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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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"The real reason the tortoise beat the hare"/ "get the job you want"

Sept. 7 "The real reason the tortoise beat the hare": I cut out this article by Harvey Schachter in the Globe and Mail on Feb. 13, 2013.  I like this article because it was inspirational and motivational.  Here's the whole article:

Tuesday Morning Coaching
By David Cottrell
(McGraw-Hill, 148 pages, $24.95)

We all know the moral of the fable about the tortoise and the hare – perseverance beats speed. But Dallas-based executive coach David Cottrell believes another important lesson can be drawn from the ancient tale.

After all, if the hare had run straight to the finish line, it would have won. Perseverance would not have beaten speed in that case. But the hare was so consumed with its talent that it forgot to use that gift, diverted by the prospect of a soothing nap. The tortoise never got distracted: It focused on the finish line.

“Successful people are not distracted by their success. They are focused on mastering a combination of several simple truths that – put together – create ongoing success,” Mr. Cottrell writes in Tuesday Morning Coaching.

The book is written in fable form, fiction with a message for business leaders, so those words come from Jeff Walters, an imaginary executive coach telling the story of his successful work with a burned-out executive who wants to reboot. They agree to meet every Tuesday morning for two months, at which eight approaches to getting out of the rut are shared and implemented:

1. Keep going, no matter what

Successful people accept responsibility and, like the tortoise, move on regardless. They expect distractions and obstacles to pop up, and make good choices to continue moving forward. They aren’t like a passenger in a car, looking around at the scenery, but instead like the driver, in control, focused intently on the road. “Success is not about luck or the economy. It’s about making a conscious choice that No Matter What, you will keep moving forward to your goals,” he writes.

2. Go the extra distance

Successful people do a little more than everyone else – they do what’s required, and then some extra. A sales person who commits to making one extra call a day above the norm makes about 250 extra calls in a year; if 20 per cent were to lead to customers, that translates into 50 extra clients. Successful people provide extra services – something unexpected that develops committed customers. They go the extra mile.

3. Stick to your word

Successful people do what they say they will. If they commit to something, you can consider it done. And done completely – no half measures – consistently. That integrity is central to their character. They have integrity, doing what’s right, regardless of the circumstances.

4. Go all in

Complacency is the root of mediocrity. Successful people know what is important in their life – what they value above all else – and make achieving those values and goals non-negotiable. When they make a commitment, they are “all in” – they don’t stop halfway through, leaving a problem unsettled. They move from one opportunity to another, always creating the next “above all else.”

5. Learn from failure

Successful people fail. Not everything they touch is golden. But when they stumble, they pick themselves up and move forward. They pledge from now on not to make the same mistake again and to learn from adversity. “I’ve found that many people are reluctant to learn from the past and move forward. Instead, they’re more interested in justifying why the situation is the way it is rather than making the situation better,” he writes. “It’s no secret that success rarely happens on the first try. It usually happens after trial and error, learning from those mistakes, prolonged effort and moving forward.”

6. See it, feel it, trust it, do it

To accomplish goals, you must see what you want to accomplish, feel within yourself the result of the action, trust what you are doing is the right thing, and then implement the plan. It’s like a golfer, imagining the perfect shot he or she wants to hit. Like that golfer, you should not focus on the negative (the water hazard, say), but rather on the middle of the fairway where your ball will safely land.

7. Focus inside your boat

Just as Olympic rowers ignore rain, strong winds or choppy waters because that’s outside their boat, you need to focus on the things you can control. In terms of time management, this means accepting that you can’t really manage time but you can manage your attention. Say no to low-priority items so you can focus on the truly important stuff.

8. Knowledge is power

The more you learn, the better your decisions will be and the greater your success. Remember, knowledge won’t come looking for you. You need to seek it out.

In the book, the formula works and the man being coached becomes reinvigorated at work, gets his marriage on track, and brings his golf handicap down. The author’s idea of eight simple truths make sense, and may help reorient you to new directions.

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"Do more than cross your fingers to get the job you want": I cut out this article by Eileen Chadnick in the Globe and Mail on Feb. 13, 2013.  Here it is:

I just finished university and I was hired as a temp in an entry-level position with a large local tech firm. It’s in my chosen field. Even though I’m not exactly doing the job I wanted and it’s not permanent, it’s good experience. The temp job could end in a month but I will have gained three months of experience. The pay is not amazing but definitely livable.

Here’s my dilemma: I have been offered a full-time permanent job with better pay and great benefits at a company that doesn’t interest me. The employer will train me but I will end up gaining no experience in my field.

Should I keep working at my temp job with continued contract extensions and cross my fingers that they hire me? Or do I take the better-paying, boring job just for the sake of paying off looming student loans?


Many young graduates would envy your position. That said, I understand your dilemma. Who wouldn’t want a permanent job with steady pay and benefits – but at the expense of what?

Your description of “better-paying, boring job” in comparison with working in your chosen field makes me wonder how long you would be satisfied in that role. It sounds as if your gut knows what you want but you are, rightly, acknowledging there is a risk you may not get a full-time role there. Ultimately, this has to be your decision but keep in mind that careers are marathons, not sprints. Reflect on how each opportunity might serve your longer-term goals.

Given your interest in the tech field and that you have a foot in the door of a large company, there’s merit in considering this option seriously. I’d encourage you to go well beyond “crossing your fingers” in hopes that they offer you a job. There’s more you can do.

First, have a conversation with human resources immediately to let them know of your situation. Share your interest in developing your career with this company and ask if there’s an opportunity for contract renewals or permanent employment. It’s okay to let them know about your other job offer – it shows you are valuable. But don’t present this as a threat, just a crossroads and a decision you need to make.

Be authentic in conveying your real desire to develop your career with this company. If they recognize your potential, this conversation might open doors. Regardless of HR’s immediate response, if you stay for the duration of your contract, make the most of the opportunity.

Show them your stuff

No matter how menial your tasks are, be seen as a keener. Take every task seriously; offer to do more; have a winning attitude; be a team player; make sure people like working with you. I’m sure you’re already doing this, but kick it up a notch wherever you can. When appropriate, ask questions about the company, show your interest and don’t be shy to let the right people know that you are keen to learn and develop, and would love the opportunity to stay on. Smart employers recognize the keepers.

Network strategically

Don’t wait to be noticed. Connect with the right people. Your supervisor should be an important source for a career conversation. And cast your net beyond your department. Are there other areas in the business about which you would like to learn more? Find out who’s who and ask if they can talk for a few minutes about careers within their area and in the field.

My opinion: That's some good tips to tell HR about the other job and that you really want to stay with this company.

However, these days I am willing to work at a good paying and boring job.  As long as it pays well, I won't leave.  I have a life outside of work and that's interesting. 

It brings me back to the Office Job.  After a few months, I thought it was kind of boring.  However, I knew how to do the job and it paid well.  I was never going to leave it. 


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