‘Career’

When me and my parents were in the car, we talked about how we are still stuck in an old paradigm where many looks at career as a straight road which we have to go from one to another.

But never pause and ponder that the world is changing too,and that the career that used to be in demand back then may no longer be as crucial as we need back then. Perhaps I’m wrong but this is what I think..

If back then we could just go and chop the woods,, today we can’t chop the woods because some of it needs to be conserve as well. And to be able to conserve the forrest takes expertise to not just look into the impacts towards the social or the animals and so on, but it also needs a scientific research that could conserve the biodiversity in a certain area.

It may also take a whole mix of different expertise from the environmental group, the scientist and the policy maker,as well as the people themselves to be more aware of the environment and realize their responsibility in taking care of the environment we are privileged to be born in.

Changing our habits is not easy especially when we are brought up in an environment that may not fully aware and exposed to conserving the environment. But with continuous education and integrated planning from all level in the society.  Slowly we can move towards that.

In the case of Malaysia, I do not believe that everyone in Malaysia do not care about their environment. They would at least care about their own garden – if they have any. There are a lot of factors that may contribute to people not bothered about simple thing as throwing the rubbish in the bin, or patient enough to wait till they get home to throw their rubbish rather than throwing it out the car.

There’s no point in putting the blame entirely to one without having four fingers pointing back at us. For when it comes to environment, even in whatever problem we deal with, one unit of the society are not entirely excluded from contributing to the problem.

You may say that some people just like to throw the rubbish everywhere, but you can also blame that there weren’t any enforcement, and the enforcement officer would point back to the people who keeps on breaking the laws by throwing their rubbish everywhere,but they would then blame other people..which leads to nowhere.

Just as the organs needs one another to process whatever goes around in our body, so does our country to run properly – we need each other regardless . The question is, how to make people come together and realize that if we are ever going to live in peace with one another, we must learn to live with one another and actually do something together for whatever cause.

Ideally.

Practically, there’ a lot of work to be done but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. It just take time for people to understand what is the real value of their life and where it leads to will effect us in so many ways.

Coming back to the car ride story, we questioned about what could be the reason why students these days do not know where they could go after they graduated. And how we may focus much on the comfortable and obvious path rather than exploring different roads.

Which is going for the big lucrative job like Doctors, engineers and so forth. And if they can’t make it anywhere they can just apply for teaching job as their last resort. Thus the cycle continues.

But nobody ever thought that even doctors can be frustrated by the overworked that they have to tend to their patients. Doctors are humans too, most of the friends I met back in my exchange program have became a doctor or training as one in the hospitals.

What many people di not know, there are also doctors who failed their exams, and had to extend their studies because they have to repeat some papers. Some scored straight A’s in their SPM but failed along the way. Many of them worries about their exam because it will effect their entire career plan towards becoming a doctor.

These future doctors studied so hard every day because they have to be going for their rounds and have quizzes every day , so they really must know whatever is in the book. If it were me, I would have failed. Some could still wrongly misdiagnosed through out their exams, but they can’t misdiagnosed that when they work, thats why they work really hard to remember so many things and be very good at what they learn.

When I heard that from them, I was not surprised that some could fail but I am in a positive way of thinking that maybe , failure will be a good lesson for them to succeed later. Many of the straight A;s  are perhaps used to scoring that they do not know what it feels like to fail in some subjects

I have finally embraced the fact that I am not good when it comes to numbers, but it doesn’t mean that I am not good in other subjects. There were some subjects that I scored and some B’s and C’s and D’s. So if you want to count me by the A’s I get, I’m not the person.

But I learn a lot about failing, or whenever I get low marks, I try to be better the next exam. Sometimes I improve sometimes I just got the same marks, and the graph would go up and down or static.

For people who have failed, they would be okay with it, they wont get too down about failing a test because they have been there. But for those who have never tasted that, it will give a bitter feeling. Some may not even take it too well that it will push them to their limits to God knows what will happen.

That’s one thing, but another thing is that despite being able to graduate. We live in a world that expects you to be able to figure out what you want to do when you graduate straight away and get a job. Not many will take the path to continue their studies, people will say that we are ‘hardworking’ but the truth is, mos of us have not figure out what they want to do, even if they are still few month near to graduating their postgraduate.

That alone, are foreign for the majority who think that we should go to university, get a degree, and then find your own job – anything as long as you are working – even if it means you may not work in a field that you study such as , working with the Banks, Insurance and Sales.

I don’t think that working in these field are bad at all, because whoever works in this system, needs to have skill to sell something that people may not need right away. Its an art to master the skill of persuading people into buying their service and whatever they are selling.

Which leads to the age we are living in now – online @ virtual world. Where most of s now pretty much have their own smartphone and connected to the internet almost 24/7. Internet gets cheaper, and sometimes free (Whatsapps,Skype,Line etc)

A lot of business goes online that you pretty much don’t have to leave your house and get your shopping item right at your door step. This is where it gets a bit tricky, not all things can be sold online , and you really have to be different from one product to another, pushing us to be more creative into selling what others can’t offer.

You may sell shawl online, but there are so many online shop that sells pretty much the same thing. So its either your marketing strategy is better than others, or your PR is better, your service , or you customize your products into something they can personalize that will determine if your biz will fail or succeed. I’m sure that from many successful ‘technopreunuers’ out there, there are also those who have failed in their attempt to break into the online market.

And not to forget how many online biz scam going around camouflaging in an online biz coat, cheating off people’s money all over the internet

So being different, does matters for those who wants to do things differently and not go into the normal road walked before them. It is both risky and also brave decision, for those who dare to take the risk but brave enough to with stand the challenge ahead.

Even my friend, who opens their online shop, were looked down to choose to stay home and run their online business instead of working at an office 9 – 5 when she actually makes even more than those who works in 10 month.

I almost choked hearing how much an online biz can make, which is why I am not surprised that the GST were introduced to these online biz as well. Since GST will be charge over registered company earning 500K above, I also wonder if they actually pay their tax if they aren’t registered, base on their real income, and if they are a muslim, what about their zakat, do they give out to the asnaf according to what they actually earn? I’ll just have a good opinion over these people that they do take their own responsibility by giving what they rightfully deserves.

Lets put that aside, and go back to how much an online biz can make if one are creative enough to be different, just like Steve Jobs were creative enough to make his own computer by setting up Apple. So were in this case.

If we read the story of people who successfully became billionaires over the skills they have, most of them would either drop outs or went through proper education until they decide that its time to do things differently and create their own job.

For these people, they would not be able to focus long enough in their studies but were better in things that doesn’t involve a studious environment but more action oriented, like building a wood work, or paint an art, or cook and many other area that they can explore.

Say if people were to question you taking up cooking lesson as your studies, they can only think of  becoming a chef. What many did not know there are so many types of chef, even I was surprised when I discovered there are jobs like Chocolatier, Confectioner, and that there is a World Chocolate Master  competition will be broadcasted live – online. And I doubt that is the only types of chef you can be, youcould also be a baker like The Fabolous Baker Brothers or simply just another chef who likes to share their recipe via YouTube like Sorted .

This is where I think the world is leading to, we have to create our own job, have a unique expertise different than others, making it possible to be different. As the consequences, some may have to learn what it meas to fail in one journey to lead them to a different path, that will make them be who they are today.

So when my friends had to go for a detour by having to repeat their exam, I’d tell them that its okay to take some time to graduate. and extend. An extension in our studies gives us more time to figure out what we are good at, or make us want to strive better in their extended semester. It gives them extended knowledge on things that others who completed on time, to people who needs more time. And I’d tell them it is okay to slow down and not try to catch up with others who is already ahead of us. We have our own journey and its not the same, because we are different from one another. Everyone have their own ability and capability in reaching their own dreams.

Being an extend student myself, due to my exchange and certain personal reason that lead me to extend my studies made me realize how fast people are tying to compete with each other. Get a job, get married, children and even their children were caught up in a race of who gets the grandchildren first or who gets their kids to university first, or who have better children than others. This will make their children feel under such intense pressure to succeed only to realize that they aren’t happy with what they had to become – because their parents want them to be,

Of cause in certain circumstances, some had to follow their parents wish, the dreams that their parents could not fullfil became a dream that the children had to continue even though their children may not like it. Having said this, I do not encourage anyone to go against their parents wish just because you may have different dreams than what your parents wants to. Because, not everyone are gifted, so sometimes it can also fail if we risk everything just because we think we can do it.

Some people may think that you need to learn from those experienced, by working under someone who have that experience to finally ope their own business.  Some would say that you don’t need that and learn by experience but it is also important that if they were to proceed with that decision, they must really be responsible to their decision by making sure that they succeed without causing harm to those around them, caught in trouble like debts, if their business fail, or leave their family too often that they did not get to see their children grow up, etc. They must really take a good care of their business for it to grow, with or without learning from those experienced or not. So its really hard to decide what kind of business you want to focus in and maintain it so that it can expand further.

I could write a lot about this but I’m going to touch into only few things which is, we are caught up in a straight line that when the lines get tangled up in the middle we don’t know what to do, We either break or push ourselves out of the tangled ball and make it straight again.

The amount of pressure for students these days, and the high expectation on them, could build up into deep stress that by the time they realize that, they might have gone crazy or run away from their problem, rather than facing it with courage. Some may also take their own life.

So if you are a teacher, parents, or even as a friend,  it is also important to remind each other that life can also fail, or you may not be good in one thing but that doesn’t mean they are bad in other things, they just need to explore what they are good at and what may not suit them, to find that talent and explore their potentials

Even in university level,we are still caught with such thinking, where everyone are expected to graduate and work. Anything as long as you work, make some money, pay the bills, have a family, and thats all they live for the rest of their life.

there aren’t a lot of exposure of the possible jobs that they can work in, even if there is a career talk but nobody would talk about where to go if they can’t find a job, what to do with their scroll, what’s next for them or what to expect, in a deeper level that may make the students more aware of the reality. Everyone gives this kind of sugar coated idea of working for the rest of our life, in some company, 9 – 5, but whether you like it or not, you still have to wake up the next day to go to wor

But you no longer know what you are working for, and why you are working. There are no time to think and reflect on how we live today and how we want to live tomorrow should be any different than yesterday? The only career change is the company, but with more work, as we go higher and higher , so does our cost of living – not just materially speaking but the health and mind . Few will ponder about the impacts to the way we live and the way we think, or how what we say to our children could shape their minds into becoming just another 9 – 5 kind of person,  who worries only about their next job, and happy of getting their next pay cheque and their next travel. But are we really happy or trying to make ourselves feel happy, either for the sake of others or ourselves? We don’t know what it means anymore.

Okay the conversation didn’t go exactly like that, it ended within 20 mins drive back home which only reach to a point of how people is still stuck in a certain paradigm, that they have to get a good job like doctors and engineers, but as soon as they graduate, everyone are expected to get a job but no one to show them what kind of job that they can explore in beyond the commonly known job. In fact, by this age, the way we live are so different that there is actually a lot of job but it is up to us on how to create it by turning our talent/passion/skill in something you are good at into a career path.

At least that’s how I see it as.

I leave that with one of my fave poem would be by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

So which road will you take?

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