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

Monday, December 14, 2015

"Five things I learned from millennials"/ "Five tips to avoid burning online bridges"

Aug. 6 "Five things I learned from millennials": I cut out this article by Nicole Gallucci in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 17, 2015.  There are so many job articles about millennials, and it leans to the negative.  This is kind of an inspirational article.  However, here's a positive article about them:

In my position, I am routinely asked how I manage “entitled” millennials.

Here’s the thing: I don’t find millennials difficult to work with; in fact, they are the reason I am excited to get out of bed and go to work every day. I am motivated and mentored by millennials. Approaching 50 and having lived a reasonably conservative, follow-the-rules, don’t-rock-the-boat life, I am now redefining success for myself in work, in life, and in everything in between. I credit the millennials in my midst – my children and my team at work – for my recent choices.

While people in my generation often need a reminder to “don their own oxygen mask before helping others,” millennials innately put on their own mask first. Is that entitlement? Perhaps – but there is so much more to the equation.

Millennials have grown up more connected to the world and are more aware of global issues. They understand how quickly things can change. As a result, they are not prepared to succumb to a job or life that does not serve their spirit. They know life is too short.

I am not going to tell you that millennials have it all figured out (show me a generation that does), but I do think they have a lot to offer. Daily, I am humbled by what they teach me.

Here are five things I’ve learned from the millennials in my life:

1. When in doubt, Google it

Millennials are not afraid to say “I don’t know,” and having grown up with the Web, smartphones and specifically Google, they know the answer is usually only a few short keystrokes away.

2. Seize the moment

The speed at which plans can evolve is ever-increasing as everyone connects over social media. Living with our phones in our hands allows us to know where everyone is and truly seize the moment because we are so easily connected.

3. There’s no excuse for not connecting

It’s so easy to stay connected, so stay connected. There is no reason not to check-in or chat from time to time. If the desire is not there to connect with someone, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your relationships and “clean house.” Millennial mentors have taught me that just as you can “friend” someone quickly, you can also “unfriend” them. This notion seemed extreme at first, but now I am on board. It’s harsh, but honest; which leads in to the next lesson.

4. Call it as you see it
Authenticity and integrity define real friendship. Millennials call it as they see it. They are more forthright. I’ve learned that their wisdom comes from asking “What have I got to lose?” or “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Perhaps this attitude and blunt approach comes from learning to communicate through technology, but I have seen countless healthy offline examples as well.

5. Do what you love or don’t complain

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from millennials is to truly live your passion and purpose. In my younger years, I subscribed to expectations: school, work, marriage, house, family, etc. While much of this worked for me, there are a few pieces that did not.

Now I am now boldly venturing into new territory, following a passion and purpose that previously I had kept locked away “until the time was right.” Traditionally, this motivation to live our purpose has been a rite of mid-life, but I find that the millennials come to this point earlier in their lives. They know life is ever-changing and tumultuous, so living with passion and purpose is their modus operandi.

I have been a marketer for my entire career and never has there been a demographic quite like millennials. What I love about them is the importance they put on authenticity, integrity, friends, understanding, living in the now and experiencing life. They are driven by passion and a need for purpose, rather than a follow-the-rules, keeping-up-with-the-Jones’s mentality. They are autonomous thinkers, questioning conventional wisdom and redefining work, family life, social circles, and the list goes on. Millennials choose to make life good every day – they don’t settle.

And to that point, I have resigned from the company I started 11 years ago. I am going to travel for a few months and then start a new venture that feeds my spirit. Perhaps rather than being labelled “entitled,” we should appreciate millennials as “enlightened.”

"Five tips to avoid burning online bridges": I cut out this article by Estelle Metayer in the Globe and Mail on Apr. 17, 2015.  Now this is a helpful article about social media and networking.  I usually use Facebook and hardly ever use Twitter.  Here's the article:

I recently got a message through Twitter from a colleague. He noticed I had unfollowed him on Twitter, and with a vaguely hinted tone of ill will, he had forwarded me a short article called “Never burn a bridge. Ever.”

After some soul searching and a bit of research, I recalled the reason I had stopped following him. It was after he shared an article filled with largely exaggerated facts about an organization I highly respect, the World Economic Forum.

Unintentionally, I had burned a bridge. It was not a strong bridge, but a clearly fragile one, the type of tenuous link we build with people on the Internet. Conflict online rapidly grows out of proportion. One might compare it with road rage; while protected by their glass windows, drivers can utter comments they would never say face to face. In the social media world, while protected behind our screens, our comments often get amplified and misinterpreted.

I recall feeling confused a while ago when the author Paulo Coelho, after following me for years on Twitter, chose to unfollow me. I was baffled, despite the fact that he is followed by 9.8 million, and he currently follows only about 196. Had I done something wrong that I could no longer be among the precious 196? Was my content suddenly worth less to the prolific author? Did it mean I had lost his trust?

In a world of fast media, awkward situations are developing as signs of abandonment are deciphered from an unfollow on Twitter or an unfriend on Facebook. Many of us are asked to explain at some point in time to our friends or family why we decided not to accept a LinkedIn connection request from them. It seems the world is evolving more slowly than its tools. It is still too delicate today to openly delete people from your life. So a new etiquette is needed. Here’s what I suggest:

1. Be clear on your profile – your follows or unfollows are based on current content and interests. They’re not personal. Warn people they may change from time to time, such as when you expect to unfollow a large number of them if you are attending a conference and want to clear your information streams to focus on that.

2. Get back to whomever you did not friend or follow and explain why. On LinkedIn, for example, I restrict my connections to colleagues I am or will be working with. When a new request comes in that doesn’t fit my rule, I find that a simple explanation of this is usually well received.

3. Bridges can have many lanes. Providing people an alternate channel of communication – in my case, Twitter – has allowed me to establish a connection with someone when I don’t accept their LinkedIn request. Some social-media networks simply give you more “open space” than others. LinkedIn can be reserved for people you personally know, while Twitter or Facebook tend to feel more public.

4. You can cross the bridge many times differently. Engaging in social media can be time consuming, so select well those you wish to interact with. There is nothing wrong with adapting the list of people you are following so it matches your interest of the moment. When I attend a conference, for instance, I tend to follow many of the participants and speakers during that week, and unfollow them when the conference is over.

5. Understand why someone might unfollow you from Twitter. Some unfollows are mistakes, but others have valid reasons and do not mean a public disapproval about who you are. They should be taken pragmatically rather than personally.

A study done by DK New Media showed that 52 per cent of people who unfollow do so when the account is too “noisy,” 48 per cent when it has too much self-promotion, 47 per cent when the content is viewed as spam, 43 per cent when the content is not interesting enough, and 29 per cent when it contains too much repetition or too much automation.

6. Pick up the phone. Jarod Kintz, author of I am Jacksonville, said: “With networking, some people build bridges, some people burn bridges, and some people, like myself, use a boat to cross the river that divides us from one another.” A personal phone call can be your boat and clear many a misunderstanding.


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