International Women’s Day

Everywhere you hear about how Women don’t have the same opportunities as men. And although there might be some truth in this and there is a lot still to fight in terms of wages equality and cultural biases,  I believe that “determination” is what makes an individual (regarding of Gender) successful or not. I wanted to share this inspiring video about a woman who summarizes a woman’s struggle to these words “courage and determination”.

 

 

 

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Book review: Lee Child’s Make me – Jack Reacher in paper

This was my first Child novel. I’ve already seen some movies based on Child’s famous character but never got the chance to read one of the books. It was one of those authors I wanted to have a taste on, mostly because of his worldwide popularity and because his bookcovers were screaming “take me” from all bookstores at all different angles.

However, I must say the book was meeh… or is it because I expected more?

One could believe that after so many novels based on the same character, the character would be well developed and one would be able to read Jack Reacher without any problems. However, I got no taste of the personality of this character. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind his reactions, what are his objectives, his beliefs, etc. I only understood that he acts impulsively and that he is good with weapons. Other than that, there was no reason to make me like him or care about him. Is this because, in a Lee Child thriller, there is no need to know all these aspects about his famous character anymore? I don’t buy this.

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In this Novel, Jack Reacher suddenly reaches the town of Mother Rest (apparently only because of curiosity at this town’s name). In this town, he meets private investigator Chang, a woman that suddenly trusts Reacher without any problem. In a couple of hours, he suddenly risks his life in order to help Chang and will go through to the end of the world to solve the mystery of Chang’s missing colleague. The book will take the action from San Francisco to other cities while all sorts of villains start chasing the duo that apparently has come too close to the truth. When the plots starts to get thicker, all sorts of scientific explanations arise and some of them feel forced to fit and explain the initial quest of the novel.

Points of view are also blurry in this book. There were many instances when you didn’t follow the book’s point of view. You started to wonder if a certain feeling or line of thought was happening in Reacher’s head or on her colleague Chang? If it was on Chang’s, how did Reacher know she had that feeling? Or did we suddenly changed points of view? Confusing.

Nevertheless, Child is skillful when it comes to describing action scenes, fights, gun exchanges, etc. For those interested in these details, they might find the most interesting narrative in these fight-heavy scenes.

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It might be that this novel was not my cup of tee and I expected more from a famous author like Child, but I’ve read many thrillers before and I firmly believe that all the details described above (character development and points of view) can be equally and masterfully achieved.

It was not a bad story but not what I expected.

Delivering Happiness

Well, it took me some time to write this post. I was kind of busy preparing my exit at my current job and readying for my new job. I will start in November working as Happiness Engineer for Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com and many other web solutions that seek to make the web a better place). So of course, I’m thrilled. The title of the position is very accurate actually. Happiness engineers deliver customer support but also go beyond that; they make sure WordPress.com users (mostly) go through a smooth and happy experience as they build and manage their blogs or sites.

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Having the opportunity to help people with their sites’ issues and provide them advice, tips, and tools to make things better are exactly the tasks I enjoy the most. Anticipating their needs and contributing with their blogs’ journeys is fantastic. Of course, we can’t solve everything. And I really wish we could, but being there to support and empathize with them is what makes this a great job. We deliver a little bit of happiness in each of our tasks.

So, how did I find this position? It was not that easy, and it was a long path. Basically, you need to prove you’re a good match for this company. And how do you do that? Well, Automattic looks for people who’re interested in learning every single day and growing each time more (I love that!). And what better way to know if you’re a good match for them than to “trying yourself”? Yes, you do that. You go through a paid trial so they can assess if you’re a good fit for the company’s culture or not. But this trial doesn’t only work for their assessment, you also get to taste the company’s culture and see if the role is made for you.

What other characteristics are awesome about Automattic? The company is totally distributed. Meaning that Automatticians (people who work at Automattic) get to work from wherever they are in the world. Living and being from Bolivia, this is certainly a huge plus. (Although, I totally believe the future will be like this). They hire based on what you can bring into the company and not based on where you’re located or if it’s possible to relocate. And let’s be honest, as a passionate traveler, I’m excited about working remotely.

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However, you can’t only assess a company based on the benefits and your position. You need to hunt for the “totally awesome” career factors. You need to hunt for a company that will push you to grow, learn endlessly, and contribute as much as possible. In the little time as a HE trial, I’ve learned more than what I did in all my career life. Period. I can only imagine how much I will be able to learn once I start working with them. My skills will grow exponentially 🙂 And although many companies push you towards continuous learning, some of them actually limit you without noticing (after all, they want you to make the job for which you were hired and not intervene too much with others’ work). At Automattic, I’m sure I won’t be limited. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a technical background (like me), your opinion and your work is taken into account. You can even rotate and explore as many areas as you like. 🙂

So why do I believe this is my dream job? For me working as HE will let me:

  • Help people every single day and at every single second
  • Grow and learn every single second
  • Have infinite possibilities to contribute
  • Have more flexibility to travel and get to know the world
  • Have really awesome perks (Did I mention you get to travel a couple of times a year to meet the team and the company, you get your home office set up – with the best laptop in the market, the chair of my dreams, a huge monitor, a great desk, endless WordPress swag – and so many other perks?)

I’m super excited. I know the job is going to be challenging (which I look forward to), but at the same time I feel like I’ve received one of the greatest opportunities to have finally the life that I want. I’m also excited to continue writing my books. But the writing journey conditions will be a million times better with a great job supporting me and my family.

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When you land the job of your dreams…

Wow, only writing this title was an amazing experience. All writers must work, there’s no doubt about that (unless you land a big publishing contract that could only come after decades of experience 🙂 ) But wouldn’t it be great to make your writing journey while you have one of the best jobs ever? I’m still so thrilled that I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull off this post or not.

It was really hard. It was Not one of those jobs where you apply, you get an interview and voilá you got the job. It was hard work and nothing else, and this makes this experience so rewarding because you know you fought for it; the results are only about perseverance and never giving up. It’s about being stronger than you believe. It’s about knowing you really did your best. That’s why this is the best job ever. A job where you get to help people, a job where you get to learn every single day, a job where you get to prove yourself every single day, a job where you can contribute, a job where you can grow endlessly, what else could you want?

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Writing is one of my passions! And I will continue writing because it’s in my nature, and I cannot imagine myself living without writing, but when you have a job that makes your day happy every single day, then writing time is definitely going to be the best!

And for all those wondering, what job is this? I’ll get you the details in a next post 🙂

 

 

TED Talk: Why you will fail to have a career?

Loved this talk! For all of you who still hadn’t found out your passion or know what is your passion but are too afraid to pursuit, then this is the talk for you!

Actually, this is the talk for all the people who want to have a goal in life and achieve it!

Professor Larry Smiths presents, in quite a peculiar way, a talk that changes lives and inspires. He is a professor of economics at University of Waterloo. A well-known storyteller and advocate for youth leadership, he has also mentored many of his students on start-up business management and career development. The most notable start-up he advised in its infancy is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry.

Invest 15 minutes in this talk and it will be an investment for life!