4 Heartwarming, Feel-Good Stories

Sometimes we can all use a pick-me-up.  If you’d like the warm fuzzies, check out some of the inspirational stories that we’ve recently read about:

  1. Strangers Raised Over $30,000 for James Moss and His Son.  Moss was featured on #GoBeKind, a YouTube series where philanthropist Leon Logothetis performs random acts of kindness for people on the street.  After Moss revealed in one of Logothetis’ videos that he was homeless because a job offer fell through, strangers raised $34,380 for him in just 5 days.
  2. Paying It Forward.  In a California grocery store, Jamie-Lynne Knighten was dealing with a crying baby and a declined credit card when Matthew Jackson came to her rescue.  Although he was employed as a fitness trainer and didn’t have much money himself, he insisted on paying Knighten’s bill.  Tragically, when Knighten later called Jackson’s gym to sing his praises, she discovered he was killed in a crash less than 24 hours after he helped her.  Today Knighten has tried to pay it forward by spreading news of Jackson’s good deed through her Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag, #MatthewsLegacy.
  3. Another Good Person at the Grocery Store!  Tracy Warshal noticed a man looking for his forgotten wallet at the grocery store and offered to pay his $7 grocery bill.  At the time, she was wearing a Piedmont Cancer t-shirt. Later she discovered that the man generously donated $10,000 to the foundation in her honor. 
  4. Three “Open-Minded” Huskies Adopt A Cat.  A Siberian Huskie took in a stray kitten and gently treated her like one of her own.  Soon the cat was acting just like a sled dog and “joined” the Huskie’s family.  Today, the 3 Huskies—along with cat, Rosie—are inseparable.  Awww….


Thought For The Day

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

Vincent Van Gogh


4 Tips for Transitioning Into a New Career

Many people are intimidated by the prospect of transitioning into a new career.  “Will I have to take a pay cut?” “Do I have the right skillset?” “Will I enjoy it?”  However, your career transition can be less stressful than you may be imagining.  Below we offer up some pointers to ease your transition:

  1. Develop Your Skillset.  Naturally, it’s easier to find a new position if you have some experience in the position or industry you’re targeting.  Consider returning to school or volunteering so you can be exposed to the skills and experience you need.

  2. Use Your Network.  When you’re looking for a new position, oftentimes it’s the people in your network who are the most helpful.  A great recommendation from someone in your network will almost always bear more weight than a well-written resume and cover letter.  Get in touch with your network so people are aware of your job search and can offer you assistance.

  3. Update Your Resume/Cover Letter.  While a personal recommendation is best, you don’t want to rush through a redo of your resume and cover letter.   Write a resume that focuses more on your qualifications that are applicable to your target position, rather than emphasizing your industry-specific knowledge.  Similarly, you might want to consider a t-format cover letter which focuses on how your specific skillset meets the needs of the job you’re targeting.

  4. Have Savings Set Aside.  Make sure your finances are in order before rushing into a new field.  A career change may come with a lower salary so be prepared by creating your nest egg in advance.  Experts recommend that at a minimum, you have 3 months of living expenses saved up and it’s even better to have 6 months saved.

Object-Oriented Programming: Exception Handling in C++

All of the articles in this series so far have been about writing and implementing programs in C++.  Now we are going to talk about something a little bit different: we will explain a way to robustly handle errors in our program.  This is called exception handling: the process of responding to exceptions – anomalous or exceptional conditions requiring special processing – often changing the normal flow of program execution.  If there is an error in our program, we do not want it to crash - we want to be able to handle it as elegantly as possible.

In this article we will mention different ways of preventing failure.  Some of them are built-in functions and using output as a control mechanism.  Some classes have built-in methods used for checking bounds of data structures, break conditions etc.  One example of this is the Stack class we wrote in the last article.  The class had these methods:

int empty() const 
  return t < 0;

int full() const
  return t == CAPACITY - 1;

This approach can be viewed as a method of preventing failure, because we are taking into consideration the bounds and capacity of the data structure. 

It is also possible to track the flow of your program by viewing the outputs at strategically placed execution points, but C++ provides a more sofisticated method for preventing failure - the exception mechanism.

Simply speaking, an exception is an event responsible for preventing the failure of our program.  Data describing the exception can be represented either as a value, or in the form of an object.  Exceptions provide a way to transfer control from one part of a program to another.  C++ exception handling is built upon three keywords: try, catch, and throw.  When errors occur, the function generating the error can 'throw' an exception (exceptions are simple classes containing the description of the error).  Now we are supposed to 'catch' the thrown exception, and to do this, we will use the try-catch mechanism.  Unlike the throwing, which usually happens in the body of the function that might cause failure, the try-catch block is used when we are calling such a function.  Syntax:

type myMethod()
  throw MyException("My error message");

/*calling the method somewhere in the code*/
  type t = myMethod();
catch(MyException& e)
  cout << e.errorMessage;
The catch statement catches exceptions that are of the proper type.  You can, for example, throw objects of different classes to differentiate between several different exceptions. Y ou can also catch any type of exceptions with the universal handler:
  //catches all exceptions

The catch block always has to be placed right after the try block.

The real advantage of using exception handling is the fact that, once a catch statement is executed, the program continues to run from the end of the catch.  This provides a way to continue running the program without crashing, even though an error has occured.

Could You Benefit from an Image Consultant?

What is an image consultant? you’re probably wondering.  Quite simply, an image consultant is someone who can evaluate your appearance, clothing, and communication style and then make recommendations to help you make a good impression—one of a successful, confident individual.  Image consultants are often used by politicians, media personalities, and corporate executives but anyone seeking an image update can benefit from a consultant’s services.

Specifically, image consultants can help you by addressing the following issues:

  • Dressing to Achieve Your Professional Goals.  Would you like to be promoted at work but dress like a summer intern?  A consultant can evaluate your clothing choices and make suggestions that will improve your professional image at the office.

  • Dressing for Your Body Type.  If you’re top-heavy, pear-shaped, petite, tall, or anything in between, an image consultant can help you select the most flattering clothing for your proportions.

  • Body Language.  Is your body language off-putting?  Do you tend to mumble when you speak?  Not sure?  An image consultant can evaluate your communication style and help you speak in a way that is clear, powerful, and effective.

  • Updating Your Style.  According to Brand You Image, one of the most common image problems that people have is an outdated hairstyle.  If you’re not sure if your style needs an update, an image consultant can give you an unbiased, professional opinion and offer helpful suggestions.

If you think that you can benefit from seeing an image consultant, a good place to get started is AICI, Association of Image Consultants International.  You can find image consultants in your area using their search tool.  Select a few image consultants to interview, ask them about their background/services, and then select the right person for you.  You may just find that a style overhaul is instrumental in helping you earn your next promotion!