Work

Sorry, You Can't Be An Influencer by Jennifer Chan

I don’t mean to crush your dreams.

It’s not that I have anything against influencers or am slighting their talents. The problem that I have is that people are attracted to their job because it seems glamorous.

You mean I can take beautiful, curated photos and companies will pay me thousands of dollars? You mean I can work whenever and however I want, and show off my creative side? Where’s the dotted line that you want me to sign?

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How To Maximize Your Time, Improve Productivity, and Reduce Burn-out by Jennifer Chan

I wear many hats: I’m a lawyer, blogger, freelance writer, and newly-minted podcaster. I am no stranger to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, with burnout quietly knocking on my office door. In order to stave off breakdown, I’ve researched and tested methods to increase the quality and efficiency of all the tasks that demand cognitive exertion. After an extensive period of trial and error, I have narrowed down 8 specific tactics that have enabled me to make the most of my waking hours.

[1] START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT. I leave this intentionally broad because I am cognizant that not everyone works comfortably in the morning. I am a morning person — or more accurately, I have trained myself to become as such — because it is more conducive to my lifestyle: I have to let the dog out in the morning, I have to leave for work at 8:00 a.m., it’s the most time I am able to work undistracted.

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The Future (of work) is Here by Jennifer Chan

When you think about it, 2025 is not so far away.

I mean, I’m no futurist, but lately things have been, as a friend affectionately states, “a hot pile of garbage." I've now, on more than one occasion, found myself daydreaming while sitting at my desk about what the state of the world will look like in 10, 20, and 30 years from now. Are we going to fight our way towards closing the wealth gap? Or are we just going to fire shots at each other on the internet? I am a pragmatic optimist disguised as a snarky pessimist, but some days I just don’t know.

I’m afraid.

I’m not afraid to say that I’m afraid.

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Justice, Acknowledgement and Self-Confidence by Jennifer Chan

“You’re here early!” I smiled.

“Yes, I slept here so I wouldn’t forget.” My client replied as he rolled up a sleepingbag.

It was a brisk spring morning. At 8:00 a.m., the streets were mostly empty around Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre, which is where our hearing before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board would be held.

Dressed in a black suit with a freshly ironed white collared shirt, I stood in stark contrast to my transient client who was quiet, polite and didn’t show that he was intimidated by the process that was to come. I didn’t tell him that this was my first hearing. He didn’t seem to care enough to ask.

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The True Definition of Productivity by Jennifer Chan

There are thousands of articles online on how to be productive.

Rarely, though, do any of them define what “productivity” actually means.

Our world is changing at rapid speed.

With it, so has the Art of Work.

What does productivity mean in the modern age? I want to share with you my thoughts on what true productivity is and what it isn’t.

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The Pitfalls of Your 9-to-5 by Jennifer Chan

You need a side-hustle.

I’m not necessarily talking about a part-time job working for Uber. I mean an outlet for you to explore both your skills and interests, preferably at the same time. It doesn’t have to make money immediately, but it should have the potential when pressed.

In the 21st century, having a 9-to-5 job is not enough.

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Please Don’t Work Somewhere That Makes You Miserable Just For the Money by Jennifer Chan

I saw so many of my peers in law school focused on money. 

When On-Campus Interviews (OCI) came and went, the school buzzed with gossip about what firms had the highest-paying salaries for students and first year associates.

While I mostly hung around with other law students who, like myself, were trying to figure out areas of law we were actually curious about, most of my peers just wanted to work in Big Law — assuming their life would be set if they landed a position there.

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Why I Took a Lower-Paying Job When I Still Had $35,000 of Student Loans by Jennifer Chan

In October 2016, I was a three-month old lawyer and sitting on $35,000 of debt.

For a year and a half, I had been working at the same organization, and although I loved so many aspects about the job — my colleagues, the work-life balance and, most importantly, the generous paycheques. But I became restless and felt, deep down, that I needed to pursue knowledge elsewhere.

Within a week, I noticed that a legal aid clinic that specialized in workers’ rights was looking to hire a lawyer. Although it was a contract position and most certainly involved a pay cut, none of that mattered to me. I was hungry to learn.

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