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Now I can’t say I am a veteran of being a manager. I have only two experiences, one in my last job and at Dell Technologies I only have about 8 months of “Manager experience”. The reason I put it in air quotes is because you don’t always need a job title to lead and help manage people, however it sure does help.

In this blog I will be pulling from my experience leading people and some of the things that I learned becoming a new Manager, whether new to the company or a promotion within the organization.

Tip 1: Prepare before you Get Promoted

Well if you are already a new manager this might be too late, and it may sound counter-intuitive but if you are on the way up to this new role, there are a few things that can help you prep for it. I would suggest reading up on the topic of managing people, defining what type of manager you want to be or what type of manager the role allows you to be. It is very different managing 6 people or 15. Understanding that you can only do so much with the amount of time you have, will give you a lot of grace in the first 6 months of the new role. If it is an internal move, take time to get to know the job, the employees and scheduling in time to learn from others. If you know the hiring manager, ask them if you can participate in some of the meetings as a fly in the wall so you can learn the culture and language.

Tip 2: Be Available & Ask Questions

There is nothing worse than having a boss that is unavailable or hard to get a hold of. While you are taking the time to learn your new role, joining various leadership trainings, take time to lean into your new team. Get more involved, understand what they are going through and ask lots of questions. My favourite question to ask employees is “I have an idea, What do you think?”. Asking employees for their ideas is the ultimate display of respect and typically empowers them to solve their own problems.

Tip 3: Learn to Deal with Performance Issues

If you are not walking into a start-up company, you are most likely walking on to a team built by someone else. With that comes baggage from a previous manager; I don’t believe there is one role I have ever walked into where everything was working well. The previous boss may have been sweeping any poor performance issues under the rug. Part of your job as a new manager is learning a consistent and effective way to deal with employees who are not performing up to company standard. At the end of the day, your teams’ performance is a direct reflection of you. Don’t be surprised if the previous boss left some things to clean up and that you will need to learn how to deal with it in your own way.

Tip 4: Treat Every Employee with Respect and Listen

The organizational chart might show that your “role” is superior than your employees, however this is not to get confused with thinking you are better than them. Every job whether you are leading people or not, should also start with respect. Everyone deserves to come to work everyday and get treated with respect and dignity. A great way to start is be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Tip 5: Get a Mentor on Day 1

I cannot stress this one enough! I feel like in my current role, if I was to have a buddy or a mentor day one who has been in the same role as me relatively recently, I would of had a faster ramp time. Luckily I have a few right now and they make all the difference.

Inside sales, what is it? Who can do it? How do I know if I can move to a sales role? Depending on what type of organization you join, inside sales can be a slightly different role. I will save that for another blog post in the future of the difference between working for a start-up vs a Fortune 500 company.

I started my career after taking marketing in college, and I had no desire to go into sales. When I saw the salary for marketing vs sales, that is what caught my attention. Also, back in early 2012, it was tough to land an entry-level marketing gig. I feel like I didn’t choose to go into sales, but it just happened that way. I do want to tell you, if you have a marketing background or business you can 100% do sales. Also, if you love listening to people or helping people, this role is the most satisfying, as I get to help people every single day.

If you are a student or thinking of doing a career change, there are a few things you should know about inside sales. The last thing I would want you to do is take a job for inside sales and don’t like it!

What is Inside sales?

The most pragmatic definition of inside sales is: Selling remotely. I have heard of many definitions, from virtual selling, professionals selling done remotely, selling phone to phone, etc.

Well, you might be asking what the difference is between Outside Sales vs Inside Sales. Right now, not much: due to the pandemic. The easiest way I can explain it to you is inside sales is the act of identifying, nurturing and turning leads into long-term customers through phone, video, or email or through social selling.

What do Inside Sales Reps Do?

Here are some examples of daily tasks you will have to do at any company for an inside sales job:

  • Build and nurture relationships with customers to establish trust with you and the organization
  • Demonstrating understanding of full product line, able to pitch, propose and quote a solution for the customer
  • Resourceful in finding the correct people within their organization if the customer has additional questions.
  • Work together with marketing, operations and whatever other department may come in contact with your role. (there could be a lot)
  • Working towards their monthly, quarterly goals, including quota, sales calls and other KPIs. Typically in this role, there are several KPIs.
  • Utilize your companies CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) Entering all sales activities in the tool every time you have a touchpoint with the client
  • Forecasting on a weekly basis to your manager

What do the best Inside Sales reps do? In my Opinion.

All of the above and more!

  • The best inside sales reps are those that never get comfortable. They are consistently coming to their peers, mentors and/or manager asking how to get better.
  • Understand how forecasting works, and able to forecast their business by 70%+
  • Have a positive attitude; content with their role
  • Customers love them, and you hear about it.
  • Helping their peers

I have only been in sales for just over 10 years, I know I have a lot of experts that read/watch my videos. I am wondering what your opinion is on what makes the best inside sales reps? Feel free to comment below and thank you for reading/stopping by!

-Jess

When was the last time you asked for a raise? For me, it always feels like an awkward conversation to ask for more money. I don’t want to come off as greedy or not happy in my current job. I just want to make more! Often you need to ask yourself, when will you be happy with your salary? If you are always looking for more money every year, you most likely should go into sales or become a doctor.

Being a sales leader, I often hear employees complaining about money or passively asking for a raise without any thought. Sometimes it is done publicly and sometimes it is in 1:1s that are unplanned and unorganized. In this blog post, I will break down some best practices on asking for a raise.

Now, I hate to break it to you but if you are looking how to quickly get a raise this blog post is most likely not directed to you. Unless you have already been doing the below things for over a year. Then you are ready to ask!

6 Months to 1 Year in Advanced:

1. Take on more responsibility

Being in sales now for over 10 years, people never want to take on more responsibility before they got the raise. This is the biggest downfall most go through is thinking you deserve more money before taking on any new tasks. Often this is the opposite, I never have received a raise by doing my standard job.

I am not advising you to take on new responsibility if you are not excelling at your current responsibilities. There is a process, take time to get really good at your job and when you are a little faster, a little better, start adding additional tasks to your job because you have time to do them. If you had more responsibilities and you are currently not ramped in your job, it will have the opposite affect.

2. Discuss Goals/Objectives in every 1:1

Every time you have a meeting with your manager, have your short terms objectives and goals ready to discuss and how you are doing against them.

Most employees don’t take this initiative, they wait until their manager follows up on the things you mentioned in your career development session or your quarterly business review.

3. Ask for Feedback

This ties into the tip above, during your 1:1s its important to ask how you are doing against your goals. If you only wait until your career development sessions or your end of year review you might be in for a shock when you hear feedback. It’s hard to ask feedback; the ones that can ask for it are further ahead in their career.

4. Demonstrate your Accomplishments, wins and value you have in the business

Now I recently posted on Instagram that no one is going to announce your wins and hand you a seat at the table.

You need to continue to be your biggest champion. The most important thing that you can do is consistently exceed expectations. It is an accomplishment to do your standard job but it is more of an accomplishment to do your job effectively as well as go above and beyond

5. The Meeting

Set up a specific meeting about 1-3 months prior to when typical pay raises are issued. You want to come prepared and have all your accomplishments noted down for your discussion. Practice!Practice!Practice! I know it sounds silly, but most of the time people are not comfortable having this conversation. The best way to get better is to practice with a friend, spouse, in front of the mirror. Ensure you are confident, you know exactly what you are going to say and prep objections that you may hear from your manager.

After doing the prep work, your conversation with your manager will feel a lot easier!

Good Luck out there! If you don’t succeed, ask for feedback and figure out how to fill the gaps.

-Jess

Now that the world has been completely turned upside down since March 2020, according to stats at Miro, over 40% of people are working from home, and remote positions are on the rise (article here), which means more and more remote interviews in the future. I even believe when offices open up again, we will still have remote positions and remote interviewing. Just for reference, my last three job interviews I have done in the last three years have been remote.

1. Test Your Technology

Nothing is worse than jumping on an interview right at the start time and your technology is not working or your internet is down. If you have the luxury at home to have one or more devices. Set up a second device in case the first one doesn’t work.

Go ahead and pre-download the software on your computer, if its webX, zoom, teams, etc, get well acquainted with how the software works and any features you may want to use.

2. Dress for the Job

This one is quite straightforward. Depending on what type of job you are applying for, you want to dress for the role and if you were going into the office. I would suggest business casual, the ones that wear a suit to me or a blazer always stand out to me.

If you are going to wear sweatpants or shorts with your outfit thinking that no one will see it, ensure you don’t need to stand up for the entire interview. I have seen people’s children come in or doorbells ringing, and they stand up, and the magic of you wearing business casual is gone!

3. Make sure you are early

This goes hand in hand with testing your technology. If you were interviewing in person, you would most likely arrive at least 10 minutes early. I would suggest joining the call 8 minutes early due to the software’s loading times, and you want to make sure no one is waiting for you.

I am a big stickler for time and hate when people arrive late to any meetings.

4. Make Eye Contact

I have spoke about this in my other youtube video, is how to look good on zoom. You want to ensure you are front and centre of your camera and connecting with the interviewer as much as possible.

Its very hard to connect to someone’s side of the face or head.

Here is the video here: How to Look good on Zoom

5. Remove all Distractions

I can get easily distracted, whether it is a notification on my phone, my cat entering the office or the door bell ringing.

Ensure when you are in your interview that you keep all distractions outside of the room. If you have a smart home speaker, I would suggest muting this device or unplugging it all together. Nothing is worse than answering a question in an interview and losing your train of thought due to a distraction.

6. Have your CV near by or as your virtual background

Typically in an in-person, you would bring at least a few copies of your CV/resume. Ensure you have your CV open on your desktop, and for those super creative, you can even add it as your virtual background.

You can take this approach, you can also share your screen but most likely the hiring manager will have it open on their side as well.

7. Prepare and rehearse key questions

Pick an honest friend and schedule some time to rehearse your interview. Since we live in a remote world, it is effortless to schedule a quick 20 minutes with a friend and go over your questions.
Ask that friend for their honest opinion and get feedback from them on how it sounds.

8. Research the Company

I can’t stress this enough!!! Since we are remote, we can absolutely have notes on the side of our screen regarding the company you are applying for.

Having the hiring managers Linkedin open to understand who they are, and having some notes such as the companies objectives, results, what their mission and vision are, is so important. If you find you don’t align with the vision and mission, it also might not be a place for you to work.

9. Have a digital presence

Now, this requires you to do some pre-work. Having a digital online presence in Canada is so important. What this means is to clean up your social media profiles. In Canada, LinkedIn in business is heavily used. Ensure your latest achievements and education are updated on this tool. However you decide to use Linkedin, make it consistent. If you only post once a month, then do that. If you never post and suddenly you are looking for a job, it may take time to build a credible brand presence.

10. Break the Ice

I have some people execute this really really well. You could start with a joke, talk about coffee/tea, weather, what your day is looking like. What new hobbies you have started, etc. The point here is to pep up your energy, add different tones to your conversation because the interviewer at this point is trying to figure out who you are!

Have you participated in any job interviews remotely? How did they go?

Now, this goes for Marketing or Business administration for college as well. It doesn’t matter what type of education level you want to go into; I just wanted to discuss this topic generally if you are in high school or a mature student looking to go back to school, here is my take on what I would do to land a great job in sales.

Choosing a degree for your future is not easy, and sometimes you overthink your choice because it is 3-5 years of your life, and you don’t want to feel like it was wasted years.

When you enroll in any business degree or diploma in Canada, the first 1-2 years will generally be very similar regardless of your major. You will have a mix of marketing, business law, operations, finance, etc. At this point, you can get an idea of what courses you enjoy and decide on what you want to major in.

In my YouTube video, I will discuss the differences from a sales perspective as well as salaries.

Noted in my Video:

Now, let’s discuss income. The average income per year in Canada for a Marketing Role is $49,981 found at www.payscale.com. When I researched the average for a sales executive, it showed $78,000. Of course, you don’t want to decide on a job based solely on income, but it does help!

It’s 2020, and basically everything has become virtual, even if you were one of the few people trying to apply in person at a company. Those days are over in 2020. The last thing a company is going to want is you coming into the office to drop off your resume at the front desk.

There are so many different platforms out there to apply for a job. Before clicking any of these websites, I would suggest to organize all your documents in one folder to have ready, so if you find a job you want to apply for, it is a simple process. If you cannot afford to be picky when looking for a job, it is a numbers game. You might apply for 50-100 jobs before you get a callback.

I created some content HERE, on what you should prep when applying for different types of jobs.

Once you have your folder, including all the documents you could use to apply, you are ready to head over to some of the websites below to start your job hunt.

Websites I have used to apply for jobs:

Number 1: LinkedIn

If you are not utilizing this fantastic platform, for networking, building your brand and applying for jobs, you are missing out. When you are following specific companies where you want to work, this will be the first place that updates when a new position opens.

Number 2: Google Search Bar

When I type in google, I pick a specific job title, location and company. Usually, a lot of options pop up that will bring you to the companies particular website. Then you can apply directly on the company website.

Now the rest of the LIST:

Indeed

Glassdoor

Monster

Canada Inc

SimplyHired

CareerBuilder

If you have any helpful websites that you would recommend, please comment below, I know it would help my readers! Thank you for stopping by!

Remember those days right after college where you were rushing to fill up your resumes with every single piece of work experience, overseas and local volunteer projects you took over a couple of summers?

Ah, the good old days as a fledgling jobseeker. Where every section of your CV had to impress. Even a single line about how you helped out with managing the till at your aunt Susan’s community fundraiser counted as relevant “financial experience”.

Well, that’s not you – at least, not anymore. Happily employed, cushy benefits, great colleagues to have after-work virtual drinks with and annual company retreats. There’s no better feeling than that of job security, and when you’re planning on staying put at your job, there is no use for a resume! It just gets chucked right at the bottom of the desk drawer, or sitting on a USB drive gathering dust until the next time.

When that next time does come around – boy do you have some work cut out for you. In this day and age, a successful career means much more than just staying at one job for your entire working life, and your digital presence (think LinkedIn) is worth just as much as your qualifications on paper. No doubt, having a resume that is both dynamic and up-to-date is one of the most valuable tools to have on hand as you climb up your career ladder.

Read on below for our 4 good reasons to always keep your resume updated

1. When you’re being promoted

You are putting in hard work, and you are getting things done. Your colleagues see it, and your manager sees it too. The day a position opens up that they think you would be suitable for, they recommend you for a promotion.

Whether it is your WorkDay account or you have to submit a CV, its always good for the higher-ups to see who you are. There’s one way they can get all the information they need in the quickest time possible: your resume.

With a CV that categorically lists all the great things you’ve done over the past years for the company and in your professional capacity, there is solid proof that your appraisal is worth much more than just the recommendation of your supervisor(s). So go on, get your LinkedIn profile updated with all the fantastic things you’ve done so far and polish up your resume at the same time – your career deserves it.

2. When you’re in demand

Corporate headhunters are always on the lookout for exceptional individuals who fit the specific requirements that a particular company is looking for to help it grow. You may not be looking for a new job at this point. Still, with all that valuable experience you’ve been getting at work, there’s sure to be recruiters out there looking for somebody just like you to join their team either for a particular project or for a full-time position in another company.

Often these recruiters offer seriously attractive offers that are hard to turn down. Here’s the catch; however – in most cases, whenever you get a call from the recruiters, the first thing they’ll probably ask for is a copy of your resume. If you’ve got a resume that hasn’t been touched in 2 years, you’re going to need to take time to get it updated.

Keep both your physical and digital credentials fresh and up-to-date, so these recruiters will have an easier time deciding if you’re the right fit.

3. When you’re looking for a side gig

Throughout your career, you may be looking to pick up some more work on the side or even pick up some personal projects that are beneficial to your professional experience. Freelance work is becoming the norm, and there are millions of full-time workers all over the world looking for collaborative partners. They can help them make things happen – anything from creative skills like photo editing and music production, to corporate tech skills like excel wizardry and presentation building.

Knowledge, in almost any subject, is made readily available thanks to the internet, and for those of you who took the opportunity to upskill, be sure to add your new-found course to your resume. You never know what potentially life-changing networking opportunity you might miss out on when you don’t continue to educate.

4. When the worst happens to you

Let’s face the hard truth. There might come a day where the company decides to part ways with you, or you decide to quit – whether it is due to the company restructuring its workforce or for personal factors. When that happens, dusting off that old resume and updating it is probably the last thing on your mind, especially if you’ve done so many things that you’ve forgotten which ones are worth mentioning!

Having an up-to-date resume serves as a timeline of your achievements as well as being a backup plan for when things go south. With all your accomplishments noted down as gospel truth, you’ll have an easier time picking out the ones that suit the next job you’re applying for. You can spend more time looking for that right job rather than wasting all that time and effort trying to figure out a way to piece together a polished resume.

As the great Roman emperor Julius Caesar once said in a letter to the senate proclaiming his absolute victory at the Battle of Zela when he was still an army general in 47 BC – “Veni, Vidi, Vici” meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Without keeping a timely record of his achievements, we would probably have never seen him rise the ranks to become the ruler of Rome we all know today.

The same principle can be applied to your resume – keeping it up to date with all your current achievements requires just a few hours or so of writing and reviewing every end of the month. And with that little extra effort you put in each month, the results will certainly go a long way for your career and your future.

If you are new to Canada most likely you have looked up what do you need to include in your application when applying.

Well Canada.ca states the following:

  • cover letter, which is a short description of what makes you right for the job
  • résumé, which is:
    • also known as a “curriculum vitae” or a C.V.
    • a list of your qualifications and work experience

However, this is the basics. If you are looking for an entry-level position, this should be enough to get you an interview. However, if you are in a major city that has fierce competition, this is what I highly recommend you put in your application to get noticed!

Top Documents to Include in a Canadian Job Application

COVER LETTER

  • Include their Company Logo in the letterhead
  • If you are drastically changing careers, explain why you are and explain why you would be a great addition to their team
  • a cover letter is a great place to summarize your journey and why you are ready for a new position
  • Lastly, Print it! Sign it! Scan it! It shows you have taken the effort to personalize it

RESUME/CV

  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Language
  • Executive Summary
  • Skills and Hobbies. If your hobbies are not interesting leave it out!
  • Volunteering

REFERENCE LETTERS

  • Almost all resumes in Canada I have seen the below response. If you give this response, it’s another reason to dismiss. Always include reference names, position and affiliation to you.
    • References available as per request
  • Try to get at least two reference letters from your past jobs. In Switzerland, it was mandatory that every company needed to give you a reference. I always ask my current employer to draft up a reference letter to add to my application package.
  • If you can’t get a reference because you don’t feel comfortable, try asking for a proof of employment. This is just another great document to include in your application, trust me all recruiters will be shocked to see this!

EDUCATIONAL CERTIFICATES

  • If you have a degree and diploma from any post secondary institutes make a company and throw this into your application.
  • This is not mandatory at all, but it does get noticed that you have everything ready and prepared.
  • Some companies even call your educational institutes to verify and you are basically helping them in advance.
  • I would also include an additional certificates or awards you have received, including Language certificates especially if English or french is your second language.

I didn’t learn this in Canada, when working oversea’s in Switzerland, this is what they do for their application process and when I moved back, I used these sames tactics and almost 80% of the time I received a call back after applying.

Is there anything that I am missing that you have included in an application in Canada or another country that has worked?

Thank you for stopping by!

Today, I will be discussing how to update your CV at least every year if not bi-annually. If you have never created a CV, then this can also be an excellent post for you.

Every six months, I open up my CV and do a scroll of what I think is still relevant for the job that I want in the future.

I review my old jobs that I have and see if they are still relevant to keep on my CV. In the video, I will show you a few things that I look at, and I will walk you through on how I update CV, content-wise.

Some of the tools that I like to use when building out a CV are below. Feel free to bookmark them as they will not only be useful for the job you want to get, but they will be helpful for your whole career.

Helpful Tools you will want to bookmark

I love the Visual CV. I usually buy a subscription every six months for one month, just to keep it updated, and then within the browser, you can download your CV into a PDF. It’s not the most efficient or cheap way to edit it, but I love the templates. LINK IS HERE

If you can’t afford a subscription, then the next best thing I have used is the CV template on Microsoft Word. You can update your photo and all details without paying to update it every time. There is a bit of a learning curve with the formatting of the template, but its by car the cheapest way to continue updating. LINK IS HERE

The worst thing I have seen on CVs is grammar mistakes. I am sure there are some mistakes in this blog, but the worst thing is to apply for a job and your CV includes errors scattered throughout. I utilize an app called Grammarly that checks my tone, verbs, and all grammatical errors. It has helped me an insane amount of the last few years.

Lastly, this one, I think, is quite essential. Your photo on your CV. This is so important to keep updated. The worst thing is to show up for an interview with a 10-year-old photo on your CV where you look nothing like.

If you live in Montreal and looking for a super fun photographer to take your headshot, I couldn’t recommend Sherina more for the job! I am far from loving my photo taken, but she captures your personality well through her lens.

LINK IS HERE

Interviews…to love or to hate?

When I was under the age of 18, I used to apply for lots of different types of jobs just to have the practice of doing any type of interview. I remember applying for a job at Urban Planet just to have the experience of what retail was looking for. I was so eager to have as much experience and practice before entering the corporate workforce.

I even participated in the famous Junior Achievement and DECA (business club in high school) to practice business skills to prepare for the rest of my life. Somehow I always knew that business would be something I would want to fall into.

However, this blog is not about practicing for interviews, it’s to almost skip that part and tell you the most important things to get out of an interview as a Candidate.

Participating in interviews for jobs based in Canada, South Africa, Cambodia, Switzerland, etc, has taught me that it doesn’t matter which country you are in all of these five points will be super beneficial where ever you live.