Archives for category: Career

I am sitting on a bench by the river, looking at the gradual darkening clouds which are hovering over me. I watch people pass me by, all at different paces. Recently there has been so much unrest in the world.

An deadly earthquake followed by radiation threats in Japan, the unrest in Libya, the protest in London, nuclear threats here and there, and the list follows. Should I be glad that I am living in a city where most disasters barely touch us, where there isn’t any real politics to speak of, where the billionaires and millionaires are flooding in, where there isn’t any external threats… Whenever I watch the news and see all the troubles other places are facing, I know I should feel much fortunate.

But why do I feel a constant weight on my shoulders? I laugh but not really truly laughing. I keep this cool nonchalant front while thousands of woes and thoughts are swarming within my head. The stress of meeting expectations ,especially my own, are so overwhelming sometimes that I just need to find a corner where no one can see me and cry.

Some friends do not understand why I am driving myself so hard. They say easily, ” You are still young, you have plenty of time. Take things easy.”

However what they don’t know is that I can’t really take things easy for one very simple reason.

I never felt that I am ordinary and I don’t want to be ordinary.

And if that it is so, I cannot simply take the same measures as what a person would usually take. If you make average options, you end up being an average person, isn’t it so?

During this trying period of my life, I reminded myself constantly to continue pushing on despite lack of support from people around me. It may be difficult but I believe that success do not come easily. Perseverance will allow one to see the fruits one day.

So if you are also struggling today, please continue to hang on there. The butterfly always need to give a good fight to emerge from the cocoon.

Okay hopefully this post helps those who are currently applying to Procter & Gamble or those intending to do so in the future. I will basically sum up the whole job application process from both my experience and others’ that I have read.

I went for the reasoning test in P&G’s building today. There were three different test slots and about 20 people in each. From my research, there are about 2000 applicants for each role and they eliminate the number down to 150-200 after the online reasoning test. Later on, there might be a phone interview before a face-to-face interview and then a final interview if one ever made it that far.

I haven’t been so nervous for the longest time.

I guess it’s because it’s been ages since I sat for a test. In college, I was graded by the different projects I did. The test was 65 minutes long with 40 questions consisting of mathematical problems, verbal reasoning, and some pattern reasoning. The questions are pretty similar to GMAT although I think the mathematical problems are easier and more straight forward. However I was panicking at the last 10 minutes as I have a couple more questions left and my brain was frozen momentarily. I ended up guessing the last two mathematical problems as there were too much information and my frozen brain wasn’t helping.

The lady told us that if we didn’t hear from them in two weeks meant good news…ha.. which would lead to the next round of interview. And the whole process will take another two months.

I am not sure what is the cut off point to make it to the next round of the interview. If it is really 60% as what I’ve read, then I’ll definitely be able to make it. Meanwhile I am gonna try out for Loreal, my number two option.

Just gotta keep trying ๐Ÿ™‚

Where shall I start?

Sometimes I wish that there’s a technology that can capture particular thoughts which one cannot record in time.

I am currently sitting at Starbucks, feeling an urge to go to the toilet yet do not feel like leaving my seat just yet.

Mmm..How shall I sum up the lengthy amount of things that had happened…

And so I successful set up an art gallery within three months, left the job, went to Bangkok twice in January looking into the possibility of taking over my mother’s business and also setting up a cafe. Currently encouraged by my boyfriend, I am also trying to start my label ( the one that I stopped halfway in 2010) while looking for a job in the corporate world for experience.

I know as a fresh grad without much experience, one cannot be choosy or too selective. However I cannot help but feel less excited about applying to certain companies “just for the sake of it”. I was feeling down and really stressed about my situation. I did try a number of things to make me feel better such as meeting people, organising networking events, going to entrepreneur talks, however the fact that time is passing rapidly each day and my bank account shrinking with it does not help.

The last entry I was blogging about that being stuck in the bottomless pit is good in a way as one cannot get any lower in it. And yes indeed I have some good news to share.

It is barely anything to celebrate yet but it is kinda like a spark that lights in my “bottomless pit” and therefore its presence overwhelms greatly in the darkness.

I applied to Procter & Gamble several weeks ago. This will be really be considered as the “DREAM JOB” and also “THE COMPANY” that I want to work for. I took the personality test online and went through to the reasoning test. And then an email told me that they would inform me if I made it to the next round of application. A week passed and then another. I was kinda disappointed although I didn’t really tell anyone. Of course the first reason is that ” oh no I’ve missed my chance” and then the next ” Maybe I am not as smart as I thought to pass the reasoning test”.

Well it’s been a month since the last test I took and guess what?

I received an email yesterday that informed me to go down to the office for the next round of test! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, let’s see how things go. Life being so unpredictable and hope comes when one least expects.

Meanwhile I am going to continue to meet up friends, mentors and contacts, it gets tiring but I will keep on going finding clovers ๐Ÿ™‚

One of my favourite P&G adsย  Emotional Marketing) so good that I teared..

Pantene Commercial ( Thailand)

It is a brand new year again. And I left my job.

A year before this, I would never expect to be going through or have gone through all these events that I am now. Nor have I foresee myself to be in my current situation. Have I become a little wiser or smarter? Maybe. But I do know that I can definitely cope with setbacks.

It gets frustrating at times. Especially when you face one after another too often too soon. But I guess that is also the fastest way to learn and also grow. However I feel exhausted sometimes. I am still young and should not be feeling this way. Is it because of all the things that happened to me throughout my whole life that made me feel so old? Or is it just a growing process to feel this kind of exhaustion, fear and perplexity.

What do I love? What do I love enough to do it day and night? What do I love enough to do it for years or maybe the rest of my life?

A friend once told me, the way to know if something fits you is to try it. Remember going shopping with a mate and then she points out a shirt and says, “Hey, try this! I think this will look good on you”.

And you slowly declined, ” No this will make me look fat or pale or.. some other not too positive things.”

How do you know?

It is because you’ve tried it before and therefore you know.

The point she was trying to make to me was the same as finding a career in life. Some jobs may seem interesting to one but one will only know if it is true to one till he/she tries it.

As ambitious I may get, I feel an urge to drop everything and travel to somewhere far from home. Live life simply just a year. To understand myself without the influence of others. I’ve always been having this crazy urge for the last few years, maybe one day it will really manifest. At least for now, I am too realistic to do so.

I am looking into volunteering, perhaps it will be a good opportunity to hone my skills and find something I am really passionate about while doing a good cause.

I just need to make things happen.

Time passed within a flick, I am currently working inside the gallery.

Setting up the Gallery

We’ve just moved into the gallery this week, working on makeshift tables and chairs as the furniture have yet to arrive. Have designed the namecards and flyers, and am now left with the brochure design. Currently, the gallery is not opened yet and therefore my working hours are pretty fixed, the usual 9-6 timing. However my boss has this brilliant idea that he wants the gallery to open when all the others are closed, so I’m afraid I might need to work till 9pm at night sometimes.

The first exhibition will be held in the mid of January and I am pretty excited about it. Mostly excited about the planning of a series of new workshops though. Will update on my ideas when i have something more concrete.

It’s 8.28am. I’m sitting at starbucks and having my breakfast. The usual- a hot and comforting cup of chamomile tea and a spinach egg fritata .

I have about an hour more before my yoga class.

And so, I officially started on my first job yesterday? Though it really felt different as compared to the time I was interning at a fashion company. The gallery has yet to open so I went over to my boss’s place where he briefed me on my duties.

Basically, my current responsibility is to plan, arrange and oversee the renovation/setup of the gallery. We aim to be opened by end of November.

The interesting part of the job is that I get to critique and do the QC ( Quality Control) the artworks. The gallery specialises in reproduction artworks from the various grandmasters like Van Gogh, Klimt, Monet, Vermeer, etc.. As you know, all the works from these masters are not available to the public as mostly are in the museums in which…are scattered all over the world. The purpose of the gallery is to gather the best reproduction works of these masterpieces so that the public can get to finally view their favourite pieces personally, closest to the most original form(oil on canvas) but not only through books, internet or digital print.

Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne ( Private Collection)

This is one ofย  Amedeo Modigliani‘s work which is not even displayed in the museums.

Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne ( Oil Reproduction)

Pardon the plastic wrap over the reproduction work, those caused the tiny white streaks over the painting. The colors differ due to lighting and age.

Another long day ahead!

It always seems like..when one door closes another opens.

Though now it seems like the one of the doors is swinging from side to side, still uncertain if it will close or remain opened. However good news is that the other door is opened and I have made a choice to walk through it.

And so, I met up with the boss of the job I’ve decided to take up and got myself on board the team ๐Ÿ™‚

It had been a tough decision choosing between the both startups and also to give up options with the MNCs.

But as the saying goes,

” If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

I’ll only be starting work officially next week, however will mostly be on my own for the first month. The job opportunity is a pretty unique one. Basically I am required to set up a multi-usage art gallery from scratch with the other team members. I will get my hands from planning the gallery layout, liaising with contractors, planning the marketing and branding strategies, preparing the marketing collateral, etc..

I will provide more details as I get on with the job. Meanwhile now, I have yet to turn down the other job offer. The other boss is a really pleasant person as well (have good rapport with too) and I knew how keen she was to have me on her team. She was willing to up the salary offer and also give in to my request of regular salary/incentive review based on performance. And this start-up is a F&B (food and beverages) venture and therefore it is extremely applicable to my family business.

The decision was tough as I weighed both pros and cons of each option. I chose the art gallery finally because it will expose me to setting up a business from scratch and also give me the experience of marketing to a niche market of clienteles. The contacts and network that I will meet during my course of job might also come valuable to me in the future.

However meanwhile, I also find that there’s a high growth opportunity in the f&b business and I am rather confident that I can market it very well to its target market. Perhaps I might suggest to do freelance marketing for the lady boss,ย  it would be an extremely interesting project.

Just when I was starting to feel demoralised, the course of things started to turn out well. I can’t deny that I’ve been blessed indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚

And I love this…

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

Have you ever been at a point of your life when you feel like you are situated right in the middle of the crossroads?

It may be crossroads in your family life, career, relationship, personal life, etc…ย  You’re not too sure of which way to go, not certain which will be the best route to your destination. So afraid to make a choice, so afraid you’d get it wrong.

I am just like that. I know where I want to be at the end of the day but just not too sure how to get there. I am also afraid to make a wrong choice or take the wrong route. I always wished there’s a Dummies book for life. (I have a thing for self-help/motivational/diy books) Too bad there isn’t a manual for life and even if there is, it’s not going to be applicable.

The encouraging news is that besides you being not alone, and there’s no perfect route. Therefore it doesn’t matter which route you are currently on because it wouldn’t have been that great either on the other route. You know while driving, one may make a wrong turn sometimes; it may just require a fast U-turn to get back on track or sometimes it may become a longer en route. And during the en route, we may discover a new place, something interesting, etc..one never knows! However as long you have the destination of the place you want to be at clearly in your head, you will get there eventually. No matter which route we take to reach our destinations, we will learn something valuable from it.

And so I realised that instead of just lingering in one spot as time runs like sand in the hourglass, I need to just be brave and make the first move. I need to take the leap of faith.

After being stuck at the crossroads for so long, I’ve finally made up my mind.

Even after consulting with different people whom I trust for advice eg: mentors, friends, family, I was still feeling rather uncertain and insecure. However I decided it’s time to end all the wishywashy-ness, I just got to have faith (some will say trust your gut feelings) and made up my mind to take up the job offer from one of the start-ups.

When everything has been finalised, I shall blog about the new job and the experiences that come along with it.

I am pretty much excited to start work, anticipating both challenges and the vast learning opportunities. I have no concrete idea how the new working life will be for me. After all, this is going to be my first full-time job. However I am all ready for the run and hurdles that’s going to come. I am ready to emerge stronger and better than ever.

Meanwhile in other aspects of my life, I guess it’s time for me to truly let go of the past as well. Of course it can’t be done within a single day, but I know I’ll eventually arrive there. One just have to continue having faith, hope and the courage because there’s no other way to move on.

“Some think it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go.”

It’s 10.26pm and I finally get to grab my first meal of the day (unless you considered the packet of cocoa and 2 chinese siew mais I had in the afternoon as a meal). And so, I sitting at the edge of my bed with my cat, GMAT book, journal sprawled around me..typing and occasionally trying to scoop the noodles into my mouth. Alright I shan’t get into too much details.

My cat with his usual odd pose ๐Ÿ™‚

My day started at 7.30am this morning which I spend collecting data for an interview in the afternoon. Then went to teach after my interview and proceeded to yoga class at 8.15pm.

I won’t bore you anymore with my ranting. Overall I am in a pleasant mood because I got a job offer from both today’s and yesterday’s interview :))

Okay lets’s get into the topic.

Starting a Career with a Start-up or MNC?

Let me share with you my career goals. My ultimate plan is to take over and expand my family’s f&b ( food&beverages) business, and also to start my own business. I will be totally honest here. The reason to why I am neither going into my family business or setting up my own business now is simply the lack of substantial hands-on experience and therefore leading to the lack of credible confidence.

After graduation, I came to realisation that being confident based on no concrete experience is like filling sand(hope) into a glass bottle. Possible but extremely fragile. Therefore I decided to take an en route, work for a couple of years and gain the skills and experience that I’ll need for my future.

However now boils down to what is the best type of job for me and people like me with the same ultimate career goal?

Time is short. Youth is something we all only possess once, therefore my aim is to learn as much as I can within these few years. (For your information, I am looking into a job in Marketing and Communications. )

Both of the job offers I received are from start-up companies (I haven’t applied to any MNC yet). Almost everyone I spoke to (aware of my goals), recommended working for startups or SMEs ( Small/Medium Enterprises) as one will get hand-ons experience on almost everything. The blogs I’ve been referencing online encourages people who wants to be entrepreneurs to work for start-ups as well, because that’s the place where one will gain the exposure. I also understand that one got to work much harder for much lesser pay/benefits for start ups as compared to bigger companies. I was extremely receptive to the idea and was taken aback when my current boyfriend,who is working for a MNC , disapproved strongly against it. From his personal experience and opinion, he thinks that one actually learn much from small firms but rather bigger established ones. He mentioned that you have more opportunities to prove yourself in a larger firm. It got me pretty wavered for a while.

Because I do personally feel that a start-up is going to equip me with the relevant skills to set up my own business in the future. It will expose me all the way down to the nitty gritty details which I doubt I will get exposed to in larger firms which already have everything up and running.

I have to agree though..working for a established firm will look better on the resume for one who is aiming to climb the corporate ladder.

Alright check these sites below. I was referencing them while doing my research on working for start-ups. I found them pretty useful and motivational.

1. Top 10 reasons to join a startup (as the title mentions…)

http://www.instigatorblog.com/top-10-reasons-to-join-a-startup/2007/05/23/

2. Advantages of working for a startup

http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/careers-career-path/11129-1.html

3. So you really want to work for a startup. Really? ( Discuss about character traits one needs to work in a startup)

http://vijaysblog.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/so-you-want-to-work-for-a-startup-really/

4. Are you thinking of working at a startup? (yes I am..That’s why I’m reading..haaa)

http://weblog.raganwald.com/2005/03/are-you-thinking-of-working-for-start.html

5. Who should you hire at start-ups ( what type of people is suitable for the job)

http://www.cloudave.com/1317/who-should-you-hire-at-a-startup/

Alright so what’s your take on this? ๐Ÿ™‚