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It is 2016: Do You Know Where Your SMART Goals Are?

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It is 2016! Do you know where your SMART goals are?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”  Wise words indeed, but, how many people really set goals, even though they believe in the concept? Not too many.

Mind map created on blackboard with colorful crumpled sticky notes and white chalk - setting personal goals in different areas of life (artistic, attitude, care

Goal setting might sound like a cliché, but it is a powerful exercise as it provides a sense of direction, helping us decide where we want to go and how we will get there. But, it requires SMART thinking. It requires that our goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely, and aligned with our deepest desire. Below are five SMART steps that could help you stay focused and achieve your goals in 2016:

SET GOALS INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS

It is common for many of us to make New Year’s resolutions. We are turning over a new page, everything looks and sounds exciting, and we resolve to do a lot of things. The problem is these resolutions are transitory. They disappear almost as fast as they are made. Goals, on the other hand, seem more tangible and realistic, and easier to be attained. Goal setting is a critical element of one’s career, or life, but it requires discipline and commitment. It doesn’t make sense to say, “I resolve to get a new job, change my career, or start a business”, then sit around and wait for them to fall in your lap. It’s not going to happen! You need to commit to a plan, follow up with action, then have the resilience to stick with it to the end.

MAKE IT HAPPEN

My well-used, dog-eared copy of Henriette Anne Klauser’s book, Write It Down and Make It Happen, is a great reminder that keeping your goals in your head won’t make them happen. You have to write them down. When you do this, you create a major shift and suddenly it makes you feel you are halfway there. So, write your goals down and make them happen.

ABANDON NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

This one saps every energy out of you. When you regularly engage in negative self-talks, or surround yourself with negative people, you are setting the stage for these negative behaviours to coalesce and hold you back from achieving your goals. Let go of negativity in all its forms and embrace positive, confidence-boosting self-talk.

REVIEW YOUR PROGRESS

It’s always a good idea to review your progress. Spend at least 10 minutes each day checking to see where you are. This ensures you are still on track, and demonstrates your commitment to the process. To keep you motivated, reward yourself for each milestone reached. These rewards don’t have to be big, but enough to encourage you to carry on.

THINK BIG!

It is often said that one of the mistakes we make in setting goals is not thinking big enough, but big goals generate excitement and passion. They might make you feel uncomfortable, but that’s OK. Don’t settle for goals that are too easy to reach. Strive for the ones that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone. If they appear too challenging, break them into small, manageable steps, but don’t give up, think big.

You now have some additional tips to help you set SMART goals in 2016. Take the process one step further by sharing your goals with a circle of people who want to see you succeed; those who will encourage and inspire you when the going gets tough. Commit to your plan and become your own success story in 2016. Happy New Year!

How to Make Sure You Get a Seat in the House

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After a 22-year hiatus, baseball playoff fever hit Toronto (well, all of Canada for that matter), and it was contagious. I couldn’t watch, tweet or read enough about the Blue Jays (until Game 6 of course), but one story in the Toronto Star of October 8, caught my attention. In that story I discovered a seldom used strategy that job seekers, career changers, and entrepreneurs could emulate, and it came from a diehard Blue Jays fan, 81-year old Herm Dyck.

Sportswriter, Dave Feschuk, wrote how Dyck’s passion for baseball got him the best seats in the house in 1977, when Major League Baseball announced that Toronto was getting an expansion team.

Prior to that announcement, Dyck, a businessman at the time, had heard that beer industry executive, Don McDougall, wanted to move the San Francisco Giants to Toronto. He didn’t know McDougall, but he knew that he wanted the best seats in the house, so he contacted him. According to Feschuk, Dyck wrote a letter to McDougall congratulating him on wanting to bring the franchise to Toronto, and included the following line: “And by the way, this is my application for two tickets should a team materialize.”

The Giants’ move didn’t materialize, but Dyck kept his letters going. By 1977, when MLB announced that Toronto was going to get a franchise, Dyck was well known by McDougall. He had pestered him so much that McDougall called him one day and said, “Any man that’s as interested as you are, can have any two seats in the house.” He still has those two seats whenever the Blue Jays play at home games. That’s called ‘nurturing a relationship’.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when an 18-year-old high school student saw a sign in a plaza that a major pharmacy chain was going to open a store in her neighbourhood. She faxed her resume as the sign stated, but did not stop there.

She called the head office of the pharmacy to ask for additional information. She was given the name and contact information of the new owner whom she called. In the conversation she informed him that she lived within walking distance of the proposed pharmacy, that she had had some retail experience, and that she was looking forward to working with him.

Her resume was pulled from the pile and she was one of the first people to be interviewed and subsequently hired. Her proactive efforts got her a seat in the house. That’s called ‘brazen and proactive’.

While Tristan Walker, founder of Walker & Company Brands, is pretty well known in Silicon Valley now, that was not always the case. A Fast Company article reported that Walker “emailed Dennis Crowley, cofounder and CEO of Foursquare, eight times asking for a job. After Crowley half-seriously offered to meet him, Walker hopped on a flight to New York the next day and showed up at their offices, laptop in hand. Stunned, Crowley and cofounder Naveen Selvadurai challenged him to sign up 30 small businesses as Foursquare merchant partners within a month. He found 300 in a little over a week. After that, he was asked to become the company’s first director of business development.” That’s called persistence.

One does not have to be a business man like Herm Dyck, a brazen and proactive 18-year old high school student, or a self-starter like Tristan Walker, to get a seat in the house. It matters that you want something so badly that you will do anything (legal and within reason) to get it.

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Some people, especially those conducting a job search, might say “Been there, done that”. Others might want to dismiss this approach because it sounds hard, or because someone tells them it’s futile. And, then there are those who will take the easy, docile route that most people take instead of going the extra mile. They upload their resumes to an inanimate applicant tracking system, then wait for someone to contact them. When that doesn’t happen they revert to questioning their capabilities, and start believing the naysayers who speak in absolutes: “You are wasting your time because it will NEVER work. It never worked for me, and it won’t for you.”

To get a seat in the house takes all the courage you can muster, a willingness to step out of your comfort zone, and a determination to let go of negative people. You have to surround yourself with ‘possibility thinkers’ who can encourage you when the going gets tough. And then, you have to be resolute and persistent, and eliminate the notion of giving up just because you hear “No”. Remember that ‘No’ is not final. It just means ‘not yet’.

Those are some of the strategies that will help you to get a seat in the house.

Are you ready for the challenge? If so, what can you start doing NOW that will take you closer to getting a seat in the house?

Related Links:

Toronto Star & Herm Dyck

Fast Company & Tristan Walker

Do You Have the Key to Secure the Job?

iStock_000000588057XSmall-Success Have you ever wanted to know the exact details of a job before you apply? If so, you may want to have a chat with Jon Chow, CEO of SecureTheJob.“A lot of people rely on job postings to learn about a job, but it takes much more than that”, said Chow.

In a recent interview, Chow explained how he came to realize the disconnect between a job posting and the actual job. “There is a big flaw in job descriptions as most are only available when companies are actively recruiting. Between recruiting cycles, those same job descriptions remain stagnant. They hardly, if ever, take into consideration new tasks and responsibilities assigned to the role, or assumed by the incumbent”, said Chow.

What is SecureTheJob?

SecureTheJob is an online portal built on the same ‘give to get’ model as Glassdoor, but it prides itself as a more qualitative resource. While Glassdoor provides insights on salaries that each company pays, as well as potential interview questions, SecureTheJob provides more detailed information from its community of contributors – people who have actually had those jobs.

These individuals, not only understand the technical requirements of the jobs, but also know about those “other duties as assigned”, as well as the soft skills that are important to succeed in the role. They offer advice on an array of things: What surprised them on the job, things they didn’t expect when they started, what they had to learn, and what they wished they had known on day one. With this information, job candidates can get a better understanding about the job and the company’s culture, and are better able to prepare themselves for the interview, and ultimately for success on day one of the job.

SecureTheJob works with employers who provide more information to candidates beyond the job posting so that when they are ready for the next recruiting wave, those candidates will be well-prepared. Job candidates, on the other hand, benefit from insider information to help them market themselves as more qualified to take on those responsibilities, and perform well in those roles. The employer benefits from a pool of higher quality candidates who understand their needs.

How Does SecureTheJob Work?

Chow was quick to point out that SecureTheJob is not a place to vent. “The last things we want is for SecureTheJob to become a site where people vent. The whole goal of SecureTheJob is to stay constructive and helpful. To that end, every single comment that’s submitted to the site is moderated by our team. We screen any comment that’s negative or critical of an employer. What we are trying to do is to have people provide information to others who want that job and tell them how to get it and how to do well at it.”

There are five categories on SecureTheJob for people to provide commentary and advice. These are: how to get interviews, how to succeed at the interview, how to get the promotion, how to succeed in the job, and what they would’ve liked to see in the job description.

Chow continued: “We like to think of it as the difference between speaking to a hiring manager and someone who has had that job. The hiring manager can tell you the salary, they can tell you the hours, they can tell you about the job posting, but the person who has had the job can say so much more.”

The site is a brand new resource and is 100% free. As such, Chow is encouraging everyone to check it out, and hopefully gain something from it, and in turn be able to give back to the community of job seekers. Everyone who uses SecureTheJob is asked to provide a comment about a job they have had that will help others who may want that job.

Do you want the key to your job search success? Visit the source at SecureTheJob and get a better understanding on what you need to do secure the job.

The Cover Letter is Dead…Long Live the Cover Letter

Cover Letter_TheWrightCareer2Every so often we hear or read about the death of the resume, but somehow it continues to hang on for dear life. Nowadays, though, it seems that this prediction has reached the cover letter.

In two recent articles – one from Elevate Talent Network, and the other from The Huffington Post – it is being inferred that the cover letter is dying, or has died. This post is not to persuade the converts. It is purely to stand up for the cover letter even if we are witnessing its demise.

Are Cover Letters a Waste of Time?

In February, a few recruiters met with about 80 residents of Liberty Village in Toronto to discuss job search strategies. In answer to the question, “Should I write a cover letter?”, they responded with a resounding and unanimous ‘NO’. The blog post about the event stated “Cover letters were seen by far as a waste of time. Recruiters don’t have the time or the inclination to read your cover letters.”

When I read it, I wondered aloud if it was or is an absolute that exists in recruiter-land. But No! Many people involved in hiring have said the same thing. I was speaking with a human resources manager in one of our regional governments a couple of years ago, and she said that they did not require cover letters, yet they want to see an Objective on the resume. Well, let’s say the Objective requires another debate.

What About the Other 50%

In a survey I conducted several years ago with Canadian HR Managers, recruiters and others involved in hiring, 50% of them indicated that they did not want to see a cover letter, or that cover letters didn’t matter one way or the other. I wondered then about the other 50%.

My colleague Maureen McCann mentioned a time when she was pitching a workshop to human resource managers in one government agency. When she asked the question about cover letters, she received a 50/50 response. This is a quote from Maureen:

“For the 50% who said cover letters remained an important part of the application process, a number of them went further to explain the cover letter is an essential part of the application process. So much so, that the application instructions specifically read (in bold text):

“In addition to your application, you are required to submit a cover letter which demonstrates clearly in writing with concrete examples how you meet each of the essential Education, Experience and the Asset qualifications. Resumes will only be used as a secondary source to validate the information provided in the cover letter.”

There is certainly a valid argument against cover letters. Time is definitely an issue for recruiters who want to fill a position quickly. And as one of the recruiters said in a response to me, “…with the wide spread adoption of the ATS they [cover letters] don’t often make it into our hands (even if we were inclined to read them).”

But what happens to those recruiters and hiring managers who want to see a cover letter? How will a candidate know which ones want or do not want to read a cover letter? Some companies request in their job postings that candidates submit a resume and cover letter. The website of one provincial government asks that the cover letter be combined with the resume and submitted as one document.

The Huffington Post article mentions Allan Jones, chief marketing officer for recruiting site ZipRecruiter, who points out that while some cover letters “… are uninspired copy-paste form letters [they] can still be effective in some cases, especially when they are personalized and reveal specific reasons why a candidate might be a good fit for a position.”

Who Will Stand Up for the Cover Letter?

With such diverse opinions, it’s hard to know which way to go. As a result, I have listed below three simple reasons why the cover letter may still have a life:

  1. Job seekers do not know what side of the 50% cover letter equation some recruiters fall. Therefore, they should err on the side of caution and send one anyway. It is better to have it ignored or tossed out rather than to regret not sending one.
  2. A cover letter can address certain situations that won’t necessarily fit on a resume, such as reason(s) for a gap in employment. It can be used to draw their attention to one of the pain points you (the job seeker) can solve.
  3. Even for those who do not want to see a traditional cover letter, a candidate can create a cover letter within the body of the email when attaching the resume. Most people will open and read an email, especially when it has a strong subject line.

Is it time to let go of the cover letter, or does it still have a life?

Related Links:

Resume Questions from the Heart of Liberty

5 Reasons the Cover Letter Should Just Die

Also posted on LinkedIn

On The Job Hunt? Never Be Afraid to Tell Your Story

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Today’s career musings is not only based on a quote by actress Angie Dickinson, but also contains elements from the Foreword of my new book, Tell Stories Get Hired. Credit for the Foreword goes to Sharon Graham, one of Canada’s foremost Career Strategists.

While Dickinson’s quote may relate to life in general, this post is written from a job search context and targets mid-career professionals, managers and executives. It is also relevant to job seekers, people in career transition, and even those who are happy at work!

When it comes to job search, we cannot underestimate the importance of storytelling. Your job search story literally starts with “Once upon a time…”. If you can articulate your value effectively, you can succeed in your job search. Career storytelling can help you build credibility, but its benefits don’t end there. It can also help you to identify your dreams, strengthen your values, find your true assets, and build your self-confidence.

Never be afraid to tell your story. Storytelling is an integral part of your job search. It’s a technique you must use to communicate why you are the best person for the job. It’s a strategy you should employ when networking to demonstrate your industry expertise. You cannot afford to be seen as ‘a shrinking violet’, “someone who is shy or modest and does not like to attract attention.”  Don’t be afraid!

Your story should be interesting. When writing your resume, when networking, or during an interview, create a vivid and interesting picture of what role you played in the story. Were you the lead actor, or did you play a supporting role? In fact, take them on a ride in your CAR, and explain the Challenges you encountered, the Actions you took, and the Results.

Your story is unique. Even if your story is similar to someone else’s, it’s not the same. Find ways to showcase your uniqueness. Brand your story in a package that stands out. According to Sharon, “Our current job search environment is very competitive and the only way to differentiate yourself is to tell “unique signature stories.”

Your story is worth sharing. If you don’t toot your horn, no one will know you are coming. Don’t expect the interviewer to read your mind to determine how great you are. One of my clients lost out on a promotion to project manager because he assumed his boss knew what he had done. He failed to share his success stories.

It’s your story. If you accomplished it, it’s yours, so claim it. If you don’t, others will autograph your work with their name on it. Too many people complain that their bosses or coworkers have taken credit for their work. Don’t let that be you…tell your story!

Every career has many interesting twists and turns, but few people are naturally confident storytellers. Most people find the thought of having to “sell” themselves to recruiters, hiring managers, and other potential company representatives daunting. You may know what you want to share, but are not certain of how best to do that. That’s where storytelling comes in.

Want to learn more about storytelling for the job search? Listen to this podcast, or visit Tell Stories Get Hired to grab your copy of the book.

Give Your Job Search a Boost: Do the Unthinkable!

Obstacles_photodune-6077247-rock-xsLauren Holliday, a contributor to my book Tell Stories, Get Hired: Innovative Strategies to Land Your Next Job and Advance Your Career, decided to create an email marketing campaign to contact potential employers after she had tried all traditional job search strategies. Her effort garnered 15 interview invitations.

Recently, the Toronto Star published the story of Xingyi Yan, a University of Toronto graduate, who used an unconventional technique to find a job. She donned a large placard announcing her availability for advertising and marketing opportunities. For seven days last December she stood in the frigid streets of Toronto with the sign around her neck. There were skeptics; there were those who brought her coffee to keep her warm, and then there was the managing director of Reprise Media, Joseph McConellogue, who took a chance on her.

McConellogue remarked about Yan, “We were very impressed with her initiative and her resourcefulness …She took things into her own hands, took a very different approach to finding a job. You don’t see that in a lot of people.”

Last June, Canadian Business had a story about the changing of the guards at Royal Bank – Dave McKay was replacing Gord Nixon as CEO. The headline grabbed my attention: With a new CEO and $4 billion to spend, RBC looks primed to make a major acquisition. I sent the link to two of my clients (one a General Manager, and the other a Director of Finance), with the following message:

“A new CEO of Royal Bank, Canada’s largest and most profitable bank, is taking office in August. According to the article, the bank has so much money he (the CEO) won’t know what to do with it. Wouldn’t it be a great idea for someone to build a business case and let him know what to do with that much money?

This approach might not land you a job there, but at least you would get on his radar and he would know you exist! Sometimes we have to try unconventional ways to get attention even from the head honcho!”

As far as I know, they didn’t take my advice. They probably thought that such an approach was too brazen, while I was thinking  it was a risk worth taking. I asked David Perry, of executive search firm, Perry Martel, what he thought of my suggestion to the two individuals. He said, “I could be wrong, but I think they were scared. Most people won’t do something novel or different unless not doing it is more painful than doing it.”  Could it be they felt intimidated?

Last week, I spoke to some students at Centennial College encouraging them to take chances. I weaved pieces of my story into the presentation: how I sometimes took chances and did the unthinkable without knowing if it would work. Like the time years ago when I applied for a job at the UN during a short stopover in New York. I got the job, and that delayed my move to Canada. Another time was when I got an opportunity to teach at Sheridan College after I didn’t listen to the naysayers who asked me what I knew about teaching.

Sometimes we have to be like the bumblebee, and do the unthinkable. It is said that because of the shape of its body and size of its wings the bumble bee did not get the memo that it was not supposed to fly. It took a look on both sides of its body, discovered it had wings, and said, “These wings were made for flying. I’m not made to just crawl around on the ground. I am going to do the unthinkable”, and away it went flying.

Whether you are an entry-level or senior-level candidate, sometimes you must allow yourself to be vulnerable, and try unconventional methods to get the attention of and engage potential employers. This is not the time to be shy or be intimidated. With competition in the job market, and layoffs making the news, it might just be worth your while to take a chance, do the unthinkable and give your job search a boost.

Hard Facts About Soft Skills and Why You Need Them

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“During the session you told me of a document I need to complete. When can I expect it?”

“I have all the requirements for the attached position, when will we discuss it?”

“Sorry to miss our meeting. I am available tomorrow at the same time.”

Ouch! Those are snippets from email correspondence from a client before we had a discussion on the hard facts about soft skills. He is a brilliant and technically savvy professional, but with such a brusque attitude, and one that lacked common courtesies, he was heading in the wrong career direction.

It is often said that the majority of employees fail in their jobs, not because of their technical prowess but because of poor interpersonal skills; a shortcoming in their social, communication, and self-management behaviours. These are soft skills, and they play a significant role in one’s ability to.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Hard skills are the technical abilities required to do a job or perform a task, and are usually acquired through education and training. They include the ability to use computers and software programs, operate machines, analyze data, etc. These skills are easy to observe, quantify, measure, and teach.

Soft skills, also called “interpersonal” or “people skills”, are harder to observe, quantify and measure. They are required for everyday interactions in and outside the workplace, and complement the technical or hard skills. Soft skills relate to how people communicate, listen, engage in discussions, give feedback, collaborate as a team member, solve problems and resolve conflicts.

An interviewer will not ask a candidate if he or she has soft skills, but will ask questions to uncover how the skills were used. The same could be said about the term ‘corporate fit or culture’. No one will ask a direct question like, “Do you think you will be a good fit for our company?”, but they will ask questions to see if, and how well, a potential employee will fit into the company. Will they mesh with the team or will they disrupt team synergy.

An individual could have the required expertise, but that, by itself, is not enough. Companies also look for people who are can communicate well, and who are positive, respectful, reliable and honest. They also look for people who are able to function in cross-cultural environments, appreciate differences and contribute to a team.

In a Huffington Post interview recently, Faizolhardi Zubairy, Head of Digital Media at PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad, was asked what was the most valuable advice he had ever received when he was facing challenges in his career. He said, “Hone your soft skills. While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills will open more doors for you.

Your work ethic, attitude, communication skills, negotiation skills, emotional intelligence and leadership are the soft skills that are crucial for career success.

As you can see, hard or technical skill is not all that’s required to obtain and keep a job. One’s attitude and attributes are also very important. The fact someone might know their job well is not a guarantee of on-the-job success. In fact, given the choice, some employers would prefer to hire someone with more soft skills and less hard skills, because they believe they can teach someone the hard skills, but it’s difficult and time-consuming to teach soft skills.

If you are someone who struggles with a lack of soft skills, all is not lost. These skills can be developed and sharpened through training and practise, and this will help you to advance in your personal and professional life.

Welcome Aboard Flight 2015

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Welcome Aboard Flight 2015! This is both a New Years’ greeting as well as a dose of my usual Monday Rx.

First of all, I am not the author of the original message, and I do pay homage to that person for his or her ingenuity. But, I thought it was such a classic New Year’s message that I decided to create this Infographic and put a slightly different spin on it.

Since it’s the first Monday of the year, I think it would be a good idea to think of what’s ahead for you as you board flight 2015. Let me ask you a few questions:

  • Have you set any specific goals for the year? If you haven’t, it means you have indirectly set one, and it is to remain where you are.
  • Have you decided if you will be a passenger or the pilot of your career this year? It’s up to you to determine if you will be taking charge of your career in 2015, or you will be assigning such an important responsibility to others.
  • Are you ready to eliminate the negative thoughts or people that surrounded you in 2014? My advice is, when negativity calls you on the phone this year, don’t argue with it, just hang up!

In addition to those thoughts, here are some wise words from famed basketball coach, John Wooden. Unlike resolutions, these are promises you can keep:

 

  • Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
  • Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value.
  • Promise to think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best from yourself and others.
  • Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
  • Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
  • Promise to give so much time improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

We cannot rewind the past, but we can take advantage of the present, and leap into the future with great expectations. That’s my wish for you in 2015. Welcome aboard flight 2015. Enjoy the ride, and contact me if you need a career companion!

 

How to Craft a Salary Negotiation Story

salary negotiationNever bargain or job hunt from a position of weakness. Soar like an eagle, even when you are feeling like a wounded pigeon. –George C. Fraser, Chairman and CEO, FraserNet Inc.

Every job seeker should learn how to craft a salary negotiation story long before there is a job offer. It allows them to weigh their options before saying “Yes!”

This salary negotiation article, while not written along gender lines, was prompted by the recent comment by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, who said that women should not ask for a raise, but have faith that the system will reward them well. (He has since issued a retraction).

“Very Good News!” stated the Subject line in an email from a client. It was an invitation to be formally presented with a job offer. He and I had had a salary negotiation discussion which ended on the assumption that he was not going to accept the offer immediately.

He called after the meeting to say, “I gladly accepted the offer on the spot.” When I asked why, he said it was the salary he was expecting, so he just “…took it”. Clearly, he was thrilled, and I didn’t blame him, but waiting another day or so to think of other non-monetary benefits, would not have hurt his chances.

Salary negotiation conversations are not easy, especially if a candidate is afraid he or she might lose out on an opportunity if they mention a figure – high or low. But, the candidate who begins to craft their negotiation story long before an offer is presented is the one who will appear at the negotiation table well-prepared and confident. At minimum they would’ve asked themselves:

  • What’s the minimum will I accept?
  • What is the going rate for people in my field and at my level?
  • What other non-monetary benefits are being offered?

In addition, they will have considered the following five points:

  • Conduct research to find out what the average salary and benefit packages are in other companies for people in their industry.
  • Review labour market information and salary websites to find salary information on many professions. Websites such as: www.salary.com, salary.monster.ca, www.payscale.com, http://monsterca.salary.com/CanadaSalaryWizard/ & www.salaryexpert.com are good places to start. Keep in mind that the figures quoted on these sites are not universally applicable. However, having this information puts the candidate in a better position to negotiate.
  • Take time to review the offer. Most times, employers expect the candidate would want some time to consider the offer before giving them an answer. No need to get nervous and think the offer is going to be withdrawn if it’s not accepted immediately.
  • Negotiate for more than money. The salary figure is not everything. Think of non-monetary benefits and perks that could come with the position: an extra week’s vacation, reimbursement for professional development courses, extra health and wellness coverage, etc.
  • Firm with their expectations, but are ready to compromise if the offer appears reasonable and if there is a sense they are doing their best.

If a candidate has the confidence to tell a compelling negotiation story, it’s an indication they could be great negotiators on behalf of the company, and if given the opportunity.

Job seeker, it is up to you to convince the employer of the value you will bring to the organization. That makes it easier for them to accept your salary negotiation story.

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Parts of this blog post have been excerpted from my new book Tell Stories, Get Hired to be available soon.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Canada Career Week

CPC Canada Career Week

Happy Canada Career Week!

Your dose of Monday Rx comes in the form of a Summit hosted by Career Professionals of Canada in recognition of Canada Career Week.

From November 3rd to November 7th, job seekers and career changers will be able to listen to a variety of topics on job search and career development. Today’s topic is Beyond 2014: Job Networking and Social Media. The best part of this is that the Summit is free, and you don’t have to leave the comforts of your home or office. The full list of topics are:

  • Job Networking and Social Media
  • Managing your Career for the Future
  • The Resume that You Need Today
  • Different People, Different Challenges
  • Generational Career Intelligence

According to Sharon Graham, Executive Director of Career Professionals of Canada, “This FREE event consists of five 40-minute moderated panel discussions on a range of topics for everyone who wants to succeed in the Canadian labour market. No registration is required to participate.”

Go ahead and enjoy these sessions for free!

Happy Canada Career Week!