Time Capsule #49
On coffee, community, and civil war.
✏️ On Soft Skills
Fresh out of university, it was time for a naïve, hopeful Alex to enter the workforce.
After many years of in-class learning, I was ready to put my newfound skills and degree to the test in the modern workplace. Roughly 3 years later, I've learned a lot about work, much of which I was not expecting to find.
I have certainly developed the hard skills surrounding health research and medical writing through my work. These are undoubtedly important, foundational skills that are necessary to progress within the field. However, the most important skills that I have learned on the job have been soft skills. The ability to work in teams, the ability to work through conflict, the ability to improve yourself and your colleagues in a healthy and productive way.
Everyone has a different upbringing: and therefore a different view of the world and workplace, a different skill set, a different way of learning, and a different way of communicating. This was one of the most important realizations that I have had that made me a better employee and colleague. Learning how to work with people who are oftentimes so different from yourself is a necessary skill in the workplace, as most, if not all, work is done in collaboration. It is why most employees ask you how you work in teams vs. independently — the skill is essential.
There is also something to be said for the simple but invaluable traits of consistency and delivery. Showing up, on time, at the same time every day is something that gets overlooked until it isn't happening anymore. Being someone who delivers on tasks when called upon makes you reliable and therefore valuable to the team. I learned some of these lessons the hard way, and it has made me better because of it.
Work is so much more than what you know and what you can do.
It's a team game.
📸 Photo of the Week
I officially have a minor coffee dependency.
📖 Book of the Week — Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Walden was a classic case of a book that was bought and placed on the shelf never to be seen again — in the words of Schopenhauer, “Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them”. However, I started reading it this week after coming across some of his works online and I now remember why I bought it.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Walden contains the reflections of a man after spending two years living a simple life alone in the woods. He writes at length about how he was able to live self-sufficiently, and gives his thoughts on reading, sounds, solitude, companionship, gardening, spring, and more. I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far, and hope to finish it over the Christmas break.
💭 Quote of the Week
Don’t be hard to please. Don’t complain about trivial things.
🔭 Sunday Best
No rent, a tent & a camera: Backpacking Britain: would love to do something like this in Canada
I Miss it All: against the commodification of community:
If friendship becomes commodified and the experience of community becomes increasingly eliminated of the various intricacies of being among people, we lose the sometimes hard, sometimes surprising, sometimes f***** up, sometimes beautiful paths that are not simply the same path each day. Maybe we lose learning how to apologize. Maybe we lose learning how to say thank you. We lose, almost certainly, many moments of gratitude.
Civil War — Caesar vs. Pompey: an animated documentary (and a good one at that)
💡 Food for Thought
The measure of a country is in how it provides 4 things: safety, opportunity, education, healthcare.