Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

job articles/ wealth and happiness



Sept. 23 Job articles: Hire Ground emailed me their newsletter.

Resume lies:
  • Changing employment dates to make it seem as though you were employed with a company longer or to hide an unemployment gap
  • False degree/diploma claims. Candidates want to show they are highly educated – despite how many great jobs exist that do not require any higher education
  • Removing or changing the date a degree was earned to seem younger
  • Exaggerating previous accomplishments
  • Claiming a higher salary was earned in the hopes that they will be offered the same level of salary for the new job
It closes with: “If you don’t lie, you won’t get caught in one.”

Me: I want to add about being careful not to exaggerate.  There are ways to phrase and accentuate your skills with using good set of words to describe it.


Job in your industry: The other article is "What to do when you can't get a job in your industry."
I certainly agree with this paragraph: 

"If money is an issue, don’t simply wait until the ‘right’ job comes along – this could take months, and rent cheques don’t pay themselves. It’s fine to take a ‘back-up job,’ such as retail, waiting tables, or temporary positions. While these may not advance your career, any job develops some kind of skill, fills an employment gap, and puts food on the table! You don’t need to list it on your resume if you have other, more related, positions."

"What you do in your spare time is perfect for your cover letter and interview. Depending on your field, there are different options for staying current in your field: volunteer, write a blog, freelance or attend industry events/sessions/meet-ups. Show you are passionate about your chosen career."
Then it goes on about internships and networking.


Tips for Newcomers: This is “Canadian Resume tips for Newcomers.”

Don’t use a photo.
Write a cover letter.
Know your salary range.
Get someone else to review your resume.
Contact info.


Wealth and happiness: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article: “Does how you feel about money affect your wealth?”  There is some overlapping because I could put this in a mental health email, but it’s also from a business writer Douglas Vermeeran.

“The math is simple: More money does not equal more happiness. It’s our attitude toward money, not the amount, that influences our happiness the most.

Happiness researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, professors at the Harvard Business School, recently published research indicating that it’s not money that makes people happy, nor the things people buy with it. Rather, it’s the experiences one has that ultimately account for happiness. "

My opinion: I know that it’s the experiences that make you happy.  I’ve read newspaper articles about it.  It’s not about buying things that make you happy.  I’ve watched on 20/20 that after a really big happy thing happens to you, after awhile, it will go back to normal.  You know like getting married and getting that job will initially make you really happy, but after a few months you will go back to the same level of happiness prior to it.   


Sept. 24:

Employee Disengagement: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article “How to Address Rampant Employee Disengagement?  Recognize human equity.”  It’s about how employees hate their jobs or don’t care about it.  Here is the solution:

• Strengths
• Heart: Have you ever wondered what comes first, whether you’re good at something because you like it, or you like it because you’re good at it? The chicken-or-egg question aside, what matters is the passion one has for a talent. This includes activities a worker would do even if he or she didn’t have to do it on the job. If a talented manager won the lottery and decided to quit his job, for example, he might be inclined to manage people in a local political campaign or take the helm of his son’s little league team.

• Attitude
• Personality
• Experience
• Virtue


Here are some inspirational articles:

Encore Careers: Ginny also sent me this article about: “Ready to Make the Jump? Now’s the Time for a Heartfelt Encore Mother of Re-Invention Shares Tips for Finding Work that Feeds the Soul”

Betty Hechtman says: “I’ve held jobs just for the paycheck and I’ve pursued my passions, so I know how profoundly different it is to do one versus the other,” she says. “No matter what age you are, if there’s work you feel called to, you should most definitely give it a try -- you may well experience a joy unlike any you’ve ever known.”

• Do your homework. There’s nothing more disappointing them jumping in to something new only to become disillusioned and frustrated because you didn’t take the time to prepare. If your dream is to open a particular business, research the market. Is there a demand for what you hope to sell? Should you give it a trial run as an online business before investing in shop space and other overhead? Start by checking the resources at Score.org, a nonprofit supported by more than 12,000 volunteers dedicated to helping small businesses off the ground. For other encore pursuits, you might take classes or spend a few hours a week working as a volunteer to learn the ropes.

• Join a group of like-minded people.

• Consider working in one of the five most popular encore fields.  Most people seek second their careers in health, education, government, environment and non-profits -- all fields expected to provide abundant job opportunities in the next couple of years, according to Encore.org, a non-profit that supports second careers “for the greater good.”


Steve Jobs in You: Ginny sent me this article:

“Here’s the key:  Steve Jobs was a Dreamer, a Thinker, a Storyteller and a Leader.

The Dreamer in Steve Jobs had a Dream. The Thinker in Steve Jobs had a Vision. The Storyteller in Steve Jobs had a Purpose. And The Leader in Steve Jobs had a Mission.
His Dream drove him. His Vision gave him clarity. His Purpose told him who was the most important person in his life – his customer.  And his Mission told him exactly how to put the wheels on his wagon. 

All I needed to do was to help anyone stuck in their form of survival to awaken the Dreamer, the Thinker, the Storyteller and the Leader within them, and they could accomplish what my small business clients have accomplished.”

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A message from Governor Martin O'Malley

Governor Martin O'Malley emailed me back on Aug. 29, 2013.  It was regarding a petition I signed for Amnesty International:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support of repealing the death penalty in the State of Maryland.  As you may be aware, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 276 - Death Penalty Repeal - Substitution of Life without the Possibility of Parole (Chapter 156 of the Acts of the General Assembly of 2013), and I signed it into law on May 2, 2013.  This bill repealed the death penalty statute and makes life without the possibility of parole the harshest sentence available in the State of Maryland.

In 2008, the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, led by former United States Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti, found that the administration of the death penalty clearly showed racial bias and that no administrative fixes could end the racial disparities.  In addition, it reported that the cost to taxpayers of pursuing a capital case is three times as much as the costs of pursuing a non-death penalty homicide conviction.  Lastly, the Commission determined that the risk of executing an innocent person was extremely high and that the statistics did not prove that the death penalty was a deterrent.  The death penalty did not make us stronger or more secure as a people. Nor did the death penalty make our laws more effective or more just. Capital punishment was expensive, and it did not work.

Your feedback and opinions are important to me I benefit greatly from your thoughts. Working together, we will continue to protect our shared priorities of expanding opportunity for more Marylanders rather than fewer, strengthening and growing our middle class and small businesses, securing public safety, and improving the health of our environment.  
Sincerely,
Governor O'Malley

After Obama's speech: Our plan

I got this from Amnesty International:

After Obama's speech: Our plan

Dear Tracy,

President Obama just delivered another speech on Syria.

While the international community continues to deliberate its next move, Amnesty is doubling up our efforts to advocate for Syrians who have been caught up in the brutal two-year conflict.

As part of Amnesty's September Membership Drive, please make a donation to support our urgent efforts. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar.

Amnesty International researchers have worked in and out of Syria since the crisis began. We recently returned from the town of Deir Ezzour, where rockets and shells pound the city day and night.

A 38-year old firefighter told us that he has lost six members of his family. His eyes welled up with tears when he showed us photographs of his five-year-old daughter and his three-year-old son. "They were all I had; I've lost everything," he said.

The situation is dire, but it is far from hopeless. As long as there are families at risk, we will stand firm.

In fact, Amnesty is changing the conversation about Syria. Our members are pressuring the U.S. government and the international community to end the humanitarian crisis – and to talk about options for justice that don't involve the risk of further human rights abuses.

Will you donate to support our efforts?

Amnesty activists around the world are pushing for more support for refugees and others displaced by the conflict, more human rights monitors, more aid for relief organizations, more limits on guns going into Syria, and accountability for those who have committed abuses. We need your help to continue this vital work.



As human rights defenders, you and I share an urgent responsibility to help the people of Syria.

Please stand up for your principles by joining Amnesty with a donation that will be matched to secure double the impact.



Carly Simon signer imageSincerely,
Frank Jannuzi
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA

Three updates we couldn't wait to share

I got this from Amnesty International:

Dear Tracy,

Amnesty activists are amazing. And to prove it, we wanted to send you an update on three victories your activism helped us win:


 
Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh released from prison in Iran! Nasrin, a human rights lawyer, was arrested 3 years ago and sentenced to prison for defending political activists and juveniles facing the death penalty. Amnesty activists took on her case and never gave up on her. Last week she was released and reunited with her family. Welcome home, Nasrin!
20-year victory: USA signs historic treaty to end irresponsible arms sales around the world — In April, when the Arms Trade Treaty was adopted at the UN, we pledged that we would demand that the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress sign and ratify this landmark treaty to end the unscrupulous trade in deadly weapons used by dictators, war lords and criminal gangs to commit atrocities. Today, we are one step closer: Secretary of State John Kerry signed the treaty this morning. This is the result of decades of dedicated activism from Amnesty members — your work paid off!
 
Amnesty welcomes a new leader — It's Steven W Hawkins' first day as Amnesty International USA's Executive Director. Steven brings a deep commitment to social justice and grassroots organizing. He chose to come to Amnesty because of you — a vibrant movement of individuals committed to creating a world in which everyone can enjoy all of their human rights. Follow Steven on Twitter @StevenWHawkins!
Tracy, thanks for your continued dedication to making the world a better place.

In solidarity,
Cammie Croft
Chief Digital and Communications Officer
Amnesty International USA

Match ends soon. Join and double your impact!

I got this from Amnesty International:

https://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.8775017/k.CD64/SMD_2013/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp?msource=W1309ESMD6BJ

Match ends soon. Join and double your impact!

Dear Tracy,

Our annual September Membership Drive ends in just four days. That means you only have a limited time left to have your donation matched dollar for dollar.

Please do one thing for human rights this month. Join Amnesty.

Here are three reasons why we need your financial backing now:
  • The Syrian human rights crisis requires massive mobilization efforts immediately. Amnesty has a 6-point plan to help Syrian families caught in the cross-fire of the violence.
  • The fight to end torture is an ongoing struggle. We're shining a light on governments — like China, Syria and our own country — to change the course of history, put an end to torture and ill-treatment, and bring torturers to justice.
  • Human rights defenders need reinforcements. Bloggers, lawyers and activists who put their lives on the line every day by speaking out for human rights count on support from Amnesty when their work makes them a target.
Do one thing right now to make our movement more powerful, effective and nimble – join Amnesty International USA.

A special friend of Amnesty will match your gift, dollar for dollar, up to $300,000. But hurry — this match ends in just 4 days.

Thanks for all you do to support human rights.



Frank Jannuzi signer imageSincerely,
Frank Jannuzi
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA

Canadian Hamid Ghassemi-Shall is free!

I got this from Amnesty International:

Canadian Hamid Ghassemi-Shall is free!

 

THANK YOU!

 
 hamid_portrait_200.jpg

Canadian Hamid Ghassemi-Shall has been released from death row in Iran!

btn facebook share small.jpgbtn twitter share small.jpg

Dear Tracy,

After more than five years in prison, and with an execution order on his life, Hamid has been released from prison in Iran!

Tens of thousands of people in Canada have worked together for this outcome, through tireless campaigning, talks in community centres, personal letters of hope sent to Hamid, emails, petitions. Officials and government representatives in Canada added their voice, calling for Hamid's release in Parliament.

We've truly poured our hearts into the daunting task of protecting Hamid's human rights and his safety.

At a moment like this, I can't say enough to thank you for what you've helped us accomplish.

Our efforts have helped bring an outcome that can't be measured or taken away: a human life has been spared.

This is why Amnesty International exists.

Please celebrate with me, and share this wonderful news widely.


alex_neve_mission.jpgSincerely,

alex_sig.gif
Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada


P.S. Amnesty depends on the generosity of individuals like you to fund our vital work for human rights. Without your support, we would be unable to work so tirelessly to achieve such incredible, uplifting, life-saving results. Please make a donation on our website today or call 1-800-AMNESTY (1-800-266-3789) to give.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Rosie Project/ Margaret Atwood



Sept. 6 The Rosie Project: I’ve read a review of the book The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison in the Globe and Mail.  It was a good review.  According to Amazon: 

“The feel-good hit of 2013, The Rosie Project is a classic screwball romance about a handsome but awkward genetics professor and the woman who is totally wrong for him.

A first-date dud, socially awkward and overly fond of quick-dry clothes, genetics professor Don Tillman has given up on love, until a chance encounter gives him an idea.

He will design a questionnaire—a sixteen-page, scientifically researched questionnaire—to uncover the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. Rosie is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent, strangely beguiling, and looking for her biological father a search that a DNA expert might just be able to help her with.

The Rosie Project is a romantic comedy like no other. It is arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, and it will make you want to drink cocktails.”

In the Globe and Mail, the review said it’s obvious that the character Don has Asperger’s syndrome.  This seems like an interesting and fun book to read.


Words: I’ve been reading and then when I find a word I don’t know, I write it down so I can look it up later on dictionary.com:

Diocesan- “1. of or pertaining to a diocese. “A diocese is “an ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

Hagiography- the writing and critical study of the lives of the saints; hagiology.

Malapropisms- the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one of similar sound, esp when creating a ridiculous effect, as in I am not under the affluence of alcohol

Centrifuge- an apparatus that rotates at high speed and by centrifugal force separates substances of different densities, as milk and cream.

Numismatic- of, pertaining to, or consisting of coins, medals, paper money, etc.

Sept. 11 Syfy TV movies: I went to a job fair today, looked for a job, read the business section of the newspaper, and basically read the newspaper.  Let me treat myself to watching some more of these Syfy TV movie trailers.

Haunted High: I watched this one and immediately thought: “Isn’t that Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia from Buffy) in those glasses?  I checked on imdb, and it is.  The story of a headmaster collecting souls.


Hansel and Gretel: This was some months ago, but I watched the first 20 min. of this movie because I do like watching fairytale characters set in the present time (like Once Upon a Time) and horror movies.  I was tired that night, so I stopped watching after 20 min.  Here’s the trailer.

I think I will watch the rest of this when it comes on TV again because I have this thing to watch and complete things to the end.


Behemoth: A big monster comes out from a volcano and attacks people.


Hydra: This one seems a little bit more interesting.  These bounty hunters drop off these 4 criminals onto an island and hunt them down as a game.  There is a hydra which is snake with 3 heads and it’s eating people with their heads first.


Dinoshark: Eric Balfour is in it.  Remember the Buffy pilot where he plays Xander and Willow’s friend Jesse who turns into a vampire?  He was also in the big movie remake Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  This is basically a dinosaur and shark mixed together and it likes to jump out of the water and eat people alive and in mid-air.


Sept. 16: From watching these trailers, Syfy makes bad movies.  Hallmark makes all these soft movies about romance, family, and lots of Christmas ones too.  I only two of them: Love Begins and Love’s Everlasting Courage, because the actor Wes Brown was in it.

It was boring because there was very little conflict.  Not too complicated or interesting of a story.

Newspapers: Did you know that the Edmonton Journal changed their layout about a month ago?  I thought it looked good.

Subscriptions: I was thinking about how my family used to subscribe to 3 newspapers like the Edmonton Journal, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post.  It’s not until this year, we canceled the Post.

It reminds me of The Simpsons joke where an accountant goes through their records.

Accountant: You have 3 Vogue subscriptions.
Homer: I have 3 bathrooms.

Lol. 

Flashback: This leads to a flashback in gr. 9.  I think it was a Junior Achievement workshop and talked about the cost of living.  Newspaper subscriptions are expensive.  I just checked and it says the Edmonton Journal has a deal of $24.99 for 4 months of daily newspaper.


Margaret Atwood: She’s been in the newspapers and I have been reading interviews with her.  She’s promoting her new book Madd Addam.  I saw her when she gave a talk in 2006.  I was reading her book Oryx and Crake for college.  In 2009, she released the book The Year of the Flood to follow up the Crake.  Madd Addam is the last book in her trilogy.

The Fringe: This year the Fringe did very well, that’s what I read in the Journal.  I just read the Fringe reviews.  I was too busy with work to go and see a play.  I haven’t seen a play since 2001.  It was also for school and it was the play called “The #14” about passengers on a bus.  It was a comedy and various passengers come on and it was like a comedy sketch.

Comparisons:

A dangerous person has contact with a good guy’s family: I was watching Do No Harm, because CTV was airing the remaining episodes on Sat. nights in the summer.  The bad guy Ian was at the good guy Ruben’s place for a family dinner.

It was done on Buffy when Angelus (Angel without a soul) is talking to Buffy’s mom Joyce right outside their house.

When I was watching Do No Harm, I immediately thought: “I wrote a scene before where a woman has to introduce a bad guy to her mom.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Article: Steve Jobs in You

Ginny Grimsley sent me this article:

How to Awaken the Steve Jobs in You
Anyone Can Learn What Came Naturally to Apple’s Founder
By: Michael E. Gerber
Just like everyone else, small business owners get caught up in their personal economic successes and woes. They’re trying to find more time; trying to deal with the exigencies of life; trying to just survive.

The latter is both the cause and result of the broken and failed businesses we see in such large numbers. I know, because I’ve been helping entrepreneurs fix their businesses for 40 years.
In that time, I’ve also found a few small business creators who have discovered the secret of what I call “going beyond.”  They go beyond the ordinary. They go beyond the seeming limits of their personal economy and the barriers that keep so many others consumed with just getting by. 

Early in my career, the driving question became: What’s the difference between the survivors and the thrivers? What’s the difference between entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and the Murray Smiths who were my clients? 

With only $5,000, Jobs and his partner and an unlikely idea they called the personal computer created what would become the most valuable enterprise on the planet: Apple, Inc.
Murray Smith, meanwhile, creates a job for himself, works it and works it and … ends up with  little more than what he had starting out.
Why?

Most people suffer a lack of what Steve Jobs possessed.  Was he so out of the ordinary that it would be virtually impossible to awaken the Steve Jobs within every one of us?
I did find the answer to that question. Over the past 40 years, millions of readers of my E-Myth books, and tens upon tens of thousands of small business owner clients learned exactly how (not theoretically how) to awaken the Steve Jobs within them. 

Here’s the key:  Steve Jobs was a Dreamer, a Thinker, a Storyteller and a Leader.
The Dreamer in Steve Jobs had a Dream. The Thinker in Steve Jobs had a Vision. The Storyteller in Steve Jobs had a Purpose. And The Leader in Steve Jobs had a Mission.
His Dream drove him. His Vision gave him clarity. His Purpose told him who was the most important person in his life – his customer.  And his Mission told him exactly how to put the wheels on his wagon. 

Once I understood that, I immediately saw the way. If I could help Murray learn to do what came naturally to Steve Jobs, I could help Murray thrive. And so, I did!  

I’ve helped tens upon tens of thousands of Murrays. The difference it made was huge. Murray no longer went to work IN his business, he learned instead how to go to work ON his business. As a result, Murray’s business grew and grew and grew and grew.
Then I had a second, even more important, epiphany: There was absolutely no difference between Murray the small business owner, and Murray the underemployed, or Murray the unemployed, or Murray the self-employed, or Murray the loser.  All I needed to do was to help anyone stuck in their form of survival to awaken the Dreamer, the Thinker, the Storyteller and the Leader within them, and they could accomplish what my small business clients have accomplished.  

That’s what I told Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church when I first met him. And Pastor Rick said, “Go do it. Go do it in the Saddleback community.”

And so began The Dreaming Room™, the only entrepreneurial incubator in the world. There, I teach people how to apply the formula for thriving so they can re-create their lives – to learn more, to earn more, to grow more, to give more, to create more.
I believe, passionately, in everyone’s ability to do more than “just survive.” Maybe you won’t end up with the biggest corporation on the planet – and maybe you will. But by becoming a Dreamer, Thinker, Storyteller and Leader, you can live a happier, more abundant and fulfilling life.

About Michael E. Gerber: Michael E. Gerber, http://tinyurl.com/DreamingRoom, is an entrepreneur, thought leader, speaker and best-selling author whose modern classic, “The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” has sold more than 1 million copies. He is the founder of The Dreaming Room™, where entrepreneurs and others are provided the tools and facilitation to see, experience, develop and design their Dream, Vision, Purpose and Mission.

Article: Encore Careers

I got this from Ginny Grimsley:

Ready to Make the Jump?
Now’s the Time for a Heartfelt Encore
Mother of Re-Invention Shares Tips for Finding Work
that Feeds the Soul
They’re called second acts, encore careers or reinventing yourself – they’re the completely new and different jobs people take in midlife or later. 

Today, making that jumpis more likely to be a matter of following the heart than it was during the throes of the economic recession, whenprofessionalscaught up in corporate layoffs discovered they were too old to find jobs in a poor market and too young to retire. They started second careers not to follow a vocation but to pay the bills.

“I’m glad to see the tide turning again – especially for all the baby boomers who don’t want to  retire but do want to do something gratifying,” says Betty Hechtman (http://BettyHechtman.com), who was on the eve of her 60th birthday when her first mystery series prompted a bidding war between St. Martin’s Press and Berkley Books.

She has since published eight “cozy mysteries,” including her newest, “Yarn to Go” – the first in her Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Mystery series.

Hechtman has had a lot of practice reinventing herself. She has volunteered as a farmworker on a kibbutz in Israel, waitressed and worked in retail sales, and made connections as a telephone operator, among a host of jobs.

“I’ve held jobs just for the paycheck and I’ve pursued my passions, so I know how profoundly different it is to do one versus the other,” she says. “No matter what age you are, if there’s work you feel called to, you should most definitely give it a try -- you may well experience a joy unlike any you’ve ever known.”

Hechtman offers these tips for people considering an encore:
• Do your homework. There’s nothing more disappointing them jumping in to something new only to become disillusioned and frustrated because you didn’t take the time to prepare. If your dream is to open a particular business, research the market. Is there a demand for what you hope to sell? Should you give it a trial run as an online business before investing in shop space and other overhead? Start by checking the resources at Score.org, a nonprofit supported by more than 12,000 volunteers dedicated to helping small businesses off the ground. For other encore pursuits, you might take classes or spend a few hours a week working as a volunteer to learn the ropes.
• Join a group of like-minded people. This is particularly helpful for aspiring artists who want to paint, play music, write a book or indulge some other creative talent. You can brush up on your skills and make valuable contacts by becoming a part of a community theater, joining a writers circle, or finding a group of hobbyists. You may find your skills develop much more quickly with the support and guidance of collegial peers who are all helping one another achieve a dream.
• Consider working in one of the five most popular encore fields.  Most people seek second their careers in health, education, government, environment and non-profits -- all fields expected to provide abundant job opportunities in the next couple of years, according to Encore.org, a non-profit that supports second careers “for the greater good.” If you need training to qualify, now is the time to get it, Hechtman says. “Invest now in the education, and you can soon have a job that feeds the heart, the mind – and the body!”
About Betty Hechtman
Betty Hechtman is the author of “Yarn to Go,” the first book in the Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Retreat mystery series, as well as the author of the best-selling Berkley Prime Crime Crochet  mystery series. The eighth book, “For Better or Worsted,” comes out in November.  She has also written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and screenplays as well as a children’s culinary mystery. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree and has been active in handicrafts since she was a small child. Hechtman divides her time between Los Angeles and Chicago.

Article: Employee Disengagement

I got this from Ginny Grimsley:

How to Address Rampant Employee
Disengagement? Recognize Human Equity
Author & Global Corporate Speaker Says It’s Time
to Focus on Individuals’ Strengths
An alarming Gallup poll published earlier this year is still sending shockwaves throughout the business community: Most American workers either hate their jobs or don’t care one way or the other about them.

Less than a third of Americans are actively engaged in their work, meaning they’re passionate about it, enthusiastic and energetic. They’re consistently productive, and high performing.
Gallup estimates the 20 million who are “actively disengaged” – openly negative and unhappy have a staggering effect on the economy, costing the United States $450 to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. 

“To engage the 70 percent of non-committal or ‘actively disengage’ employees,  business managers need to change how they view human capital,” says Trevor Wilson, CEO of TWI Inc., a global corporate speaker, human equity strategist and author of “The Human Equity Advantage,” (humanequityadvantage.com).

“Engaging employees is an issue I’ve been working on for more than two decades, and there is a solution. I call it human equity -- the unique assets each individual brings to the workplace that are often unrecognized. Recognizing and leveraging your own human equity, as well as that of your employees, addresses not only the incredible waste of human capital illustrated in the recent poll, but also related concerns business leaders share, including the constant need for innovation. These challenges are not unique to the United States.” 
There is a reason why executive royalty, such as Warren Buffet and former General Electric CEO Jack Welsh, sought talent beyond traditional criteria like knowledge and skills, which are also important, says Wilson. He offers a method for uncovering valuable intangibles in employees; he calls it the SHAPE V Talent model:
• Strengths: Consider strength as defined by the 1999 Gallup StrengthsFinder study, which includes “consistent near-perfect performance in an activity.” The study identifies 34 qualities, which can be innate and, unlike skills, are not learned. Individual employees and managers should not force a square peg into a round hole; if an employee’s near-perfect, near-effortless strength is in research and analysis, but not so much in data management, managers should allocate this resource accordingly.
• Heart: Have you ever wondered what comes first, whether you’re good at something because you like it, or you like it because you’re good at it? The chicken-or-egg question aside, what matters is the passion one has for a talent. This includes activities a worker would do even if he or she didn’t have to do it on the job. If a talented manager won the lottery and decided to quit his job, for example, he might be inclined to manage people in a local political campaign or take the helm of his son’s little league team.
• Attitude: There are three general attitudes an employee might have, according to a branch of study in positive psychology. First, there are those who approach their work as a job, who seek only a paycheck and benefits. The second group includes those with a career perspective who seek advancement. The third group views their work as a calling and deeply connects with what they do every day.
• Personality: In 2009, nearly $500 million was spent on personality testing in North America alone. A reliable test isn’t valuable in so much as it reveals differences among workers, which are most likely already apparent. The value of these tests is in showing how and where differences lie. Understanding differences can lead to an appreciation for how and why coworkers perform and improve the synergy of teams.
• Experience: Who is the person you’re sitting next to at work; who is she when she’s not making business-to-business calls, scheduling meetings or troubleshooting technical problems? How does her race, religion, economic background, family situation and overall lifestyle influence – or not influence – her work life? More importantly, how might her life beyond work offer diversity of thought in the workplace? Life experience should not be overlooked when assessing talent.
• Virtue: “Value in action, that’s virtue,” Wilson says. Candor, temperance, courage – these traits preempt problems like public scandals, harassment and discrimination and foster a positive moral pragmatism among coworkers and practical wisdom among leaders. With social media continuing to expose bad behavior and employee morale revealed to be at a stunning low, this is a significant quality in the on-going search for the best talent. 
About Trevor Wilson
Trevor Wilson is the CEO of TWI Inc. and creator of the human equity management model. He is the global diversity, inclusion and human equity strategist who regularly speaks at corporate functions. TWI’s clients include some of the most progressive global employers in the world, including Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, BNP Paribas and Home Depot. TWI’s trademarked human equity approach was instrumental in catapulting Coca-Cola’s South Africa division to the top performing division worldwide.

job fair/ Create: The New School/ career advice



Sept. 11 Job fair: I was reading the newspaper and found another job fair, but it’s similar to my company.  However, there may be some administrative positions available.  It’s also closer to get to.

Working from home: You can work from home for administrative positions.  Unlike restaurants, you have to go to work.  I was thinking about the Soup place again and how that Co-worker #1 often misses Mon. and Tues.  We need her there.  If it was an office job, like a employee has to do the payroll, and he or she is sick, that person can still work from home.  The payroll can still be handed in on time.

Create: The New School: I was reading Avenue magazine and found this ad for this school called Create.  I went to the website and it looks really good.  It teaches workshops for photography, design, music, fine art, and business.  There isn’t really a campus, there are workshops held in hotel conference rooms.

Create the new school was founded with the goal to provide exceptional education opportunities for creatives.

Create is all about the following 3 areas:

To inspire beginners to explore
weather it is someone who just bought a new camera and is not sure how it works or someone who wants to learn about colour psycology… we want beginners to have a resource to learn and explore their creativity

To inspire professionals to grow
to refine their craft and learn more about their profession through skill building workshops

To connect creatives with business knowledge
in Canada, creatives… musicians, photographers, designers, artists etc. have a considerably higher rate of self-employment compared to other professions. But it is our experience that creatives have limited access to the how-to’s of running a business. And as creatives it often comes easily to do the ‘creative’ end (photography/design) but sure is work to do the ‘business’ end (accounting/write-offs/marketing/printing) these come from the opposite side of the brain… it can be difficult to find your place there… so we provide business knowledge to creatives in a creative way, in order for you to succeed!”


Sept. 16: I didn’t go to the job fair, but I did set up a profile and applied to one position on the internet.  There was this personality quiz that took about 15 min. to complete.  There were these statements that you can strongly agree, neutral, or strongly disagree to it.

There was also multiple choice and you can pick which one fits you.  It was actually kind of fun.  It’s used for the company to know you as an applicant, but you can use it as a way to learn about what you want in a job too.

Staples: The Staples by City Centre has closed down last month.  I’m a little disappointed by that.  If I want to recycle calculators, pens, highlighters, I have to go to the one in Oliver Square which is bit more of an effort to go to.  I’ll have to deal with it. 

However you can still get office supplies in City Centre like Grand and Toy, Dollarama, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Flashback: I guess if I was to apply the Secret to my life, it only works on my life and you can’t change someone else.  I couldn’t prevent my friends from dropping out of high school.  We can’t all promise and make a pact to graduate out of high school. 

I really wanted to go to Victoria ever since I heard about it in 1998.  I was going to go to gr. 8 in the fall and I knew that if I wanted to go to school that’s far away, and not the same school as my sister, I would have to raise my grades.  For gr. 8 and 9, I worked hard, studied, paid attention in class, attended all my classes, went to my math tutor every week, and ended up getting mediocre grades.

It’s positive thinking combined with work and I couldn’t raise my marks.

Group or solo: I was thinking how dancing is easy compared to math for me.  I know how to dance hip hop pretty well.  I watch music videos and just feel the music.  Hip hop dancing I can do solo.

One of my co-workers is a dance teacher and he needed a dance assistant.  He taught me a few steps of the cha- cha and it was pretty hard.  It’s good to try something new.  

As for math, it is a group effort.  I needed to work hard, study, pay attention, and attend all my classes.  I had to go to a math tutor every week, that my parents paid for, and drove me to it.  I had to have my sister tutor me nearly everyday in gr. 11, 12, and when I upgraded to Math 30 Pure after high school.

Sept. 21 Job interviews:

Whyte Ave: I went to a job interview at an office on Whyte Ave last week.  It was a little hard to find, but I did find it.  The interview was okay, and the boss seems nice and friendly.  It’s a family-owned business, and it just kept growing.  They expanded the office by buying the buildings next to it.

Prior to it, I did research the company and told him what I know about it.  The shifts were good, Mon.- Fri. day time.  The duties were inventory control, organizing the place, checking orders.

Downtown: On my day off I applied there.  On the same day they called me back and we did an interview on that day.  It’s a big company, so there’s job security.  The hours are good, Mon.- Fri.  It’s part- time, but it could have the potential to turn to full-time.  I’ve had those kind of jobs that went from part-time to full-time like at the Soup place and at my current restaurant job.

There’s a lot of private information, so they would have to get a criminal record check on me.  I would like to work there.

Work from home: I did find out about a legitimate work-from-home job from a big company that I did an interview for.  I went online to apply for it and it’s a call centre kind of job.  It was a 30 min. application process.  I’ve never done work-from-home before.

The process was that they had to check out my computer to see if it’s fast enough.  I don’t know, I had this computer since 2004.  I also did a typing test, and I don’t know if they think I’m fast enough.  There was no timer and there were no automatic results that said: “48 words per min.” like the last time I did a typing test at the medical office job interview.

This isn’t too popular of a company.  A lot of people may not have heard of it, and known about it to go on the website and apply for it.  It is a national company and has offices in big Canadian cities. 

Sept. 23 Job article:

Career Advice: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article about Darlene Quinn. “Quinn is a former senior executive with the Bullocks Wilshire department store chain who went on to pursue an award-winning career in fiction writing. She started by earning a bachelor’s at San Jose State University and she became a schoolteacher, later climbing her way up the corporate retail ladder during a time of tremendous upheaval in the fashion industry.
“Change is natural; change is life, and you don’t have to be afraid of it,” she says.”

• Parlay your strengths; experience and education isn’t everything.
• Shoot for the top!
• Is it time to trade in that necktie or pantsuit for your passion.

FriendFinder Networks: I was reading in Metro on Sept. 18, 2013, that this company who owns Penthouse magazine, and online dating and adult websites has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

Capilano Mall: I was taking the bus, and it went by Capilano mall.  It’s mostly demolished and it was kind of surreal to see it gone.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Canadian detainees on hunger strike in Egypt

I got this from Amnesty International:

http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1770&ea.campaign.id=22879&ea.url.id=170959&ea.campaigner.email=4PH318B4QP8bTUURO9nMPBFFMe9grgD0&ea_broadcast_target_id=0

Please join Amnesty International in urging the release of two Canadians, Dr. Tarek Loubani and filmmaker John Greyson, who are being wrongfully detained in Egypt

 

Add your name to
Amnesty International's petition to release Canadians John Greyson and Tarik Loubani

   Dr. Tarek Louboni
 
John Greyson 
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Please send a message to the Egyptian Embassy now

Here's what we're asking:

* release Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, unless they have sufficient admissible evidence to try them before a civilian court in line with international fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty;

* continue to give the men access to their lawyers, families and consular representatives and any medical assistance they may require.


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Background

Two Canadians, Dr. Tarek Loubani and Prof. John Greyson, arrived in Egypt on August 15 with the intention of travelling immediately to Gaza in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Dr. Loubani was hoping to build a relationship between the university hospital in Gaza and the hospital he works for in Canada. Prof. Greyson, a filmmaker, was accompanying him to document the situation in Gaza. On arrival in Egypt the men had to stay in Cairo, as the border with Gaza was shut.

The following day, the men were in the vicinity of Ramsis Square in central Cairo where heavy clashes between security forces, supporters of Egypt’s deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, and local residents had taken place from the early afternoon to evening. They were arrested at 10pm when they approached the security forces to ask for directions to their hotel.

The men are detained in Tora Prison, south of Cairo, where they have access to their lawyers and consular representatives.

They are on hunger strike in protest at their continued detention in Egypt. On September 14, the Public Prosecution in Egypt extended their detention for a further 15 days following a brief investigation in Tora Prison.

Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson began their hunger strike, in which they receive liquids but no food, on September 16. They continue to be held on charges of “violence”, “inciting violence” and “carrying weapons”, as well as “destroying public property”. They are being held alongside hundreds of Egyptians who were arrested during the violence in Cairo on August 16.

Amnesty International is concerned that, as with the hundreds of others arrested that day, Tarek Loubani and John Greyson have been accused of a broad array of offences without apparent consideration of their individual criminal responsibility.


Please help us end this unlawful detention of two distinguished Canadians.


alex_neve_mission.jpgSincerely,

alex_sig.gif
Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

Article: Wealth and Happiness

Ginny Grimsley sent me this article:

Does How You Feel about Money Affect
Your Wealth?
Best-Selling Business Author Offers 3 Tips for Changing
Your Attitude 
Although we live in the richest and most advanced society the world has ever known, many of us say we need more money in order to be happy, notes best-selling business book author Doug Vermeeren. 

“Even some of those in the top percentile of earners often feel like they don’t have enough money,” says Vermeeren, (www.DouglasVermeeren.com), an international speaker who consults with celebrities, business executives and professional athletes. 

“The math is simple: More money does not equal more happiness. It’s our attitude toward money, not the amount, that influences our happiness the most.” 

Happiness researchers Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, professors at the Harvard Business School, recently published research indicating that it’s not money that makes people happy, nor the things people buy with it. Rather, it’s the experiences one has that ultimately account for happiness. 

“How you experience your money on a day-to-day basis is what matters,” Vermeeren says. “If the software running in your brain is constantly reinforcing the message, ‘it’s not enough,’ then that is likely how you will see yourself and experience your life – as ‘not enough.’ ”
Vermeeren reviews the three fallacies of abundance as it relates to happiness:
• We are all entitled to a certain amount of wealth: The feeling that we deserve or are owed a certain amount of wealth will always make us unhappy with whatever we have. While we are entitled to certain human rights, those do not include a winning lottery ticket. In reality, we are not owed any amount of abundance and, in fact, should count ourselves lucky if we’re able to meet our basic needs; many in the world are not. More of us, however, would be happier simply appreciating what we have.
• The result of our labors is money: Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. This can be a challenge to keep in mind since so much of our lives are spent in the pursuit of money. We work and go to school to support ourselves and our families. We see things we want, and we know we need more money for them. Study after study shows, however, that what really makes us happy is what we do and who we do it with, and not how much money we spend.
• We’ll be happiest when we finally reach our goal: We are happiest when we are progressing toward a goal. When we lose sight of our goal, veer off the path toward our goal, and even achieve our goal, we’re less happy. Rather than setting one goal and deciding you will be happy when you meet it, you’ll be most happy if you continually set goals and relish your journey toward them.
About Doug Vermeeren
Doug Vermeeren is an internationally renowned public speaker, author, movie producer and director. His life coaching strategies help those from all walks of life, with clients including business executives, celebrities, professional athletes and more. Throughout the last decade, Vermeeren has conducted extensive first hand research into the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top contemporary achievers, making him a sought-after commentator on news outlets including ABC, FOX, CNN and more. He has written three titles contributing to Guerilla Marketing, the best-selling business series in publishing, which is included reading in the Harvard Business School. His documentaries include the award-winning film, The Opus, which has been published by Random House as a book in 23 countries. Vermeeren’s latest film, The Gratitude Experiment , has received critical acclaim.