Our Speak Up! public speaking workshop series concluded on April 13th with a conversation on networking. Held at L’Atelier Vancouver Coworking, this fourth and final workshop was facilitated by April Bellia, founder of Granola Girl and of the Serendipity Tea Party networking group for women entrepreneurs. April shared her tips for connecting with others in a more authentic, compassionate, and meaningful way through heart-based networking.Read More
On March 23rd, the Speak Up! Series continued with a workshop on public speaking for speeches, presentations, and other speaking engagements. The discussion was led by Leigh Wall, former legal administrator turned apprentice truck and transport mechanic and now student recruiter for Vancouver Community College. After being asked to speak on behalf of VCC’s trades program, her opportunities in public speaking snowballed, including speaking at the We for She BC Conference in 2016. In her session, Leigh shared her tips on preparing for public speaking, combatting nerves, and getting personal.Read More
Our Speak Up! public speaking workshop series continued on March 2nd with a discussion around workplace communication. The session was led by Brianna Blaney, founder and managing partner of the employer branding and people solutions firm Envol Strategies. Blaney shared her pro tips for making a strong first impression, delivering presentations, handling negotiations, and navigating tough conversations at work.Read More
On February 9th, we kicked off Speak Up!, our workshop series on the topic of public speaking, with Genicca Whitney, founder of the Badass Lady Boss Collective. During the session, the dynamic entrepreneur and storyteller pinpointed common public speaking fears and provided strategies for young professionals to use to effectively speak to their audiences.Read More
Beyond: Lead Through Action is a one-day conference for young professionals to connect, develop and grow. This conference will build your leadership skill set, your knowledge, and your network. With inspiring speakers, new leadership ideologies, informative panel discussions and hands-on workshops, Beyond will provide the skills you need to break into your leadership potential.Read More
At some point in our careers we’ve all been on the hunt for a job and a new professional adventure. We all have different approaches in going about this search, but are there some methods that work better than others? Earlier this month at Microsoft’s Vancouver office, YWiB was lucky to have Carmen Tsang from Lighthouse Labs guide us through this often challenging task. Don’t worry, there’s hope for all of us if you follow her words of wisdom!
Phase 1: The Hunt
Throughout the job hunt process, you want to remain diligent and proactive. It’s easy to be discouraged while unemployed, so it’s good to set daily goals for yourself (e.g. send out five resumes each day). Even if you don’t completely qualify for a position, you can still apply. Carmen says this is okay as long as you meet 70% of the requirements. If you’re planning to apply for many positions, make organization your best friend by creating a spreadsheet with all the key application details (e.g. company, position title, date sent, etc.) to keep track in the event of a call back. While waiting for an interview, research the job titles you are interested in and reach out to industry professionals in similar positions that may have some insight to share. Finally, leverage your network to its full extent. You never know who might know someone looking to hire, or who’s connection could get you in the door.
Phase 2: The Interview
So you’ve landed the interview, now what? Carmen says NEVER “wing it”. Before your interview, go in knowing three key things; yourself, the company and the job description. This seems easy enough but focusing on each area will help you identify whether or not the company and the position align with what’s important to you and your professional progression. As long as all three areas align, you’ll remain consistent throughout the interview and will demonstrate how self aware you are.
When it comes to the questions you’re being asked, make sure to be honest, especially with the dreaded “weaknesses” question. Don’t pick a strength and disguise it (*sigh*, we’ve all done it) because interviewers see past this and are less likely to consider you as a suitable candidate. Share something real, and what you’ve done to address the issue in the past 6 months. When it’s your turn, make sure not to ask too many questions. This can be off-putting to interviewers and may give them the wrong impression of your capabilities.
Finally, if you have references, make sure you know what they plan to say. Again, this can help you remain consistent with what may be said regarding your areas for improvement.
Phase 3: Follow-up
Once your interview is over, don’t be shy to ask when you can expect a response back. Feel free to let them know that you’re actively looking or that you have other interviews (if it’s true) but that you want to give them full consideration. Of course, always send a “thank you” email once you’re fully done.
A big thanks to Carmen for sharing all of these wonderful tips, and to Microsoft for the amazing venue space. Are there any tips you would add?
Last Tuesday, to quote our amazing speaker Mitra Kiamanesh, “We teased the topic of negotiation”. Having over 30 years of international experience in mediation, intercultural project management, conflict resolution and negotiation, Mitra opened our eyes on a few key things we have to prepare for and keep in mind whether we enter a negotiation in our professional or personal lives.
“In business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”
- Chester. L. Karrass
Ask for What’s Feasible
Before starting, say, a salary negotiation, do your homework! What is the industry average? Does the company need you? What is the company’s current state? What is the ceiling? What are some of the arguments the company might have against your proposal and how would you prove that you deserve that promotion? Coming in prepared, with statistics to back up your asks, will add weight and professionalism to your points.
Everyone is Right
If you think about it, everyone thinks that their perspective is the right one. However, with this approach an agreement can never be reached as everyone’s “right” does not match. It is important to think about similarities and differences in your points of view and negotiate around them. Don’t ignore cultural sensitivities! We all come from different backgrounds and have different points of view.
Have a Reservation Point
Coming into negotiation, have these three things figured out: what you want - the ideal outcome, what are your maybes - things you can play around with and are willing to concede on, and your non-negotiables. You have to be true to yourself and strict about your non-negotiables. If a negotiation starts putting your non-negotiables at risk, you have hit your reservation point and it’s best to walk away to avoid regretting any decisions made.
Environment and Body Language Matter
Be very mindful of the setting in which negotiation takes place. Certain seating arrangements, for example, can either make or break a conversation. For example, a round table is inviting and erases any power dynamics as everyone can see each other and sit at the same level.
As for body language tips and tricks, nobody said it better than Amy Cuddy, you can watch her TED talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en
We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to practice active listening. Acknowledging the fact that you heard and understood what the other person was saying by rephrasing his or her words will show that you were listening, you care about their position and you want to reach an agreement. This type of listening calms people down and sets an overall positive atmosphere.
On the importance of listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP8RB7UZHKI
If you have any questions about the content of the session or would like to join us at an upcoming event, check out our events page. We can’t wait to meet you!