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Trust the process when it comes to your job search

Lisa Cefali took to the ring after extended preparation for the fight.
Lisa Cefali took to the ring after extended preparation for the fight.

Last fall I, along with 13 other businesswomen, were asked to take part in a unique fundraiser for iDE Canada. We were asked to commit to a 12-week training program, consisting of three days of fitness training and three days of technical boxing training per week. And while we were at it, we were each asked to raise $5,000.
At the end of the 12 weeks, we were paired up and we competed in a real Manitoba Boxing Association-sanctioned boxing match in front of a crowd of 300 people – music, lights, and even an official boxing name: Vegas Style! Lisa “Badda Boom” Cefali was in the building!
We were promised one thing: if we commit to the process, the ITC (In this Corner) boxing trainers roll out, that we would be ready for our bout – the longest three minutes of your life, I was told.
Fight night arrived and the trainers were right. The bout was hard, exhilarating, and challenging, but I was prepared. The journey getting there was just as hard, just as exhilarating and just as challenging!
Process means progress
Yes, they needed my commitment to this event, but the ITC trainers had a process, step by step, adjusting as they saw me progress with the ultimate goal of having the best outcome within 12 weeks.
Thank goodness for the process! As I reflect back, I am most impressed in the manner with which it was all presented. As you can imagine, 14 Type A personalities, wanting to know as many details as possible, asking continual questions in order to be best prepared, could be a bit much. I’m surprised the trainers didn’t simply pull their hair out every time we wanted to know the why and the how of every little direction they gave us!
I am forever grateful that we were given enough information to become our best selves, but not so many details that would overwhelm us. After all, they didn’t want to scare us or we might just quit!
ITC outlined the process and took us through each step – first conditioning, then the basic technical instruction to become familiar with what was required. Then they tested our conditioning and, finally, introduced us to sparring.
I recall naively how we all wanted to know when we were going to start working in the ring early in the process, and realizing later that it did make the most sense to not place us into the ring until the last four weeks.
We thought the first four weeks were tough! They weren’t even close to the last four weeks and what it felt like to be punched, continually; having good days and bad days; having different, unexpected opponents – some you clicked with, and some who were simply bigger, stronger, and better than you!
Believe in your preparedness
We were challenged to believe in ourselves and our skill set. We had to count on our preparedness of being at the gym six days a week, and believe that the process would get us ready for the big fight.
When you consider the role of executive search and recruitment – whether you are the client or the candidate interested in the job, no matter what side you are on in the process, you have to believe in the process and each step that is involved, and fully participate in it if you want the best outcome.
At Legacy Bowes, we follow a very diligent 12-week process in seeking out top-level talent for top-level jobs.
We listen first, ensuring we have all the requirements the client is looking for, cast our net wide, and then begin searching, researching, and talking, and searching and researching and talking again to get us to a shortlist.
We then focus on that shortlist of candidates and take them through a series of interviews, discussion and assessments, and have them answer detailed questions to ensure that the possible career step is right for the individual.
We make sure they are as prepared as they possibly can be to not only “get in the ring” to interview well and have the job offered to them, but be certain that they would accept and excel in the role.
Lisa Cefali is the vice president of executive search with Legacy Bowes where she uses her many years of competitive intelligence, recruitment and assessment of emotional intelligence experience to uncover those attributes that provide for the best organizational fit for her candidates and clients. Please feel free to contact her at lisa@legacybowes.com for your executive search and recruitment need.


Into the Wild

A journey into nature took an unexpected turn with a deer in water. Story based on true events. Photo by Virginia State Park
A journey into nature took an unexpected turn with a deer in water. Story based on true events. Photo by Virginia State Park

By Niki Trosky

Zahira was perched on the dock, watching the sun set over a choppy lake. Her feet were resting on a stepping stool and she had a fire lit in front of her. She was on day one of her four-day isolation.
She had declared a personal time out from being a mom, a wife, a teacher and a daughter.
She spent the day napping and lounging, napping and lounging. In her eyes and in her heart it had been time well spent. She had nothing on her agenda and it was creating an expansive space of relaxation in her body. She felt grateful for such a beautiful view.
While in a deep state of nothingness, Zahira heard a rustle in the bushes behind her. She turned to see a beautiful female deer coming out of the woods. The deer was so close to Zahira that it almost brushed her arm as it walked past her. Zahira’s heart skipped a beat as she watched this eloquent creature move swiftly down the rocky ledge and into the lake.
“Wow,” Zahira whispered. She was feeling quite stunned by this magical encounter. She had seen many deer in her life, but none had come so close to touching her.
The deer had not even glanced at Zahira or her bonfire. It seemed pointedly focused. It didn’t even take time to stop and drink the shallow water; it moved swiftly along the rocky beach until it was swimming.
“Wow,” Zahira repeated again. She felt quite lucky to be witnessing such a beautiful and rare moment. Her state of awe however quickly turned into a state of bewilderment. The deer showed no signs of slowing down or turning back.
“Wha?” Zahira gasped out loud to no one.
There was no destination imaginable for the deer. There was no sign of land on the horizon. There was nothing that could explain its actions. The deer travelled so far that it eventually drowned. It did not even put up a fight. It simply sunk as a white bird circled over its head.
Zahira was watching from the shore line with absolute bewilderment in her heart. She felt helpless. There was nothing she could do to help it. She wasn’t even sure it wanted help. It appeared the deer had been on a sacrificial mission.
“What the f***?!” she said out loud more than once. “Holy s***.”
She had no one to witness this with her. She had no one to talk to about it. She paused to feel the immediate environment. Was there a sign of something disturbing in the air? Would the forest feel rattled? Would the air feel sad? Would the creatures of the night be equally confused?
All she could sense was a great sense of calm and peace. There were no traces of this deer in the air. Its life had completely vanished with the waves. The forest was still singing in the twilight. The air was starting to sparkle with the first few stars to make an appearance.
Everything was in equilibrium. It helped Zahira find her own sense of peace.
She spent the rest of the weekend honouring herself. She sunk into a graceful and child-like state of being. She found her own rhythm and flow. Her intuition was activated into a powerful state of abundance. She felt like she had won the lottery.
When she came home, she immediately researched the deer as a totem animal. There were three common words that spread through every reading. Grace, intuition, and abundance.
She felt a gentle shock wave move through her heart. These qualities had been gifted to Zahira. Perhaps they were gifts from her deer friend. Perhaps the death in one graceful creature gave birth to abundance in another.
Zahira’s heart takes comfort in knowing that this deer had no fear in its own death. Its transition into the non-physical was clear and powerful.
She gives thanks that she was able to bear witness to such a rare and beautiful passing. She is touched that the deer came so close to touching her.
She was on its direct path and now its death has forever touched her own life.

Diploma: check. Life experience: pending

Be mindful of your finances when you set out to see the world. Photo provided by Braden Alexander
There are lots of ways to stretch your dollars when you set out to see the world. Photo provided by Braden Alexander
Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

Many millennials are collecting their diplomas and preparing to enter the workforce with high hopes, heartier paychecks and the ability to finally put all that education to good use.
But… right after a quick jaunt overseas.
You’ve probably had an inner monologue along the lines of, “Come on! I deserve it! I mean, I spent all this time on my education and now to reward myself I want to see some cool places.”
We all tell ourselves this. Classic millennial behaviour.
Whether you’ve managed to save the money yourself or come in to some congratulatory spare change from school, it pays to budget your trip in order to have a smart travelling experience.
Here are a few tips to save you money along the way:
Get to know Airbnb (www.airbnb.ca). By “renting unique, local accommodations on any budget, anywhere in the world,” a young traveller can literally save hundreds by avoiding paying hotel rates. If a hostel or dorm isn’t for you, Airbnb is a great way to immerse yourself in the city you’re visiting without hurting your money belt.
Reviews are posted online to help you dodge poor experiences, with real people sharing their stories about where they stayed, while the homeowners also review the travellers who stay in their home.
ATMs are your friend. When I went to New York as a teen, I was given a stack of traveller’s cheques and felt invincible. An even more invincible feeling is travelling with a credit card.
But wait: even though credit cards get you a great exchange rate on the currency you’re spending in, many foreign places just don’t accept credit cards. I know. What a crazy thought.
ATMs give really great exchange rates but come at a price. To dodge extensive bank fees (you know, that $2.50 fee for pulling money out), withdraw larger amounts of cash and keep your money in a safe place.
To market, to market
Get thrifty: some of the best travelling mementos are found at flea markets instead of big box stores and, depending on where your adventures take you, there may not be any large chains to shop at! The best part of flea markets is that prices aren’t set in stone so you can barter your way to the final price for that incredible kimono.
Less drank
Abstain from drinking as long as possible: I know, it’s a celebration! You’re seeing the world!
But partying every single night is not only exhausting, it really hurts your carefully planned traveller’s budget.
Drinking every once in a while is fine to plan around, but if it’s every night after dining out, your trip will be cut short. You can save an atrocious amount of money in this department, literally thousands, especially if you pair it with eating where the locals eat.
Vanessa Kunderman is a financial security advisor in Winnipeg. She writes every month on money issues facing millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com.

Just do it. Just say no.

Kiss those "energy vampires" goodbye. You know the ones who suck the positive energy right out of you. Photo by Alex F
Kiss those “energy vampires” in your life goodbye. You know the ones who suck the positive energy right out of you. Photo by Alex F
Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

There are lots of ways to say “no.” Nuh-uh. Thanks, but no thanks. Ummm, nope! N-O. No.
So why is it so darn hard to say? Sometimes we do things we don’t want to do because we have a responsibility to do it, or to help a brotha out. That’s all good.
But when you’re finding yourself saying “yes” every time out of obligation, we need to talk. When you say yes to giving in to what you don’t want, you are saying no to your best self!
Energy Vampires
Whether you were Team Jacob or Team Edward, the vampire craze is so over – especially when it comes to what I like to call “energy vampires”: those toxic people who drain us of our positive energy.
It could be that they are consciously trying to bring you down, or they’re just constantly complaining and raining on your parade.
Whatever the case, eliminating negative entities from your life will make room for more positive people and energy. Cutting someone out of your life might seem harsh, and is not always the answer, but sometimes people serve a purpose in our life for a time and then their contract with us is up.
In those cases, you can best serve each other by parting ways (think “conscious uncoupling” like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin).
If Debbie Downer is someone who you simply cannot cut from your team, put up blocks. Limit your time with this person where possible, and when you do have to be around them, spend a few minutes beforehand (or during!) putting up emotional boundaries.
You can do this by meditating on an image or mantra that emanates feelings like control, protection, happiness; whatever reminds you that YOU are in the driver’s seat of your emotions – not them.
Too much of a good thing
OK, so you’ve said buh-bye to your toxic relationships and now you’re flooded with other opportunities and barely have enough time in the day to get it all done. Nice problem to have, right?
Slow down there, future CEO. It can be tempting to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, but if you want to do your best work, you’re going to have to prioritize.
Look at your options alongside your goals. Which ones line up? Which ones do you feel really excited about? Choose the things that really resonate with you and your vision, and put the rest on hold or scrap it all together.
It’s important to say yes to opportunities, but you don’t have to say yes to everything that presents itself.
No means no
You know what you need to say, but how do you say it? Here are a few tips:
∙Be direct without blowing them off. “I’d love to help, but I’m not the best person for this/it’s not something I can take on at this time/I really have my hands full with X right now.” Chances are, they’ll appreciate your honesty and would probably rather you say no if you can’t give it your all anyway.
∙Practice makes perfect! Practice saying no with a friend or even by yourself, going through all the potential scenarios of what could happen if you say no. It’s probably not as bad as you think.
∙Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep your goals top of mind. It’s a lot easier to say no to people and situations when you can clearly see that they don’t align with your vision.
∙No means… yes? Remember that saying no to one thing also means saying yes to something else. It might be more time with your family, more energy to devote to a project that you’re passionate about, or simply more room in your life for what truly makes you happiest. And that’s something worth saying yes to!
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.

12 bold ideas for the next mayor

What will the City of Winnipeg look like ten years after the new mayor takes the reigns at City Hall?
What will the City of Winnipeg look like ten years after the new mayor takes the reigns at City Hall?
Bold Ideas Dorothy Dobbie
Bold Ideas
Dorothy Dobbie

What the City of Winnipeg needs is a bold new vision that complements the growing optimism Winnipeggers feel about our future. Yes, we need to renew disintegrating infrastructure, fix pot-holed city streets, crumbling curbs, salt-killed boulevards and patched up pavement – that’s a given, or the bare minimum of what the city requires to take hold of a bold new future.
But what we really need are ideas and leadership that will unleash the fissionable energy that lurks just below the shabby surface of our city.
As we head into the mayoralty debates, I will be looking for this energy to be transmitted to the population: Mr./Ms. Candidate, what will our city look like in ten years from your vantage point? Assuming all obstacles could be removed, what would you like to see?
Here are 12 accomplishments in my dream:
1. A “can-do” city. It’s all about attitude. Young people now want to stay here, to build a life here and contribute to the future here.
2. We told the world. A marketing plan was developed under the new mayor to tell the world about what a great place Winnipeg is to live in and raise a family. The mayor let businesses around the world know we are open for business. He shamelessly boasted about our second-to-none cultural scene; our talented and energetic labour force; and our spirit of collaboration which allows us to accomplish more with less.
3. Business and ratepayer advocate/ombudsman and keeping managers accountable. The new mayor created an office that identified where the roadblocks to enterprise were and helped business deal with civic red tape. The office also helps ratepayers solve nitpicking problems.The office reports directly to the mayor and senior jobs hang in the balance when problems were not dealt with. The tail no longer wags the dog in this town.
4. Green city. Neither New York’s Central Park, Tokyo’s Imperial Palace or London’s Royal Park hold a candle to Winnipeg’s green river-side beltway and The Forks. The city finally figured out that green spaces attract people, increase property values and have a civilizing impact on behaviour. The Forks renegotiated a deal with the city that changed their corporate structure to make them less dependent on raising operating funds and allowed them to develop the east side of the river for housing and parking, keeping a ribbon of green for public use and leaving The Forks green with wonderful arboretum across from the museum.
5. Keep it tidy, keep it growing. Tree planting and tree maintenance were stepped up. Boulevards were re-greened (the red dirt is gone). Snow removal contractors are responsible for curb and tree damage. Streets are smooth and pothole-free (we use new, frost-resistant materials to build with) and the main arteries are heated and snow-free most of the winter.
6. Former railway corridors are now livable spaces. The railroads that ran through the centre of town have been replaced with housing surrounded by green space and trees.
7. Business-friendly city. Outdated building codes and business-restricting regulations are gone. Bylaws have been reviewed to co-ordinate and rationalize redundancies. Businesses have been involved in city beautification ideas and plans, and made changes that were accomplished smoothly and without rancour or resentment.
8. Well-planned city. Regulations and guidelines were developed co-operatively to create this beautiful city that people want to invest in. Instead of worrying about nitpicking details as to what kind of doorknobs new houses should have, planners have been concentrating on standards governing signage, commercial frontage, lighting, and so on. The Charleswood Bridge Parkway from Portage to Grant was the model.
9. Accessible city. Pedestrians, cyclists, seniors, the disabled, kids and busy motorists all have their place in a livable city. All Winnipeg sidewalks have curb cutouts and are as ice-free as possible to accommodate seniors and wheelchair users (we have heated sidewalks); cyclists have safe lanes and byways (one side of the street is devoted to them in downtown where traffic is heaviest, new streets have been built with pedestrians and cyclists in mind), traffic lights have been synchronized to ease traffic flow, especially along Portage Avenue where the latest technology now tells motorists and pedestrian how long it will be before the light changes.
10. Safe city. The police, fire and paramedic budgets are now down from over 50 per cent of our civic expenditures to under 40 per cent, but everybody feels safer. These departments were housecleaned, rationalized and trimmed with the goal being to make them work more efficiently and effectively and they do. Morale is up, too!
11. Humane city. Too many people used live to on the streets. The Bell Hotel project showed us what can be done with minimal funding. The city had a dream to end homelessness and now nobody lives on the street. We actually save money and people are happier.
12. Downtown is the place to be. The barriers are gone at Portage and Main and the overhead walkways at The Bay and the MTS Centre have been replaced by underground tunnels to help people negotiate winter. Portage Place has been re-oriented so that the courtyard now faces south to catch the sun. Shop owners have opened streetside doors. The Parking Authority was shut down and new streetside parking has returned a lot of traffic to Portage Avenue. There is a new fashion shopping district on South Main.
Near the Forks, fabulous new hotels have sprung up there to accommodate people coming to the human rights museum and the conventions that the new convention centre addition has attracted.