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Habits to Become the Best Version of Yourself

I’ve been asked more and more to share my insights on developing habits with various organizations since the start of the pandemic. Many have found themselves with extra time with their commutes removed from their day. Some are choosing to feel that extra time with habits like exercise, reading, meditation, and a multitude of other activities. Some are successful at turning them into habits. Many or not. I share my insights as to why.

Why are habits important in the first place?

For anyone who has ever tried to start a new routine, oftentimes an act of sheer willpower is needed to get started. That willpower often drains energy and you don’t want to be using that much energy every time you do something. Habits can help you reduce that energy train so you can use that energy for other things.

Parts of a habit

Habits can be sliced and diced into various segments. I like to use Charles Duhigg’s version. 

  • Cue: A trigger that signals the habit to start
  • Action: The activity of the habit itself
  • Reward: A reinforcement for the behaviour

Habits don’t always form when you start doing things primarily because without the cue or the reward, The habit has nothing to anchor itself to in your brain. 

Getting rid of a habit or starting a new habit

One of the most surefire ways to get rid of a habit is to remove all cues for that habit. Unfortunately that is easier said than done if you cannot completely control your environment.

Consider the FOGG behavioural model. Think of one vertical axis for Motivation and a horizontal axis for Ability. There would be an action line that starts from high Motivation and low Ability and curves down and flattens towards low Motivation and high Ability. When something is above the line then it occurs and happens. When something is “below” the line then it does not occur or happen.

That means to get rid of a habit you need to decrease your motivation or decrease your ability. 

You can decrease your motivation by pairing your habit with a consequence.

  • Want to stop snoozing and sleeping in? Set an embarrassing social media post to go out just after your alarm wakes you up. You better get up, or that post will tell the world about your embarrassing moment!

You can decrease your ability by making your habit more difficult to do. 

  • Want to stop snacking on some junk food? Stash it way towards the back of your cupboard where you have to inconveniently take out other items to get to it.
  • Want to stop spending so much? Put your credit card in a hard to access spot. Or even freeze it in a block of ice so that you literally have to melt it to access it – Hopefully by the time you get your credit card out, your impulse to buy has subsided. Make sure you also delete any saved credit cards on your browser for online sites. 

On the other hand, if you want to start a habit, you need to increase your motivation or increase your ability. You can increase your

You can increase your motivation by finding the core purpose for wanting to set up the habit or finding a partner to hold you accountable for your actions. 

  • To find your core purpose or why for the habit, ask yourself: why is that habit important to you? With whatever answer you provide, ask yourself: why is that important to you? Repeat that five more times. If you don’t repeat yourself and really focus on it’s important to you then you’ll often find the core reason
  • An accountability partner can help many stay on task. That’s why study buddies, gym buddies and other type of accountability partners can’t be so helpful 

NOTE: for most people one or the other works better. Take a look at when you’ve been successful in starting a habit in the past and repeat your success.

To increase your ability, understand your tendencies.

The acronym SPACEBEAR can help you to find some of your tendencies. 

  • Step-type: Do you prefer small steps, or do you “go big or go home”?
  • Pace-type: Are you a marathoner (consistently spend time to move towards your goal), sprinter (hit things hard, then take a break then hard and break), procrastinator (wait until the last minute before you get something done)
  • Aversion-type: Do you react better to a “carrot”, or a “stick”?
  • Chrono-type: Are you a Lion (get stuff done early in the morning often before anybody else is awake), Bear (slower to rise and get stuff done in the middle of the day), or Wolf (our most productive late night) 
  • Expectations-type: Are you an Obliger (need someone to help hold them accountable) or a Questioner (need to know why something is important to them)
  • Buying-type: Are you an Under-buyer (buy just enough or wait until you’re almost out), or an over-buyer (buy so much that you’ll never run out and always have some in reserve)
  • End-type: Are you a Finisher (like to check things off your to-do list), or an opener (like to start new things – though not necessarily finish them)
  • Availability-type: do you prefer simplicity, or abundance
  • Recognition-type: do you prefer familiarity, or novelty?

Knowing your tendencies can do wonders to get that habit going. For example: you might start a habit like exercise and only continue it if you constantly find new and novel parts of it to do. Or you might need to start with familiar and easy to do exercises before you gradually move on two more difficult exercises. 

Summary

Wow there are many more ways and considerations to effectively start or stop a habit, these will hopefully be some useful tips to get you started.

By setting up habits, you might find that you have more energy to do other things throughout the day. 

Pick something from the above to implement. Try it out for a few days or weeks. If it sticks then keep it. If it doesn’t, then try something new. 

You’ll likely find that when you set up these habits you become even more productive in your work and life.

About Luki

Luki is a career coach and likes to say that he has found his purpose helping others find theirs. A former management consultant and campus recruiting lead, he shares his SIWIKE Stuff I Wish I Knew Earlier through books, podcasts, videos and other content. Connect with him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukidanu/ or Subscribe on YouTube to access other content https://youtube.com/focusinspired

How Workplace Culture and Recruiting Top Talent Go Hand-in-Hand. An Interview with Gaby Patenaude from Export Development Canada

Workplace culture is an important aspect of any happy and productive working environment. There’s something to be said, though, about organizations that go above and beyond to showcase what the culture in their workplace actually looks like. Students, new grads, and early career professionals are digitally savvy and do their research to find the best fit for them. Even if your workplace culture is out-of-this-world-amazing, are you telling your story effectively? Are young candidates seeing it, hearing about it, watching it? If they aren’t, there’s a chance that you’re losing top candidates to other employers who are taking the extra steps to highlight the quality of their teams, culture and why they are the best place to work.

Export Development Canada (EDC) is one of those employers who strongly supports employee culture while also showing it in an authentic and engaging way. We had the chance to speak with Gaby Patenaude from EDC who shares how their organization lives and breathes culture, community, personal growth, professional development and so much more to ensure that candidates know that they are working for one of the best employers in the country. Read the full interview below.

Meet Gaby

Gaby is the Campus Recruitment Program Lead at EDC and has been with the company for three and a half years. Starting as a new grad, Gaby knows first hand what it’s like to make that school-to-work transition. She also understands how important it is for employers to step up and showcase what it’s like to work at a particular organization. Gaby manages the whole student-employee lifecycle – from campus events, partnerships with schools and interviewing candidates, to providing programming, onboarding and support once students are in the door and on the payroll.

Go, Grow and Succeed’ at EDC

EDC’s culture is unique with a variety of inclusive employee-led committees, community giving programs, professional development workshops, and a “state-of-the-art gym” to support their employees — both in work and in personal growth. “As someone who was really actively involved in my university community, I really value the giving nature of EDC,” Gaby comments.

“Community involvement is embedded in everything we do, whether…when EDC employees worldwide take a day to do volunteer work with over 40 organizations or to our stellar CSR practices embedded into the business transactions we make every day. I think that kind of purpose is really what younger generations seek in an employer. Somewhere where their values can come to life at work.”

Having initiatives like employee-led committees also allows employees to connect with so many more peers and leaders that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. “It lets employees feel like they have a wide variety of what I like to call ‘work extracurriculars’ because there are so many ways for people to get involved at work outside of what is listed on their job description.”

“Through these committees and their events, I have met so many new people and flexed new muscles as I took on side projects totally unrelated to my role. That is so rewarding and definitely lends to an inclusive workplace culture. No matter where people are in the hierarchy, they can really make a difference.”

Shouting Out Your Culture To Top Talent

All of these amazing initiatives and activities that are ingrained in the culture at EDC would be lost on new candidates if their team wasn’t active both on-campus and online to spread the word. Gaby cautions employers not to completely limit themselves to one strategy or the other, but to really look for a balance. “It’s a balancing act of that digital side to reach broad audiences, but [also] creating a space for highly specialized, in-person interactions.” EDC has found that dedicating specific and targeted strategies to both digital and in-person experiences has been enormously beneficial in their overall recruitment and employer branding strategy.

“TalentEgg has been instrumental in us reaching broad audiences with country-wide digital campaigns with hot new tools like Instagram takeovers. The nice thing about digital content is that in most cases it is there to stay and you keep referring back to it if candidates want to do any self-led research. I think it’s important to have digital brand awareness about your employer.”

Striking that balance, Gaby found that the most success they’ve had is with smaller scale, highly specialized events.

“For instance, partnering with campus clubs and associations to host case competitions in topics where we want some fresh insight, or hosting career spotlight events where students come and experience what it’s like to work in a certain role or career.”

Tell Your Story Authentically 

While it’s vital to tell your employer story both in-person and online, Gaby stresses that it’s important to have authentic and transparent content.

“I think the more transparent the better! We’ve found the best success in our recruitment campaigns when we really connect with students. For example, during our Instagram takeover with TalentEgg, we let a student a day take over TalentEgg’s account and take us through a day in their life: from their walk to our downtown office, to their 1:1 with their leader, to their gym session at lunch, or lunch on our rooftop patio. This was a way better indication of their impact and life at EDC than any thoughtfully worded job poster.”

Gaby also stresses the importance of showing candidates that you truly care about them as a potential hire, that they aren’t just another number. EDC did this by hosting a TalentEgg Talks Live where students and grads asked Gaby live questions. She was able to give the audience across Canada a deep-dive 30-minute session about EDC instead of a quick 1-minute conversation at a career fair.

“Recruitment is all about allowing the candidate to really be able to picture themselves in a role and envisioning their happiness and success in that role. TalentEgg has been great in shining light on the new and upcoming strategies for things like social media recruitment marketing, mobile marketing, and others. This has also been proven in bringing students into our office and introducing them to employees. It allows them to put a face to a job and see what someone’s career path was to get to where they are.”

Advice for Fellow Employers and Final Thoughts

“It’s important as an employer to show that you are developing people and not just employees. It’s a two-way street – employees will invest more in their jobs if they know their employer is investing in them. The reality is that if you as a company aren’t staying up on trends, or putting in a caring approach to employees, those employees will go to the next employer down the street that is doing a better job. So I think employers really have an obligation to take their employees seriously and give them the best caring culture to support their best work.”

That’s one of the reasons why Gaby started her career with EDC. She emphasizes why it’s so important for young people to know that their employer will be there for them in the best of times to push them forward, but also on those not so great days.

It’s important to not only rely on being present online and on-campus, but also to tell your employer brand story, bringing it to life and helping future candidates see what their future could be like at your organization.

Your Complete Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment

The eighth annual TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference took place on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 and we are happy to say that it was an egg-cellent day of learning and collaborating on best practices in student, new graduate and early career recruitment. The TalentEgg Awards and Conference marks a moment when employers, nonprofits, campus recruitment professionals, and career educators come together for a day to discuss different approaches to support youth employment and professional development. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who joined us for the event, and we can't wait to see you next year!

All Awards and Conference attendees got to take home our 2019 Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment. This valuable resource gives employers and HR professionals crucial insights into recruiting Gen-Y and Gen-Z job candidates, including best practices, tips on how to use social media effectively, and what matters most to students, new graduates and early career professionals when it comes to starting their careers.

If you missed out on the conference, you can still access TalentEgg's key findings from our Gen-Y and Gen-Z research and recruitment insights gained from our work with the Student Judges of the TalentEgg Awards! We’re offering a free digital download of the 2019 Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment right here!

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find in the 2019 Guide:

  • Candidates' recruitment pet peeves
  • Why your employer brand needs CSR
  • Unique experiences to develop your future talent pipeline
  • Connecting with early-career professionals
  • Why and how to connect online with potential candidates
  • How your recruitment efforts can be everywhere, all at once
  • The importance of continuous learning and incorporating it into your onboarding
  • …and more!

Get your free copy of this essential resource!


2019 Guide to Canadian Campus Recruitment

Please complete the following for access to the free download.

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    6 Tips For Creating A Winning TalentEgg Awards Application

    It’s that time of year again! The applications for the 2019 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards & Conference are officially open!

    The #TEAwards are an egg-cellent opportunity for top employers, career centres and educational institutions to be recognized for their egg-ceptional work, as well as gather valuable feedback from students and recent graduates on their campus recruitment initiatives.

    We know you’re ready to get cracking on those submissions, but before you do, we wanted to share a few of our top tips and tricks for crafting an award-winning application.

    1. Get organized

    The first thing you should do is decide which award categories best fit your initiatives – and with 17 awards, you have plenty to choose from. To get started, make a shortlist of the ones you want to apply to and carefully read through the descriptions to ensure your team’s efforts meet the outlined criteria.

    Here are the categories for this year’s TalentEgg awards:

    EMPLOYER AWARDS

    • Best Grad Program
    • Best Campus Career Website
    • Best Internship/Co-op Program
    • Campus Recruiting Program of the Year
    • Campus Recruiting Program of the Year for a nonprofit NEW!
    • Campus Recruiter of the Year (Individual)
    • Campus Recruiter of the Year for a nonprofit (Individual) NEW!
    • Best Recruitment Marketing And Outreach
    • Best Social Media Presence
    • Special Award for Social Responsibility in Recruiting
    • Best Campus Ambassador Program
    • Best On-Campus Student Engagement Strategy
    • Best use of AI in Recruitment NEW!

    EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

    • Best Contribution To Student Career Development
    • Special Award For Innovation By A Career Centre
    • Best Digital Recruitment Campaign By An Educational Institution
    • Career Coach of the Year (Individual) NEW!

    For more details, head to our website!

    2. Gather your materials

    Each awards submission is composed of two parts. The first is the mandatory online application. We ask all applicants to fill out a short form and provide a brief overview of the initiative being submitted for review.

    Note: The Campus Recruiter of the Year and Career Coach of the Year (Individual) awards application are slightly different. For these awards, we ask for a short description of the nominee’s achievements.

    The second component is the supporting documentation. We request all documentation to be presented in PDF format and attached with the application form. For this part, you can embed links to online presentations, websites, or other types of media to support the application and demonstrate the impact of your efforts.

    Over the years, we’ve noticed that our judging panel tend to favour applicants who are able to support their achievements with solid evidence. Speaking of which…

    3. Know your audience

    Your work will be judged by an eggs-clusive panel of top students. In other words, your target audience for your campus recruitment initiatives. Therefore, to help ensure your application is well-received, you need to tailor it for a younger demographic.

    Here’s what we recommend:

        • Use terminology that everyone can understand. Avoid industry jargon words and phrases.
        • Communicate in a Gen Z and Y-friendly voice. Aim for casual and conversational, but still professional.
        • Speak directly to the wants and needs of students. Check out our Guide to Campus Recruitment to get key insights from students & grads.

    4. Show your work

    So you think your organization had the best recruiting program of the year? Great – we want proof! Including quantitative data like statistics or percentages can help strengthen your claims and create a comprehensive application.

    Another factor all winning applications have in common? Visual appeal. To stand out to the judging panel, try:

        • Using a style and branding that is similar to your other campus recruitment material.
        • Incorporating visual evidence, such as screenshots, logos, videos, etc., to illustrate your application.
        • Including pictures of your student/new grad employees and/or campus recruiters to help the judges better connect with your organization.

    5. Keep it concise

    With so many submissions to evaluate, most of the judges will likely only spend a short time evaluating each application. A text-heavy application will not appeal to a Gen Z and Y audience. The key is to provide as much detail as possible, but also keep it concise.

    To do this, include only the most relevant and impressive information and use bulleted lists or graphs to convey your points wherever possible. Also remember that you can provide links to any social networking accounts, online media, and additional information you want to include.

    6. Be creative

    Don’t be afraid to flex those creative muscles when crafting your application! The goal is to create a submission that stands out from the competition in a memorable way and the best way to do that is to be innovative.

    Think outside the box by leveraging new technology as much as possible. For example, you could create a video or a slide deck for your application instead of a traditional text document. You could also use infographics to represent your data in a modern and visually appealing way.

    Just make sure that the end result is accessible and easy-to-navigate. It doesn’t matter how flashy your application is – if the judges can’t understand it, they can’t engage with it.

    Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to creating a top-notch #TEAwards application. Good luck!

     

    Interested in sponsoring the event? See the sponsorship opportunities here!

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