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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

Exclusive Insights Live from our 2021 #TEAwards Surveys

At our 2021 TalentEgg Awards and Conference, over 80 recruiters and industry professionals attended to join us in celebrating the best in student and new grad recruitment. Throughout the conference, we conducted some surveys to uncover some exclusive insights for the future of recruitment and the workplace in our ever-changing world.

Virtual Recruitment is Here to Stay

One of the questions we asked recruiters and industry professionals was, “Will your organization continue to incorporate virtual campus events as part of their overall campus recruitment strategy?” Out of 35 respondents, 77% answered “yes,” while 23% answered, “I’m not sure yet.” Thus, it is clear that an overwhelming majority of participants are going to continue incorporating virtual initiatives to engage and provide students with opportunities, while the minority are, at the very least, open to the idea.

exclusive insights

Employees Want to Return to a Hybrid Workplace

Regarding the future of the workplace, an overwhelming 79% of respondents answered “hybrid (a combo of remote & in-person) when we asked them, “What type of workplace would you like your employer to adopt?” Meanwhile, the remaining 21% of respondents answered “completely remote/virtual.” Regarding the ever-changing workplace, results are indicating that the future of the workplace is going to change. For the most part, say goodbye to long commutes and face-to-face interactions in the office. The pandemic has allowed companies to adapt and overcome obstacles to remote work, and as a result, hybrid workplaces are the newest trend that is here to stay.

Soft Skills are Critical for Career Development

As highlighted in our Guide to Recruitment 2021, soft skills are crucial to students’ and new grads’ development and career success. But, what kind of soft skills, in particular, are recruiters and industry professionals looking for in the workplace? We asked our awards and conference attendees to tell us, “What soft skill do you think is the most important for young professionals to develop?” The most common answers were communication, curiosity, adaptability, leadership and resilience. Other responses included time management, flexibility, empathy and critical thinking.

Exclusive Ways to Connect Virtually with Students

Whether you’re a career educator or a campus recruiter looking for the most effective ways to engage with or hire students and grads or you’re a job seeker wanting to network with employers, we’ve got you covered. We asked attendees, “what has been the most effective VIRTUAL way you engaged with students this past year?” and the answers varied across all respondents. For instance, 26% of respondents stated: “coffee chats” as their top pick, while 22% of respondents stated, “social media” and “networking sessions,” both tied as the second most popular answer.

Something worth noting is that none of the options were left unanswered! Although coffee chats, networking sessions, and social media were the most popular answers, there is still value in investing time and effort into other initiatives such as information sessions and case competitions.

Effective Virtual Student Engagement

The Demand for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Recruitment and Employee Engagement

Finally, attendees acknowledged the heightened need for employers to commit to and embrace DEI initiatives in their recruitment and employee engagement strategies. When we asked attendees “What do you see as the most transformative changes in recruitment and employer engagement around diversity, equity and inclusion in the future?” Among the answers were “top-down approach to attracting, finding and hiring diverse talent,” “partnering with EDI students clubs,” “open-mindedness,” and “providing scholarships and support to the community.” As a recruiter or HR professional, take the time to sit down with your company leaders and carefully discuss meaningful and impactful ways to embed diversity and inclusion initiatives into the workplace effectively.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

For more trends on recruitment, the trends in demand from students and new grads, and a glimpse of the future of the ever-changing workplace, check out our Guide to Recruitment 2021 package, brought to you by our team at TalentEgg.

How Employers Can Support Students in Their School-to-Work Transition. An Interview with Jesse Sahota, Career Development and Relationship Manager

Career educators and coaches play a vital part in the success of developing future talent. This support doesn’t end once students finish their degrees – career educators continue to assist students in their school-to-work transition, and this benefits not only students but also employers. Though, it’s important for employers to be involved in career planning as well. From employer branding, showcasing workplace culture, holding events, managing campus ambassadors to connecting with students before they even start their first day can have a great impact.  We explored this topic with Jesse Sahota, Career Development Relationship Manager in the Engineering Co-op and Career Services office at McMaster University, who also won Career Educator of the Year at the 2019 TalentEgg Awards. Read on to learn how Jesse supports his students, fosters relationships with employers and his advice on ways employers can connect with students to assist in their school-to-work transition.

Starting His Career with Purpose

When Jesse first envisioned his career, he believed he was going to work in the advertising industry one day, “designing commercials for Audi or working for Kellogg’s redesigning their Fruit Loops cereal boxes,” he says. During his final year at university, he landed a job in a wealth management firm as a recruiter, which eventually led him to his passion for helping others find their careers. And what a long and meaningful career it has been for Jesse so far! With over 15 years of experience in Career Coaching and Education, Jesse’s current role is comprised of three pillars that facilitate student success. He works to pursue new business development leads while maintaining existing partnerships in the engineering and business communities. The second pillar is coaching students using personalized strategies. “Pain points differ depending on where the student is at in their recruitment life cycle,” Jesse says. Whether students come with generic resumes and cover letters, or are looking to get more involved on campus, Jesse helps them on their career journey. Finally, the third pillar to Jesse’s role is collaborating with employers who are looking to create a stronger brand on campus.

“Our department’s “Employer of the Week” series brings employers to campus where I assist in orchestrating events, such as employers in the lobby, resume roasts, bus trips, Instagram takeovers and lunch and learn workshops.”

Supporting Students on their Career Journey

Jesse’s department supports students through a variety of workshops and individual appointments to prep them before the start of their co-op work term. “In Engineering Co-op and Career Services at McMaster University, the transition from the classroom to the shop floor or boardroom is exceptionally smooth,” he comments.

“Having been in this industry and in my current role for so long, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of our employer partners on-site. These meetings give me the opportunity to provide a unique perspective and “inside scoop” when coaching students on what to expect at their new job.”

One of the most memorable career highlights was taking five students to Silicon Valley in San Francisco for their Big Ideas Contest. Students were given the opportunity to learn from top innovators and develop their professional skills. Five students, management staff and the Dean of Engineering visited Tesla, Apple, Google, Facebook, Corning and several start-ups during their trip. This is a great example of how Career Educators are creating experiences for their students to showcase their innovative engineering solutions, build invaluable networking opportunities and learn about the possibilities. While Jesse and his team created this opportunity for students to learn, he ended up taking away a lot for himself too.

“It was an eye-opening experience for me as it provided the opportunity to connect with McMaster Engineering alumni and further solidified my understanding that our graduates are changing the world.”

What Can Employers Do for Students?

While career educators help to set students up for success in launching their careers, Jesse shares some ways in which employers can make students feel welcome and valued before they even start working. Jesse comments that not only will this showcase the organizations’ culture, but it will also prepare students for the road ahead. Reaching out to students after they’ve accepted their offer, even if it’s well in advance of their start date, can have a positive impact.

“A welcome email with details regarding what to expect on their first day is a great way to get the student excited about their new adventure by winning their heart and mind. Many organizations are taking onboarding seriously by allocating a personal mentor to each new hire – a strategy that I find highly effective.”

Another way Jesse suggests employers get involved in students’ transition is during the offer stage.

“When employers present an offer to a student, I would suggest that they invite the student to their site, provide them with a tour of their facility, introduce the student to a mentor, connect them with the current student(s) that are working there, and take them out for lunch or coffee. This approach is an excellent way to strengthen the student’s commitment to the employer’s brand. It’s a win-win strategy.”

Build Your Brand Recognition – Get on Campus!

Providing the opportunity for students to connect with employers in-person is always a great strategy when it comes to recruiting the right talent and finding the best candidates to fill your talent pipeline.

“Employers are encouraged to come to campus and meet our students, run workshops, attend hackathons, partner with student groups and, ultimately, connect with career offices on campus. Getting in front of students and answering their questions in-person establishes a connection, builds stronger brand recognition, and these students can then become brand ambassadors for employers by telling their friends what they’ve learned.”

Whether you’re an employer looking to connect with and hire students or you’re a fellow Career Educator, you can learn from Jesse’s unique approach. “My career is something that I truly enjoy and I love knowing that I have had a hand in helping someone else find their dream job or career.”

Get in Touch

jsahota@mcmaster.ca

905-525-9140 ext 24432

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-sahota/

Why It’s More Important than Ever to Connect With Candidates Online

It’s common knowledge that employers need a web-presence and a digital strategy to promote their jobs and attract young talent. However, simply having a career website that posts job descriptions is no longer enough.

The first component of being online is indeed having a career website with compelling job descriptions and robust employer branding content. This is where you can showcase your eggs-ceptional culture, the benefits of working at your company, and your company’s competitive distinctions as an employer of choice. Your web presence is the primary tool for you to attract and engage young candidates and the go-to place where they will launch their job search. In our 2019 survey, 86% of post-secondary students stated that they look for jobs online (which includes social media as well as websites), which indicates that your online presence is vital to attracting young candidates.

“Having just the right amount of information on the website and it being easy to navigate makes the user’s life much easier and makes the website itself easier on the eyes.” – Saisurutyi Sridaran, Ryerson University, 2021

“In 2019 you definitely need to have a website that is optimized for mobile.” – Mallory Thompson, Western University, 2019

The second component is, of course, social media. It is a highly preferred method of job search and employer research among young professionals (1 to 5 years after graduation). 87% of early career professionals surveyed also prefer to look for jobs online, including social media, and there is a good reason for that. Employers who excel at finding the best candidates tend to have strong social media engagement by having authentic conversations with job seekers beyond the static one way posts. Employers with a strong social media strategy have a human voice and communicate their employer value proposition in a demonstrative way through their employees Instead of telling candidates, “working for us is awesome”, make sure to show candidates what a fun, inclusive workplace culture you have, as experienced by recent hires, who candidates can relate to, in video, Instagram Stories and testimonials, creating a compelling and authentic reflection of work life within your organization.

But each social media platform resonates with a different audience, and matching the content to the best platform for the right candidates can be difficult. Where exactly do students and recent grads spend their time? Our 2019 survey proved once again that Instagram is still king with 59% of high school students, 41% of post-secondary students and 49% of early career professionals preferring that social media platform over the others for employer branding content.

What type of content should employers post to attract maximum attention? You might have guessed it already, but video is still king as the medium of choice, and it’s popularity is only increasing. 82% of high school and 69% of post-secondary respondents prefer to engage with videos for career-related information on all platforms and media channels.

TalentEgg Talks: Live with Mercedes-Benz
Financial Services (Instagram and Facebook Live)

The main area of concern when it comes to social media is getting around tricky social media algorithms to ensure your audience is seeing your content. While we can’t fully predict algorithms, which are constantly evolving, we know that the more your audience engages with your content, the better it performs. Moreover, Facebook and Instagram are well known to favour video content and showcase it to more users on their platforms, so it’s truly a win-win. With our less text-focused content for those who like getting visual information, we are shifting how we deliver your brand messaging. We communicate your values by producing videos, hosting live Q&As with representatives of your organization in a simulcast video on Facebook and Instagram (TalentEgg Talks LIVE) and creating Instagram Stories. In other words, we’re bringing your employer messaging straight to the target candidate! Be exactly where your young talent pool is – on Instagram, and engage in an authentic way through Instagram Takeovers and TalentEgg Talks LIVE Events. The great value-add is that if your existing social media followers aren’t Gen Y and Z, we can help you build out that audience on your own social media channels. The video recording also makes great content for your Employer Profile on TalentEgg and can be repurposed and re-edited by TalentEgg for short video clips on social media to continually refresh your feed with snappy, well packaged video shorts.

Even though video is king and social media is rising, direct email remains a strong medium for the delivery of career-related information among students and recent grads. The convenience of receiving targeted job alerts in the candidates’ inboxes, the ability to customize which content reaches them, and the ease with which the job seekers can find emails tailored to their needs, all attribute to email’s continued popularity. Our research indicated that 60% of post-secondary and 52% of early career professionals prefer email communication for job postings, indicating that while candidates like learning about employers on their smartphones and social media, they still prefer to actually apply to jobs from their laptop. With our ability to personalize and create custom email blasts for our clients, we’re targeting your employer brand message directly to students and grads.

Year after year, our Incubator blog is an invaluable resource for students and grads who are hatching their careers. Our custom editorials highlight various features of your organization to amplify your employer brand and connect with our audience. In our 2019 TalentEgg Survey, we asked what type of content students and grads wanted to read about and they overwhelmingly connected to editorials that were easy to read in Q and A format, enjoy resume and interview tips, day-in-the-life stories about young relatable employees and appreciate interviews with recruiters, interns and co-op students from your organization. Many of these topics provide an inside look into the company’s culture – exactly what our respondents care about the most. Every demographic we surveyed said that the most important thing they look for in an employer is positive and friendly company culture (92% of all respondents, including high school students, post secondary students and grads, and early career professionals).

Managing a company’s reputation is another important task. 68% of post-secondary students state that negative company culture or workplace, bad online reputation and negative candidate experience are the most important factors when turning down an employer. That is exactly why it is so important for companies to tune into the social conversation about their brand, create a positive candidate experience, and highlight their engaged and inclusive employee culture!

94% of students believe that it’s somewhat to very important for employers to have a strong online presence. This includes your social media presence and website usability. If students can’t find what they are looking for easily and in an engaging way, they are on to the next thing. We know that students are busy with school, work and social lives, and if they need to search in multiple areas or click through multiple pages, you’ll likely lose their attention. That’s why our custom employer profiles are a one-stop place for job seekers to learn more about your company, as well as explore jobs and events. It’s also a great place to post your employer branding videos, social media clips and editorials.  

Testimonial from a student: TalentEgg helped me obtained numerous information regarding the internship opportunities with your all-in-one platform.

 

Keeping all of these factors in mind can be very overwhelming, especially during a busy hiring season. TalentEgg is here to help. With our trusted and talented team of writers and account managers, we can help you craft and execute your employer branding strategies to attract the best of the best in campus recruitment and beyond. Visit talentegg.ca and keep reading this guide to find out how eggs-actly we can assist you on this journey.

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