Women Who Run It Slider

  • Welcome To Women Who Run It

Grab Our Latest Issue

Get Your FREE eBook !
Lead Live Love Lead Live Love
Plus receive our
FREE newsletter:
Women Who Run It
* indicates required
  • Home

Do You Know What Your Nutrition Labels Really Mean?

We’re always hearing people say “read the food labels,” but where should a person even start?

There are words that wouldn’t make sense to someone without a degree in science, daily percentages, measurements in milligrams, and a whole lot of information that if ignored could lead to a ballooning of your waistline.

As more and more food items become available in stores, understanding what’s written on the label is becoming more and more challenging. With the addition of media input it can make it near impossible to know what’s actually in the food you and your family are eating.

Don’t fret! I’m here to give you some pointers on reading labels so that you can make the best choices for your needs.

First, let’s start with some basics.

Nutrition Labels Rules state that prepackaged food has to have its ingredients listed and they are written in order of quantity with the greatest being first, and the least being last.

All foods also have to display a “Nutrition Facts” table which has its own laws about what should be found on it. The table has a serving size found at the top. The rest of the information is displayed in a standard order; from top to bottom it is: Calories, Fat, Saturated, Trans, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrate, Fibre, Sugars, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.

Calories and Serving Sizes Most people look at the number of calories first, which is totally fine as long as you’re also looking at the portion size. If the label tells you there’s 100 calories, but you eat three times the serving size, then your low calorie snack just took a giant hike that you might not have noticed.

Daily Value % Sometimes the information on the Nutrition Facts table that can be misleading is the Daily Value %. These values are based on a 2000 calorie diet, so if you’re not eating 2000 calories then these percentages aren’t right for you. This is especially true for your children.

The most important percentage to look out for is sodium. The sodium percentage is calculated based on a 2400 mg daily serving. This amount is actually more than should be consumed in a day. For adults the tolerable upper limit (which means the amount that should not be exceeded per day) is 2300 mg. However, the amount that we actually need per day is only 1500 mg. The best way to make sure you’re not going over is to ignore the Daily Value % and to just look at the mg amount found on the table.

Product Claims and Statements Another important tip to keep in mind is to be aware of product claims and statements. The word “nutritious”can be used on a food that contains at least a “source” of one nutrient permitted in the Nutrition Facts table. This can mean that the food isn’t actually as nutritious as you might think it is.

Another thing to be aware of is that even though a food item says ‘low fat’ doesn’t mean that it’s actually the best choice. Sometimes these low fat options have lots of added sugar or sodium to replace the flavour lost from removing the fat. It’s important to be aware of the potential for this. A great way to check is to look at the Nutrition Facts table, because it will tell you the amount of sugar and sodium found within the product.

Allergies and Intolerances Allergies and intolerances are becoming more and more of a concern as time passes. There are some fairly new laws pertaining to allergens. Some products may have a section that lists allergens by their most common name (for example “contains soy and nuts”). Allergens must be listed in either this section or in the ingredients list, but they don’t have to be in both. If allergens are something that you need to look out for, make sure you’re checking both places.

Educating yourself on what nutrition labels mean is an important part of your work to keep yourself healthy. By knowing what’s in your food you’ll always be able to ensure that you’re eating the right fuel for your body. Keep yourself informed and keep those pounds at bay!

There are specific laws that govern what is mandatory for labelling in each country. For more information, check out the website in your country.

**Edited for Repurpose by Taylor Brown, Associate Editor of Women Who Run It.

Say it With Me: I AM THE BOSS A Day at the I AM THE BOSS Conference

What does it mean to you to utter the words “I am the boss”?

Does it refer to status? To power? To responsibility?

To me, it means the freedom to play by my own rules, instead of following someone else’s.

Not everyone gets the chance to be the boss, but everyone can, if they want to.

I know that sounds like a whole lot of Indians and no Chiefs, and I probably would have agreed with you…that is until I attended Carolyn Dickinson’s I AM THE BOSS conference.

This one day event aims to inspire women to create their own path in life, to finally be able to utter the words “I am the boss.”

Over the course of the day attendees watched as Carolyn interviewed a panel of inspiring women who have found success in their own lives, women just like you and I whose passion and determination sent them from middle management, to the top. The panel participates in a Q&A session midway through the day, and the day is finished off with keynote speakers and trainers who share their vision, their journey, and their inspirations with the crowd.

So who were these inspiring women that we all stared in awe at as we held on to their every word? Well there was Odette Laurie…

As a business coach for entrepreneurs who want to build a multiple six or seven figure business and teacher of mindset marketing and money strategies, she knows what it’s like to fight for her dream.

“I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to struggle. I also know what it’s like to be successful. They need a leader,” she said.

She knew it was important for women to attend I AM THE BOSS because “as women we do it all by ourselves. We stay at home and we try to build a business behind our computer, but you’ve got to get out in the real world to see what real women are doing and learn.”
That’s why Odette, an already successful entrepreneur wanted to be a part of I AM THE BOSS, an event that tells women that “we’re blessed with the opportunity to have babies but that does not mean we have to stop our life, and that doesn’t mean we have to stop the train that gets us to making money …You can have both. It’s tough, but you can do it,” shared Odette.

Then there was Mary Engel…

A management coach who works with middle managers to help them improve the quality of their lives, they’re productivity, and get the careers that they dream of.

She saw this event as a great opportunity because “an event like this gives women an opportunity to be inspired, to get a lot of clarity. I’m finding that the speakers have so much experience in the areas that I’m currently experiencing challenge in that it’s almost like looking into a crystal ball, seeing what to expect, and being able to answer those questions before you even get there.”
Her real clarity comes when discussing the topic of being a working mom. “A lot of us grow up with the belief, the unfounded belief, that to have a career, and be a great mom, and be a great wife, is impossible. Or that somehow we have to trade off one for the other and so we start making decisions that will sabotage any particular one of those things. So I think it’s important to understand that you can have all three, that they can be really great, and not to worry that you’re sacrificing in one area because there are ways to actually figure out how to work all of those,” she shared.

And there was Wendy Crystal…

A future mom about to pop, still sitting on the panel, and working a booth as the owner and founder of her own cosmetics company.

Looking at her you know that she has drive, but what did she wanted the women to take away from that day? “Determination and believing in themselves and knowing that failure and feeling fear are not things to be feared. They are things to actually motivate you and push you forward to be successful.”

But the real inspiration that day was I AM THE BOSS’s founder Carolyn Dickinson….

Carolyn went from a stressed out new mom at a complete loss of how to get her career back, to an entrepreneur with her own website appropriately titled “Supermom Entrepreneur”, to the creator of her own women’s event, I AM THE BOSS.

Her work has inspired countless women and she tirelessly labors for her love of helping women succeed.

“I always feel like I’m recommending these people. I take pride in that,” she shared. Which is why she hand picks all of her speakers, and it shows. “I have only heard ‘we love it, we’ve gotten something from it.’ That to me is all I want ,” she said. “I’ve had five people personally come up to me and go ‘this is not a typical women’s event,’” she continued.

Besides the obvious benefit of having people love the event, she works so hard to find the right because she said, “We are creating an environment, that to me,  is like having a big family over and we’re all kind of chatting and helping and supporting each other.”

In the end, the work of Carolyn, her team, and everyone involved in the I AM THE BOSS conference led to an event that was welcoming, inspiring, and a must-see for women everywhere. It’s certain that women took away so much from the day, but what did Carolyn really wanted them to take away? “Whatever they need.”

For more information visit: www.supermomentrepreneur.com


The Fundamentals of Money Management in Turbulent Times

The year is 2014. The United States is increasingly decriminalizing Cannabis, Toronto crack- smoking Mayor Rob Ford visited a rehabilitation facility, and Vladimir Putin stands strong against protests in his anti-gay laws. While these stories and more have kept us on our toes all year, something else has lingered underneath. Something that has perhaps kept us on our toes for what has felt like forever. That something? The markets.

The markets are going crazy these days: commodities, gold, silver, the stock market, real estate.

How can you keep up?

What should you do?

Any change in the world condition can make the market react either positively or negatively. Osama is killed and the market goes up. The President makes a speech on Libya and the market jumps. A new poll comes out and the market dips. Seems like just about anything can set it off, driving the indexes either up or down.

There is even a new computer program that is being talked about to help in making stock market predictions based on twitter tweets. It is said that they can determine the “mood” of the masses by analyzing millions of tweets and that will help them predict market conditions. Market intelligence gained from tweets…it’s a sad day when much of anything that is tweeted can be considered “intelligence.”

Yeah, I know, I tweet too and I have thousands of followers (you should be one) but I do my best to give a 140-character nugget that actually offers something to help you do better, be better, or at least cause you to think. I don’t tweet the typical “I’m hungry” or “I’m sad today” like some folks do. (Eat a damn sandwich or keep your lousy mood to yourself, I’ve got my own crap to deal with!!!)

The problem is that people actually pay attention to these temporary fluctuations in the market and try to time their way into making money by jumping in or out based on what’s going on in the moment. They are constantly reviewing their portfolio to see where they are day by day. They get upset or sometimes even elated by the daily changes that take place. Then they want to buy or sell and are on the phone to their broker or worse, trying to handle it all by themselves like they are smarter than everyone else in the financial world.

Don’t do that.

Investments should be based on trends and track records and those things take time to develop. And unless you are a seasoned investor and really know what you are doing, don’t try to time the market to make money. The odds are not in your favor.

Market fluctuations are based on emotion. Money has no emotions but only reacts to the emotions of people. That’s why we see all the craziness going on in the markets right now; people’s emotions are running high for many reasons and the market is reacting to it.

The key is to not play into the market fluctuations by letting your emotions dictate your financial strategy. These fluctuations make no difference to the average investor. These fluctuations are temporary, while your investment strategy should be long term.  And remember, emotional decisions are not often your best decisions in any area of life, but especially when it comes to money. When you buy or sell stocks based on emotions, or when you are in a panic, rarely will you make a good long-term financial decision.

Your financial security is a long term strategy, so get back to basics. The same old boring fundamentals for financial success still apply regardless of what is going on:

  1. Have a cash cushion equal to six months of your expenses.

  2. Before you even consider investing, make sure you have all high-interest debt, like credit card debt paid off. People often ask my opinion about good investments with high yield.  I always ask if they have a credit card balance. Since the average credit card debt per household is still about $7500 and the average interest rate is about 14%, I remind them that the fastest way to get a 14% return on their money is to pay off their credit cards. Again . . . do not invest a dime until your credit cards are paid off. It’s DUMB.

  3. Make sure you are spending less than you earn… Which around 40% of people still aren’t doing.

  4. Have a long term strategy for financial security. Work with a qualified financial adviser who knows you and your situation and will help you achieve your long term goals. Prosperity is a process and a slow one at that.

And by all means, do not panic when you see temporary fluctuations in the market. Take a deep breath, stay calm and stick to your plan – and if you don’t have a plan, get one.

Remember, don’t let the emotions of the crazy world around us dictate your financial strategies. Calm down and relax when it comes to your finances, and the markets will too.

How I Turned My Son’s Bullying Into a Movement for the Greater Good

My story began 10 years ago when I had decided to move my children to a new school. It was in an area some would measure their success by; a family-oriented neighbourhood where million dollar homes were dead square in the heart of the city, with streets lined with mature trees. That new school brought about excitement for what was yet to come and what we thought would be a positive change.

When did the bullying begin? Shortly after I moved my children to their new school, my son started telling me he was being mistreated by a few boys.

To be quite honest, I was in disbelief.

This wasn’t because he made it a habit of spinning tales, it just seemed to be happening all too soon when we had just moved to this new school. It was within two short weeks that my son started sharing detailed stories of how he was being mistreated that I decided to meet with the Principal. I was given a promise that he would look into it.

That was my first mistake.

  • For starters “there is a sequence to whom you speak with first”, if the child’s life isn’t in danger you should start with the teacher.
  • I should never have put all my faith into the Principal, instead of taking charge of the situation myself by researching other avenues to nip the bullying in the bud.
  • I spent too much time waiting for responses from the Principal. This was one of the things that prolonged the nightmare, you have to organize a timeline of follow-ups (meetings) in succession.

After a series of meetings that fell on deaf ears, I grew tired.

I had gone over the Principal’s head and reached out to the Superintendent. When I didn’t hear from the Superintendent I reached out again, only to find out that the Principal intercepted. He had told the Superintendent that everything was ok and that he was handling it. This was the not the case.

From that point on the Principal came after us.

How they came after us. I volunteered in my children’s school, in this particular situation it was to keep an eye on them. We all know that it is customary that any person that comes into a school should sign in and out. However, that doesn’t always happen.

One of the ways he came after us was that I had to sign in and out each and every time I came into the school. I was the only volunteer that I knew that had to do that (I checked the books).

I needed to keep an eye on my children, so I complied. In a civilized manner I had asked the teacher why he wasn’t there for my son when he needed him. After that point I was not allowed to speak to the teachers which included speaking with my daughters.

My son was told that he had to come up with 500 words sharing his good memories of his time at the school. He told his teacher that he didn’t have any. My son was told if he didn’t come up with the 500 words he wouldn’t be able to partake in the graduation festivities or graduate with the other students. This was one of the ways they came after my son.

It was at the point that I showed up just outside his classroom, only to see him crying. I couldn’t figure out what the teacher could possibly be saying to him to make him turn his head towards the chalkboard and cry. I wish this was where the issues left off. The list goes on and on and on.

At the end of our two years at that school, I had tried everything that I knew to do and tried to stop the bullying. I went as far as the Minister of Education, but  we were so alone. I just  couldn’t stop it so we left the school.

I was left with a broken child who didn’t trust school administration and lost all respect for them.

I was desperate to help my son! I was pissed off that we were so terribly let down and unsupported. He was just a child, like so many others in these helpless situations. Instead of helping us nip it in the bud, the Principal let his ego get in the way of helping a child and called on other administration to add to our nightmare.

Eureka I had an Epiphany. The epiphany happened when I walked into a camera store. I looked up on the wall and there it was the camera that started it all.

It was clear to me that I was going to do a documentary and that I was going to ask my son to take the journey with me. So I sat him down and asked him to take some time to think about it. I wanted him to know that he wasn’t the only one, and that it wasn’t anything that he had done wrong. I wanted to try and turn a negative into a positive and try and help him through helping others. He decided he wanted to embark on this journey with me. It was after this that I started my company Benchboy Productions.

“Bullying: A Culture of Silence” comes to life. As of July 2005 that leg of our journey began. Three years later “Bullying: A Culture of Silence” came to life. Upon completion, I submitted it to a film festival. “Bullying: A Culture of Silence” garnered a nomination in the category of “Outstanding Canadian documentary” at the ReelWorld Film Festival and can be found in libraries in over 45 cities across North America,11 in the Greater Toronto Area.

As well, I have developed two anti-bullying programs for schools, “The Ripple Effect” and “Bullying: A Culture of Silence”. They are both recognized on the Minister of Education’s Anti-bullying Registry as they meet the rigorous requirements.

Did someone say she was political? On the political side, I have worked with two anti-bullying coalitions, the Progressive Conservative Education Critic and the former Minister of Education, to raise awareness of the need to keep our children that much safer in our schools. While working to meet their goals, I and the two coalitions were invited into the Legislature where Ms. Witmer read the resolution; we all watched on while it was debated, and voted upon. The Ontario Government officially passed this resolution in February 2010.

Internationally speaking. I also speak internationally and was invited to be part of the launch for the Campaign Respect 24/7 in San Mateo, California. While in San Mateo, I was asked to present and screen my documentary in a number of communities, including East Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and Pacific Sharp Park. To take steps even further, I also consult for families when they find their children in a bullying situation. I have always been passionate about sharing useful important information.

This is the abbreviated version of our story. In closing, this is not about principal or administration bashing, but simply my story and experience.

  • According to the National Education Association, it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.
  • Young bullies carry a one-in-four chance of having a criminal record by age 30. (Study by Leonard Eron and Rowell Huesmann)
  • Many experts fear bullying has become so widespread and common; adults are blinded to its extensive harm. *Always investigate claims of bullying.*

I think I have been able to share with you what I learned from my setbacks in respect to this time in my life. Based on the readership of “Women Who Run It,” I have no doubt that you are a group of women that can move mountains

What I Learned from My TEDx Talk

In all honesty, I didn’t sleep a lick the night before my TEDx talk. Every time my eyes would start to close, I’d envision my clicker suddenly crumbling in my hands, or the audience in blank stares after I throw out my best joke. It also didn’t help that I had lost my voice a day before from a head cold.

As a professional speaker, I still get the occasional jitters before I go on any stage, big or small. I like that it gives me butterflies because it means that I care. But these weren’t butterflies, these were pterodactyls.

I realized my nerves weren’t coming from the size of the event (it was capped off at 100 people and I’ve spoken to an audience of 20,000 before) but rather the title of giving a “TEDx” talk. It felt like that time in elementary school when I was promoted from the class helper to school safety patrol. I was still doing the same tasks, but now there was an orange sash with a shiny badge and the title of being “safety patrol.” Helping the first graders get on the bus seemed so much more important when I was wearing my orange sash.

TEDx was my orange sash…and shiny badge.

The actual talk itself went by in what felt like a few seconds (it was actually 12 minutes and 10 seconds to be exact). Afterwards, I had a flood of students share their support with me and one even asked me to sign his TEDx book (totally my first autograph).

Of course, my mom poured her compliments and support after. But I could have gone up there and rapped the alphabet and she would have said I was better than Jay Z. Thanks, Mom.

But honestly, I couldn’t even remember what I said. The whole thing was a blur and waiting for the footage to be released was about to push me over the edge (even though it only took like a week).

When I opened the video for the first time, it had been uploaded the night before and was at 609 views. I watched it and, of course, critiqued every move I made. But overall, I was pleased.

The video started to be shared and spread upon release. I immediately started to receive countless emails and texts and phone calls from people who watched it.

But here’s where I made the mistake: I didn’t even take the time to appreciate the feedback because I was so obsessed with the number of views and “likes”.

A handful of my thoughts throughout the day: Why is it stuck at 609? Refresh page. Refresh page. I’ve gotten 39 “likes” and 2 “dislikes.” WHO DISLIKED IT?! Refresh page. Refresh page.

…you get the picture.

I was completely ignoring the whole point of doing a TEDx talk in the first place: to inspire someone.

Sure, it would be nice if millions of people watched my video and it lit a fire in them to get up and do something. But contrary to the viral effect, I don’t need my TEDx talk to get hundreds of thousands of views in order to cross it off as a win. I need one person to watch it and be inspired to take action in the world.

One of the people that reached out to me after watching my talk was a parent I used to babysit for years ago. He said he was glad I was a part of his kids’ lives and he wants to encourage his children to model their lives after mine. Another email was from a stranger who saw my talk on TEDxGlobal and she said I gave her hope that one person can make a difference, no matter  their age or experience they have.

In my talk, I speak about how we need to stop judging impact only through numbers. We need to put a face and a story to every act of philanthropy or service we do. We need to focus on the lives we’ve helped, not the numbers we haven’t reached yet.

The biggest mistake I made was ignoring my own advice. I spent my energy focusing on the growth of a number and not on the people I had already impacted.

Sure, our views can be measured with a number. But our impact can only be measured by the individual people who choose to take what they just heard and infuse it in their lives.

For me, I choose the latter.


Watch the TEDx Talk HERE.

Your Mommy Brain, Your Money Brain And Feeding Both

Six years ago, Alison Stuckey had lost her ability to dream: her husband was a victim of the 2008 financial crisis and she was moving towards depression. She had finally transitioned from working nine-to-five after 5 years and adjusted to being a mother. But there was always something missing in her life.

Alison began to realize that she was caught up in societal expectations and this was not working for her.

“We look at what our parents and their parents did. This just isn’t working anymore. It’s a different time,” Alison confessed.

The most difficult part for Alison was stepping out of her comfort zone. Leaving the world of nine-to-five was a major challenge. Alison’s reason for leaving the corporate world so many people inhabit was that she had to be there for her children, not to mention that she could never find a spot for herself in this environment.

Alison defines herself as “first and foremost, a mom and a wife,” her family is the most important thing. Following the birth of her first child, she felt that she was being forced to make a choice – to sacrifice either her child or her job. She chose her child, then children. Unfortunately a single income is not enough to support a family in a large city and Alison had to consider returning to a job and workforce after 5 years.

Around this time, she was approached by a university friend and jumped at the opportunity to start her own business with Arbonne, a health and wellness networking marketing company. The new opportunity offered the flexibility she needed to focus on the most important aspect of her life – her children.

“I needed to be there for my daughter. She needs her mom around. I can’t even imagine what she would be like as a person if I wasn’t there,” Alison shared.

It wasn’t easy starting over – Alison experienced considerable self-doubt. Confidence came gradually from certain realizations and primarily from personal development.

“I was terrified. Would it work? Could I do it? All my fears surfaced. But I always knew I was capable of so much more than I was doing. There was always this thought in the back of my head that there is more for me out there. More I have to do in life.”

Helping her through this was the way she viewed failures. Alison does not look at failures as standing alone, but at the way someone deals with them.

“I look at them as a positive as opposed to a negative because it’s really the way you deal with them that determines what your future is going to be,” she said.

The best part of leaving a nine-to-five existence, Alison says, was the flexibility that came with it. She could set her own schedule and expectations.

“If somebody’s sick, I don’t have to call my boss and ask for time off. I usually give myself the time off,” she laughs.

She also enjoys being in control of her future.

“No one else is dictating my future. I am in charge of it and it will be whatever I make of it. I am not under somebody else’s control, working to someone else’s expectations,” Alison said.

Regarding expectations, Alison rails against stereotypical societal expectations and norms.

“There are so many things being thrown at us: our kids, our careers, even our physical being; be this way, look this way, weigh this much.”

Her proposed solution is to reclaim our lives.

“We really need to be our own person, especially as women.”

With the flexibility and freedom her business allows, Alison has found time for both her family and an incredible career.

“I set an example for my kids, especially my daughter, that I can be successful, building an amazing business that is going to be a legacy for them, and also have presence in their life, to be there for them when they need me.”

Alison’s advice to women is to connect with successful and positive women to discover the path they took through much the same circumstances. Embodying the entrepreneurial mindset, Alison says that if you can dream it, you can do it.

“The only thing holding us back is ourselves,” she shared.

While she’s not certain of what she will do in the future, Alison has her eyes on the big picture.

“We are all put on this planet for something great. I still haven’t determined exactly what that is, but I know there is something bigger I want to do.”

Speaking about her business, Alison views it as a gateway enabling her to do other things.

Indeed, Alison seems to be continually discovering herself.

“I realized recently that I want to start a charity and it is going to have a women focus.”

In short, it is clear that there is no clear path to success and in fact, no single path to success. A well-paying nine-to-five job may very well be one person’s idea of success, while Alison finds it a compromise disrupting her life.

While the details will vary for everyone, there are a few bigger ideas that we all can apply to our professional lives. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you pursue success:

1. Don’t let society tell what you should be and how to get there Do what you want and be what you want. Live your dream.

2. Set your own expectations Only you know what you want to be in life. Through self discovery you will figure that out.

3. Move out of your comfort zone Challenge yourself to do better. Always.

4. Keep trying The most successful people in the world have failed many times and kept trying new methods and approaches.

5. Learn from your mistakes Don’t brood over them for weeks on end, instead absorb the lesson and move on. Improving.

6. Decide what’s important And focus on it. Prioritize and devote more time to the activities you truly value.

7. Get help Connect with people who share your concerns and be inspired by their stories.

What You’ll Need to Be Highly Employable in 5 Years

Getting a job has never been easy.

It seems it’s only getting harder.

With four generations now actively working and seeking full and part time employment, the job search will become increasingly challenging as job seekers compete against larger pools of qualified candidates as well as those that are well accomplished in their career/ chosen industry.

You may be looking for a new job, or starting a new career altogether but the days of walking into a building and asking to speak with the boss are over. There are new rules and they will only continue to change as time goes on.

If you want to get a job in the next five years you’ll have to remember these important tips:

Let’s Start At The Beginning:  Resume & Cover Letter Over the course of the next five years the resume and cover letter will increase in its importance with respect to creativity in its appearance.

Now this is not to say that the resume becomes unprofessional in appearance, long gone are the days of listing a photograph and hobbies but now, with competition as high among graduates as it is for those seasoned workers, being able to quickly grab the attention of the screener will be most important to be able to package your skills, education, and experience in the best manner possible.

You only have one chance to make a strong impression, if you lack the skills to create a sound marketing tool of yourself, hire a professional to work with you on developing your resume and cover letter.

  • Resume: metrics built around your accomplishments at each job you have held, from the lemonade stand, restaurant job, internet based small business, or internship, are important to highlight rather than a mere listing of duties performed.

  • Cover Letters:  this should be professional in appearance and written directly and specifically to each position that you are seeking.

Competition For Jobs The employment landscape has changed significantly over the past 10 years, and with more candidates vying for the same jobs, competition in the next 5 years will be at its highest as we now have four generations in the workplace. Being able to understand and collaborate with those from each generation will be critical in one’s success.

Retention efforts of good employees has already begun as employers are focusing not only on recruiting the best, actively and sometimes aggressively seeking top notch employees from their competitors, but formal retention plans are being created by employers as a means to keep those quality employees from leaving.

What does this mean for you?

Be open and realistic in what you have to offer an employer and start at the beginning. Get in at ground level and build your career by proving your worth from the very first day on the job.

Remember you are not owed a job, you must continually earn it.

Who will be your competition for jobs?

  • Experienced candidates that are seeking new challenges or a new work environment.

  • Experienced candidates that have lost their jobs due to the downturn of the economy that are either working in lower skilled jobs or are still unemployed.

  • Experienced candidates with transferable skills that are highly rated for a career change.

  • Semi-experienced candidates (those with less than 5 years in the workforce).

  • Recent college graduates seeking their start.

  • Candidates that are returning to the workforce after a voluntary leave of absence.

What Will Employers Seek? With so many levels of candidates applying for the same positions what will the interview process look like in the next 5 years and what will be the new minimum expectation from candidates?

  • A Bachelor’s degree is already the minimum for education, with advanced education and /or technical training or certifications more the norm.

  • Advanced computer skills relative to your area of expertise.

  • Experience using platforms relative to your area of expertise, with certifications a plus.

  • More remote jobs will be in place which will call for higher skill sets to be entrusted to efficiently and effectively work off site. This also means more competition from highly skilled candidates as they can work from anywhere.

  • Alignment with company vision and values and an ability to be ‘teachable’ for the technical needs.

Application Process: The online application process has nearly eliminated the practice of mailing a hard copy of your cover letter and resume. Therefore, experience will be the focus and must be easy to locate.

The current amount of time that the initial screener will take to review your resume now ranges from 6-60 seconds!  Not much time to read through a long and poorly developed resume and cover letter.

Mobile application platforms will be in place that will allow you to apply using your phone. Convenience plus 24/7 activity will mean increased competition for jobs with candidates from around the world vying for the same jobs.

Professionalism will be paramount, so create an email account using a professional name, one that is simply first name.last name@gmail.com for example. Use this only for your employment applications as it shows you are serious about your career.

Interview process:

  • Face to face interviews are not going away. Being articulate, having confidence in what you offer relative to the job, and strong non-verbal presence are key.

  • Electronic means, such as using video presentations for the visual interview ,especially over long distances, being able to produce an electronic presentation in  your area of expertise, will be critical as will being able to field questions on your presentation.

  • Remote live video interviews, contests, online assessments, and simulations will begin to be used for student and intern assessment.

While advancements in technology will equate to an increase in competition, and with more generations remaining or returning to the workplace, some things will change and a few standard practices will remain in place.

In the end, employers all want to hire the best and it takes time, dedication, and aptitude to become the best. Starting the process as early as possible so that you are prepared will aid in your success when the job search begins.

Modern Herbal Medicine: The New Answer to All Health Problems

Today’s society is obsessed with health.

We are constantly bombarded with new diets, fads and lifestyles that claim they will make us feel our very best. Whether it is sugar-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, or raw, it is difficult to decipher what will actually keep us healthy.

But what if the answer is simple?

What if the key to good health is simply using natural remedies that work with our bodies, not against them?

According to Steven Horne, this is the true key to a healthy lifestyle.

The thing about Horne is that he not only teaches the ideals of herbal medicine and natural remedies, but he lives by them. As a child, Horne suffered many ailments that pharmaceuticals simply were not helping. Then at the age of 15 he realized that everything was put on earth for a reason and turned to natural remedies and he has been healthy ever since

In his new book, co-authored by Thomas Easley, titled Modern Herbal Medicine, Horne and Easley show you multiple paths you can take if you are feeling unwell before turning to pharmaceuticals. It is instinctual when we are not feeling our best to automatically jump to the idea of taking an antibiotic, but sometimes this is not the healthiest or most effective option, as these antibiotics treat the symptom, not the illness.

Modern Herbal Medicine also focuses on the idea of “differentiating the cause” of the problem. Essentially, it is important to know why you are feeling the way that you are so that you can treat the problem accordingly. People experience certain illnesses for specific reasons that span from geographical location, to bodily preferences, and it is important to target your problem from this perspective.

If you are worried that in order to use herbal medicines you are going to have to locate quail eggs, star fruit, or caviar, have no fear! These herbal remedies can all be found at your local health food store so you won’t have to go running around the city or breaking the bank to buy them.

Still not convinced about herbal medications? Here are some more reasons why it could work for you:

They Work Quickly According to Horne, herbal medications actually work at fighting the illness quicker than pharmaceuticals, which tend to focus on fighting the symptoms. This means that although you may experience your symptoms for a bit longer, your overall sickness will be relieved quicker.

Less Adverse Effects Have you ever heard a commercial for a prescription drug that sounds amazing, but then the list of possible side effects is not only incredibly long, but includes horrific outcomes such as heart attack or even death? Well, the chance of adverse affects is much smaller when it comes to herbal remedies because these are natural products that you may actually consume in your everyday life.

Don’t Listen to the Rumors Herbal medications can sometimes get a bad rap. Because some people believe they are ineffective, there is a lot of conflicting information out in the world and some people feel they are dangerous. What you have to keep in mind when it comes to herbal medications is the concept of synergy. Synergy means that just because something may contain an ingredient that is harmful on its own, when it is combined with other ingredients its toxicity is entirely reduced. So you should have no fear when approaching herbal remedies.

It Works With Your Body Unlike regular pharmaceuticals, which use an artificial means to achieve a proper balance in your body, herbal medications work with your body. This means that your body will find this equilibrium in a natural manner that is better for your overall health.

They Can Help with Mental Illness as Well If you think that herbal medications can only improve your physical health, then think again. These natural remedies have proven to be effective in helping mental illnesses such as depression, but of course you have to “differentiate the cause” first!

It’s Natural Duh! This may seem obvious, but a lot of times we put things in our body without even knowing what they are. I mean, does anyone actually know what gluten is? But if you are using herbal medications you are going to know exactly what you are putting in your body and there is a lot of comfort in that.

Use the Strong Stuff If Necessary If you decide to turn to herbal medication but the illness continues to persist, then it is totally okay to turn to pharmaceuticals. The herbal medicine movement is not against pharmaceuticals, it is against using them when there are more effective options. But sometimes a strong antibiotic is necessary and that is okay too.

So next time you aren’t feeling your best remember to differentiate the cause and discover some natural ways you can heal yourself.

Herbal medicine is not some hokey fad like the cabbage soup diet, it is a legitimate, researched way of healing and it could change the way you feel.

Why Quitting is Good For You

Society leads us to believe that happiness arises from sticking with something for a long time, plugging away at that project with passion and determination and above all, never quitting.

Quitting is seen a sign of weakness and we would rather go to extreme lengths sooner than admit that we have quit something.

In fact, many people work so long and hard on their projects that they forget what it was that inspired them initially. There is therefore major social stigma associated with quitting.

Another thing that stops us from quitting is the thought of how much time and effort we have put into our work. It seems like so much has gone into the project that it would be an awful waste to throw it all away. This is something known as the sunk costs fallacy. Sunk costs is a term used by economists to describe the time, effort, and money a person has invested into doing something. It can be very difficult to let go of this and announce to the world that you’ve quit.

But is quitting always bad for us?

Having established that quitting is accompanied by stigma and made even more difficult by curious quirks of our brains, let’s look at some people who, by almost any standards were doing well but ended up quitting and their reasons for doing so.

People who quit and loved it The year is 1999: Ali is a software programmer living in Texas. She earns $60,000 a year – especially impressive considering she is 25 years old. She can afford a decent car and place to live and sustain her love for shoes. It seemed like she had the perfect life.

So why on Earth did she quit her stable, well-paying job to become a high-end escort?

Ali says her job involved staring at a computer screen all day, which proved terrible for her sociable personality. In her own words, her choice was right for her at the time and her new job made her happy.

Three years prior, Robert Reich, United States Secretary of Labour had quit his job. His reason? To focus on his family. Pundits may claim that such reasons are usually code for tensions within organizations, but Robert knew his own truth. Robert realized that it was important to him that he did not miss the opportunity to spend time with his two sons before they went off to college. And so, he quit.

We have already talked about sunk costs, for example, Ali was spending her days at the computer screen. But there is a slightly different concept at work here – the idea of opportunity cost – the value of something that is given up to pursue any given activity. For Ali, her job was depriving her of social interaction, Robert wasn’t seeing his sons as often as he wanted to. Both Ali and Robert came to realize that the sacrifices they were making for their jobs were not worth it and made the choice to quit.

How do I know when to quit? But how do you know “when to quit and when to struggle” as Carsten Wrosch, psychology professor at Concordia University puts it. The appropriate course of action can be really elusive.

Eric Greitens, former United States Navy SEAL operative with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan might have some insight for us. As a recruit, Greitens went through something called “Hell Week” – a weeklong series of physical activities designed to push people to their limits. During this time, recruits are allowed fewer than five hours of sleep. Clearly, the Navy instructors are not looking for quitters.
So why were they actively encouraging recruits to quit and even promised hot coffee and donuts to those that did?
The reason was to eliminate the people who would quit later on at an earlier stage to prevent unhappiness further down the line. Indeed, the vast majority did quit, the demands of Hell Week are simply too great for most recruits.  The key here is the attainability of your goals. For most Navy hopefuls, the goal of becoming a fully fledged SEAL was simply unattainable.
Here then, is the first step to quitting well: identifying if the goals you have set for yourself are realistic and either modifying or changing them entirely if need be.

Following that comes the actual process of quitting, and this can be long and painful. According to Sudhir Venkatesh, sociology professor at Columbia University, it’s best to “rip the Band-Aid off quickly”. People who are able to act quickly once they decide to quit usually fare better than those who take longer. In fact, it is actually healthier when quitting to quit quickly and move on. Research conducted by Carsten Wrosch, psychology professor at Concordia University indicates that people who are better able to let go experience fewer depressive symptoms and fewer health problems over time.

While on the subject of quitting quickly and cleanly, we must refer to the master of quitting quickly, Steve Levitt. Steve is an economist at the University of Chicago and advocates for people to “fail quickly”. The professor claims that the “single most important explanation for how he managed to succeed in the field of economics was by being a quitter.” Steve says that if he were to have a hundred ideas he would be lucky if two or three turned into actual academic papers. This taught him to rapidly recognize unpromising ideas and pull the plug on them.

The process By now, we should be able to pick out and isolate the reasons why somebody would want to quit and the process they ought to follow. Quitters are not unsuccessful or weak people, in fact all the quitters cited in this article are highly successful individuals. Quitting has more in common with realistic goals than giving up. The following is an outline of the process to quitting well and finding greater satisfaction in life.

1. Ask yourself: Am I happy? 2. If not, what is it I’d rather be doing? 3. Identify what you’re missing out on (opportunity cost). 4. Stop doing your current activity. 5. Set realistic goals for your new activity. 6. Accept that it didn’t work out the previous time. 7. Move on – dive right into what you’ve always wanted to be doing.

Looking back, Ali says quitting was easy for her. Since then, she has found a companion and has left the escort industry – she’s quit once again when the couple decided they didn’t want prostitution in their joint life. In this, Ali embodies more than just a willingness and honesty to reassess herself and her goals, she also possesses the ability to rethink her plans on the go.

Quitting has the power to bring greater satisfaction and the freedom to align one’s activities in line with one’s interests. Having the flexibility to do it on a regular basis in line with shifting priorities will ensure you’re caught stuck doing something you don’t like.

9 Ways You’re Wasting Your Money

Do you ever find yourself wondering where all your hard earned money went?

It seems like the bills can’t wait to escape your wallet.

It’s tricky to identify and keep track of all the small things in our busy lives that slowly but surely thin out your billfold. Sometimes the purchases we make seem important, useful and even indispensable at the moment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Indeed our spending habits do all sorts of harm, from mild inconveniences, to real threats, to affecting our health and well-being. Luckily, it’s easy to put yourself on the path to health and wealth by identifying where you’re wasting money and how you can fix it.

1. Your house Let’s start with the big things that have a major impact on your life, such as your house. Your house, apartment, or condo is a major expense item in your budget and as such should be your number one priority when looking to save money.

So what is it you can do to save money on your home? Well, take a look at all the expenses that go into your home – your hydro and electricity bills. You can cut down on utilities by installing energy and water efficient appliances. There are major savings to be found here, in fact, the folks at Energy Star who certify appliances say that you can save up to 33% on your energy bill if you follow their recommendations.

2. Credit cards Chances are, your house is partially mortgaged and some of your purchases are done on loan. Credit cards can be very useful tools to buy the items you need but can very quickly accumulate interest.

The average American household owes some $15,270 in credit card debt. 39% of Americans carry debt forward from month to month. This can result in difficulties with paying for medical emergencies, unemployment cushion, and post-secondary fees for your kids, just to name a few. If you find you are often unable to make the entire monthly payment on your credit card, it might be a sign that you need to look at your expenses and make some changes to your habits.

3. Coffee Simply opting to buy one cup less can do wonders.

Don’t get me wrong, coffee tastes great and you need it to get yourself going in the morning, but that extra one you downed on break was most likely unnecessary. Cutting down on coffee will save you hundreds of dollars a year as well as reduce your risk of anxiety, restlessness, and depression, which are all side effects of caffeine.

4. Lunch As you move throughout the day, inevitably you will get hungry. You probably have a favourite restaurant you love to eat at. Although you can get a quick and easy lunch for as little at $10, this is good for neither your health nor your wallet.

Ten dollars a day works out to $2600 a year on lunch alone, not to mention that fast food is high in fats, calories and preservatives. You’re much better off preparing a homemade lunch to take with you. One nifty trick you can use is to refrigerate your leftovers from dinner and pack them for lunch the next day.

5. Bottled water Furthermore, you can buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up from the tap. A plastic bottle of water can cost $2 – that’s $520 a year. Without a reusable bottle and tap water, you’re definitely doing your wallet a disservice, not to mention the environment. Don’t worry – tap water is every bit as good as bottled water.

6. Warranties So you’ve probably been shopping for your new energy efficient appliances and eco-friendly water bottle. Hold right there! Are you pulling out your credit card to pay? If so, I hope you didn’t pay for the extended warranty on that new Whirlpool. Warranties are a great idea, especially when you are buying an expensive product that you expect to last a long time. However, according to a report by Consumer Reports, most products do not break within the time covered by the normal warranty. Therefore, it makes no sense to pay extra for coverage you’re not likely to ever need.

Some food for thought: the same report says retailers keep at least 50% of the extra fee they charge you for that warranty, so make sure to bargain around with the salespeople for a better deal.

7. Cable boxes By now you’re at home and reaching for the remote to catch up on the day’s news and your favourite TV shows. Let me guess, you have 700 channels available with the Verizon or Rogers premium cable box that sits on your set. Let me guess again, you’re also probably paying for it. Enjoy your channels, but know that as with warranties, cable boxes are something you can get for less if you haggle a little with your provider.

8. Taxes It’s that time of year again: time to do your taxes. And luckily, you have a bit more income to report this year thanks to all your nifty money saving tricks you’re using. But the problem with reporting more income is having to pay more taxes.

It’s very easy – look into the various refunds and deductions available from the IRS/CRA and see which ones you qualify for. It’s hardly possible for you to know the tax code inside out so there will most likely be a few that you missed and obviously were not informed about by the government.

9. Alcohol After a long and hard day doing your taxes, you decide to go out with a few friends – grab a few drinks, maybe smoke a cigarette or two if that’s your thing. After all, you can afford it now with all your savings piling up.

Not so fast! Wouldn’t it be pointless to have saved so much money only to blow it on drinks? As little at $50 a week on alcohol adds up to $2600 a year. It can be fun (and definitely tempting!) to drink and you should definitely be able to enjoy yourself without pinching every penny, but do keep in mind that reducing your alcohol consumption even a small amount will save you loads of money and provide innumerable health benefits such as reduced risk of heart, liver and kidney disease.

At the end of the day, if you need to buy something, go ahead and buy it. You cannot live your life filled with worry and guilt for every penny. In fact, this is likely to make you unhappy and frustrated. Instead, focus on small and achievable goals and before you know it, you’ll find yourself a master saver.