August 31, 2021

How to survive a toxic workplace

Are you doing more than your fair share at work, but still being ignored? Are you upset watching your boss bullying you and your peers? Are you starting to dread heading into the office each day?

If so, you’re not alone. Talk to occupational health physicians and they’ll tell you that at least half of their caseloads are related directly or indirectly to mental health concerns from those trapped in a toxic workplace.

And there’s no shortage of them. The Mental Health Commission of Canada, for instance, estimates that between 10% and 25% of workplaces are characterized by conditions and environments that are considered “mentally injurious.”

Continue reading »

August 04, 2021

Achieve aims and ambitions in less than a minute

Richard Wiseman, in his recent book, "59 Seconds: Think a little, Change a lot," suggests that we are far more like somebody watching ourselves than somebody in charge of ourselves.

As a result, much of the book seems to be based on the idea that you can trick yourself into being happier and more successful. And effective change doesn’t have to be particularly time consuming, he maintains.

In fact, it can take less than a minute and is often simply a question of knowing exactly where to start.

A simple touch on someone’s upper arm makes them more responsive to requests, for example; forcing your face into a smile and holding the expression for 20 seconds will trick your brain into being happier.

Continue reading »

July 19, 2021

How will you measure your life?

Harvard Business School prof Clayton Christensen teaches aspiring MBAs how to build more profitable companies. But he also believes that the same strategies can help people lead better lives.

In his classes, he explores questions all of us need to ask: How can I be content in my career? How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness? And how can I live my life with integrity?

Why bother? Well, in a recent study, 87% of respondents indicated that they believed that lack of ethics was a determinant factor in the current economic downturn, and 80% believed that someone can learn effective ethics principles through training.

The answer to the first question comes from Frederick Herzberg’s assertion that the most powerful motivator isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute, and be recognized.

Continue reading »

July 09, 2021

Canada's strong jobs data makes U.S. jealous

Hey, who needs a gold medal hockey game to ramp up some Canadian pride?

954599_canadian_flag Our home – the true, north, strong and free – is no doubt the envy of many nations on earth, but it’s often for things like our plush natural resources, our health care, our compassion.

Now, though? On the heels of a shattered-and-still-rebuilding global economy, Canada can add “national employment” to that list, as well.

Continue reading »

June 17, 2021

Workloads continue to head up sharply, study suggests

If it seems as if you’re working harder than you used to, it’s probably not your imagination. A majority of employees say their workloads have jumped sharply because of the global economic downturn.

79% of employees reported their workloads increased as a result of layoffs at their firm, according to a recent survey by staffing company Right Management. 56% per cent characterized that jump as being "a lot."

Employees at large organizations feel the heat more, with 68% saying their workloads have increased substantially compared to only 33% at small organizations.

Like it or not, most remaining employees have little other choice but to work harder. The current job market makes jumping ship for another position a more daunting undertaking than a few years ago.

Continue reading »

May 27, 2021

What’s a mother's work really worth?

Every year around Mother’s Day, posts a calculation of what price a mom’s services would command on the open market, correctly pointing out that mothers don't get enough respect for the work they do.

The time Canadian mothers spend on the 10 most popular “mom jobs” would translate into a salary of $132,288 for a stay-at-home Mom. Working Moms could expect to generate $82,220 on top of their regular pay. 

How do the folks at arrive at such hefty numbers? To create their estimate, the researchers created a hybrid of 10 different jobs – each with different salaries – and then considered the market value for mom's most common jobs and tasks.

Continue reading »

May 17, 2021

Looking for a job? Clean up your online profile

Many of us have come to love Facebook. It's made socializing in college and in life beyond effortless. It's made wasting time during a boring lecture a cinch. (Will you please fertilize my Farmville eggplant patch?) And most importantly, it's enabled us to stalk ... friends.
Unfortunately, however, in the same way Facebook enables us to check out the profiles, pictures, etc. of the people we know, or at the very best loosely know, it also enables potential and future employers to take a peek into our own personal lives. Trust us, they do. And if they can't access you themselves, they'll find a friend or a friend of a friend who can.

Continue reading »

April 28, 2021

Is there a future in green jobs?

Green jobs are becoming important because of growing recognition that our planet is threatened with disastrous climate change brought on by greenhouse gases. What’s at issue now is not whether we will confront this threat but how. Uncertainty about which green technologies will become most widespread is causing uncertainty about the outlook for green jobs.

Continue reading »

April 18, 2021

Workers admit to being habitually late for work: Report

Does your morning routine typically involve hitting the snooze button and then scrambling to get out the door?

A new Careeerbuilder survey reveals that 16% of workers arrive late to work at least once a week. What's worse, almost one-in-ten admit to showing up late at least twice a week.

Actual reasons for being tardy vary from worker to worker, traffic is the main culprit with close to one-third (32%) of workers claiming it caused their tardiness. Nearly a quarter (24%) point to lack of sleep, while seven percent pin the blame on getting their kids ready for school or day care. 

Continue reading »

April 16, 2021

College offers money-back guarantee on tuition

Community colleges have long provided an opportunity for both young and older adults to learn new job skills, often by attending part time.

Prospective students are turning away from some schools, however, in favour of more affordable options, forcing many colleges to work harder to justify their price of admission.

For instance, rather than imposing an across-the-board tuition increase, B.C.’s Okanagan College is targeting program areas where its tuition is below the average for similar size institutions.

But how about offering a money-back guarantee instead?

Continue reading »


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...