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How to Engage in Positive Change

Image by John Hain

At the time of this post our country is in a very interesting place; a crossroads if you will. We are still in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, but in addition to that, in reaction to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, protest against systemic racism, police brutality, and social injustice are taking place not only in America, but around the world.

Each of these situations is changing “business as usual” in our society; the likes of which we have never seen and still cannot totally predict. I remain hopeful, and cautiously optimistic that at the very least, what will emerge will be a greater understanding of our connectedness to one another, and the building of a better world.

Each of us must decide what role we are going to play in making that happen. And yes, we all have a role. We all have our own unique set of skills and talents that we can use to contribute to building a better world. I believe that is why we are here.

While the success stories of African-Americans does not lead in mainstream media news, I have noticed through social media platforms that in the midst of everything that is going on, we are still pursuing our goals and dreams, and despite all the roadblocks and obstacles placed in our way, we are succeeding in accomplishing them.

I’ve seen stories of a mother and daughter who both graduated from medical school and are now serving in the same hospital; stories of first generation African- American young people graduating from and being accepted into law, business, medical and technology schools to name a few. There are stories of African Americans launching businesses of all types, while still engaging in the fight for equal opportunity, social justice, and an end to systemic racism. This speaks to incredible internal fortitude and demonstrates the faith in our ability to be as successful as any other group in whatever we set our minds to.

In the midst of this fight, one thing that we can all do, in spite of the obstacles placed in our way, is make the commitment to being the very best we can be in all we do. This too is a part of the fight for change. It is not about seeking anyone else’s approval, it is about lifting ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and the rest of humanity to bring about a better world. Fighting for justice is right! Fighting for positive change is right! Striving to be the best that you can be is right! None of these excludes the other.

The Kwanzaa principle of Kuumba/Creativity states “To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.”

In my role as an instructor and educator, I have recommitted to that principle. While all of us may not be able to get out and join street protests, applying this principle is something we all can do. My challenge to my brothers and sisters is to take some time to think about what gifts, talents, and skills you have that can contribute to enhancing the lives of others and making your community a better place. I implore you: do not just sit, watch, and talk about what is happening, get up, get out, and start making things happen.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Greater Paterson OIC, its Board of Directors, or any other group or individual affiliated.

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Rule of 72

The Rule of 72 is a mathematic way to determine how much our money will increase over the years. By dividing 72 by the rate of return investors can get an estimate of how much your money will double in a few years. Using the Rule of 72 can allow you to retire happily in a stable financial environment. The money you earn is in your hands so why not make your money work for you while you don’t have to lift a finger?

This is how. 

Returning to Work After a Break is Not Impossible

Returning to your career after a break can be difficult but, with the right preparation it is achievable. Show employer in an interview that although you took a break you are committed to the business. In today’s society the biggest set back is technology. People who have been away from the working life for a while may not be up to date in the current technology use of their department. Volunteering in your field is also a good way to keep your mind and body active.  Provide examples of your work experience prior to the break that show you are willing to be fully invested. Don’t apologize for being out of the game prove to them that you are at the same level if not above your peers because of your break. Stay positive you are not the first person to take a career break and you will not be the last.

Cover Letter

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Cover letters are to show in detail what your resume outlines. You should always have an updated cover letter regardless of whether the position you are applying for requires one. Using a template from online can make writing a cover letter easier. You can get more personal by searching up the hiring managers name, try to avoid addressing the letter with “to whom it may concern.” A cover letter should be one page long divided into about three paragraphs. Your first paragraph should include who you are, what position you are applying for and why your interested in that position. Complimenting the company is always a good way to show you know what the job is about and how they benefit others and potentially you. Paragraph two is about pitching your sale on why the company needs you. Describe three traits that the company needs that you have based on your prior work experience and life skills. Try not to restate things that were already said in your resume, but more so, expand on them. Do not cut and paste anything from your resume to your cover letter. Paragraph three is a conclusion. You should thank them for their consideration and reiterate that you are the person for the job. A cover letter is your time to shine.

  Here are a few videos that may expedite the process of making your cover letter.  Good Luck!

5 Things to know when writing your cover letter

How your cover letter should look in 2017

Crafting a cover letter


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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Resume Building

Developing and editing your resume can be difficult but we at Greater Paterson OIC are here to help! We wanted to make the process of building a resume easier for you, so we handpicked 5 major things employers want to see on a resume. Some would say to consider yourself a product when building a resume. A product should be valuable, convenient, and efficient. Your resume is enough to get you into the doors of an industry building, face to face contact is what should seal the deal of your job.

  1. They Only Care About The Job Your Applying For.
    • You should cater your resume to the industry your applying for. When skimming through a resume an employer is attracted to jobs that relate to the job your applying for. This is not to say that your other accomplishments are not relevant but they are simply not the focus at that point. What you can always bring experience to an establishment.
  2. Format.
    • An essay on your life is not necessary when building your resume. Bullet points and headings are enough to get your point across when describing your previous work. The font type should be legible but still creativity.
  3. Just Enough Creativity
    • A boring resume will result in a boring reaction. There are appropriate ways to give your resume some color. An example would be if you are apply for a Graphic Arts position, you can include some of your talents in your resume.
  4. Motivation
    • The language you use to describe your previous work experience is imperative. Employers want to see motivate and drive to work for them even if the job is repetitive. Words such as “inspired, opportunity, and confidence” show your employer that you are able to articulate how a job made you feel.
  5. Contact Information
    • An employer does not need much to contact you for a job. Your address, phone number and email is more than enough for the recruiter to communicate with you. Your contact information should be below your name and typed in a smaller font size.
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OIC of Greater Paterson is a non-profit community- based organization that has been meeting the needs of the economically disadvantaged individuals throughout the community. 


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