Authenticity – The Foundation

Promoting yourself involves being generous, trustworthy, present, open minded and adaptable. These traits are offshoots of the following 3 areas: clearing obstacles, acceptance of others and self, and genuine self expression.

The first focuses on clearing obstacles or embracing challenges in your life. Not taking the risks necessary to address the challenges in life is often what keeps people stuck. Being authentic means rising to the challenges faced.

The second area is to be accepting of yourself and others. Accepting people as they are rather than having the agenda of changing them is a huge step in authenticity.

The third is to express yourself genuinely. That does not give permission to cause a scene or be intentionally disruptive. It does mean to speak your opinion or feelings about a project or process respectfully.

Genuine self -expression takes practice.  Let me know how you are doing in that area.  I am genuinely interested.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

Returning to the Office Fulltime – Yes or No

Returning to the Office Fulltime – Yes or No

Employers are taking steps to have employee’s return to the office. While plans are underway to have workers return to their workplaces the other issue is that “Working From Home” is not going away any time soon if at all.

Women that are mothers are feeling the impact of working from home while juggling family responsibilities. That does not mean that they are whole heartedly embracing going back to the office full time.

Suggestions for employers to address the issue of returning to the office while maintaining employee satisfaction is to consider the following: The ability to setup preferred office hours; Employer paid costs for commuting to the office; Childcare paid for by the employer.

These suggestions are certainly within the financial means of mid-sized and large companies. For small businesses, the costs associated with providing additional perks such as the ones noted may be prohibitive. This would be especially true for those businesses in the service or entertainment sectors who have had to pair down or completely shut down their operations.

As an employee would you leave your job if it meant you had to go back to the office?

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

Lots of applications – no job interviews – could be your resume!

Does your resume pass the pre-screening test and generate job interviews? The truth is there are employment opportunities out there. As a Talent Acquisition Expert or Recruiter with over a decade of experience I know what employers are looking for. I also know what Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) screen for.

I work with you to ensure your recruitment documents (resume, cover letter) and LinkedIn profile is looked at by Recruiters and Hiring Managers.

Do you have an interview scheduled? Need some assistance acing the interview process?

Touch base with me between today through to March 31/21 for my “Spring is Coming” special pricing for resumes and interview prep.

The services offered will assist you in being selected as candidate for an interview in the roles you are applying for.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Canada’s Labour Force Survey for February 2021

The highlights of the report include an increase in jobs 259,000 in February 2021. Work increased at the parttime and fulltime levels. Self employed working numbers did not change and are at the same rate as they were a few months ago.

Employees working from locations other than home increased by more than 600,000 due to the reopening of schools and lessening of provincial restrictions. More good news is that the number of long-term unemployed people looking for work fell by 49,000. That is a decrease of 9.7 percent form January 2021. Retail trade jobs have increased.

Young women continue to be hit hard by unemployment with more than 14 percent looking for work. That is double the rate of young men who are also looking for work.

The increases for February employment were for jobs paying $17.50 per hour or less. That reflects the increase in retail and other low paying work.

The impact on women as a result of restrictions in the retail and food service sector remains huge. As the reports from previous months indicate the current restrictions continue to impact those who need the work the most.

The full report is available at Statistics Canada.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

To be or not to be a Gig Worker

Having read a few article on the gig economy and the independent or gig worker – the scope covered by both terms is vast. The term gig economy refers to short term work that may or may not be paid for in terms of cash. Workers may be paid with gift cards for example. As a culture we want items faster and to be less expensive. That is where the gig economy comes in – it offers faster and less costly options, and it does so at a price.

Many gig workers are coming to work on short term assignments from lower streams of income. Another dynamic is that for many people doing gig work it is a side hustle or their only source of income. If you are wanting to make extra money on a side hustle – a gig economy may work for you. Or if you are content to be paid with gift cards that may also be of benefit.

It is difficult to live off of gift cards or low wages as a gig worker for companies that do not offer any type security. The competition for gig jobs is on the rise, and the proliferation of new apps in the marketplace requiring gig workers does not appear to be abating.

Is the gig economy impacting your workplace and is so how? Do let me know as I am genuinely interested.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

Addressing Burnout & Maintaining Mental Health

Awhile ago I posted about burnout indicating some of the symptoms of what is now officially noted as a disease. I have added to the piece by noting that the same self care aspects apply to maintaining strong mental health. Research indicates that the treatment recovery period for burnout and stress factors leading to a mental health concerns take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 years with the average period being 6 to 9 months.

Following is a short list of strategies that address the conditions and promote well being:

  • Develop a list of self-care processes that may include journaling, meditation, massage, yoga, reading, music, mindfulness, stretching, tai chi, dancing, and breath techniques.
  • Assess weekly where you are at in following through on the strategies you have chosen.
  • Adjust your list as needed for the upcoming week.
  • Detect early signs of deteriorating health then do something about it.
  • Make a point of identifying what burnout looks like for you (anger, frustration, exhaustion, etc.).
  • When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help, delegate tasks, or reset priorities.

What other approaches do you know of to recover?

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

Endurance Needed Now

A definition of endurance – is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. This period of uncertainty is currently challenging the economic and social frameworks that most people, whatever their line of work, are familiar with.

At this juncture many companies are in the process of streamlining their operational activities. That includes closures of facilities including another round of workers receiving lay off notices or reduced hours of work. The salaries of workers are also being cut.

As the present situation continues to unfold – endurance is an absolute necessity. Now is the time to continue to preserve through the adverse conditions.

 It is the time when staying power is required to sort through the remnants of what remains as building blocks for what is emerging and has yet to become apparent. It is the time when individuals and the general society in which we live must gather our collective strength and continue despite the fatigue, stress, and ever-present uncertainty.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

Canada’s Labour Force Survey for January 2021

The highlights of the report include a drop in part time employment during January 2021. Young people between the ages of 15 – 24 were impacted (-10.2%). Women between the ages of 25 – 54 (-10.4 %) were also impacted.

Numbers of Canadians working at home increased from 5.1 during April of 2020 to 5.4 million in January 2021. The increase in work from home numbers is largely due to restrictions in Ontario and Quebec.

Labour market underutilization rate continues to increase in Canada. This rate reflects the proportion of people in the potential labour force who are unemployed; want a job but have not looked for one; or are employed but working less than half of their usual hours for reasons likely related to current restrictions.

The impact on women as a result of restrictions in the retail and food service sector is pronounced. Current restrictions continue to impact those who need the work the most.

The full report is available at Statistics Canada.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

Assets of Contract Workers during Periods of Volatility

Many business leaders are grappling with the volatility that suggests a growing condition for the foreseeable future. As the trend grows it brings with it the unknown and uncertainty. Contractors are an asset in that they have a fresh perspective, are not tied to a particular outcome, and have the skills necessary to turn a strained or conflicted situation into an operational success.

Fresh Perspective – A contract person has fewer inhibitions and is more likely to propose a series of solutions that are outside of the past business behavior.

Focusing on an Outcome that Delivers – The contractor is focused on having processes being delivered consistently.

Addressing Strain and Conflict – From an outsider perceptive conflict and strain are easily identifiable.  Once identified working solutions can be implemented in relatively short order. 

Contractors are a beneficial investment of time and resources especially in relation to the challenges of ongoing change. The true value of a business is the people who work in it. Shorter term contractors provide invaluable assistance in addressing current and future volatility.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,

“Blue” Monday Turns into a “Blue” Week

Many HR professionals describe the 3rd Monday in January as the gloomiest day of the year.  The January slump seems to be in place and it takes more than a day to get over it.  Typically productivity in most office situations slows down in December.  That tends to run over into January. Top that with WFH strategies and increasing feelings of isolation and anxiety by employees – the time to ensure a proactive approach to counteract this Blue Monday is now.

Provide a psychological boost for employees check and have face time with all people that you manage.  Schedule it in now and start connecting today. Implement wholistic wellbeing programs to counteract feelings of anxiety, loneliness, depression, and isolation.

Clearly it is a matter of taking a different approach from the usual day-to-day operations.  What have you tried in your business that has worked?

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Transformational Consultant,