Toronto +1 647.799.0580
Vancouver  +1 778.200.4990 
recruit@forgerecruitment.com
recruit@forgerecruitment.com

We have been in quarantine for a while now, and I am very much missing my hairdresser right now. My roots and highlight appointment are needed right now. Obviously, this is all for a good cause. I’m hoping that we can all continue to stay disciplined while working from home and that we can work together to flatten this curve.

At the same time, I am also missing my family, friends and my coworkers, and I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat. So, today I wanted to talk a bit about some tips that can help us in our emotional state of social isolation while working from home.

I don’t know about you, but lately, my days are filled with feelings of frustration, headaches, anxiety, and tired eyes more than ever, from starring at the computer screen all day. I’m finding that there are few things though, that are helping me get through this time, and are helping me to stay sane during these weeks.

  1. Picking up the phone. Instead of sending lengthy, wordy emails to communicate and get your point across, pick up the phone and call who you need to call. Call your co-worker or call your client, and have a friendly chat. You’d be surprised how much better hearing someone else’s voice makes you feel, rather than reading their words over a computer screen. Especially during this time of isolation. Ask them how their day is, how their family is, make a few jokes and take the time to laugh. Not to mention, by making a phone call, you will save a ton of time, and useless emails back and forth, just to get a few simple points across.
  2. Get some fresh air. It’s as simple as opening up a window while you work. The more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe, which increases the amount of serotonin we inhale (our happy hormone). Taking a break every few hours to go for a short walk outside, is even better. 
  3. The third tip I have for you is to sing! As silly as this sounds, singing releases endorphins, the feel-good chemical in the brain. Because singing requires deep breathing, it draws more oxygen into the blood and causes better circulation. So, this is a natural stress-reducer! So turn up some tunes and belt out your favourite song.
  4. Video calls- I’m sure the majority of our offices are already on the video call trend right now, whether it’s via Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. I’ve actually already seen a few amazing offices hold virtual bingo or trivia nights, and we ourselves have had a virtual happy hour, where we enjoyed drinks, snacks and played virtual Pictionary! These types of fun activities brighten everyone’s day, as we feel purposeful when getting ready in the morning, brushing our hair, or pulling out our favourite wine glass for the video call!

I hope that these tips help you to stay sane and smile during this difficult time. Remember that all things are temporary, and this too shall pass.

Stay safe Forge Followers!

There are a lot of people looking for work right now.  And unfortunately, while almost every company is not hiring at the moment, there are things you should definitely be doing should you be in the job search phase.

 Network Socially

Keep in Touch

Take advantage of the slow time to learn as much as you can or learn something new

Gain market information

These are just a few of our tips to help you stay focused if you are job searching during this pandemic.  Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions about this or any other job searching, or interview topics be sure to contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever been in an interview and asked by the interviewer, “How do you handle stress?”.  If you have, how did you answer it?  Did you stumble? Were you happy with your answer?  If not, not to worry!  Today we’ll be talking about the best way to answer the “How do you handle stress?” interview question!

First, understand why you are being asked the question.  When asking this question, the interviewer wants to know a few things.  One, they want to see what you consider to be stressful. Two, they want to see how you react in stressful situations.  Three, if the role you are interviewing for has a higher than normal level of stress, they want to know if you will be able to succeed in the role. 

So, let’s look at the best way to answer the question.  When answering the question, you will want to provide an example that shows you handling and succeeding in a stressful situation. Keep this example work related. Focus on how you managed the stressful situation.   Don’t focus on the emotions you were feeling in the situation.  Rather, address what the situation was and what steps you took to overcome it.  Be sure to highlight the successful result.   For example, you can talk about juggling competing priorities within a specific deadline.  How did you decide what you did first, second, third?  What was the result?

A few additional tips.  When talking about how you handle stressful situations, be sure not to provide an example where you were the one that created the stressful situation.  For example, if you forgot to mail something out or follow up with a client on an important matter. Don’t say you never experience stress – it sounds fake. And, don’t emphasize the level of stress you felt – acknowledge that you felt stressed and then focus on how you addressed it.

So, these are our tips on how to best answer the stress question during an interview.  Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other interview or job searching topics, be sure to contact us. 

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Over the past week, we have had a couple of law firms tell us about their frustrations of having someone accept a position at their firm, only to rescind their acceptance a week prior to starting. 

I can understand the firm’s frustration.  There is a lot of preparation that happens before a new hire joins a firm. Computers are set up, training is coordinated, internal conversations take place, schedules are re-arranged, etc.  Not to mention, after you have accepted your offer, your new firm has stopped considering other applicants.  That means that if you then rescind your offer, the firm has lost out on not only time and money, but also all the other candidates they were considering as those ones have most likely moved on and are off the market. 

But, at the same time, I can understand things from the Candidate’s perspective.  Life happens, people change their minds, and new opportunities arise and ultimately you the candidate, needs to make the best long-term decision for yourself. 

However, the legal community is small, people change firms and you do not want to burn a bridge and have it follow you.  So, how you rescind your offer is important!  If the situation arises, you should:

  1. Let the firm know as soon as you have made up your mind. Don’t wait until the last minute. 
  2. Give the firm the courtesy of knowing why you are rescinding the offer.  Now, you don’t need to get into the specifics of your “Why”, but you should give a reason.  They have just invested time and money preparing for your start.  The firm’s initial reaction will be to see if there is anything they can do to change your mind.  Further, the firm will wonder if it was something about them that caused the change of mind.  Is there anything they need to change moving forward, so this doesn’t happen again? They just need some closure. 

While we are on this topic, we also have candidates sometimes ask us why their new employer wants to know if they have handed in their resignation yet.  They tell us, that they have signed the offer letter, indicating they are coming on board, why does it matter when they resign. 

The firm wants to know you are fully committed to making the move.  Yes, you have signed the offer, but you still need to successfully resign. When you are leaving one job for another, a two-step process is involved.  The firm will want to know this for a) peace of mind, but b) they will also want to know that you are fully committed before investing the time and money in preparing for your start.   

So, if you do need to rescind your acceptance, make sure that at the very least you take these 2 steps. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions about this or any other job or interview topics, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever started a new job and right off the bat felt overwhelmed with how much there was to learn and do? 

Given the competitive landscape of the business world, it is very common for people to start off in a new job and feel that they are in a sink or swim environment.  The work can come fast and furious.  On top of learning your new firm’s software, their procedures, your colleague’s names and how they like to work. 

When you do encounter these sink or swim environments and you most likely will, the question is how do you succeed and thrive in them. 

When you start in a new job that is like this, it is easy to second guess your decision about accepting the job.  But, it’s important to remember that growing pains are common in a new role, and given how competitive the job market is, instead of doubting yourself, it’s best to do everything you can do to not only succeed in this new environment but thrive!

So, here are some things you can do to ensure you thrive during this time:

Dive in

You need to take the initiative and jump right in.  Be a sponge and soak up as much as you can.  Also, putting in a little extra time and effort, in the beginning, will help shorten the learning curve. Further, don’t question how the firm does everything.  First, learn their processes.  Down the road when you are settled and more embedded in the firm, you can offer up suggestions.  But for now, jump in, take initiative and do what you can. 

Ask Questions

Ask for help if you are having a hard time understanding something or struggling to find something or unsure how something is done.  Just make sure you are not asking the same question over and over.  Ask a question, make note of the answer and then put it into practice. Build on it from there.  Remember, the people who hired you, want you to succeed.  So they will want you to have the knowledge you need to do so.  So ask!

Make Friends

Make connections with as many of your teammates as you can.  Introduce yourself, have lunch with them or invite them to have lunch with you in the beginning.  You want to have as many connections in the new firm as possible so that you can turn to different people when you have questions.  You will limit the risk of peppering one person with all of your questions. 

Things are going to be tough in any new job!  But it’s important that your patient, dive in and learn as much as you can in those first few months so that you can build a strong foundation. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have recently started a new job and have questions about how you can better thrive in the sink or swim environment, feel free to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

We often hear about the importance of fit when companies are hiring.  Firms want to hire people that will best fit with their culture and environment.  But, do you the job seeker, ever stop and ask yourself what is the right fit for you?  What firm culture and environment do you want to be a part of?  What firm culture and environment do you think you will succeed best in?

When interviewing with prospective employers, what you’re looking for with regards to fit needs to be top of mind.  Culture fit matters and you will most likely be happier and more successful if there’s a good match.

So, what are some things you can do to best asses your prospective new firm’s culture?  You can:

Further, during your interview, you can ask questions such as:

The answers to this will help give you a better sense of what the firm values and how they treat their people. 

When determining whether or not a firm is the right fit for you, it’s important that you gather as much information as you can. Don’t necessarily make your judgement based on what one person you knew several years back said in passing on the firm.  Everyone is different.  Things change.  And you need to figure out what works best for you.    

Thanks for reading! As always, if you have any questions around this or any other topics, be sure to contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Question: Do you send a thank-you email after you have attended an interview?

Sending a thank-you email after an interview can have quite a few benefits – especially if you are very interested in the position you just interviewed for!

When we conduct interviews for our own internal staff, we enjoy receiving thank-you emails.  Not because we like to be thanked, but rather because: a) it re-affirms to us the person's interest in our role and b) it gives us some insight into the person’s writing style. 

So, if you are interviewing for a role you really want to get, sending a thank-you note should be something you consider doing.  HOWEVER, if not done properly, a poorly written or misguided thank-you note can sabotage your chances of getting the job. 

Therefore, if you are going to send a thank-you email after your next interview, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Use a professional subject line.  For example, you can list your name and the title of the position you are applying for.
  2. Include all your interviewers in the email or send separate emails to each person who you interviewed with.  If you do decide to send separate emails, be sure to vary each email. 
  3. Keep it brief. You don’t need to write a novel.  Rather a few short (2-3 line paragraphs) will work.
  4. With regards to the content of the email, you want to reiterate your interest in the role as well as the skills and qualifications you have that make you a strong match for the position.  You will also want to address anything that you think is important about yourself or your experience that may have not been covered during the interview.  You can also clarify any of your responses that you feel like you may have messed up. 
  5. Make sure you proofread your email.  I cannot stress this enough.  When we work with our candidates, I am always a little tentative of them sending a thank-you note without me first reviewing it.  I find a 2nd pair of eyes can really help.  You need to make sure you have no spelling or grammatical errors in your letter.  We have seen a poorly written thank-you note be the reason why someone was once removed from the hiring process with a company.

By sending a “thank-you” email either immediately after your interview or within 24 hours of your interview, you will do a few things – Again, not only will you confirm your interest in the position, but you will also affirm the positive impressions you made during your interview, keep your candidacy fresh and top-of-mind for the interviewer, and demonstrate your professionalism and drive.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this helpful.  As always, if you have any questions around this or any other interview or job searching questions, contact us!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

It’s that time of year again – company holiday party season!  I know it’s not everyone’s favourite thing but attending company events has a lot of benefits.  Not only will they give you a great opportunity to network and socialize with people you may not normally converse with, but they are also a great way to relax and have a little bit of fun.

So, given that many of us will be heading out to our company holiday parties over the next few weeks, there are a few things I wanted to go over to ensure that you are making your best impression. 

  1. Do your best to attend the event.  Unless you have something else already planned, you really don’t want to skip a company event.  It’s a great way to show your support and commitment to the firm and as mentioned already, it will give you the opportunity to network and build stronger relationships with others in the business who you may not speak with regularly.  If you are a newer member to the firm, this is a great way to meet with a ton of people in the company and all in a more relaxed setting. 
  2. Dress appropriately – unless otherwise stated, dress as you would for a regular business event. Definitely don’t underdress.
  3. Be social – engage with as many people as you can, even if you never met them before.  Also, going into the event, have some conversation topics and icebreakers in mind. I find that anything related to current events or travel is a good place to start.  I would avoid controversial topics.  With this, don’t just talk about work.  Don’t be anti-social or look bored.  And definitely, don’t be on your phone all night.
  4. Don’t overdrink.  You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to.  But if you do, don’t overdo it. Setting a limit for yourself ahead of time may be a good idea. 
  5. Be professional and keep your guard up.  Remember, it is still a work event.  While you want to have fun, it is important to remember that your coworkers and bosses are watching. You don’t want to do something to embarrass yourself or cause their opinion of you to change. 

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have any questions around this or any other job searching or career topic, be sure to contact us. If there is a specific topic you would like us to cover or if you would like more details on something we have already touched upon, let us know!

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you been there before?  Or maybe you are experiencing the situation now.  You have one person in the office who is a challenge to work with.  Maybe they are controlling, maybe they are a bully, or maybe they are always negative.  What do you do?  How do you handle it?

First, you need to ask yourself the following questions. What kind of interactions do you have with this person?  Is there a way that you can limit your interaction with them?  If you can’t, and you unfortunately must deal with them daily (for example if they work in your group), you need to address the issue.  If not addressed, the situation and the effect it has on you, may spiral out of control.  Therefore, the key is addressing the situation early. 

The next step is to objectively assess the situation.  Are you sure that the other person is really the problem and that you're not overreacting? Have you always experienced difficulty with the same type of person or actions?  Are there others in the office who feel like this about that person as well? 

Once you know that the other person is the problem, you need to speak with the individual directly.  When you confront them, do so in private.  Be pleasant and agreeable as you talk with them and let them know of how their actions are affecting you. They may not be aware of the impact that their words or actions have on you. They may be learning about their impact on you for the first time.

During the discussion, attempt to reach an agreement about positive and supportive actions going forward.

If the issue persists, you will need to escalate the situation.

When you speak with your boss, take notes and address the issue itself – let your boss know how this other person and their behaviour is affecting your productivity and work. Tell your boss exactly what the difficult person does. You need to prepare to talk to your boss. Make a plan to address the issues.  A good boss and supervisor should be able to mediate the situation. 

If all else fails, don’t fret. There is always a chance you may be able to switch groups or departments, to find a more suitable working relationship with others.   

Thanks for reading!  I hope this helped!  If you have any questions about this or any other job searching or career topics, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Have you ever gone to an interview, answered all of the interviewer’s questions, felt good about how things went, were offered the position, but had no idea what the job was about? 

Yes, you may have read the job description and yes, the interviewer may have told you more about the firm and culture, but you didn’t learn about all the specific details you had hoped to during the interview.   

While you hope that the interviewer will tell you as much as they can about the job, it's important to remember that the onus is on you to get as much information as you can about the position.  You need to ask questions. 

In this market, job offers can come fast.  Interviews tend to be brief.  Often, you are being assessed on your work experience and technical skills.  Many firms may only conduct one interview and if they feel like you can do the job, they will make their hiring decision. 

The last thing you want to do is be in a position of making a career-altering decision, without knowing the details of what you will be doing.  Why does this happen?

Some of the candidates who find themselves in these positions tell us that they felt embarrassed asking the interviewer about the specifics of a role.  They did not want to seem as if they didn’t do their homework.  You need to remember that most job descriptions are quite generic.  You should not feel embarrassed about asking for more information about the role.

Others tell us that they got caught up in the moment, were overcome with excitement and simply forgot to ask.  You need to be self-aware during your interview.  You need to ask yourself, what information do I have about the position and what information do I still need to obtain.  The onus is on you to learn as much as you can about the role in that interview. 

Next time you are in an interview and unsure about the specifics of the position you are interviewing for, ask the interviewer to tell you more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the job. 

When you work with us, not only will we tell you as much as we know about the role, we will also prep you to ask as many questions as you can about the position.  We can also gather more information after your interview and follow up on any questions you may have forgotten to ask. 

Thanks for reading!  I hope this helps.  If you have any questions about this or any other job searching tips, contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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recruit@forgerecruitment.com
recruit@forgerecruitment.com
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