What I learned from working life

After the first month being a Systems Engineer had taught me a lot. No, I am not sharing about Solaris, UNIX or Bash scripting learning experiences. I am talking about life experiences.

Here are my thoughts:

#1 Your exam starts everyday

#2 There is no fixed path to your desired career destination or living condition, in fact you may not even have a clear path. You either lead yourself and create your own or you follow someone else’s footsteps, the latter, I highly do not recommend.

Yes, I do draw advice and experience from other people’s career footsteps, but these are purely for reference and thought.

You just need to go where the wind blows, that makes life more exciting albeit tougher due to circumstances and unknown unknowns.

#3 Yes, bell curve and performance-grade quota still apply to the corporate world. Despite all competition, remember to have fun and relate to people. Oh, you cannot submit appeal application forms. Because your performance grade translates into your performance bonus($$$).

#4 Enjoy your pay cheque and count your blessings, even if you are not in your dream job. Not everybody lands into their own corporate paradise the first try. If for one day you do not feel stretched, you are NOT growing. I once heard saying, “Why do we work? For the pay cheque and for weekends.” This is a very simple and primitive motivation behind all our work motivation. Hey, we are way beyond primitive thinking yes? Always find value and impact you create at work. If your work has no impact to the organization or creates value to the economy, why are you hired? 

#5 Every word, statement, action and consequences in the corporate world has two meaning. You need to be “street smart” to understand what it is. Which means to say, nothing is at face value. Do not be discouraged or be complacent based on what you hear and say. In the working world, result is the only visible differentiator. In order to perform even better, use your social intelligence. It’s important, I emphasize.


Leaving 2012 behind

It had been a hectic end of month for myself. During my last semester in NUS (August to December), I had been preparing and going for job interviews, hoping to land a decent or dream job before I officially graduate. Even during examinations period, I was called for interviews. Effort was paid off and I got my very first job!
Just before the day I fly to HongKong for a holiday, I signed the contract. Staying 6 days in HongKong and 2 days in Macau was more of sight seeing and tasting the food of the land and culture. I realized I am particularly interested in historical sights and sight-seeing, and sand and beaches if they have for a holiday. It had been rather tiring walking around cities. I prefer to enjoy nature at different parts of the world. This shall be my next trip.

After I came back from HK, I have to settle various stuff and that includes gaming! Ok, I know I won’t have the time to play when I start work on 2nd Jan 2013, but this is still my interest. Anyway, come to think of it, everything was in a rush for me. School, exams, job interviews, holiday, etc…

I just want to say I forgotten about 2012, I couldn’t remember the milestones of 2012 but thankfully to Facebook, they gave a review based on what I posted.
I think the good thing about me is, I can easily let go of the past. But that is easy unless I have something to look forward to.

I just want to say that, I am grateful for the education I received thus far and I am leaving all my old learning habits and methods behind. Once I start work, that would be a new set of education I will be receiving. When I am married and have kids, that’s another education for myself. When I “retire” and become old, that is another education for me.

Whatever lousy events that happened in 2012, it will be gone, they become stepping stones for life. For the enjoyable and loving events in 2012, they become the reminders of what I am fighting and holding on for 2013.

That said, neutralizing the past and expectations for the future, remember to experiment and try new things in life!

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

New directions

Sometimes, life can be better when you leave it to nature to run its course. There is nothing to regret about if you have made the best effort hoping for the best result but in the end, you didn’t get the best outcome.

You thought you know what you really want in life until… a closed window shuts at your face.. then you realized, “ah, that window is so small and inappropriate for me to pass through..” and then you start thinking the difference between windows of opportunities and doors of destiny…

A delay is not a denial, closed windows of opportunities aren’t as devastating as it seems.. because every rejection is a new direction…

In life, we have to meet with “accidents” or slam “against the walls” before we wake up to our unrealistic or unsound stupor. It is easy to say we are independent of what others say, but in reality, we may be quietly and unknowingly molding into what others think is right or the best.

So turn around and see for yourselves, that closed windows of opportunities do open doors of destiny, and finally correct your own course of life.

Nature: Windows of Opportunities

A thought came to me this morning, associating the pursuit of opportunity and rain.

I woke up at 7am, woken up by my handphone’s alarm. I intended to do a morning run and thought it would be okay to surf around the Internet till 8am, have my breakfast and run at 9am-ish.

The weather looked good through out my initial waking hours. When I was about to leave home, I realized the skies were grey. I had high hopes that I would be able to make my morning run happen before the rain starts. In fact, it didn’t looked like it is going to rain any moment sooner.

Walked a short distance from my home to the usual lake I run at and felt droplets of rain. (DAMN!)

I remained optimistic and continue my faith-walk to the lake. Within crossing-the-road’s distance to the lake, I decided to back out and walked back. While walking back, I was disappointed, a little angry with the skies. But I convinced myself that I could do the run in the evening instead. When I reached home, it poured like it was mocking at my failed attempt for a morning run! (DAMN x2)

Life lessons connection:

1. Identify opportunities early and ACT on it! Do not procrastinate! Life is as exciting as unpredictable it can be. Enjoy life, enjoy unpredictability and contingencies.

2. Know when to stop pursuing a specific window of opportunity. Do not cross the no-return line just for that opportunity unless it’s a life and death situation. It is precisely a window, it is not meant to be taken last minutely and cost you overly dearly. So, aim very high but when you miss an opportunity, your vision or goals are still above the majority.

3. Be versatile and identify patterns of opportunities knocking in your life. Make it a point to plan escape routes. I took another route to University (plus my determination to get a scholarship), it takes stamina, vision and down-to-earth hard work. And more importantly, PATIENCE. We all have to pass through time, so make time your best friend and savor every moment even if it’s uncomfortable. I often tell myself to enjoy difficult moments in life, because I do not want to miss the lessons to be learned. (Unless I am being tortured forcefully, things will be different) :p

4. Enjoy detours, you might soak up new lessons, skills or meet new people when you have to make a detour. 

5. Have fun conducting life-experiments. Take it easy, people wouldn’t remember your embarrassing moments for long, trust me. It is often ourselves who judged ourselves too harshly. (Unless you committed a hideous crime) 

That said, I leave you with a quote I thought of:

“If life pours on you, consider it a free shower to get you clean-up for the next phase of life.”

When life pours on you...