(Minghui.org) Hello, compassionate Master! Hello, fellow practitioners!

I began practicing Falun Dafa with my mother when I was 5 years old. I immigrated from Taiwan to Canada 12 years ago when I was in elementary school. I joined the English language Epoch Times Subscription Department in 2020, and I feel very blessed to join the media at such a crucial time. During my time working in the media, I have experienced both hardship and joy, as well as achievements and setbacks. This entire experience and my changes as a person are something I could never have imagined.

Confusion While Looking for a Job after Graduation

My last semester at the University of Toronto was from 2019 to 2020. All the other graduates were looking for jobs and planning their future paths, and I also thought about what I wanted to do.

At the university, I specialized in accounting and had taken all the advanced courses in the accounting stream. If I wanted to be accomplished and successful in this profession, I would have to become a certified public accountant and get a license. I felt it was not too difficult for me to get the license and succeed in this industry, and that I had the confidence to do it. However, I asked myself, “Is this really what I want? Do I really want to continue on this path?”

All along, I had no passion for accounting and only studied it because I got good grades and it would be easier to find a job in the future. I went to several interviews, and when the interviewer asked me why I wanted to join the company, or why I wanted to enter this profession, I couldn’t answer. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t that I couldn’t answer, but that my answer was not how I truly felt—it was a standard response to the interview question. I really did not feel the motivation to enter the accounting profession.

I wondered, which company would allow me to answer this question with my heart? Which company would make me want to dedicate myself to it? The Epoch Times was the answer to these questions.

The summer of 2018 was the first time I worked at The Epoch Times. They were hiring summer interns and seeing that I had nothing to do, my mother suggested I apply. I ended up joining the editorial team. That summer, I learned a lot of things, like video editing, writing press releases, sourcing, and managing social media posts. All these things turned out to be valuable experiences. Six other young practitioners interned at the same time as me, and we had a lot of fun every day working, learning, and talking together. I really enjoyed my time with fellow practitioners.

Because of the wonderful experience I had, I came back the following year. During my second internship, I think the best thing I got out of it was that doing the exercises and studying Fa became a habit. The media had exercises and Fa-study every morning, and my colleagues invited me to join them. Although it was difficult to wake up early, every time I completed the Fa-study and exercises, I felt happy and deeply fulfilled.

During my second internship at The Epoch Times, I matured a lot. I became more diligent, and I began to realize what could truly enrich my life and make me happy. As someone who has grown up under the care of Dafa, I understood how wonderful Dafa is and the importance of truth clarification. Therefore, I wanted to join The Epoch Times full time after graduation to contribute and fulfill my vow.

The decision to join the media full-time seemed like a simple one, but it wasn’t easy to make. In school, I had good grades and my classmates often came to me for help as they thought I was smart and capable. Ordinary people usually look for a job that pays well or wishes to join a big company to achieve “success”. Therefore, even though I knew that joining The Epoch Times was the best choice, my desire for fame and my competitive mentality made me waver. At the same time, I was worried that my parents would not understand my choice as they spent so much money on my education, and then I decided to work in the media. 

Fortunately, I have very open-minded parents who trusted me and supported my choice. After joining The Epoch Times, I remember once when I was worried about my salary, my father said, “The media is in it’s early stage, so it’s normal for the salary to be lower, but working at The Epoch Times is your mission, isn’t it?” After hearing this, I no longer doubted my choice and felt that Master Li (Dafa’s founder) was encouraging and enlightening me.

Later, as my understanding of the Fa deepened, I realized that I had always had a deep-rooted notion that working in the media would make me poor and that working for an ordinary company would ensure financial stability—but this is an incorrect notion. How can a practitioner lose his blessings, or what is rightfully his, by doing Dafa work? Wealth and poverty are determined by the amount of karma one carries. What I have lost is the result of my attachments, and as long as I walk on the path of Dafa, Master will arrange the best for me. After I was enlightened to this, my mind became clear.

Improving Myself at Work

When I first joined the subscription department, the number of subscribers for the English language newspaper was growing rapidly. At that time, we only had one full-time customer service representative. The first challenge I faced was answering phone calls to help subscribers resolve their issues. I had no experience in customer service and I was unfamiliar with the customer service manual.

On my first call, I stuttered and was incoherent. I kept encouraging myself and removing the urge to back out. After a few more attempts, I could finally communicate with customers calmly and with compassion. Customers started to tell me that I was the friendliest customer service representative they ever met, or that it was the best service they ever had. I was very encouraged and glad that I took on this challenge to improve myself.

The second challenge came as soon as I began to settle into my job. In order to clarify the truth to Canadians, we distributed sample newspapers all across Canada. The sample received a great response and the phone rang non-stop, so the company hired new customer service representatives and looked for volunteers to support the increased demand. I was assigned to coordinate and train the new staff from the basics. I had to solve escalated problems that the staff could not handle and help team members learn various customer service systems that were continuously changing. The workload suddenly increased a lot and led me to situations that I never encountered before and did not know how to solve.

I am the kind of person who likes to solve things on my own, so I was not used to asking others for help. I thought that asking for help is troublesome and burdensome for others. At the same time, I wanted to look competent in front of my colleagues, so I usually tried to solve the problems on my own and learn from my mistakes. This habit of tackling problems on my own makes the whole process very stressful and gradually creates a sense of blame and fear when I couldn’t do things perfectly. Over time, I became negative and sometimes emotionally unstable, and I knew that if I didn’t rectify my state, I wouldn’t be able to continue working here. With the help of my colleagues, I realized it is normal and necessary for people to help each other in a team. This is the right way to handle problems. Meanwhile, I also realized the need to remove my competitive and show-off mentality in order to do my best work for the team.

Guided by the right mindset, the stress melted away and I started to face new challenges with a positive attitude. Looking back, I found that whenever I was overwhelmed, I was not in a good cultivation state. After looking within, correcting myself, and keeping up with Fa-study and exercise, Master gave me the wisdom to do my work. I became confident and full of courage with the help of Dafa. I stopped facing challenges with a negative attitude. I realized each challenge is an opportunity to improve myself. It would be too late for regret if I missed these opportunities, as cultivation does not wait for us. We should grasp every challenge as an opportunity to build our mighty virtue!

Conflicts Expose My Attachments

I had some conflicts and misunderstandings with my colleagues, and some of them really moved my heart. I tried to endure in the face of these tests while internally feeling wronged and upset. I felt this was cultivation. Over the course of many conflicts, I found out that the tolerance of an everyday person would only allow me to remain at my current level, and not let me make breakthroughs. I remained at the same level for a long time, and this allowed the old forces to interfere and make the tests increasingly difficult. I began to develop many negative thoughts about my surroundings.

One day the phone kept ringing and our staff answered the phone nonstop. I also took calls, but many customers were still waiting on hold. The calls slowed at lunchtime, so I asked everyone to take turns eating lunch and then hurry back to work. Unexpectedly, many calls came in right after our staff left for lunch. My manager was checking real-time call traffic and saw several people were waiting. She called me to her desk and said I shouldn’t have let people go for lunch when the phone was so busy.

I felt very wronged since I couldn't control when the line would get busy. I treated it as a test of my forbearance. But later, when similar tests came one after another, I began to realize that I must have hidden attachments that I needed to eliminate. During the test, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me and I always thought I was right. No matter how much I endured, however, the conflicts kept coming. I remembered Master said that we should always look within, so I started to self-reflect and try to figure out the core attachments.

Throughout my life, I have always been very defensive; for example, whenever someone misunderstands me or speaks badly to me, I find it hard to accept and feel aggrieved and miserable. But the mentality of defending oneself comes from selfishness. I should be compassionate, tolerant of others, and learn to put myself in their shoes.

During these conflicts, because I did not try to understand why others spoke and behaved towards me in certain ways, I could not find my hidden attachments. By not looking within and by continuing to endure like an everyday person, I deluded myself that I was cultivating, when I was in fact not.

These experiences made me realize that when I feel upset, it was due to being trapped by my notions and attachments. Once I let go of them, I could see things clearly and remove all negative feelings.

The Power of Coordination As a Whole

What I find very touching at The Epoch Times is the active help, mutual care, and selflessness of team members. In the past year, due to the rapid growth in subscribers, many new systems were launched and a lot of work was created, but everyone took on extra work and supported each other.

During our busiest time, we were able to recruit, train and start almost 30 new customer service agents in just three weeks. It is not easy to train so many people in such a short period of time. During this busy time, whenever someone posted a message in our team chat for help, team members would answer whenever they were available and explain patiently to new staff how to answer customer questions about operating new technologies. Our manager said that with such a small team, it was a miracle that we were able to accomplish this goal successfully. I feel that Master empowered the team members to do this.

Unlike other ordinary companies, there is no interdepartmental rivalry at The Epoch Times. No matter which department we belong to, we selflessly help each other out when needed. Since the subscription department was created, we have received enormous help from other departments. For example, the sales team has voluntarily supported us time and time again. Whenever we need temporary customer service staff to handle surges in calls, they will come to help without complaint, despite having to learn so many training materials in a short period of time. 

In addition, I would like to thank the team members for their honest and straightforward suggestions and communication to improve the business and help our team become more professional. When I should have accepted every feedback and suggestion with gratitude, I sometimes failed to.

For example, I have a colleague who often suggests improvements in systems, processes, management, and other areas, but he tends to be blunt and straightforward. After looking at the workflow I designed, he said, “This design is not efficient, you should do it this way,” instead of saying, “I think doing it this way is better.” To me, it sounded like he was criticizing me, and I found it unfair that he did not try to understand the situation, nor ask me why I have designed it this way before saying it is not good.

After sharing with him, my colleague said that his intention was not to criticize but to help me improve and grow, and from his perspective, he often feels grateful when receiving feedback from others as it allowed him to learn and see from other perspectives.

After hearing this, I began to reflect on myself and realized that my lack of self-confidence, jealousy, and not wanting to lose face caused me to misunderstand what others said, and made me unable to accept criticism. After changing my attitude and the way I think, I no longer feel resentful towards that colleague, but instead cherished all the advice and feedback I received.

From this, I learned that as long as all team members communicate openly with each other and put Dafa first, we will be able to do our best work with Master’s blessing.

Closing Remarks

It’s been a year since I joined the media full-time. Every day we receive letters from readers who say that The Epoch Times is the best newspaper. Reading it helps them to keep a clear mind and make the right choices in these chaotic times. I feel privileged to work for a company that helps people move forward into a bright future.

Before I joined the media, I thought I was doing well in cultivation, but after joining the media and experiencing numerous tests that came one after another, I found that I still had a lot of attachments to work on. Master tells us everything happens for a reason, and I believe that the tests came so intensively because I needed to improve myself, so I could elevate to a higher realm to save more sentient beings.

I know that I still have many shortcomings and attachments. It is because of my shortcomings that I encounter tests at work and have friction with fellow practitioners. I know Master will use them to remove my attachments so that I can play a better role in the media. Nothing is truly unbearable or impossible. I am determined to persevere in the path I chose and fulfill my vow.

The above is my sharing working in the media. If there is anything not aligned with the Fa, please point it out to me.

(Presented at the 2021 Canada Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences