Our Stories: Jessie Scoullar

Written by Jen Hacker.

Like so many of us, work changed a lot for Jessie Scoullar in 2020. After losing a few projects at the beginning of lockdown, she turned her talents towards helping others and got involved with Help Musicians UK, a charity that provides support for artists.Jessie Scoullar

In a time when work is dwindling, she’s been flat out for the past few months. “I think I’ve worked with about 50 artists, helping them build a foundation to grow engagement with their fans,” Jessie said.

In her role as a mentor, Jessie helps newer artists and those less established online to find ways of expanding and creating special products and experiences for their fans. This is especially important now that touring and appearances have all been put on hold. As she says “Bands gotta make money.”

Starting out as an artist management assistant, Jessie worked with some of the biggest names in the New Zealand music scene. “My first experience with artists in NZ was with Bic Runga when she was recording her album, Birds,” she said. “I was just driving them around and getting them lunch,” she shrugs, but with names like Neil Finn, Anika Moa and Shayne Cartner it was a stellar start.

Jessie moved to London in 2007, following her two older sisters and a lot of friends all embarking on their OE. Once she arrived in London, Jessie began working for PRS for music where she stayed for two years before accepting voluntary redundancy.

Our Stories: Tiffany Hardy

Written by Bronwyn Huband.

For many people, Coronavirus has been at least a change of pace and at most a life changer, whether that be a new job, or even moving back to New Zealand.Tiffany Hardy Voice Booth 2

Faced with the prospect of not having her usual drumbeat of work, Tiffany Hardy did not let losing her job stop her. She spent time reading and thinking about what she wanted to do with her career, before rapidly deciding to set up her own business mid-crisis.

Reading our book club book, The Squiggly Career, was a game changer – it sparked the passion in Tiffany to use her skills more to help people. The book is based on the idea that we don’t work our way up the career ladder any more, instead we squiggle our way around.

“I have had quite a squiggly career, working in radio, TV, the travel industry and in production, so it’s been quite the squiggly ride,” Tiffany said.

After reading the “Super Strengths” chapter of the Squiggly Career it really made her think and assess things. Not only did it get her to figure out her super strengths, but it pointed out that the ones that are most important are not necessarily your strongest strengths, but the ones that you enjoy the most and that make you happy.

Review: Book Club Brunch - Radical Candor

Written by Kristine Chadwick.

radical candor

Author:  Kim Scott
Reviewer: Kristine Chadwick

To be radically candid and as self-effacing Kiwi’s, many of us found “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott to have rather a lot of name dropping, from Sheryl Sandberg to Steve Jobs, from Google to Twitter and Apple.  However, it also revealed that no matter where you work, management issues are universal. We all also agreed that the book was rather long with a fair amount of repetition. Top tip - skip to the second section of the book where Kim outlines a variety of useful tools for managers. Adapt and personalise these to suit your specific work environment.  

The theme of caring personally, compassionate candor and staying centred so you can bring your best self to work resonated with the book club after three months of COVID-19 imposed social distancing and working from home.

Review: Book Club Brunch - Talking to Strangers

Written by Michelle Telling.

Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Reviewer: Michelle Telling

So, it turns out that a book titled ‘Talking to Strangers’ was not as much about ‘talking to strangers’ as the title might suggest, but more like ‘how to interrogate and get the truth from bad people’. In addition, the book was described by those Talking to Strangers Book Club NZBWNwho had managed to get through it as disturbing as it included vivid descriptions of rape, child molestation and how to kill yourself using a gas oven, among other things. In short, this book was not what we expected when it was selected for our NZBWN book brunch.

That aside, we were a small group in December (it being the season of busyness for many), and we had a lively discussion around the themes of the book, along with a side-discussion on dating tips. The group felt this was not Malcolm Gladwell’s best work and many had read and enjoyed his other titles including ‘David and Goliath’, ‘Blink’ and ‘the Tipping Point’; all of these had a scientific basis, but ‘Talking to Strangers’ seemed more a cut and paste exercise with a little commentary on each particular case discussed.

The underlying theme was that the majority of us have a ‘default to truth’ when interacting with others, as the author put it:

‘You believe someone not because you have no doubts about them. Belief is not the absence of doubt. You believe someone because you don’t have enough doubts about them’.

‘Default to truth becomes an issue when we are forced to choose between two alternatives, one of which is likely and the other of which is impossible to imagine’.

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