Insight + Out

Insight + Out is created!

This is the link to the blog: insighttout.com (Yes! I even registered the domain!)

I thought I was being creative by having the additional ‘t’ as the “+” sign. Insight + Out will be a blog that curates my insights and analysis on various marketing strategies that different firms release. I will also predict whether it will be effective or not in achieving the desired goals of the firm. Hopefully, with enough reputable content, I will expand the scope of what the blog will cover.

I am aiming to release a proper insight each Saturday for consistency. You will have to keep an eye out for its first release next week!

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The Rejection(s) – A Reflection

Rejection [is] fleeting — and survivable. – Frank Bruni

The quote above was taken from Bruni’s essay on The New York Times. Though the title, How to Survive the College Admissions Madness, does not accurately describe my current situation, it does have several good points that can be applied.

Being rejected sucks. Everyone can agree on that. You question your self-worth and you start to get tunnel-vision on your future. It is here where you find yourself in a corner with no where to turn to. On the other hand, it also does not mean that it is the end all, be all.

I wanted the dream job at a well-known Consumer Packaged Goods company. However, this plan did not pan out the way I imagined it. After getting rejected over and over again, I started to have a lot of doubts in my abilities. Seeing my friends getting their dream job had a huge detrimental effect on me. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for them, but it made me question whether I was meant to be here.

After talking to my friends and family, I realized something. Maybe success is not defined in our end product. Instead, it is defined by how we overcome our failure. Though I did not get it this time, but it does not mean I will not get it later. There are different ways to getting to the same place as along as we are willing to keep walking.

What have I done since my Rejections post? I set priorities: 1) I need cash flow to pay my tuition next year. 2) I need relevant experience in a position to advance my career in Marketing. These two things do not have to be satisfied by one position. I am willing to put in the time and effort to achieve my dream. If that means working at two or more jobs, it will be done.

For all those interested in the article, here is the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-survive-the-college-admissions-madness.html?_r=1

Do it for Her.

Recently, I came across this scene from The Simpsons:

Source: FoxIt was the scene where we find out why Homer stays at the nuclear plant and something about it resounded in me.

My dad works on a factory line, day in and day out. He is probably the most hard-working man I have ever known and selfless too. His day starts at four in the morning from Monday to Friday with the possibility of getting laid off any time because of his age. I can see the physical toll on his body from his work. Dad definitely looks older than his age from the tired wrinkles that get deeper each day. From his movements, I can tell those muscles aches are turning into something more painful. Despite these effects, he continues his work day-by-day without missing a beat. I even remember him being terribly sick and still going to work to avoid missing a paycheck.

It might be easy to say that he should retire or quit to find a better job, but think about this. My dad does not have a higher education, in fact, he immigrated from China without a high school equivalent. As he would put it, “my body is my only tool of trade”. Also, factor in his age and the opportunity to get rehired is extremely slim if not none at all. If I thought my worries were big, I am now even more certain that his are bigger. How will I feed my family? How would I be able to my daughter through university?

Ultimately, I know that he is there for me and I cannot thank him enough for all that he has done. I want to succeed in attaining my dreams as I do not want his efforts to be for naught.

Dad, you are my inspiration and hero. I will not let you down.

Reading: A Fascination

Have you ever thought: “Wow, I’m reading!”

Think about it. Reading is a skill where you identify symbols and draw meaning from them. The letter “A”, for all we know, could have been written as the number “1” – provided that its evolution allowed it.

Here is an easier and applicable example. Take a text from a foreign language that you have no knowledge of and read it. Did you understand what it says? If you do know how to decipher the symbols, you would unlock its message.

Reading is a skill that we truly take for granted.

Protest Etiquette

I witnessed this twice in my local news.

Turning their back when the opposing party is speaking, whether it is for an apology or explanation, does not bode well with me. To observers, the act shows a sign of disrespect. Though this may be one of their main goals, the point is to convince the rest of the public of their position.

I understand that the act is to demonstrate that the upset party no longer want to listen to ‘lies’, and ‘apologies’. Instead, they want immediate action, which in this case is the resignation of the targeted party. On the other hand, bystanders would have a negative view on such an act as it shows intolerance and lack of respect. I do not recall these being the winning qualities for activist groups.

Turning your back around does help reinforce your stance, but it does not aid in the progression of your cause. Rather than turning around and ignore, face forward and listen. A well-structured argument cannot happen if listening is not in the equation. Then, bring it to the Q&A period, where your voice is heard by the general public and the targeted party.

The two articles that I was referring to:

http://globalnews.ca/news/967023/councillors-turn-their-back-to-mayor-rob-ford-in-protest/

http://www.lfpress.com/2015/04/10/western-university-president-amit-chakma-speaks-at-senate-meeting

48 Insight

My business program is notorious for team projects called 48-Hour reports. You are literally given 48 hours to complete a comprehensive analysis on a given case as well as recommendations for it. Also, you are required to work in teams of five to eight members. I think that it simulates a real-life example of projects and challenge our time management skills. All in all, I strongly believe that it is an effective method of teaching.

After six 48-Hour reports (and one 28-Hour), I made an analysis on team dynamic and human behavior. These observations are applicable to the majority of teams. I identified four main roles within the groups.

*NOTE: These assumptions are made based on a 100%, all-hands-on-deck situation. THIS IS NOT A RANT. Instead, it is an analysis on how to identify the different characters that may appear in a team environment and how to work around them.

The Driver – 10%

There will always be a driver and they make up 10% of the team. They will either automatically assume the role or be forced into it. Some will be more obvious than others, but someone will be directing the ship and they set the pace of the group. I find that a good driver will layout the best plan of attack and create a list of tasks that needs completion.

The Backseat Driver – 10%

One person will play this role. The Backseat Driver is known to turn the car to Antarctica even though the whole team is set on going to the Arctic. Though things may go ‘south’, hear them out. They may have a good point. However, if they consistently challenge ideas and do not add value, intervention is necessary to realign the group’s goals.

The Support – 50%

Most of the group members can be categorized in this area and they create the bulk of the content. They work together and feed off of each other’s ideas. High level of collaboration and a clear plan are needed for this section to function well.

The 20%

This group is uncertain on how to add value to the group, because the subject is not their forte. Always assume that the 20% want to assist you (because they do) and give them very specific instructions. Patience is a virtue. Their collaboration is good for the team dynamic as they feel more engaged and included. You will also be able to allocate the project’s weight across a wider board. In addition, this group will emerge when there are no more tasks. The marginal benefits would decrease if you force them to do something.

What does this all mean?

After identifying these different characters in your group, I do think that you become more adaptable to different personalities. Second, you are more likely to reflect on how you interact with other people.

The Rejection(s)

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a position at this time.

Rejection.

The most distasteful word I have encountered in a while.

This year, I have been rejected 53 times whether they were job applications or interviews. These do not count those who have rejected my cold emails. The first few were not as damaging to your self-esteem because you rationalize that you are simply not refined enough. Tweaking your resume should do the trick. Practicing the interview more should seal the deal. These are not enough.

They say that maybe it is not you, and it is more so you are not what they are looking for currently. I beg to differ. You simply are not good enough and there are better candidates than you. That is the fact of reality.

They say that it is a waiting game and you have to keep trying. How do you persevere without questioning your own worth?

The rejections are eating me alive, but I know I have to keep going. Being narrow-minded and inflexible in this environment are what eventually leads to one’s downfall.