Top 10 CV Tips

The 10 things you need to know to write an effective CV or Resume.

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Happy

I am happy and proud to have had an article included in the October 2013 NICEC Journal. The article is titled The Global Careerist: Internal and External Supports Needed for Success and was co-written with Dr. Roberta Neault, President of Life-Strategies Ltd. Roberta and I will be presenting on this topic at Cannexus 2014 in January. Based on a literature review as well as a small informal survey, we were able to develop some recommendations for career practitioners as well as suggestions for future research into this growing phenomenon. Interestingly, whenever I say, write or think the word “Happy” these days I think of Pharrell William’s song “Happy“. I really connect with the energy of that song and the idea that happiness has this boundary-less feeling to it where you can actually ‘feel like a room without a roof’. Have a look and listen here if you haven’t already heard it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! The other concept in the song which I find very interesting is the invitation to ‘clap along if you know what happiness is to you’. Do you know what happiness is to you? Gretchen Ruben, author of the Happiness Project has emerged as a leading thinker and writer on happiness. She posted on November 12, 2013 on I Must Do the Work I Am Best Suited For. There is a link between happiness and doing the work you are best suited for. There are numerous other interesting posts on her website if you want to delve further into happiness as well as receive daily moments of happiness that can be delivered to your inbox. Why not surround yourself with things that will support the creation of happiness in your life? And if you know what happiness is to you but are wondering why you don’t take action on it, the Action Indicator from Brendon Burchard is a practical tool to figure out what may be holding you back. Take some action on your own level of happiness and personal satisfaction with your life. I wish you much happiness in 2014!...

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Unexpected Expat

Surprised to discover that I am part of the world of expats, when I thought I was more of an immigrant. Where do you fit in on the continuum of ‘expat-ness’?

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A Portfolio Can Make a Big Difference

I have been an advocate for developing your own portfolio for over ten years now. I first developed my own portfolio after being contracted to facilitate a workshop on the topic. While I had been ‘intending’ to make one for awhile, that  workshop was the impetus I needed to finally take action and make my own. Little did I know then what a difference it would make for me! A Professional Portfolio is an organized compilation including pictures and if possible physical samples (including pictures and newspaper clippings) of your personal and professional accomplishments, experiences, training and education. It can contain stories of life experiences, vacations and learning moments. It can be used as part of all your career development activities: An archive to mine for career insights A master CV from which to develop your targeted CV’s A targeted version to present during an interview A place to store examples and stories to use for interview preparation (we often need a little help remembering these) A support tool to remind you of who you are and all you have done It can also be a family activity! I have been promoting the use of a portfolio for children beginning at an elementary age for a number of years now as well. I developed a workshop on this for the Dutch Catholic Parents Association and I even gave some good friends kids portfolios for their birthdays. This week I heard what a difference this gift made for the seven-year-old daughter of a dear friend. Here’s the story of Leila. Kids can be quite hard on each other as we all know and probably experienced ourselves while growing up.  Just last week Leila’s friend said some horrible things to her for no reason that she could understand and pronounced their friendship as over.  This left her feeling confused and hurt.  As she sought for answers within herself, my friend, her mom, was helping her put it into perspective. “Sometimes arguments happen because of things that we have done wrong, and sometimes it is not our fault at all. We can’t always have everyone like us who we want to have like us”, she said. Then sought for something deeper. She underscored that the most important thing is to know yourself, “then you won’t be filled with doubts and ‘I should haves’ and ‘I should be’s ”. My friend remembered Leila’s portfolio and suggested they look at what Leila wrote about herself last year and the year before during the May vacations. Leafing through the portfolio, Leila laughed, enjoying hearing her own words about herself again. She saw how much she had changed and grown, recognized what remained constant about her character and interests, and also noted what she thought she would like to improve.  She went to bed feeling strong in herself and was able to let go of the worry she felt about the situation. The next day the friend apologized and all was forgiven. That afternoon while walking back from a school outing Leila and her friend were followed by some slightly older boys who were taunting them and said some things that were intended to hurt and tease. Leila turned around and said jauntily, “Ha, that just shows that you don’t know me at all if you think you can say that about me!” The boys had no words to respond and Leila felt proud of herself  “in a new way”, she said. What a gift for a child to have those insights and strengths at seven years old. It’s also a great gift for yourself. Adults...

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The Permanent Cat

I highly recommend this short story written by Michelle Tocher for anyone who is experiencing transition and is looking for work. I first heard it over twelve years ago and it is still as relevant and poignant today as when Michelle first wrote it. Mr. Tibbs the cat loses his job and starts out on a journey of discovery. The metaphor in this story contains a powerful lesson for us all. Read The Permanent Cat.  ...

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For Valentine’s Day: Be an Amateur

Amateur in French means lover of and in Latin lover. To do something you love is to be an amateur. I aspire to be more and more an amateur in life and I would like to help the word amateur shed its negative connotations. The statement, ‘she’s just an amateur’ tends to devalue someone’s achievement. When you think of being an amateur in the sense doing something because you love it and not being coerced through other motivators, it puts a whole different light on it. I am happy to be an amateur pianist and singer. Playing music allows me to express something from deep inside. It is not something I want attention for. I do it purely for the love of it. It brings me joy. Because it is Valentine’s Day I’d like to encourage you to celebrate Valentine’s Day in this way: take some time to enjoy an amateur endeavour of yours today. Do something on Valentine’s day for the love of it! p.s. Do this every day!...

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