By Brendhan Malone,
Vice-President, Central Canada at Eagle
The video below introduces you to this year’s Fight Team in the annual Fight to End Cancer, taking place this year on May 27th in Toronto. These are brave men and women who have stepped out of their homes and offices and into the boxing ring. They are doing so to raise money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Fight to End Cancer.
I was fortunate enough to step in the ring myself a couple of years ago and I know the commitment required. Eagle has been a proud sponsor and supporter of this event since its inception. This event aligns perfectly with our core values of integrity, excellence and TEAM.
When a fighter prepares to step in the ring, they join a large team of coaches and sparring partners. Everyone is working together, with different responsibilities but towards the same goal. A fighter cannot do this on their own, no single person is a match for a good team.
Business and sports offer natural parallels, none more so than the concept of team. As an independent contractor, one of the main parts of your job is to get up to speed with a new team. Understanding what the team’s goals and overall objectives are can help you align yours the same way. Just as a fight team prepares the fighter for the ring, an IT team prepares a product or service for launch day. Independent contractors are often the newest members of a team that may have been together for a long time. Ensuring you are quickly aligned with the team’s goals and overall objectives will result in quicker cohesion and earlier positive results.
I wish all the fighters and their teams the best of luck as the big day approaches. To all the independent contractors joining new teams, I hope you can align your efforts and objectives as quickly and effectively as possible with a common goal.
There are numerous ways independent contractors can improve their personal branding. In the Talent Development Centre, we’ve advocated ideas such as social media profiles, networking, personal websites and simply maintaining a strong work ethic. One other suggestion we’ve made is to create business cards to be left behind after meeting somebody.
We could use this post to inundate you with the many arguments for creating your own business cards, as well as list tips for creating the best business cards, but today is Friday and nobody wants to read another list. Instead, here’s a quick video that sums up everything you need to know.
If you don’t have business cards yet, what are you waiting for?
How much do you use Command Prompt in Windows 10? If you’re an in-depth Windows user, you’ve most likely used CMD many times throughout your career, but you may not using it as efficiently as you could be.
This video from Beebom provides ten cool command tips for topics such as shortcuts, encryption, customization, Wi-Fi hot spots, and even a way to watch Star Wars! At least something in here will be new for you. If not, and you have even more tips, please share them in the comments below.
Bad decisions happen all of the time in the business world. Sometimes independent contractors show up at a client site and learn their job is to fix a project due to bad decisions. Other times you may sit through meetings, watching a client make bad decisions despite your advice. And, of course, there are the times when we make bad decisions ourselves.
Next time you’re digging yourself out of a hole due to an unwise choice, or are furious at a client for taking a terrible route, sit back and watch this video from Alltime10s. You’ll appreciate that the situation could be much, much worse given these are the 10 worst business decisions of all time!
We talk a lot about the soft skills IT contractors need in order to succeed on gigs. Unless you’re exceptionally one-of-a-kind in your field, you can’t get away with just your programming skills or project management experience — you can only truly stand-out with the proper soft skills.
Today’s digital economy demands more than just a great education. In this video from Entrepreneur, leading scholar Ernest Wilson discusses a recent study he led. They interviewed managers from all industries to learn what they look for when hiring, and discovered that it’s beyond an impressive degree. Wilson summed up 5 in-demand, undersupplied soft skills that top companies are seeking.
Psychology is fascinating. Despite the uniqueness of all humans, it’s interesting to know that we all share similar ways of thinking and can fall into the same traps, all because of human nature. One such trap is cognitive biases which create flaws in logical thinking and lead to making bad decisions.
Independent contractors make a variety of decisions throughout their work. If any of them are made with bias, a technology professional can miss out on new opportunities, harm relationships, or misguide an IT project. For example:
If you’ve heard one negative comment about a recruitment agency, the Anchoring Bias can cause you not to consider working with them, without properly evaluating them yourself.
The Blind Spot Bias could cause you to ignore your own downfalls.
The Outcome Bias may cause you to give bad advice to a client when deciding which direction to go with a project.
The most effective way to prevent a bias is to understand its existence. To be more aware of 12 common cognitive biases, check out this video from Practical Psychology which explains them in very simple terms.
Taking the leap from being a permanent employee to an independent contractor has a significant impact on your lifestyle. Technology professionals who have already made the transition are well aware of this and know that there are endless considerations before, during and after making the decision. One such consideration is the rate you will charge to clients for your services.
Choosing the right rate as an independent contractor isn’t as simple as using your salary from your full-time job. There are many costs that factor into your new rate and we’ve discussed what to charge as an independent contractor before in the Talent Development Centre.
If you don’t feel like reading the entire post, take a look at this video that quickly summarizes all of the key takeaways.
Google Chrome enthusiasts are going to love this video from ThioJoe, especially if you’re the type of person who likes exploring the settings menu and customizing everything as soon as you get a new toy.
The default settings on many technologies hide some very helpful features. Perhaps the makers do this to simplify the product and avoid confusing less technical users, but for those who have advanced knowledge of tech, it feels so limiting.
Have you explored everything that Chrome has to offer? This video provides 11 hidden features of Chrome that are worth exploring if you want to rid some of your internet pet peeves, optimize your browser’s performance or improve you productivity. Is there anything you can add?
The Internet is filled with hidden features. Just spend a few minutes searching out Google’s Easter Eggs and you will fill your day doing absolutely useless things, like turning the screen around with barrel rolls or searching for Chuck Norris and the meaning of life.
There are also practical items to find on the Internet, like free software that will raise your productivity and secure your computer when downloading. In this video from ThioJoe, you can learn about 5 different programs (plus one bonus) that just may change how you work today. Have a look. If you have any other favourites not included in the video but you’d like to share with our readers, please feel free to include them in the comments below.
For IT Contractors, recruiters are the gatekeepers of your employment destiny as they are the ones who read and evaluate your resume. If they like what they see, you’ll move on in the process; if not your hopes for that role are over and your jobs search starts over again. So, it is pretty important to tailor your resume to what they want to see. This quick video shows you 5 things you absolutely must avoid having on your resume, under any circumstances, no matter what, if you want to keep your recruiter happy!
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