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You can appreciate the view from the bottom

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Last week my friend updated her LinkedIn profile to Senior Analyst. After nearly three years on the bottom rung, she was promoted to a “superior” rank. I think the local retirement home might finally accept her now. Powdered eggs and 2 pm bingo, here we come!

It’s a trend I’ve noticed lately.

Companies pick a lucky straw and land on someone who is good at their job. Instead of keeping their promises to help them grow their careers, they try to keep them where they are — like a dog.

Stay. Heel. Catch!

Companies aren’t interested in growing your career

They use verbal gymnastics to stroke egos…

It’s time to stop romanticizing perseverance because sometimes, giving up is just as good

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During undergrad, my senior thesis supervisor used to have these long, somewhat philosophical chats with me in his office. At the time, I was a wide-eyed medical school hopeful in the thick of a very competitive application season.

He’d paced in his office, stopping occasionally to look out his window, and recount one of the many stories of his past students who’d undoubtedly “made it” to medical school.

All of his stories were of students who, despite life’s challenges and tribulations, stuck to their guns and kept trudging along.

You know how these kinds of stories end.

Stories about grit always end with success

Eventually, they all…

How about starting with one that’s just good enough?

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You’re probably always going to have a day job. Or at least, something that resembles the likings of a day job.

One where you and your employer agree on terms that you both sign on. In reality, that contract doesn’t satisfy either of you. But as the world would have it, you both needs jobs. So you both agree to disagree. At least for the time being.

Which is fine, really. I’ve had plenty of days jobs. Many were mundane and uneventful. They came with self-important bosses and tons of mind-numbing busy work. …

We’re replaceable and we’re dispensable — we are the scapegoats and guinea pigs of the corporate world

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Beneath the fight for paid sick days and fair wages is a sentiment that has been brewing at least since the industrial revolution.

A year in this pandemic has uncovered what many of us already knew about minimum wage and entry-level work: we’re replaceable and we’re dispensable — we are the scapegoats and guinea pigs of the corporate world.

And the uproar for basic rights has never been stronger. But the frustration is not just about paid sick days and fair wages. It’s not even about benefits or the right to keep working from home. …

The climate crisis is here and your choices matter

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I am not a public figure and I am not an expert. I’m not even a scientist.

Though, I have worked as a research assistant, which probably means little to you.

But those years where I worked in the lab taught me… well, not that much. I mostly entered stuff into databases. Almost everything I did had to be checked over or re-done by the scientist in charge.

Experts are poor communicators

But I did learn that scientists (and other experts in general) tend to have trouble communicating with regular people like me and with each other.

A lot of this comes from the…

But learning in an education institution no longer excites me.

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You’ve heard of “bird courses” right?

They’re courses that are purportedly so easy you fly through them, like a bird. Cause flying for a bird is like walking for a human. Easy stuff.


In the last semester of my final year of university, our department hired a new professor to teach a fourth year “bird course”. They dropped the news bomb on us a few days shy of the start of the semester.

We did everything to save our grades

It was kind of a big deal. It was supposed to be goddamn bird course. We were on our way outta that place.

Most of us…

And it’s time to let go — you have that power.

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Here’s a boring story:

A worker gets a job.
Said worker does their job well.
That worker keeps working, working, working.
Then, they retire.
The end.

Hopefully, I didn’t lose you already. That was a risky move on my part.

But you know what? That’s a reality for most people.

Sure, maybe we each have our own variations. Some of us will side shuffle over to another company when the job market does us dirty. Some of us will grow tired of the same old thing and venture off to another field (to do a different same, old thing).


We are not “all in this together”

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I am not supposed to say this because we want people to get vaccinated. Vaccines save lives. That’s a fact.

I grew up around the sciences, I studied science as my major, and I work in science. So I triply know that to be a fact. But even if I wasn’t so enmeshed in the science community, I’d still believe that vaccines save lives.

Cause logic.

The great vaccine divide

And yet, all pandemic long, we’ve witnessed the widening of a great divide over vaccines — with most people falling into the muddy middle: the vaccine anxious, the vaccine cautious, and the vaccine hesitant.

It is time to think beyond just ourselves

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They ordered 21 McDonald’s coffees on Uber Eats. For shits and giggles, and because they could. Then they wouldn’t have to make coffee for the next week. Cause making coffee is really hard.

That’s what my friend did with some buddies the other day, after getting his second COVID shot. His company let him have the day so that he could go and line up at a pop-up.

Afterwards he went and hung out with friends, other partially vaccinated idiots who were in on the idea that ordering 21 coffees for take-out was funny.

You could say it’s harmless. They…

Respect and kindness will always matter

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Sometimes I’m tempted to close a work email with Jayla, Sun. As in my name is Jayla, and I am of the Sun descent. Though, I have major qualms about the tradition behind last names. But that’s not the point.

Besides, it’s just a joke. Sometimes I like to have a little self-deprecating fun with the fact that I may be among a dying species that still only holds a singular credential.

I am probably better off not listing it at all because it would just end up looking sad. The air of suspense and mystery is much better.


Jayla Sun

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