Freelance Writer for Mental Health, Technology, Relationships, and Women | Adler Coach-in-Traning | For collaborations: sabrina.sourjah@gmail.com

You never know when you’ll get laid off in today’s pandemic-gripped corporate world

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You have read the signs on the corporate wall. You “know” the economy is heading to a crumble with the pandemic. Goodbye emails from corporate leaders pop into your email ever so frequently. Too frequently.

Other teams have already begun downsizing. You know it’s only a matter of time. It is the talk of all your virtual coffee sessions.

But you have done a fairly good job this year. You have a multitude of transferable skills, and your past employer is a Fortune 100. Your boss seems to like you. Will they still lay you off?

These are the questions…


And how to gradually shift to non-appearance compliments instead

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A few years back, one of my co-workers sent me a Ted Talk featuring a woman in her seventies or eighties. After watching it, I texted my co-worker, “OMG! She looks so great for her age!” As soon as I hit Send, I wished I could have taken it back.

This was a woman who had stood the test of time with as much grace as any woman can muster. A woman with so much fortitude that can inspire the next two generations of women. And all I could say was how good she looked for her age.

Yes, she…


A quiet exit that is still heartbreaking

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My husband called me on an Oregon-gloomy October afternoon in 2017. He rarely calls me at work as he knows that I don’t like to be disturbed. “My work visa was rejected. I need to leave the country within 60 days,” he sounded distraught.

We had just found out a few days prior that his father, who was living back home in Sri Lanka, was diagnosed with cancer and needed urgent surgery.

It was such a conundrum. All my work concerns went out the window and we strategized the next steps.

The Dilemma

He could apply for a visa as my dependent…


A case study on how I created my personal brand through my Why

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Like companies have brands, every individual has a brand too. Personal branding is how you promote yourself to the world. This includes your unique combination of skills, experience, and personality traits.

Companies like Nike, Apple, and Amazon have distinct brands that have resonated with the masses. For example, when anyone hears ‘Just do it’, no matter where they are in the world, they know this is Nike. People also attribute a ferocious love of sport and a courageous stance against inequality with Nike.

Ideally, your personal brand should also differentiate you from the herd. But your uniqueness should not trump…


And how you can use these beliefs to coach yourself

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A few months back, I became a coach-in-training at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto. My coaching company is Salmon-Run Coaching. (Please check out the footnote to find out why I chose this name.)

Coaching is a career that thoroughly resonates with who I am and my strengths. I have always been a great listener, and most of my friends have come to me to vent and get validation over the years. I’m also a self-improvement junkie and universal-truth dispenser.

What I learn in coaching classes is essentially what…


Taming and outsmarting don’t always work.

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Meet Sasha, the friendly, tiny ghost. Sasha is my inner critic. She smiles a subtle smile always. Her eyebrows are slightly raised every time she shows up. She has no nose. Her elusive nature makes it hard to identify her as she appears in the mirror from time to time.

She hangs around in my mind and pops up with questions like, do you really think that’s going to work? Have you properly thought this through? What if you end up poor can’t afford your mortgage? What do you think people are thinking about you now?

She also makes statements…


And what you can do about them, since Agile is here to stay

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Do you dread the 9 am stand-up meeting that’s really more of a sit-down-and-talk-about-progress-made-during-the-last-24-hours meeting? Have you ever felt trapped and numb in a sprint planning meeting, wondering why in the world you’re there?

If you’ve been in one of these situations, you’re no stranger to the insidious impacts of agile. As someone who has worked in technology and tech-adjacent roles for a decade, I have witnessed how the agile way of working swept across North American companies, both tech and non-tech, over the past few years.

Initially introduced into software development to cater to the ever-changing marketplace, this methodology…


Here’s a checklist to find out

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Who doesn’t like a mindless scroll on Instagram or reruns of Friends to wash away a bad day? According to Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist from California, “During traumatic experiences, many individuals naturally ‘escape’ the situation mentally in order to avoid further distress and psychological harm.”

The Oxford dictionary defines escapism as “the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.”

Escapism is a gift uniquely bestowed upon the human species. It is an essential coping mechanism for our sometimes-dreary lives. But when does escapism guide us into dangerous…


Excessive empathy for perpetrators = insidious impacts on the self

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As empaths, we are attuned to other people’s truths as much as our own. We want to understand the reasons behind one’s actions so we can create three-dimensional characters. We want to look at all sides of an argument, so we create meaning that is balanced and kind.

But we stand to lose when we over-extend empathy to our personal lives and rationalize everything everyone has done to us.

“To perceive is to suffer.”

— Aristotle

Dilution of self-love

Although our capacity for empathy enables us to understand others and forgive them sooner, according to psychiatrist-author Sandra Brown, we might invalidate our pain…


Listening to bad advice can cost you decades.

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Eight years ago, when I announced my plan to leave for the US for my fully-funded MBA, my father asked me why I can’t do an MBA in Sri Lanka as so many people did local programs and they were doing just fine. I told him that I needed more from life than others. How dare I think that I was special enough to get more from life than others?

The word of a South Asian father is hard to compete with. …

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