Friday, December 1, 2017

Chapter 24.08 : 24 Things I Did While I Was 24

"Go on... Make a wish..."

I pondered for a moment.
Is there anything that I really want to wish for?

I looked at the lighted candle in front of me.
All my wishes came true. What more do I want? I ask myself.

As I closed my eyes and was about to blow out the candle, I thought to myself...
I wish....

... I wish that I could...

* * *

Here, I am, reaching the so called "quarter life crisis" age. Why do people even call it a crisis stage? The only crisis I have right now is trying to write a blog article every once a week (which I failed to do so obviously).

Alright, jokes aside. The real quarter life crisis I have right now is hoping not to grow old too fast and die :( The thought of it really scares me. Just imagine being old and not being able to run, or do any workout. I couldn't live my life without being able to run wild and free.

That's why, this year was a really special year for me. 2017 is the year of change and coming out from my comfort zone once again. It's been a long time since I last told myself to step out from my comfort zone. I'm pretty proud of myself that I took this decision.

So, here goes the 24 things I did this year for a real change :

1. Removed My Braces
Two(2) years+ of torment and agonizing internal pain from not being to chew off steaks, and eating anything that gets stuck between these metal wiring, has paid off. Used to closed my mouth when I smile, but now I can smile to the whole world. I also realized that the structure of my face change along the way. It made me face look slightly sharper, fat and plumper. Or maybe it's just the food...

2. Distributing to the Homeless
Has been delaying this for so many months. This time I had the impulse to do it for sure because, No.1, I really wanted get rid of my samples. No.2, I only want the homeless to have them. Best part is that my mom spontaneously tagged along. During the distribution, I felt a wall between my feelings and the homeless people. Not really sure why, but in the end, it's the thought, intention, and actions that counts.

3. Attended D2Y CNY Caroling
Okay, thought I would be signing up just to sing. Manatau kena con, and in the end I was singing, and also doing something else. Somehow, I just cannot let things become a disaster, but this year we had some pretty cool beat boxers and instrument players. Not bad.

4. Quick Catch Up with University Mates
Met up with long-time-no-see Sheng Lieng, Jia Meng, Jun Poey, YiXuan, Sheng Ying, Kai Lin, & Zann. Pretty happy to know everyone is doing well.

5. Celebrated our 1st Anniversary Together
A year went by in a blink of an eye. I used to be an independent person. I still am, but when I'm around him, I become his little kid (in his definitions lol). He really takes care of me more than I do myself. Many times I don't deserve to be pampered, but he still pampers me instead. Because of that, during the course of the relationship, I realize 2 changes of myself. No.1, I became a more confident person. No.2, I became slightly more caring towards others around me besides my partner. A relationship not only reflects a couples chemistry, but it also reflects the persons personality and attitude. And the thing is, I became a better version of myself when I'm with him, and there is nothing in the world I would trade him for. 

6. Tried Boxing
Boxing was pretty cool, and it was a great way to relieve stress. Had my first experience in sparring too, but can sometimes end up in a cat fight with Lydia Chang. Boxing training led by Zhi Xian, David Lim, and Fred.

7. Farewell Celebration for Sara Nui & Lydia Chang
These 2 decided to pursue their dreams to travel to their dream country. Another friend of mine, Sheng Ying, also decided to pursue her dreams to study and work in Japan. Happy to know that these 3 decided to live their life instead of conforming to society standards.

8. Completed My First Half-Marathon Series and My First 30km
It was my dream to try a half-marathon at least once in my lifetime, and I finally did it not once, but 4 times!! Even went to the maximum to challenge myself to a 30km run. After this experience, I realized one thing...

Running became my addiction. The thrill, excitement, and adrenaline rush to conquer each challenge, and having to complete it in the end is very, VERY self-fulfilling. Which had taught me one thing, anything impossible is possible to achieve if you set your mind and body to it. Except for Newton Challenge Run. This kanasai run was my personal worse experience, you can read it here.

Below are the runs I have conquered :
(a) Alor Setar Half Marathon
(b) Kuching Half Marathon
(c) NPE Duo Allianz Highway Challenge 21km
(d) Newton Challenge 30km

9. Suffered from a Few Sports Injuries
Of course, anything relating to sports has it's down effects when you pushed your body to the limits, but one thing for sure, it made me appreciate my body more each time I had an injury. My past injury experience was having Plantar Fasciitis, and IT Band Syndrome. Now, I love my body even if it has a bulging tummy lol Which gave me a good excuse to pamper myself to a good leg massage after a long strenuous workout. Currently, I treat most of my injuries through Chinese acupuncture, and it's really proven to help recover faster.

10. Traveled SOLO
Running has also given me an opportunity to travel SOLO. Why SOLO? Because no one could be as crazy as me to travel somewhere just to go for a run, especially for a female traveler. I stayed in shady motels, and low cost dormitories, never once seeing any female in sight. It was a scary experience, but it was the fear that forces my mind to feel at ease, and also to feel comfortable being uncomfortable.

11. Resume MapleSEA
Influenced by my other half, I resumed playing MapleSEA, but in another server. Felt culture shocked with the new gaming system. Now, my Lvl200 Arch Mage has no place to be in Maple lol Totally cannot pakai.

12. Traveled to Hong Kong with University friends
Also one of my dreams to visit Hong Kong, and finally get to do it with friends! Really love the food and weather there, but the most memorable one was having to squeeze our-self to a really really tiny shower room and to mistakenly drink some "tea" water.

13. Partially Sponsored My Family to Cambodia
Also one of of my dreams to visit a non-developed country and also to sponsor my family to a family trip. Saved really, REALLY hard, only limiting myself to eat economy rice every single day. In the end, everything was worth it. Everything in Cambodia was cheap, if you're planning to visit Cambodia, here's my written travelling tips that may help you plan a budget trip to Cambodia.  

14. Our First Dinner Experience in Dining in the Dark
The food was not a bad deal, and everything was in bite size so it was easier to eat. Totally worth the experience.

15. Winning 2nd Place in Mixed Doubles in Inter-Company Badminton Competition
This partner went MIA and came out of nowhere, with less than 1 month practice and still won 2nd place. lol... speechless. Still happy we progressed quite well with the badminton chemistry we had. Well done partner!

16. Left Delfi Marketing Sdn Bhd
Felt very heavy hearted when I walked out the door on my last day of work. Also the day which reminded me how I almost missed the interview because I got locked in at home (a lot of drama and action to get my house keys lol). And also how I rejected the job offer in the first place but came back to "reconsider" it. Joining the FMCG line was part of my initial career decision, and I never regretted a single minute as it make me a better decision maker, and a better analyzer in my current professionalism. Everything was a blessing in disguised, and I'm glad that there were no regrets as I learned and grew a lot being part of the Delfi family.

17. Attended 40th Incovar Dhamma Camp
Attended IDC40 as a holiday getaway camp, and being the last youth camp before being lazy to join other youth camps. I was aware that I was carrying a very heavy emotional baggage with me throughout the camp, but didn't know that the baggage would burst on the last day. After the camp, I felt emotionally lighter, and sensitively aware of my thoughts and feelings. You can read more on my experience here.

18. Failed an Interview but Joined an E-Commerce Company
Hadn't been to an interview for a long time, so skills were pretty rusty. Unfortunately, the agency didn't even gave me a chance to finish explaining and out-rightly rejected me on the spot. Well, good. I'm blessed that I wasn't accepted to the agency anyway, because in the end, I "accidentally" joined an e-commerce company that provides more window opportunities for me to explore. My company now hires agencies to do the jobs for them. Well, good luck to that agency that rejected me. If you were ever hired, I made sure that your life won't be easy.

19. Became Part of BYFG 2017 Committee Team
Kena con again by BYFG 2017 Vice President, Chen Yee Leong to join the team. Thought it was going to be a walk in the park, manatau I end up doing more than just shaking legs. Dramas aside, I'm glad everything fell into places. Everything went smoothly as expected, and had achieved the overall program objective as initially planned. Just have to try not to be conned the next time lol...

20. Failed a Swimming Competency Test but Soon to Become a Swimming Teacher
I was never afraid to drown until I completed my first swimming competency test. I don't know how many times I almost passed out when I forced myself to complete a task. Signed up to be a swimming coach, because I wanted to teach orphanage children swimming one day. At the same time, I could achieve a more healthier lifestyle while training to become a triathlete. Despite the failure, I still didn't wanna give up on my dreams, so after much consideration, I have finally sold my soul to commit to weekly swimming trainings and swimming classes to a swimming school. To read on my competency test experience, click here.

21. Traveled to Jogjakarta with Him and His Family
My first time in Indonesia, and also my first time spending time with him and his family overseas. My favourite activity was crossing the bridge at Timang Beach, and cave tubing in Kalisuci. The only souvenirs I brought back was sanitary pads, because they were dirt cheap compared to Malaysia (serious leh).

22. Saw Many of My Friends Getting Proposed
I have came to a conclusion, that each time I ran, any one of my friends will either get proposed or get married. And, the myth is true. Congratulations for those who had finally found their other half to settled with. Just don't ask me get married so fast okay? 

23. Say Goodbye to the iPhone Family
Due to the constant increasing price of Apple, it's about time to make the switch. Fell in love with Huawei P10+, and thanks to my sponsor, I'm enjoying all its Androids features unlike any other iOS features. It was really worth the switch. 

24. My Dreams Changed and Plans Didn't Go According to Plan 
At the beginning, I laid out my plans to quit my job, travel to New Zealand for a few months, come back and settled for a new career, but looking back, all these things didn't happen as according to my plan. I found the love of my life, and because I didn't want to leave him, I decided to proceed  to switch my career instead. I ended up with a job that I was happy with, and even taking a ridiculous swimming test which I failed. Committed to be a swimming teacher, traveled solo to cities for a run, and even join BYFG committee team which I least expect to.

I still wish to travel to New Zealand one day, but I don't think I want to sacrifice all these good things that I currently have already. Hopefully, someday, that time will come again.

* * *

Today, I turned 25.

Chapter 24.07 : The Lifeguard and 2 Stupid Bricks

“I can’t do it,” I panted. “It’s too deep.”

“So, you wanna give up?” asked the lifeguard.

I pondered for a moment.
No, you can’t say that, stupid! There is no such word as “can’t”. You can. It’s just your mind you have to psycho. A fail, is a fail! You can’t afford to fail!

“No, I’m not giving up. Let me try another time.”

* * *

“So, why are you here?”

“My dream is to teach orphanage children swimming. I’m hoping that I could join your team, so that I could learn to teach them one day.”

“That’s a very noble cause. I hope you’ll be able to achieve them one day.”

“Thank you.”

“But first thing first, you would need to complete our swimming competency test.”

My eyes widened.

Test? What test? Swimming also need test?

“After you’ve done changing, your lifeguard will be waiting for you over there.”
The interviewer pointed to the male lifeguard who was busy rolling up the pool dividers.

I changed and walked up to the lifeguard.
“Hi, you must be Jude. You’ll be the one accessing me, right?”

He looks at his checklist board.
“Chua…… Siewwww… Lin…..”

“Yes,” I said. “That’s me.”

“Okay, Siew Lin. Please take a seat.”
Jude, the lifeguard, sat down, and I follow after him.

“Okay, so untuk competency test ni,” he spoke in Malay, “there will be a few task that you will need to complete.”

I looked at him, as he fiddles the pen in his hand.

“First, is to swim breast-stroke 100m in 1 minute.”
“Second, freestyle 100m in 1 minute.”
“Third, you would need to float in the water for 10minutes.”

“10 minutes?” I repeated.

“Yes, 10 minutes.” He confirms. 
“Fourth, you will need to retrieve dua batu ni kat dalam air. No time limit. Okay?”


Lepas tu, ambil dua batu ni, swim dari sini sampai hujung. Last sekali, swim 1,200m in 20minutes and wave simulation.” 

By the time he had finished briefing, my face was stoned, and the only thoughts in my head were…
What. The. Fuck? Did you get yourself into, Siew Lin?

“Okay? Understand? You may do your warm up or stretching first or you may rinse your body before entering the pool.”

I don’t know what I was getting myself into, I just know that…

I’m fucked.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Chapter 24.06 : Uber & The Loyal Sony Guy

Credits to Dennis Publishing

"Thanks for waiting," I said, as I closed the door.
The driver switched his gear to "D" and the car began to move forward, slowly inching the green Perodua Myvi out to the main road.

"NO PROBLEM," he assured. "You say 5 minute, I will wait for you. NO WORRIES. No problem for me."

The driver had a slight foreign slang which prompted me to ask...
"Are you local?"
"YES. YES! I am! I lived in Puchong," he said.

Okay. I was wrong.
I judged him simply because of the car he was driving, the slang he was speaking, and, of course, the clothes he was wearing. Long dark brown pants, tucked in with a red and black checkered sleeve shirt, paired with a decent pair of brown leather shoe.
He looked a little bit...
...casual smart for an Uber driver.

He adjusted his pink Sony phone on his phone holder and started typing with one-hand!
The car slowly and slightly drifted off the lane. I held my breath, hoping nothing bad will happen, while thinking to myself,"This guy is so gonna be in the 1-star list."
But in a minute, the guy was done texting and was already focusing on his driving.

Throughout the journey, none of us spoke, only allowing the soft music to entertained us.
We drove passed TUDM Old Airport (also know as Simpang Airport) at Sungai Besi.

"Did you know this is an airport?" he spoke up. "I used to work here."

"Oh?" I reacted. "As a pilot?"

"Nope. I work as an aviation engineer for 9 years! I was really young back then. Around your age."

"Wow," I said. "You must have really love your job."

"Definitely. Those were the days. After I left, the airport closed down and moved to Subang Airport instead. I work as a chemical engineer for 5 years before quitting and starting my own business."

I didn't know what else to ask to continue the conversation.
Instead, I took a final glimpse of the abandon airport and the worn out wind cones.

* * *

"This looks new. Just bought your phone?"


"Rarely see people buying Sony phones. So, why Sony? Why not Samsung or iPhone?"

"Sony is good! Used it so far for many years and it's still good! I'm a loyal Sony user. Since from the beginning, I only use and buy Sony phones."

I felt impressed with the loyalty he has to the brand.
I wonder if he shares the same loyalty for his other half as well.

Somehow, I ended up giving him 5-stars for his good hospitable service, and his loyalty to Sony.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chapter 24.05 : Newton Challenge 2017 Review

It was my target to have a good closure run for 2017, prior to my training for full marathon next year, but the experience at Newton Challenge 2017 just left me feeling worst. Even now, the experience still haunts me as I sat here writing this article.

After completing 3 half-marathons this year, my performance for long distance running gradually improved. Not only in terms of speed, but also in terms of consistency. So, I decided to up the challenge by completing another 21km + 9km. Just so happens, that Newton Challenge 2017 was the only running event so far that offers this distance. As naive as I am, I eagerly signed up without doing any research on the terrain and elevation difficulty. Boy, how wrong I was.

One week before the race, me and my partner went for a 2 lap training at Gunung Nuang "Never Ending Road". Which was a total distance 19km++ in 4hours. The next few days were mostly rest days and there weren't much workout. I was supposed to complete my 15km+15km run training, but it was raining for the past few days, and was also caught up with work (actually I'm just giving excuses to myself so I won't feel bad lol).

On the actual running day, although slightly anxious, I still felt great.
The race started on time, and we were flagged off at 5.30am. At 6am, the Quran sounded and some of the Malay runners went off in the opposite direction to the nearest mosque.
Surprisingly, there weren't a lot of participants compared to other running events, but I can tell that these group of runners were pretty serious runners from the pace that they were running.

At 2km, I felt like I wanted to puke. I overate on my breakfast instead of following my usual pre-run meals. This feeling continued until after 10km, but this was the least of my worries. Because I became more worried when I realized that the first water station only appeared after 5km. My negative mind begins to set in because I was afraid of getting dehydrated throughout the run. Luckily, after numerous training, I didn't had to rely on water at such an early stage so I was doing fairly good.

At 6km, the running route slowly starts to ascend. Being naive again, I thought it was only a temporary ascend and descend terrain, so I became hardworking and kept to my 7min pace. But after each km, the hills and slopes seems to like never end!! Like what the farrrrkkkkkk.... the only words in my mind were only cursed words. Even the water stations were so far from each other, some even don't have isotonic drinks (isotonic drinks were alternate for each station). I decided to changed my strategy by taking turns to walk uphill, and run only if it's going downhill.

At 15km, my left calve started to ache. Wasn't sure if it was cramp or muscle ache, but I tried to stretch it once in awhile. The pain didn't bothered me after 17km when my left knee died on me. It became very painful. It felt like someone had pierced needles into my knees. Nevertheless, I still slow jog whenever I can until the pain bothers me, then only I'll walk.


At 22km, my right knee also gave up on me, and now, both my knees hurt whenever I run or slow jog. I didn't wanna further pushed and injured my knees, so the only thing I could do is to walk. And for once, I felt that the water stations were really enough lol. Even my partner, who went toilet 3 times also caught up to me! I really felt like I wanna die. Words of regret came flooding into my head and the only thing I wanted to do was to really go home. The worst thing was, all the first aiders at all the water stations didn't have muscle ache spray or cream. *Faints*

I crossed the finishing line together with my partner running beside me at a 4.43 timing. 43 minutes more than what I had expected to finish. It was the worst personal timing I'd ever run. Turns out I was the last 21 females to finish :( I felt even bad when my friends had to wait few hours for me :( :(

I didn't had much muscle pains after the run, the only problem was my knees. It was really no joke.
But nothing else is more painful than the feeling of regret of not being able to do better. Really dissapointed in myself.

But few things I learnt after this painful experience :
1. ALWAYS go SLOW on hills. Even if it's running up or running down, GO SLOW to reduce impact on knees.
2. Bring a knee guard if I'm going a long run.
3. Make sure to do research and read reviews on the running terrain. I wasn't expecting so many hills either. 

* * *

All in all, here are my reviews on the Newton Challenge Run 2017. Although having to hear many good reviews from runners, I would like to give my fair view of the negative and neutral feedback from my experience.

Price : 
Couldn't expect anything much cheaper from the run, given that it's a branded run afterall. RM95 for a 30km run is slightly overpriced, but it's also the market rate for any international / big marathons like SCMKL & Kuching Marathon. But the good side is that it filters out "fun-run" runners from joining this run. You get a more serious of demographic runners who really wants to beat their personal bests.

Race Pack Collection : 
Race pack collection was held at MyTown Shopping Centre @ Cheras. Collection went smoothly but was quite dissapointed with the goodie bag. It came in a plastic bag with only running shirt + big + and Newton socks. I think I went shopping instead of collecting my race pack.

Set Up, Event & Program Flow : 
Flag off time was on the dot. Emcee was great. The program went on smoothly without any hiccups. And the set up for toilets, photo booth, medical tent, etc was just simple and adequate enough.

Parking : 
There were ample of parking spots at Giant, Bandar Kinrara Puchong. No issue on finding parking or double parking/illegal parking.

Running Route Difficulty : 
The first 25km of never ending slopes, uphills and downhills were mind challenging even to the most hardworking ones. The constant U-turns is enough to make you go insane! Good training for those who are intending to spice up their boring running routine, especially for those who are intending to train for a full marathon. Running route mainly covers newly developed residential area. Area is well lit and safe to run.

Water & Carbo Stations : 
No water stations at first 5km route. Water stations were frequent after that for every 2-3km. Not every station has isotonic drinks. Still think that there's insufficient water stations and isotonic drinks. All stations should have a balance of both water and isotonic so that to prevent unnecessary cramps and dehydration. The carb station was good though, the sufficient quantity of bananas was enough to keep the runners going.

First Aiders : 
Plenty of first aiders across all the stations. But, NO muscle cramp spray or cream to apply! Only have ice packs for injury. Next time need to bring your own self medication.

Route Marshals & Volunteers : 
Good! Very well entertained and motivated by all the hardworking volunteers who helped manage every station, and to direct the traffic so that the runners are all safe. The energy shown by them with their smiling faces was really comforting!

Overall Rating : 3.13 / 5

Event is simple and organized. All the necessary runners welfare are met, but could be better in terms of delivering quality experienced for the injured and under performing runners. You're a branded organizer, you shouldn't try to save costs on minor things that could affect the runners performance.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Chapter 24.04 : 5 Things You Shouldn’t Expect in Your First Fresh-Graduate Job

1. Ridiculously High Paying Salary

Let me ask you this, how much do you think you’re worth? You probably had a number in your head according to your personal research on fresh grads salary in the market or based on what your peers had told you. But, guess what? You probably don’t deserve them. Unless you can justify your value worth of working experience that you have accumulated from previous working related experiences either through freelancing, or part-time jobs with a valid and solid portfolio (promoters and waitressing doesn’t count unless you’re applying for a sales or F&B position), then you probably have a slightly higher chance of getting an additional RM100-RM300 on top of what they offer you. Other than that, if you’re just a fresh-graduate who knows nothing but to drive around, do chores, throw in likes and comments on Facebook, you probably don’t deserve those unrealistic figures of yours.
However, for any kind of job, they’ll always be a probation period even for starting jobs for fresh grads. During the probation period, the starting salary will not be as what you expect to be and could be 30-50% less from your expectations. This is the case, so that fresh grads could be familiar with the company culture, procedures, workload, stress, etc. instead of earning that RM3k-4k figure while you make shit lot of mistakes, and not being contributive to your company performance. But freight not, upon your confirmation after your probation, you will most likely deserve that increment you’ve earned throughout those probation days. When I first started out in my first company, they offered me 30% lower than my expected salary which was actually below the market rate. I wasn’t very happy about it, but I suck it up and told myself that I wasn’t here for the money, I was here for the experience. True enough, upon my confirmation, my salary shoot up 42% and I was pretty satisfied from then onwards.

So, stay patient, work hard, and never give up! A good company will offer you the range that you should be earning. That RM3k/4k salary will definitely be yours someday (if not, that company is probably a lousy company and you probably have to leave lol).

2. That Your Expensive Graduate Certificate is Everything

Congratulations from graduating from one of the most expensive universities in Malaysia! But, guess what? No one cares! When I was still studying in a private university under the affiliation of a UK Top 10 uni program, many of my lecturers like to emphasize how “special” the program is, and each time they said that, I had to roll my eyes because I knew it didn’t matter to any of my employers who wants to hire me. Let’s be realistic, have you ever come across an employer who was interested to know what you have studied during uni? Obviously no, because firstly, they’ll most likely to ask you to “describe about yourself”, and you have only 1 minute to impress your employer when he/she ask that. So, frankly speaking, you’re just gonna brush through on what were your majors, and the rest you should be talking about your achievements, freelances/part-times, what you can contribute to the company, etc.

Based on personal interviews I had with a few managerial employers from medium-corporation firms in Malaysia, some employers snorted and roll their eyes when they say I come from this private university, but of course, during my internship/employment, I surely proofed them wrong with my right attitude and diligence. Which leads to my next point, some employers shared that they don’t really bother which university you come from as long as the candidate possesses the right attitude, right background skills and knowledge, and at least a minimum education qualification (SPM/Diploma/Degree). They don’t really bother which university you graduate from because when it comes to work, they need someone who is passionate and driven, willing to be initiative and uncomfortable when it comes to solving problems, and handling stress and pressure well, which can’t be seen on a piece of paper. Some industrial employees I interviewed also shared that they regretted taking such an expensive course because it didn’t matter to their company because even if candidate A comes from an establish university, and candidate B comes from a public university; both with the same qualifications and grade results will still be able to qualified to do the same work.

So, regretting for taking that RM50k-80k course? Well, don’t be, because certain universities offers the best qualified teachers and learning opportunities which some public/government uni doesn’t provide (e.g.: publishing your research journals, school trips, etc.). Well, at least you get what you paid for right?

3. To Be Accepted in a Big Famous Corporate Company

Unless of course, you’re a scholarship holder and/or you manage to crawl your way through university with a first class honours bachelor degree, you have higher chances of securing a job interview with big corporations like Nestle, E&A, Unilever, etc. because they first filter based on candidates results (so, if you’re not under the first class honours category, better luck next time, maybe you should have studied a little harder during your finals after-all). Aside from that, if you’re not famous enough, have never accomplished anything in life during your studies, no internal connections with their people, etc. Well, face it, you don’t belong to the 10% of the successful candidates to secure an interview with them.

But don’t throw in the towel too early. Doesn’t mean you don’t get to work in your dream company, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. Start small, and work it off to accumulate your working experiences and shove them in your future employers face. Sometimes, it’s a good thing for you to start at the bottom-end of the career ladder, and learn it through the hard way. As you slowly inch your way up the ladder, soon big companies/head-hunters will come hunting for you because of your knowledgeable experience in that field. You’ll basically have all the knowledge needed which some top managers don’t even have, which is good so that when you make decisions in the future, you know how it affects the other departments/people who are working under you. I have a client who was a very good mentor during my previous employment, and even though we were supposed to be professional partners, he’s very willing to share his insights and experience on how to observe, analyze and understand the store promotions, store placement strategies, etc. in which I wasn’t aware of it, and no one from my current industry has even taught me about it. My client was just like one of us before, a fresh graduate. He wanted to pursue a career in FMCG line, but he had to take up different jobs from merchandizing, being a retail buyer, sales executive, marketing executive, etc. to be where he is today, in a big corporate principal firm. The most inspiring thing about him, is that even he is at the top of the management, he’s very understanding when we couldn’t give him the results he wanted because he went through that bottom-line phase before. Many top management who have never work at the bottom line wouldn’t understand how certain decisions they make is totally impossible to achieve for those working under them because they don’t know what these people go through. So sometimes you may wonder, how these kind of people can even end up in such a high ranking position? Go figure.

4. To Be Spoon-Fed at Work
"What?! You're telling me that fresh graduates even gets spoon feed to?! Not fair!"
Not everything is gonna be served to you on silver platter. Your boss ain’t gonna be free to constantly look out for your mistakes and protect you. Have any pending questions in mind, or unsure if what you’re doing is right? Make sure to always ASK GOOD QUESTIONS. Firstly, do it by yourself based on your understanding and/or based on how previous employees have done the similar task, and when you come to a point where you’re really stuck, ask. It’s okay if you make mistakes and get screwed up by your boss, at least you’re taking initiative to learn. You’ll also actually learn a lot faster from making mistakes. There was one time my company hired this new executive at work. She was assisting a colleague on certain administrative work. She was good in everything else, but when it comes to problems which she can’t solve it on her own, the colleague has to do it for her instead of her proposing on the solutions to solve her own problem.

This may not look too well on your performance review as you may be remarked as “not initiative”, or “poor problem solving skills”, or “not motivated and passionate in work”, etc. Thus, it’s very important to be curious at work, and stay hungry to learn everything and anything.

5. To Be the Hero of the Company

It’s great that you have big dreams of wanting to change the world, or you have a creative idea to launch this huge project that could make you famous. But don’t be foolish with your own idealistic dreams, because who do you think you are? I’m not saying to ditch your dreams and ideas to be the next average employee, working from 9 to 5, working just enough to get by, and doing what you’re asked to do. I’m just saying, there’s always a right time to do it, but the right time is not when you step in the company on your first day. Because, you don’t know anything about the company, nobody knows you, and when you get into trouble, who is gonna help you? Frankly speaking, nobody.
Unless you're Gal Gadot. Gal Gadot could be anyone's hero!

First and foremost, you need to know your way around your company, how certain procedures work and doesn’t work, who is the biggest influencer in the company, and who you could rely on for useful information. Keep your ideas or big plans in your pocket, and tell no one until you fully understand how everything works, and once opportunity arises… baby, it’s your time to shine.

I had this client who was an establish brand in the retail market, but wasn’t so establish in the e-commerce segment side in terms of their brand awareness. I wanted to establish a proper digital platform to build a brand presence to maintain a good customer relationship with its end-customers and its products. However, due to their complicated internal procedures, it wasn’t a good time to propose until an opportunity came up. There was an upcoming sports event in Malaysia and we were invited to attend to a booth during the event. I took the opportunity to establish an Instagram profile for them, and propose an activity to help boost their brand presence by inviting customers to like their Instagram page in return for a free goodie bag. The client gave the green light, and the result was tremendous! During the event day, we had achieved 400 likes within a few hours. From that onwards, my client constantly uses the Instagram platform for other events even when I wasn’t handling the brand anymore. It was my best proposal and what’s important is that it makes a difference even when I’m not around anymore. So, the moral of the story: stay unfoolish, stay humble, and be patient. Your time will come.

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It’s normal for fresh graduates to have a certain level of expectations, after all we’re still humans. As I was once a fresh graduate, these were once my expectations too (except no.2 & 4 though), but it may differ from individual from individual. Expectations comes along when we ASSUME we need to have what others are currently having, thus the expectations on ourselves to perform and achieve that STATUS QUO is what makes us feel miserable because you’re just NOT GOOD ENOUGH like them. So, don’t sweat it, everyone is different and your career is your personal journey, not your parents, friends, or your teachers. Everyone’s pace is different, so take it slow and easy at your own pace.

After being denied and rejected from a few job interviews, I dropped my expectations and after that, everything else seems to fall into places. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. After working for a few years, I was still where I wanted to be and looking back, I wished I had the chance to tell the younger me on managing my own expectations when it comes to my first job-hunting. It’s best to have no expectations, but it’s still okay to have a certain level of expectations on your own, but you gotta be responsible on the aftermath feelings and thoughts when you don’t get what you want in the end.
P.S: this article is written solely on my opinion and examples are given based on my personal working experience from various industries. Personal expectations may differ according to individuals, situations, luck, work requirements, etc. Company names and interviewee's name had been taken out for privacy purposes.