Career Over Coffee: Vince Camuto Vice President Sonia Zarbatany


We’ve been chatting a lot with influencers in the digital world and I am happy to announce that today we get a chance to pick the brain of the vice president of fashion powerhouses Vince Camuto and Sanctuary, Sonia Zarbatany. Grab your notepads, Sonia has an inspiring story to tell with lots of career insight.

Q: Briefly describe your background.

I was born in Morocco and raised in Montreal. I was groomed for the fashion industry from the day I could walk. My family business has been in North American licensees and distributors of International fashion brands such as Guess Jeans, XOXO, Kathy van Zeeland and more.

I have worked in every pocket of the fashion world—from fit model to administrative work, sales and management, and now, as co-owner of Zarby International and Executive Vice-President of Vince Camuto Canada  and Sanctuary Canada. I have always had my hand in the business world as well as my fair share of other experiences.

I have other businesses that I develop alongside my main position; for example, and I am a partner at Flex Meals—a delicious and healthy meal delivery service. I am also a public speaker and life coach as I speak in seminars on how to find balance, live on purpose and take your career to the next level.

Q: What do you base the majority of your hiring on? Experience? Personality? Cover letter?

All of the above. Obviously, before I meet people, their CV and cover letter have to stand out.

Once, we get to the interview phase, personality definitely drives it home. I typically hire someone based on their confidence and attitude, work ethic, and desire to get the position.

I like to see someone who is dressed on brand and has taken the time to research my company and what we are about. In this day and age, where information is so readily available, anyone who wants a job anywhere, should take the time and go the extra mile. And, like I said, have great confidence and a positive attitude.

Q: How has networking helped build your career?

That’s a great question. A good network goes a long way. It is so important to know people in your field and to connect with them. Having a professional community is one of the best-kept secrets of the trade.

I try to get the word out when I give talks about how valuable knowing the right people truly is. Every day I meet new people that have significantly contributed to the fashion world or life coaching, and we lift each other up, we play off one another, we brainstorm creative and innovative ideas together. I mean, that’s what business is all about.

Q: How can someone looking to change careers break into a field with no prior experience?

First of all, it’s never too late to change it up. If your current career isn’t giving you the challenge or excitement you want, then switch it up. One way to break in is to work from the bottom up. It’s the long and hard way, but it’s tried, tested and true.

Another way is to just get out there and hustle. You can try recruitment agencies like 24 Seven, or you can network by connecting with people at events, on blog forums or other platforms that allow you to get your voice and ideas heard.

I think certain industries are harder than others, and experience definitely plays a large part in that and so do the right connections. So, if you don’t have the physical experience then be knowledgeable, be a trendsetter, and set yourself apart from the pack.

Q: Who is your business/career mentor? And what do you admire most about this person?

My mother has always been a positive and loving person. She has been a great mentor and guiding light to me in moments when I need her most. My father has also been a mentor for teaching me how to be tough, strong, and how to run a successful business.

Other mentors have been Tony Robbins, and Tony Litster, for getting me on my first stage and helping me develop my gift and fall in love with coaching. Bruce Makowsky for showing me how to sell and brand in the most powerful way.

Mentors are so extremely important to me. I’ve had many and will hopefully continue to meet more wonderful people who will influence both my way of thinking and my way of seeing the world.


Do you have any questions for Sonia? If so, drop us a line and we’ll be sure to answer!

Written by: Brittany Johnston (24 Seven Marketing Assistant)

What to Do When Your Coworkers Quit


Nowadays it’s rare to graduate college, head into the workforce and commit to a company for 20+ years. According to our salary survey, the biggest jumps in salary are seen when someone moves from one company to the next. If you’ve been with a company for 4+ years you’re looking at a salary increase on average of 4%.

Millennials now make up the largest generation in the workforce. Considering what a turbulent time your twenties and thirties can be, as well as the potential monetary gains of making a job jump, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an increase in talent flight. In fact, Our 2016 Job Market Report revealed that 66% of workers are planning a job change in the next 12 months.

With employees coming and going, it’s not uncommon for an organization to see a hit to productivity as well as morale.  After all, humans are creatures of habit and when that daily routine is disrupted, it takes a while to adjust. If you are equipped with the right tools and mentally prepared to accept change, when your coworkers quit it won’t sting as badly.

Realize everything is temporary

In both your professional life and personal life, everything is temporary. People are going to come and go and you will learn that change is inevitable. While it’s natural to become close with your coworkers, realize it’s not likely you’ll stay on the same career paths forever. 76% of employees feel confident about their chances in the job market today so there’s very little holding them back from making that leap.

Treat every encounter as a temporary one because ultimately that’s exactly what it is.

Find the opportunity

When your coworkers start to depart onto their next ventures, it can be hard to see the opportunity in the loss. Don’t be discouraged because like any change in life there is an opportunity waiting to be seized.

As one of my former coworkers pointed out, you’re able to have a more relaxed relationship with someone once they leave, especially if he/she was your manager. Not only that, when someone leaves, there could be an opportunity for you to move up in the ranks.

Whether their position will need to be filled or their responsibilities divvied up, be sure to raise your hand and step up to the challenge. More responsibility means more opportunity to prove yourself further as an invaluable part of the company.

This could be a turning point in your professional career. Stepping up to the plate could result in an external reward, and who wouldn’t want that?

Stay in touch

Essentially any “young” company is bound to experience abrupt changes in its staff. And the great thing about living in a digital age is the endless amount of ways to stay in touch. From email to Facebook to Instagram, the lines of communication are now open 24/7 thanks to social media. So, the cherished relationships you form at work with your coworkers don’t have to end when their career with the company does.


When you first learn of your closest coworker’s resignation, it will stir things up a bit. You may be thrown off track during the transition period but give it time and you’ll be just fine. Things may even be better than before.

Are you looking for a new job? Browse our job openings today and apply!

Written by: Brittany Johnston

66% of Employees are Planning a Job Change | Job Market Report 2016

24 seven salary survey

According to our annual study of the job market, this year’s hiring and workplace trends indicate that things are on the upswing for workers. Salaries continue to modestly rise and hiring managers are busy looking to fill jobs.  Whether we’re recruiting for marketing agencies or iconic fashion brands, the results support what we’ve been witnessing. The job seeker is in the driver’s seat. Here are some highlights from our latest Job Market Report.

Increase Trends Hold Steady

Almost 8 in 10 workers participating in the 2016 survey reported a salary increase in the last 12 months. Total compensation rose by 5% for fulltime non-executive employees, matching last year’s increase.  For those in new jobs, increases were more robust (12%) underscoring that the fastest track to higher pay is making a job move. In fact, when examining average increases by tenure, those at their company the longest saw the lowest average total compensation increase.

High Hopes vs. the Real Deal

When asked about increases in the coming year, 37% of workers were extremely optimistic, expecting total compensation to rise over 10%. Another 38% anticipated increases between one and 9.9%. Managers provided a reality check, forecasting that the majority of raises (67%) would likely fall in the 1-4.9% range.

Good Benefits

Outside of medical and dental insurance offered by a vast majority of companies, workers are most interested in tuition/continuing education reimbursement and 401K with company match. When it comes to soft benefits, employees are most interested in summer hours/comp days and on-site fitness facilities (such as a gym, athletic field or yoga). While a majority of workers surveyed desired these soft benefits and tuition/continuing education reimbursement, few received them. This creates an opportunity for companies to differentiate their employment brand by upgrading the employment experience with sought-after extras.

Workers Looking to Make a Move for More Money and Growth

Two-thirds of workers (66%) are planning a job change in the next 12 months – a slight drop from last year’s 70%. However, more workers are looking to switch both job and the company this year (79% vs. 63%). Workers are turning to job placement agencies or relying on their own network for new opportunities.

Of all the workers surveyed, one-fifth were considering an offer at the moment (significantly down from 40% last year). Salary and growth potential still drive those looking to make a move. However, if a new job comes up short in dollars, job seekers said they’re likely to consider other aspects of the employment proposition to soften the blow.

Trade-offs & Pay-offs

There’s no denying that salary & benefits play an important role in the worker’s evaluation of an employment situation, and influences worker attitudes & perceptions. Year after year, our workplace research finds that salary is the number one reason for making a job move, feeling engaged at work, and experiencing stress on the job.

However, when a company comes up short on the salary side of the equation, workers said they’d consider options like a flexible schedule or more paid time off to balance things out. Further, generous soft benefits positively impact workers’ appraisal of company culture, their engagement at work, and their job loyalty.

A company can signal its concern for worker well-being by tweaking the compensation and benefits aspects of the employment experience. The advantage: employees who said that they feel cared for are less likely to feel burnt out and more likely to be the happiest and productive.

A Job Seeker’s Market

For the 66% of workers who said they’re looking to make a move, the hiring outlook is bright with 79% of hiring managers planning to fill existing or new roles, or both. Most hiring managers see their company’s employment brand as a draw and view their HR department as a collaborative and understanding partner. However, when it comes to finding the talent their teams need quickly, they are less confident in HR’s ability and are frustrated with their company’s slow recruiting process.

Talent Most In Demand

Across the creatively-driven sectors for which 24 Seven recruits, hiring managers reported that design & creative, sales and marketing talent are the most difficult to hire. When it comes to which talent is most in demand, professionals with digital & interactive, design & creative, and sales backgrounds will find themselves holding the cards. This talent demand isn’t limited to jobs in advertising agencies or marketing firms – as hiring managers in the retail, fashion, beauty, e-commerce, design sectors also indicated a need for professionals with these backgrounds.

Workers Hungry for Skills & Growth, But Companies Not Serving Up Opportunity

Our study finds that workers are focused on growing professionally both within their organization today and further down the career road. Almost all are proactive in seeking out training and development on their own to stay relevant – with good reason. Less than half say their current employer offers professional development opportunities, and even fewer report being trained for the next role on their career path.

For those that receive any training, there’s a disconnect between the programs they want and get. The majority seek formal coaching and mentoring – which may explain why they prefer more frequent managerial feedback (rather than a one-time annual review). And when it comes to career pathing, less than half of respondents say they have a somewhat to very defined course while the rest have little to no idea where they’re headed.

The lack of support in training, development and path clarity ranks among the top reasons for on-the-job stress. For companies looking to improve morale, productivity, retention and engagement, our study shows that specifically providing clearer career paths to employees has direct impact on those goals.

Culture Makes a Workplace Sticky

Companies have long known that hiring for cultural match is important. But there seems to be room for improvement, as only 3 in 10 respondents felt like they had made the ultimate culture connection. Improving the cultural fit of new hires has immediate positive impact on the company.

Employees who reported feeling that they click with their company are happiest, loyal, highly engaged, and least likely to feel burned out. Think your company is culturally hopeless because it doesn’t feature a cool loft office space with foosball and nap rooms? Fret not – while physical environment rounds out the top ten aspects of culture, it’s chosen significantly less often than more attitudinal dimensions.

At the end of the day, fancy fixtures lose their luster when one doesn’t click with a manager or feels out of whack with the company’s approach to work life balance, authenticity, and employee development.

Download the full survey here.

Written by: Natasha Lopoukhine

Career Over Coffee: Career Girl Daily Contributor Rashina Gajjar

career over coffee RashinaGajjar

There are a few people you encounter along your career path that when you grab a cup of coffee and start chatting, you don’t want it to end. Career Girl Daily Contributor and freelance writer, Rashina Gajjar, is one of those people. Her career advice is thorough and optimistic for anyone who feels it’s too late to change paths.

Q: Briefly describe your background. 

Hello! I’m Rashina Gajjar, and I currently work as a copywriter, contributor for Career Girl Daily, digital strategist, and editor-in-chief of Globe Of Love Magazine – an online website dedicated to helping millennials find success on their own terms.

I founded Globe Of Love in August of 2014 and it was then that I fell in love with the power of digital marketing and its ability to harness a community of people with a common purpose.

Six months later, I joined Luxembourg’s largest digital communications agency as an assistant content manager, and I was subsequently hired as a copywriter for their international accounts.

I’m now a freelancer in content management and digital marketing, working with small to multi-national companies to improve their content management and digital strategy.

Q: You currently write for Career Girl Daily, what is your advice for people looking to break into the freelance writer’s market?

My number one tip would be to practice. Practice until you feel comfortable with your tone. When you send an article to an editor, you want them to know straight away that you mean business.

Double check your grammar and spelling, and check the form and flow of your ideas. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking people will be interested in reading just because you’ve managed to overcome your inhibitions and write something.

Write freely and edit harshly. When you go back over your article, ask yourself: does this make my article more interesting? Is it funny, or useful? If not, it may be worth cutting it out.

The next step is to get your name out there. You can start with a recruiter like 24 Seven and browse their freelance positions.

The main thing here is to wait until you have written pieces that you absolutely love before sending them in for review. Once this happens, you’ll start to notice your freelance work will come in more and more frequently.

Q: Content Managers, Digital Marketing Managers, and Social Media Managers are the hottest jobs right now, what are the most important skills one needs to have in order to land a job in this field?

A lot of the time people think that to be a Social Media Manager you have to be uber ‘switched on’ and live and breathe memes. This just isn’t true!

When I first started working in digital marketing, I was probably the most analog person out of all of my friends. You may feel initially disconnected from the world of digital marketing, but that does NOT mean you aren’t well equipped to handle it and learn to harness your strengths.

Having a natural flair for language is important, since (and especially with Twitter) you’re going to have to fit words into very tiny character limits and make them as compelling and convincing as possible.

I also think it’s crucial to be hard-working and willing to learn. Technology is always changing and you’re going to have to keep up with lots of new techniques and best practices. Being hard-working will help you stay on top of the new changes in technology and implement them in your use of content and social media.

Another thing I would suggest is to read widely around digital marketing and content management (some good websites are Hubspot’s blog and Quicksprout). This will help with your understanding of marketing, but it will also help when you’re stuck on content to relay and need to find something relevant fast.

Q: How can someone use the experience they do have to find a career in an unrelated field? For example, people trying to get into Marketing with experience in Engineering?

Play to your strengths. If you have a degree in Engineering, you’ll probably be used to working pretty hard to learn and apply new concepts, so transfer those skills over to marketing! Digital marketing and content management are all about being able to write, learn, and work hard to build up your reach across the internet.

Another thing I would strongly suggest is to start a blog. Don’t just content yourself with starting a blog for the sake of it, as people can tell if you aren’t putting a lot of effort in. Choose a topic you’re passionate about and work hard to spread your message across the internet.

Many of the people you’re up against will have either worked in the industry or run their own blogs, so you’ll need to level the playing field. Make sure that you’re using relevant social media channels, posting regularly, and building up your engagement and overall reach.

Q: Who is your professional role model and why?

I would say that my current professional role model is Charlotte, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Your Coffee Break Magazine. I write for her magazine on a monthly basis and I really admire how she’s forged a path for herself within the fashion industry. She’s truly made a career out of what she loves doing, and when you take a look at her wonderful website, this radiates from the inside out.


Are you trying to break into the digital marketing space? Browse and apply to our relevant job openings now! 

Written by: Brittany Johnston

How to Build a Professional Network You’ll Actually Use

how to build a professional network you'll actually use

Networking is perceived as the gateway to long-lasting professional relationships that will help you get to where you want to go. As the saying goes,

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

With this in mind, you may frantically RSVP to all career events, LinkedIn invitations, and professional development networks in hopes you’ll make the right connection that will take you to where you want to go in your career.

The professional network you think you’re forming is actually a superficial exchange between two people trying to get ahead; we’re all guilty of this. That’s not to say you won’t ever make authentic connections at networking events. In fact, I’ve made a few good friends from rubbing elbows at all types of occasions.

Let it happen naturally

Think about how many times we push our business cards into the hands of every last person at a networking event only to wake up the next with an empty inbox. Don’t limit yourself to forming professional relationships in expected places like events, seminars, mixers, etc.

Think of places outside of the ordinary to form connections to people like the subway, gym, and waiting in line. Personally, I have made 2 very valuable connections on the subway. I’ve also referred an additional 5 people looking for new jobs to 24 Seven.

I may not have exchanged business cards with 20 people at a premier event, but I’ve created meaningful connections in a natural way that won’t leave me questioning whether or not I should follow-up.

I am confident that these connections will be there if I ever need them and likewise, I will always be there for them if they ever need me.

Treat everyone the same

The last thing you want to do is treat the Founder of a hip startup differently than you treat his assistant. Fancy titles should not affect how you network. For all you know, the assistant you’re tempted to brush off could be the Founder’s right-hand man, in which case you ought to treat him with the same respect you would anyone else. Treating everyone equally isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the kind thing to do. When you’re kind to everyone, people will be attracted to you. That in itself is a great way to grow your professional network.

Be authentic

When you’re extending your professional circle, you want to be as authentic as possible. Networking is similar to finding a culture match in that if the two parties don’t mesh, there’s no point in continuing the conversation. You don’t want to create a falsified personality in hopes it gets you ahead. Your true self will be revealed in due time.

Instead of trying to mask yourself, show who you are right off the bat. Don’t compromise your own values or beliefs just because the other person feels differently than you do. Authenticity is one of the keys to career success.

Offer something of value

If you want to build a professional network you’ll actually use, take into consideration what you can offer the other person. A professional network is a two-way street and it should be beneficial to both people involved.

Offering a service for free, lending a helping hand, or providing valuable insight to your professional network could even land you a full-time job or an opportunity of a lifetime.


What are your networking tips? Tell us in the comments!

Written by: Brittany Johnston

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