Author Archives: Cheryl Nakamoto

New Beginnings

The leaves are turning colour, there’s a slight chill in the air, and the rain has started…all reminding us that fall has arrived and school is starting.  Although some of us are finished with school, fall indicates a new start and a kind of new beginning, even though the calendar year is not yet complete.


For us McNakers, we start to think about the upcoming year by planning our corporate philanthropy initiatives along with other strategic objectives. Next year, we plan to hold our annual charity event called GrapeJuice, in support of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, whose mandate is to help young girls through their mentorship program. We are also working to plan another Career Launcher session to help job-seeking aged ‘little sisters’ prepare for the start of their own financial stability.  This initiative, which we have hosted in past years, has a goal to help young girls launch their career foundation.

All too often, young people are unsure of where to start when preparing for their first job. We try to help guide the development of a well-prepared resume; a resume that chronologically lists some recent work experience and other skills they have acquired over the years. If there is not a lot of work experience, then we suggest listing their volunteer work or extra-curricular activities, as it can be just as important for future employers to review. Skills gained while volunteering or studying are applicable to list on a resume – skills such as meeting deadlines (completing homework on time) as well as being organized and detail-oriented. Some students struggle as to what to put on their resume to make it long enough, but a 1 or 2-page resume is more than adequate for future employers at this level.

The interview is also critical as an excited student only has a few minutes to make that positive first impression. We try to pass along tips to be prepared for a first interview. We recommend reviewing what the company and position require, preparing appropriate examples of experience, arriving early and dressing appropriately, answering the questions succinctly, making eye-contact and showing enthusiasm, and following up with a thank you. These suggestions may seem like common sense, however, for a young person who hasn’t interviewed before, this is completely new territory and requires preparation.


Say Thank You

thank you image

Today I received an early Birthday card from my team as they knew I would be away on my birthday. Wow, I thought, how thoughtful was that! I am thankful to have such a caring group to work with. I then emailed my gratitude to them all.

I really never thought about the benefits to my company by expressing gratitude openly. However, recently I read an article on the “Importance of Appreciation in the Workplace” and it cited the online career site, Glassdoor that stated “more than 80 percent of employees say they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation of their work.”

The article also lists a few ways you can show thanks and appreciation for employees’ work besides just using money. There are some suggestions such as an impromptu treat, lunch and even just thanking people by using their name.

Over the years, I have tried to show my appreciation by doing such things as remembering birthdays, treating the team to gelato etc.  However, one of the main ways to show appreciation was to tie the Thanks to the action in a timely manner. In the past, I would think of it, but failed to express it. I do not do this anymore or at least I try not to delay saying thanks or showing appreciation.

I hear ‘Thanks’ a lot in the office from all of us. In fact, each week we give the floor to the team in order for them to have the chance to recognize their colleagues’ efforts from the previous week; our appreciation is rewarded with a  “kudos”. To date, I believe I have a happier, appreciated team who all support each other.


Why good leaders make you feel safe

It is always a pleasure to listen to the insights of leadership expert Simon Sinek. In this TED Talk below, he shares with us the point that when employees feel safe, and don’t fear their leader, we are inspired to do better, to be better. We respect our leader and have a sense of job security. With that in mind, we work as a team to help our leader’s vision come to life. Ensuring that deep sense of trust builds a solid team that succeeds together. A leader sets the tone for an organization.


Awareness of Corporate Culture During Company Growth

iStock_000016174337SmallCompanies that go through rapid growth can be in danger of losing their unique corporate culture. What was once a sought after dynamic growing company that attracted eager new employees can turn into a place of empty expectations.

If company expansion goes unchecked, the business could lose some key employees, and lose its original vision and culture.

Before issues escalate, it is good to keep in check with what is going on in the day-to-day environment. Has productivity gone down? Is the employee morale low? Do you find that turnover has increased? Once these signs are recognized, it’s time to step back, take a good long look at what is going on, then step back in and make some changes for the better.

Think back to what your original vision of your company was.
Communicate with your team, and create a feedback loop so that management is aware of the health of employee engagement.

Engaged employees want to work somewhere where they feel valued, with supportive colleagues that challenge and care about them. A worthy employer will simultaneously build its employees’ work ethic and personal character. A smart company can do this by allowing its employees to grow professionally while also encouraging them to use their individual strengths.

While a company grows, don’t lose sight of that original vision. Be aware of any shifts and make certain to maintain a culture where people feel inspired, produce great work, and build brand loyalty.

You’re Doing it Wrong

Sometimes we need to change the ways we always do things. Just because the way we’ve always done it, doesn’t mean it’s the right way.

In this short TED Talk video, Terry Moore shares with us how we should really be tying our shoelaces. It turns out, we’ve been doing it wrong.

Keep in mind with this video – It’s not just about tying laces. Its about making a small change in other aspects of our lives, and how, if we make enough of these small changes, the cumulative effect could make a bigger difference.

Body Language Changes Outcomes

Getting ready for a job interview? Want to feel more confident? Want to be more confident? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares with us in this informative TEDTalk how we can “Fake it ’til you become it.”

We know that our body language communicates to others how they feel about us. In this video below,  Amy demonstrates how our body language governs how we think and feel about ourselves.

Power posing for a couple of minutes before a situation such as a job interview can drive the effect of power and confidence. Our thoughts can be influenced by our own body language, and these expressions of power.

Have You Found Your Passion In Work?

I <3 my job.

Do you love your job? Let’s remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing from 9 to 5.  Perhaps some of these famous quotes below will inspire…or at least make you smile.

I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. ~ George Burns
Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
~ Confucius
To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.
 ~ Sister Mary Lauretta
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
~ Steve Jobs
My mother said to me, “If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general, if you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.” Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
 ~ Pablo Picasso

Resolutions or Goals?

Now that 2014 has started, we’re all thinking about what the new year will bring  us.  Conversations about new year’s resolutions occur around this time. Fitness gyms tend to be quite full in January with people on the ‘New year, New me’  bandwagon. And then, things start to wane. Many people can’t stick to new year’s resolutions. But what about goals? Do you find more success if you focus on a particular goal? Or, are resolutions and goals just not your thing? We’d love to hear what you’re thinking. Vote in the poll below.

Same great culture. Brand new site.

The team at McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group is excited to announce the launch of our new website!

We still like to have fun, and draw outside the lines. We’re still quirky. But we’re also serious about doing what we say we will do, and get the job done.

The new site better reflects what industries we specialize in, so there’s no more guessing exactly what we do.

We’re very pleased with the outcome, and hope that you will be too.


Connecting exceptional
people with outstanding
employers throughout
Western Canada.

Calm Among the Chaos

We are moving our office today. moving-day

To make it even more exciting, or hectic, depending how you look at it, our business is super busy right now. You would think that with summer, things would slow down, but business is thriving. It’s buzzing in the hive.

And in the middle of all this great excitement, we’re moving our office. The good news to our clients…it’s business as usual. We believe that we are still able provide the quality of service that our clients are accustomed to. Sure, our email and phones may be intermittent for a few hours during the day today, but we still have ways to communicate with our clients. Our office just looks a little chaotic what with the boxes everywhere, and the walls becoming bare of colourful artwork.

We have a bright, shiny new office to look forward to. Onward and upward.