Just Because It’s Summer the World is Not at a Standstill!

By Jo Dakin

We are having record highs this week in Toronto, and I am sure in other North American cities and towns. The heat is getting to people, you can see them walking slower, standing in any little patch of shade to catch a break, chugging down the water bottles and sitting inside the restaurants in the air conditioning instead of soaking up the sun out on the patios.

Sure many are at the cottage taking their 2 week holidays and some of the luckier ones have headed to Europe, a sailing adventure, a road trip across the country or a camping trip in one of our beautiful national parks. We are all in slow motion but what does this do for your job search? Summer may bring on the slow motion in the hiring department but this is the time for you to revisit your social media and get it up to date, network, and refine your resume.

Tips on summer updating, if things are slow now then take advantage of this and be ready for the back to work mentality in September.

Update your LinkedIn – do you have a recent up to date professional picture, without your child in it or Niagara Falls in the background? Has your job title changed or your job responsibilities, if so add those in. Are you volunteering? Have you upgraded your education or taken relevant career courses? If so, add those to your profile. Many people are on LinkedIn but many do not have completed profiles, this can be challenging for a recruiter that is researching you. You want your best out there at all times.

Network – while on the golf course or at the cottage you are still exposed to the working world just not in a working environment. Find out what your golf partner does, you may know someone in common, is it possible that you can help each other in the business world? That is what networking is “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Networking is a two way street what can I do to help you, and vice versa.

There are so many more activities that are available in the summer months, we all are out and about more when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Get out and join groups or activities that are happening in your community, volunteer to be part of the Waterfront Festival, the Charity Hot Dog Sale, The Run for Cancer or whatever is going on in your neighbourhood. Meet new people, find out about them and what they do, you may surprise yourself and find that there are activities and opportunities that you can benefit from both personally and professionally.

Dust off your resume, we have all heard that your resume is a work in progress. You must keep it up to date, with all your new activities you are participating in you never know when someone lets you in on an opportunity and they want your resume now. Be prepared to share an up to date, professionally written, clean resume.

Simple tasks to do to stay up to date, don’t let the heat slow you down, get out and enjoy yourself! You never know where your next opportunity will come from!

What are your thoughts about this article? Let us know in the comments!

Jo Dakin is a Food & Beverage Recruitment Leader. She provides knowledge and expertise to Food & Beverage clients so that they may eliminate their recruitment pain and fill their void with top professionals in the “passive” candidate market.

Check out http://www.hannaandcastlerecruit.com/

Turning Negatives Into Positives

Written by Jo Dakin

It can be difficult at times to stay positive in the face of real opposition or real challenges. It’s not always easy to work in a given environment or to have negative responses to your work or to your feedback. Difficult situations make for challenges in our daily lives.

Negative situations are everywhere we go. How we react to them, how we respond to them is what sets the tone for the continued interaction. There really is a silver lining in many of these situations. Sometimes it takes more effort to find it but once you do, you can take away something very positive from an uncomfortable situation.

If your work is being criticized, recognize that you can take a learning experience away from that and grow in your career. Despite it being proffered to you in a negative way, you need not allow the way in which it was offered to make the entire scenario negative.

Bear in mind that there are always going to be negative people around you. Whether they are in positions of authority or not, you’re going to have to deal with them. Allowing them to spread negativity and to damage morale—particularly yours, isn’t helping anyone and it won’t rectify the situation.

Negative people can often be managed by a pleasant response. You don’t own their negativity so don’t fuel it. Offer a smile, offer a sympathetic word and listen. Let people vent their anger or frustration if they need to do that, but don’t feed into it. If it is a supervisor who seems unduly harsh in their critique, try to look past the attitude and find the useful information there. Sometimes it’s difficult to do so, but if you can, you’ll likely take away something worthwhile.

Try to help to create a situation where the people around you feel as though they are worthwhile and included in discussions and situations. Help them to see their options, rather than to focus on the purely negative.

If the negativity is aimed directly at you, take a hard look at it. Are the comments about your work or your actions something that have real value? Even the rudest commentary–the most negative reaction may hide a grain of truth.

If it’s something that you can change, take a look at the value underlying the comment and act on it. If you can change it or it merits change, act on it. Taking a positive away from it puts you in the driver’s seat.

You are not always able to control a negative situation, but you can control your reaction to it. Keep an open mind and an upbeat attitude about any negative situation. Examine the situation in which you find yourself and take a breath before you respond. Some of the people that you honestly believe you’re not going to work well with or to interact well with can become your closest allies.

Keep in mind as you seek to keep your life and your workplace positive that sometimes negative reactions and negative emotions are completely appropriate, depending on the situation. There may not be a great solution for that but you can be a good listener who is available with a sympathetic ear and a reasonable response.

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