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Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How to lose a job in 10 ways

Recently, I posted an ad online, looking for a babysitter for McKenna. I was clear in my requirements, as well as the hours and rate of pay. I received a large volume of emails in response to the ad; most of them went something like this:

"wen do u want someone?"

"what is the pay i might be quitting my job so maybe i could work for you until i find something else"

"i don't have first aid but i been around lot of kids"

or my favourite

"call me. 736-7628"

Seriously!? Is this really the best you can do? While I did not specifically advertise for an English professor, I do expect a certain level of proficiency in the language. Moreover, I expect a certain level of professionalism when inquiring about a potential job. To make things easier, I have compiled a list of things that I expect of a job candidate - whether I am hiring someone to mow my lawn, clean up dog poop, or watch my precious child. While I don't expect that any of the applicants I rejected will ever read this maybe someone, somewhere, will read this and learn something from it.

1. It's common courtesy to start an email with a greeting. And it's so simple - "hi" is only two letters long.
2. It's really not that difficult to capitalize proper nouns. So do it. It makes you seem much more literate.
3. Don't ask questions that are already covered in the advertisement. If I specify that the rate of pay is $10 an hour, then it is $10 an hour, even for you.
4. Take the extra three seconds and spell out the entire word. It might be alright to use "lol' or "u" when texting a friend, but when emailing a potential employer it looks sloppy and lazy. If you are really that short on time, what are you doing applying for another job?
5. Along those same lines, use spell check if needed. It's okay to ask for help.
6. Don't offer to come work for me until something better comes along. We have all been there - waiting to land our dream job, and working crappy jobs in the meantime. But at least pretend that you want to work for me.
7. Ask questions. Show that you actually read the advertisement and put some thought into your reply. You could even inquire about the child that you would be caring for. Again, pretend that you want to work for me.
8. Don't just leave me your name and phone number. I will not call you, I can promise you that.
9. If you don't meet the specified criteria, move on. Chances are you will find a job that you are suited for if you keep looking. But if I have asked for First Aid and CPR, it is for a reason. I don't care that you spent every summer playing with your younger cousins from Wisconsin if you can't help my child when she's choking.
10. I can't stress this enough - be professional. There'll be plenty of time to joke around and talk in slang once we get to know each other. Hell, I might even txt u.

Friday, 3 February 2012

To Give or Not to Give (Unsolicited Advice)

I fully expected to get lots of unsolicited advice from family, friends, and even complete strangers - from advice on how to dress the baby for the weather to when to start her on solids. What I did not anticipate was being told by so many that I was spoiling my baby by responding to her cries all of the time. As a new mom, I have a lot of doubts about my skills. I don't always know what her cries mean or how to soothe her. I don't always know whether I should let her nurse "just because", even when I know she's not hungry, and is just going to spit it back up. But what I do know is that when she cries, she needs me. She's not being manipulative or trying to control me. She's being a baby - a beautiful, innocent, utterly-dependent-upon-me baby.

Most pediatricians and experts in child development will tell you that it is not possible to spoil a baby. Attachment theory tells us that when an infant's needs are not met by their caregiver, they risk developing an insecure attachment style, which impacts upon all of their future relationships. When a mother is not available for her infant and does not meet his needs, the baby learns that his caregiver is unreliable and that he cannot depend on her. This is not the lesson that I want my baby to learn. I want her to know that when she cries, mommy will be there. When she is hungry, tired, in pain, or just needs a hug, I will be there to meet her needs. After all, I'm the one who signed up for this; she didn't ask to be brought into this world. I will not let her cry for  hours on end, in order for her to learn to sleep on her own. I will not wean her until she decides that she is ready. If she sleeps in my bed until she is four, or seven, or ten (highly unlikely), who is this hurting?

I found a cute t-shirt at Walmart the other day. It reads "My mommy doesn't want your advice". I mentioned it to my partner later that day, and he said to me "you should get it". While my initial reaction was to think "I couldn't, it might offend people", once I thought about I realized that no one was concerned about offending me by offering me advice on how to parent (or more accurately, what I was doing wrong). Please, if a new parent asks for help, for advice, for a shoulder to cry on, by all means be that for them. But don't offer them unsolicited advice on how to raise their baby. The way you raised your kids is not necessarily the best way (or even the safest!). Research has come so far in the past 30 years, and we now know a lot more about how infants grow and learn than we did when I was growing up.Chances are, things will change again by the time my daughter is ready to have her own children (assuming she decides to have children). But for now, all we can do is rely upon what the current research tells us about babies. Which is:

1) You can't spoil a baby by responding to their cries
2) Allowing your baby to co-sleep (sleep in your bed with you) does not mean that they will still be sleeping with you when they are 15.
3) There is no one right way to raise a baby

Take care,
M