’s over.
  • Refrain from telling a client “that’s not my job.”  Add value by helping out on other projects and mentoring other contractors or employees when possible.
  • Dress for success take pride in yourself.  Take your cues from those around you but always try to dress at the upper range of your peers. If you’re in a casual environment where jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable, always wear presentable and clean jeans, a collared t-shirt, and nothing inappropriate.
  • Go the extra mile. Putting in a little extra time when it’s needed can make a huge impression.
  • Adopt a positive attitude. You have a job, your health, live in a great country etc.  Don’t get dragged down by negativity.
  • The world is full of people that expect the world to cater to them they expected their parents to give them “stuff”, they expect their government to provide them with “stuff”, they expect their client to pay them while they give as little as possible back!   You can beat them to the jobs every time, IF you can demonstrate a positive ATTITUDE.

How do you differentiate yourself to clients and recruiters?  Do you do anything extra that you believe has led to success?  Share your tips and help other contractors across Canada find opportunities too!

Job Interviews – Getting the Job

Job interviews are a stressful thing and new contractors don’t always realize how easy it is to do certain things that will increase their chance of getting a job. In fact, they may simply hope they do well, which puts all of the power in the hands of the interviewer!

In addition to the basic skills needed to do the job, here are some other things a recruiter First Job Interviewor client may be looking for:

  • A positive and cheery attitude. Clients don’t want a “negative personality’ on site and recruiters would be embarrassed to present negative people to a client.
  • Evidence that the person did some research before the interview. At a minimum, that includes visiting the website and understanding a bit about the client and the project.
  • Some questions that show they have thought about the role, and how it might work.
  • Appropriate interview attire.  Make sure you create that great first impression with neat and tidy clothing.  You only get one shot at a first impression!
  • Enthusiasm for the opportunity. The client wants to know that you want the job and you’re interested in their success, not that you’re only looking for your next contract.
  • Good manners! (shocking that we have to mention this one, but, ya)

Great interviewers may also dig to learn a few things about a candidate to determine a few specific traits.

  • Will they be willing to put in longer hours when it is needed?
  • Do they really care about the client’s success?
  • Are they investing in their training and making sure they’re on top of the latest trends and best practices in their field?
  • Are they involved in their industry and do they have a network of other professionals in case they hit a snag during the project?

A job interview is hard work. If you “wing it” then you are flipping a coin, if you do the preparation then you have a much better chance of success.  Not only should you remember the basic interview skills listed above, but think about the deeper traits the client or recruiter is seeking, and plant those into your responses.  It could make or break your interview!

How You Can Be Busy AND Get Things Done

There is an old saying that if you want to get something done give it to a busy person, they will find a way to get it done. There is a lot of truth in that saying

People who can get things done are often the “go-to” contractor on a client site, successfully manage multiple contracts at once, and sit on boards for industry associations and charities.  If you’re not one of these people, it SHOULD beg a couple of questions: How do they do it? and Can I do that too?  After all, it’s the easiest way to increase your revenue and your professional reputation!

Obviously not everyone wants to get those extra contracts, so this won’t apply to them. Clock running out of timeAlso, not everyone is willing to work one little bit more than they need to, so this won’t apply to them either. However, if you WANT to be successful, or you WANT to go above and beyond for your clients, or you WANT to do the best that you can then this does apply to you.

Truly busy people typically have a couple of characteristics that help them:

  • Attitude.  They care!   They want to do the right thing.  They want to succeed.  They take pride in their work.
  • Time Management.  They apply sound time management techniques and are always looking to be as efficient as they can.

How do they take on that EXTRA task AND get it done?

They are motivated to succeed which is really half the battle.  Then they give that job the right level of priority so it fits into their day/week/month and shift other “less important” tasks around. Have you ever REALLY looked at how you spend your time?  Someone who is exceedingly efficient at managing their time will increasingly fill their time with “high return” activities, squeezing out the “low return” activities with an end result of a much higher level of productivity.  THAT is how the busy people GET THINGS DONE!

IF you want to be successful and IF you have that great attitude then the next thing you can focus on that will have the best return for your career is Time Management.  It’s not an overnight fix, it is truly a lifelong learning exercise but it is worth it.  You can read a few of our past posts on Time Management here.

Being able to get things done will not only help you do more for your client, you’ll eventually be able to take on more contracts and, ultimately, increase your revenue stream! The question is, are you willing to put in the extra effort it takes and change some routines to achieve that goal?

Professionalism

Professionalism means a lot of different things. It can relate to knowledge, to skill and it can also relate to attitude. One of the characteristics that many people also associate with professionalism is consistency.  Clients specifically always expect conHappy Professionalsistency in performance and expect consistency in attitude.

So how does this affect the average independent contractor? One of the growing trends in the workplace is a propensity for people to just say what comes into their head. If they are in a bad mood, everybody knows it and if they are upset about something everybody knows it, and usually if they are in a great mood everybody knows that too.

The truth is, in our professional lives, we should put on “our professional face”. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, or joke around it just means that you are consistent in your demeanor. What brand you choose is another story and should be one that meets your needs in the context of your career aspirations. The people who are not consistent are typically affected by their moods and as professionals, we should do our best to regulate our moods.

The message here — Decide on your professional brand, and stick to it. It’s all your choice.  What’s your professional brand?  How do you maintain it?  Let us know in the comments below!

10 Tips on Working your Plan

If you want to be successful as a contractor, then you need to focus your energies on the types of activities that move you towards your goals and the work that you want to do.

Some excellent advice says Plan your Work and Work Your Plan.  We would take it one step further: Plan Your Work and Be Very Focused in Working Your Plan!

Person creating a planHere’s some quick tips:

  1. When working on any contract, be VERY focused on those activities in your plan! Always perform all tasks with 100%, but ensure you’re especially building good references to help land future contracts that fit into your plan.
  2. When you’re at a client site, be social with those around you but do NOT get sucked into long conversations, solve- the-world discussions or “whine sessions” about the company’s internal problems.
  3. Stay Positive! Your attitude will ultimately determine your success.
  4. Use GREAT time management techniques and continually upgrade your time management skills. The most successful people are incredibly productive and that is no accident!
  5. Don’t focus on other people too much. YES emulate those who are successful, YES learn from those around you and YES be happy for your colleagues’ success. But do not worry that “she” is better than you, that “he” is getting better contracts or that “they” should do their job better. Focus 99% of your energies on making YOU better, getting YOU where you need to be and on YOUR success.
  6. Keep focused on the positive. It doesn’t matter what happened last month, last week, yesterday or even an hour ago. By “working your plan” with a view to now and the future you will be moving towards success.
  7. Remember that we are all human and we all make mistakes so don’t sweat it!
  8. Remember to revisit your plan often enough that it is not stale, but not so often that it never gets a chance to be executed.
  9. Look for solutions not problems.
  10. Did we mention Stay Positive? Positive people make things happen, focus on the good, and, from our experience, clients love having them around!

Do you have a plan?  If so, how do you keep the right attitude to drive towards it?  We’d love your input!  Leave us a comment below.

8 Things to Ponder When Applying for a Contract

You may find yourself in a position where you are unsure about whether to apply for a contract. It could be that you’re unsure if you have the experience; it could be that it’s in a different city and you’re hesitant about travel or perhaps another reason. If you apply for the contract with this mindset then you are bound to let that show in your application which will probably be the end of your chances!

There are many factors to consider before hitting that submit button including:

  1. Unsure about submitting an application for a contractIf you really have little or no interest in the job then absolutely do not apply.
  2. Never apply just for the experience of applying.
  3. If you decide to apply, then get in the right frame of mind and commit.
  4. Apply as though it is the contract of your dreams.
  5. Be honest about your fit. Don’t oversell yourself or sell yourself short.
  6. Demonstrate how you can fit the role with your experience and skills.
  7. Make your application very personal to this project. Customize your resume to highlight the appropriate skills and experience.
  8. If you need more information, get in contact with the Recruiter to learn more about the project, the company, and if possible any decision makers.

With these consideration in mind, you will be putting your best foot forward and will have a great chance of having your resume submitted to a client for consideration. If the client like what they see, you’ll be on your way to the interview and hopefully a new contract!

Guest Post: Maintaining Your Willpower Wellness

Uri Galimidi By Uri Galimidi,
Founder of Will to Change Inc.

Neuroscientists have reported that there are four major lifestyle factors affecting the efficacy of our willpower. Below are recommended interventions that will help you maintain a healthy willpower in each of the four factors.

Sleep. Scientists have found that our brain requires 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep per night to restore the brain to its optimal operating efficiency. Scientists were also able to demonstrate a direct relationship between the lack of sufficient restful sleep and a diminished capability of our willpower.

Stress management. Chronic stress increases the presence of the hormone Cortisol in our brain to levels at which the efficient operation of our neural networks is compromised. It is critically important that we find ways to reduce our stress level. Learning to incorporate pre-scheduled “decompression activities” will help to reduce your stress level, thereby supporting a stronger willpower.

Healthy  nutrition. Recent advances in neuroscience have shown that nutrition plays a key role in the health of our brain, not just our body. To operate efficiently our brain requires a variety of micro-nutrients, glucose, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Scientist have also found that our brain works much more efficiently when it gets a steady supply of glucose, rather than the sudden spikes which we get from eating carbohydrate-based foods.

Irrespective of the specific diet you adopt, nutritionists agree that to achieve a healthy nutrition you should:

  • Reduce all sources of sugar in your diet;
  • Reduce the intake of refined carbohydrates and other highly process foods (thereby reducing the glycemic index of your food);
  • Increase your consumption of fiber;
  • Increase your consumption of vegetables and fruits;
  • Increase foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids from fish such as salmon, nuts, and plants; and
  • Integrate legumes into your diet.

Exercise. In his book – “Spike”, Dr. John Ratey writes about the extensive positive impact of exercise on our brain. Of particular interest is that exercise increases the production of a brain protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Ratey argues that BDNF acts like “miracle-gro” for the brain. It strengthens the synaptic networking of the neurons in our brain and even promotes the growth of new neurons in the Hippocampus, the centre of learning and long term memory.

Exercise has also been shown to positively affect our willpower and to bring about a better balance between the emotional and the rational forces in our brain.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US recommends a minimum of 2 ½ hours per week of moderate-to-intense aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week. For even greater benefits, the CDC recommends 5 hours a week of moderate-to-intense aerobic exercise plus muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week.

In Summary. Increasing our conscious awareness of our willpower and how it fluctuates throughout the day, will help us develop and optimize its positive effect on our lives. By following the neuroscience-based interventions outlined in this two-part post you will be able to develop your willpower and maintain its on-going fitness.

About the Author
Uri founded The Will To Change Inc.(www.thewilltochange.com )in 2008, with the objective of helping his clients develop and harness their willpower, intellect, and talent to reach personal and professional growth opportunities they could not imagine possible. Uri helps his clients achieve clarity of purpose and develop a sound change strategy. He also supports them throughout their change journey and holds them accountable to pursue their goals.Before launching his career as an executive and corporate coach, Uri was an executive management consultant for over 25 years. In this role Uri climbed the corporate ladder to become a partner with the international consulting firm Accenture in South Africa, a vice president with Oracle Corporation in the USA, and a senior vice president with PwC Consulting in Canada.Uri is a frequent writer and speaker in the areas of Willpower, Personal and Professional Change, Leadership, Business Transformation, and Project Management.
Interested in writing a Guest Blog Post?  Send us a message at:  service@eagleonline.com

How to Make Your Own Luck

There is always an element of luck in life. Here are some common misconceptions:

  • People are lucky because they are in the right place at the right time.
  • People are lucky because they are born in a first world country, and/or into an affluent family.
  • People are lucky because they are gifted with a special talent.

That’s not really luck though and the world is filled with examples of people who had luck and did nothing with it.  So how lucky does this really make them?
Luck isn’t something you are born with, rather it is something that you can acquire.  Lucky people think differently and take action in ways that unlucky people don’t. Here are four tangible things ANYONE can do to make themselves luckier right away.

Adopt a positive attitude to be more successful.

1. Adopt a positive attitude. Admittedly this is easier for some than for others, but it is something that anyone (who wants to) can work toward.

  • Hang out with positive people and remember that you choose who you spend time with.
  • Build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down.  Don’t listen to the inner voice that says “I can’t”. Focus only on the voice that says “I can. I am. I will!” Set goals for yourself and then crush them.
  • Accept that there are things you can’t change and focus on the things you can change.

2. Maintain a strong work ethic.

  • Work harder than your peers and put in a few extra hours every week if you can. It’s an excellent investment in you because those efforts are for you and the fact your client benefits is good for everyone!
  • When you are at a client site – work!  Don’t slack off, don’t spend your time checking the news, chatting with or texting friends. It might seem like no one notices, but they do.
  • Look after your health so that you can keep up with a tough schedule.  Stay fit, eat healthy, and indulge in occasional treats but not as a way of life. Reward yourself, but not with food.

3. Invest in yourself and embrace the concept of continuous learning.

  • We often hear people say that they “… just don’t have time to learn” but you do – you really do and as a contractor it is imperative to success! There are thousands of audiobooks and everyone has a smart phone with some kind of music playing platform on it.  It has never been easier to download a course and start learning in the car, on the bus, and even while you’re making dinner.
  • Take advantage of every learning opportunity that comes your way.  Sign up for newsletters from training companies in your field. Many companies offer free courses and webinars in addition to their other training services.
  • Invest in training and tools that will help you learn and be more productive. The benefits you will gain will pay you back ten-fold.
  • Get a mentor, ask the experts, stretch your limits. There is always someone you can learn something new from and most people are honored to share what they know given the opportunity.  Offer reduced rates to clients when you are learning a new technology.

4. Give more than you get and find a way to keep on giving.

  • It is the people who are generous, with their time and their money, who get the most out of life.
  • You never know how a gift will come back so keep giving without expecting anything in return.

How will you change your luck?  What will you do differently today?  Let us know by leaving comment!