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!

With so much uncertainty out there at the moment and all of our lives being turned upside down, we know that there are many people who are worried about their jobs and whether or not they will even have a job in the coming weeks. 

With this, today I wanted to share with you some tips and things to consider if you are fearing that you may be affected by lay-offs at your work.

Keep focused on your work. 

This is not the time to be going through the motions or embroiling yourself in company gossip. If you have moved to a work from home set-up, make sure you are still being as productive as ever.  Now is not the time to be baking bread in the middle of the day. 

You will want to ensure that you are delivering quality work.  Further, if you see an opportunity to elevate the amount of value you bring to your employers, now is the time to do just that. You need to think, are there any initiatives that you can take, that can help increase revenue for your firm, or any problems you foresee that may come up with a file, which you can possibly get in front of?  If you do take on added work though, MAKE SURE that it does not take away from your main work, and that it will NOT cost your employer extra money. 

In doing all of this, it is also important to make sure that your hard work does not go unnoticed – make sure you mention what you have completed and accomplished.  You may not be the “braggy” type, but in situations like this, now is the time to vocally hammer home your value and your efficiency to your employer. 

Prepare yourself mentally for the worst-case scenario. 

These are challenging times for everyone, and the reality is, you may be affected by a lay-off. Don’t hide from this.  Know that it may be a possibility and prepare accordingly.  Control what you can at work, such as your performance, while also preparing what you can for the worst-case situation.

What does this preparation look like? 

It means updating your LinkedIn profile, re-connecting with other professionals in your line of work – this may be people you previously worked with or people you have never met before, but who work in your industry in your city.  Speak with industry professionals such as recruiters to see what is happening in the market.  What would your plan of attack be? If you have an opportunity to upgrade any of your skills at this time, that will help you in your line of work, do it. 

If you do find yourself in this situation, hopefully these tips will help. Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other job searching or interview topics, be sure 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!

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!

Our aim, when speaking with prospective candidates is to get a better understanding of what makes them tick.  Their motivations for job searching, motivations for exploring new opportunities and ultimately what it is that will truly attract them to a new job.  For us, understanding this is what will help us best match them to one of the job opportunities we are working on.

However, it is very common for us to hear vague answers, which usually leads me to believe that the person is more motivated by finding something different to their current place of employment, as opposed to something specific which will address the next step in their career and ultimately help lead them to achieve a specific career goal.

Not having a strong understanding of where you want to take your career and lacking career goals, can be a dangerous position to be in. When we don't have a bigger picture of where our career is headed, we often become complacent and directionless. 

Being in such a position can lead us to fall into a career rut.  You may think your job is good, but not great.  You may end up feeling bored, less engaged and you may find that your work begins to suffer. This is something I personally experienced in the past and can tell you that it is not fun.  You feel as if you are simply going through the motions.  When this happened, I knew I needed to make a change and while it was difficult to break out of something that felt so comfortable, I knew it needed to be done. 

If you don’t have a career plan in place, you need to take a step back, gain a broader view of your skills, talents and what is meaningful to you so that you can develop a clear career strategy.

You need to think of your career as a roadmap.  What does your final career destination look like and how are you going to get there? What does the next opportunity, the one that will get you closer to your goal look like, what responsibilities will it give you and what new skills will you acquire in that role? Setting specific timelines for accomplishing these things will help you achieve this.   

Aside from achieving career satisfaction, navigating down a path that will allow you to take on new responsibilities and acquire new skills, will in turn increase the value you bring to your firm, increasing your salary and financial compensation. 

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions around this or any other job searching topic, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Are you a new grad or someone with little to no experience looking to break into a new career? Finding it to be very challenging? Watch this week's video to learn more about some of our LinkedIn job searching tips.

Have you recently started a new role and are unsure how to deal with some of the growing pains during your probation period? 

Your probation period is an interesting time.  You are meeting new people, learning new processes and ultimately seeing how you fit into your new firm.  Being patient and adaptive is critical during this time. 

Growing pains will be inevitable.  As the initial shine and lustre of your new job wears off you will start to realize that there are things you like and don’t like about your new role and firm.  This is very normal!  Some of these issues will be small and easy to work through.  However, some will be bigger – i.e. personality challenges, workflow challenges, or organizational challenges. 

If things do become extremely frustrating, to the point that you feel on the verge of quitting, you need to step back, breathe and assess the best course of action.  Remember the things you initially liked about this job.  Why were you attracted to it?  Will the current issues you are facing have a negative impact on your long-term career plans with this firm? 

If you cannot see a way around it, we suggest that you sit down with your superior (either your lawyer, office manager, or HR) and let them know how you are feeling.  Be sure to schedule a meeting with them. Do not spring this conversation upon them and do not have it in public.  In the meeting let them know the challenges you are experiencing. Remember, they may have no clue how things are going for you and may have even assumed things have been going well. 

Keep your meeting professional.  Do not cast blame or play a victim.  Ask them if there is anything that either you or they can do to alleviate the issue.  Most people we speak with feel that there is nothing that can be done to solve the issue.  However, sometimes the firm will be able to make the necessary changes to help you with the areas you are struggling with.  Other times, they won’t be, and you will need to adapt to the situation.  However, by having a conversation with your employer on the issue, you are at the very least allowing for the opportunity for issues to be rectified.

Also, be sure to establish an action plan.  Ask for regular meetings so the two of you can discuss how the issue is progressing.  Remember to be patient and see what can be done.  Also, ask yourself how much you can adapt to alleviate the issue. 

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions regarding this topic or would like to discuss some of the challenges you are facing during your probation period and how to overcome them, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

It can be the elephant in the room.  Talking about the reason why you were fired.  You know the interviewer is going to ask what happened.  They will want to know why it didn’t work out.  They will want to know what the problem was, and will it happen again?    

The reality is, during an interview, you will also be asked your reasons for changing jobs.  Therefore, if you were fired from one of your previous positions, expect it to come out and expect it be discussed further.  With this, lets look at the best way to talk about getting fired from a previous job when in an interview. 

  1. It’s important to be honest.  You ideally will want to bring up the firing to the interviewer without them having to dig for it.  Being transparent will help build trust between you and the interviewer.  However, while you should absolutely be honest when you explain being fired, you do not to give every specific detail.  Rather, you will want to explain the situation briefly and then move on. It will be important not to overemphasize your firing or bring any unnecessary attention to it.
  2. Don’t portray yourself as the victim and blame others.  Further, it is important to resist the urge to speak poorly about your previous employer. Even if you feel that you were not at fault for being fired, remaining objective and not placing blame is vital. If you do, it will only make you look defensive and trying to hide something. Stay positive during your explanation.
  3. Take responsibility for your part of the situation. You should take a mature and professional stance on the situation by showing how you grew personally and professionally through this experience.
  4. Flip it on its head and talk about what you are looking for in your next role to make it work.  Highlight your motivations, address what you think will be the best fit for you moving forward and ultimately tie what it is you are looking for into what this new opportunity can offer.

Hope this helps.  Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about this or any other job searching topic, be sure to contact us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

Phone interviews can be tricky. You are selling yourself over the phone without the ability to gauge how the interview is going based off the interviewer’s body language or cues.

Phone interviews are a relatively common first stage of an interview process. But you may be thinking to yourself, what is the purpose of a phone interview? 

Typically, phone interviews are used to screen candidates to narrow the pool of candidates who will be invited for the in-person interviews.  These calls are done to either quickly assess the person’s experience and skillset.  Or, to see if what they are looking for, matches with what the firm can offer.  Or, to see if your personality matches with the personalities of the other members in the group or department.

When it comes to preparing for a phone interview, we suggest that you should prepare as you would for an in-person interview.  Know as much as you can about the role, the firm, who you will be speaking with.  Have your examples prepared, match your strengths to what the role requires and match your motivations for moving to what the company can offer. 

Before the call, confirm all the details, including the date, time, and who you will be talking to. Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.

Have your resume out, so that you can follow along while on the call. Be ready 10 minutes early, so you don't sound rushed. Give yourself a quiet space, away from all distractions. 

When it comes to the call, make sure that you listen first - don't start speaking until the interviewer finishes the question. Do not interrupt them!   Ask for clarification if you're not sure what the interviewer is asking, and speak slowly, carefully, and clearly when you respond. It's fine to take a few seconds to compose your thoughts before you answer.

Keep a glass of water on hand just in case your mouth gets dry.  Be sure to smile as you speak so as to project a positive tone in your voice.  Standing while on the call can also help you have more confidence and enthusiasm. 

Finally, remember that your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview. At the end of your conversation, thank the interviewer and ask if it would be possible to meet in person and learn more about the firm and role.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any questions around this or any other job-related topics, be sure to call or email us.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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