Archive for May, 2012

How To Get A Job When You’re A Royal Princess?

In March, The Telegraph featured a story on the troubles of some of the ‘minor royalty.’ The Queen has been charged with reforming and reorganizing the Civil List and to find places in overall spending by the British royal family to trim off some £6 million from the budget by 2013. Prince Charles announced that when he becomes king, he intends to severely cut the number of royals benefitting from the Civil List down to 8 or 9. Where does this leave the ‘minor’ royalty, such as the young lady who is fifth in the line of succession, Princess Beatrice?


A courtier at Buckingham Palace claimed the Princesses will seek employment while still carrying out their royal duties. However, the Telegraph reports, “…despite her Royal title (or perhaps because of it), Beatrice has failed to find a suitable job since she graduated from university with a 2:1 in history last year.” The Princess also draws much criticism from the public for her “royalty protection officers.” So what’s a Princess to do?


Burly protection officers aside, Princess Beatrice, like all job seekers, is going to have to take stock of her assets and use what she has on hand to find a “suitable job.” Her 2:1 degree in history could get her into postgraduate studies if she chooses, or possibly open a door to her in the fine arts or fashion industries. Fortunately, the Princess is already pursuing work in those two fields.


Other questions the Princess, as well as all other job seekers, may have to consider include the following:


What generally transferable skills have been gained through my course of studies?


The wise student will take advantage of his or her university education in order to sharpen the skills desired by employers who recruit graduates in any discipline. This will allow the student to clearly communicate both orally and in writing, put forward ideas and arguments in a concise, clear manner, gather, organize and analyze data, and base conclusions on research. In fact, these skills will likely be more important than the subject of the conferred degree.


What have others done with a similar degree?


From journalist to practitioner of law, many university graduates have found the important skills learned while studying History to be invaluable.  The University of Kent also offers a list of Occupations Associated with History, including Civil Servant – not that the Princess isn’t already familiar with that field!  Job seekers should research various opportunities afforded those with similar educational backgrounds.


Would the conferring university offer help or advice for placement?


As a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, Princess Beatrice has Alumni Services available to her. All former students of Goldsmiths are automatically part of their alumni community which is updated via regular e-newsletters, a biannual magazine and networking events. The University also has its social media pages. For more hands-on assistance, the Princess may avail herself of the Careers Advice office for up to two years following her graduation.  


How can a well-written CV assist in a job search?

Thanks to her education, hobbies, interests, and charity work, Princess Beatrice probably has several pages worth of experience. By further including a personal statement with her CV, the Princess can explain how her varied experiences will help in her future career. The CV is her personal advertising campaign.


What is the best way to get the word out?


No doubt the princess has many friends, acquaintances, and contacts who would be more than happy to connect her with others who might offer her the position she is seeking. Perhaps her Uncle Charles or Cousins William or Harry could be of some help. The best way to locate employment opportunities is through networking and word of mouth. Job seekers should let their friends and neighbors know that they are available and actively looking for challenging work or a position where they can utilize their talents and abilities to help others succeed. Throughout this process, it is important to keep a positive attitude – no one wants a “downer” person around, nor do they want to refer this person to their friends!


This British royal’s plight highlights several strategies that are important for any job seeker – newly minted from a university or otherwise – namely, utilizing one’s immediate resources and built-in networking. Whether one is fifth-in-line to the throne or, much more likely, a regular university graduate searching for that “suitable job,” one should take stock of one’s assets, research alternatives available to individuals with a similar education and skill set, take advantage of available resources at one’s alma mater, polish up one’s CV and make it a personal ad campaign, network with others, and most importantly, stay positive. Following these tried and true strategies, one will have a job offer before one can say, “The Best of British to You!”


Nurses’ Day 2012

Preface: This was originally written to be featured on my company’s blog, but due to some uncontrollable circumstances involving the Legal department and the Marketing department, a kibosh has been placed on further blog posting until Friday.  Nurses’ Week is this week and by Friday, this article will have “expired.”   I worked hard on crafting this succinctly, especially the final paragraph, I’m not going to waste it.

**A/N:  It did make it onto the company Facebook page.  On Thursday.  Consolation prize?  I guess so.


Nurses’ Day 2012

Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring

The profession is both an art and a science, a combination of skills taught in the classroom and lab coupled with a heart to care for patients and their families. The people, male and female, appear in many places outside the hospital – emergency rooms, clinics, nursing homes, private practices, schools and shelters where they teach, research and practice professionally. They are not “lower” than doctors; they are, in fact, often more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of patient care and are first responders in the event of an in-hospital emergency. They do the basic, yet essential, work of the medical industry – administering shots, drawing blood, gathering and processing vital information, staying awake through the night to keep watch over patients, and sometimes even coaching new mothers through difficult labor and delivery. All of these tasks and more they do with a passion for their profession and a strong commitment to patient safety. This May 6th through 12th, as we celebrate National Nurses’ Week, let us take some time to show appreciation and extend our heartfelt thanks to the nearly 3.1 million Registered Nurses in America.

Each year, National Nurses’ Day is celebrated during the week of May 6th through 12th, which also marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The ‘Lady with the Lamp,’ as she came to be known, dedicated her life to nursing and campaigning for better healthcare and sanitation for all. Florence was one of the most influential women in Victorian Britain and its Empire, second only to Queen Victoria herself. Some 40 years after her death in 1953, Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare proposed a Presidential proclamation of “Nurses’ Day” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Though the proclamation was not made at that time, National Nurses’ Week was observed annually in an unofficial capacity until it was, at long last, signed into a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan in March, 1982.

International Nurses’ Day is celebrated with the assistance of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), a federation of 130+ national nurses’ associations founded in 1899 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year, they prepare and distribute the International Nurses’ Day Kit, which contains educational and public information materials. The ICN also propagates themes for each International Nurses’ Day. This year, the theme is “Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action,” which speaks to the ability of nurses to use evidence to implement change in their sphere of influence regarding the affordability and accessibility of healthcare.

On National Nurses’ Day, we remember that nurses are “capable, conscientious and trustworthy,” as Susan Watson writes for the Battle Creek Enquirer. We can trust and take solace in the Florence Nightingale Pledge. Penned in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses (Detroit, MI), our nurses take this pledge:


I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

We can all participate in celebrating National Nurses’ Week by choosing to honor a nurse, and there are many ways to do so. Be it making a gift to the American Nurses’ Foundation, sharing a story of a nurse who matters to you or even writing a note of appreciation to be published in your local newspaper, speak up and out for our wonderful nurses.

FF#4 – The Egg

At age 4, Darcy Kildare still firmly believed in the Easter bunny.  She assured her older brothers, Aloysius and Kelly, that the Easter bunny would leave her a basket of toys, candies, and eggs, like a spring-time Father Christmas.

“Darcy, Easter’s just the spring solstice,” Aloysius rolled his eyes.  “And rabbits don’t lay eggs.”

“No, but they have a deal with the chickens,” Darcy said earnestly, staring into her biggest brother’s eyes. “Daddy told me.”

Kelly, full of wisdom at age 6, nodded sagaciously.  “Yes,” he said, “and if you don’t believe in the Easter bunny, how will you get a basket?”

“I don’t care,” Aloysius stood up from the craft table, went to his room, and quietly shut the door.  Kelly and Darcy went back to coloring pictures of Easter baskets and saints.

“Good morning!” Cecily Kildare woke her children by opening the shutters in their room, allowing bright sunlight to invade the room.  The older boy groaned and rolled over towards the wall, a book falling from his bed to the floor with a soft thump on the rug.  The younger boy immediately sprang to his feet with wide eyes.

“Did he come?”

“I think I saw some baskets on the way up the stairs,” Cecily nodded thoughtfully.  “Let’s go wake Darcy while Aloysius gets his act together.”

The little girl was already out of bed, having heard her brothers stirring, and was pulling on her Easter Sunday clothes already.

“Don’t worry about that, Darcy,” said Cecily.  “We’ll worry about getting to Mass later.” As the little girl began to get back into her pajamas, Aloysius stumped into the room behind his mother and gazed up at her blearily.  “Happy Easter, eldest handsome son.”

“Hi, Mom.”

From downstairs, Basil Kildare was putting the finishing touches on the three Easter baskets in front of him.  The pink for Darcy, blue for Aloysius, and of course, green for Kelly.  Equal treats, equal toys.  Good.  They’ll like this.  He heard the bare feet padding along the short hallway upstairs, then down the steps.  Kelly, of course, led the way.  “He came! The Easter bunny came!”

Darcy was still picking her way down the stairs, trying to hurry, but her focus was on not falling.  Aloysius slunk down the stairs, trying to avoid looking pleased that chocolate and little gifts were in his near future.   The two younger children attacked their baskets as he stood apart a little ways, looking at the blue grass and the contents.

Darcy held up a white egg.  “What’s this?”

Cecily took it from her, “I don’t know, darling, did the silly Easter bunny forget to dye this—” She stopped and looked at Basil, then silently handed him the egg.

“I didn’t put that there,” he said quietly, looking the egg over, his eyes widening.

“Of course not,” Cecily turned to her children. “Oh, look at this sweet bunny!”

A few short hours later, Cecily shoved open the heavy doors to the MI6 headquarters so hard they banged loudly against the walls. The receptionist stood up, alarmed, but settled back down as he recognized Cecily.  “Is the Minister in?” she queried impatiently.

“Yes, he’s in his office, but I think he’s preparing to leave.”

“Damned if he leaves before I’ve had a word with him!”

“Should I ring ahead?” The receptionist was left without a reply.

Cecily flung herself up the stairs to the third floor, walked quickly along a blank hallway, then ducked into a decorative alcove and flipped the bowl on the small table there.  The wall to her right parted, revealing a tiny elevator, which she entered, and rose to floor 39 ½.

The Minister was just picking up his briefcase when the elevator pinged politely and the door slid open.  “Ah, Cecily, Happy Easter to you.”

“Happy Easter my arse! How dare you deliver this…egg!… in my daughter’s Easter basket!”

“I thought you might appreciate the joke.  Besides, she doesn’t know what it means, does she.”

“She knows it was meant for Mommy and Daddy, sir, and that is too much information.  I told you when Basil and I had our family that we did not want them involved in any way.”

“Then perhaps you should retire, already, Cecily.  It wouldn’t do for my agents to constantly be leaving you messages in the fridge.  This way I knew it would come to you because your little one wouldn’t understand what it meant.”

“Your agents were in our house?”

“How else would that egg have gotten there?”

“Y0u couldn’t think of another way? Basil and I have jobs you know!  Easter break is only a long weekend. Couldn’t this have waited until we returned?”

“You didn’t even read it, did you.”

“No, sir, I did not,” some of the fire was leaving Cecily’s eyes as she began to get better rein of her emotions.

“Well, scan it here, and you may use my screen to view it.”

A pause, then Cecily placed the egg beneath a green scanner as one might see at a local supermarché.   A scanner folded down and Cecily allowed it to identify her.  “Welcome, Cecily Kildare,” a gentle female voice intoned.

The computer monitor flashed as a program began its auto-run, and Cecily looked to it to see what information could possibly be so important. Several photos and some text appeared, prompting her to utilize the mouse to scroll through.  She turned sharply to her commander.

“Is this real?”

He nodded grimly.

“I understand.” The young woman nodded thoughtfully.  “I’ll speak with Basil about it and see how he would like to proceed.  Will that be alright?”

“Of course. You two are my best agents.”

“Thank you, sir.  And I am sorry about the outburst earlier.”

“It’s understandable, Cecily, I won’t hold it against you.”

She smiled and turned to go.  “Aren’t you forgetting something?” Cecily stopped, turning to him with curiosity on her face.


“The egg.”

“What about it?”

“That,” said the Minister, “is the real one.”

Words: 1000