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Ok, i’m pretty sure that 90% of you will say it is bad. 😀 To me, it’s good AND bad, depends on how you see it (gosh, i do sound like someone working in a consulting firm).

If you haven’t read my previous post on Family vs Work, do take few minutes to read. I find the post very meaningful (ok…now i’m back to the old Alvin Lim).

I just came back from dinner with few senior colleagues and they talked about our ex-colleague being workacholic. This ex-colleague (let’s name the person ABC – not air batu campur…or…er..in English is mixed ice?) of ours was quite an extreme person who has nothing in his mind but work, work and work. He is the type of person who will go back to office and work after dinner or during weekends. The type of person who always get his ideas at weird hours….3am. The bad thing is, well, he’ll call you up excitedly and let you know about his ideas!

Gosh, i’m fortunate that my boss is a family man.

To be honest, I myself can be quite a workacholic. I can work very long hours but my style is not the typical 9-5. I like to take short breaks in between….maybe to play games or watch animation or read comic or sleep. After that, i’ll continue to work. That’s my style and if i am working on something i am passionate about ….i can really work for long long hours.

But that’s just me and my own world. I am sane enough to know that i shouldn’t call up someone at 3am just to shout out my ideas to him. Work life balance…this is important.

I believe if you do have some “life” ….be it in between your working time (like my preferred style) or after your work, it is good enough. Don’t be overly absorbed in your work.

Some companies (especially chinaman styled companies) actually like to hire workacholics. They hire you to do more work for the same (or lesser) pay as the rest of the applicants. Isn’t that better? 🙂

But these companies should also realize that a workacholic might cause other problems such as poor work performance (long hours will make you tired, regardless of whether you are batman, spiderman or superman), unhappy subordinates (don’t think you want your boss to call you at 2am right? or a boss who penalizes you for working lesser amount of time than he does), etc.

For me, work is important but your life is more important. After you retired, what is left? Your spouse and maybe your family…but it is definitely not your work, and not the company who you’ve worked so hard for. When you are sick, who will be there for you (besides the doctors)? Not your ex-bosses but your family and friends.

Life is more than just work, work and work. 🙂

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Been quite busy the past few days and din realize my last post was…er.. 4 days back?

Anyway, if any of you noticed, i’ve mentioned in my previous post that i’ve won the Animax story writing award for South East Asia…and i won like USD 2k. Animax (channel 25 on Astro) has been showing off my “photogenic” look during prime time (7-10pm) for more than a week now…and i’ve been receiving calls to congratulate me and…to ask me to give away free meals (since every one of them knows i’ve won USD 2k). 😐

To be honest, i don’t really mind treating my good friends or those who have helped me, to a nice meal. But…those who called me up for a free meal…..and never give up even after i pretend to forget about it…. *sighs*, what do you actually do with those people?

Some of my friends (somehow) know about my little windfall….bonus, headhunting allowances, prize money, etc… and they kept on insisting i’m so rich bla bla bla… but that’s one thing that they do not know (or do not wish to admit). I’ve worked hard for all these things. I’ve spent longer hour than them in office, i’ve took the trouble to look around for the suitable people for my team (headhunting allowances) and i spent hours n hours n hours on the Animax story. They on the other hand, did not do anything to deserve those.

To me, there are many ways in this world to earn money. It’s just a question of whether you are willing to make some efforts in such things. So please, if you are this so-called “freeloader friend” who tries to leech away people’s money…or just being jealous of them, do everyone a favor and stop it. Don’t being jealous because you can do the same thing if you want to. 🙂

As for me…….i think i will pretend i donno anything again. Hahahaha. I will, of course, thank the people who helped me with the story – Angie, Jason, Julie, Boo, Yu Xiang, Benny, Wei Cher and K Wai Ling. 🙂

p/s…i might offend some of my friends, but well…i cannot please everyone right? 😀 To the few close friends of mine, i’ll still treat you all to a nice meal even if your name is not listed above. 😉  

Turnover has been on the rise nowadays. I’m not sure how applicable is this for other companies…but I do know that it’s quite high for the few companies that I know. And I also know that having a high turnover rate will not help any organization/company and it will give more workloads for the Human Resource people.

And then people start to ask…..why don’t these organizations or companies have a proper employee retention policy to lower the turnover rate? Good question. To be honest, most organizations/companies in Malaysia do not have a proper employee retention policy. They feel that it’s too troublesome or costly. Well, I must give credits to those who do have……but as far as I know, most do not have or are doing a very bad job with whatever retention policies they trying to implement. And for those who do not have any at all…..maybe they think retraining their employee is a cheaper way?

No idea.

After asking bout retention policy……..people will ask WHY? Why so and so want to leave? Why this? Why that? Some people will just say “oh well, it’s a stupid company” or “the company management sux”. I do agree that some companies have very inexperienced and sucky management team…….but I also believe that they are not the main reason someone wants to leave the company. Most of the time, I realized it is the direct supervisor who is forcing people out of the company.

The supervisor is the one who will manage the employees. The person who is closest to the employees or the front line men. He is the one who will look after them and also the one who they will complain or voice their opinions to. Whatever the top management does, the employees will not know or will not see that clearly. In the end, it is the things the supervisor does that will involve them.

When someone leaves a company…….the person might say “Stupid boss la. That’s why i left!”. But the actual boss of the company has nothing to do with the guy leaving the company…well, most of the time anyway. If it’s a small company, the boss is most likely the supervisor. If it’s a big company……do you seriously think the CEO or the Managing Director will actually force someone who is 3 levels below in the organization chart to leave the company? He most probably won’t even notice the guy that much! And well, how much do you actually know your CEO if you are a lower level executive?

In the end….it’s not really the top management that is responsible for the employee retention policy. Everyone is, especially the leaders……any leaders. You might be a team leader, a division lead, a practice lead, a senior manager, project manager, anyone…….but as long as you have subordinates under you……you are responsible for them, their welfare, their career path..their future. If they choose to resign…well, it’s either they found a better opportunity….plan to change their field….or, well, they’re just pissed by you. 🙂

Anyway, the above is purely based on my personal opinion. Do feel free to post up your comments. 😀

The line “The sky is falling!” sure sounds familiar especially to the Chicken Little fans out there. Well, it’s his fav phrase after all.

In the Chicken Little story, the character likes to run around the neighborhood shouting and alerting the neighbors that the sky is falling….but fact is, the sky is not falling.In our daily life, we are surrounded by at least one Chicken Little. Not the cute cartoon character….but the true, living Chicken Little. The person who likes to think negative and keep demotivating himself (and the people around him). The doomsayers.

They will come out with all sorts of things, just to demotivate you and made you feel bad about what you are doing or planning to do.

When you buy a property..they will say that the property is a waste of money and you should put your money in Fixed Deposit (and they don’t even know anything bout property investment). When you said you want to start a new business, they would say you are too young and immature (when inside their heart, they might feel regret for not starting their own business when they were still young) . Everything you say, they will try disagree and go on to explain why you are wrong and they are right. Fact is…most Chicken Littles do not know what they are talking about. They are being negative because they are afraid….or they’re jealous. Why? Because you are doing things that they do not dare to do.

Chicken Littles are everywhere. You can’t escape from them.

The only thing you can do is….follow your gut feelings. Do what you like, with proper research n studies of course. If you are not sure and need some advice…go seek the advice of professionals or experienced individuals. Need to know investment? Go ask the real investors…people who have been investing their money in stocks/bonds/funds, etc. Need to know about starting a business? Go ask the right people.

Never ever ask the wrong guy……and if you really did (accidentally maybe) ask the wrong guy…the Chicken Little guy, then please don’t get demotivated by the person. 🙂

First of all, sorry folks…i’ll be rather busy for the next few weeks. I’m currently rushing for a project (design documents for now….implementation later). I won’t be posting that much….BUT…since blogging and sharing are part of me nowadays, I’ll still post something up here…maybe just not that much.

Hope you folks won’t mind. Sincere apologies. 🙂

Till then, have a nice day and check out this interesting article from Entrepreneur.com

The Perfect Presentation: Materials.

I did not start this post earlier because I always thought I have already written something like this before. I’ve checked my archives and unfortunately (or fortunately), I wasn’t able to find one such article.

Ah well, this is going to be quite a long post. So, please bear with me.

We’ve talked about what you should do AFTER an interview but what really matters is not the post-interview period. It is the interview period itself. True, some of you might say pre-interview is important. Valid point. However, no matter how much preparations you’ve done during your pre-interview process……you will still screw up if you don’t do well DURING the interview. No?

So, here are few things that you should always keep in mind especially when you are in an interview session.

  • Always have enough sleep – Never go into an interview with your sleepy eyes. You need to be fully awake and remain alert all the time. Always try your best to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep the day before the interview. This is to keep your mind fresh and fast enough to answer any questions properly.
  • Avoid heavy food – If your interview is in the morning, then just make sure you don’t take any heavy breakfast to avoid feeling sleepy and to avoid…stomachache. Most of the interviews I’ve attended were scheduled in the morning period. If it is in the afternoon, again, same thing..avoid heavy lunch.
  • Know your job description – Always understand your job description well. The interviewer will surely ask you about the job that you’re applying to. You wouldn’t want to go to the interview, only to question the interviewer about the job you are applying. Know the job description and ask other related questions such as job scope, who do you report to, etc. Basic stuff, find out yourself before going to the interview.
  • Research on company background – Make sure you know the profile and background of the company you are applying to. You don’t need to know all the directors’ names. What you need to know are basically the type of services, products, field of expertise the company are involved in. You can easily find such information in the company web site – background/company profile. At least 7 out of 10 interviewers will ask you what do you know about their company. This is actually the easiest to answer, and the best opportunity you have in the early stages of an interview to impress the interviewer.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses – Another common question that people will ask is “Tell me 3 of your weaknesses and 3 of your strengths“. This, you need to know yourself well. For strengths, it’s easy right? For weaknesses, try to come out with weaknesses with are double-edged sword such as “I’m a perfectionist“, or “I take too much detail into consideration“.
  • Have an accurate CV – Your CV is the first thing your interviewer will look at. Technical questions or any question related to your skills will mostly be based on your CV. If you wrote that you know A, B and C in the CV…..please ensure you do in fact know A, B and C. You’ll give a very very bad impression if you don’t do that.
  • Be honest – If you couldn’t answer a question thrown by the interviewer (some of them are just testing you), don’t be afraid or panic. Just answer you don’t know. I know it’s hard because I came across such situation before. But well, it’s better to say “I don’t know” than to crap something out which is entirely wrong.
  • Always remain calm – Sometimes, the interviewer will ask u a question and you’ll answer. Once you’ve answered….the interviewer kept quiet. Stay calm. Remember that talking too much is not a good thing. The silence will certainly make you feel uncomfortable but do bear with it. Answer whatever you want and nothing more.

Last but not least……be confident, be natural and be honest. Don’t be over-confident. It’s better to be humble. Ask questions that you want to askknow the company better and your potential boss better…… If you find it not suitable, then it’s better not to join them. You wouldn’t want to join a company which you know you will leave within few months.

Again, I might’ve missed out some important points. Do send in your comments if you have anything to add or comment.

Thanks. Hope it helps.

There are a lot of things you should do BEFORE the job interview – like finding out about the job scope, company background and profile, the location of the office, preparing your certificates and photocopies of them, your latest CV, a proper mindset, get enough sleep to stay fresh, and the list goes on and on. To be honest, there are more things you need to do BEFORE the interview than AFTER the interview.

In this short article, I’m going to talk about the AFTER interview.

  • The first thing you should do right after the interview is to email the HR who arranged the interview, and also the interviewer (if you managed to get his/her email address). What you need to do then, is to send a “Thank you” email to them. I know to some people, it looks a bit ‘fake’ and ‘hypocrite’ but if you truly feel grateful to them for giving you the opportunity of an interview, then why not? It’ll make you feel better and sometimes, make them feel better too. It’ll also leave a good impression on them.
  • The second thing you should do is to call back and check the status to show you are eager to join them. However, most of the time, you will only do this if you are desperate for the job. Just don’t make it sound like you are desperate. During the interview, the interviewer should actually inform you (or you should’ve asked) how long it will take for them to get back to you (pass/fail). Pick a day (2 or 3 days after the given ‘time frame’) and call up the HR. Just to ensure that they won’t forget to inform you if you fail….and you won’t need to wait forever.

These 2 are, by far (in my opinion), the most important things to do after an interview.  Just remember that the most important of all…is still the interview itself. 🙂

Hope it helps.

Many people praise about the great achievements of our so-called heroes of our society. Articles, posters, stories, novels, songs or even movies have been made based on these so-called achievements. But there is something that most of us neglect everyday – the simple things.

Why must we always look at the big things (either good or bad) when there are other smaller things that we should be paying attention to? For example, your team recently managed to close a deal with a client and all the staff approach your team to congratulate you all. It’s definitely a good feeling to feel appreciated by so many people after you’ve worked so hard for the deal. However, what if the deal did not materialize? Nobody would come and congratulate you since what they notice is normally the so-called “achievements“. Nobody would remember the small little things that your team has done – the hard work, the efforts, etc. If everything goes well and the deal got clinched…..fine. What if it doesn’t?

To me, we really need to realize that the “big thing” is important but what matters most are the small little things that create the “big thing“. A guy courting a lady he loves a lot. Do you think he could win the lady’s heart if he gives her a car (this scenario doesn’t apply if the lady is someone materialistic)? Or do you think he could win the lady’s heart by showering her with love & care, remembering special occasions, always appreciate what she does and be grateful? Believe it or not, it is the little things, the little “Thank you”, the little gifts, etc. which will ultimately win the lady’s heart.

Take another real life example. Just recently, my friend went to have a meeting with his Japanese clients. The representative from the client side was a middle-aged Japanese lady (marketing manager). During the 3 hours meeting, the Japanese lady pointed out what my friend’s company failed to provide them, what they should be providing, etc ….typical work-related stuff. After the meeting, everyone in the board room left…..except for my friend who was tidying up his files and the Japanese lady who, unselfishly, helped the cleaners to clean the tables and took the cups/plates back to the kitchen. My friend was surprised. A simple thing which won’t take much of her time…..yet, it left a deep impression to my friend.

The point that I am planning to bring out here is that most of the time, we are too absorbed into the “big achievements” or “success stories” or “major contributions” that we always neglected the smaller things. Don’t cloud yourselves that way. Open up your eyes and pay attention not to the “big things“…but to the smaller things that are equally, if not more important.

Remember, a simple “Thank you” can sometimes brighten up a person’s life……….or even give hope to someone who has lost faith in this world. 😉

Hope it helps…and hope you all can understand what I’m trying to bring out here.

I find this article pretty useful especially for those in the consulting line, or for those who need to face clients quite often.

Here’s the link

http://www.entrepreneur.com/sales/customerservice/article77404.html

In case you’re wondering, NO, I’m not referring to multi-personalities syndrome. No Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde here. I’m referring to the multiple roles each of us play everyday in our life.

Just recently, a radio DJ (again) talked about this topic on multiple roles/responsibilities and why we should make sure we know how to differentiate them. I find this topic rather interesting, and decided to write this post.

Each and everyone of us do have at least 1 role to play in this world. Most of us, though, have multiple roles to play. Take myself for example. While at work, I’m a IT Developer in my company. But that’s just my position in the company. My role here is as an employee who delivers based on the timeline given. That’s my role in the office (besides trying to help my colleagues or cheer them up when they’re down or give them moral support, etc… see? I’m a nice guy). At home, my role is as a son to my parents and a brother to my elder sister. I need to look after them, love them, care for them, pay for the housing loan, etc. That’s part of my responsibilities at home. But to my friends, I am, well, a friend. Someone to hang out with, someone to seek advice or help from whenever necessary.

You see….some of us already know what are the correct roles we should play at specific time and place. However, the problem lies with how many of us actually can practice what we know? Not many.

Let me ask you this question – how many of you actually bring your work back to your house? I must admit I do that (and I love doing that). But I also must admit I am an expert in multi-tasking. When you bring your office work back to your home, it is never a good thing since you’ll most likely neglect your family. You are bringing the role of an employee from your office, back to your home. Thus, replacing your role as your parents’ son, or your wife’s husband, etc.  It’s okay if you do this once in a blue moon….but if you always do this (and you can’t multi-task at all), then it is very unhealthy. Even if you can multi-task, I must admit it is better to separate work from family.

On the other hand, some people who don’t bring their work back to home, will instead bring their mindset back. No matter which industry you’re working in, you can never escape from work-related stress. But, do you think it is appropriate to bring whatever stress you have accumulated in the office and release everything when you are back at home? Many of us know it’s WRONG but how many of us actually can say the sentence “I have never done that before“. 10% maybe. My advice is, no matter how stressed up you are at work….you should leave it as it is once you stepped into your home. You won’t want to end up shouting at your innocent 3 year old boy who is just trying to help his worried-looking dad.

What if you are the president of some large corporations who recently joined a non-profit organization to contribute? Should you bring your “status” as a president into this non-profit group? Again, know your role. You should never assume yourself as the president of the company anywhere else other than in your company. Not in this non-profit organization who shares a completely different ideology, not in your family, and not even in a shopping complex. Know to play the appropriate role based on the situation, the timing, and the location you are in. You won’t want to end up bossing people around during a charity dinner when your main objective is to contribute to those in needs.

I know it’s never easy to do whatever I said above. Human beings are very “dynamic” creatures. We can change roles as we like…. but sometimes, we just won’t realize we are playing the wrong roles until it’s too late. The ability to be “dynamic” is a double-edged sword.

In the end, I believe it is up to the person himself to control this and balance up his life. Play the appropriate role at the right time, right place….. and never make the roles overlapping each other.

Hope it helps.