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The key to getting hired when companies are not hiring

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Five years ago Peggy Burns published a book filled with “outcome-based solutions” for anyone looking for a job.

With so many people unemployed or underemployed by Covid-19, she believes The Key to Getting Hired when No One is Hiring is even more important at the moment.

“Economics highlights and undergirds everything, and on that basis the book is relevant today because similar life and money challenges which existed in 2015 are very much with us now,” said Ms Burns, an inventor and activist.

“The guiding voice of the book simply calls for us to take a pause, analyse and reason our condition so that we may get a firm grasp on understanding what’s happening and then use our finances wisely which will enable us to move towards realising our vision(s) for victory/success during this dark period – whatever it/they might be. It is a solution-oriented easy-to-follow guide.”

The Chamber of Commerce last summer found that 45 of 558 businesses it surveyed were closed for good because of the pandemic, and that many of the survivors were operating on a smaller scale.

With that backdrop, job applicants need to consider “unconventional” efforts if they intend to stand out, Ms Burns said.

Her proof is in the success of a plan she laid out in 2013 to get her then 20-year-old grandson, Salih Burns, a summer job.

“From the age of about two-and-a-half I put aside money for him every week. I had amassed something like $30,000. No one was hiring during that period and I racked my mind: what can I do for him? How can I help him? I was concerned about him not being occupied during the long summer and getting into trouble.”

The idea then hit her that she could use her seed money to pay her grandson’s wages without him knowing, if she could find a willing employer.

“I considered three businesses situated a short distance from where we live. I then selected the business I felt would offer him varied job responsibilities and greater opportunities for personal development, growth and advancement in an interesting and stimulating work environment in which he would also meet and cater to numerous visitors from the four corners of the world.”

Ms Burns ran her idea past Clyde Darrell, the resident manager at Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa.

Impressed by the offer, her grandson’s resume and his performance during an interview, Grotto Bay took him on, offering to pay him a token amount and cover part of the cost of the uniform he would need.

Her grandson however, “wasn’t so happy” with the agreement once he discovered it was in play. Ms Burns came up with an idea of listing its benefits over four columns she drew on paper for him.

The first showed how he would have earned nothing if he had not worked; the second highlighted his earnings of $8,198.75; the third described how his work experience and accumulated knowledge could never be taken away from him; the fourth detailed all that he had achieved: his earnings, his work experience, the lessons he had learnt and the satisfaction of being able to put the money towards his education overseas.

“If unemployment is hurting you or the ones you love then The Key to Getting Hired when No One is Hiring is a lifeline to taking control of your life, prospects, opportunities and your destiny,” said Ms Burns.

“The premise of the book is based on assessing where you are, what you want and how to get there in many unconventional ways – making you stand out and get noticed in an overcrowded pool of mediocrity.”

The Key to Getting Hired is a part of the Careers Pathway Programme at CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute.

The book was championed by Dale Butler, an author, historian and former PLP culture minister who began publishing “the stories of outstanding Bermudians and their culture” several years ago.

“In 1976 when Dale Butler returned [to Bermuda] to teach he was confronted with a shortage of books that highlighted Black people and Bermuda culture,” Ms Burns said. “To resolve both issues he formed a group called Bermuda for Bermudians who worked hard to print the stories of outstanding Bermudians and their culture. The group published Curtis, the life story of Charles Michael Clarke, and highlighted the Bermuda Gombeys on the front cover of a poetry book entitled This is My Country.”

The group folded but Mr Butler continued writing and publishing books such as Choir No 1 & Choir No 2 which details “the grim realities of Bermuda’s rigid period of segregation” and On This Island The Natives …”a brief portrait of Bermuda and her people”.

According to Ms Burns, there’s been a renewed interest in the books this year. She is encouraging people to get in touch to secure copies of those they are interested in. See the list of books under Related Media.

“2021 looks like the year that even these titles will sell out. So, we recommend that you purchase them while supplies last and boost your knowledge of Bermuda's folklore and history,” she said.

To buy The Key to Getting Hired when No One is Hiring or any of Dale Butler’s books contact Peggy Burns: 297-1624 or

Author Peggy Burns is offering a range of Bermuda books for sale (File photograph)
The Key to Getting Hired when No One is Hiring by Peggy Burns (Photograph supplied)
Author Dale Butler (File photograph)

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Published January 14, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 14, 2021 at 8:54 am)

The key to getting hired when companies are not hiring

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