It is nearing the end of July, almost August. August, which is when the intake for my degree is slated to begin. Guess what?
I've decided not to commence.
Not to commence for this intake, I mean. Good gracious, did you think I meant not finishing my degree? Faugh! Never! Education is crucial and there is no doubt about it, I definitely intend to get my hands on a degree. However I will only be starting in March next year.
The next question I know will definitely be ; why?
Why put my studies on hold til next year?
It's time to update you guys.
The last you heard, I was working in a kindergarten as an assistant teacher.
I'm working in a Human Resource firm which provides software to companies in order to assist them in effectively managing their human capital.
There is the conventional component, such as payroll / leave / claims / etc.
However, our area of specialization is in Talent Development and Performance Management. From what I've gathered, it is a fairly new concept for some that it is important to treat your employees well in order to retain your talents. Also most companies are waking up to the realization that in order for their organization to grow, it is the employees who first need to be groomed in terms of ability and performance. Dynamic and motivated staff are the first building blocks of a successful company.
When I first began working here, words which used be unfamiliar to me such as competency, KPI, profile mapping, learning curve, employee engagement, recruitment strategies, etc are now common terms I tango with.
We reach out mostly to large companies who need to effectively manage their high volume of staff. Some of them you'd likely have heard of are Petronas, Berjaya, Media Prima, UEM and Mitsubishi.
I'm involved with client outreach and support, which is networking and keeping up with the many companies we deal with. There are networking sessions as well as corporate seminars and workshops on a pretty constant basis. As well as to the opportunity to learn, they also hold the grounds for everyone attending to build understandings and form bonds with each other.
The first session I attended, I was rather apprehensive as most of the individuals there are the key decision makers for their companies ; the Vice Presidents, CEOs, Directors, General Managers. To a mere kid like myself, they sounded such an intimidating, important bunch.
I knew that in order to communicate well and ensure our interactions were refreshing, I'd have to be interested in what they were interested in. Namely the stock market, investment news, financial affairs, economical developments, foreign and political news, etc. If you'd asked a couple of months ago what was the latest update on Forex, or who was leading the stock market, you might as well be speaking Hebrew or Latin to me.
My taking an interest in this aspect may have initially been started off by something as shallow as not wanting to look cluelessly tongue-tied and stand alone in the corner while others discussed the latest issues in banking and trade. However I have been gripped in earnest, ferociously tearing through the business and corporate news to devour what they behold. This has given me an insight and a huge awakening to what is really happening in our economy and world today. I'm not saying I know much ; indeed the more I know, the more I feel like there is so much out there I don't know.
Moving on to another interesting area of my work - the people.
When I'm at work, I hardly come into anyone who is similar to myself. This is speaking in terms of age, experience (or my lack thereof), and maturity (or my lack thereof). However, I have never found others as engaging, as driven, as cultured, and as forward minded as most of the people I meet.
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of them are high ranking professionals. What could we possibly have in common? Nothing. That's right, NOTHING.
That is precisely why I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to glean off their wealth of experience and knowledge. I am also glad they are willing to be patient with me and tell me their insights and situations. That may be due to the fact that I am so eager to hear the things they have to say. Believe me that I am not 'kissing ass' or 'sucking up' but genuinely intrigued with what they have to share. As we engage with clients from different fields, I'm able to harvest important pieces on property development, pharmaceutical information, natural resources, investment advice, and financial management.
They may be people of high stature, but you also wouldn't believe how humble and sincere they are as well. Like the Director who stooped to the ground to pick up a slice of cake which I dropped on the carpeted floor while we stood conversing over cups of coffee. Or the Tan Sri who, after a company meeting, suggested that his board and staff have lunch together. Dressed in their suits, they got down from their chauffeured luxury cars at a rundown coffee shop and when the food came, Tan Sri served the staff before they could even rise to serve him. The property tycoon who as a boy used to sell plastic bags to shopkeepers in his village, now sitting on a company worth millions if not billions of ringgit.
I realize that this opportunity I have been given is inarguably worth the decision I have made to delay my studies. While it may not be easy, I know that my gain will definitely be more than my sacrifice. Every single iota.