Interview: The Newspaper Editor

In the British press, female editors remain disappointingly rare in mainstream newspapers.

But how are they faring elsewhere in Europe? What Glass Ceiling talks to Laura Saarikoski, Sunday Editor at Helsingin Sanomat, Scandinavians largest subscription newspaper.

Being an editor at a large national newspaper is a challenging job at the best of times, but even more so if it happens to be a woman doing it. Whilst female editors are hard to come by in Britain, Finland’s biggest newspaper boasts two female managing editors and several female department heads, including Laura Saarikoski.

Initially a budding journalism student at university, Saarikoski got her big break when she secured an internship through her university with Helsingin Sanomat. Sixteen years later, and she’s still there, but now very much at the top end of the food chain as an editor.

Early Days

Despite majoring in journalism herself, with a minor in political science, she now believes studying subjects beyond the profession is a far better idea professionally. “I’d always wanted to write,’ she says, “but now I sort of think if a person knows something and has a background in economics, history, political science, biology or whatever it’s much more useful for their career, because writing is something that you learn while you practice journalism.”

Starting at the paper as a young female journalist was initially daunting, given the prestigious nature of the publication and the size of the office.

At just twenty years old Saarikoski was one of the youngest employees, but remembers having strong female role models to look up to, with both her immediate editors on the city desk being women.

It’s a big paper and it was bigger then, almost 300 journalists in the mid 1990s. The majority of journalists in the older generation were men, so it was a male-dominated field,” she recalls.

But women now have a very strong presence in Finland, partly on account of their superior academic performance.

Journalism schools are very hard to get into about 10 to 30% of applicants get into them. You have to have top grades to get in, and girls have more top grades than boys, so it’s becoming a female-dominated field,” she says.
Political Reporting

A spell as a freelancer for the paper in Washington followed, before she returned to Finland to work for them as a political reporter. She then made the jump to reporting on Finnish Parliament, an experience which opened her eyes to the lingering sexism pervading the world of journalism.

I’ve come across some chauvinist old fashioned attitudes, especially when I was working in Finnish parliament. There especially, the attitudes of some of the older men, between the ages of 50 and 60, especially I have to say from the countryside, took a very ‘little girl’ attitude towards all the women journalists.

This environment bred a certain solidarity between the female journalists within Parliament, who would “compare notes”, warning each other about male colleagues who might treat woman reporters differently or even potentially harass them.

Aim for Perfection

…although you will never achieve it. Everyday you have a chance to make better what you already do, be it something you are just starting, or something you feel like you have a firm grasp over. Aiming for perfection in your chosen goal or skill points the mind’s eye higher and makes it more resilient. Aim for perfection starting with the small things until it becomes a habit that will then transfer itself into other parts of your life.

Knowing full well that perfection will never be achieved, what are the lifehack characteristics?

This could be a very motivational blog post, but as this is a lifehack blog, I try to look at perfection from more of an engineering or scientific approach rather than a spiritual or artistic approach.

-Aiming for perfection inherently challenges your mind everyday. A mind that is challenged with something new everyday does not cower at the idea of change or challenge.

-Aiming for perfection is the difference between being proactive and reactionary. Being reactionary means, to me, being a person that waits for change to happen to adapt his or her mind. Being reactionary will always be, at most, average.

-Aiming for perfection will be noticed by those around you and will be inherently good for your health and spiritual life. First, however, you must define your own idea of perfection. The perfect world is different for everyone.

-You must believe that the world, its people, and its events are inherently good. As Einstein said, one can see the world in one of two ways, as inherently good, or as inherently bad. Find yourself looking upon humanity’s accomplishments with joy, for we have accomplished much.

The pursuit of perfection cannot exist in a mind that thinks we as people inherently destroy nature and ourselves for our own greedy wants. The pursuit of perfection exists in the mind that always wants to make better. Be blind to negativity, but be open to making things better. And everyday, that wish to make things better is the pursuit of perfection.

Destroy Me Book Review


Hey, hi, hello! Before we delve into Warner’s mind, I wanted to say thanks so much for all of your thoughts and comments re: Shatter Me!!! It’s often most satisfying when there’s an eclectic mix of viewpoints, and you guys delivered just that. I can’t wait to hear you elaborate on what you think of this novella and the sequel.

Destroy Me is a novella-length glimpse into Warner’s head, spanning from the end of Shatter Me to part way through Unravel Me. As he heads back to base to recoup after being injured (perhaps beyond just physically), we see his feelings for Juliette solidify and strengthen as threats materialise in the form of his father, The Supreme Commander of the Reestablishment.

My friend L commented on my last post saying that her version of a bad boy is not the more stereotypical tattooed, bike riding or goth guy, but rather one who leans towards psychopathic tendencies.

This aligns with how I feel about Warner and is one of the reasons I loved Destroy Me so much.

The majority of the (non-dystopian) YA stuff I’ve read lately has been rife with recycled storylines of seemingly bad boys saving girls, and while they’re enjoyable, I flail when I find something new and fresh. Even within the dystopian genre, Warner is unlike the other leading guys I love. For example, he’s basically the polar opposite of my literary boyfriend, Four. Because of this distinction, he keeps my mind working and interested in his character; I’m not busy comparing and having him fall short of the standards my other favourites have set.

It’s just SO TRUE. Rae gets me.

Like I touched on last time, the fact that both the protagonist and antagonist boys have different, complex and valid relationships with Juliette is what captured and held my attention as the story progressed.

3 skills you can learn on your self development journey

As we develop ourselves we should always be on the lookout for new skills to obtain. With skills and abilities we can enrich the time we spend either in solitude or in the company of others. This ties in with my general self development suggestion that we should live up to our fullest capacity. When we develop our skills and demonstrate our abilities as humans we value the time that was given to us as a gift. Three big skills that I would encourage anyone to obtain are learn a second language, play an instrument, solve puzzles better like the rubiks cube.
As a South African, I had to learn to speak the English language ever since I started going to school. Learning a second language at a young age makes it much easier than trying later in life when your mother tongue is firmly in place. South Africans also have the advantage of watching movies without subtitles or overdubs as well as a pretty strong British influence since the birth of the nation. All this comes down to basically is that you have to surround yourself with the language you want to learn. I don’t want to focus to much on the process of learning the language but about the benefit from it. Learning a second language gives you something in common with others that have also obtained the skill. It is also a mind expander and presents numerous opportunities worldwide.

Language to learn: Spanish
Learning to play a musical instrument should be a requirement for us as humans. As we live up to our fullest capacities, it requires us to enhance and utilize the senses that we were handed. Hearing and the impact of music on our emotions should be highly regarded and usually is cultivated among the intellectuals. Music has a meaning and for those that can create it and express themselves through it there awaits new worlds and imaginative avenues. Your self development will flourish as the instrument you master becomes a part of you and you can utilize it to define yourself in different ways.

Instrument to learn: Guitar
In essence life is a puzzle. Making decisions and deciding which one is better is what life encompasses. As a result it is a fundamental human need to improve their puzzle solving abilities. A lot of times, solving a puzzle means you notice all the different ways to get from point A to B but realizing you need to get to point C, you pick the best way to get to B. In my youth and when ever I get a chance I would play chess. This strategy game has filled me with a systematical approach to situations in my life where the need to have foresight is highly required.

Puzzle to solve: Rubiks cube
As always, thank you very much for reading my blog and sharing in my journey in living life fully not fooly.

Articles you may like:
Learning Spanish
Solving Rubiks cube
Self development

Job Interview Tips that Will Get You Hired

When looking for a job and you want to get accepted, you should know some useful job interview tips that will help you get the job of your dreams. Job interviews are highly important because this is the time when you can make a good first impression. And no matter what other people say, first impressions are still very important, maybe even the most important part when you are looking for a job. Some people really try to do their best to make a good first impression in front of their interviewers.

There are some useful job interview tips that you should keep in mind to help you get the job. Read the list below to know what these job interview tips are.

– It is important to do a little research about the company that you are applying for before the job interview. It would not look good if the interviewer asks you and you do not know anything about their company. It is important to know basic information about the company and the position that you are applying for. If the interviewer can see that you have done a little research and you know what you are getting into, then he will think that you are eager to get the position. It also shows that you have prepared well before the interview.


– Practice answering some interview questions that are typically asked in a job interview. Research about the questions and try to answer them as confidently and honestly as you can. You should also be ready for unexpected questions. Do not get rattled if the interviewer asks you questions that you have not answered during your practice interview.

Dress appropriately. You will surely make a good impression if you dress in smart business casual attire. Do not show too much skin or do not try to appear too flashy. Choose clothes that will make you look responsible, confident, and down-to-earth. You do not want to look like a boss instead of a mere applicant, unless you are applying for a managerial position or something.

– Be on time. It would even be better to arrive at least half an hour before the interview to give you time to retouch your make up and to find the office where you will be interviewed. By giving yourself extra time before the interview, you can relax and compose yourself.

– During the interview – act professionally. Greet the interviewer and shake his hands firmly. It is also important to look at the interviewers eyes. It shows confidence and honesty. Shifty eyes or eyes cast downward will make you look unsure about what you are saying or dishonest.

– When you answer the questions, answer them as truthfully as you can. And if you need to give a negative answer, try to turn it to a positive reply. For example, if the interviewer asks you what your weakness is and you answer you are not familiar with basic accounting, you can follow it up with a positive answer by saying you are actually thinking about enrolling in an accounting course at the university.

Tedium and Stick-to-itiveness

Every job, even a career job, will become or involve tedious work at some time. You are doing the same repetitive task again and again. It might be reading the same email from the same person, client or company every day or every week; but it is part of your job to know what they are doing or how they are doing their work. The same daily or weekly report may have to be done and submitted every Friday. Or you may have to keep a log of your work on a regular basis. The tedium may simply involve taking the same bus, route or plane ride every day or week to get to work. Whatever the tedium is, you simply have to accept it and force yourself to work through it.
You might find ways to add variety or even improve efficiency. Categorize repetitive emails for easy retrieval later, when and as necessary. Work on making weekly reports shorter, concise, succinct and “more to the point.” Innovate or automate a daily or weekly log to make it less time consuming. Have you have ever wondered, “What is an administrative assistant?” This might be a good place to start.


When you work on a given project, report or document, do not give up. Always finish what you have started. The last impression you want to give your boss is that you do not finish what you start; or that you have great ideas, but do not follow-up on them.

If you find yourself having new and innovative ideas, but are not able or do not have the resources to follow through on the idea, then you need to think through your ideas more thoroughly before you propose them. As a simple example, maybe you have proposed to have the company purchase new printers with fax and copy features, but later you find that faxing and copying are seldom used because the company already has dedicated fax machines and copy machines. Higher quality and more reliable printing, faxing and copying are being realized with the present equipment; moreover, you may have no control over the purchasing budget for such equipment. Ask questions, of yourself and others, before proposing such ideas; then make your suggestions. Think before you propose.

Alternatively, you may propose a marketing project to help the company attract more clients. You have been assigned to write the initial proposal. Not only write the proposal, but within the proposal outline the next several steps to be performed; and again, ask others for additional ideas about how to proceed. Do not isolate the project from others because you want to receive all the credit yourself. I believe it was President Regan who said (paraphrased), “There is no limit to what man can accomplish if he does not worry about who gets the credit.”
As always your comments and questions are most welcome. Thank you for reading!

Fitting in to a new environment

Fitting in to a new environment is always challenging. But one of the most important keys is humility. You may come with significant background in the discipline of your new job, or you feel very confident about your knowledge of the subject, especially if you did very well academically and have much confidence in your knowledge of the discipline. However, don’t talk and act as if you know more than others. Most likely, you do know quite a bit. But, head knowledge of the basics, or even a high level of understanding of the theories or processes, does not mean you know how to apply them in the practical world.

Have A Flexible Personality With Individuals

This is often very difficult for those with strong personalities, who may have the attitude, “Well, this is the way I am and if someone doesn’t like it, that’s too bad.” Depending on the colleague, this attitude will almost always get you off on the “wrong foot” with them. Until you get to know them better and understand how the company, division or department works, show some humility. Don’t come up with your “better ideas” just yet. You may indeed have a better way of doing something, but show some discretion in how you suggest it and when you suggest it.

As I began my teaching career, here is a simple example from my first flight instructing work. My new employer, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), had a different prelanding checklist than I used in my training to be come a flight instructor, which I had just finished. But I did not object to it or tell them that I had a better idea or tell them, “You ought to do it this way. …” Much later I learned that ERAU had created many procedures for introducing and teaching procedures and maneuvers. While these were not the only way to accomplish them safely and efficiently, the were very good. And more importantly, they were an excellent way to teach new flight students, who later could be (and were) given the opportunity to vary from the “Riddle way.” Students later were given this liberty; as long as it was safe and complied with the Federal Aviation Administration’s guidelines, as spelled out in the appropriate Practical Test Standards, it was acceptable.

Appropriate Attitude With Your Boss

Obviously, you want to have a good relationship with your boss. Therefore, the above also applies here. However, with him or her you do not want to even insinuate the wrong attitude. Your boss will quickly extrapolate that insinuation into the future and expect possible problems. “Yes sir…” and “No sir…” should be your reply to every request, especially during the first few days or weeks of your new employment. If you really do not agree with what he is saying or asking you to do, then take it up with a colleague; but even then, do not act as though you are superior. Again, show some discretion with your suggestions. Strive to understand why your new employer does things differently; there probably are a very good, practical and common sense reasons.

Appropriate Attitude At Meetings

Do more listening than talking, unless you happen to be put in the unenviable position of leader or chair of the meeting; then, be very careful to listen to others and give them ample opportunity to speak. They will understand that you are new and need to be given time to get acclimated to the new work environment. However, if you are not the leader, mostly listen, introduce yourself when asked to do so and leave any and all suggestions for doing things differently to one-on-one conversations with individual colleagues or, after some thought, with your boss. At least for the first few days or weeks (maybe longer), do not bring them up at meetings where you will most likely be seen as a “know it all” or someone with a very inflexible attitude.

Thank you for reading! Your comments and questions are most welcome.

Business tips for a modern woman

A modern business woman is intelligent, poised, fashionable, alert, and educated. Even if you’re still in school, or studying for your masters degree online, you can still be all of these things. Being a business woman means being savvy, staying on top of the trends and using logic before you think and act. Here is a bit of advice for every business woman.

Dress Well – Nothing says confidence like a well-dressed woman. Dress to impress but don’t overdo it. Clothing that is too tight or to low cut says that you are desperate or want to sleep your way to the top. Since you aren’t either of those things, try choosing clothing that comes to at least four inches above your knee. Avoid anything that shows cleavage when you are at work. You should also wear clothing that flatters your form. A smaller woman could wear a pencil skirt and white blouse for a very classic, sexy and chic look. A bigger girl could wear something equally as flattering with a flowing blouse and dress pants. If you’re not dressing business casual, try wearing a blazer over the blouse to give it a very nice and formal touch.

Invest – Investing money now means that you will have more money in the future. If you have a job, try figuring out how much money you can save each month. What are you spending money on that you don’t need? Slim down your budget and save your money for investments. Good investments include bank CD’s, (these aren’t really profitable with small amounts of money), gold bonds, stocks (can be risky), company shares (can also be risky), startup companies (also risky) and even property (such as rentals or etc). However, the final will take more money than you will have as a student. Try saving your money so that you have it should a good investment come along, you never know, you might get lucky and land a good investment.

Act Intelligently – Most of the time if you act like an intelligent woman, you will be seen as an intelligent woman. Unfortunately, acting stupid can get you places, but it won’t get you a better position and it won’t get you respect. Think about what you do and say before you do it. Use correct grammar in both speaking and writing and always make sure that you come off as a professional. That doesn’t mean you have to use jargon or overly complicated words, just avoid appearing to be bubbly or over eager, over excited and easy to confuse. Acting with intelligence will be noticed, it will also single you out as a good leader, a good potential candidate for promotion and someone who can handle responsibility.

Be Polite – Please is the magic word is something you’ve probably heard since childhood. But so is thank you. Be soft spoken, be polite (even when chiding someone) and try to make every criticism an encouragement to improve and to do better. Avoid being harsh, wanting unrealistic demands or being rude. No one’s wants to be the ‘office bitch’ and you can avoid it just by being polite. Choose your words carefully and if you are angry, take a time out. You will earn respect and even loyalty by being polite, both of which can come in handy should you be promoted.

Work Hard – Hard work pays. Working hard means putting your all into what you do. Go the extra mile, volunteer for an internship, volunteer to do extra tasks around the workplace and take any free courses or classes offered. If you do your work well, act as though you love it and aren’t afraid to put in a little extra work to get it done right, people will notice. Chances are; those people will also promote you when a position opens up. If you are still in college, an internship is another great way to show your hard work and attract attention for it. Hard work turns into respect, promotions and more pay.