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Work

Work Emails During a Holiday?

I understand the lure. It’s the weekend or you’re on holiday and your work phone pings. Or perhaps you walk by it on a desk and get the urge to ‘catch up’.

We’ve all been classically conditioned to check our phones.

So you sneak away for 2 minutes to check in to see if there’s anything urgent. Next thing you know you’re elbows deep in work emails, you’re mind is in corporate mode and your stress levels are rising.

Today in Canada is ‘Family Day’. Presidents Day in the US. Yet, just 10 minutes ago I felt the pull to check my work phone.

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I caved.

In a flash, I saw dozens of unread messages. Suddenly the final moments of my long weekend turned from relaxing until the sun rises to dreaded anticipation for the shit-storm about to hit in the morning. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just the ordinary, regular, daily shit-storm that we call work.

Repulsed at what I had just done, I quickly put the phone back down and walked back to my family and comfort of my living room. I’ll deal with it all tomorrow. Of course, I now must pay the price for my curiosity with a cortisol spike pushing through my bloodstream.

Who the fuck is sending me emails when they should be spending time with their families or on leisure pursuits?

I spent no more than 30 seconds looking at my phone, but it was enough to see I received a dozen emails over the past 3 days – Saturday, Sunday and a holiday Monday.

Who the fuck is sending me emails when they should be spending time with their families or on leisure pursuits? I understand the drive to get ahead, but if productivity is really the siren’s call then why not learn a skill or read a book? Why attempt to ruin your colleagues’ Sunday with the Monday-to-Friday chaos?

Are these people bored? Do they have no interests outside of work? Or are they trying to cultivate the 24/7 workaholic image, which is celebrated in North American culture?

Worse, do they feel pressured by their peers to check their emails? After all, there’s nothing worse than being 2 days behind on a crisis.

Regardless of the reason, it’s unhealthy.

We already devote 5 out of 7 days to work, and much of the remaining two days is spent preparing for Monday. There’s already no such thing as a work-life balance. We don’t need to make it worse by answering emails on a Sunday.

Categories
Work

Should You Include Hobbies on Your Resume?

People add their personal interests and hobbies to their resume to appear well-rounded and interesting. As a hiring manager I can tell you right now that 99% of the time I don’t give a shit about your hobbies.

You’re sending me your resume to get a job. So make sure every single thing on your resume helps you achieve that goal. If you do include a hobby it must help further your objectives and not simply serve as filler or an attempt at humanizing yourself. I know you’re human. I know you probably have a life outside of work. Unless what you do outside of work makes you better at work I don’t really care.

How do you know if listing your hobby helps further your career objectives? First consider the skills and characteristics the hiring manager is seeking. Leadership? Then list how you spearheaded neighbourhood cleanup efforts.

Or use your hobbies to show how you are gaining experience you haven’t been provided during your 9-5.

Or use your hobbies as a way to craft your personal brand. You want to be seen as a self-starter? Then list personal interests that show that.

Unfortunately, most people take a passive, superficial approach to listing personal interests on their resume. They literally list personal interests: cat herding, unicycling, circle-research. Great, but irrelevant.

If you do include personal interests on your resume, ensure they are there for a purpose.

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Categories
Work

MF Doom on Writers Block

RIP MF Doom. One of the greatest MC’s of all time. He was obscure, eccentric and relatively unknown to the masses. However, his lyricism had a giant influence on rappers of all sorts.

With the announcement of his recent death, I thought it timely to share an insight that could help anyone slogging through the creative process. This not only relates to writing lyrics. You might be writing copy for a brochure, developing a new product or planning the strategic direction for a business. Bottom line is this all requires some form of creativity that can get blocked.

Below I’ve provided a snipped from MF Doom. And below that, I’ve also shared a longer clip from Monty Python’s John Cleese on the creative process. Many companies, executives, artists and individuals struggle to be innovative and creative. It’s a discipline that needs to be tended to. If you want to be creative or innovative, it’s important to understand how it works.

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