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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"Show off skill set"/ "Learn to communicate like a professional"

Dec. 26, 2015 "Show off skill set": I cut out this article by Erin Millar in 24 News on Jun. 6, 2011.  I can't find it on the internet so I will have to type it up:

1. Find jobs that aren't listed: It's about networking and telling everybody you know that you are looking for a job.  You have to be "connected to people who have inside knowledge of opportunities specific to their field."

2. Spruce up the resume: Lots of people have degrees, so it's not going to stand out.

3. Expand the search: There are a lot of political science degrees and not a lot of political scientists.  "Social science is more valuable than people think.  Employers are looking for people with social skills who can communicate," says Eric Dickson, poli-sci graduate at Brock University.

"Employers are looking for employers who are intelligent and trainable- and that's what a degree says."

"Learn to communicate like a professional": I cut out this article by Linda White in 24 News on Jun. 6, 2011:


E-mail represents 85 to 90% of business communication but unless we apply the rules of common courtesy and follow proper business communication etiquette, our relationships with colleagues and clients will suffer, a communications expert warns. “Creating a high value relationship—which is the etiquette of the communication — ends up being difficult, ”says Natalie Manor, CEO of Natalie Manor & Associates (www.nataliemanor.com).

More powerful, respectful and conscious business communication, on the other hand, will open the door to increased profits, confidence, knowledge, respect and will improve your efficiency, advises Manor, an executive business coach and business development consultant based in Tennessee. But many people don’t realize they need to improve their business communication etiquette until they land in hot water.  Effective e-mails should set the context of why the e-mail is important and the kind of information you want to deliver. Be brief and informational, and answer all questions asked. Timely responses are also important. 

Proofread before hitting the “reply” or “send” button.  Being busy is no excuse for not responding to people you’re doing or want to do business with; those who can refer you to business or were referred by someone. “We respond by rank of what we think is important,” Manor says.

“Many people make up their own rules if their company doesn’t have guidelines and policies around how to deal with and store e-mail.” The sender should establish accountability in an e-mail. “Let someone know when you’d like to hear from them; then you can follow up if necessary,” Manor says.  “You can put it in your subject line. The idea of business communication etiquette is to help people communicate well, accurately and in a timeframe that works for you and for them.”

When setting a time frame, be respectful of the other person.“  People operate in their own talents and strengths,” Manor says.“  Giving them time to be brilliant and accurate helps create a high value relationship that builds trust, respect and ensures you’re getting good information.”

Text or e-mail? Wondering if it’s appropriate to text rather than e-mail? That all depends on the purpose of your communication. “E-mails are a flow of information to help us be clear and create process.  Texting is sharing immediate information such as, ‘Going to be late’ and ‘Do you want me to bring the contract?’” Manor says.

“I think you need to have a relationship with a colleague before you begin texting.  E-mail replaces a physical letter that is stored in a file. Texting doesn’t have that place.”


"Getting prepared for the job hunt": I cut out this article by Jessica Calleja in the Job Postings magazine on Fall 2007.

Stephen McDonnel, Senior Advisor, Diversity and Workplace Equity for BMO Financial Group has tips:

-Keep a journal of accomplishments, life lessons, key contacts.

-Get a mentor "who can support you in expanding your perspectives and your knowledge of self."

-Stay knowledgeable about the job market: "Research is critical for your success."

- Get feedback from people who know you: "What is readily apparent to other people about our giftedness is not always so apparent to ourselves. (I put that in my inspirational quotes.)

-Use the language in job posting and put it into your resume

-Resumes should be max 2 pages.

-Most companies put resumes into a database and it doesn't use paper.  It doesn't matter about stationary.

Here's the whole article, go to page 13:


Dec. 27 "Where in the world is your career going to take you?": I cut out this article by Tania Desa (Talent Egg) in the Metro on Feb. 5, 2014.  It's about working in an exciting and foreign city.

I couldn't find the article, but I did find this website:


Here are the tips:

1. The dreaming phase: "Crafting a vivid picture of where you want to be working and how you want to be living will give you a stronger sense of direction, inspire momentum and ignite action."

What intrigues you most about living and working abroad?

How could the experience enhance my skills and marketability?

What types of people do I love to be around?  In which industry can I find these people?

What type of work do I get energized about?  In what roles would I find this work?

After work, what do I want to do to have fun and relax?

Observe the trends in your thoughts and desires.  If you like to have a fun going out to night clubs, then going to a small town in Alaska is not a good fit. 

2. The researching phase:

Work visas and permit: There is paperwork.  You may have to approach companies to sponsor your work visa.

Cost of living and your budget: Determine cost of living and the costs in your dream destination.

Local language.

My opinion: I was reading the business section of the newspaper and how Calgary is not going very well because oil is so cheap.  If I move to Calgary, it's going to be like Edmonton.


"The personality picks the profession": I cut out this article by Lakshmi Gandi in the Metro on Jun. 16, 2014:

On the surface, the advice that young people should select careers that fit their personalities seems obvious, but a quick look at the stats reveals that it’s anything but.

A survey released last year by Gallup revealed that nearly two-thirds of employees from over 180 countries reported that they were “not engaged” at work and that a mere 13 percent of employees currently feel passionate about their work.

None of the figures are surprising to Paul Tieger. For over 30 years, the question of how people can find the right career path for themselves has fascinated Tieger and driven his own career and work. Along with Barbara Barron and his millennial-aged daughter Kelly Tieger, the author has just released the fifth edition of the book “Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type,” which is geared towards the current generation of professionals.

“When you are doing something that is not about who you are, that’s a prescription for burnout,” says Tieger.

“We believe through lots of experience that the most important thing is to pick a job and career that matches your personality,” he continues. “Values, interests and skills are likely to change over time, but personality will not.”

To that end, the book provides detailed exercises and examples to help guide readers towards the perfect career for them. Both Paul and Kelly Tieger say that it’s particularly important for younger professionals-- the so-called millennial generation-- to be aware of their personalities and unique needs when deciding what to do next in their professional lives. They share these tips on how to find what’s right for you:

Ignore the ‘trendy jobs’


“It’s a difficult economy, so it can be hard to buck the trend,” notes Kelly Tieger. But while considering the current so-called trendy jobs, it’s also important to be realistic. “Think of the typical artistic type,” says Paul Tieger. “Those people really need to be true to themselves. The key is understanding what your strengths are.”

He notes that people who know that they would stress out in environments with tight deadlines, should gravitate towards fields where they can give themselves the time and space they need.

See if you can make a lateral move


If you are certain that your current department or environment isn’t working for you, see if you can make a lateral move within your organization, advises Kelly Tieger. Applying for a different position may not make a difference in your salary, but it will greatly enhance your quality of life.

Start Early


If possible, the Tiegers say that you should examine fields that suit your personality as early as college. “Most people are asked to pick a college major when they are 19,” says Paul Tieger. “And most people don’t have a clue at that age. But you’re probably not going to get someone who is philosophical and artsy to go on Wall Street."

Know Yourself


The more you know your personality, the better say the Tiegers. Career changers who want to discover their exact personality type and profile can take a quiz at personalitytype.com/dowhatyouare.

And don’t fret. “Just because you are creative doesn’t mean that you are doomed to never make money,” says Kelly Tieger. It just means that they creatively have to find the right path for them.


My opinion: I was thinking about the "lateral move" part.  I have worked in other departments at my job.  Sometimes I do like other departments more.

I have thought about working in retail.  I would rather work in restaurants.  If the pay is the same, I would choose to work in restaurants.

I really like this article, and took the personality type quiz.  It reminds me of the days when I read those teen magazines and there were quizzes.  I'm sure some of you guys are laughing at this part.  I got this result:

Personality Type:

The Key to Your Career Satisfaction and Success

The key to finding the most satisfying career lies in understanding your Personality Type. Why? Because work that is in sync with your “Type” lets use your greatest natural, inborn talents, which energizes you and helps you enjoy your work.

Here are just five “Career Satifiers” for people of your type. When they review this list, most INTJs feel: “Wow! How great would it be if I could have these things in my job?!”

The good news is…you absolutely can! Start right now by identifying your top career satisfiers. This can help you find a career which will bring you the greatest satisfaction and success.

INTJ

Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judgers

A satisfying career for you involves work that:
  • Lets you create and develop innovative solutions to problems
  • Lets you work with others whom you respect
  • Allows you to work independently and do things your way
  • Reflects and meets your very high standards
  • Provides you with a lot of control and autonomy


"How can I get experience if I can't get a job?"/ "Playing favorites"

Dec. 26, 2015 "How can I get experience if I can't get a job?": I cut out this article from Julie Labrie in the Globe and Mail on May 11, 2012:

THE SCENARIO

I am finding myself stuck in my job search. Every employer seems to want many years of work experience and, as a recent graduate, I just don't have this. It is extremely frustrating how narrow-minded many people seem to be about this. How are you supposed to get experience if no one gives you a chance? It doesn't seem to matter if you volunteer extensively, constantly answer job ads, and network. If you are a young person you may as well give up, in my view, because employers are just not interested. Do you have any suggestions?

THE ADVICE

Although you may feel frustrated, there is hope out there, I promise. Let’s start by reviewing some do’s and don’ts to land that first postgraduate job:

Do narrow your search

The notion that “the more jobs I apply for, the better my chances of landing one” is often false. You would be amazed by how many people apply to random jobs without having relevant experience, which wastes everyone’s time. Focus specifically on companies that hire new graduates in your area of interest.

Don’t underestimate temp opportunities

Workers who are successful in temporary positions are often hired on as permanent employees. It happens all the time, but many job seekers don’t realize this. Temp work can offer fantastic learning opportunities and give you valuable experience.

Do ask for support

Many government programs encourage the hiring of new graduates. Research and take advantage of them.

I also spoke with some experts to get their advice for new grads. Lisa King, spokesperson for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, cited some specific government programs.

“The [federal] government’s Youth Employment Strategy helps youth make successful transitions to the workplace with programs such as Career Focus, Canada Summer Jobs and Skills Link,” she said. “Recent graduates can also find valuable information at youth.gc.ca, and workingincanada.gc.ca.”

Laurine Peters, recruitment manager at IBM Canada, said internships give students and new grads a great opportunity to get real job experience. “We offer hundreds of internships and co-op placements every year, and this gives us a chance to meet and work with upcoming graduates,” Ms. Peters said.

“We want students to communicate how their background demonstrates key capabilities such as leadership, team playing, communication, creativity and collaboration.”

Jennifer Presta is manager of global recruitment and human resource operations at American Express Canada. She said that when it comes to new graduates, her recruitment team looks for well-rounded individuals, who not only have good grades but are also active in their community, do volunteer work and participate in extra-curricular activities.

“I would advise new grads to highlight the transferable skills they gained through their previous summer job opportunities,” she said. “Whether they’ve worked in retail, or in a service-oriented industry, we want them to talk about how their skills can transfer into a corporate environment.”

The students who stand out the most are the ones who show initiative, Ms. Presta said. “They reach out to us via LinkedIn, they show us they’ve researched our organization beyond the first page of our website, and they demonstrate how they understand what we stand for.”



"Playing favorites": I cut out this article by Barbara Moses in the Globe and Mail on May 11, 2012:

When one of my clients arrived at work one day, she noticed some of her colleagues were particularly well-dressed. At noon, she watched them all leave. She later learned they were invited to a fancy luncheon hosted by her manager. It was more evidence that she wasn’t in the inner circle: All the invited were his pets.

Bosses playing favourites is one of employees’ top complaints. Chosen ones can range from someone being mentored by the manager to a confidant to a shopping buddy to someone with whom the boss is having an affair.

When people see co-workers scoring plum assignments, getting insider information, or being allowed to do things for which others would be reprimanded, they become dispirited. No one wants to be a second-class citizen.

Favouritism is prevalent, and it can be powerful. A recent survey of 300 executives at large U.S. corporations by Georgetown University researchers found that 92 per cent have seen it influence promotions.

Office pets usually fill an emotional need in the boss, the most obvious being sycophantic ego flattering. They can also meet more nuanced needs – such as reminding the manager of his or her younger self or standing in for a child who no longer wants parental advice. Or they might exhibit a neediness that makes the boss wants to take care of them. Bosses can also feel pumped when they make the pets their project, moulding them to behave and dress in a particular way.

Today’s managers receive less training on how to be a good boss. The frantic atmosphere of business contributes to favouritism by breeding a sense of immediacy in which managers skip the niceties of being concerned about others’ feelings. Added to this is a high performance bar, which leads managers to give important assignments to their favourites if they think, perhaps unfairly, that their pets can best deliver.

Some bosses are more prone to playing favourites. Introverts, for example, are more selective about who they like, while extroverts tend to like everyone more or less equally. Introverts are thus more likely to favour some employees over others.
Similarly, women are more likely than men to have chosen ones or to play favourites, because women are more inclined to make an emotional connection with others.

Of course, no one feels good about themselves when they are excluded from an inner circle, so those who don’t make it need to find a reason to explain their reduced status. Rather than thinking the unthinkable – that the preferred one is more talented or more charismatic – they lash out and diminish the pet by attributing his or her success to being political, self-promoting, or a “yes” person.

Human resources experts, Pollyanna-like, say that partiality is never acceptable. But is favouritism always a bad thing? Can you ever really get rid of it?

Some favouritism is egregious – the boss is having an affair with the pet, or the favourite is a toady who supports the boss no matter what.

But sometimes selecting a favourite isn’t capricious or driven by the boss’s ego needs – it is based on talent. The favourite is simply more skilled, or has more potential. Or the manager is more comfortable with that employee because of a compatible work style.

It is natural for people to be more attracted to, and thus favour, one person over another, especially if that person is a better performer, more reliable, makes the boss look good, or is simply more likeable. You can’t eradicate favouritism completely because you can’t legislate attraction.

As painful as it may be to accept that you are not one of the chosen, not everyone is capable of making equal contributions; therefore not everyone can be treated equally.

The chosen ones do benefit from their boss’s attention, but there are downsides as well. They may be ridiculed by co-workers, or be the targets of passive-aggressive comments. Passed-over colleagues might complain, “If I were prepared be a suck-up, I could be promoted, too.”

Interestingly, ego-fuelled managers who play favourites are often oblivious to what they are doing and how it affects others. I once told a client that everyone in her department knew who her “special person” was, and described some of my client’s inappropriate behaviours such as shutting her office door and giggling loudly with her favourite. She was shocked and professed complete ignorance – both that people knew that she favoured someone, and that she did it so explicitly.

If you believe you are being discriminated against in favour of someone less talented, speak to your manager about how demoralizing it is to be a second-class citizen. However, whatever you do, don’t slag the pet.

Or confide in your boss’s boss, or someone in human resources, presenting hard examples of unfair treatment. But be cautious: I have heard numerous accounts in which the confidence is broken, people side with the manager, and everyone blames the victim.

You should also figure out what the favourites do better than, or differently than, you do. Can they be counted on in ways that you can’t? Are they more agreeable and flexible? Do they show more initiative?

Or you can accept the fact that sometimes the world is not fair, do the best you can, and maybe even look for a new boss, perhaps one who will make you his or her pet.


"Horror in Suburbia"/ Universities donate excess food

Mar. 2, 2016 "Horror in Suburbia": This is an article by Erika Kinetz in Seventeen magazine on Nov. 2004.  Hope is not her real name:

It was about a 12 yr old girl named Hope and her step mom Marie Nirva who is from Haiti.  Hope's mom died of AIDS when she was 6, so Hope moved in with her step family.   In Sept. 1996, Hope moved with the Nirva family to the US.  She got a fake passport and moved to Miami.

Hope was a maid and had to clean the whole house everyday.  She often ate alone.  Willy Pompee Jr., her step brother was 18 and started sexually abusing her.  Hope is now 12 yrs old and she saw a commercial of John Casablancas Modeling and Career Centre about self-esteem and self-confidence and she called the number on the screen.

Tiffany Harmon was a 16 yr old receptionist who answered the call.  Tiffany thought Hope wanted someone to talk to and not be a model.  Hope called the agency every other night and talked to other workers there like Randy Katz and Renee Falsetto.  She called for a few weeks.  They didn't totally believe Hope's stories of her abuse.

Renee then overheard Hope talking to Willy Jr who said to her: "What do you want now?  More sex?"  Renee was horrified and started to believe Hope was telling the truth.  They called the Florida Department of Children and Families.  2 cops went to the Pompee home twice and Hope said nothing was wrong.

On Sept. 18, about 18 days after Renee called the police, Hope's teacher Sonia Mitchell called the police because she suspected Hope was being abused.  A detective Cheryl Odom picked up Hope to go to the Sexual Assualt Treatment Centre and have Hope examined.

Hope called her step cousin Varanka and the women at the agency for help like a toothbrush.  They brought other things like magazines, shampoo and pajamas.

Pastor Jimmye Larkin, a black woman took her in.  She had 2 foster daughters.

Willy Jr. has been charged with 10 counts of sexual battery and is still on the run.

Here's some more news on it:


Here's a 2006 article:

Now 19-year-old Williathe Narcisse, once an anonymous victim whose story first made headlines seven years ago, is a young adult with hopes and dreams.

"I had a rough childhood, but I thank God I'm trying to make it now," Narcisse said in her first public comments on her ordeal.

These days, Narcisse lives on her own in an efficiency apartment in Hollywood. She works part-time at Target, and interns at WEDR 99 JAMZ radio station.

Maestro Powell, the station's marketing director, said Narcisse began hanging around the station and Powell was so moved after learning about her life, he gave her an internship.


Mar. 8, 2016 Homeless man helps woman:

A young woman who was left stranded after she missed the last train from London was looked after by a kind homeless man who saw her crying.

Nicole Sedgebeen had gone out for the night in the capital but when she arrived at Euston Station to go back home to Milton Keynes, the doors were closed.

With the rain pelting down on her and temperatures plummeting to zero, a drunken Nicole broke down in tears as she tried to work out what to do in a strange city.

But a homeless man called Mark stepped in and ended up becoming her hero.

Taking her to an all-night cafe for a coffee and a chat, Mark promised he would return at 5am to take her back to the station.

Despite Nicole’s doubts, he did exactly that - even getting a bus to reach her - and it changed her perceptions of homeless people forever.

Posting a selfie with her new friend, Nicole wrote on Facebook: “It got past 5 and he was a no show. As I got round the corner my homeless friend Mark was running down the street towards me.

“Not only did he turn up but he had to get a bus to come get me.
“This man who I probably would of avoided eye contact with if he asked for spare change, completely changed such a negative event into the most eye opening event in my life.

“Mark you are one special man, I will never look down on a homeless person again.”
She later said Mark told her it was “a father’s duty to get another man’s daughter home safe”.



Mar. 23, 2016 Rob Ford: He has passed away yesterday.  That's sad.  I knew he had cancer. 


Now I'm going to use my "parking lot" email to write about more news.  I know it may seem kind of random, but they are all news- related: 

A cop uses his own money to pay for a hotel room for a homeless woman and baby: Here is an excerpt:

A hungry, homeless woman and her baby took refuge in the lobby of a Hyattsville police station in Maryland saying she had nowhere else to go and that she was a victim of domestic violence.

Thanks to Cpl. Che’ Atkinson’s kind actions, she ended up spending the night at a hotel instead of the street.

Now, thousands have taken notice of his good deed on Facebook after a few photos were posted on the police department’s page.

“I’m a little overwhelmed and shocked,” Atkinson told WUSA9. “And the reason why is it didn’t seem like a big deal to me because I see other officers do stuff like this all the time.”


Edmonton dancer on Janet Jackson tour:

A popular hip-hop dancer from Sherwood Park will be gracing the stage at Rexall Place this weekend as a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson.

On Friday, Taylor Hatala, 12, will be in Edmonton as part of the Janet Jackson Unbreakable World Tour, which officially kicked off in Vancouver on Monday.

“To have the opportunity to work with the biggest female icon in the music industry is the most amazing feeling in the world!” said Hatala, in a written statement. “This is beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you to Janet and her team for this unreal opportunity! I am so so grateful!”


Male dancer: This is an old video, but I really like the enthusiasm and attitude when he's dancing:



Universities donate excess food: I found this on Facebook:

Combatting Food Waste and Hunger is Simple! See How!

                                      
GreaterGood is proud to partner with the Food Recovery Network, a dynamic, student-led organization which donates surplus dining hall food to those in need.

To celebrate the University of Maryland’s entrance into the Big 10, the Food Recovery Network’s important work was recently highlighted in this moving video clip. Their commitment to tackling both food waste and hunger is an inspiration to us!



Buy Nothing Project: Of course I like this, it's about anti- consumerism:


We all know that America is a land of excess, and we all want to spend less money. But what if we could actually survive without buying anything? Thanks to the amazing power of social media, that’s becoming a reality for communities around the world.

It’s called the Buy Nothing Project, and it began in July 2013 as a neighborhood Facebook group on Bainbridge Island, WA. Locals began posting photos of items they were interested in giving away, and grateful folks in need replied. No exchange of money, simply gifting and receiving.

The concept was such a hit that the movement quickly grew, now appearing in neighborhoods around the U.S., Canada, and a handful of other countries. There are more than 300 groups in all, and that number is growing. (If your town doesn’t have one, you can start one up.)

There’s no limit to what can be exchanged. According to the Buy Nothing blog, “People give clothes, dinners, crock pots, plants, rabbits, snakes, rabbit-eating snakes. We’ve seen used and clean Ziploc bags offered, laundry detergent, antiques, bicycles, antique bicycles, canoes, kombucha, branches, flowers, cement blocks, eggs, beds, broccoli, custard, and crickets.”

But it’s more than just a donation system. The simple act of giving has torn down walls between neighbors. It’s created community in spirit, not just in name. It’s a social movement, “enabling people and communities to commit episodic acts of daily good together.”

It even helped a couple have the wedding of their dreams without spending a penny. See their story in the video below.




Surfer saves 13 yr old from drowning: This was a happy news video:


Cookie Love: There was a cookie store on 124 street.  Now it closed down, but there is still one in downtown:



World's longest tongue: Here's a light and fun video where a young woman shows her long tongue: