Monday, March 24, 2014

Questions To Ask During a Professional Job Interview

In the midst of job-hunting season for soon-to-be-graduates or individuals seeking for better opportunities, I have compiled a list of great questions to ask the interviewer/hiring manager. As much as they are seeking candidates for their company, you too have the power of looking for a company that suits your criteria and lifestyle. Asking the hiring manager questions shows that you are confident in what kind of career goals you possess. At the end, always ask a couple of questions stating your interest of the culture of the company. If they covered everything, ask about their personal experience in the company. Here are some questions I recommend:

· How big is my team? (Assuming)

· What is the average age of my team?

· What is the average day of my position?

· What is the turn-over rate?

· How often do employees socialize after work?

· How often would I be ask to work over-time or more than the average time I am required to work?

· Is there any reason you think I might have difficulty doing this job at the level the company wants?

· I’d like to opportunity to address any hesitations you have about my ability to do the job. Are there any you’d like to share at this time?

· Why is the position available?

· What are some of the desirable characteristics of this position?

· How did you start working here?

· What was it about my application that interested you enough to invite me to an interview?

· Ask Questions that show you’ve researched the company. This shows that you have put some work in up front.

· Ask questions about the company’s culture. This shows that you want to fit in and might not see the job as just a job. We spend so much time of our lives a work, it’s a good way that you want to show the company you would to be happy here.

· Ask questions about the upcoming projects that are coming in the pipeline. This shows that you are eager to get hired.

· What are the key hurdles of areas of concern in your business?

· What are some of the potential career paths this position sets a good foundation for?

· What are the best parts of working here?

Monday, March 10, 2014

We Need More Female Leaders and Advocates

“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help each other” –Madeleine Albright (Former Secretary of State)

If you have been a follower of my blog, you can recognize that I am a strong believer in civil rights and individuality. My friends know how passionate I can be when the line of justice gets crossed. Sometimes shows like “Law and Order: SVU” aren’t depicted as a true story, can get me upset because these issues do arise in our society. Although these stories aren’t real, they are inspired. And somewhere in our world, these kinds of injustice do happen. I am a supporter of gender equality and women empowerment, pushing women to get out of their comfort levels and feel more secure. I like to discuss about these issues because I understand that a lot of women struggle with insecurity.

Now that it’s 2014, we assume that the feminist society is progressing with more leaders inspiring the generation after to value individuality and be successful in the professional world. Although we (I associate myself as apart of this group) are progressing, why aren’t women making it to the top of any professional anywhere in the world? Numbers shows that we have not moved since 2002. From sectors like non-profit that are geared towards women, top executives are still out-numbered by men. Women are only leading these 20% of these organizations. 

How do we balance personal success and personal fulfillment? Why is there an ultimatum between family and career? What are some of the message we can tell society, our fellow coworkers, our daughters and ourselves?

Women systematically underestimate themselves. Women do not negotiate, we settle because we believe this is what we deserve. When we ask women, why do they deserve this position, they would say they are very fortunate for this opportunity and they are a hard worker, But when you as a man, they would say they are the best at what they are doing and they deserve it simply based on their capability to get the job done.

Women learn these behaviors and reinforcements through each other. It is about time we create space for ourselves and expand our qualities into the world without self-doubt. We are the owners of our bodies, our actions and most importantly our voices. If half of our companies and corporations were to be run by women it would be a better world.

Monday, February 24, 2014

If I Should Have a Son...

This was a pretty awkward article to write since I am not in that timeline of my life where I am ready to have children, but I thought a lot about how current gender issues are affected in our society. I want to remind myself that I will expose my children to a certain lifestyle that is open-minded. I want to share with them my beliefs and let them understand that they should not feel conflicted with normality. I was inspired by Sarah Kay’s (a writer and poet) spoken word on TED, “If I Should Have a Daughter..”. She wants to expose her daughter to a lot about feminist issues and artistic lifestyles that she too grew up with. Here is my rendition.

If I Should have a Son…

I will teach him sympathy, character, and discipline.

To not only have sympathy, but empathy. To feel and understand what others around him are feeling and experiencing.

I will let him cry in my arms and create a comfortable setting to express his feelings.

That the term “be a man” should not used.

That the term “hitting like a girl” should not be derogatory.

I will allow him to speak freely without hesitant of criticism from his friends.

I will teach him how to stand up for himself, others and women.

To speak out when he witnesses bigotry and racism.

Strength. He is able to be kind and ruthless at the same time. Kind in the sense that if a friend has a problem, they would not hesitate to reach out. But ruthless in the sense that friends wouldn’t dare to cross him. He will know the fine line between being kind and being a pushover.

To not seek the least amount of effort in anything he does. Courtship, Education, Career etc.

I will teach him how to be an effective communicator. How expression triumphs knowledge, how to be articulate. [This includes being aware of his vernacular (sluts, bitches, and niggas)]

Modesty and humility. Confidence in the sense that he has the ability to achieve whatever he sets his mind to because he is not only a hard worker but also because he has the experience to back it up.

I will teach him how to take on challenges patiently and not let failures phase him.

I will teach him how to not let his anger get the best of his emotions, and not let his current emotions affect his future plans.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Single Conundrums

My Classy 24 escapade has reached a point where I can no longer either gesture a friendly laugh or explain the inquiry of why I am not in a relationship. From my Vietnamese aunties “You have bofren?” to acquaintances to “How is the dude search?” maybe these gestures are friendly and they really do care if I will end up single. However, when did being single come off so negative? Society associates the word single with “only one”, “separate”, “by oneself” and “, “lonely”.

Personally, I don’t need a relationship to make me happy. These questions come off rude and extremely sexist because it creates a stigma that people need a significant other or they will feel lonely and sad. Why do we feel the need to explain why we are not dating or have a significant other?

It is totally fine being single independent and enjoying your own company. It strikes me because we growing into a progressive lifestyle where marriage is the least of our worries. I am surrounded by men and women that fear what career plans lie ahead of them. Will I be able to find a stable job after I graduate? Do I want to pursue higher education? Will I need to attend graduate school? Loans? Should I relocate? Can I afford to live in a metropolitan city?

Having a significant other is not a magic spell that takes away loneliness or improves self-esteem. Being a committed relationship is dedication and actual project that is always in the works. People that are in committed relationships should stop subtly pressuring their friends to join the S.O. club and encouraging them into the notion they need to find someone to complete them.

Being in love is an amazing thing. But being in love and being in a relationship are two different things. Same as it goes to being single and feeling lonely. I feel like everyone should be single for a period in your lifetime. It’s a gift to yourself where you can get you know yourself.

So ladies, gentlemen embrace being single— especially my ladies. Being single has taught me how to take care of myself, succeed on my own, discover what I am truly passionate about, and go after my own dreams. So now that I have found my epiphany, am I ready for a boyfriend? A relationship? Readiness has always been in me; the question is if I want to be. Not yet. Society stop creating outrageous norms, and women stop judging other women.

Love happens when you least expect it. It's supposed to be serendipity, spontaneous— not forced because you want to change your Facebook status. I hope the next time someone asks if I am in relationship and my response happens to be no, their response should be “Damn, that’s fantastic!”

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Free Yourself from Perfectionalism and Set Realistic Goals for 2014

How did 2013 move so fast? 2013 was such an emotional year; a lot happened. Some which I regret, some which I am grateful for, and mostly things that made me much stronger and wiser than 2012. I think resolutions are necessary since it gives you the push and the drive to be better. Even if it may only last for 2-3 months, being proactive is better than giving up completely. With all the social media and robust friends headlining “I don’t need a new year to have goals!” or “New Year, New Me motto won’t work!” “New Year resolutions are overrated!” If you need the boost of inspiration from a brand new year— that is totally fine. Sometimes a fresh clean plate gives us the courage to change the things we can or at least the wisdom to know the difference.

If you don’t want to be apart of the status quo and really make those resolutions stick, start from within. Self-improvement is weighing the good and bad habits. Reflections are as crucial as resolutions. You must really honestly reflect on how you feel about yourself, what have you improved on, and what do you need to work on.

Life is not race of what you have and what you don’t have. Consider what you do, and be grateful. I cannot stress how thankful I am for my experiences. We aren’t perfect and each of us carry self-doubt. You are in your twenties; mistakes are bound to happen. Open yourself to your true self. Appreciate your good qualities and make list of things you can improve on rather than take away completely.

Here are some characteristics* I would like to improve on in 2014:

- Be more personable to my family, friends, and strangers. Being able to universally have a conversation with anyone while still remaining yourself is very respectable.

- Cool headedness under stress. To maintain focus while working on solutions when everyone else around is circling around puddles of indecision.

- Self-Confidence. I would like to be confident in my career plans, my writing, and my life-decisions. I would like to stop second-guessing myself and trust that my decisions will take me to the right places. And, if it doesn’t I will have the courage to pick myself up again.

- The ability to put away my mobile device. We live in a world that is in constant need of social media and SMS. We always checking if someone liked the new photo of the blue bottle coffee with “sunrise” filter, or did that new guy from X bar responded to your sarcastic joke. Are we that uncomfortable with silence that we must need a electronic device to fuel us with information?

Set realistic goals, now I am not saying change from being a meat-lover to vegan. Take baby steps. Soon resolutions become improvements. Good luck hard workers!

* These are personal development traits I would like to have. I do have physical goals, but that will be shared through other social media.