Job-hopping with intent

Once considered a résumé red-flag, a hot job market means many workers are constantly keeping watch for their next opportunity 

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WITH INFLATION HOVERING around five per cent these days, annual raises may be on many people’s minds — and, as the saying goes, if your raise isn’t matching inflation, it’s actually a pay cut.

This atmosphere has many people adopting a new philosophy towards their career advancement. The belief that doggedly working your way up the company ladder is the fastest way to grow your salary is on the outs; instead, many workers believe — perhaps not incorrectly — that job-hopping is the best way to increase your take-home.

Wages are up in Canada, according to December’s StatCan data. But not equally — workers who have been at their current job for 18 months or more are seeing average increases of 6.4 per cent, while new employees report wages being up 10 per cent. If this holds over the long-term, the implication is clear: the Great Resignation we’ve heard so much about is no trend, but becoming a default feature of the new labour market.

Experts say hiring managers will need to adjust. Candidates with wandering work histories should no longer be stigmatized as flighty or unreliable, says career expert, Vicki Salemi, since most of them are making a rational, informed choice at the end of the day.

And if you are a manager worried about your workers jumping ship, the solution is no secret: good pay, good benefits and good company culture.

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Shaking up the supermarket

Sobeys has brought its Smart Cart to London. Its the latest example of how tech is becoming a big part of physical shopping experience


ENDURING A LENGTHY checkout line is a potential annoyance each time you set foot inside a busy grocery store.


That’s particularly true during the evening rush, when shoppers descend on grocery stores for last-minute dinner items.


A couple of years back, Sobeys Inc. set up a pilot program at one of its Oakville stores to test the Smart Cart ― an “intelligent grocery shopping cart” developed in partnership with New York-based Caper.


Now it is being rolled out elsewhere, including London locations.


Instead of opening more aisles and hiring more cashiers, Sobeys says the carts allow customers to bypass lines altogether.


The Smart Cart scans and weighs products as customers place them in the cart and feature touch screens that resemble the kind you might find in a self-checkout line. The screens display a running tally of purchases while customers shop and allow them to pay on the spot shopping is finished.


It’s the kind of tech innovation you can expect to see more of at your neighbourhood grocery store. The rapid shift to online grocery ordering during the pandemic has ushered in the next phase of delivery and curbside grocery shopping, and a customer-driven demand for convenience is forcing the industry to adapt to remain competitive on those fronts.


But grocers are investing heavily in technology meant for stores, too. Research shows that, while there has certainly been a shift in consumer habits over the pandemic, most of us still prefer to do our grocery shopping in person. So, expect to see a bunch more innovative technology inside brick-and-mortar locations, where the bulk of consumers still shop. 

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Terry Talks: Do better than Better

Ahria Consulting CEO Terry Gillis discusses the mass termination of employees that took place recently at and what the implications may be for leaders.

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Get ready for the shroom boom

Health Canada has given the green light to doctors to prescribe psychedelic drugs for patients. Up next? A market hoping to get flush from fungi


NOW THAT THE fight to legalize medical cannabis is long over, patient advocates have, over the last couple years, really ramped up their fight for what is widely seen as the next legalization battle in Canada: magic mushrooms.

And last week they reached a huge milestone when Ottawa announced that they would allow physicians to prescribe psychedelics like mushrooms and MDMA — a move being described by practitioners as a “seismic shift.” 

As with cannabis, it’s also generally believed that a healthy industry for producing psilocybin mushrooms will follow. In B.C., companies like Eversio are betting that the government will eventually privatize production as they did with cannabis, leading to something of a “shroom boom” in Canada.

“A regulated system will provide for greater safety in quality-controlled psilocybin material used in clearly labeled psilocybin products,” says Spencer Hawkswell, CEO of TheraPsil, a company that works in the psychedelic therapy space. “A regulated system will also place the discretion on access where it belongs – with the patient’s health care provider.”

If the experience of legalizing cannabis is any indication, it may still be a few years before this industry takes off in earnest (currently, the industry would only have about 60 potential customers).

But don’t expect a similar two-decade wait between medicalizing and legalizing, either — with the evidence for psychedelic therapy mounting every day, it would be an easy win for government, for patients, for producers and consumers alike if things moved a bit quicker this time.

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Up, up and away

Streaming pioneer Netflix may have improved a lot on the cable television experience, but its copying one of cable's worst habits: regular price hikes

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NETFLIX IS RAISING prices for its video streaming customers in Canada and the U.S., less than a year and a half since its last price increase.

The Los Gatos, California, company announced Friday that prices are going up by a couple of bucks, depending on the plan. The “standard” plan that most people take, which allows for two simultaneous streams, now costs $16.49 per month in Canada, up from from $14.99.

The price hikes will roll out to new subscribers immediately, while existing subscribers will be notified 30 days before they have to fork over the higher monthly rate.

With subscriber growth slowing in North America, primarily because the competition between video streaming services has never been tougher, it appears the Netflix strategy is to squeeze some more moola out of its existing customers.

Of course, raising prices carries the risk that people will cancel. Netflix remains the dominant North American streaming service, but others, such as HBO Max and Disney+, have increased in popularity. What’s more, this is the third time in the past three years that Netflix has raised prices.

The obvious question is whether Netflix is offering additional value for the higher price. Netflix had earmarked (US) $17 billion to spend on original and acquired content in 2021, and analysts expect the company’s content budget has only grown more for 2022.

With a stream of recent hits like Red Notice and Squid Game, and much-hyped, upcoming sports documentaries on the PGA and tennis, Netflix thinks it’s providing enough value to subscribers to raise prices and not trigger a mass exodus to the competition. Time will tell. 

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