Monthly Archives

May 2010

6 Career-Limiting Moves (CLM’s) in high-tech times

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Commonly known career-limiting moves (or CLM’s) have been around for ages and many have stood the test of time. Dressing inappropriately at work is just as hazardous today as it was in the ‘50’s – only our definition of “appropriate” has probably changed over the years.

But with the advent of technology there are more ways now than ever to limit your career. So if you’re looking to get fired or skipped over for that coveted promotion, read on and follow these six simple steps!

(If you think we missed something, please add your career-limiting move to our list by commenting below!)

1. Complain about clients on twitter

If you want to lose clients, and subsequently your job, a great way to do this is to log on to twitter and start bashing them publicly in real time. This is especially effective since your client can probably cross-reference the time and date of your tweet with your last meeting or phone call and figure out if you’re referring to them!

Not only might you insult that particular “difficult” client, you are showing all your customers or potential customers your character and that you’re willing to slight them in public forums. Who wants to work with someone like that?

2. Share proprietary or confidential info online

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your work. Just remember one thing: it’s not your work!

Yes, you may have developed/written/created it, but it actually belongs to the organization or clients who paid you to do it.

Blogs, social networks, and file-sharing sites like or SlideShare make it easier than ever to share that amazing presentation, report or creative work you did, especially if you’re thinking about beefing up your online portfolio. But consider how your boss or client would feel if they came across their proprietary work online – especially if it contained confidential info about their organization.

Also consider – what if the competition saw it? If you have to think twice about sharing it, don’t share it.

3. Plagiarize off Wikipedia

Plagiarizing is a great way to lose your job and even get into some legal trouble (you know, just for fun). But if you really want to make it easy for them, just steal your work right off of the internet. That way all he or she has to do is a copy and paste a line from your report and plop it into Google. This will lead them right to the source.

4. Bash your employer (current or former) online

This one is pretty obvious. Most people by now should know it’s not smart to bash your boss or the organization that employs you online, whether its twitter, facebook or any other forum – no matter how “private” you think it is.

Still it never ceases to amaze me how easily common sense escapes us. Case in point: a friend of mine hated his old job at a large private corporation, but fortunately was able to land his dream job and part amicably with the old employer.

He was happy to know he could always go back for references or other opportunities. That is of course until he created a facebook page called (something to the effect of) “I worked at ABC company and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” which was dedicated to sharing how much he disliked working there. Thankfully, he has since followed my advice and taken it down.

5. Make your not-so-tech-savvy boss feel dumb

Organizational leaders are often superhuman beings with a million things on the go at once. They work long hours, often travel, juggle overlapping meetings and are putting out more fires than the fire department. But alas, nobody is perfect!

Many senior leaders are of generations that did not grow up with computers or iPhones, let alone the internet in their jacket pockets. In fact they may have already been in the workforce for decades before internet came along.

So when a boss asks you for help with technology don’t get frustrated or patronize and embarrass them. Be discrete and respectful, and soon you will be seen as their go-to person.

6. Write poor emails

My boss once wisely said, “If you wouldn’t put it on the front page of a newspaper, don’t put it in an email!”

Never assume that your email to Jane in the cubicle next to you might not accidentally get to the CEO! The boss is one click away from receiving absolutely anything that goes out. All Jane has to do is click “forward.”

In this era of dwindling face-time, your emails are increasingly a representation of your work ethic and professionalism. It’s a sign of respect to write a professional email, even if it’s a casual message to a colleague. Plus, it is much more convenient for them to click “forward” and type “FYI” (think of how often you do this) than to have to paraphrase someone’s email because they couldn’t be bothered to use full sentences.


The digital media value proposition: three insights on social media for business

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By Guest Blogger: Janice Rudkowski, Director, Marketing & Communications, Career Edge Organization

janice pic

I was fortunate enough to attend the Getting Down to Business with Social Media session yesterday, held by Queen’s Executive Development Centre. There are lots of Social Media themed sessions, conferences and crash courses out there for business professionals to partake in. Some try to convert, others try to simply inform or educate and then others try to take Social Media Strategy to the next level.

This one was of the later – it definitely took social and digital media strategy to the next level. Neil Bearse, Manager of Web-Based Marketing at Queen’s University, presented the second hour of the session. He really hit the mark in terms of how organizations should be thinking about digital media. I took away three really important insights from his engaging, entertaining and thoughtful presentation.

1. It’s time to stop questioning why and start looking at the facts.

Millions and millions of people are already actively engaged online whether it’s for social or professional purposes. So, why are organizations still wondering if they should develop a digital media strategy? Social and digital media has already demonstrated itself as an integral part of our society. From preschoolers to grandmothers – everyone is engaging online in one way or another. So too should all organizations.

2. In essence, we’re all marketers within our organizations.

Digital media strategies don’t simply belong just in the Marketing Department. Since social media is an integral part of our everyday lives, it also has to be woven through every part of our businesses. It’s true that Marketing has traditionally been the brand keepers, but today everyone in the organization contributes to keeping the brand healthy and well. It’s not just what’s written on the company website or company brochure that dictates brand health, it’s how we talk to a customer or even how we talk to our friends and family about our jobs. Virtually every online and offline interaction feeds into the health of a brand. So, it’s crucial that everyone within an organization recognize their role, importance and contribution to the organization’s overall strategy in order for its digital media strategy to achieve success.

3. Digital media is exactly what email was 15 years ago and what the fax machine was 30 years ago to businesses.

These techno inventions changed the way people communicated. So, now we have another technological revolution which once again changes the way that we do business. The difference is, now businesses have the opportunity to reach out and engage in direct dialogue with their customers and consumers in an instant. We’re entering into a new era where a customer/consumer relationship is not just defined by face time or simply the quality of a product or service, but it’s defined by every single online and offline interaction. And now more than ever, it’s the online interaction that contributes so much value to the equation.

Aboriginal Inclusion in the Workplace

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By Guest Blogger: Rizwan Abdul, Client Relations and Human Resources Manager, Career Edge Organization


Aboriginal inclusion in the workplace is a critical part of the overall discourse that is taking place around diversity and inclusion in the Canadian workplace today.

Canadian employers are seeing a clear business case in making their organizations inclusive of Aboriginal people and other underrepresented groups as diversity maximizes the potential of all employees, lowers employee turnovers, broadens customer base and increases work productivity. Diversity brings cohesiveness to the workplace.

Moreover, the impending skills shortage faced by Canadian employers today may call for creative hiring solutions. Aboriginal people represent an important part of this solution, with a growth rate that is six times faster than general population.

Unfortunately, Aboriginal inclusion has its own challenges as there are gaps still prevalent that are acting as barriers for true Aboriginal inclusion in the workplace. In an effort to make their workplace practices truly welcoming, employers are still working to expand their understanding of the historical and cultural journey of Aboriginal people in Canada.

Conventional practices around recruitment, retention and promotion alone would not suffice to make an organization an employer of choice for Aboriginal people. This is best achieved when organizational goals and Aboriginal inclusion goals are linked together and inclusion becomes an organization competency, part of managerial performance evaluations.

An optimal Aboriginal inclusion strategy is also backed by leadership and commitment, long-term goals, accountability, relationship building, creative recruitment, retention and promotion strategies and plan for implementation and measurement.

What are we doing?

At Career Edge Organization, Aboriginal inclusion is viewed as journey that will include lots of learning and sharing of best practices with our host organizations and partnering community agencies. We are currently working on streamlining our processes where our host organizations would be able to hire aboriginal interns through the paid internship programs we offer that are meant for recent graduates: Career Edge and Ability Edge.

In our quest for ongoing learning and understanding of Aboriginal inclusion in the workplace, I recently attended a Workshop titled “Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion”. The workshop was offered during the yearly conference called “Inclusion Works” organized by the Aboriginal Human Resource Council. Some of the critical areas that were covered in the workshop were: understanding the business case for Aboriginal inclusion, the historical exclusion of Aboriginal people and how to increase an organization’s ability to recruit, retain and advance Aboriginal peoples.

In our journey so far, we have encountered some notable successes that include the three Aboriginal interns who were placed in one of the major Canadian banks within the last three months. We continue to see more of our host employers hiring aboriginals through our paid internship programs. Our goal is to make our internships a viable medium for qualified recent Aboriginal graduates to establish their careers.

Slow and steady wins the race: Recovery in the Canadian economy

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Building on the positive news we reported on our blog last week related to job growth in Canada, we encourage you (if you haven’t already) to have a look at our spring issue of Career Bulletin – our quarterly e-Newsletter, and read about Canada’s “slow but steady” economic recovery.

Some highlights include:

  • Last month the economy added nearly 18,000 jobs
  • Last quarter saw the strongest bout of growth in employment we’ve seen in 2 years
  • The number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits decreased in every province for a total of 47,000 nation-wide
  • 40 per cent of executives in a recent study said that finding skilled professionals in today’s labour market is a challenge
  • The latest quarterly survey from Bank of Canada announced last week that, as sales increased, firms would increase their hiring and investments

Click here to read the full article!

Supporting our ALLIES (Maytree, TRIEC and many more) in Halifax

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Yesterday Career Edge Organization President & CEO Anne Lamont returned to Toronto after an exciting weekend in Halifax, attending the 2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange: Putting Ideas into Action.

ALLIES stands for “Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies” and is a project jointly funded by our friends at Maytree and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

This project offers resources, networks and expertise to cities across Canada providing the support needed for local initiatives around finding suitable employment for skilled immigrants (a really informative backgrounder on ALLIES is available here through the Maytree website).


Anne Lamont was really impressed with project leader Peter Paul’s efforts at this year’s event, which brought together 150+ participants from more than 10 city regions including our partners from TRIEC (Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council) and their equivalents in other Canadian cities such as Edmonton and Calgary.

Anne Lamont and other guests were greeted with a warm welcome from Gordon Nixon, president and CEO of Career Bridge host employers Royal Bank of Canada.

Keynote addresses included:

• Don Drummond, TD Bank Financial Group – Changing Face of the Canadian Workplace

• Alan Broadbent, Maytree – Making your Immigrant Employment Council Work for your Community

• Will Kymlicka, Queen’s University – The Future of Multiculturalism in Canada

• Naomi Alboim, leading immigration expert – Immigrants and the Economic Recovery

And last (but not least) Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree, provided closing remarks.

Other highlights included panel discussions on hiring practices, mentoring and engaging employers, in-depth workshops and a “marketplace” where Anne Lamont participated to provide information about our Career Bridge paid internship program for internationally qualified professionals.

As in previous years, we are happy to be ALLIES and participate in this wonderful event – it was a great opportunity for Anne to see familiar faces and meet new champions that stand alongside Career Bridge and Career Edge Organization to help launch careers and put talent to work!

We look forward to seeing what they have in store for 2011.

Canadian economy has biggest jobs gain in eight years

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After a tough couple of years and a crawling recovery in recent months, finally, some great news!

A record 108,700 jobs were added to Canada’s economy in April according to Stats Canada, signalling growth and better times to come. A large portion of this increase (approximately 2/3) was men over 25 years old returning to the workforce. 65,000 of the jobs were part-time and 44,000 were full-time!

This has taken everyone by surprise, as the growth is four times the consensus forecast. And while increases were seen in all provinces, Ontario, Quebec, British Colombia and Manitoba had the most job growth.

Jobs aren’t the only thing that went up – wages have gone up as well, by about 2%.

So who is doing all the hiring? Retail and wholesale companies were the industries that led the pack, according to an article in Business Week this morning, which also goes on to report:

The International Monetary Fund said April 21 Canada will grow the fastest among Group of Seven countries this year and next, with an expansion of 3.1 percent in 2010 and 3.2 percent in 2011.

Go Canada!!

On the road with Scotiabank

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This morning the Center for Students with Disabilities at Centennial College, Progress Campus arranged for an information session for students about employment prospects after graduation. Scotiabank and Career Edge Organization were invited to give presentations.

Scotiabank was represented by Sophia Dritsas, Assistant Manager, Diversity Initiatives and Kay Leslie, Manager Workforce Diversity. Career Edge Organization was represented by Rizwan Abdul, Client Relations and HR Manager and Rima Dasgupta, Recruitment Sourcing Specialist.

Career Edge – Ability Edge Intern of the Year Award 2009

Kay and Sophia from Scotiabank spoke to the students about the opportunities their organization offers to persons with disabilities and the framework they have around providing workplace accommodations for persons with disabilities. They also talked about the partnerships Scotiabank has established with various agencies including Career Edge Organization that work with persons with disabilities to make Scotiabank a more inclusive workplace for persons with disabilities. They also mentioned that internships through the Ability Edge program are a viable way to establish a career at the Bank.

Rizwan from Career Edge Organization in his presentation spoke about the benefits of Ability Edge paid internships for students with disabilities. Some of the benefits are:

• Internships provide option to break through the frustrating cycle of “no experience, no job; no job, no experience”

• Interview concentrates on abilities versus disabilities as disclosure concerns are minimized – All employers have understanding from the beginning of recruitment process that applicants have a self-identified disability

• Reasonable workplace accommodations are provided to interns during the internship

• Interns can reach potential by removing stereotype concerns

• All interns have a designated Coach who assists them to gain valuable work experience

• Win-win experience for the intern and the Host Organization as both get an opportunity to decide if the internship can potentially lead to permanent employment

Rima concluded the presentation by explaining the registration process on the Ability Edge website to students.

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