Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Why Blind Copying Recipients in Emails is a Good Idea

Recently I received an invitation to a Zoom meeting/interview, and it was for a volunteer board position which I had applied for. It made me feel good, knowing that I had at least got a chance for the interview. Well things then started to go a little off when I noticed things about the invite that started to raise some flags for me given, I am also involved in IT security.

Here are the issues that I found with the invite:

  1. This interview was going to be done via Zoom, which didn’t bother me at all. What did bother me was there were three applicants for this position, so there was one zoom invite and each person had 15 minutes for their interview before the next person was to sign-in.
    1. It would have been a better idea that each interview was done via a separate zoom invite so that the applicants didn’t know who else was going for the position.
    2. 15 minutes is not a lot of time to answer questions about a position, given there was no job description ever provided. Sure, a Treasurer position you can figure out the basics of the position but is there a term, and of course a lot of the other things. What is really required of the Treasurer?
    3. What is stopping the rest of the individuals that are being interviewed to sign on early just so they can watch the other person getting interviewed.
  2. The invite to the Zoom meeting was sent to everyone and the applicants were not blind copied but included in the main address, which now shows each person who else has put their hand up for this position.
    1. If you are doing something like this, it would be best to blind copy each of the applicants so that they don’t know the email addresses of the other applicants. It also is best when you are sending an email to a group of people that don’t know each other, besides they are all members of one group. This is also an HR level confidentiality issue of providing email addresses to a group of individuals that don’t know each other.

So, the basic courtesy when you are sending an email to a bunch of people that do not know each other is to blind copy them instead of putting each of their email addresses in the to area. Also, if you are going to be interviewing different people, I would really recommend that there be three different invites sent out to three different Zoom meetings. It might mean a bit more work for the individuals doing the interviewing, but at least then each person has their own meeting and not part of another person’s interview.

Blind copying people in emails is always a good idea when you don’t want each person to know who else has been included, and it is also a good security measure so that email addresses cannot be shared with others or possibly compromised if another person’s email account is compromised. So, next time you are wanting to talk to a group of people that probably don’t know each other, I would blind copy everyone to ensure that privacy and security is part of the communication.

 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Continual Learning, why it's important

For a lot of us when we left college or university, there was the sense of, I have finished all the learning that I need to do for my career. I think what needs to be communicated in colleges and universities is that your learning doesn’t stop when you get your diploma or degree. That what you learned there is just a basis of what you will still need to learn throughout your career.

There are so many jobs now that require a certification of some sort and a lot of them come with a need to earn several personal development units (PDU) and it varies depending on what your certification is. What this means is once you have achieved your certification you will need to continue to learn to keep your certification up to date. I know that I have one certification that I need to complete 20 PDU’s a year to maintain certification. There is another certification that I have, and it required 15 PDU’s over a three-year period.

The certification that you have will tell you the minimum number of PDU’s you are required to achieve and some of them have specific requirements such as so many educational versus personal development (community work). When you have more than one certification, it means that you are going to be doing a lot of learning each year.

For those without certifications, there is still a lot of education/learning that happens if you want to move forward in your career. There are so many ways that you can continue to learn during your career and that is taking courses, attending conferences and attending/viewing webinars. All of these are ways that you will continue to learn throughout your entire career. It doesn’t matter what field you are in, there are doing to be times that you will need to do some more learning.

So, when you are talking to anyone, and they say to do that once they finish college or university, they are finished learning you can tell them it’s just part of their education. How many people go back to university or college after they have been working for a while to improve their education.  Another way that we all learn every day is just watching the people around us and experiencing what life has in store for us.

Yes, we are all continually learning, even when we don’t think we are. It’s important to accept that learning is a lifelong journey and not just think that once you have finished formal education that you are done. We all are learning each day, no matter what you think, so enjoy learning and know that it’s going to continue for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The Sounds Around Us

There are so many different sounds that we hear each day, and sometimes they are just in the background and other days they seem to be a lot louder and more present. In a lot of cases, the amount we hear of a sound can depend on how we are feeling and how many other sounds are also around us.

I live in a high-density neighbourhood, so there are always sounds that we can hear, and it doesn’t matter what time of the day or night it is, there are always different sounds around us. When you are in a different location, you will also hear other sounds that you don’t hear where you live or work. I will try and list some of the sounds that are normal for me, but if you don’t live in a high-density neighbourhood, you may not hear all these sounds.

  • School bells – this is a sound that we hear all the time and multiple times each weekday. These school bells are also heard during the summer because the school is used for summer school, so there is no break from this sound.
  • Dumpster collection – this is a sound that we hear quite often as each of the apartment buildings have dumpsters that need to be emptied, and they are done at least once a week. Each building has a difference schedule, so you hear that most days.
  • Emergency vehicles – here is a sound that we hear numerous times a day, and a lot of these will be medical emergencies, but sometimes there are elevator rescues or fires that need to be handled around us.
  • Buses – when you live on a street that has buses on it 24 hours a day, you get to hear them all the time, and they start to become just a background sound that you hear.
  • Construction – these are the sounds that can overwhelm you sometimes, and that is the construction due to parking lot renovations or road work. These sounds happen, and they can be extremely hard to block out.
  • People yelling at each other – now here is a sound that can be very hard to block out, especially when it happens in the middle of the night. People don’t seem to realize how their voices carry when they are carrying on a loud conversation in the middle of the night. These sounds bounce off the buildings, so they can be heard even when you are up quite a few floors from the street.
  • Car's backfiring – now this is a newer sound that we have been hearing lately and that is the sound of cars backfiring. There seems to be a few cars in our area that have mistuned engines and their cars backfire quite often.
  •  Constant sound of vehicles on the major roads and a highway nearby, including those racing at the wee hours of the night.

So, yes, we all have sounds around us and I know that I have just listed some of the surrounding sounds, but these are the sounds that are ones that happen quite often around us and can be very different from what people hear in a residential area of a city.

When you stop and just listen to the various sounds around you when you are in different places, you will hear different things that aren’t things you may hear normally. For me, it is always such a difference when we go away from home because you do notice the lack of some of these sounds because these sounds have now become normal everyday sounds to me.

The sounds around us can change from time to time, even when you are within one area. When there are leaves on trees or snow on the ground, the sounds around us can sound different. So next time you have a few minutes, go outside, and listen to the sounds around you and see what sounds you have around you.