Starting a New Job – Tips for your First Week at Work

Congratulations on starting a new job!  With your job search ending, you can now file away those resumes and emails to recruiters and employment agencies.  Beginning a new job is both exciting and stressful for everyone.  Making a good impression, doing a great job, and being successful as you start the next step in your career is what we can speak about.

Here are tips for the first few days starting a new job:

Things To Do:

  • Be an active listener and soak in the culture of your new work environment.
  • Introduce yourself to co-workers to show that you are interested and don’t be shy. It might be easier to think of a one liner introduction to do this.  Brand yourself with a positive and professional introduction.
  • Ask questions as you learn. You aren’t expected to know everything right away so don’t be afraid to clarify things as you learn the new processes and procedures.
  • Take notes so that you can refer back to the things you are learning and write down less urgent questions that can be discussed later.
  • Make notes of people’s names that you are meeting to remind yourself later.
  • Take the initiative to join a committee or volunteer your time on internal or external events. Show that you are interested and will be a long-term employee.
  • Watch your co-workers and supervisors to learn who can be your mentor. Introduce yourself and plan coffee.
  • Check in with your boss or supervisor to confirm that you are progressing as expected. Use this time to ask the questions you have been keeping track of.

Things Not To Do:

  • Don’t over commit as you will be in the learning phase at work for at least six months of our new job.  Stay calm and organized.
  • Don’t be a “know it all”. If you have a great idea that can be implemented ask first “Have you tried this…”  Until you have gained trust and respect don’t come on too strong.  Prove that you know your job and that you do a great work.
  • Don’t speak negatively of prior bosses or companies. Stay professional and mind your business. Stay out of gossip, and groups.  It is a good idea to stay neutral if conversations turn to gossip, religion, or politics.
  • Don’t be late or call in sick. During the probation period it is essential that you prove yourself to be committed and reliable. Arrive a few minutes early each day and stay a little longer than your shift to be organized and make a good first impression.

This being said, we are excited for you to be starting a new job and wish you success!

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7 Steps to Land your Dream Job

When you know what your dream job is, but aren’t sure how to get it, we can help.  The career you want is the one you have passion for and find enjoyment doing.  It will provide you with work/life balance and you’ll enjoy work!  This being said, the path to land your dream job doesn’t just happen.  Having your ultimate career fall into place will only happen through time and effort with goals, planning and direction.

7 Steps to Land Your Dream Job

Here are seven steps to land your dream job:

1. Make Sure It’s Really your Dream Job

As you are starting your job search, take time to build a vision of the career you want.  Like a vision board, think big!  Know what you want – what gives you purpose, where you see value, want do you want to do?  After deciding on your career, speak to people you know and respect in the field. Ask them about their jobs, what they enjoy about their job and their career path.  Before doing these interviews, have a set of questions prepared and make notes to be able to refer to in the future. If possible, ask to shadow this person at work, or to volunteer with similar companies.


2. Create a Career Roadmap to Land Your Dream Job

Like all smart executives, to achieve your career goals you must start with a plan.  Begin with the end in mind, and imagine where you want your career to lead you.  Determine positions (job titles, duties, responsibilities etc.) and check points that you will pass along the way.  Your roadmap should outline each step as your career progresses.   

Your career path may include internships, entry level positions, or volunteer work as well as continued education or certification to gain skills and experience as your career develops.  Getting hands-on experience is imperative. It proves to hiring managers that you’ve experienced — not just read about — everything you need to know for your ultimate gig. It’ll also confirm your career choice to yourself. 

Make your career roadmap even more worthwhile by estimating how much time you should spend in each position. Review job descriptions and look for things you can do if you are looking for advancement, promotion or increased salary.  

Some goals will be easier to achieve, and some will be harder, but you will be forced to stretch, and that will advance you in your profession.    


3. Be the Person You Would Want to Hire and Work Your Way Up

In starting your new career journey, you may not have experience under your belt, so add value by being a “Rockstar” employee.  Get to work early each morning, maintain a professional appearance and be positive about your day ahead.  Ask questions, read and become involved with your industry. Ask for feedback and take time to learn how to be a better employee.  After employee reviews allow time to review and reflect on your Career Goals and Roadmap to ensure that you are headed in the right direction. Doing this will help you develop your skills and become an expert.


4. Grow Your Network

Go to your network for receiving and giving career advice.  You can do this through social media, as well as professionally. With LinkedIn I recommend you value the quality of your network over quantity. Start by connecting with people you know and trust; friends, colleagues, teachers and supervisors etc.  This will allow you connect personally and start conversations, whether it be to say hello, ask for a job recommendation or for advice.

The next step after building contacts is getting out and meeting with people.  This can be done by going to networking events, attending trade shows and industry events, as well as conferences. This also includes meeting contacts face to face (perhaps over coffee or lunch). 

5. Partner with an Employment Agency

There are a number of reasons to work with an Employment Agency. Employment agencies can help you land your dream job by:

  • Allowing you to access their broad pool of clients and positions they are hiring for
  • Being a second set of eyes finding jobs for you
  • Providing assistance with interview tips and preparation 
  • Providing assistance with salary negotiation 
  • Providing insight to the culture of the company that is hiring
  • It is free, there is nothing to lose!

6. Craft your Personal Brand

You have your own story to tell, which includes goals, skills and expertise; this is your identity and value add.  In starting to create your personal brand consider the following about yourself:

  • Who are you – areas of strengths and expertise, what are you passionate about?
  • Decide what you want to be known for – this is your roadmap  
  • What is your value proposition?
  • What industry do you want to work in?

Your Personal Brand is generally one or two sentences, creating a statement of who you are, like a catchphrase with flare.  I like to think of it as your elevator pitch.  

7. Before an Interview Prepare Creative, Insightful Questions 

Although you are the person being interviewed, take the time at the end of the interview to ask questions. It’s important to determine if this job opportunity that will lead to your dream job. When asking questions in a job interview, make sure they are tailored to the job that you are interviewing for. Here are a few examples you can prepare specific to the job you are considering:

  • Is there anything about this position that wasn’t advertised that you are looking for?
  • What is the most important thing I can do to be successful?
  • In this role (at company ABC) how do you evaluate performance?
  • What is the key to succeeding in this role?
  • Tell me about the team I will be working with?

With these interview questions you will confirm your interest and professionalism.

If you have questions, feel free to email Andrea directly at or visit our job board for current employment opportunities.

Now, get out there, and land your dream job!



3 Ways to Motivate Your Employees to Give Back and Volunteer

As organizations increasingly incorporate philanthropy into their corporate culture and values, the onus is placed on the employees to get involved and participate in giving back to and volunteering within their communities.

In order to truly support the act of giving within your teams, your employees need to feel supported by their employers in their initiatives to contribute to their communities on behalf of your company’s culture of giving.  Here are three ways to encourage and motivate your employees to give back through volunteering and community giving


Give them the time to go out and do the work


If you want your company brand to be one of giving, then any and all activities need to happen on company time. Employers may decide to have evening or weekend events to support the community and expect their employees to give up


from their personal time in order to participate in building up both the community and the company brand.

Instead, respect your employee’s right to maintain their work/life balance by allowing your teams to take a few hours each quarter to give back to the community.

A few examples of volunteer initiatives include rounding up your various departments and organizing a garbage cleanup at a local park near your office and/or sending employees to a local elementary, high school, after-school program to contribute their knowledge and skills through mentoring, tutoring, or reading.  Here are a few links to check out – Volunteering with the City of Vancouver,  or helping out at the Greater  Vancouver Food Bank. the SPCA or the Red Cross.

Give them the resources to contribute

A few popular ways for companies to give back to those in need is to run bottle drives and other recycling projects, collect non-perishable food items to donate to their local food bank, or to host a fundraising campaign internally or externally for a specific cause.

As an alternative to these programs, provide your employees with a budget allowance to manage a giving program of their choosing. For example, instead of asking for cans to donate to a food bank, give each department a small budget to cook a hot meal together for a family in need. By providing your teams with the resources they need to give back, you are signaling that you truly believe in the importance of generosity.  The Ronald McDonald House and The Health and Home Care Society do a great job of this.

Give them the autonomy to give back how they want

Instead of micromanaging the act of giving, allow your teams to come up with creative ways to do good. It’s an excellent way for your people to take initiative, manage themselves, develop their relationships with their colleagues, and ultimately feel respected and valued by their employers.

Some examples of giving initiatives that I’ve seen success with in the past include:

  1. Putting together toiletry bags to give to those in need
  2. Stopping by a seniors’ facility to spend an hour with someone who may not receive a lot of visitors and daily interaction
  3. Selecting one local community organization close to my heart and sponsoring an event to support their overall objectives
Over to you

While giving back has its obvious benefits to those you help, it’s also important to acknowledge that the above initiatives will play an integral role in enhancing your overall organization through skill-building, team-bonding, and employee happiness.

These are a great way to help!

For more recruiting and HR tips and advice from Natasha, follow her on Instagram, connect with her on LinkedIn, and follow Career Contacts on LinkedIn.

What is the meaning of Recruitment?

Interested in learning more about what we do as Recruitment Professionals?

Recruitment is defined as the process of attracting, shortlisting, selecting and appointing suitable candidates for jobs (perm or temp) within an organization.


Advertising vacancies.


Conducting job interviews.

Performing background checks.

Reviewing application documents and credentials.



To a recruiter, Recruitment also involves showing a person why they should be interested in a job opportunity.  This happens by staying on top of advertising job opportunities and building trusting relationships with employees.  A person may not even be looking for a new job until recruiter tells them about a new job opportunity.

The first step in recruitment involves analyzing the job to identify the knowledge, skills and characteristics required for the position.

The second step is the process of attracting and screening candidates for the job.  This involves internal and external advertising as well as using recruitment agencies and their networks and experience.

What are the challenges of recruitment:

  • Shortage of qualified employees
  • Competition or other job opportunities when hiring staff for top candidates
  • Salaries and benefits are increasing to keep top staff
  • Increased time to recruit good staff

Effective recruiting involves the following practices to assist companies hire top employees:

  • short listing employees with proper alignment of skill sets to organizational goals
  • ensuring effective and efficient recruiting by utilizing systems and processes
  • ensuring compliance with policies, practices and employment standards

Examples of this are equal-opportunity employment, non-discrimination and anti-bullying.

Reasons to use a Recruitment Firm

  1. Expertise and experience
  2. To save time and money
  3. Added resources as some companies do not have HR and recruitment departments
  4. Access to the hidden job market  (recruiters often have active job boards and campaigns

We love what we do, and we love sharing our passion with our candidates and our clients!

Interested in learning more about our services and systems?

Please feel free to call or email our office to discuss this further.


Genuine Time Off

A prior article about genuine time off yielded some unexpected responses from leadership. Among the messages I received, I saw a number of HR leaders remarking about how time off is also taken advantage of. 

Whether they believed time off is abused or neglected, it was fair to point out and call attention to the inconsistencies in taking time off. According to statistics found by CareerBuilder, 40% of workers have called in sick in the last 12 months when they weren’t sick. 

These stats, in addition to the messages from HR professionals, got me thinking about the various time off policies that companies put in place, particularly as it relates to sick time. In response, I want to share some of my own recommendations and advice for HR leaders when it comes to sick time policies in the workplace. 

Here are 3 HR approved reasons for employees to call in sick:

1. If they’re too sick to come in

This reason is the one that’s most often ignored by your people. Employees may think they’re scoring bonus points for toughing it out like a team player, but truthfully, not calling in sick only causes an inconvenience to their co-workers as they are not able to perform at their best. In this case, they are likely going to end up needing even more time off later than they would have if they had just taken a day off when they needed to recover.

2. If their symptoms are contagious

If a sick employee is determined to still come to work, your whole staff is at risk of catching the same cold, fever, or other illness they’ve brought into the office. If your sick employee spreads their germs to the rest of their co-workers and is the reason the rest of the team goes down, you can bet they aren’t going to be very happy with not just their sick co-worker, but also with leadership for allowing it to happen.

Don’t allow a sick employee to jeopardize everyone else’s ability to work and overall health just because they are too stubborn to stay home.

3. If their symptoms are seriously distracting

If your employee is hacking up a storm or blowing their nose every 30 seconds, it’s time for them to get some rest at home.

Disturbing everyone in the office with awful sounds of coughs, sneezes, and sniffles is no way to win favour from their work colleagues. This is also a good opportunity for your people to take advantage of your company’s work-from-home policies, which were instilled in order to make your employees feel comfortable and supported enough to take a day off from their duties when needed. 

Now that your sick employee has been diagnosed as in need of time off, how should they call in sick the right way?

Here are 3 must-dos for your employees when calling in sick:

1. Communicate as directed 

Far too often, I’ll get a text or email from an employee calling in sick when the policy explicitly states a phone call is required. 

Speaking over the phone will often allow you to see how the employee is doing, to gauge the severity of their illness or injury, to discuss how long they’ll be out of the office, and to help them ensure that their duties are covered by their team. 

If you are expecting your employees to adhere to a requested method of communication, that instruction must be clear, fair, and consistent. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and will reduce confusion and any feelings of preferential treatment.

2. Take responsibility for their work 

When calling in sick, your employees should be considerate of the gap in the workforce they’re leaving by delegating their tasks to their team members, providing instructions for how to get the work done in their absence, and rescheduling meetings and appointments.

It’s important that employees feel supported in their work handoffs when taking required time off, whether planned or unplanned. Succession planning in any role is key, regardless of the seniority or complexity of the position.

If your employee isn’t well enough to communicate remotely, connect with their manager and/or supervisor and give them an update so that they are aware of your employee’s status.

3. Be honest 

Honesty is the best policy — I can’t stress this enough. 

Ever had a day where you just don’t feel on? That’s okay! It’s important for all employees to feel encouraged to sort themselves out, sort their work out, and take a day to focus on their well-being. If your employee knows they’re going to be out for three days or more due to a contagious virus, they should feel comfortable to be upfront about it. The more information they can provide, the better equipped your team will be when the employee takes their leave. 

Over to you

When your employee is vulnerable and truthful with calling in sick, it is important that the reaction they receive from their HR and/or management is respectful, kind, and accepting. If you want your employees to trust their leadership and be upfront and honest about their personal matters, it is your responsibility to respect their needs and their privacy in return.

If you need guidance on your organization’s policies and practices when it comes to sick time and time off policies, connect with me at for a free assessment.

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