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Lateral Career Moves

Most of us feel that career progression is upwards.   However, lateral moves can be a stepping stone to one’s career. In a lateral move, an employee moves to an equivalent role in an organization or another organization, usually with a similar salary range and a job title at the same level.  The employee’s job responsibilities can change providing an employee new opportunities.

According to the HBR May 15, 2016 article “Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lateral Career Moves for Professional Growth” illustrates that lateral moves can help in professional development by giving employee a chance to expand their skills and network with a new circle of employees and customers.


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January 1, 2017 Deadline – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

On January 1st, 2017 organizations with between 1 and 49 employees must ensure the following requirements are satisfied:

  1. Documents provided to the public must be accessible when asked; and,
  2. Employment practices (i.e. how you hire, retain, and promote) must be accessible.
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Why People Quit Their Jobs?

Everyone has a point in their life where they want to quit their job.

Based on the recent HBR article, Why People Quit Their Jobs  looks at why employees leave their jobs. Typically they don’t like their boss, don’t see opportunities for promotion or growth, or are offered a better pay.

With the popularity of social media, it was found that the reason employees want to make a change is their sense of how they’re doing compared with other people in their peer group, or with where they thought they would be at a certain point in life.

Also, people tend to make changes during their work anniversaries, birthdays—particularly midlife milestones such as turning 40 or 50—can prompt employees to assess their careers and take action if they’re unhappy with the results and large social gatherings of peers, such as class reunions, can also be catalysts to measure their progress relative to others.

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The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a master’s degree in business administration.  Most programs teach students to be successful in the corporate world.  These programs have become so popular that students who have graduated from undergraduate immediately apply for MBA schools.   This is with the hope of getting more job opportunities.  However, “MBA” on a resume is no longer guarantees employment because everyone seems to have one.  It does not differentiate anyone if thousands of applicants have similar credentials.

When I was deciding on continuing my education, I realized that master degrees appeared less on resumes.  It differentiated me from the other applicants because it demonstrated that I had a specific career direction and could be a subject matter expert in the field of  HR.

Another good way to  be more competitive is having work experience prior to pursuing a MBA or master’s degree.  This can help better understand the work place and easier with school projects.

The July 13, 2016 article “Nothing special: MBAs are no longer prized by employers” (The Economist) illustrates the MBA may not have the competitive edge for employment opportunities as it once did.

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Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance is a great idea on paper.  With the advancement of technology , 8-hour workday has become stretched.  We are focusing more on our careers than our families or personal lives.

According to the May 20, 2016 Globe and Mail article, ‘Can we do the work without killing ourselves?’ Ad executive enforces shorter workdays illustrates advertising agencies overworking their employees. A video is included which demonstrates  an organization who rewards their employees by allowing to see their families, only after the work is completed.  This can have a negative impact on an employee’s motivation and productivity because they are not getting enough sleep each night or eating healthy.

The article looks at one organization, Wolf & Wilhelmine, who really follows work life-balance where “employees are not allowed to send e-mails after 7 p.m. or on Saturdays. (Sundays are okay but nobody is required to respond to an internal e-mail on Sunday.) They will be disciplined for sending e-mails or being connected to the office while on vacation. Employees who do not take their vacation time are ineligible for bonuses. Each week, the agency conducts a meeting where everyone estimates their workload for the week; if anyone is in danger of exceeding 40 hours that week, work is shifted around or freelancers are brought in to help. All of this is disclosed to clients up front before they begin working together”

The article demonstrates a specific industry, however, the example of Wolf & Wilhelmine can be applied to any public or private organization.


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Less may be better

Social media has become an easy way to connect to many people.  It’s a very popular way in increasing networks, however, according to the May 5, 2016 HBR article,  The More People We Connect with on LinkedIn, the Less Valuable It Becomes indicated that having to many networks may not be useful.

The article states “that a larger number of social network connections may be less valuable than a smaller, more intimate circle. With an enormous collection of friends or followers on a network, you lose the benefits of intimacy, discoverability, and trust, all of which can work better when you have fewer connections.”(p.1)

Also if you contact many people at the same organizations in different areas, it may indicate there is no specific career direction.   It is much better to make quality networks who can help you achieve your career goals.






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Exit Interviews

An exit interview is typically conducted with an individual who is leaving an organization.

The purpose of this exit interview is to get feedback from employees in order to improve aspects of the organization, better retain current employees, and reduce turnover. During this interview employees will be asked why they are leaving, what specifically influenced their decision to leave, whether or not they are going to another company and what that company they are going to offers that their current company does not.

Businesses can use this information to better align their HR strategy with what employees look for in an organization and enact programs and practices that will influence top talent to stay at the organization.

The HBR April 7, 2016 article, Making Exit Interviews Count listed 6 goals that organizations should consider when doing an exit interview:

1. Uncover issues relating to HR.

2. Understand employees’ perceptions of the work itself.

3. Gain insight into managers’ leadership styles and effectiveness.

4. Learn about HR benchmarks (salary, benefits) at competing organizations.

5. Foster innovation by soliciting ideas for improving the organization.

6. Create lifelong advocates for the organization.