These past 6 months have been an absolute joy for us. Writing about career transitions, specifically values, soft skills, culture, navigating career uncertainty, leadership styles and finally remote work has filled our cups.
As we reflect on our shared learnings, we hope you were able to integrate a thing or two from the articles you read. If not, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of time to do so.
To support your career growth as we go into a new year, we’re sharing the highlights of each article below.
Picture this: you just finished your final interview at a company that you thought was your dream company, but something isn’t sitting right with you. On paper, it all works: Salary, location, the team structure…but what’s missing?
This missing piece is where your values come in. Let’s start by refreshing your memory.
Values are the beliefs, philosophies, and principles that help propel you forward. From the lens of careers, they help you determine where you want to work, how you get there, what you prioritize, and even how you act in the workplace.
- Understand that your values are a foundation to finding the right company fit; communicating with others (think peers, team members and interviewers to name a few); and understanding your own goals.
- Your values change over time and that’s ok. It’s important to re-evaluate how you are feeling and what’s important to you regularly, or at least every few years.
- Self-reflection is the first step in determining your values and we’ve created a list of questions for you to do so.
Read the full article to practice the self-reflection questions to help you determine and better communicate your values.
👂 Soft Skills
Being an expert in the tech stack of a potential employer is an asset, but if you can’t meet deadlines or collaborate meaningfully with your work team, that technical knowledge won’t allow you to meet your full potential.
That’s where soft skills come in! Soft skills will differ from hard skills, which are the technical abilities and knowledge needed to perform tasks. For instance, having 2 years of work experience with Python is a hard skill.
- CTOs and tech leads don’t just care about code, they seek out soft skills for their team members – so much so in fact, we shared a top 9 list.
- Figuring out your soft skills and how to showcase them in your professional and personal life will be instrumental in building confidence, self awareness, and satisfaction.
- Soft skills are accumulated throughout your life! Don’t just think about your current or last job, you’ve started developing soft skills in high school. Think cumulatively to find those soft skill patterns.
To get started and review helpful exercises to determine your soft skills, read the full article.
With a toxic culture accounting for almost two thirds of why employees leave their jobs, there’s never been a better time to carefully consider what kind of culture you want to work in and want to help build.
Work culture has become a relevant and important piece of the puzzle to determine whether an employee and employer will be a long term fit, so make sure you do your due diligence.
- Perks (i.e. napping pods and unlimited snacks) and culture are two different things, keep this distinction top of mind.
- Assessing culture fit in the interview stages is a must, and there are many example questions out there (and in our article) to make it easy for you to do so.
- You (ideally) need to determine your non-negotiables and cultural values before joining your next company.
Learn more about the intricacies of culture by diving deeper into this article.
😅 Career Uncertainty
There’s a chance that you or someone in your life has been affected by layoffs in the past 12 months. With tech companies like Microsoft, Shopify, and Wealthsimple announcing significant cuts to their headcount, one might feel like their job isn’t safe.
If you’ve been laid off before, you can likely vividly remember exactly how you felt shortly after – anger, guilt, feeling like you’re replaceable.
While layoffs hopefully only happen once in your life (or ideally never!), there are a few ways you can prepare yourself for a potential layoff and this article is a goldmine for resources.
- Be proactive. You won’t necessarily avoid a layoff (if it does happen), but you’re taking the necessary steps to set yourself up for success – strengthening your network and creating a job search plan are two tactics to consider.
- Focus on acquiring skills – you’ve learned a lot of skills throughout your career, continue to focus on learning new ones through online courses or partnering with a former colleague on a project.
- Take the time you need to properly process and reflect. A great way to practice reflection is through gratitude – what are you most proud of in your previous role? Start there to develop appreciation and resilience.
For more tricks to navigate career uncertainty, check out the full article.
🌱 Leadership Styles
Many of us think that being a leader means being a manager with direct reports, but if managing people isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a great leader! If you look around, you’ll find leaders at any size of company.
Let’s discuss leadership style topics that can help you find your own style or mix of styles since one size doesn’t fit all.
- There are 5 common types of leadership styles, it’s important to better understand your style(s) to improve your interaction with others and play to your strengths.
- Determining what kind of leader you want to be is just as important as understanding what kind of leader you are. Reflective questions will help in this process.
- The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) method is one of the best ways to start working towards new goals to help you become a well-rounded leader.
This article shares a lot of resources (videos, articles, exercises) on leadership, dig in.
🌐 Remote Work
If you work remotely, explaining to grandma that you work in Vancouver and your boss is in Halifax might take up more time than cooking a holiday meal. It gets you thinking:
- Is remote work even right for you?
- Will you ever transition back to an office?
- Are you happy with your current work situation?
You will learn tactics to assess if your current work situation is right for you and if not, how to transition to a more aligned option.
- You may want to ask yourself these 3 questions to determine the best work situation (in-office, hybrid, or remote) for you. ‘Are you energized by working alone?’; ‘do you have strong work boundaries?’; and ‘does your company foster a healthy culture?’.
- If you are ready to change your work situation, talk to your manager/HR team about options. If that feels uncomfortable, talk to others within or outside your organization who’ve made the same transition. Two heads are better than one and four are even better!
- Take a deeper look as to why you want to change your work situation. Are you switching to an in-office situation to escape a messy roommate or do you want to work remote to avoid your manager more? Understanding your ‘why’ can help you make a lasting change that will affect happiness in multiple facets of your life outside of work.
The remote work environment continues to evolve, gain a better understanding of your needs by reading the article.
And that’s a wrap. We hope you take some time to read all the articles and reflect. The end of the year is a great time to gain that additional clarity. In the new year we’ll be sharing even more content and templates tied to resumes, interviewing and more. Stay tuned and happy holidays!