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A year older, hopefully a year wiser. - Say What? #46

Hello & Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you are all doing good and staying safe & healthy. As
August 23 · Issue #46 · View online
Say What?
Hello & Happy Sunday everyone!
I hope you are all doing good and staying safe & healthy.
As today is a special day (it’s my birthday!), I wanted to write about 3 main lessons that I’ve learnt in the last year. These are somewhat related to career and/or studies, but can also be applicable in any other aspects of your life.
Hope you enjoy it! :)

Never judge a cake until you've finished baking, decorating, and actually tasting it.
I spent 3-4 months over summer in 2019 writing my Master’s dissertation. The whole process was hella tiring and mentally exhausting, but, somehow, I made it through OK.
I still remember the days I was reading through my half-written drafts and thinking “This is not good enough, this is bulls***.” and other negative thoughts.
I was already thinking about the worst case scenario, even before it was fully completed and submitted.
The worry and anxiety that I went through were baseless though - I actually did pretty well in my dissertation (scored an 85 on it, when I thought it couldn’t scrape a 60!).
I think a lot of us go through similar phase in our lives, when we are in the midst of completing a piece of work/assignment/project, and thinking that we were going to fail or do badly.
This is similar to a tweet I saw that goes…
Describing your writing as trash while you’re still drafting is like looking at a bag of flour and an egg and saying ‘My cake tastes like crap’.
While it is a good thing to always be looking for ways to improve our work, I think it is also important to consciously stop ourselves from thinking about the negative outcomes from the work, especially if we are still doing it.
Worrying about the worst case scenarios would just take away our concentration and time, which would then lead into a negative feedback loop.
Choose to focus on the actual work that you are doing, and putting in your best effort to create the best piece of work that you can.
Virtual hangout, 21/08/2020
Virtual hangout, 21/08/2020
Never underestimate the power of networking and social media.
A couple of incidents happened in the past few months that showed me how important my network and social media is.
1 - I got invited to become a career coach under the TalentCorp’s Kisah Siswa initiative, mainly because the team saw what I was writing and sharing on my blog and LinkedIn and felt that I had some solid experience and knowledge to share with fellow graduates.
2 - A lecturer from a public university found my tweet about my Job Search 101 class and reached out to me via DM. This led to my first ever paid engagement with a complete stranger.
3 - I did my free Personal Branding webinar for students and graduates recently. Surprisingly, a director who works in a private university was also a part of the session, and they extended an invitation for me to speak to the students at their university.
When I started blogging, or when I started my career services earlier this year, I definitely did not expect any of these (and more) to happen. But, they did.
Somehow, words were able to spread easily among my networks and through social media, which helps to open up doors to new opportunities which may be hard to come by.
Make sure you fully utilize your network and your social media. The Internet is a powerful tool that can help you in your career and life growth, so make the most out of it.
Cakes and Careers, 22/08/2020 at F.R. Copper, TTDI
Cakes and Careers, 22/08/2020 at F.R. Copper, TTDI
Have a plan, yes, but sometimes you just have to wing it.
I used to obsess a lot over planning everything. I want to have a solid plan in mind about my career trajectory, my life, and everything in between. I hated not knowing what is going to happen and not being in control of my life.
But, as I grew older, I realized that while having a plan is good, life do tend to be unexpected in some ways, and you have to ditch your plans and be flexible with everything.
We can see it happening a lot this year, with COVID-19 and how a lot of things have changed due to the pandemic. Schools and universities closed, companies trying to figure out how to manage working from home while also ensuring that the business is running smoothly, etc.
Personally, I was planning to host a free careers workshop for graduates and students as my birthday project. But, obviously, with what’s going on today, having a big group of people gathered in a closed meeting room might not be the best idea.
So, I opted for an alternative route. On Friday, 21st Aug, I hosted a 2.5 hour long virtual hangout. And yesterday, Saturday 22nd Aug, I hosted an in-person hangout at F.R. Copper in TTDI. I used these as an alternative to meet up with random students and graduates and utilizing it as a discussion and networking session.
And, I have to say, while it was a little bit awkward (one participant yesterday legit asked me “Kenapa kau buat benda ni sebenarnya?”), I had a good time talking to these people.
We talked about random topics, ranging from personal finance (tips for students/graduates), job searching, finding one’s passion, friendship & relationship, dealing with toxic workplace, and a whole lot more.
What made it better was because I did not have any specific agenda planned, as I would have if I did a class. Instead, it was an open discussion and people could ask questions about anything they want, and anyone can contribute by sharing their ideas and advice. This led to a more fruitful and engaging discussion, as people were actively asking and sharing.
Looking ahead to what the future holds.
I’m pretty excited to what the next one year has in store. I’m starting a new academic year at my workplace, and with COVID, a lot of things will change as we can no longer have university representatives physically in school. I’m also finishing up on a project with a friend, and am excited to tell you guys all about it in a couple of months (hopefully!).
But, for now, I’m just going to enjoy what life has to offer, take it in day by day, and make the most out of what I get.
Taken on our family trip to Langkawi a few weeks ago.
Taken on our family trip to Langkawi a few weeks ago.
That should be it for now. Until I see you all again in two weeks’ time, stay safe & stay healthy.
Take care & stay awesome everyone! :)
Nazu xx
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