Planning for 2020 – What are your Career Goals?

Welcome to 2020 – this will be the best year ever!  If you are like me, this the time to reflect on yourself – I like to think about my career, family and life in general.  It’s a great time to review things and make goals to improve yourself and life in general.

A Career Goal is a statement of your profession that you intend to pursue through your career.  A career goal may outline timelines, skills, education and experience.  With these things in mind, you can define your career goals and create an action plan.  I have found that reviewing your career goals quarterly or annually allows myself time to reflect upon these and make changes or modifications to my plans to keep me headed in the right direction.

Short term goals as well as long term goals are both part of the plan.  Short term goals can be achieved quickly; zero to five years.  Long term goals are longer, from five to fifteen years.

Here are some tips when creating and setting your goals:

  1. Be specific or measurable
  2. Be able to measure or quantify
  3. Be positive
  4. Write them down
  5. Review quarterly or annually
  6. Reward yourself as goals are achieved
  7. Think big – you will achieve more than you anticipate

Creating goals for yourself will motivate you to start and build the future you want.  It’s like having a to do list or agenda to keep you focused.

Here are few examples of goals that I have had or considered through the years:

  • Upgrading your resume
  • Starting a business
  • Volunteering or working as an intern to learn about a profession
  • Taking a computer course at at a local school like UBC, SFU, or BCIT
  • Creating or upgrading my LinkedIn profile
  • Applying for a new job or asking for a promotion
  • Joining a networking group like the Board of Trade or BNI
  • Landing that big account or client

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down with yourself to reflect and create a few goals for 2020 and your career.



Good luck!

What is an HR Policy?

HR policies have always been a staple within HR Departments. Now, in the information age, it is expected that organizations understand what their stance is on HR matters, and execute it in a way that is respectful, just, and effective.

human resource policy

According to Wikipedia, Human Resource policies are continuing guidelines on the approach of which an organization intends to adopt in managing its people.   They represent specific guidelines to HR, leadership and managers on various matters concerning employment and state the intent of the organization on different aspects of Human Resource management such as safety, recruitment, promotion, compensation, training, selections etc. 

They therefore serve as a reference point when human resources management practices are being developed or when decisions are being made about an organization’s workforce.

Every company is unique and will build their policies and practices around the culture that they want to create for themselves and their staff.  For example, with BC’s new laws, marijuana policies are becoming far more common as organizations determine their needs on site for their teams.

Not every organization will need every policy. For example, collective bargaining only pertains to union environments.

Some examples of basic HR policies include the following forms:

  1. Time Management Policy
  2. Sick Leave Policy
  3. Vacation Policy
  4. Health and Safety Policy
  5. WHIS Policy
  6. Hazard-Specific Policy and Procedures
  7. Drug and Alcohol Policy
  8. Smoking Policy
  9. Whistleblower Policy
  10. Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
  11. Anti-Discrimination and Harassment and Bullying Policy
  12. Termination Policy
  13. Employment Classification Policy
  14. At will Employment Policy?
  15. Code of Conduct/ Work Rules Policy
  16. Conflict of Interest Policy
  17. Non-Disclosure & Confidentiality Policy
  18. Privacy Policy
  19. Travel and Expense Policy
  20. Substance Abuse Policy
  21. Communication and Technology Use Policy
  22. Progressive Discipline Policy
  23. Severance Policy
  24. Employment Policy
  25. Recruiting Policy
  26. Performance Appraisal Policy
  27. Wage / Salary Administration Policy
  28. Promotion, transfer and posting policy
  29. Pregnancy / Disability Policy
  30. Attire and or professional Dress Policy
  31. Complaint Resolution Policy
  32. Employment of Relative Policy

human resources policies

  1. Conflict of Interest Policy
  2. Remote Working Policy
  3. Domestic Violence Policy
  4. Emergency Preparedness and Response Policy
  5. Personal Information Policy
  6. Psychological Harassment Policy
  7. Pay Equity Policy and Plan
  8. New or Young Worker Orientation Policy
  9. Social Media Policy
  10. Hours of Work and Attendance Policy
  11. Overtime Policy
  12. Employment Standards Policy
  13. Flexible Work Arrangements / Telcommuting Policy
  14. Group Benefits Plan Policy: Health and Life Insurance
  15. Hiring Policy
  16. Learning and Development Policy

The benefits of implementing HR Policies in a business is that employees understand policies and procedures for the day-to-day operations.  Human Resource policies provide clear communication between staff while treating everyone equally through guidelines.

employee handbook

With HR policies, business can develop an employee handbook for staff to refer to for day-to-day clarification on specific issues.

Canadian and American policies will differ. Many of our clients at Career Contacts have employees that are in both countries. It is important to understand the legal requirements associated with policies and how they differ from country to country.

Ensuring that the policies are equitable and still legal are both important factors to consider.

Please feel free to contact our team at Career Contacts to discuss creating your customized solutions for HR Policies and Practices.

Related Post: What is HR? 

What are Transferable Skills?

When interviewing employees or candidates, a recruiter or hiring manager looks for many things. This can include education, qualification, experience, solid references, interview skills and lastly transferrable skills.  A Business Dictionary defines “transferable skills” as aptitude and knowledge acquired through personal experience such as schooling, jobs, classes, hobbies, sports etc.  Basically, this is a skill or talent developed that can be used in future employment.

Transferrable skills

Transferable skills are skills that are learned at school, at work, at a hobby or socially that can be taken from there to another environment or job.  Recruiters and hiring managers want you to be the right candidate and are looking for reasons to phone screen or interview you. You may not have all the qualifications required on a job application; however, you may still be a great candidate with transferable skills from your past experience.  This is relevant for permanent positions and also temporary jobs.

Why are transferable skills important?

They can be very useful if you lack relevant or industry specific experience.  Highlighted transferable skills can show strengths that you will bring to a job that may be unique to you. Most recruiters use an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to organize resumes for skills, experience and education.  List your transferable skills on your resume, as it will help your resume get noticed.

What is an example of a transferable skill?

  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Organizational skills
    • Proactivity, strategic planning, self-motivation, ability to take initiative
  • Dependability, reliability, work ethic
    • Punctuality, responsibility
  • Leadership and management skills
    • Six sigma, emotional intelligence, dealing with stress, people management, business development, strategic managementtransferrable skills on a resume
  • Information technology / IT or literacy
    • CRMs, Google analytics, coding languages, software skills
  • Project management
  • Team player
  • Collaboration, goal setting, facilitating
  • Time management, organizational skills, being self-motivated
      • Decision making, planning, delegation, responsibility, conflict resolution
  • Problem solving skills
  • Research skills / data analysis

How to position transferable skills in your resume?

A few examples of statements of how you can demonstrate your transferable skills are:

In my previous job as an Office Administrator, one of my duties was to draft and proofread documents for my manager; in doing this I learned how to write effectively using persuasive business language.

Working as the Customer Service Manager at XE Company I was known as the Coffee Maker because I am always the first to arrive for work.  This shows your dependability and reliability.examples of transferrable skills

At Smith & Smith, I developed sales programs and quotas for the sales department with bonuses that resulted with sales increasing for the department 12% that year.  This shows leadership and management skills.

I have successfully managed six projects per quarter across 3 departments which has given me a solid foundation in project management as well as cross department communications.

As a manager in my past position, I utilized data on a daily basis to make analytical decisions to ensure my team was operating effectively and efficiently.

As a Customer Service Manager, I have 10 years of experience successfully responding and resolving customer conflicts while providing valuable insights on how to work with different clients in a multitude of industries.

 For more examples of transferable skills check out this article on The Muse.

If you are looking for more career advice, check out our blog page, or reach out to us directly at If you are looking for work, check out our latest job postings.


What is HR? What does HR mean?

The acronym HR has endless possibilities.  HR definitions can include Heart Rate, Human Respect, High Roller, House Rules and of course Human Resources.  For Recruiters, HR represents the Human Resources of an organization.

Human Resources

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Human Resources is:

the people who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy. “Human capital” is sometimes used synonymously with “human resources”, although human capital typically refers to a narrower effect (i.e., the knowledge the individuals embody and economic growth).

Likewise, other terms sometimes used include manpower, talent, labour, personnel, “associates” or simply people.

A human resource person or a human-resources department (HR department) of an organization performs human resource management which includes overseeing various aspects of employment, such as compliance with labour law and employment standards, administration of employee benefits, organizing of employees files with the required documents for future reference as well as , some aspects of recruitment.

HR Human Resources

The activities of the Human Resources team can be broken down into staffing, development, compensation, health and safety, and employee and labour relations.  Some examples of this are:

  • Determining the needs of staff and management
  • Recruiting and training the best employees for an organization
  • Hiring for permanent staff and management roles
  • Hiring temporary staff
  • Managing employee relations, unions and collective bargaining
  • Preparing and implementing HR policies
  • Maintaining employee records
  • Managing employee payroll, benefits and compensation
  • Managing HR policies to ensure that they align with regulations
  • Ensuring equal opportunities
  • Managing conflicts with discrimination and employee conflicts

Human Resources Staffing

As we approach the end of a decade, we also want to emphasize the need for HR at the leadership level in organizations. People are more than a paycheque, or a project that needs completing. An organization’s essence stems from their team, the culture they breed, and the difference they make in their respective communities.

We are so proud of the impact our Human Resources teams are making, both as internal support systems, and outsourced resources.

Human Resources is essential to maintaining company policies as well as promoting a positive work culture.  If you are looking for a career in HR or simply haven’t explored the services of your company’s Human Resources team, we hope this will provide better understanding of the services HR provides.

And feel free to contact us directly with any other Human Resources-related questions you may have.

What Should You Do After a Job Interview?

Searching for a new job or career is often a full-time job in and of itself.  Many people find looking for a job stressful and demanding.  Getting the opportunity to interview with a company is great! However, knowing what to do after, is often unclear.

What to do after the job interview

Here are a few suggestions from the recruiters at Career Contacts for things you can do following a job interview:

  1. At the end of a job interview, ask what the next step in the interview process will be as you shake hands with the person who is interviewing you.
  2. Take the business card of the person that interviewed you for future communication.
  3. Following the job interview, think about how you did and how you could improve in the future. This is an opportunity to learn from how you can answer questions better, as well  as figure out questions you may ask at a second interview.
  4. Think about the job, and the company as a whole, and decide if you want to work there. You are best to take a job you want, rather than just any job offered.
  5. Make notes during the job interview in a notebook. This will help you remember any important to behave after the job interview
  6. If you are working with a recruiter, call or email them to give them your thoughts and impressions of the company, the people you met and how the interview went.
  7. Write a thank-you email or card and send it to the person you interviewed with. If you are working with an employment agency, cc the recruiter as well.
  8. Connect on LinkedIn with the people you interviewed with.
  9. Plan a follow up email with the interviewer or recruiter a few days following the interview to ask if there will be another interview. Do not contact them more than once per week as they may busy.

Got the job? Get our handy-dandy tips for how to rock your first week of work here. Search for career opportunities using our job board. Also, please feel free to contact our office to discuss if you have any questions at

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