On 20th June, SFYAD organized its inaugural Career High Tea Workshop Series. The first workshop is titled “A Buddhist Recipe for Crafting Captivating Interview Self-Intro” which gathered over 40 attendees from various cities, including Fremont, Denver, Orlando, Los Angeles, and Singapore. Of these attendees, 12 were first-time attendees to SFYAD’s events. Many young adults expressed concerns about having the right skills to solve career problems or the confidence to apply these skills for job hunting. The workshop aims to provide inexperienced job starters both soft and hard skills needed to confidently start the job hunting process, and also to learn and embed the Dharma to in daily life.
In her opening speech for the workshop, Venerable Ru Yang, Abbess of North California Fo Guang Shan, mentioned that we should not forget our initial intentions and aspirations when finding a job. Furthermore, she encouraged everyone to proactively help others without them requesting our help in order to build our network with other people.
The instructors, Katy Hsu, Project/Engineering Manager @ HP Enterprise and BLIA SF Chapter President, and Selene Chew, Staff UX Designer @ LinkedIn and BLIA YAD SF President incorporated the Eightfold Noble Path into steps of crafting and delivering an interview self-introduction. The tips were sprinkled throughout the workshop as tips to look out for during the entire self-introduction preparation and interview. Furthermore, the instructors made these tips so that they could also be applied to other aspects of job-hunting.
Selene Chew guided attendees on how to understand themselves through their unique experiences, be it a formal work, internship, or school project, and break them down into understandable categories of experiences. She provided an example on herself years ago on how what seemed to be no formal experiences in the desired position at first glance could be solidified into a concrete experience for the job. Furthermore, she stressed that it is important to have the Right View and Right Attitude towards job-hunting in general, and also towards the self-introduction. For example, she gave the analogy of buying a car: Understand that it’s not because the car cannot be driven, but the needs are different. Understanding what the buyer needs and what the car can offer is vital. Similarly, it is not because the interviewee does not have the skills, but the needs of the employer are different. Hence, understanding both ourselves and the company is important. In the event that we find gaps between our experiences and the job posting, putting the Right Effort to fill the gaps will helps us improve our positions.
Katy Hsu walked the attendees on how to match their experiences with the company's needs. She pointed out that to match these two parts, one must know how to make connections between the two parts and match tangentially. She used two games: 1) to name alternate uses of an everyday object, and 2) to make connections between two ordinary objects that seem to have no connections. Katy also mentioned that the bigger our minds, the better our matching becomes, and thus the self-introduction too. Additionally, Katy stressed the importance to be aware of our actions in body, speech, and mind as they make our first impressions. Having the right speech such as being open and honest about our past experiences that match the company's needs will put us in a favorable impression. More importantly, having the Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration will definitely help us focus on our self-introduction delivery and be aware of what the company is seeking.
The workshop also had a Q&A session via Slido where participants had the opportunity to post questions during the workshop and have them answered during Q&A. Both instructors shared their experiences and gave valuable tips on these questions.
Venerable Miao Zhong, guiding Venerable of SFYAD gave a closing speech to the attendees. She mentioned that it is important to remember our beginner's mind, the passion we have at the beginning, work hard and persistent to pursue these dreams. Furthermore. in order to help the company understand our skills and attitude, we first have to understand ourselves; these can be achieved through all the Rights in the Eightfold Noble Path. Having the Right View will bring about the Right Attitude towards job hunting, which in turn leads us to the right future. Right Mindfulness helps us gather our minds and be more organized when we communicate with people.
The relevance and impact of the Eightfold Noble Path sank deep into the hearts of the participants as they were able to relate and apply these teachings right away into their very interview process.
One participant reported, “I benefited a lot from the workshop, especially unraveling and re-discovering my ‘unique strengths’, and the ‘Middle Way’ used in the matching process... The Right Understanding of both ‘Self and Others’ would help raise the success rate of job matching...” Another participant said, “It exceeded my expectation. I thought it was going to be us sharing information, resume, dream... and then we would receive typical answers like ‘be more proactive, more efficient, don’t give up, etc.’, but it was quite informative.”
Attendees had a delightful and fruitful afternoon full of Dharma and career skills.