Category Archives: Working girl

My first year in the newsroom

It’s been about 9 months since I made the decision to join journalism. A complete jump from my previous job, though I have no regrets. From naively thinking a good command of English and writing skills would be enough to equip me for the job, I have since been humbled by my lack thereof. In between unlearning and relearning different ways to write, I have also been learning more about how business and the economy works, making sense of numbers, juggling editors expectations, deadlines and just really trying to have fun in between.

I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far here, because really, no one talks about this great profession enough.

#1 – Get straight to the point, “this is not a law essay”

Basically what my editor told me on my first day when I was given my first announcement for the website. As a typical law grad, I had written a really long paragraph with long sentences that did not even address the issue. I was quickly introduced to the inverted-pyramid style used in journalism – salient points in first paragraph. Everything a law essay was not!

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Focus on the task at hand

I recently attended a talk by PNB’s chairman, Tan Sri Wahid Omar, who spoke about his career trajectory and where it has taken him. The one key point that stayed with me was when he said “Don’t worry about your next job, focus on the task at hand, if you work hard your reputation is sure to precede you” and it got me thinking, there is no better advice to give a millennial like myself. There are some days I catch myself prematurely thinking about my next move, my next jump and I figure, this is not productive thinking. Surely I could spend that time thinking about something else… like how to improve my current work. In another sense, it reminded me to live in the present.

Life is short, put your ego aside

I have an ego problem, I won’t deny that.

No I’m not the kind of person to think I’m better than you, no I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge. But for some reason, I have a hard time saying sorry.

Annoying isn’t it? Having to say sorry, having to admit that you’re wrong. If you’re a person like me you’ll resonate with why it’s hard to even bring oneself to apologise. It’s…embarrassing.

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“Make a choice and learn to be happy with it”
Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, CEO of Maybank Group

April 1 2016

1) Had the pleasure of listening to Datuk Farid Alias speak last night on values as a leader. He may be CEO of Maybank Group, but his aura tells you that he is also your friend.

2) Datuk Farid claims to be an introvert, but is a very approachable one. It tells you that being an introvert aint all a bad thing.

3) Datuk proposes that to be a Maybank CEO one must be – Superman (strong) Albert Einstein (intelligent) Ronald Reagan (great speaker) and Oprah (have a huge fan base)

4) In the beginning of one’s career, attention should be given to develop oneself. As you get older it is no longer about you, but your people.

5) It’s important to work with a sense of purpose. You can put extraordinary people to work together in a team yet they produce ordinary results. Why? Because most of the time they are vested in self-interest and lack purpose.

6) Tying to point #4, company culture is an important factor to the success of an organisation. Most of the time we neglect this. Leaders must work harder to cultivate a culture of being HOT – honest, open and trustworthy in its people.

7) I took away 2 key points – to be open to exposure yet to always stay grounded. Datuk Farid spoke about being an introvert and having an ordinary upbringing with commendable pride. While his experiences have taught him to make leadership adjustments where necessary, he essentially tries to stay himself. And that’s important.

When asked which superhero he liked better – “Most people hate Superman. But I like Superman. I like him because he represents everything that is good.”

I am inspired :)

Aligning your career objectives with 3 questions

When I first started working, I made the conscious decision to constantly reflect on my career objectives in order to ensure I was on the right track. This included seeking advice from senior colleagues who helped me to manage my expectations.

I came back from lunch one day and found myself in a serious conversation with a senior colleague. I had been 3 months into the job and this senior colleague asked how I was doing. So I opened up and explained my concerns about the learning curve of the job and sought advice on how I was to go about in maximizing my experiences. This senior colleague then asked me to take a step back and proceeded to ask me 3 critical questions that would help to realign my perspective.

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8 months into my first job

I’ve contemplated writing this blog post for a while because I wasn’t sure if it was too early in the day for me to share career advice. I’ve recently hit my 8th month into my first job and I’ve learned quite a bit which I’d like to share. Seeing that I have a thing for lists, here’s one on work-place etiquette that no one really told me about which I learned through much observation:

1. Never get too comfortable, always be professional

There will come a point where you feel you have found your place in the company, where you feel comfortable being yourself. However always remember to draw the line and remain professional in your conduct and your speech to others. Your colleague may be your friend but he is first and foremost, your colleague.

2. Be nice to everyone, including non-executive staff

This is a trait that will set you apart from the rest and will take you a long way, not to mention – remembered.

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Tips for the executive

Yesterday my 26 yr old brother tweeted some tips for young executives – all from his own personal experience of having previously been a young exec himself. (He is now in a managerial position)

(read – bottom to top)

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Advice like this applies not only to young execs working but people like me for instance, about to graduate and venture into the workforce (public/private sector). I also feel advice like this is just as practical and applicable for one’s studies (when dealing with a teacher’s expectations; ask if you’re not sure) and other miscellaneous types of tasks. Also for university students pursuing internships, these tips are just as applicable for them as an internship in a company etc. will expose you to the working world and all its expectations. I know that after 2 internships at a radio station and a semi-govt corporation, albeit the vast and contrasting level and type of work I did, at the end of the day the expectations by my employers were the sameto train you to learn how to work efficiently and be efficiently managed.

Confessions of an Intern

This is my second summer I’m pursuing an internship; one month down into this current stint and I’m thinking a blogpost is deserved to sum up my observations so far.

1. The department of the organisation I’ve been placed in is pretty conservative and modest in nature. But fret not, they are not prejudiced, against all odds :)

2. There is a strong eating culture which is just awesome because really there is no better way to bond than over food…in the pantry. View’s great too. Talk about a conversational starter!

3. I have been placed in a strategic spot in the office, smack in between the entrance/exit, the pantry, pretty close to the ladies, next to the other intern and on good days, ideally a hot spot considering people like to hang around and make small talk when free. The way I look at it – this is a pretty cool spot to be in.

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