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Tag: career coaching

Golden handcuffs – when is it worth taking them off?

August 24, 2019
Sometimes a job is a poor fit, but we stay because of the value of the golden handcuffs - the pay, benefits, security, etc. In this article, Dr. Helen helps...

Are you a workaholic … or is your job just too demanding?

August 11, 2019
These days, many of us work a lot of hours. It can be hard to know if we're overworked or a workaholic. There's a difference and it can affect our...

Resilience – If You Don’t Think You Have It, You Can Get It

July 20, 2019
Obviously, I consider resilience to be an essential ingredient for career development, career management, and human resources (HR). My tagline ‘Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.” In this article, I define...

In the Past There was Moonlighting, Now it’s the Side Hustle

June 15, 2019
Although many people look down on the 'side hustle' there's plenty to admire. In this blog, I explain why a side hustle is a valuable career-building tool.

Scapegoats and the Glass Cliff: When Careers Get Derailed

June 8, 2019
Scapegoating and the glass cliff may sound like something made up or exaggerated. In this article, I’ll break down what these terms mean, who they affect and why.

The Times, They Are a Changing … But is Our Time Management?

June 2, 2019
The modern workplace has changed a lot - because of technology, globalization, diversity, and #MeToo. But, has our approach to time management kept up? Some modern time management suggestions are...

Digital Discrimination – The Algorithm is Rigged

May 4, 2019
Dr. Helen shows how seemingly neutral software platforms and their algorithms are facilitating new forms of age, race, and other forms of digital discrimination. Many potential applicants don’t even know...

The Realities of Modern Work – Blurred Lines and Workplace Boundaries

April 13, 2019
Many of us use mobile devices and/or work from home. Both of these habits blur the line between work and home. This versatility around how and where we work has...

Expertise and Credentials: When Different is Good

March 16, 2019
Have you ever decided not to apply for a job or promotion because your qualifications were different from what was stated in the job posting? In this blog, I explain...

Returning to Work After an Absence is Common, So Why is it so Hard?

March 2, 2019
Intuitively, we all know that every single day someone is returning to the workforce after being at home. Regardless of what had them out of the workplace (e.g., maternity leave,...

Overqualified and Underemployed – Big Ego or Real Problem?

January 12, 2019
A lot of us grew up being told that we were wonderful and can do anything that we set our minds on. Sometimes, this is true, and we have unlimited...

Outplacement … what you need to know.

December 8, 2018
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges that many people in Oshawa (in the Greater Toronto Area, GTA) and in Alberta are currently facing. Then there's the ripple...

Dear Dr. Helen, how do I pick a career that’s just right for me?

November 17, 2018
Have you ever heard someone say, “I keep picking the wrong guy/girl”? What if we make similarly poor decisions when selecting our careers? Do we make unwise, impulsive choices when...

Mentorship: a Predictor of Success

November 3, 2018
It's exciting and impressive to start or run your own business, at any age. But when you're just starting out, you don't have as much education from the school of...

How to Recover after Losing your Temper at Work

September 15, 2018
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what happens when we lose our temper at work. This is mostly because I’ve been watching the commentary about tennis players who lose their cool...

Incidental Networking and the Hidden Value of a Diverse Network

September 8, 2018
In my experience, it’s clear that some people think it’s better to have a specific type of network. The unstated implication is that the best networks only include certain types...

Why Are Some Newcomers More Successful than Others?

August 18, 2018
We’ve all heard the anecdotes. Doctors driving taxis; engineers working in call centres. Newcomers to Canada often find it incredibly difficult to find employment that is commensurate with the skills...

Self-Employment: A Reality Check

July 28, 2018
Self-employment is becoming more and more common, as shifts in the economy make some jobs obsolete, and new technology makes self-employment easier than ever before. Everything isn't for everybody ......

Five Ways to Spot a Bad Workplace During the Hiring Process

July 21, 2018
Often, when we are looking for a new job we really want to make sure that we’re chosen by the potential employer. We may be motivated by a deep desire...

Automation is Now

July 7, 2018
Automation doesn’t have to be a negative. Change can be a positive, once fear is overcome. Automation and AI are causing – and sometimes allowing – some people to change...

Advice on Job Searching as a New Graduate

June 23, 2018
Recent graduates and the soon-to-graduate looking at job postings probably notice a frustrating fact of life: many entry-level jobs seem to require 2–3 years of experience. Therein lies an age-old conundrum:...

For Best Results, Network Sincerely

June 9, 2018
Network, network, network. You’ve probably heard over and over again about the importance of networking. For some people networking is a necessary evil, something like a chore. And to introverts,...

Is work supposed to make you happy?

March 31, 2018
You may have heard the saying that the average person changes jobs 7 times in their lifetime? What if I told you that in today’s world job changes are even...

Are you a newcomer with career drive? Find out how not to crash.

March 17, 2018
Dr. Helen Ofosu describes a recent encounter with a foreign-trained worker and newcomer to Canada who now works as an Uber driver. He wishes he had met her sooner, his...

The fine line between being fired and being retired … before you’re ready

March 10, 2018
Figuring what do with yourself after being downsized or fired is often the million-dollar-question. Many people can implement their own strategy to find a job once they've figured out their...

Career passions versus romantic love … do you have to choose?

February 17, 2018
Having a career that sustains us financially, promotes healthy self-esteem, gives us a creative outlet and a place to use other skills, not to mention an identity outside of a...

Careers and happily ever after … what you need to know about both

February 10, 2018
As an I/O Psychologist, Career Coach, and an advocate for the equality of women, it would be unwise of me not to mention the consequences of deciding to abandon one’s...

Returning to work after a long absence

February 3, 2018
It’s not surprising that many people describe looking for work after a long absence as ‘job-hunting’ because it's just that, a breathless pursuit that often tires a person out. 

Q&A with Dr. Helen – What You Need to Know About Reference Checks

January 20, 2018
In this article, Dr. Helen answers some frequently asked questions about the usefulness of the reference check and its relevance in the modern job search and hiring process. The job...

Blockchain and CryptoCurrency Careers

January 6, 2018
Since there’s been so much talk about potential job losses due to the growing use of automation and other forms of technology, it’s a pleasure to talk about the upside...

Think your job’s immune from being replaced by technology … think again.

December 29, 2017
With industries and organizations increasingly relying on automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other forms of technology it’s important to ask yourself who is at risk of being replaced in the...

Ghosts from HR’s past …

December 22, 2017
Many of us love the winter holidays, and I don’t think I'm alone when I say that certain Christmas themed movies only add to the celebration. But, as we prepare...

Golden Handcuffs … they’re not always as bad as you think

December 10, 2017
Typically, the term golden handcuffs applies to high earners who feel bound to their unsatisfying jobs so that they can continue to afford the finer things in life that their...

Does my boss like me?

November 25, 2017
Right now, if you’re sitting at your workspace and asking yourself "does my boss like me?" you might already suspect that you’re not your boss’ favourite. On the other hand,...

Nuanced career advice … why professionals need it the most

November 11, 2017
In certain professions including the financial industry, law, engineering, and academia, there are nuances and hidden assumptions that are not common knowledge. Because of these unwritten rules, 'regular' career coaches...

How to stay relevant in the era of artificial intelligence

November 4, 2017
The repercussions of modern innovations are starting to become unsettling to professionals in a broad range of occupations (e.g., law, financial planning, and to a lesser extent, medicine). White-collar workers...

The “death of the salesman” … is it online job screening?

September 30, 2017
Once upon a time, in the land of finding meaningful employment, the average job applicant would write up a thoughtful cover letter and resume. But now, due to online screening...

Divorce … Does it Have to go to Work With You?

July 29, 2017
Divorce often negatively impacts people’s day-to-day functioning. As a result, not only do you suffer from short-term diminished work productivity, but the actual business/organization you work for will too. There's...

Q&A on Career Change and Unsupportive Attitudes from Loved Ones

July 22, 2017
Q&A on some things to consider when you're contemplating a career change despite others' (unjustifiable) unsupportive attitudes.

The Impact of Exponential Technologies on Careers and HR

July 15, 2017
Dr. Helen Ofosu explains exponential technologies and how they will affect organizations and individuals. Some career and HR implications are discussed.

What’s Riskier for your Career? Getting Hired for a Job or Becoming Self-Employed? (Part Two)

July 8, 2017
In this article, Dr. Helen Ofosu discusses the hidden risks associated with accepting a job late in one's career versus considering self-employment.

What’s Riskier for Your Career? Getting Hired for a Job … or Becoming Self-Employed? (Part One)

July 1, 2017
Over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients in their 40s and 50s while they were at a high-stakes crossroads in their career. In this...

Workplace Boundaries … 5 steps to help you stay in your lane

June 24, 2017
I’d like to bridge the gap for those who have made these professional blunders around workplace boundaries and others who want to avoid making them. I know how easy it...

Seasonal Summer Burnout?

June 17, 2017
Dr. Helen Ofosu discusses burnout versus 'summer burnout' which is that sluggish feeling that we sometimes experience during the warmer months. Natural opportunity for resting and a career tune-up?

Do Experts Still Matter?

June 10, 2017
Lately, I’ve noticed increasing criticism of and disdain towards experts regardless of their areas of specialization. It’s as if ‘experts’ are now a silly myth, something to shrug at or...

Combating identities … transitioning to civilian work

June 3, 2017
For military members and first responders, the gravity of a career transition into a 'civilian' role is more complicated than simply adjusting to water cooler chitchat. Rather, it’s about adapting...

Automation … is it your new competition?

May 27, 2017
Automation can be extremely cost effective for businesses and other organizations. The downside is that many workers are being replaced by automation. In this blog post, Dr. Helen Ofosu discusses...

Impostor Syndrome … there’s nothing fake about how it makes you feel

May 20, 2017
At work, do you ever have the feeling that you don’t belong there? Do you suspect that you don’t deserve the position you’re in? If so, you’re not alone. You...

Not your Mother’s Workplace, Not Her Idea of Balance

May 5, 2017
“All mothers are working moms.” The representation of a mother’s “work” is frequently inaccurate and it can be divisive. Both stay at home mothers and mothers who work outside the...

How Psychology Can Help Your Career — Q&A on I/O vs. Clinical Psychology (Part 2)

April 29, 2017
Looking for career help and want to know the difference between Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology and Clinical Psychology? Dr. James Brazeau, C.Psych explains.

How Psychology Can Help Your Career — Q&A on I/O vs. Clinical Psychology

April 22, 2017
Looking for career help and want to know the difference between Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology and Clinical Psychology? Dr. Helen explains.

How to Get Back to Work While Working Through a Death or Other Hard Events

April 12, 2017
There is no timeline for when a person’s mourning stops if it ever does. Unfortunately “bereavement leave” does have a beginning and an end. In most organizations, it’s approximately 3...

The Franchise Option Part 2: What to Expect from Franchising in Mid-Life

April 7, 2017
Last time I wrote about what to expect from franchising after graduation. If you are mid-career and think that perhaps now is the time to quit your job and get...

The Franchise Option: Part 1

March 31, 2017
A guest post from Rebecca Page, CEO, Concierge Home Services. Each Friday, social media is cluttered with TGIF posts from people watching the clock count down to the start of the...

Q&A with Dr. Helen: Ages have Stages

March 24, 2017
There's evidence of a two-pronged problem in many workplaces. The junior employees are run off their feet for less pay. My more established clients feel pushed out or dismissed to...

Job Interviews … 3 Ways to Attack Anxiety When it Wants to Attack You

March 7, 2017
If your nerves are getting the best of you during a job interview this blog post is for you. If you know someone who is smart, articulate, and confident …...

Office Romance – Life Imitating Art?

February 25, 2017
As adults, we recognize that the positive and negative Hollywood narratives of office romance are fictional, but what is real and relatable are the romantic temptations that sometimes exist on...

Tongue Tied About Public Speaking? You’re Not Alone …

February 12, 2017
The phone rings, it's Liz, business acquaintance. We talk briefly and then what she says next absolutely floors me! Liz, who is one of the most talented public speakers I...

Dressing the Part … Does this Include Body Art?

February 6, 2017
Many people express their identity through the clothes and accessories they wear. These days, this often includes piercings and tattoos. But, does that mean social stigmas cease to continue for...

The Interviewee with the Dragon Tattoo

January 30, 2017
You are discouraged after a long day of interviewing potential employees all of whom lacked the necessary experience in this particular field. Then, in walks your final candidate with a...

Cover Letters 101: What’s your Cover Story?

January 21, 2017
So, how does one accomplish looking great on paper when applying for that desired position, if your work history is complicated or absent? Here are some ideas ...

Changes: sometimes you don’t get to vote

January 13, 2017
We may feel insignificant and ruled by powers beyond our control, but we are much more resilient than that. Even when it’s that kid who feels intimidated by an unpleasant...

Toxic Workplace – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

January 3, 2017
So what do you do if your job feels like a monotonous trap … or worse, like an abusive relationship? This is an environment you spend most of your adult...

Silent Suffering – The Struggle of Invisible Disabilities

December 28, 2016
All your life you’ve been viewed as an ‘able-bodied’ person. So far you’ve been fortunate right? This may not be entirely accurate. Disability isn’t always visible; in fact, it can...

Life in the Time of Ageism

December 17, 2016
It has happened, the unthinkable … you at the age of what was assumed to be your approaching golden years are now golden tears. Now your time will be spent...

Corporate Scapegoat: How will I ever get another job?

December 6, 2016
So you got fired, and not because you got caught smoking in your office after hours, or tried to fix the motherboard of the copier with a flathead screwdriver. They...

Waiting on the World to Change

November 15, 2016
Our economy has changed. Finally people are acknowledging it. This has implications for your career prospects. You can wait on the world to change, or you can decide to fasten...

Career Challenges for Newcomers to Canada

October 23, 2016
Immigrants and newcomers to Canada often face many career challenges. Despite the odds, many immigrants and newcomers succeed while others don't do as well. There's more to the story than...

Career Options for Professionals and Aspiring Professionals

July 3, 2016
Recently, I’ve discussed some of the career-related challenges facing professionals and aspiring professionals. I’ve shared blog posts on career coaching for professionals and the pros and cons of buying a...

How to Transition from Military to Civilian Work

May 12, 2016
Transitioning out of the military is often complicated for soldiers conditioned to living in an environment dominated by structure and routine. Yet every year, hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces members...

Pros and Cons: Buy a Franchise or Build a Business From Scratch?

May 10, 2016
Whenever I am working with clients who are not sure about their next career move, I start with an assessment to objectively take stock of their interests, preferences, skills, experience,...

Career Coaching for Professionals

April 30, 2016
In the past, having a professional degree in engineering, law, or teaching, etc. or a graduate degree practically guaranteed stable and lucrative employment. There was no question that the investment...

Encore Entrepreneurship – It’s More Common Than You Think

February 29, 2016
As some research points out, older, more established and better-connected individuals are more likely to start their own business than younger ones, with self-employment rates peaking at age 53. This...

Career and Return to Work Ideas For Moms

February 13, 2016
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges that moms face while planning to return to work following time at home raising their kids. Intuitively, we all know that...

Why Psychology is Useful for Career Coaching and HR (Part 2)

January 27, 2016
I understand that my approach to Career Coaching and Human Resources (HR) services is not typical. In this post I explain how I use I/O psychology to build resilient careers...

Why Psychology is Useful for Career Coaching and HR (Part 1)

January 21, 2016
I believe that people who are skilled and hardworking should be able to make a living. I know of many people who are educated and have relevant work experience but...

Workplace Bullying – A Hidden Problem

November 13, 2015
Bullying on the school yard has been deemed unacceptable. Many schools and school boards have implemented zero tolerance policies. It’s great that someone’s now looking out for the kids, but...

Can Your Career Improve After a Divorce?

November 7, 2015
Here's an encouraging article from the Careers section, Report on Business, Globe and Mail on the question: Can getting a divorce help your career? I was pleased to share my...

Are Nerves Ruining Your Job Interviews?

October 10, 2015
A while back I wrote about job interview techniques for nervous job candidates. While those approaches will work for most people who get nervous prior to job interviews or other...

Part of Your Separation & Divorce Team: Career Coaches

September 2, 2015
When life throws a big curve ball, you want someone objective on your team who can help you make the best of your skills, interests, and precious time to ensure...

Job Interview Ideas for Nervous Job Candidates

March 24, 2015
In my work as an HR Consultant I often discuss the hidden dangers of self-promotion when I’m advising hiring managers and business owners. There’s often a misconception that the people...

The Art of Incidental Networking (for Busy People)

February 1, 2015
Despite its value, many people’s eyes glaze over at the thought of networking - especially when they’re simply too busy with their jobs, children, studies, etc. Well, for those of...

Networking for Resilience

November 23, 2014
This time, I'd like to explain what I mean by networking as a way to build the resilience that will support your successful career (or to include the self-employed --...

Resilience and Careers – What’s the Big Deal?

October 22, 2014
So that we’re all on the same page, let’s start with a definition. The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity,...

Work Simulations Can Be Your Best Friend …

May 26, 2014
Personally, I’m a big fan of simulations and tests as a useful supplement to job interview questions. Some people are good at talking (i.e., “performing” well during a job interview)...

Do I Need a Degree to Get a Good Job?

February 26, 2014
When you're looking for work and you don't have a university degree, your best bet is to look for positions that are being offered by smaller companies that do not...

How to Establish Your Credibility in a New Field

January 15, 2014
Ideally, you have some talent and competence in your new area that you can use to sell yourself. Testimonials, favourable reviews, and awards can help you to demonstrate that you're...

Should I Complete a PhD?

December 11, 2013
She's been teaching abroad for 3 – 4 years and really loves the academic lifestyle. She knows that she'd enjoy teaching in North America but she also knows that in...

I’m Graduating Soon, How Can I Apply for Jobs that Require 2 Yrs Experience?

December 4, 2013
This is a great question since it probably applies to many students who are in their final 5 - 6 months on campus. For all those students out there who...

Something Isn’t Right at Work … Is it the Venue or the Vocation?

November 22, 2013
A good starting point is to identify what exactly is contributing to your sense of unhappiness or dissatisfaction at work. Are you experiencing too much friction and conflict with your...

Should I Start a Part-Time Consulting Job?

November 14, 2013
She has recently learnt that the company where she works is being reorganized and as a result, she'll soon have fewer responsibilities. This is where the part-time consulting comes in....

Older, Experienced Workers Without a Degree …

October 16, 2013
Since this particular issue was raised by an older worker with experience but noOlder-Workers degree, I'll focus this post on that situation. As this person noted, when applying online, he...

Employment After an Extended Absence From the Workforce

October 10, 2013
Once your friends, family, neighbours, and other contacts who you may know through your gym, church, hobbies, etc. have been advised that you're looking for work, another thing to consider...

Unusual CV and Foreign Experience

September 9, 2013
As someone who has helped hiring managers and HR professionals with their recruitment, I have noticed that sometimes the people who are responsible for the initial screening do not always...

Welcome to my Career Development, Career Management, and HR Blog

August 31, 2013
My graduate degrees are in Industrial / Organizational Psychology so I am knowledgeable about work-related situations/problems, careers, and business. Since I have many years of experience working with hiring managers...