This morning, I saw an article about job interview tips, suggesting interviewees behave in a manner that companies look for.
It said: “Most interviewers don’t really care about your ‘authentic self’. What they care about is that you display the personality traits they see as desirable.“
Ironically, authenticity is the one thing I know most interviewers (bosses, especially) look for, particularly in the creative field where your uniqueness gives you an edge. Candidates who appear too rehearsed resemble a Shutterstock meme.
So why do we encourage fresh grads to be good actors instead?
I can’t deny “yes, ma’am” candidates might stand a high chance applying for executive roles in traditional, corporate companies. Some upper management leaders prefer to hire subordinates who will “do and not ask”.
Why hire a person who will shake things up and make you look bad for not proposing these forward-thinking “Millennial” ideas?
“Right now, can you make an unconditional relationship with yourself? Just at the height you are, the weight you are, the intelligence that you have, and your current burden of pain? Can you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?” –
Pema Chodron, Comfortable With Uncertainty
Last December, I experienced Tibet’s heaviest snow in the past decade while en route to Lhasa from Shigatse. Locals expected the temperature to be “-5 degrees” at most, only to be hit by the reality of a bitter -22 drop during one night near Everest’s 5000m altitude base camp. It was so cold that the hotel’s pipes froze and turned our toilet bowl water into a solid cube. “You can do it! Others in Oymyakon, Russia, live with -55!” I screamed internally.
Yet, it was hard to voice my discomfort within four walls when I saw superhuman sherpas and pilgrims walk with bare hands while I had three gloves on. “Mind be strong. Just take off jacket and socks, lie down under blanket. For one minute, don’t move, relax. You will be warm,” advised Namgyal, our guide. But, of course, we still slept with four blankets, gloves and three layers of clothes that night.
In the high mountains, ‘mind over matter’ isn’t a quote in a cursive font to stick on your wallpaper—it’s a matter of survival. Not only do you have to battle the cold, but also the lack of oxygen. At 5000m altitude, oxygen supply is cut by almost half.
As a former PR girl of a Michelin-starred restaurant group, I was paid to eat for four years. Now, God forbid I’m vegan (just kidding, I always aspired to be one).
Naturally, I relate to questions I often receive on veganism.
How did you turn vegan? Why did you do it? *Insert scientific debate about nutrition intake* Do you do it for religion or health reasons? How do you survive without meat? Do you miss meat?
In Singapore, food is king. However, we don’t get the freshest vegetable produce or the most affordable, plant-based protein options. Nutritious food always seems more expensive.
Placing aside nutritional debates, I’m mainly vegan because I love vegetables, the discipline of preparing my own meals and being in sync with my conscience. My dog might need meat, but I know I don’t. Also, going vegan helps the environment.
I remember stroking a farm cow in France and watching a calf skip around the barn with joy, thinking how sorry I felt. Perhaps, that’s why we bring a child to a fruit farm but not the slaughterhouse.
How do I feel at the moment? My calf is a bit cold, I’m a bit hungry and unsure if my dog Bibi just farted. I also feel like I’m talking to a therapist who reveals I’m actually me talking to myself à la Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island.
What do you care about most in life? The safety and welfare of people I love, the beauty in everyday moments and a job that allows me to help others in a way I believe in.
What are 3 words that describe you? Curious. Empathetic. Skeptical.
What’s the biggest problem with the human race? We are at a war with our own species. We are schizophrenic.