The key question is: what do you want to be remembered for?

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Recently, I was organizing some of my old files and I found an assignment I submitted in my Leadership course of my MBA in 2003. The premise of the assignment was,

By visualizing life from a future vantage point, we’re able to think about what we really want to do, establish ‘big picture’ goals, and plan how to achieve them. My essay at the time was rather vague, so I didn’t get the full marks. …

For any small help you give, your rewards will multiply

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Photo collage by Author. All photos are part of the UnstoppableMe library, taken by our volunteers.

From January 2018 to December 2020, I volunteered as the President of a nonprofit organization called, based in Toronto, Canada. My volunteer work with this organization started in October 2016, when I put together a Group Mentoring Program for immigrant professionals in collaboration with JVS Toronto.

My role evolved greatly in 2017 as I got involved in multiple activities with other volunteers to expand the organization. At the end of 2017, the Founder asked me if I wanted to be the next President. Like a lot of things in life, I saw a unique, strategic opportunity and said, “why not?” …

My best tips as a veteran Human Resources Professional with global expertise.

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Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

As a Certified Human Resources Professional with global experience in talent management, I’ve had the chance to interview multiple people from a wide variety of backgrounds throughout my career. I also interviewed with many companies when I was searching for a job in Toronto.

I leverage this knowledge and experience to deliver live workshops about the topic and coach job seekers one-on-one on how to excel in their job interviews.

In this article, I’ll share three big secrets that you can use to stand out in your next interview.

1. Link your past examples to the company’s needs

Too many people take time to reflect on their skills, capabilities, and value proposition before the interview, but forget to link those to the role, the company, or the industry.

I have seen too many candidates telling me wonderful stories in the format of a STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) that were not relevant to the job. …

Both HR and candidates can find better approaches to achieve their goals

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Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

I thought of writing this article after I made a comment on Elaine Mead’s article, 5 Ridiculous ‘Requirements’ I Wish Employers Would Drop From Job Ads. This brief comment garnered over 200 claps, meaning it resonated with many frustrated job seekers out there:

I absolutely agree with everything you wrote! I studied Human Resources in Canada and have been working in the profession for 8 years now. Prior to living here, I used to live and work in Japan, where the hiring & selection are done very differently.

In North America, I find that the recruitment process is tremendously restrictive and narrow minded. Tons of well-qualified candidates are rejected because they don’t meet 100% requirements (they only meet 95%!) Then, companies complain because “there is a shortage of talent” — gosh! …

Crises give us chances to creatively find new opportunities.

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I’ve been hearing from many people in my network about their layoffs and discouraging experiences when applying to jobs. That’s when I decided to look for original (and professional) ways to stand out and find job leads, temporary work, and new connections.

If you are primarily applying to online ads, you’re doing the same as thousands of other job seekers out there.

Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, understanding how this applies within different cultural contexts can help you navigate and adapt to changing modes in life and work.

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Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

My entire life, I’ve heard advice to speak up more. I was often mistaken as a shy, insecure person because I take time to process information and would not give an opinion unless I’m certain it makes sense for others.

Extroverted people would say that I should come out of my head and stop over-analyzing. …

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

I truly believe in the power of networking to find opportunities, acquire knowledge, and have a better vision for my career. In particular, informational interviews are an important form of business networking that should be part of every professional’s long-term strategy.

One thing I should note here is that I’m writing from the perspective of a professional in North America. If you’re located in other parts of the world, you may not have even heard about informational interviews. …

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Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Aside from the enormous number of victims that COVID-19 has unfortunately produced over the past months, we are witnessing a significant impact on people’s careers all around the globe. In almost all imaginable sectors, employees have been furloughed or laid off, and companies have put hiring on hold. The “survivors” are anxious about keeping the jobs they still have.

Before the disruption, perhaps many people had believed, consciously or unconsciously, that their jobs were safe and stable. Nobody had imagined that things will change so drastically in a matter of weeks.

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I had written this article with the title Things You Can Control as a Job Seeker for a blog some years ago. Since that website has been dismantled, I’ve decided to give it a “new life” in the midst of this global crisis.

Although some things are particular to our current situation dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, I have discovered that most of the job search advice remains applicable regardless of your circumstances.

1. Recognizing your feelings is the first step

As a job seeker at any point in time, you face a lot of uncertainty and a mix of emotions, mostly negative, such as anxiety and fear. In the middle of a global economic recession, or a pandemic where the whole world appears to have stopped, those feelings might exacerbate. …

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fauxels for Pexels free images

I have written two articles for immigrants, one about volunteering to get acquainted with the Canadian culture, and another one about attitudes and behaviours during the job search. Today I want to address the other side of the table: what can hiring managers and HR professionals do to help highly-skilled immigrants to get hired and thrive in their professions in Canada?

Displaying effective soft skills is fundamental for success in Canada, and we talk so much about newcomers needing to polish them, but I’d also like to look at the attitudes, behaviours and work practices of employers. …


Liliana Nakamura

HR Project Manager with experience living and working in Argentina, Japan and Canada. Life-long learner, world traveler, writer, coach and avid networker.

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