Remembering the unforgettable and being unforgettable

The VC congratulates me at Henley Business School's Graduation Ceremony on Friday, 18th October

The VC congratulates me at Henley Business School’s Graduation Ceremony on Friday, 18th October

Photo Credit: Ede & Ravenscroft Photography, Cambridge, UK

I almost forgot about 3 years of my life. I hardly remembered my fierce determination and obvious persistence. In the past year since completing my 3-year MBA (Master of Business Administration), I’ve faced small and medium challenges like starting a new job in a new company, finding my place in a new group, rekindling old friendships and making new ones. I was often worried about how I would cope or if I would survive. Indeed, I had almost forgotten what I could achieve if I set my mind to it.

It was last Friday, 18th October when I attend my MBA graduation ceremony that it hit me unexpectedly as I saw my classmates, many of which became friends of mine. They will be unforgettable because they taught me more than business.

I don’t know where strength came from. It often felt like there was a pipe pumping energy into my veins at high speed. I had low points when I thought I couldn’t continue, that the demands I had of myself were too high. But I was unable to accept that state for long. Looking back, I’m grateful for those low points as they helped me refuel. I’ve learnt to appreciate the stillness instead of panicking in the silence. I’ve learnt over time not to forget to be kind to myself in the excitement – to remain unforgettable in the process. Even as I shake the hand of the Vice Chancellor, I don’t think I fully got it. Hopefully someday, I will.

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Starting the Months of Madness

I had a suggestion from one of my readers to record my business research journey here. Some of you may know that I’m doing a business course at university which requires me to carry out some research in the next few months. My research is on Change management during social media implementation programs. I’m focusing on how learning during the change can promote employee participation.

Yes, that was a mouth-full – even for me. I hope to record elements of my work on Months of Madness, a new blog I have created and dedicated to this research work. There’s only an About Me page on there now but I do plan to update on:
1. New and wonderful things I’m reading and learning
2. Things I’m reading that I do agree with
3. Stuff I don’t agree with based on some personal experience or perception.
4. Lack of progress – yes, there’ll be some venting but I’ll try to keep this to a minimum
5. Achievements of milestones e.g. Completion of literature review, interview and survey design completions, final submission etc.

I hope some of you will join me there. It may be a little heavy but I think it’ll be fun. After the research is done, the site will stay up, perhaps a student or two will find inspiration there or just a point of view.

I’m excited and worried at the same time. I’ve realised there will be no short cuts with this – I’ve checked. I have to find out things for myself and roll my sleeves up to do the dirty work. Wish me luck!

I think I’m Out of Juice: One Side of the Story

Here's one side of the story

 I think it’s a good idea to give at least part of the story. There are many reasons why I’ve not been myself on the blog. My mind is clogged with “stuff”. I have a business research paper to write – and to do that I have read, read then investigate, read then draw some insightful conclusions from my findings. In a strange way, I’m looking forward to it, discovering my appetite increasing with every new thing I read (ok it’s not that strange if you know me at all). I’m also chewing over some interesting projects at work- that coupled with my increased commute to and from work (went from 30 minutes both ways to an hour and a half after I moved home in December). That’s one side of the story.

 

It’s fair to say that I have therefore found myself “out of juice”. I occasionally have a fragment of a blog post idea but it flutters away by the time I get to my screen. On rare occasions, I articulate a small fraction of what I mean – then with a tinge of disappointment (I actually squeeze my nose as if there’s a bad smell), I post it. Perhaps the other side of the story is that I don’t have much to say anymore but I’m hoping that’s not the case. Have I bled myself dry of sensible and senseless posts and now in a decline into nothing and nothingness? It certainly sounds like it to me.

 

In any case, I won’t give up just yet. I’ll give myself time to do this “famous” research paper. I’ll recover from using 10% of my daily waking hours to drive – or maybe I just suck it up and get used to it (it’s not that bad, Londoners have it much worse). The driving hours may even do me good. Ideas tend to come on that long narrow country road. I’ve toyed with the idea of a voice recorder to capture my fleeting thoughts whether it’s the gospel or rubbish. Although, doing that as I drive may will be a driving hazard. Sigh.

 

What I’m really trying to say is if you don’t see me around there often, I definitely not dead – just in over my head. At least, you know one side of the story. Hopefully, the other side will be just as plausible.

Tips for the confused jobist

It’s taken ages to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I read engineering at school but never quite fit in. At the same time, I never really knew what I wanted to do instead. When people asked me, ‘So what do you want to do?’,  it was always answered with a silly, confused expression.

But that’s changed in the past year. After starting my MBA (something I knew I wanted to do), I continuously made mental notes of areas that I found particularly interesting. Then I went off and did my research, which was something like:

  1. Identify area of interest e.g. marketing, web design, personnel management e.t.c.
  2. Act as a job seeker and SEARCH for roles in that area (the internet, job boards and social networking sites like LinkedIn are great for this).
  3. Take note of the JOB DESCRIPTION (what you’d be expected to do and be responsible for) Is it still of interest? If yes,
  4. Note the SKILLS employers expect from a potential candidate. Do you have them? If no, what can you do to get them? Can you get it in your current role? Should you consider personal development e.g. self-study, taught courses or perhaps a new role that provides such skills?
  5. Consider SALARY expectations. Is it what you thought it was? Is it reasonable such that you can live comfortably on it?
  6. And finally, give yourself a timeline. How long will it take you to get where you want to go? 6 months, 5 years?

Note that it’s okay to take a temporary hit on salary if  long-term, the role provides skills that will get you to the ‘Promise Land’. Money isn’t everything… And remember you are not applying for the roles now. You are just  discovering what opportunities are out there and subsequently setting out a personal plan to be the perfect candidate for the role in X numbers of years.

Now I have a good idea where I want to go and roughly how to get there. It’s made me happier and more confident. And it’s wiped that silly, confused look off my face :).

Blogging Theme Review- Why ‘My Business Addiction’?

You may not have noticed but I think it is fair to say that it’s not just business that I’m addicted to. When I started this blog, the intention was to write about my MBA learning journey and  my take on the business world. Granted-I’ve done a little bit of that. But all in all, business is not such an addiction in itself but more of an aspiration that I’m trying to untangle out of my life, which is my other addiction.

In many ways, this blog has revealed that there’s more to me than I thought. I have written on humor, life, family, friendship as well as business. I’ve put my mind up here and overall I’m pleased with the results. It took a while to relax in order for me to move from a guarded tone to one that let my personality through, even at the risk of dredging up the ‘irrelevant’. So I’d say I’m achieving a significant portion of my initial objective: to record a learning journey. I’ve got to know fellow bloggers and I sincerely hope that they know a little about me too. There’s more to learn and I’m sure there are a lot of things I can do much better. I have time to do this and many more miles before I’m picture perfect, if ever being perfect becomes a real aspiration or worse – an addiction.

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