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When Giving Money Isn’t Generous Enough: What Truly Generous People Give Instead

When Giving Money Isn’t Generous Enough: What Truly Generous People Give Instead

We all admire the celebrities who organize and donate to charities all round the globe. But it is not just money, is it? These stars are giving a lot more than dollars. They are dedicating their expertise, knowledge, time, space and energy. This is the true spirit of generosity because the ripples they create are making a better, kinder world. Let us look at 10 VIPs who will inspire us to give more of our own talents, time and energy, although we may not be as rich!

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Khalil Gibran

1. They give their skills and expertise.

In addition to the 30 charities he supports, Sir Richard Branson is dedicated to saving the planet. He is passionate about how clean fuel is the way to go. He has committed $3 billion from his travel business profits in the next decade to combat global warming. An excellent example of giving expertise, instead of writing a blank check. Watch the video, ‘My passion for the planet’ below to discover more about his commitment to saving Earth.

“If you are in a position to make a difference, you’ve got to spend every waking hour trying to make a difference.” – Richard Branson

 2. They listen to forgotten people

George Clooney is determined to end the genocide in the Sudan where half a million people risked genocide in 2012. He founded the United to End Genocide and traveled to the Nuba Mountains in the Sudan to hear the stories of people who were in extreme danger from air strikes. The memory of the Darfur tragedy was uppermost in his mind where 300,000 people perished. Not only did he listen, but he testified before a US Senate Committee. He was arrested a few days later for civil disobedience outside the Sudanese Embassy along with Martin Luther King III and his father Nick Clooney.

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3. They fight for human rights

There are many charities which are working to improve women’s rights and give them access to  free contraception which is a basic human right.  Melinda Gates (co- founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) is leading a campaign to do just this in addition to the AIDS, hunger, peace, water, environment and homelessness charities they support.  Although Melinda is a practicing Catholic, this has not deterred her in trying to help women gain access to contraceptives in the fight against AIDS.

“From those who are given great resources, great things are expected.”-  Elaine French (Melinda’s mother, at their wedding ceremony)

4. They give in-kind

Tom Cruise is famous for dramatically saving people in his films. But, did you know that in real life he has given in-kind by intervening to save people in distress?  Once, when he was relaxing on his yacht, he saw another boat nearby in flames. He went to rescue them immediately. On another occasion, he was the witness of a hit and run accident. He not only stayed with the injured person but footed the $7,000 bill when he discovered the victim had no insurance.

5. They give time

The British comedian Russell Brand (Kate Perry’s ex husband) spends quite a bit of his spare time with the homeless and the down and outs. He is famous for inviting these guys to dinner and he is a great listener and gives up his time willingly to hear what they have to say. Quite a few of them claim to be Jesus, though!

6. They make themselves available

Roger Moore who is now 87, was famous for his James Bond role in the 007 films. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his charity work. He has made every effort to remind politicians and statesman of the importance of the UNICEF’s ‘Rights of the Child’.

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“You have to remind governments of that, and I make a nuisance myself in that respect.”- Roger Moore

He has espoused another cause in trying to ban the sale of  fois gras in the UK because of the force feeding of the ducks and geese.  He personally wrote to every Member of Parliament in the House of Commons to get their help. Instead of just writing a cheque, Roger Moore offered his time and effort for very worthy causes.

7. They give space

Whether it is online space, advertising space or office space, celebrities give willingly to help charities. It has been estimated that when a celebrity endorses a charity, people tend to give 1.4 percent more and that can add up to an extra $100,000 a year.

Talking of space, did you know that the passenger list for the Virgin Galactic space trip includes such prestigious names as Stephen Hawking, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber? The cost of the flight is a mere $250,000. Test flights have been successfully completed and the first actual flights will take place in 2014, according to Sir Richard Branson.

8. They take an interest in the needy

“People chase money and forget that time is our most precious resource.” – Andre Agassi

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Andre Agassi, the former tennis champion, is an excellent example of how he dedicated time and energy to founding a different type of school where at risk kids could reach their full potential.  The school is in southern Nevada. It is completely free and kids are selected by lottery. There is a lot of emphasis on character building and self-esteem. The school has already won an ‘exemplary ‘award from the Nevada Department of Education.

“Tennis was a stepping-stone for me. Changing a child’s life is what I always wanted to do”- Andre Agassi

9. They use life’s lessons as an inspiration for their generosity

When Mariah Carey discovered that her sister was HIV positive, she became more aware of the needs of sick and disadvantaged children. Her Fresh Air Fund was set up to give the kids from the toughest New York neighbourhoods a chance of a free holiday. Over 300 children benefit each year.

In the other children’s projects she has promoted, there is an emphasis on empowerment and career guidance.

“If you see me as just the princess then you misunderstand who I am and what I have been through.”- Mariah Carey.

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10. They are compassionate

Johnny Depp is involved in many charities connected with children too. He was particularly moved when he heard the story of Sophie Wilkinson who was in a coma after a car crash. As she was coming out of her coma, doctors recommended getting taped voices issuing commands which they drew up. All the better if it was a voice of someone she recognized and admired. As Sophie had been a great fan of Johnny’s, he stepped up to the plate and sent a load of recordings. He used the voice he had as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean. This was the beginning of Sophie’s Gift which was set up with Johnny and other famous celebrities such as Richard Hammond and Sharon Osbourne to help other people in coma to wake up.

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” – Johnny Depp

So, celebrities are doing a lot more than signing cheques and presiding at glamorous events. Help to publicize their generosity in doing good deeds by sharing this post on the social networks.

Featured photo credit: Johnny Depp/Andy Templeton via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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