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?

Thirty Thousand

I tend to get anxiety over bizarre things. Like take for example how I currently have anxiety over my next tweet. My next tweet is #30,000.

THIRTY THOUSAND.

[I have written the tweet… I just haven’t pressed ‘tweet’… :)]

My iPhone twitter app tells met that I joined on February 16, 2009. That may be true but I didn’t get into the swing of things until late 2009. I had gone to a conference in Africa that November. When we were all saying our goodbyes, I kept on being asked if I was on Twitter. Sure… I have a Twitter account. Do I tweet? No. I came home — curious. Soon enough, I was tweeting… frequently. I didn’t find my place on Twitter for a long time. I used to tweet about HR, business and the Calgary community. People started following… listening… engaging. I found it BIZARRE. Why on earth are people consuming so much time on this forum? Why are people listening to ME?

A lot has happened in the last 20 months, but one thing I know is that Twitter has given me SO much love. I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am.

I continually preach about the tool to non-users. Similar to Gary Vaynerchuck’s mindset… I believe if you’re not on Twitter, you’re behind. Whether personal or business — a large amount of information is being shared and discussed every moment of the day.

I know that I am smarter because of Twitter. Truly… smarter.

I feel very up to speed on industry, media, news, technology and even the latest fashion trends. My friends have been known to say ‘you texted me about X-Y-Z before the announced it’. Twitter tells all.

I am thankful for all of the incredible people I have met.  As much as I am “anti” any sort of Twitter event, I have met a lot of amazing people. A LOT. To name a “few”: @karenjovi, @joelolandesca, @regtiangha, @socialgrrrl, @anothersupersta, @juniper_gal, @kait_dee, @tnjohan, @tremaine, @jayemkayem, @JLEED, @defcandy, @schamuhn, @c_dig, @_Mitch985, @nicolesaxton, @jeffrutledge, @harpsinyyc, @zakpashak, @haileypinto, @ebarbaric, @matthew_ball, @hrstalker, @katiamillar, @gavinroyseal, @steveshed, @terrimcbay, @missrogue, @yukarip, @urbannativegirl, @greenwooddavis, @juliaroisen, @marktownsend1, @rhiannon, @alexandrarutley, @christi_millar, @chelscore, @amandamhamilton, @ashleydasent, @jaylongshaw, @laurenfriese, @kharazny, @greghounslow, @dansgoodside, @lauravezer, @a_klingbiel, @rpenty, @heather2020, @chloe_lala, @todmaffin, @yumemusic, @judybrooks, @vlitwin, @jcarvy, @sandraoco, @shannonbosa, @katrinacf, @jearthy, @angelmok, @jeremylim, @charwong315, @glennhilton, @erinkellydotca, @lindsay_gough, @rontite, @alkarim, @guygal, @timaarak, @kattte_, @cadijordan. There are so many more. No hate if I’ve missed you — because I’ve missed a lot of you. ❤

I am thankful for the organizations/businesses that I have grown to know and become connected with because of Twitter: @westjet, @calgaryherald, @albertaventure, @talentegg, @melroseredmile, @tastecalgary, @unacalgary, @worldbierhaus, @insomniacoffee, @longviewsystems, @ywib, @fwebc, @benevity, @domogeneous, @aecocktails, @bloheartsyou, @bombaybrowbar, @noirlashlounge, @hoseannaknows, @gogirlfriend, @yyoga, @barrefitness, @theartof, @thebizmedia, @alittlemoregood, @bpwcalgary, @bootup, @socialfeedvan. And again… there are so many more. ❤

I met @marleylynng on Twitter. For those that missed the post… last year I applied to be Marley’s best friend.  We were strangers — and she accepted! [Please note I’ve been a total bad friend since January.]

I was in a Dove commercial because of Twitter. Check it out here.

I met the talented @madiganofstorms — a Calgary based photographer and brilliant creative mind because of Twitter. I was part of a wonderful book called ‘FEMME 2010’ because of Twitter.

I competed in and won KPMG’s: ‘What Makes a Top Employer‘ because of Twitter. Yes, you all voted. Every single freaking day.

I met an incredible leader, @wilsoceo, because of a HR professional who follows me on Twitter.

I met @michellelberg and work for @elevatedhr because of Twitter. Yes, I found my job on Twitter.

I continually place high potentials at my clients because of Twitter. The amount of referrals that we get from social media is ridiculous. Two recent stories: Laura Vezer and Becky Bergeron.

It all seems crazy… it truly does. I can’t imagine life without the beast that is Twitter. Yes, I’m often overwhelmed. Yes, I feel that I have to respond people. Yes, it sometimes makes my eyes roll into the back of my head.

At the end of the day, Twitter is the tool for me. I love that I can learn from others. I love that I can share my thoughts — no matter how random they are. I love that I can engage with and help others. I love that I continually meet fabulous people. I love that people from all over the world seem like they’re just next door. I like that I can connect people who share similar interests. I love that I am up to speed on the community. I love that I have access to people who are truly changing the world.

Twitter has given me opportunity — and for that I am blessed.

Happy ‘30,000 tweet’ birthday Twitter.

I am utterly impressed. xo

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.

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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.  ❤

what makes a top employer – part three and a half

On October 10th, I blogged. It was my third blog post regarding KPMG’s What Makes a Top Employer video contest.  In that post, I said that I would update again once the competition was over.

Tonight, I received a message from Chris, my brother-in-law:

“dear jill… today i haven’t voted for you because you haven’t put any effort into your site lately (blog)… lets see a post.” xxchris

Well… apparently I haven’t been doing a good job.

Chris this is for you.  There has been a lot going on in my world as of late and I apologize for not keeping up with my blog.

The time to vote is now.

Love Jill XO

PS – To the rest of you, the KPMG competition ends tomorrow – yes tomorrow at 11:59pm EST.  If you haven’t voted today, please do! Then tomorrow – again!! Then guess what, we’re finally done.

Thank gosh eh?

PPS – In other news, I went to a birthday party for a 9 year old friend of mine named Paige.  It was intense.  14 girls were in attendance.  Paige asked me to get her a puppy for her birthday… and I didn’t.  Bad me. :)

PPS – Marley, I’m still working on your letter.  My goal is to get it mailed before I leave for Japan. ❤

what makes a top employer – part 3

This blog post will be Part 3 of a series of 4 posts related to KPMG’s competition on “What Makes a Top Employer“.

On September 20th, I blogged about the competition, how to register and vote, and why I wanted to share my voice.  I encouraged you to watch my video (and the others) and decide if I was worthy of your vote.  On September 28th, I blogged because I had hit a milestone, 1000 views!!  I had been asked how I would continue to engage the voters, as 30 days is a heck of a long time to vote daily.  A few days later, I uploaded this video to YouTube:

The video continues to align with my Top Employer vision, but won’t count towards official votes on KPMG’s contest website.  As you can tell, I did the ABC’s of “What Makes a Top Employer” [it’s ok to start laughing now…], I knew creativity and humor would be critical for engagement.

We are now 8 days away from the end of the competition.  I am currently in 3rd place, with 431 votes and 1631 views.  The young woman in 1st place has a 30-day video upload advantage on me; as a result, I’ve decided my goal is to get to 2nd place before the contest ends on October 18th, 2010 at 11:59PM EST.

If you have yet to engage in this competition, I will plead with you to do so.  At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with votes or who is the “winner.”  As I’ve said, I believe this competition is about impact.  The impact that we, as young people, can have on future leaders and potential employers.

If you would like to vote, please visit my video contest entry here:

VOTE HERE

I will update again post-competition with the final tally on votes and views.  The judges are expected to make a decision on the winners by November 5th, 2010.

With all my love. ❤

what makes a top employer – part 2

On September 20th, I blogged about KPMG’s “What Makes a Top Employer” video contest.

We are now 8 days into the contest and what I can I say other than… wow!

Today we hit 1000 views and 200 views!! That means for every 5 views, I’m getting a vote – and I’d say that’s awesome odds!!

Here’s the proof:

We now have 20 days to go…  and we need to keep up the momentum.

Yesterday I tweeted that I had finally made it to 3rd place!  Yes went from 120th+ place to 3rd place in 8 days!

Anyways, the response was this:

I recognize the importance of engagement.  I know that people don’t really want to register – let alone vote daily for the next 20 days.  What are the votes I want?  I want votes from people who truly believe I’ve presented the best vision of a top employer.  I want you to engage in the goal of this competition and understand why initiatives like this have potential to change the employee-employer relationship.  I can’t promise a song and dance, but something… enticing ;) … will be posted on YouTube, Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/votejillian) and Twitter within the week.

In the meantime… I need your votes. :)

VOTE HERE

If you’re just getting started, read more about the competition here or follow my instructions on how to register here.

Thank you to all of you who are supporting me in this competition, in my career and in life.  You all mean the world. ❤

what makes a top employer

Let’s talk Twitter… my gosh, Twitter has provided me with so many opportunities since I became active in late Fall 2009.

I’ve been following @KPMG_Canada for a few weeks and on September 18th, they tweeted this:

I was immediately intrigued.  For those of you that don’t know… from January to March 2010, I competed in a national business student competition called “Focus 2040“…. the goal was to predict the future of work in 2040.  It involved various stages and in mid-March, I was invited to Ontario as one of the top 10 finalists in Canada.  Anyways, throughout the process, I did a lot of research on Generation Y and workplaces of the future.

I truly feel like I am a voice for the next generation.  I embody many characteristics of Generation Y, including the ability to thrive in a flexible work environment, a need for feedback and involvement, tech savvy skills, and of course, pro-change.  I have been in the workforce since the ripe ol’ age of 15, but have a solid 8 years of “real” work experience.  I have been working in Human Resources for the last 4 years and I have a true understanding of corporate programs and policies.

When I saw this contest my eyes lit up (as lame as that sounds) and once again I was excited about something in my life… I had found a new purpose (or maybe a distraction… regardless, I was excited!).  KPMG is the sponsor for the 2010 Canada’s Top Employers for Young People award. This year they are asking Canadian university students to share their opinion on what makes a top employer! Within 24 hours, I had my figured out what I wanted to say, created a video (ahh so many takes, a ridiculous amount of takes), edited the video, uploaded the video, and started promoting my “brand.”

From my perspective there are a ton of angles you could take on a question as large as “What makes a top employer?”  I narrowed it down to flexibility, community focused, diversity, and passion.  Flexibility revolves around the need for ‘flexible work options’ in the workplace including personal days, tele-working, and flexible start and stop times.  I discussed the concept of “work to live,” and although I didn’t touch the issue in the video, I do believe employers need to be flexible with many facets of the employee-employer relationship, including dress code and office space.  The next generation understands the importance of community work and giving back.  So many of us are blessed… blessed with family, a support system, good health, food in the fridge, a roof over our bed, and clothes on our back.  We are educated and know that we have the skills to help others.  Employers need to support their employees in giving back.  We thrive in a diverse learning environment.  Whether it be gender, ethnicity, religion, geographical location, or skillset, employees appreciate diversity in organizations.  Passion. As a young employee, I want to truly believe in my organization.  I want to see that my employer is passionate about their business, their employees, and the community.

I would have loved to talk more about management support and the need for mentorship programs, orientation, continual coaching, and performance development plans.  Or maybe the concept of socialization in the workplace and how we need to have fun and laugh.  Or respectful workplace policies and ethical treatment of employees.  At the end of the day, I only had 4 minutes. :)

I chose an angle that was different than most of my competitors.  I truly could not sit here in my living room and say that a top employer has to have competitive pay.  End of story.  That’s not it at all… Top employers have to have the whole package.  Top employers for young people need to have the whole package PLUS understand how the next generation’s needs and wants differ from the past.

Just over 14 hours ago, my submission was “approved” by the video contest representatives and made available on KPMG’s official video contest site.  I have now had 208 views and 28 votes (see note at end of post!).  208 views in one day – ahh so wonderful!!!  In less than a day, I have made it to Top 5 out of approximately 160 videos.

VOTE HERE

What’s important now is momentum… we have 28 days until the contest ends at October 18, 2010 11:59 EST[By the way, 208 views, 28 votes, 28 days… all kinda bizarre…] If 28 people vote once per day for the next 28 days, I would be at 784 votes and in 1st place [assuming everyone else stops voting for the others ;)].  I know…. in fact, I am positive that we can do better than 28 votes per day.

My call to action:

Please learn about the video contest and understand the potential impact this competition could have on your future employer. If you are a Canadian university student and under the age of 28, feel free to submit a video.

Check out my video. Just 4 minutes! It will fly by! ;) If you support my ideas and vision of top employers, please vote. You can vote every day until the contest ends (see note below on registering before your first vote).

Share share share. Please continue to spread the word about this contest and my video.

A few options:

Are you going to forget to vote? [I know… daily is a lot!!]

  • On the Facebook event, at the very bottom of the page, you can click on “export”.  Select the option to export to email.  The event will be sent to your email and you can save it as a calendar item in your Outlook.
  • I will be sending out daily reminders via the Facebook fan page.  Follow the voting progress via your Live Feed or check your fan page “Updates” via your Messages section.
  • I will tweet reminders 2 or 3 times a day on my Twitter stream.  As the Calgary election is also happening during KPMG’s voting period, the Twitter stream is busy busy… follow the hashtag #TopEmployer to catch the tweets.
  • If you want a personal text message reminder every morning. I will do that, just for you.

So why should you help me out?  Well, I can think of a thousand reasons!! :)  I am a voice of the next generation. I have committed my time to thinking about what’s important to Generation Y and making this video.  I have truly thought about what I wanted to say and that it was representative of my peers.

I know that even if I don’t win, I will have impact.  Impact and influence on both KPMG and Canada’s Top Employers.  Regardless of if we believe it or not, people listen.  KPMG created this competition for the young people.  They wanted the young people to have a voice.

This is not about the iPad or the opportunity to meet with top executives across Canada.  This contest is truly about education.  Education of employers, employees, and the community.  Education on needs, wants, and generational differences.

Together, we can all make a difference.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment on this post, get in touch with me through any social networking site, or email me at jill [dot] walker [at] uleth [dot] ca.

With absolutely all my love,

Jillian Walker ❤

Note: Why is there a considerable difference in the number of views versus votes?  I’ll tell ya why… No one wants to register.  I completely understand why they don’t – it’s a pain, it’s too much work, it’s this or that.  Well, guess what? You have to register!  In order for KPMG to ensure the contest is legit, they need you to register… but the good news? You only have to register once!

transparency

I was recently told by a good friend that I am transparent.  I looked at her surprised and said ‘no I’m not’… I don’t want to believe that people may know me better than I know myself, or perhaps know how I think and process situations.  My friend addressed it more as – I am openly public (and most of society is not).  People easily read between the lines when I try to blog ‘vaguely’. I blog, tweet, etc etc like no one is watching – but people are.  I’d be silly to think that no one is reading, this is the internet after all.

So I got thinking about how people have formed impressions of me. I accept and understand that.  But I might as well set everyone up for success.

Dear stalkers ;) … 20 more facts about me:

  1. I was born on Salt Spring Island in Beautiful British Columbia.
  2. I have 2 younger sisters and 3 older step-brothers.  The Brady bunch one might say.
  3. I have a lone grandparent.  My grandpa, Bobby, is amazing.  Everyone who has met him agrees.
  4. I grew up being taken care of by nannies (Type A, achievement-oriented momma).  Most of the nannies were from Switzerland, some were awful, some were fantastic.
  5. I have been in university, pursuing an undergraduate degree since 2003.  Yes, 2003.  In that time, I did complete a Diploma in HR and 1/2 of the Event Management certificate program, but yes still truckin’ away at the Bachelor of Management (done in December – yay!).
  6. I have been working in Human Resources for 4ish years and  I’m currently pursuing my CHRP (Certified Human Resources Professional) designation.
  7. I have a love affair with networking.  Yes it is time consuming, but I truly find it so rewarding. I am continually surprised by the amazing people in this world.
  8. I am very picky with who I add to each of the different social networking sites.  For more information, read my blog post on “Internet Friends.”
  9. I am active in the community and attempt to align my passions with varied non-profit work.  Current initiatives include international work with Junior Chamber International, and youth education with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
  10. I love to travel.  Love love love to travel.  Last year I went to Las Vegas and Tunisia, Africa.  This year I have been to Hawaii, New York, San Francisco, and fingers crossed I will be going to Osaka, Japan in November.
  11. I have moved 6 times in the last 7 years.  I have a fantastic friend named Aaron who has assisted with all 6 moves – lucky him! ;) My friends don’t believe in house warming’s any more.
  12. My favourite type of yoga is Ashtanga Yoga.  Flow yoga in a warm room, no opportunity to get bored.
  13. I read anything and everything.  My roommate and I have a smart shelf (self-exploration, business, travel) and a less-then-smart shelf (chick lit).  I read everything from Women’s Health to Malcolm Gladwell to the Shopaholic series.
  14. My favourite color is pink.  But for some reason it was blue until I moved to Calgary… now I hate blue.
  15. I can be a girlie girl. I love dresses, skirts, tights, and nail polish.
  16. Wine is my friend, it might even be my lover. I love white, red, or any fancy blend.
  17. Speaking of drinks, I don’t like coffee – I can’t even stand the smell.  I have never had a sip and I never plan to. I love tea, every type except chamomile.
  18. I don’t really like sweets. I could honestly do without ice cream, cake, candy, chocolate, etc in my life.
  19. I’ve always wanted a broken left arm.  Are you laughing at me?  I think a cast would be fun – especially a pink one!
  20. I have been blogging since 2004.  I love to write.  One day I hope to write a book.

To some degree, I’m an open book.

Does this scare me?  Not really.  I’m not scared of anyone reading my blog or learning more about me. Google me… I dare ya.  Yes, I’ve had my run in with stalkers.  Yes, I’ve had people tell me – they “know” me and they think we should be best friends.  Do I entertain these offers? Absolutely not. I’m a small town girl, not stupid.

Feel like you know me? You don’t. Where would the intrigue be if I told you everything? ;)  Yes I work in HR, travel, volunteer, and have a large family.  But there is so much more… ❤