Podcast Numero Two: Double the Fun

In April, a lovely young man by the name of Jeph Maystruck asked me to podcast it up with him. We talked about why I think HR sucks, short pants and the Real Housewives of Vancouver. It was a fun little time and my first intro to the world of podcasting!

Since then Jeph and I continually connect over marketing hot topics, the latest fashion trends and why he’s not being a very good long distance boyfriend. Kidding, kind of. {Jeph and I will marry if we’re both still single in 2064.}

I’ve been sick as hell for the past 2 weeks and on one of my days in bed, doing nothing, staring at the wall — I texted Jeph and said we needed to do another podcast. We agreed to connect over September long weekend to record a gem. Jeph and I are both Gemini’s — we share the same birthday! That must explain the instant chemistry! ;) Anyways, we talk — a lot. I think we ended up recording 90 mins, but thankfully Jeph cut that down to a reasonable amount for our listeners pleasure! Who are we joking… the only person that listens is my buddy Gavin!

So Gavin, we chopped it in half just for you. :)

The podcast is now live on Jeph’s blog… everything you ever wanted to know about Pinterest, 50 Shades of Grey, PretirementLisa Charleyboy, nightmares and surrounding yourself with people who lift you higher.

45 minutes of laughter, banter, swearing and a whole lot of opinion.


Our most scattered, all over the place podcast to date. If this continues {of course it will}, I really think Jeph should start giving me an agenda to keep on topic. :)

In review:

  • Stalk your girlfriend’s (or soon to be) Pinterest account
  • Don’t put up with idiots in your life
  • If you live in a bubble — at least be ok with it
  • Soak up (or skip) 50 Shades of Grey — either works!
  • Differentiate yourself from your peers
  • Don’t let nightmares turn you into a psycho case
  • Admit you’re not perfect
  • Figure out what you fear and what you need to feel whole

Oh yes — and laugh. All the time. It’s good for the soul.

To learn more about Jeph, check out his blog, stalk him on LinkedIn or give him a follow on Twitter!

This is the ‘Marketing Revolution’ west coast, fashion, marketing, HR, running and yoga Correspondent signing out. Until next time Mr. Maystruck. ‘Twas fun.

A Lonely Connected Life

I often turn online relationships into in-real-life. I meet incredible people online, why wouldn’t I want to meet them in person? Upon meeting, I often get the same response:

Thank you for meeting with me. I know how busy you are.

Wow, you know so many people. Your calendar must be packed. 

You have so many friends.

Regardless of meaning to, people sum you up before they meet you. I pride myself on being very much like my online persona. People meet me and say — you’re one in the same and that’s refreshing. So they know the basics… I’m extroverted, love to chat, work in HR and I’m always out and about in the community. But then comes the assumptions, I’m popular {because I have a ‘following’ obviously}, I’m intimidating {because I throw down the smack obviously}, I’m organized {because I’m involved with a lot of things obviously}, I’m loaded {because I live the sweet life obviously} and I’m spoiled {because my parents totally took care of me obviously.}

All of it makes me laugh. Just a wee bit ridiculous. Popular? Well in high school I was totally introverted and more academic, book worm than gossip girl. I have friends that I love, yes — but I wouldn’t call it 90210. Intimidating? I have a bit of a no-bullshit way to life and I definitely voice my opinion whenever I get the chance. I get this more from guys, then girls… I think it may have to do with gender norms than anything else. Organized? I’m the worst. Do I have my heart in my work and life? Absolutely. I respond to meeting requests weeks late, my email Inbox is a disaster, tweets overwhelm me and I haven’t checked the voicemail on my landline since September 2011. Loaded? I was raised well but my parents didn’t pay for everything growing up. I spend the money most would use for a house downpayment on travelling the world and I shop at H&M rather than Holt Renfrew. Spoiled? I spoil myself from time to time, does that count? ;) This week I went for a mani/pedi — and I loved it.

I usually just look at people in shock and say:

Stop being crazy. I’m just me.

Over the last 8 years the online world has had a much bigger impact on my life. I’ve had the opportunity to connect and meet with incredible people. People who I hold close to my heart and would do anything for. I’ve had the opportunity to grow my brand and have a voice in the community. I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about myself and the world. I’ve had the opportunity to give back to others through a new medium.

Every so often, I get home on a Friday night, check Facebook to see what I missed, laugh over the latest Instagram pics, respond to the 30 mentions on Twitter — and then think whoa. Not whoa I just spent 30 mins on social media, but whoa no one called tonight… whoa I never called anyone tonight. It’s 8pm on a Friday — it’s been a hell-ish week and I just want to go out for a glass of wine.

Where are my friends?

Regardless of all the positives of social media and living in a connected world — in-real-life relationships are still gold.

Over the last year, I’ve probably been the worst friend that I’ve been in my whole life. I constantly feel pulled in a million directions and I often don’t keep up with the time quality friendships require. I tend to ‘book’ friends, whether that mean scheduling them in the calendar or blocking time to ‘save’ for friends. I send birthday cards late. I go 2 months without seeing a friend, even though I’ve been thinking about them everyday.  Couple all of that with the fact we have shifted to a world of Facebook announcements — everything from the new baby to the marriage to the new job to the cancer scare. And if you miss the update? Bad friend alert.

As a generation, we have to commit to knowing everything about our friends through two channels. Remember the days when you would talk to your friend every 24 hours and catch up on what happened at school, the fight you just had with your mom and what you thought of the boy down the street? If you were really intense you talked on the phone while watching Saved by the Bell, maybe a little MSN chat action too. You would say things like — Hey let’s hang out Friday… Ok, sounds good!

It was easy.

We live a busy, scheduled life. Social media competes with work, which competes with community involvements, and friends and family. While I was in Costa Rica in February, I missed the birth of a friend’s baby. A friend from university who I totally cherish, but because we live in separate cities now most of our communication is online. The announcement goes out on Facebook — baby born! I catch the update 3 weeks later. THREE WEEKS. I was horrified. I missed the birth of her first baby. Damn you Facebook. If I had written it down I wouldn’t have missed it, but instead I depended on technology just like it wants me to.

I share therefore I am.

If I don’t sign into Facebook everyday… I miss birthdays. If I don’t wish a happy birthday to all of these people that are mostly my friends {but gosh I don’t know, Facebook is a bit of a beast and there’s for sure people in the slew that I don’t know at all anymore} … then they will look into it. What a bitch. She didn’t wish me a Happy Birthday.

Expectations of friendship hasn’t changed — but technology has changed. And I don’t believe we’ve really thought through how the two intersect. Lines have blurred. We’ve swapped hugs for texts. We have a fear of interrupting other peoples days and plans because they might be ‘busy.’ We default to email communication and hiding behind the computer screen when we don’t want to deal with something. We text, tweet and talk at the same time.

Just because you put out a lot about yourself online doesn’t mean that the people listening are your friends. Just because you know a lot of people doesn’t mean they are quality relationships. Social media complexes the traditional ‘networking’ and friendship models.

Focus on quality over quantity.

This morning local dynamo, Sonia, shared a TED talk by Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone? It was originally created for TEDxUIUC in February 2011 and has now been picked up on TED.com. The talk focuses on how we expect more of technology than we do of each other and it was a great watch.

As a global community, we are connected. As a Gen Y community, we are dependent on being connected.

This isn’t a call to action for you to be less connected. This is a call to action for you {and me} to be more aware of how you spend your time and how dependent you are on technology. Commit to yourself that you will be a good friend and value your in-real-life relationships. Do whatever you need to do to remember birthdays, weddings and all the things that matter to the ones you love.

Call people because you care. 

Send a card in the mail because you’re thinking of someone. 

Your ‘followers’ on Twitter, your ‘friends’ on Facebook, your ‘connections’ on LinkedIn {and the list goes on} are just numbers. Forget about influence, focus on friendship.

At the end of the day:

  • Who would give you the gold star for being a great friend?
  • Who would hold your hand if you were going through a health scare?
  • Who have you helped lately?
  • Who has your back?
  • Who knows you?

What do you want to be known for?

The popular girl?

Or the girl that changed the world surrounded by people who had her heart?


Every so often I stumble upon something wonderful… this weekend it was Invoke’s digital media campaign for Fuck Cancer.

They are on a mission to turn September into F-Tember. Their goal is to create awareness surrounding early detection of cancer. How have they implemented it? A strategic Facebook campaign coupled with clever, catchy promotional lines. For more details on the campaign, click here.

So what do you need to do?

It’s that easy.

And if you are cool like me… [and actually follow through with my challenge ;)] you will get this thank you:


On the Fuck Cancer website, they mention that people don’t talk about cancer until they have it. That super hit home for me and couldn’t be more true. Be need to be proactive with health, disease and conditions that could ultimately affect our lives and the lives of those we love.

A bit more about Fuck Cancer:

“Fuck Cancer is a movement that activates Generation Y to engage with their parents about early detection of cancer. Over 90% of cancers of curable if caught in stage one- why the Fuck don’t more people know this? We’re creating a generation of early detection ambassadors who, by learning about what to do to stay healthy, what to watch out for, and what questions to ask, are taking control of their own health and the health of their parents.

Peace and love. Happy F-Tember. ❤

Related posts:

Labelling Generations

Every so often I write a post on the Elevated HR blog that I think relates to my personal blog followers. This is one of them.

Random Gen Y Thoughts II

By Jillian Walker, Vice President, Client Experience of Elevated HR Solutions

Labeling employees in the workplace… we all do it, yet we all hate it. Take the title of this post for example. Branding myself as a Gen Y makes it easier to differentiate Michelle and my thoughts.

Late last week I was asked to write an article on “Gen Y” for an online HR publication. I was immediately unsure how I would write it and asked for clarification on the topic. Nope, no help, just write something on Gen Y.

I often refer to myself as Gen Y, because I am so close to fitting the description. But others who are exactly the same generation as me, and even the same birth year, do not fit it. It’s to the detriment of leaders in the workforce to ‘brand’ their staff as any generation.

People are different — and that is what we should love about them.

Check out the article here.

Register for TheHRNetwork.com here.

Do you refer to yourself as Gen Y, Gen X, Boomer etc?

I’d love to know your thoughts!

gen y meets gen x

A blog post… finally! Well I actually wrote on the Elevated HR’s blog, but I felt it was relevant to this audience too.

I’ll blog about boys and life soon. ;) Promise. xo

Random Gen Y Thoughts I

By Jillian Walker, Vice President, Client Experience of Elevated HR Solutions

A few days ago Michelle blogged on generational differences within our team. We generally talk about blog topics, which range from trends in industry to client concerns to tales of an HR start-up. She did not tell me she was going to write on generations!!

Immediately I thought…” man…. this is going to be her go-live of how Gen Y (myself included) are a pain in the ass.” Instead, it was a refreshing reflective post on who she is as a person and how that impacts a work environment.

I am often quoted saying “I am the Wikipedia definition of Generation Y.” I’m not interested in work/life balance, instead I want work/life flexibility. I have no desire to work in a corporate downtown office, nor work a typical 8am-5pm schedule. I can’t imagine being in one role long-term, unless it continually evolved. The thought of being with a company forever makes me want to puke. Do I imagine myself having multiple careers in my lifetime? Absolutely. I want to empower youth on an international level, start a non-profit and teach in universities.

Can I understand why colleagues and peers might be frustrated with me? Hell yes.

Today I read an interesting post by Gary Schlee titled “10 Characteristics of Generation Me.” His post was based on the book, Generation Me by Jean Twenge. The characteristics are defined as the following:

  • Generation Direct
  • Generation Self-Esteem
  • Generation Entitlement
  • Generation Thin Skin
  • Generation Dream-The-Impossible-Dream
  • Generation Get-An-Education
  • Generation Don’t-Want-To-Be-Bored
  • Generation It’s-Not-My-Fault
  • Generation Tough-To-Make-A-Living
  • Generation Can’t-Change-A-Thing

Twenge’s book has been given a lot of kudos in industry because it is based on research and psychology. Do I feel that I fit every aspect of the above characteristics? Not at all. I’m open – ridiculously open. Transparency is key. I’m self-confident, but I feel that I was groomed to be that way throughout my teen years. As for criticism? I often have the “I’m always right” attitude – and hopefully, mentors like Michelle, will continually show me that I have room for growth and can’t always be right. ;) I place a lot of importance on education and continual learning. I know that I will get my Master’s degree and learn a second language. I am busy. I thrive on busy, but not burnout.

I put my heart in people and believe that they can be anything they want to be.

Dream big is a philosophy not a nice-to-have.

In Michelle’s post, she stated personal goals, which for the most part relate to work behaviours. If anyone were to ask my goals. The first thing I would say is:  doing what I love, giving back to the community, travel and making a difference in this big bad world. It wouldn’t even cross my mind to think in the present or as narrow as what are my plans in the next 30 days.

I thrive in a structured, supportive environment. As much as I am an ‘ideas’ and creative person, I need focus in my day to day work. I like to be involved in decision making and thrive in an environment where learning is based on application. I am a visual learner and somewhat unlike my generation – I prefer paper over electronic.

In the workplace, I have always felt that it’s been me against the world. I am used to explaining to managers and colleagues that change is needed and that we must think differently. Time and time again, I’ve been told to put down my raised hand and to not ask a question. I have been told my opinion does not matter,  “we’re not prepared to change” and forced to accept defeat.

Now that I have moved from corporate to a start-up — it’s different. I feel that regardless of my opinion being right, it is always respected. I feel like my ideas matter and being creative is a necessary part of our success. I appreciate the fact that I can work from home or that Michelle and I can have a bonding day together at her place. Our culture revolves around making a difference, having fun and saving the world from all the awful HR people out there. [HR renegades at your rescue!] ;) I love that our corporate goals are outlined – we can see the future and the change we will make in our industry. Lastly, I love that our clients choose to work with Elevated. They truly want to make change in their workplaces.

It’s absolutely refreshing.

For whatever reason I have *always* associated myself with the label of Generation Y. In the last few months this label has continually challenged me. I have met people who fall into the years of Gen Y, but who are not even close to fitting the standard definition. What have I realized? Labeling creates expectations. Expectations can lead to disappointment or confusion. Both labeling and expectations do not set people up for success.

I am not Generation Y.

I am me.

I am a crazy, Type A, achievement-oriented me.

Take me or leave me.

Life Done Differently

This week has been such an up and down rollercoaster of emotion. Today I went from completely excited about the future to absolutely disappointed in employees and organizations to questioning what’s next. At 11:30pm, I sit here and think… Where do I start? What risks am I prepared to make? What is truly important?

Earlier today I told the CEO of a Human Capital consulting firm in the States [someone I don’t know anymore than the average stranger] that all I want to do is do what I love. So Gen Y of me eh? ;) I want to truly make a difference in organizations. I want to work with leaders to become better leaders. I want to mentor and support employees to become successful in both their current roles and career to come. I want to give back to both my profession and community.

It’s not about job security, a pension, or a benefits plan. If I’m doing what I love and feel that I’m being fairly compensated – none of that matters.  All the time I get asked…

  • How do you have time to mentor young women in business? Do you find it exhausting?
  • Why do you do speaking engagements? Are you getting anything out of it?
  • Do you really have time to volunteer with the HR Association’s mentoring committee? What is your role?
  • Why do you tweet and promote jobs at WestJet? Are they paying you?

The answer: I am committed to my profession. I am of the belief that a true HR professional will work with people to be the best they can be. Define it as you wish, but to me it means setting youth up for success, providing people (whether internal employee or external applicant) with opportunities, supporting best practices, and making innovative progress on how HR is incorporated into business and bottom line.

I sat here tonight frustrated. I know there are people that think like me, but where are they?

What are you looking for in life? Is it a degree, a boyfriend, $50,000, and Wednesday wing nights?

No criticism to anyone else in this world, but none of that is me.

I dream big. I live my life thinking anything is possible.

For me, life is about so much more than an ok job, standard education, and hanging out with friends. My requirement is that health is always made a priority [learned that last year].  My goal is that I make a difference in the lives of my friends, family, the community, and my profession.  My heart hopes that I work towards being an active citizen continually contributing to positive change.

Tonight I strolled the internet looking for inspiration. Yes, albeit my recent online finds that I sapped about yesterday, I needed something else. I needed to find confirmation that other people think like me.

Gary Vaynerchuck (one of the most engaging people I have ever had the opportunity to hear speak) asks the question:

“What do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life?”

Lessons learned:

  • Whatever you want to do, make it happen.
  • Care about everything and everyone.
  • Find the balance between waiting for the next opportunity and finding opportunity.
  • Transparency is what will get you ahead.
  • Success is defined by happiness.

I am truly committed to the HR profession.

I am committed to doing HR differently and living life differently.

I want to change the way people think about both their careers and their role in society.

Years from now I don’t want to be the exception; I… sigh… want to be the norm.

Tonight I’ll be going to bed asking myself the following question…

What will it take for you to be happy?

My last little bit of GaryVee advice: Position yourself to succeed. Do what you love. And lastly hustle baby hustle. xo

[Insert transparency here > For too many reasons to count, the last two weeks have truly been hard. At the end of the day I know that life is about learning and everything happens for a reason. My heart goes out to the families of Greg Audley and Gerry Brookwell. With absolutely all my heart, may you both rest in peace.]

what makes a top employer – part 4 (success!)

On October 29th, I received an email from KPMG indicating that I won the national “What Makes a Top Employer” video contest!!! I was on my layover in San Fransisco en route to Tokyo and heard about a minute before I was supposed to board (which as per my previous blog post – fight was delayed a few more hours).  I couldn’t have been more thrilled!  I was absolutely giddy in the SFO airport wishing that I could tell someone (I was on roaming), and unfortunately I couldn’t resist. I likely have a hefty bill from the international texts and calling.

[Disregard the spelling error in KPMG’s tweet ;)]

Representatives from KPMG were completely flexible with the fact that I was on my way to Tokyo and rather unavailable due to the conference I was attending.  We agreed to chat upon my return and finalize all the details.

KPMG recently went live with a summary of the competition:

On November 9th, TalentEgg.ca wrote an article on the competition.


If you missed seeing my original submission to KPMG’s contest, feel free to view here:

And on October 3rd, I posted an additional video to “engage” ;) the viewers.


I ended up connecting with KPMG late this week and they are currently working on the finding a date for me to connect with the 5 CEO’s.  In the near-ish future, I will have a 1 hour meeting with the following well-respected and successful CEO’s:

  • Bill Thomas, CEO of KPMG Canada, as the sponsoring company
  • Nadir Mohamed, President & CEO of Rogers Communications
  • Cameron Heaps, Co-founder of Steam Whistle Brewing Company
  • Bruce Poon Tip, Founder (AKA “The Captain”) of Gap Adventures
  • Colin Moore, President of Starbucks Coffee Americas

This means a trip out to Toronto and a whole lot of opportunity!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your support during this competition.  In 30 days, WE reached 661 votes, and over 2,169 viewings.  In 30 short days, you all listened to what I had to say about the future of work.  In 30 days, I saw the power of social media, with votes, tweets (retweets), facebook posts, and online discussion.  In 30 short days, you gave me opportunity.

Thank you for your continual commitment. Ahh it gives me absolute warm fuzzies to know I have people in my court, rooting for me every ounce of the way. I absolutely have *big* plans for 2011, stay tuned for how the CEO meetings go and for the next steps with my career.

With all my heart. ❤

top employer update

Today I received this:

“I am one of the representatives of the What Makes a Top Employer Contest. I called you this morning to deliver the news that you are one of the 3 finalists for the What Makes a Top Employer contest. You are now in the running with two others to have the chance to win 5, 1 hours meetings with 5 of Canada’s top CEOs.”

These 5 judges will be viewing my video next week:

  • Bill Thomas, CEO of KPMG Canada, as the sponsoring company
  • Nadir Mohamed, President & CEO of Rogers Communications
  • Cameron Heaps, Co-Founder of Steam Whistle Brewing Company
  • Bruce Poon Tip, Founder (AKA “The Captain”) of Gap Adventures
  • Colin Moore, President of Starbucks Coffee Americas

As per a recent KPMG news release:

Two sets of prizes will be awarded to students in appreciation for their time and effort.

The first prize wins an Apple iPad and five individual one-on-one mentoring sessions with the CEOs.  The first prize will go to the student with the best video response—the most insightful, thoughtful, and useful video. The winner will be chosen from a short list of individuals who will be judged by the five CEOs. The second prize winner—the student whose video wins by popular vote—will also receive an Apple iPad.

Fingers crossed everybody!

every vote counts

Today is VOTING DAY!

What does this mean?

1) Today is the last day of KPMG’s What Makes a Top Employer video contest. It has been a month long battle with university students across Canada, but I have attained 2nd place (out of 400+ videos!) and couldn’t be more proud. Contest closes at 11:59pm EST. I would love if you gave me your vote.

2) Today is Calgary’s Municipal Election. Do you research, then head down to the polls and vote for Mayor, Alderman, and School Trustee.  Voting stations will be open from 10am to 8pm. Visit The City of Calgary’s website for more information on locations.

I’m looking forward to life being more calm after October 18th.  Fingers crossed for team J-N-Z (yes that would be Jillian-Nenshi-Zak)!! ;)

With love.  ❤

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