Idiom 1

logo_96For the birds

Meaning: An idea that may be worthless, ridiculous or of little value

Example: I think Bob’s idea for improving our shipping procedure is for the birds.

Inside idioms

An idiom is a phrase or saying where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary logo_96definitions of the individual words. For example, one common idiom is the phrase “Break a leg !” – which is said to wish somebody luck.

Idioms can be confusing to people who are trying to learn a language. The business world is full of idioms that may pop up in job interviews or in the workplace, that could be  a source of confusion.

Over the coming months along with our regular blog posts about the labour market and job search tips we will sprinkle in some idioms to explore on a regular basis. Check back often.

How to say “Hire me”

This article from Careerbuilder/CNN carries some excellent job search that most people will ignore.

Throughout the job search

• Apply at companies that aren’t seeking candidates. “Read the business pages to find out what businesses are growing,” says Laura George, author of “Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting.”

“Send such companies a résumé and a letter explaining what you can bring to the organization. If they have a need and see talent, you may be saving them the time and trouble involved in a talent search.”

• Pick up the phone. “What gets my attention is a phone call and real live voice. Most communication is done via e-mail and you don’t get the total picture of a person without that verbal communication,” says Barbara Zaccone, president of BZA LLC, a strategic design company. “A perfect example would be a follow-up phone call after the interview. No one ever does that. And I mean no one.”

Applying for jobs on line can be useful but it can in some cases provides a false sense of momentum. What happens after we click submit or upload our resume ? Sometimes we get a response but oftentimes our application yields no results and we are left to wonder what happened. By all means continue to apply for jobs on line but try and mix it in with some contact with employers as detailed above.

Business as usual

With all the present economic uncertainty it might be safe to assume that governments will be scaling back their hiring plans. After all who wants to add to the workforce when government revenues are down. Apparently this is not the case as the provincial government in BC is planning to continue on recruiting and hiring workers. Demographic factors are having a larger impact than temporary economic conditions.

“Within the next seven years, we are expecting one in three current employees to retire,” says B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Murray Coell. “Our HR strategy is very much shaped by the reality of the labour market over the next seven to 10 years, not in the short term.”

Source: Victoria Times Colonist

Getting to Yes

If you are putting yourself out there – applying for jobs and getting job interviews then you run the risk of rejection. How we cope with this rejection, whether we choose to personalize it or see it as a learning opportunity can often impact our future job search activities.

It is not pleasant to get an interview and leave the room full of hope only to be deflated by a short rejection phone call two days later. But of course, the big picture is our friend here. Richard Bolles in his famous book “What Color is your Parachute” characterized the job search process as a series of “No’s” followed by a “Yes”. Taking ourselves out of action while we cope with a “No” can lengthen the time before we get to Yes.

A post at the Brzaen Careerist website examines how to cope when you don’t get a job offer.

Banking on Diversity

On Friday the Financial Post ran an article about the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Employers in general are becoming aware of the importance of having a workforce that reflects the community as a whole. In particular Canada’s banks are are singled out as being at the tip of the spear in terms of promoting a diverse workforce.

“If you look at how the banks now staff their branches, they reflect the cultural diversity in the local community,” says Kevin McLellan, manager for, a Web site of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) … “So if businesses want to be successful in selling locally, they need to understand how to tailor their offerings to the culturally diverse communities they are selling to.”

The best way to understand how to do this is through employees who are part of the local communities and understand the language and the nuances of the culture. They can connect with customers if they are frontline workers or help develop strategies and campaigns that will connect your company to multi-cultural communities

If you visit the web sites of Canadian Banks you will see evidence of this commitment to diversity. Banking in Canada is a federally regulated industry and banks are required under the Employment Equity Act to provide equal opportunities for employment to four designated groups: women; Aboriginal peoples; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities.

A to do list for you

Feeling stuck in your job search ? Here is an article that looks at 10 must-do strategies that can help get you back on track.

Related Post: The 1 Day Dream Job Challenge

Resource:VIATeC Newsletter

Those of you who want to keep track of what is happening in Victoria’s Hi-Tech sector should check out a weekly e-mail bulletin published by VIATeC. You can see company profiles, industry news and read about networking opportunities and other events. All free and pushed to your email in-box on a weekly basis !

Also see this page which has links to industry headlines.

Having fun yet ?

A post at the Work Buzz blog discuses why you might want to have fun at your next job interview. While I think that having fun is fully optional it is important to relax. If you are relaxed you are better able to understand and answer difficult questions.

RELATED: How to deal with interview stress

Phone interview tips

Several of our clients have had telephone interviews over the last few months. A phone interview is an easy way for an employer to gauge a job seekers qualifications and get a sense of their personality without committing to a more time-consuming face-to-face session. After conducting phone interviews with potential candidates, employers can then decide on who to bring in for a formal interview.

Do you think you should stand up or sit during a phone interview ? And if the employer can’t see us why would we ever need to smile ? This video covers all of the basics and this blog post examines the seven stupid mistakes people make during a phone interview.