SQUEEZING BLOOD FROM STONE

August 29, 2016

In case anyone missed it, August 2016 has been a was a red letter month in archaeology. One muggy afternoon a couple of weeks ago I was coming home from work. The CBC afternoon show was on, and host Stephen Quinn interviewed Dr. April Nowell about her work in Jordan about her excavations in Jordan.

She recovered thousands of Paleolithic stone tools and subjected them to the rigours of residue analysis and discovered that people 250,000 years ago were using that site to butcher everything from ducks to rhinoceroses.  She determined this by looking at the residues on stone tools and finding traces of proteins – likely from blood. She used a protocol called immunochemistry to determine this.

At this point I pulled my car over so I could listen more intently from a parking spot I found along the Lougheed Highway in a no parking zone – a small price to pay in the furtherance of science .

It seems that back in the early ’70s I was involved in a similar pursuit with stone tools. I identified traces of blood, fat, pitch and amino acids from stone tools. These gave information on how and on what stone tools were used. My big interest was finding out how sites were used. I also wanted to find out whether  butchering was done on raw or cooked material. My preliminary findings got me the bum’s rush to graduate school. My committee there wanted more. They wanted me to take it to the species level, and the only way to do that was to do immunochemistry, which meant using animals, most likely rabbits. I read several protocols on research with animals, and learned that I would need to euthanize them after I get them to produce  the antibodies necessary to make an identification. One rabbit equals one animal species. I had hundreds of thousand bunnies occupying my dreams –more than I could eat in a lifetime. Actually, they had to be killed and incinerated after use.

So much for ethics. I couldn’t justify their forced demise in the interests of an armchair science.

From my illegal parking spot, and with a Mountie pulling up behind me, I screamed at the radio, “What animal did you use, April? What did you use, Dr Nowell?” Dr. Nowell is made of sturdier stuff that I. She used goats.

I told the Mountie I had engine trouble.

Finding residues on stone tools did have the effect of shaking up archaeological methodology. Back then, it was common practice for scientists to lick off their tools after they pull them from the ground. That stopped. Nobody wanted to be accused of contaminating artifacts.

A lot of scientists followed my lead as they were intent on warning people not to scar artifacts with their trowels while excavating. It ruins their microscopic analysis. It got to the point that archaeologists were buying  plastic shovels and buckets from beachside drugstores to safely extricate their artifacts.

A soon to be professor  Anthropology Department  at my old Alma Mater told me over a few pops in the student pub, “Why do you do yourself and everyone else a favour and leave the amino acids alone.

I suppose I did.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

 

CAREER ADVICE FROM AN ARCHAEOLOGIST TURNED EMPLOYMENT COUNSELLOR

July 17, 2016

I received an email the other day from a writer, comedian and speaker who thought she might do well in life by helping other people identify their dream jobs and helping them get there.

 

In other words, she was looking for a source of material. I basically told her that employment counselling is a great source for the following reasons:

  1. Everyone can relate to it
  2. When someone is unemployed, finding humour in the predicament can be useful and therapeutic, and probably shorten their job search time
  3. The process of getting a job is a process of learning how to tell a story (For example, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”)
  4. The process of getting a job involves public speaking (For example, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”)
  5. Work is funny.
  6. Employers are funny – especially when you nail their hard hats to the floor
  7. Co-workers can be a riot.

She went on to tell me that she had career assessments before and they always pointed towards her being a coach or a counsellor. Here’s how I answered her:

Hi There,

Thank you for your thought provoking question. The trouble with thought provoking questions is that you have to think to answer them. Therefore it took me a few days to answer yours.

I too have had career assessments before they somehow all lead me to thinking my best job would be a priest. That is exactly what an uncircumcised heathen such as me would climb a mountain to avoid.

I also avoid helping people by administering tests for them. I once had a group of older men with barriers to employment when I worked for a school board. I gave them at least 10 tests all aimed at helping them select some careers that would match them in several different directions. I suppose it was my own religiosity that confused the issue, but they all went out and did information interviews with undertakers.

For me, the best assessment is a resume. I can help a client establish where they’ve been, and help them get to where they want to go from  there. That, to me, is the essence of coaching. Then I spend the rest of my time with them either keeping them on track with their goals, or modifying the goals as we go along.

That’s also where the humour comes from. If you don’t believe me, follow my own career. I went from being an archaeologist to an employment guy. When I think about it, probably someone made a mistake when they opened the door and let me in. I rarely take holidays. I have a feeling that someone might change the locks on the doors when I’m gone.

Employment always involves stories. Some are funny and some are serious. I find, like you, that helping people find employment is an excellent source of humour. Everyone can relate to it. Everybody works if they can, and if they can’t, well that’s where I come in.

The problem is that there are a lot of people in the field. There are courses you can take to get into somebody’s program or other. Generally speaking, however, is that you have to learn how to do assessments whether you believe in them or not.

There are, however, other branch of the same thing, and the fields seems to be wide open. That means nobody is doing it. One of them came to my attention when I was working with a client who had diabetes. She took a general coaching course, became certified, then aimed her skills directly at people suffering from diabetes. She helped them stay on their meds, and got rich in the process.

Another one came to me as I was working with a policeman who had come to the end of his career and needed some help assessing his skills through constructing and embellishing a resume so he could work part time in his retirement. he now enjoys life in security.

I also keep running into older workers who want to get back into the labour market. Their big problem is explaining away long periods of unemployment. I train them to tell their interviewers, “Retirement didn’t work for me.”

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

 

 

FROM THE STREET TO THE COFFEE ROOM

July 10, 2016

A few years ago there was a crisis amongst all of the employment agencies in the Province. Some agencies lost their contracts, and some kept them. From my perspective, it was the luck of the draw. Many lost their positions. I was one of them. In the midst of all this, one person had the foresight to prepare for the worst.

She called me up one day to say that she had her resume schmooshed.

“What?” I asked.

“{ had it schmooshed,” She said, and went on to explain that she took out all the unnecessary information.  Employers these days don’t want to spend all their time reading. They want the bare essentials.”

I disagree with this, but I accepted her offer to send it to me along with her old ‘full figured’ resume. Here’s what happened when it came in. Everyone in my agency read it, and some even called her back to five her opinion of the old and new resumes.

Some people even sent her resume to other agencies. Before long, she had a new position because she demonstrated that she knew how to market. The new resume was irrelevant. The important part is that she found a way to get her resume(s) read and her name known.

When times are tough, it’s time to develop some creative strategies to get from the sidewalk to the coffee room, and from the coffee room to the boardroom.

I have a client who recently graduated with a degree in planning. She had some practicum experience from her academic programs, and she is trying to get her name known by volunteering at a couple of places that do planning and community engagement.

Unfortunately, all the jobs that are advertised demand five to seven years’ experience.

I have been working on the employment side of social work for about 25 years now, and I am ready to share a few things that I’ve learned along the way. The most important of these tidbits is the Law of Speculative Employment

This law is made up of three sub laws: 1) You have a right to apply for anything you want to. 2) The worst that can happen is your application gets filed in recycling. 3) If you ask for money, you usually get advice. If you ask for advice, sometimes you get money.

At some point in my career I asked for a position as an employment counsellor. I spent most of my life as an archaeologist digging holes in the ground. Someone saw my potential, and someone probably made a mistake. (Actually the person who hired me had a degree in archaeology as well. The point is, if I hadn’t applied I’d still be digging ditches.

Every time you put in an application, you risk getting the job. If you don’t get it, try again. If you do get it, try to live up to the expectations you propounded in your interview.

Finally, after the interview, write a thank you note. Tell them that you hope you answered their questions to their satisfaction, but also, if their busy, make an offer to do some contract work for them. After all, you’re an archaeologist. You can do anything. You can even ask if know of any other positions in the field

WRITING A SPECULATIVE COVER LETTER:

It the job requirements want five years and you have less than that, try our hand at writing a speculative cover letter. All you need to do is change the first sentence:

“In response to your recent advertisement for a planner, I submit mu resume. I would like to be considered a qualified applicant for the position.”

Becomes:

“On speculation that there may soon be an opening for a junior planner at your agency, I submit my resume. I would like to be considered a qualified applicant for the position.”

 

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

 

HOW TO CHEAT AT JOB INTERVIEWS

June 21, 2016

I wrote this piece a few years ago, but people have been asking for an updated version ever since. It stands  the test of time. If you can cheat at your interview, you will likely get the job

“I’m not going to lie during my interview just so you can look good,” my clients say.

“I didn’t say ‘lie,’”  I say. “I said ‘cheat.’  There’s a big difference.“

To clear up any misconceptions, I am republishing an old article on cheating on your interview.

One of my clients had an interview scheduled on Monday. I asked her what kind of help she thought she might need to come out a winner and get the job. “I don’t know,” she said. “I know all the questions and all the answers you gave me on the Monster.ca website, and I’ve had a few interviews – but no success.” (She was referring to http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions  – a particularly good resource.

“Who are you when you have an interview?” I asked.

“What  do you mean, ‘Who am I’” she echoed. “I’m me, that’s who.”

“Maybe you should think of being someone else, “ I said. “Maybe you could think of someone you admire and would do a good job on an interview, then answer the questions the way that person would.”

“You mean a role model?”  she asked.

“Exactly,” I said, and I went on to give a couple of examples.

The first one harkens back from my days as an archaeologist. One of my colleagues was planning to go into the field that week to do some survey work for a couple of engineering companies. He needed a loan to get the project off the ground, and I was asked to co-sign.  He and the banker met first, and within five minutes the floor began to rumble and shake.

“Why don’t you just stomp on my nuts while you’re at it?” my friend roared. I heard that he was charging him 3 extra points above the last time. He got the loan, paid the extra, and the banker told me I should get my friend to , “Keep his nose to the grindstone.”

My friend is the role model I used for an interview.  I had good off season. I gave two papers at two conferences and a demonstration at a meeting. I thought that I was in the governmental good books as I barged into the provincial archaeologist’s office, sat in his guest’s  chair, put my feet on his desk, and said,  “Well, you old squid-faced son of a bitch, how are you doin’?” He took a couple of draws off his pipe and said, “Get your feet off my desk.”

I couldn’t get a job for a month. (Although to my favour, the fellow was nicknamed “The Squid.” That moniker stuck with him for the rest of his career.

The second example comes some years later from my career as an employment counsellor working for the Vancouver School Board. I always had a suspicion about the belief that marijuana was a harmless drug. I noted that amongst my younger clients there was a high incidence of spousal abuse, and I believed that resulted from smoking dope. It wasn’t from the ‘high’ so much as the irritability from being ‘down.”

I dragged in a drug and alcohol counsellor from one of the drug abuse teams to speak to my team about a pot abuser’s group he was working with.

There was something professional about this person. He was working on a program that went against the grain of pot experts, and he seemed to be doing a good job, but the important thing was he was pretty good at getting jobs for me. The best part about my relationship with him was that he never knew that he was my role model.

Choose your role models wisely.

 

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

 

THE ZEN OF DISHWASHING

May 15, 2016

The other day a new client came to me and said he wanted a job as a dishwasher. He handed me his resume and I noted that he had two college degrees and worked for a while as an architect. As I read the educational part, he began to speak.

“When are you going to tell me to ‘get back to the drawing board,’” He asked.

I told him I wasn’t. “I don’t think I have a funny enough sense of humour to spot a line like that,” I told him. “It’s a good line though, and I wish I’d said it.”

“Thanks,” He said.

“I am looking for some dishwashing experience on this.”

“I didn’t put it on.” He said. “I’m supposed to be an architect, but the last gig I had doing that was so stressful I ended up in the hospital. I look back with fondness at my university days where I washed plenty of dishes to work my way to the degree. I had a really good time washing dishes, and I think it will help me get on my feet again emotionally. It will help my mood. It will give me a chance to reclaim the workplace camaraderie I used to experience.”

“Maybe we should restructure your resume to include dishwashing.”  I said.

“How do we hide architecture.”

“The same way you hid dishwashing,” I said. “Tell me what is so great about dishwashing.”

He went on to explain that first of all, he is always moving on the  job. Me moves from the trays to the sink to the dishwasher to the cupboards where the clean dishes are stored. There is always action.

He told me that he really felt like he was part of a team while dishwashing. He felt he was an integral part of the kitchen from the chef to the server. He also said that most of the time his work was appreciated. Sometimes, when he was caught up, he even helped the prep cook.

Then there is the actual dishwashing. He felt he was actually part of a creative process. He took dirty plates, cups and utensils and transformed them transforming them into things that you could actually eat and drink from. He told me he could see value in his work.

He told me that there was actually an element of relaxation in dishwashing. Between moving dirty and clean dishes from one station to another, there was a station the he owned. A hot steamy sink. “There is something totally relaxing about soaking your hands in hot soapy water.” He said.

“It sounds like you really like dishwashing,” I said.

“Too bad I had to ruin my life with that professional credential.”

I told him that we should try something a little different. I suggested that we make a profile that would make him a dishwashing expert while retaining his credential that nobody would ever question because his strength as a dishwasher would be overpowering. We need to compose a profile that would raise his skills and abilities as a dishwasher to the ethereal level. How about this. We start with a title

●       Cosmic Dishwasher       ●

PROFILE:

A career dishwasher with years of experience in a variety of kitchens and in many restaurants. Energetic and appreciates the opportunity to complete large volumes of work done quickly. Work well independently, but also possess the communication skills necessary to be an effective team member – often assuming a leadership role. Stimulated by hot soapy water and have an ability to turn the jobsite into a cosmic shrine dedicated to craftsmanship and pride

 

What chef could resist a resume opening like that?

 

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

ACE YOUR INTERVIEW LIKE A PORN STAR

May 8, 2016

Every Saturday morning, after teaching my fitness class at West Point Grey, I listen to a radio show called “The Age of Persuasion” (http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/index.html.)  presented by Terry O’Reilly. The show popularizes advertising and marketing and branding. Last week the show was all about personal branding. Eventually the topic of resumes came up and, being a professional resume writer, I listened intently. I agreed with everything that was said, and I might actually incorporate photos on resumes as the show suggested.

“That,” I thought, “Would be an excellent way to write off the hot camera I bought last year.”

My problem is one of marketing. Summer is traditionally a bad time of year for resumes. People drift off into holiday mode, and network at barbecues without the benefit of an updated resume.

This week’s show was all about pornography, and how the regular porn sites are losing money because most of the porn is available for free on all the Youtube sites. It turns out they are hungry for advertisers. They also boast large audiences with 60 million viewers per day.

If I could persuade 1% of that market that they need to make significant changes in their lives and get jobs, I could hire and train 10 writers to do my spin doctoring for me, plus have enough money left over to mend the damage to my personal brand that would happen if I join all the fast food marketers that lurk there for clients. So be it!

This could be you!

That would be my first ad on the porn site. If you had a job, you could afford to go out on dates and stop living vicariously through the adventures of other on the Internet. Let us help you organize your life and develop your brand.

What are you doing with your life?

This ad will use guilt to motivate people to participate in life rather than sitting back with your mouse in your hand clicking on the “enlarge screen” button to see who is coming up next and imagining what they are about to do for you.

Ace your interview like a porn star

Most of my clients aren’t porn stars, and it would be hard to pull off being one at an interview without making an employer nervous. That would be akin to lying at your interview. Never lie on your interview. It’s better to cheat at your interview. To show the difference,   and by request, I am republishing an old article on cheating on your interview:

One of my clients had an interview scheduled on Monday. I asked her what kind of help she thought she might need to come out a winner and get the job. “I don’t know,” she said. “I know all the questions and all the answers you gave me on the Monster.ca website, and I’ve had a few interviews – but no success.” (She was referring to http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions  – a particularly good resource.

“Who are you when you have an interview?” I asked.

“What  do you mean, ‘Who am I’” she echoed. “I’m me, that’s who.”

“Maybe you should think of being someone else, “ I said. “Maybe you could think of someone you admire and would do a good job on an interview, then answer the questions the way that person would.”

“You mean a role model?”  she asked.

“Exactly,” I said, and I went on to give a couple of examples.

The first one harkens back from my days as an archaeologist. One of my colleagues was planning to go into the field that week to do some survey work for a couple of engineering companies. He needed a loan to get the project off the ground, and I was asked to co-sign.  He and the banker met first, and within five minutes the floor began to rumble and shake.

“Why don’t you just stomp on my nuts while you’re at it?” my friend roared. I heard that he was charging him 3 extra points above the last time. He got the loan, paid the extra, and the banker told me I should get my friend to , “Keep his nose to the grindstone.”

My friend is the role model I used for an interview.  I had good off season. I gave two papers at two conferences and a demonstration at a meeting. I thought that I was in the governmental good books as I barged into the provincial archaeologist’s office, sat in his guest’s  chair, put my feet on his desk, and said,  “Well, you old squid-faced son of a bitch, how are you doin’?” He took a couple of draws off his pipe and said, “Get your feet off my desk.”

I couldn’t get a job for a month. (Although to my favour, the fellow was nicknamed “The Squid.” That moniker stuck with him for the rest of his career.

The second example comes some years later from my career as an employment counsellor working for the Vancouver School Board. I always had a suspicion about the belief that marijuana was a harmless drug. I noted that amongst my younger clients there was a high incidence of spousal abuse, and I believed that resulted from smoking dope. It wasn’t from the ‘high’ so much as the irritability from being ‘down.”

I dragged in a drug and alcohol counsellor from one of the drug abuse teams to speak to my team about a pot abuser’s group he was working with.

There was something professional about this person. He was working on a program that went against the grain of pot experts, and he seemed to be doing a good job, but the important thing was he was pretty good at getting jobs for me. The best part about my relationship with him was that he never knew that he was my role model.

Choose your role models wisely. It is entirely possible that you have a better person than a porn star – depending on the job description.

I’m suddenly having second thoughts about advertising on porn sites. I doubt that the costs of advertising would be as cheap for me as it would for a fashion or take-out food company. I would be diminishing their viewership as, rather than watching porn, they would be working 9:00 – 5:00

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates

SCREW WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY, ANSWER THE QUESTION

April 11, 2016

Sometimes, along with ,“Tell me a little bit about yourself,” and “What is your greatest weakness?” and, of course, “Why should I hire you?” the question of salary expectations comes up in job interviews. That means you are expected to come up with an hourly, monthly or annual salary that you would expect an employer to pay you should you be hired.

Many employment specialists suggest that this is a question that shouldn’t be discussed at an interview. One (Monster.ca) suggests turning the question around by asking why they would want that information. I would consider this to be an interview ender. Some sites and counsellors say that the interview is not an appropriate place to discuss salary. I would counter that the interview is the perfect place to discuss salary expectations, as it could bring on other discussions such as:

  • Benefits
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Stability of funding
  • Sources of funding
  • Ranges of salaries and benefits that can be compared with salaries and benefits offered by other companies

I suspect that you are already thinking that I am going to suggest that it would be important to open these discussions at the interview. That is correct. In fact, I would suggest putting it on the agenda of questions – possibly one of the questions under the general question, “Do you have any questions about us?

But this is a sensitive offer. The same emotions that come into play when asked the question, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” You simply don’t like talking about yourself. You are being asked to put a value on your work, comparing your work with others, and doing something your mother always told you not to do – brag.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Do a little research

Hit the Internet and find out what other companies offer for the same positions. You might find this information on postings from other companies. Use salary surveys that are sometimes available from government websites in your area. Use all of this information to generate a range of salaries that you can bring with you to the interview.

  1. Consider benefits

Many applicants forget the value of benefits in their negotiations. Depending on the nature and generosity of the benefits, a $20 per hour job may actually be a $27per hour after all the math is done. Of course, if the benefits aren’t so generous, the bottom line could be considerably less.

  1. Opportunities

Since they brought up the question about salary expectations in the first place, the door remains open to discuss the frequency of raises, and whether there might be opportunities for career development, a budget for workshops and also whether opportunities for advancement exist.

Here are a few statement you can use to enhance your sales pitch for yourself

  • At my last positon, I was earning $22 per hour. I would thing that, given my experience, I should be able to achieve $25 per hour
  • I have been researching similar positions, and learned that the annual salary range for similar and identical positions range  from $45,000 – 50,000 per annum. I would hope that your offer would fall within that range
  • I am a recent graduate, so I don’t have a lot of experience other than practicum and coop experience, but I also have a lot of enthusiasm and a real desire to put what I have learned into practice. As a result, I believe I am worth between $25 and $30 per hour.
  • I noticed that you offer an extended medical plan. My spouse has the same plan with probably better coverage. Since I don’t actually need this as part of my benefits package, could I take that off and, instead, ask for a 5% increase in my salary offer?

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

 

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR PROFILE

January 10, 2016

Shortly after all the revelry on New Year’s Eve, I was stopped on Kingsway by the police.

“Have you been drinking?” the cop asked.

“No.” I said.

“Prove it.” He said.

I was thinking that he had all the equipment at his disposal. He had the breathalyser, and if I failed that he could shoot me or zap me with a tazer.

But he wanted to gather his evidence in another way – one that I never heard before. “Tell me a joke,: he said. “ … And make it a good one too.”

“It was 1973,” I started. “It was back when I was a world-famous archaeologist. I was driving the University of BC Department of Archaeology truck through the streets of Vancouver. I was near the intersection of Main Street and Terminal Avenue with a small crew, and we were off to investigate a party at a Simon Fraser University – a rival university on the other side of Greater Vancouver.

I saw a flashing red light in the mirror so I pulled over. As I rolled down the window, a uniformed cop said, “If tou don’t think I’m going to give you a ticket for driving 35 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone, you’ve got rocks in your head as well as that truck.”

Apparently the joke was good enough to make the New Year’s cop’s day. “Not bad,” he said as he walked back to his cruiser.

I wondered what made him think I would be able pull off a good joke. He didn’t have a copy of my resume, and I don’t think that my resume would have anything about being funny on my resume. That would be a horrible place to put something like that. If I was looking for a job, an interviewer might be tempted to ask for an example of a joke. There is, however, some mention of me being a “Fitness Humourist for Alive Magazine.  That would been that he would have to get my name from my licence plate, Google my name to produce either this blog or my Linked In profile, and deduce that I might offer a moment of rib-tickling  January 1st entertainment.

It’s a good thing I didn’t have how sexy I am on my profile.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

WHERE TO BEGIN WHEN THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING IS GONE

December 21, 2015

This morning, as usual, I started my 9:15 Step Class on time. I tied my shoes, slipped in the CD that has “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” on it because I planned to use a contraindicated move, fired it up and began the precautions and warm-up. About three minutes into the warm-up, a new person came in. She carried two steps with her. It looked like she was about to stack one over the other and proceed to break her ankles.

Over the years, I have developed a form of non-verbal communication or ESP that seems to work well in my fitness classes. I learned that if I raised both eyebrows and bite my fingernails it signals the class. “There’s a woman in the class who is intent on breaking her ankles.” The signal says. “I’m a little busy right now. Can someone help her.”

Within seconds, a participant corrected most of her mistakes. I could teach her how to make the rest of the mistakes once the class was underway.

It is hard to please thirty participants when you grind a class to a halt and start app over again. Sometimes you need to develop delegation skills. People are helpful. When offered the opportunity to help by a nail-biting instructor, They can be helpful without being know-it-alls.

This sort of thing happens all the time in job search. Last week, a client told me who was raising his eyebrow and biting his nails told me, “I put out three resumes last week and nobody called.”

“What, “ I said. “You only put out three resumes in a week? No wonder nobody called. We’d better put out another.”

Five minutes after we pressed ‘send,’ he had a call on his cell.

“Answer it.” I said.

“But we’ll interrupt the meeting”

“It might be a job,” I said. “You don’t want to miss out.”

It was a job. It was the last one we applied to. Now if I can just get him to say yes to an offer, I could close his file.

Here are some other things job seekers can do after they’ve begun to improve those chances of getting a call.

  • Go to job fairs and be seen by employers hob-knobbing with other job seekers. “Wow,” they’ll think. “What a team player. We need players. Why won’t she come to chat with me.
  • Join social networking sites such as linked in so people can see your profile.
  • Join groups that cater to your interests or career aspirations, and make comments, ask and answer questions, and ask for job hunting advice. I learned long ago that if you ask for money, or a job, you get advice. If you ask for advice, you get money and jobs.
  • Practice your writing skills and write articles for your groups. I’m not the only one who is licensed to dangle participles.

Finally, although it may seem out of place to say so, try to have fun on your job search. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, discuss new ideas, and to stay updated on what others are doing in your field. You might even find someone that can teach fitness with ESP

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

LAUGHTER: A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE TO MINDFULNESS

December 7, 2015

The other day I was asked to get ready to do a presentation on something that might be helpful to members of my Rehabilitation and Recovery team at Fraser Health. My team is a large one covering regions from Burnaby to Boston Bar and incorporates Recreation Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Managers Support workers, Concurrent Disorder Therapists, Family Workers   and Vocational Therapists such as yours truly.

The presentation should be helpful to the everyday work of my co-workers, and should inform the work that we do with our clients.

Tall order, eh?

In previous years, I experienced lots of workshops on something called mindfulness. Mindfulness is part meditation and part group gided imagry. It is a method of getting in touch with one’ self, and hopefully remain relaxed while dealing with clients.

To me, mindfulness provides an opportunity for a nice group nap. My problem is my fearfulness of disturbing the ambiance of the room by snoring. A good rumbling shoring session calls my competence into question, and my mindfulness nap is hardly restful. I have never achieved REM sleep in a mindfulness session.

I wondered wqhether I could find an opposite of mindfulness, and if I could, could it inform my team’s work?

About 4 years ago I was asked to write a story on Laughter Yoga for Alive Magazine. I did, and they paid me $500 for it. The joke was on them, as it was altogether too much fun to do. Here’s an example of Laughter Yoga:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR-QM7RA-4c

I know it seems a little cornball, but here are some benefits of laughter I uncovered in my article:

  • Laughter increases the diameter of blood vessels thus lowering blood pressure (Science Daly, August 28, 2011)
  • Lowering in systolic blood pressure (Robson, 2011)
  • Lowering of cholesterol (Robson, 2011)
  • It may have a positive effect on psyche making us sexier as people respond well to humour (Ayan, 2009)
  • Laughter is relaxing and may ease anxiety and pain (Ayan, 2009)
  • Cheerfulness, a trait that makes people respond more readily to humor (Ayan, 2009)
  • Laughter may enhance the ability to keep a level head in difficult circumstances (Ayan 2009)
  • Life satisfaction may increase with the ability to laugh.
  • Positive effect on arthritis, (Gerloff, 2011) cancer, (Gazella, 2011) and a substitute for chemically induced highs in addictions (Bourg Carter, 2011)

Here are some benefits of Yoga:

After Pizer 2011

  • Improved flexibility in the hamstrings back, shoulders and hips
  • Improved strength from slowly transferring poses
  • Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.
  • Improved flexibility, body alignment and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain.
  • Focus on breathing through yoga leads to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body
  • Mental calmness
  • Stress reduction
  • Body awareness
  • More recently:
  • It was shown to have a positive effect on people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (Science Daily. May 26,2011)
  • It can be beneficial in low back pain (Science Daily, October 24, 2011)
  • It can improve mood (Science Daily, August 19, 2011)

References:

Ayan, Steve, 2009) “How Humor Makes You Friendlier, Sexier“ Scientific American

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=laughing-matters

Bourg Carter, Sherrie (2011). “Want to Get High? LOL: The Natural High of Laughter.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201111/want-get-high-lol

Gerloff, Pamela (September 2011) “ Are You Meeting Your Laugh Quota? Why You Should Laugh Like a 5-Year-Old“Psychology Today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-possibility-paradigm/201106/are-you-meeting-your-laugh-quota-why-you-should-laugh-5-year-ol

Gazella, Karolyn (September 2011) “Rewire Your Happiness Circuitry: How Joy and Laughter      Can Help You Prevent Cancer“  Psychology Today.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-healing-factor/201109/rewire-your-happiness-circuitry-how-joy-and-laughter-can-help-you-pre

 

Pizer, Ann, (2011) “What are the benefits of Yoga?” About.com. http://yoga.about.com/od/beginningyoga/a/benefits.htm

Robson, David (July 21, 2010) “Laughter’s secrets: The best medicine?“ New Scientist

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727691.700-laughters-secrets-the-best-medicine.html

 

Science Daily (May 26, 2011) “Siginificant Benefits of Yoga in People With Rheumatoid     Arthritis, Study Shows” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526064641.htm

Science Daily (August 19, 2011) “New Study Finds New Connection Between Yoga and Moodhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819112124.htm

Science Daily (October 24, 2011) “Yoga Eases Back Pain in Largest U.S. Yoga Study to Date

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024164708.htm

 

Science Daily (August 28, 2011) “Laughter Has Positive Impact On Vascular Function,”  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110828101806.htm

 

The participants of a weight room interval/weight training  Fitness class I teach at West Point Grey Community Center have demanded that I include a Last Laugh thing right after (or now part of) my final streatches. I call it “The Last Laugh.

Do you think we could design a show based on this. Heck, the first 20 minutes have already been done.

This could be followed by a discussion. Has anyone tried to incorporate humour in their practice? What has been the result?

How can humour be introduced to the client ?

  • Open ended of questions
  • Listening and watching responses

What are some pitfalls of using humour as part of therapy

  • Clients might miss the point
  • Humour may be viewed as sexual harassment in this world of poli speak
  • Clients might internalize humour and say that they were the brunt of it
  • Humour has to be tied in to the goal of the session (Example, how to cheat at your interview)

I can envision this taling us yo to the first break in the morning. I now realize that I would even pay money to attend a workshop like this. I would love to see the expression on my managers’ faces as a group of professional bum their way across the floor as a team of rowers as seen in the above example.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.