And it has nothing to do with being on top

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Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

Leadership is being redefined like never before. The generation where decades of experience and wisdom were pre-requisites for promotion are gone. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a young adult starting a new career in a junior managerial position.

While there are plenty of questions to debate whether our corporate culture is heading in the right direction, there are some characteristics consistent across all effective leaders in every era. Here they are.

1. They don’t call people out

Good leaders aren’t quick to point fingers and push blame. They know that mistakes are a part of being human and that they are bound to happen. When…


It seems pretty useless, if you ask me.

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Photo by Houcine Ncib on Unsplash

We can all agree. This winter season is radically different from anything we’ve seen in our life times. But one thing remains possible. And that’s half-assed, half-hearted holiday texting.

You know… the kind where you just mean to err — “send a sentiment”. To let the other person know you haven’t forgotten them. As if sending your wishes off to someone will actually help them have a happy holiday, or something.

Honestly, the whole concept wouldn’t be so bad if it actually had some productive value. Like, if once a year, during the holiday season, we shot off messages to…


It’s better if you’re not so impressed

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Photo by Gwendal Cottin on Unsplash

Over the summer, the lab I worked at hired a flood of interns. Most were club volunteers from the school year. Except one.

My boss private messaged me about her.

Like every other morning, I fumbled across my bed to silence my screaming alarm. Then, I plopped right back down to check my work notifications.

“We have a new intern. She’s home from university and will be joining us this summer. She’s here on scholarship… from Harvard. Can you onboard her?”

I blinked twice. And then, I was wide awake.

After I got out of bed and had breakfast, I…


It’s time for a “Planet Earth Matters” protest

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Before I even get into what I’m about to say. I’m going to start with some caveats and disclaimers.

I am no expert when it comes to climate change and environmental movements. I am also no expert on the history of racism or even on the progress we’ve made (so far) as a society.

So I guess, that makes me doubly not qualified to be speaking at the intersection of these issues.

But perhaps those of you who are experts in either fields, or even experts in both fields, will forgive any of the things I say which stem from…


And a non-exhaustive list of ways to use it

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Photo by Tina Dawson on Unsplash

I’m a really bad environmentalist, if I can even call myself that. I don’t know anything our ecosystem or the science behind the many ways we’re damaging it. I don’t know anything about climate change or global warming, other than the fact that it’s and that it’s happening at a breakneck rate.

What makes me a truly bad environmentalist is that I haven’t taken much action to remedy any of this.

But there is one trick? rule? method? that we’ve always used at home, and honestly— I think it’s brilliant.

Can it help us save the Earth? I don’t know…


But how do I stop you from caring about where I work?

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Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

I’m very lucky.

For a while, I’d been working a cushy job at a University lab. A position I carried over from a undergrad extracurricular. For a few years, I strung together crappy contracts built around a student’s school year calendar.

It looked something like this:

  • Contract 1 = September — April
  • Contract 2 = May — August
  • Contract 3 = September — April
  • Contract 4= May — August

Yeah. Not really the flourishing career you hope to have post-grad. But hey, you get to tell people you work for an “Ivy-League” level institution and then let them assume you’re…


You don’t want equality for everyone?!?

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Photo by Kyle Simmons on Unsplash

I was watching Colleen Ballinger’s daily vlog the other night. Normally, I’m there for the entertainment, to watch her adorable son bopping around. But this particular night, she got me thinking about feminism and how crazy it is that it isn’t a more widely accepted concept.

For those of you who’ve yet to join the fan club, I’ve linked it below. The part I’m talking about is at the very end. She sits in her office and just talks at the end of most of her vlogs. It’s a sort of nightly ritual, if you will. But honestly, I recommend…


But that doesn’t mean you can’t help the cause

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Photo by Nate Neelson on Unsplash

It was so sad to watch.

She was hands down the best undergrad in our lab this summer. If we actually had a budget for awards and scholarships, I wouldn’t hesitate to give them all of them to her. Every single one.

When the pandemic forced us to transition to virtual teaching, she was the only one who never hid behind “bad internet connection”, or blamed Slack for “not sending her work notifications on time”.

When she saw mistakes that needed to be fixed, she just fixed them. It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but trust me, undergrads can be…


Just because you’re replaceable, doesn’t mean you’re worthless

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Photo by Munga Thigani on Unsplash

Years ago, I worked as a Research Assistant in a large lab under a “famous” scientist. Five days a week, I sat at a dingy worn-down desk in the basement of a very fancy hospital, scanning files and sorting folders. For eight hours a day, I archived and renamed documents until I went cross eyed.

At the ripe age of 20, I thought I was sowing the seeds for future success. Everyday, I showed up early and with enthusiasm.

By the end of the summer, I had plowed through hundreds of pages and thousands of data points. My work laid…


Based on a true story

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

For at least the last ten years, it’s been a job market drought out there. Most new grads fight tough competition to earn “fancy” credentials, only to have a really hard time landing even just the entry level jobs.

One of my high school friends squeezed through the economic bottle neck though.

Throughout college, he landed fancy internships and summer gigs, lilypadding between rising startups and established firms. By the time he graduated, companies were practically tripping over their feet and slipping on their drool to get him through their doors.

“I hope we go into a recession after this…

Jayla Sun

Life is a sea-saw, we’re all just trying to find our centre. jaylaxsun@gmail.com

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