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Posts Tagged ‘internet’

You and Your Workplace

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog, Television Appearances

“On Demand” Work

ganzondemandThis is the way the workplace is moving. It has huge advantages to both workers and employers. Employers don’t have to maintain a workforce when times are slow, but they will want to hire only quality workers, as Tyler Waye says; employers only want employees who can be engaged and contribute to the culture of their workforce. They will also need to be realistic about paying well if they want to keep good producers available for their work. Wendy Giuffre says, the contract workforce is needed and very important, but they are typically also the first to go when times get tough. For these instances, contractors need to be prepared for the ebbs and flows, workload, and money. Workers can think of themselves as consultants who come in and focus on a project and then have time off. They can have more flexibility as well as autonomy/control over their time. They just have to manage their cash-flow variable and deal with the emotions around uncertainty of workflow (i.e. anxiety, fear, etc.) and ebbs and flows. I also think that technology makes it that much easier (for certain tasks) to work from different locations instead of having to physically be in the same spot for work every day. So success on both sides depends on seeing this trend in a positive light and figuring out what the ondemandemployeesopportunity is versus holding on to old patterns of workplace/worker—there is no winner or loser. This topic is a societal conversation because employer and employee need to consider what they owe each other.


Anyone in the professional world should be on LinkedIn—it is one of the first places employers will look to learn about you in order to decide whether or not they want to hire a person with your personality, says Giuffre. As with everything that you put online, understand that everyone has access to it. My philosophy is that I don’t put anything out there that I don’t feel comfortable owning or can’t back up. Everything online contributes to the representation of your story and context of who you are. In Waye’s words, you want to “post the truth…with a storyline”, so think about how you want to be represented. People also respond very well to authenticity (virtually and in the real world), so be your true self and don’t try to be something you’re not, or present yourself as perfect. We tend to see through that sort of thing and it can hurt your chances of connecting with the right employer. Skills can be taught and learned, but the same cannot necessarily be said about personality. In general, it’s good to remember that employers are also looking at all your other social media (or anything else that’s public) to get a sense of whom you are and if you’ll be a good fit. smyourcareer

Bad Boss

Bad bosses are the number one predictor of workplace injury. Your interaction with your superiors affects both your health and your performance. This can also bleed over into your other relationships as well. One study found that over 25% of people surveyed had experienced workplace bullying or a difficult relationship with their superior, and another 21% knew someone who had gone through this (US numbers). Of those who had experienced bullying, 80% of victims surveyed said they had debilitating anxiety, 49% had clinical depression, 30% had PTSD, and 29% had contemplated suicide. Clearly this is a huge issue. It also costs the employer in productivity, turnover, and low morale. If a boss crosses the line or abuse you in any way, go to HR—period. But if it is not to that extent, the way to deal with this is to first try to discuss concerns with your boss—have HR as plan B. You definitely don’t deserve to be bullied. Alberta Labour Standards is a good resource where workers can learn about their rights. You can always keep getting out as an idea, as well. The big thing is to stay calm and address things early—before you get so stressed that you react badly and make the situation worse. You can start looking for new jobs in or out of the organization, but you do not want the finger to be pointed back at you. Things like water cooler-talk and nasty emails will point the finger back at you, says Waye.

Here are some more things you should definitely not do:confrontboss

  • Don’t go head-to-head with your boss in defiance of your boss’ directives and goals.
  • Don’t go over the boss’ head to their supervisor or HR before talking to them directly.
  • Don’t speak negatively about your boss to colleagues.
  • Don’t post criticisms in emails or on social media.
  • Don’t keep complaining about the same problems to your boss.
  • Don’t give the boss vague feedback that emphasizes your dissatisfaction with their leadership skills.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that your job is to do what you were hired to do and to make the lives of your superiors easier (thus easier on you too)—for this, you get paid. If this arrangement is not satisfactory for you, then definitely look around. Stand up for your rights to be treated with respect, but also realize that your current job may not be the right situation for you. Remember that your biggest asset is you and your well-being—not the job.

Health, Love, Happiness, Success

Dr. Ganz Ferrance

Giving Your Kids a Real Advantage in a Virtual World (Part 2)

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog

Click the picture to watch the segment

Raising children is this technologically absorbed world isn’t easy. Electronic gadgets can just as easily work for us as parents as they can work against us. Where is the balance? It can be a fine line between useful interface and total obsession. We have all witnessed poor behaviour surrounding the use of technology by both children and adults. Texting at inappropriate times and video game addiction are just two of the many issues we face with technology. As a parent and an owner of a Smartphone I have faced the technology struggle many times. Fortunately, I have also learned a few ways to better handle these issues through those struggles. Here are the remainder of the tips I shared on CTV Edmonton on May 7 during the second segment of Giving Your Kids a Real Advantage in a Virtual World:

  1. Real People Trump Virtual People: A friend told me a story about going to airport security for some help. The young person at the desk made her wait until they were finished watching a YouTube video. I’m sure we have all experienced this type of situation at one time or another. Someone talking on their phone while you’re waiting to speak with them, forcing you to wait while they finish their tweet, and so on. We are more broadly connected than ever in human history but we are also less deeply connected. The more accessible and “cooler” the tech, the more individuals with good social skills will rule. Teaching your kids to develop and practice connecting with real people and treating them with value will give them the advantage of opportunity because others will flock to them to establish genuine relationships with them.
  2. Allow Your Kids to be Bored: Try to use the electronic babysitter as sparingly as possible. The word “I’m bored” may send shivers down your spine but it is good for your kids to have the opportunity to use their imaginations. Of course, this may mean taking a break from your daily activities to give them some examples or help get them started but, it will be worth it in the long run. Using their brain will help them to expand their thought processes and imagination by giving them the chance to practice creativity. Eventually this will help them to feel competent in looking after their own needs and build their self-confidence.
  3. Set “Office Hours”: Being “On-Call” 24 hours a day can be overwhelming and stressful. The reality of being available all the time is a definite drawback to being connected online. Our kids don’t know any different so, given the opportunity, they will allow themselves to be distracted continually and this can very easily lead to technology burnout. Teach them to take charge of their time by establishing hours when they can be connected. Outside of those hours they should be completely offline. This may take some training, not just for them but others around them as well. Learning this early is a huge advantage as it will help them to focus on other aspects of their lives while still connecting with friends when they have time. The benefits to this is their focus will be better as they become more efficient with their time while reducing their risk of anxiety, depression and burnout now and in the future.
  4. Use the “Newspaper Test”: If you wouldn’t go to dinner with someone and pull out your newspaper at different times then you shouldn’t be taking out your technology at those times either. Would you pull out your newspaper at your kid’s hockey game? Would you walk on the sidewalk or drive your car reading the newspaper? If you were studying or working on a project for work, would you periodically pick up the newspaper and read it? Of course not. It seems ridiculous to ask these questions and make this comparison. However, even though your device is smaller and less noticeable, it still has the same effect on the people around you, your body and brain, as well as your productivity. Apply this simple test to help gauge when the use of technology is appropriate.

Use these tips yourself and teach them to your kids so they can have a Real Advantage in a Virtual World.

Giving Your Kids a Real Advantage in a Virtual World

Written by Ganz Ferrance on . Posted in Blog


cyberkidsMany parents can sometimes feel overwhelmed and frustrated by their kids fascination with today’s technology. I hear stories all the time about kids addicted to video games and spending too much time on the Internet or texting. With more and more technology being more and more accessible our culture is still figuring out how to use these tools in a balanced and effective way. With technology there are advantages when used appropriately and disadvantages (in terms of brain development and social skills) when limits aren’t set. The people that figure this out the fastest will have a big advantage over everyone else. Here are some tips to help you do just that for your kids:
1. Establish “black out” times
Set up times in your home that are electronic free. This works best if it applies to everyone. This is especially important close to bed time. You and your kids will be sharper and happier the next day. The light and strobe effect from screens alter your brain chemistry and can make it harder to settle for sleep. This gives you less sleep and poorer quality sleep. This is especially important for teens who need almost as much sleep as babies. The other advantage is that quiet times and activities reduce stress and allow the kids’ brain to settle and integrate what they have learned.
2. Don’t allow “multi-tasking”
This is another brain development advantage. When your kids are doing something teach them to fully engage in that activity. (Ex: watching TV while texting or being on Facebook). When you are doing more than one thing at a time your attention is split. You don’t do either as well and don’t get the full enjoyment out of each task. This also causes subtle but significant stress while also training the kids brain to be distracted and hyperactive. When they practice focussing and being fully preset their brains get good at this instead.
3. Connect in the car
Travel time is one of the few times when your kids are a captive audience with you. It is one of the best times to talk and catch up. I’m not sure if it is the sensation of moving or the relaxing sound of the tires on the road, but kids tend to open up in the car – especially teens. Don’t waist this time by allowing them to loose themselves in their iPhone. Set a rule (and explain why) that they need to have at least 10 mins of connection time with you (I say the whole trip with the exception of cross country). They need to learn how to talk to adults and it is important for you to know what is going on in their lives. The other thing is that many teens now are scared or have no desire to drive when they of age (a very important life skill). When they are not on their tech they have the opportunity pick up driving skills and knowledge of the city that they aren’t even consciously aware of. They learn adult skills by being around adults -but they have to be mentally and emotionally available for this to happen.
4. Lead by example (or use the tool – don’t “be a tool”)
Kids learn what they live – not what we try to teach them. They are always watching and are more than willing to recognize hypocrisy (and often call us on it). When you use technology as a tool to help you be more effective and for entertainment in appropriate ways and times the kids learn these habits too. Limiting your own use of tech makes you more available to them also. Your undivided positive attention is one of the biggest advantages you can give your kids. When you put down/turn off your device you are saying that they are more important to you than who or whatever is on the other side. Healthy self-esteem and a good connection with you (now and for the future) is a critical part of their success in school and in adult life. Taking the time to really listen and look them in the eye has a calming effect and helps their brain to grow in the right way. This is true for babies, grizzled teens and everyone in between.
Unfortunately, not all kids have access to this guidance. Make sure yours do. I’ll have part 2 of these tips out soon. You can check my Facebook and twitter for more info for more information about this topic and other relevant topics of discussion. Feel free to email your questions to me at