Monthly Archives : August 2015

Show Your Patriotism At Work!

Image credit: aliexpress.com
Image credit: memegenerator.net
Image credit: memegenerator.net

 

The voice of Malaysia’s first prime minister on 31st of August 1957 still echoes till this day, even after more than half a century later. It was an important day – a historic day. It was the birth of a new nation in a small peninsular in South East Asia, and its freedom from colonial rule.

Fast forward to 2015, and we will once again, be celebrating our national day (as well as another public holiday). So if you want to show your patriotism for your nation, below are some of the ways that you can celebrate at work:

 

1. Conjure up some homemade local cuisines and bring them to work

Malaysians have an inseparable relation with food. So what’s more Malaysian than bringing some good old, home-cooked, Malaysian comfort food to work? The fragrant aroma of rendang will overwhelm the office and soon enough, you’ll be surrounded salivating co-workers, all eager to sample your cooking.

Image credit: hungrygowhere.my
Nothing beats comfort food (Image credit: hungrygowhere.my)

 

2…. And share them with your co-workers

Why eat alone when you can embody the spirit of sharing with your co-workers? After all, celebrating national day isn’t just all about bursting your lungs singing “Negaraku” and waiving the national flag, it’s about experiencing a cohesive and close-knit community together. Plus, sharing good food is part of the Malaysian culture and people tend to prefer home cooked food. The more the merrier.

 

3. Come to work dressed in the color theme of the Malaysian flag, then take a group photo

Red, white, blue or yellow – it can be a theme at work where everyone dresses in a color of the Malaysian flag. Take a selfie or wefie with your colleagues while you’re at it. And you might just end up with creative shots.

 

4. Use local products/brands

Try to test yourself by using only locally made products if it’s possible – ranging from the ingredients used in your lunch, to the clothes that you wear – can be both challenging yet fun at the same time. You may be surprised to find the large number of local brands as well as the things that are locally produced and it’ll open your eyes to appreciate certain things even better. Perhaps you might find that local products aren’t as atrocious as how it’s universally perceived.

Thaa...that's from Malaysia? (Image credit: ebaumsworld.com)
Thaa…that’s from Malaysia? (Image credit: ebaumsworld.com)

 

5. Bring a flag to work

Of course, how else can you show the patriotic spirit that you have for your nation non-other than the conventional flag-waving tradition right? So bring a flag to the office – tie it around you, place it on your desk, place it in your shirt pocket or give it to someone else – the choice is up to you.

 

6. Bring anything that embodies the Malaysian flag

Image credit: aliexpress.com
Image credit: aliexpress.com

 

Use a cup to drink your coffee with a Malaysian flag imprinted on it. Chain a key chain with a Malaysian flag with your car keys. Wear a tie with the Malaysian flag imprinted on it. Put on a collar pin of the Malaysian flag. Heck, while you’re at it, use a Malaysian flag as your desktop wallpaper so that you can stare at it the whole day at work.

 

7. Shop online

Let’s be clear, I’m not advocating wasting your time surfing the internet when you should be working, but there’s bound to be a ton of sales going on in accordance to the national day celebration, and celebration = discount. You could take complete leverage by shopping online when you need to take those short breaks from work.

You can also order food online because there are plenty of food catering sites online that usually offer promotions and discounts. You can also order for the entire office, that way you at least have a valid reason for abusing the office’s internet. Remember food makes people happy (including your boss) and sharing is caring.

memegenerator.net
memegenerator.net

 

 

How To Stand Out As An Intern

Image credit: internqueen.com
Image credit: internqueen.com
Image credit: internqueen.com

 

You may or may not get paid during the course of your internship, but one thing’s for sure: It’ll be a eye-opening experience for you. In just a span of a few months, you’ll get a taste of working life in the industry and at the same time, develop new skills that will prepare you for life in the workforce. So naturally, you’ll want to make the most out of your internship and ensuring that you end it on a high note. Without further ado, below are the things that can help you to stand out in your time as an intern:

 

1. Be humble

You’re entering the organization as a newbie, so you have to show your humility. You may be a big fish in a small pond in your college, but now you’re a small fish in a big lake because you’re at the bottom of the food chain. So it’s good to be humble while having an open mind because your colleagues are way more experienced than you.

Being humble is also crucial because your pride and arrogance may affect your decision making and as a result, you may risk jeopardizing the image of the organization by losing important information or clients if you decide take things into your own hands. Remember, some of the most successful people are very humble and grounded despite of their success, and that shows character.

 

2. Be hardworking

A word that’s relatively thrown around a lot but not a trait that many people practice. Hard work comes from the desire to transcend and to exceed expectations, and it’s a extremely beneficial trait to possess. If you rationalize the notion for not working hard because it’s an internship, then you’re losing the opportunity to learn and grow as well as a chance to cement a permanent position within the organization. You should always strive to give 100% or even more if it’s possible.

 

3. Be patient

Another crucial quality to possess and vital especially if you’re an intern. Considering the amount of work and things that you need to deal with, you might feel that your remuneration does not justify your workload. But don’t get upset and leave, or lose yourself in front of your employers before you complete the course of your internship because you’ll regret it eventually. Remember, your internship is an invaluable experience that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Good or bad, whatever the outcome of your internship is, you must still be patient because it helps you in your learning process. Your patience will eventually be the catalyst for developing new skills – whether if it’s how to deal with slower colleagues or learning to control your emotions. Either way, it will change the way you think and work.

 

4. Push yourself out of your comfort zone

You may be a writer for a website as an intern, but don’t just restrict yourself to just writing. Perhaps you’re hesitant to step out of your comfort zone and prefer doing things in routine because it’s safe and you’re afraid of change, but change can lead to positive outcomes.

Push yourself to learn new things and improve on things that you’re either weak at or may dislike. If you polish your strengths while ignoring your weaknesses then you’re just basically restricting and limiting yourself in terms of the diversification of your skills. It’s beneficial to learn a little bit of everything because it’s competitive out there.

For example, if you you push yourself to learn how to utilize SPSS for analyzing statistical data or some basic HTML for programming, then at least you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and you’re making proper use of your time as an intern. Your superiors will be pleased to know that you took the initiative to come out of your comfort zone and your knowledge in programming may save you when you’re job hunting because there is demand for talents who possess a bit of programming skills.

In addition to that, you’re developing new skills that are outside of your skill sets – which may come in handy in the future. Your future employer will be more than happy to know that you’re the handy person at the office.

Lastly, it’ll look good on your CV and who knows, you might come to like doing something that you thought you were previously uninterested in.

 

5. Mingle around

Image credit: dailyrunneronline.com
Image credit: dailyrunneronline.com

 

Be nice and fun around the office. Greet your colleagues and superiors. Tell them that good joke you know that never fails to make people laugh, or one the stories about your adventure. People tend to accept you when you’re a likable person with a good sense of humor.

You should also socialize more often in order to build your connections and networks. Talking to people will allow them to understand you better and vice versa. This is particularly useful if you want to express yourself. Building a solid relationship with your colleagues may help you when you’re job hunting because there’s a high chance that they might refer you to their contacts and speak highly of you and your qualities.

 

6. Take your internship seriously

Your internship is a great platform for you to shine and to show what you’re capable of. Even if you’re given a task that may seem insignificant or small, don’t take it lightly. Instead, do your best and treat it like a real job, such as being punctual and obeying the rules.

When you’ve proven that you can handle the task, your manager or supervisor will then give you a bigger role. One thing will lead to another and before you know it, you’ll gain their trust because of your commitment. In the end, the one that benefits from all of this will ultimately be you.

 

7. Don’t take things personally

Understand that every decision that your superiors make or they may expect of you, is nothing personal, just strictly business. Don’t take things personally and hold grudges because you need to remember that your organization is running a business, and sometimes the business perspective needs to be taken into consideration. However, if you still feel uncomfortable about certain things, sit down and have a talk with your superiors about the way you feel and try to find a viable solution together.

 

 

Late To Work Again?

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Image credit: thenextweb.com
Image credit: thenextweb.com

 

Being punctual is instilled in some people. For others, it might seem like it’s impossible to be punctual as if the universe is working against them to cause them delays.

If you’re one of those who can’t seem to manage your time properly and regularly find yourself to be one of the last person to walk in the door, your punctuality record may be a problem in the long run and that’s when complications start to kick in.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet however, the truth is, there are no secret recipes or formulas for getting to work on time. In fact, the solutions are a simple set of habitual traits of procedures, organization and planning. Fret not, because here are some tips to help you:

1. Get your stuff ready the night before

Ever find yourself caught in the “decisions, decisions” kind of scenario when trying to pick out your wardrobe? Desperately tearing the house apart because you can’t seem to find your car keys when you’re already running late? Starting your car only to find out that your car is running low on fuel?

If you find yourself repeating these situations over and over, then perhaps you need to prepare the things that you need to execute in advance.

Select your clothes and lay them out so that you won’t have to spend minutes every day deciding what to wear. If you’re planning on preparing your own meals then get the ingredients ready the night before.

Pack everything that you need to bring along into your bags and leave your keys, socks, wallet and phone at one designated spot so that you won’t scramble searching for them and can grab them on your way out of the door – killing a few birds with one stone.

Image credit: memegenerator.net
Image credit: memegenerator.net

 

2. Keep a checklist

List down the things that you need to both bring and prepare for work ahead of time. Keep it simple, short and concise, but detailed. If you want to be on the safe side, make extra copies of your checklist just in case if you misplaced the original one.

If you’re concerned about the environment and saving trees, then you could always utilize technology by using mobile apps such as simplest checklist, checklist or Google Keep to keep you actively reminded.

 

There are plenty of apps out there that could provide you better time management. (Image credit: computerandyou.net)
There are plenty of apps out there that could provide you better time management. (Image credit: computerandyou.net)

 

3. Get out of bed early

 

Image credit: flickr.com
Image credit: flickr.com

It’s hard to get out of bed when you’re all warm and cozy that’s understandable, but if you find getting out of bed taxing, it boils down to mainly two things: 1) You lack sufficient sleep and 2) You find it extremely challenging to get out of bed, especially psychologically.

If you lack sufficient sleep, it’s only natural that you’re too tired to get out of bed. The solution then is that you should go to bed earlier and get at least 7 hours of sleep a day. Going to bed earlier not only ensures that you have enough sleep, but also complements your health. Furthermore, you’ll have ample time to prepare for your day.

Give yourself plausible reasons as motivation to wake up early, whether if it’s a reward – like food or something that you need to complete, or something that you can look forward to by waking up early in the morning. You’ll soon find those “another 5 minutes” to stay in bed excuses slowly disappearing. If you’re both excited and looking forward to go to work then this probably won’t even be a burden to you.

With just a simple act of psychology, you won’t find getting up a psychological barrier and tiresome but instead you will both look forward and feel eager to start your day positively.

 

4. Prepare for contingency

You’re out of your house early, pleased and confident of arriving early to work. You already picture the euphoric look on your boss’s face when he/she sees you early for the meeting. But then something unexpected occurred: the train stalled. Your car won’t start. An accident happened and caused a massive traffic delay.

Granted, accidents do happen and you can’t predict them, but you can anticipate them. You need to prepare for these kind of consequences and have at least a contingency plan.

Perhaps you can take measures such as ensuring that you service your car regularly or checking for updates on traffic delays before you leave your house, so that you can take a different route. At the very least you’ll have the time not just to formulate a plan B, but a plan C, D and E as well.

 

5. Set the time of your clocks, watches and phone to an earlier time

Change the time of the clocks and watches in your home (including your phone) 15, 20, or 25 minutes earlier from the actual time if it’s possible, so that not only will you wake up and sleep earlier, but you’ll be early for meetings as well. In fact, everything that you do is ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about punctuality.

 

6. Make it a habitual process

Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, eventually your biological clock will get accustomed to it and you’ll find yourself actively awake without needing to hit the snooze button. Once it’s a habit, getting up early will come naturally for you as you’ll also find yourself ready to wake up instead of having to wake up.

 

7. Don’t sweat the small stuffs

Of course, getting up early doesn’t necessarily guarantee punctuality. Try to focus your energy on the bigger picture – like what you should really be spending your energy and effort on. Some of us might wake up early, but we spend too much of our precious time on insignificant things such as mulling over what to wear to work and spending too much time in the bathroom all because we take advantage of having that extra time to spare. If we waste too much time on such things, whatever time leverage we have, will never be enough.

You’re up early for because obviously you want to achieve something important.  Don’t get distracted by the small things and lose your course.

 

8. Train yourself to take punctuality seriously

 

Image credit: memegenerator.net
Image credit: memegenerator.net

 

Maybe you think that being on time doesn’t really matter especially in a culture like Malaysia where it’s a generally acceptable norm, but this will affect you both as a person as well as a professional on many levels.

Firstly, people might not trust you to handle big responsibilities because of your poor time management.

Secondly, if you don’t take being punctual seriously, there’s a high possibility that you might not take other responsibilities seriously as well. How you discipline yourself to take control of your life and the standards that you set for yourself can been seen through your actions. No matter how hard you try to convince your superiors, action speaks louder than words.

And lastly, people might get upset if you keep them waiting all the time. Eventually, you’ll be infamously known for your bad habit and it might be the thing that people associate you with. You don’t want a bad reputation looming over your head do you? As William Shakespeare famously once said: “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.”

 

 

 

 

9 Things You Shouldn’t Ask At A Job Interview (For A Fresh Graduate)

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Imgae credit: memegenerator.net
Image credit: memegenerator.net

 

Times are hard, that’s true. Jobs are increasingly difficult to secure and it’s competitive out there, especially if you’re fresh. So if you’re called up for an interview, you should be perfectly aware that the likelihood of you landing the job rests largely on how well you answer the questions that are thrown at you. But it isn’t just all one direction; the good news is that you will be given the opportunity to ask questions too, but the bad news is that you will be judged based on how well you answer the questions. So don’t ask anything that can undermine your chances, and avoid 10 of these questions:

 

1. How much will you pay me?

A common mistake and question to ask. Sure, your reimbursement is a vital factor to consider when you are applying for a job because it’s only plausible, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. Not only does it sound rude, but you will sound like a money-grabbing mercenary who has no plans to stay in the long run. There is no need to rush because a right moment will come for that question, but wait until the interviewer triggers that discussion.

 

2. What kind of company is this?

Another rookie mistake. Why are you even here if you don’t even know which building that you are in? It clearly means that you haven’t even done an inch of research. Your interviewer will likely show you the door as soon as you walk in.

 

3. Does my role involve a lot of work?

Image credit: blog.smartbear.com
Image credit: blog.smartbear.com

 

Frankly speaking it’s not a bad question to ask, but the problem lies with how it’s phrased. By asking this it might sound like you want to slack off and you’re not ready to handle more workload. Try to rephrase the question to “what will my daily KPI be?” or “will I work closely with my colleagues to get the work done?” instead.

 

4. Are my working hours flexible?

Unless if you have a very legitimate reason for this, otherwise avoid asking this because it shows that you are already thinking of coming in to work as you please and your interviewer might see potential trouble with your punctuality.

 

5. Any questions that are negative about the company

If you know that the company is either currently facing, has faced negative issues in the past, or if you have heard some negative rumors about the company, don’t try to be too smart for your own good by bringing it up. It’s as if you’re indirectly challenging the interviewer – which may lead to them being defensive and might also paint the picture that you have no respect for the organization.

 

6. How many days off am I entitled to?

Everybody needs a few days off to recharge and unwind sometimes, but by asking too much about your entitlements could lead the interviewer to believe that you’re more interested about the “perks” of the job, rather than the job itself. Either ask this at a later time, when you’re confident about the job or if the interview is going well. It’s all about the timing.

 

7. Do you have something that is more befitting to my qualifications?

You may be a degree holder or you have countless other certificates to show, but you have to understand that you’re fresh. So it’s wrong to expect that you’ll be handled an important role because you need to start at the bottom. Not to mention this may sound like you’re unpleasant and overconfident person.

 

8. How quickly can I get a raise?

If you’re asking this then you’re already thinking way too far ahead. Salary increments or raises are subjective to your performance at the job and is sometimes highly dependent on the entire company’s performance as well as your own productivity, so you’ll need to justify that you deserve an increment.

 

9. Not asking anything at all

Image credit: 5minutemoneytips.com
Image credit: 5minutemoneytips.com

 

Okay technically this isn’t a question, but having no question is worse than asking the brow-raising questions above. Interviewers like it when you ask questions that are related to the job because it shows that the interviewees display signs of interest and enthusiasm about the job. So don’t just nod your head and be impassively unresponsive because it’ll indicate that you’re more interested in the pay than the job. Questions like “how is the working environment like?” and “what kind of software or hardware will I be using?” are two of the questions to ask because you’re already picturing yourself in the role.

 

 

Planning To Go To A Job Fair? Here’s How To Prepare

Image credit: kenrelax.com

kenrelax.com

In case you’ve haven’t heard yet, the 2015 Mega Careers & Study Fair will be held at the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre) from August 22-23 and some of the biggest players in the workforce and education industry will be there.

A career fair is a great opportunity for you on many accounts; it’s a screening process for you before the initial interview, you get first hand understanding of the culture and structure of the organization and it’s a great opportunity to see what’s in store. If you’re a job seeker looking forward to attend a job fair, here are some of the things that you should do before and during the job fair:

 

Before attending the job fair:

Do your homework

In other words, research! Some of the top organizations from various industry will be there so it’s practically impossible to visit every booth not to mention how utterly pointless it will be. So do your research by visiting the main career fair website for more information on the list of companies that will be present.

Be sure to visit each of their respective websites for more insights such as their background, what kind of industry they are involved in, their culture, their latest developments and the positions that interest you most; that way you can quickly navigate your way to the important booths out of the hundreds of companies present there.

 

Prepare your questions and your pitch

Image credit: en.paperblog.com
Image credit: en.paperblog.com

Don’t be naive and shoot yourself in the foot by asking questions that you can easily find on their in their website because in this age of the internet you should be able to do better. Questions like “what does your company do?” or “what kind of company is this” are a huge no-no because it will make the employer cringe.

Other questions such as “how much is the salary?” or “can I work from home?” should also be avoided as you should either wait for the employer to initiate that question or only when they want to trigger that response from you.

However, the worst thing that you can possibly do is to not ask any questions at all. Imagine yourself just silently sitting there and apathetic about what the interviewer has just explained to you, it will clearly illustrate that you don’t have any interest and will jeopardize your chances for securing the job.

It is advisable to prepare open-ended questions instead so that you can stretch and stimulate conversations. Also, prepare a brief introduction and background about yourself on what makes you stand out from the crowd.

 

Prepare your relevant documents

If you’re looking to apply for different positions, then you might need craft specifically tailored resumes. You should also keep more than one copy in handy because for obvious reasons, you won’t be hanging out at one booth.

Make sure that you list down the important points in your resume such as your quality, skills, job experiences (if any), your contact details and your expectations and aspirations if you were to join that particular organization because employers will be impressed with someone who already has clear goals and vision in their career.

Other things to prepare are your academic qualifications, call cards, letter of recommendation (if any) and any other sort of qualifications or previous achievements that you can conjure that are relevant.

 

Dress accordingly

Image credit: northwestern.edu
Image credit: northwestern.edu

You will want to look professional and presentable and generally business casual would be sufficient; but bear in mind it also largely depends on the culture of the organization and the job relativity, so this is where your research and homework will come in handy.

If you have any piercings and tattoos, then it’s best to remove or at the very least, try to mask them so that they’re not noticeable.

And finally for gents, get a haircut prior to attending and have a clean shave if it’s possible. For ladies, wear light and suitable makeup, tie your hair neatly and don’t dress like you’re heading to a club for a wild night.

 

Have a positive mindset


Image credit: cutthroathippiegang.com

Look in the mirror, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. The only person who can judge you is the one staring back at you so believe in yourself and do your absolute best. What’s the worst that could happen right? you really have got nothing to lose.

Having a positive mindset attracts positive people and energy around you which will lead to possibilities and opportunities. If you can’t shake off the nervous energy, then do something to relax yourself such as meditating, exercising and talking to someone who is close to you.

 

Have enough sleep

It is of most vital importance that you have enough sleep so that you can feel refreshed the next day as you want to look the best as you can, not like a zombie pirate. In addition to that, having a good night’s rest ensures that you can think much more clearly which greatly helps especially when employers throw questions at you.

 

At the job fair:

Speak to as many people as possible to expand your networks


Image credit: terrapinn.com

Keep in mind that you are there not only there to apply for jobs, but also to expand your networks as well. The key is to build your connections.

Socialize and blend in, greet people, introduce yourself, engage in conversations, and your networks will expand in no time. Perhaps you’re looking to apply for a role in an organization but they’re not currently not hiring someone in a position that you are seeking right now, but they’ll very likely remember and consider you if they have an opening in the future or recommend you to someone else. The more connections and contacts you have, the better your opportunities will be.

 

Be friendly and courteous

Image credit: sfyouthjobs.org
Image credit: sfyouthjobs.org

Your interviewers will pay close attention to your body language and facial expressions so when you’re greeting the interviewers, give them a warm smile, a firm handshake and make eye contact with them to show that you respect them and that you are a confident and likable person. Be warm and friendly, but don’t go overboard as it’ll seem fake. Don’t forget to thank them and smile!

 

Speak clearly and loudly

It can very loud and noisy at the fair but try to speak as loudly and clearly as you can so that the interview can clearly hear you while at the same time, to prevent any loss of valuable information. You don’t want them to repeatedly ask you to speak louder because soon enough, they will get tired of asking and will just assume that they understand what you are saying.

 

Eliminate any bad habits

Stand/sit up straight, pay attention on the interviewer when they are speaking, don’t get distracted, don’t interrupt, don’t play with your hair, speak politely –  these are the things that you should keep in mind because little things like these may determine the chances of you getting hired or not. You may not be consciously aware of it because it is rather subtle, but it will reveal an awful lot to others about your personality and character.

 

 

 

The Perks Of Being Early For Work

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Image credit: usnews.com
Image credit: usnews.com

Traffic jams, packed buses and trains, discourteous and reckless drivers, people who smell – depending on your mode of transportation, these are the things that you practically need to deal with on your way to work. Even though it’s painfully obvious that traffic occurs during peak hours, it’s still perplexing when you think about why people would go through the same routines day in day out when they could start the day off positively with just a little discipline and control of their life. A simple task of jumping out of bed early to get to work would devoid you of having to go through this agonizing process. It’s a great advantage but of course there are other perks of being early for work:

 

You have more hours to spare

Getting up early means that you’ll have more time to spare before heading to work, whether if it’s spending 5 minutes with your family in the morning or enjoying your breakfast at home while reading the paper. You’ll even have time to do your chores, head to the gym or go for a jog.

Image credit: becomegorgeous.com
Image credit: becomegorgeous.com

 

Most people would be dead tired by the time they’ve arrived home and the dread of doing chores would most likely increase fatigue and stress. By the time they’ve finished taking a shower, have dinner and watch a little TV, they would already be too exhausted to do anything else – including spending quality time with their family. If they don’t even have the privilege to enjoy and spend time in their own home, where’s the point in that really?

In your case however, you’ve probably finished the majority of your chores and can head home truly relaxed. You can have a proper dinner, spend some time with your love ones and you even have the time to do what you were too busy to do at work such as reading, meditating and playing a game of football with your friends. That way, you can loosen up and enjoy your life a little.

 

Your boss would be impressed

You’re one of the first if not the first person to walk through the door, and that means you start work earlier to get things organized before anyone walks in. Subsequently, your productivity increases and you have more time to get your work done. Most crucially though, your boss would be impressed with your punctuality and work ethic. A likely promotion is no doubt on the cards for you sooner rather than later.

Image credit: hongkiat.com
In conclusion boss, the organization’s profit will increase substantially if I get promoted and a pay rise. (Image credit: hongkiat.com)

 

Beating the traffic and avoiding congested buses/trains

Nobody enjoys being stuck in traffic or getting crammed in the packed train like sardines in a can. If you’re driving, you need to deal with unethical drivers who make your blood boil not to mention that your petrol are wasted by the minute as you remain helpless in the stagnant traffic.

If you take the public transport, it isn’t reliable especially when you’re in a hurry. To make matters worse, all the ugly side of human nature – cutting queue, cursing, shoving and groping – leave you wondering if you should be proud of being considered as the same species.

 

More parking spaces

 

Image credit: honolulumagazine.com
Not sure if I’m early, or if it’s a public holiday. (Image credit: honolulumagazine.com)

 

If you’re late for work, consider yourself lucky that you managed to find yourself a parking slot. Otherwise, it might force you to resort to park your vehicle illegally – and that leads to hefty fines. Not only that, you’re guilty of obstructing and contributing to traffic.

When you’re early for work on the other hand, you have ample parking slots to choose from and don’t have to worry about searching for parking slots.

If you’re taking the public transport, then it’s likely that there are more available seats and you don’t have to pray that you might be standing in a packed bus or train and next to someone with a strong B.O, on your long commute to work.

 

You get to save money!

It’s simple, you get to prepare your own meals or have breakfast at home which is not only healthier but easier on your wallet as well. By contrast, if you’re running late for work, you would probably spend money on your meals because you could not prepare them earlier.

It could potentially put a dent on your finances especially if you add the higher cost of living and expenses into the picture.

You’ll become more efficient at work

 

Image credit: hpa.com.eg
Image credit: hpa.com.eg

 

Being early at work means that you have more time to work on things and that ultimately ensures improvement in your efficiency as well as time management, which again leads to more productivity.

You get to prioritize what feasible direction to take and that saves you time to work on something else. Look around you; most successful people are always one of the first to be at the office and one of the last to leave, and they’re almost always ready to move on to the next thing right after they’ve finished something.

Your day won’t be one mad rush

 

Image credit: theworldofchinese.com
You tend to wear the wrong pants when you’re in a hurry. (Image credit: theworldofchinese.com)

You get to take your time to plan and prepare what to do and can afford to take things slow. In addition to that, you pay more attention to your surroundings and have more time to calmly think about things – which stimulates ideas and inspirations.

People who are in a rush are usually forgetting things but since you’ve likely planned your day already, you have the luxury to proceed according to your plan to ease up some unnecessary burden on yourself. For example, you already have your pen, laptop and you notebook ready and raring to go when the other person is struggling to even arrive on time for the meeting.

 

You have the time to adapt to changes

An important lesson that we’ve learned in life is that things don’t always go according to plan, there will always something unexpected whether if it’s last-minute corrections or a sudden change of plan. But that won’t be a problem for you if you have the time to adapt. Imagine if you’re already running late and suddenly your boss calls and orders you to change some contents in the slides for the presentation.

In contrast, if you’re at work early, you can calmly review and correct any mistakes in the slides in the event that amendments are required, plus it’ll make you look professional!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Frequenting The Office Restroom Might Be Bad For You

Image credit: onemetal.com
Image credit: polkadotribbeaux.wordpress.com
Image credit: polkadotribbeaux.wordpress.com

What goes in, must come out. The restroom/Holy Grail/zen area – whichever way you call it, the time you spend in it is arguably one of the few times when you can have some privacy as well as the luxury of taking your time to do your business.

At work, it’s no different; we spend the majority of our time at work so it’s not unusual that we spend more time at the office restroom than the one at home. The only difference is that unlike the one at your house, you share it with more people.

However, if you happen to be one of those few people who spend more time in the restroom more than others at work, chances are you might get some unwanted attention:

 

Your colleagues might be fussy about it

You might have a bowel condition or a bladder problem and you can’t help it so that’s understandable, but you colleagues might not be able to relate to your condition and they’ll soon be conjuring several hypothesis about you and your close association with the restroom. They might complain about “holding it” a little longer because of the aroma that you’ve just so ever kindly left in the rest room after your little business. As a consequence, your relationship with your colleagues might be affected.

Your colleagues will be like "10 things I hate about you". (Image credit: onemetal.com"
Your colleagues be like “10 things I hate about you”. (Image credit: onemetal.com”

 

Your boss might think that you’re lazy

Your boss might likely be the first person who notices this peculiar behavior as well as the first person to voice out. He/she might think that you’re just using the restroom as an excuse for slacking off from work and that you’re not actually doing your business but sleeping or playing games on your mobile – which could tarnish your reputation.

 

The cleaner might not appreciate it

Unless if you’re a responsible person who cleans up your mess (and that’s a big if), some other unfortunate soul would have to clean up your abomination, which most likely the cleaner that comes in once a week. Say goodbye to making friends with him/her because your artistic artwork in the restroom will be a nightmare for him/her.

Can you guess why she's one of the most powerful woman in the world? (Image credit: voont.com)
Can you guess why she’s one of the most powerful woman in the world? (Image credit: voont.com)

Your truly have a condition

If you find the urge to visit the restroom frequently then you should seriously consult your doctor as it could be serious. If you feel the urge to pee frequently then it could be that you’ve some problems with your bladder or kidney.

For males, it could be a possible warning sign to prostrate problems. Likewise, bowel problems might reflect a poor digestive system, diet or lifestyle.

 

You’ll be an urban legend and have several pseudonyms

Your regular visits to the restroom will most likely the subject of gossip during breaks or gatherings. Your story will begin with “legend says that…”, stories about you (whether true or not) will suffice, your colleagues will formulate different hypothesis and theories about you and you’ll be a target for jokes. On top of that, you’ll be associated with pseudonyms like “crappy boy”, “the artist” and “A river runs through it” and  get weird stares around at the office.

 

In the end, it’s nothing to be ashamed of

We’re all humans, so there would be a point in time where we need to go do our business, whatever the circumstances. But of course it’s not just strictly just for that purpose, we all use the restroom for different purposes, such as freshening up before heading for an important meeting, cleaning coffee stains on our pants, retouching makeups or even to making private phone calls.

If you happen to know someone who has a condition then you shouldn’t make fun of him/her because you’re not in the position to judge them because we’re not in their position. Besides, if you’re reading this at work then you’re already guilty as you should be working, not reading about weird articles!

 

 

 

 

 

What To Avoid In Your Professional Email

Image credit: oorjabizops.com

“The Internet’s not written in pencil, Mark, it’s written in ink.” – The Social Network

 

In this digital era, virtually everything that we’re doing resolved into digitization and your work place is not different. Emails have become the conventional form of communication so you must remember to remain professional at all times as it reflects you as a person,especially in the corporate world.

However, it’s still baffling that people tend to undermine and overlook certain fundamental aspects that are obvious mistakes in everyday emails. So without further ado, below are things to avoid in your professional Email:

 

Unprofessional and atrocious sounding Email address

Granted, you may be the biggest Pokémon fan out there and you’re proud of showing who you are, but in the working world, sam_thecharmander@xxxmail.com sounds downright unprofessional not to mention childish. You should also avoid using an Email address that is too confusing because you don’t want to confuse people when they need to send important documents to you. Revert instead to a clear and direct Email address. Your full name or your surname like johndoe@xxxmail.com or angelo_michael@xxxmail.com would be prime examples.

Image credit: fanpop.com
To laugh, or to cry? That is the question. (Image credit: fanpop.com)

 

Fonts that are too colorful or too ambiguous

Unless if it’s related to things like logo designing, you should probably avoid doing this because it’s just an atrocious idea not to mention it will look like you’re writing a proposal for a children’s playbook instead. And if you’re sending the same email to a number of people, then you’re just amplifying the damage done. Fonts should be simple and clear and most crucially, black in color.

Image credit: oorjabizops.com
Image credit: oorjabizops.com

 

Not proofreading for any grammar or spelling errors

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of checking for mistakes before sending them because it’s a manifestation of your image and personality as it will directly translate that you’re someone careless, lazy and neglectful among other negative things. These days emails come with AutoCorrect to assist you from misspelling words or that extra spacing but if you are still unclear, you could always Google. Remember you don’t want your important clients, your boss or the rest of your colleagues to notice that you incorrectly spelt certain words when you could’ve prevented that embarrassment in the first place.

 

Informal abbreviations, acronyms, slang, jargon and language

Even though it may be a simple Email, you should still avoid using the likes of LOL, ROFL, NVM, OMG, XOXO, U, RITE and BTW among others as you’re not writing this to send to your close friends or people that you know on your social media accounts. Use a language that sounds professional and that everyone understands like thanks and hello instead of yo, what’s up and lah.

 

An unprofessional photo

A picture is worth a thousand words as they say, so you don’t want those thousand words about you to be negative. Don’t use a photo of you that was taken at a bar, with your red, intoxicated face and sweat marks under your arms, a selfie photo with duck-lips expression or a photo that’s too small among others as it will send the wrong image of you. Instead use a photo that makes you look like you’re a professional and if your budget allow it, get a professional photographer to take a photo for you.


Image credit: twitter.com

 

 

No duck lips. (Image credit: cdninstagram.com)
No duck lips. (Image credit: cdninstagram.com)
Image credit: incomediary.com
How your photo should look like. (Image credit: incomediary.com)

Tonality

If you’re upset and you’re expressing your anger and disappointment in words, then it’s advisable that you step away from your keyboard and take a breather. Venting your anger sounds unprofessional plus you will be painted as someone who’s short-tempered and irrational and you will only regret it later for not thinking it through. Try to put your thoughts into words that will clearly illustrate your points without offending someone because once you hit the send button, you can never change the contents of it.

 

 

 

Signs That You’re Unpopular At Work

Image credit: hubpages.com
Image credit: hubpages.com
Image credit: hubpages.com

Humans are by nature, social creatures – a fact that Socrates seems to agree. We work together as a society, divide our labor and acquire knowledge from other human beings.

On the other hand, not everyone is a social butterfly; some of us have difficulty in socializing with others as seamlessly, and that includes at the workplace. So without further ado, we present the signs that you’re the black sheep at work:

You have trouble having a conversation for even a few seconds

You’re in the pantry making a cup of coffee and in walks a colleague or superior of yours. The best thing that your brain can think of are: a) conjuring a forceful and confusing half-smile (that resembles more like you’re battling constipation) followed quickly by b) getting the heck out of there as soon as you can before those cliché and awkward “how was your weekend” or “how are you doing” conversations begins.

You also find yourself having robotic, one-dimensional and close-ended answers/questions and usually ends with an awkward “I would like to talk more about this, but I’ve gotta get back to work” closing or either one of you leaving gingerly.

 

Jane? Kimberly? Tim, Kumar….or is it Peter?

Getting someone’s name right is hugely pivotal as it makes us feel respected and significant because it acknowledges that at least that someone makes an effort to remember us, despite some of us may have names that are longer and sound more foreign than even the most complex chemical terms.

However, if nobody seems to remember your name or you’re often mistaken with the wrong person or have to constantly correct people because they’ve wrongly pronounced your name, then chances are you are without any reasonable doubt, probably irrelevant, especially when everyone can remember Jimmy the janitor but not yours.

And you’ve been there since like, in the 19th century.

 

You don’t join/get invited to company events

You don’t find yourself socializing or hanging out much with your colleagues and you don’t seem particularly interested to join company events as you rather spend your time playing Dungeons & Dragons or reading a book. Perhaps even more sadly for you, you don’t even get an invitation to company events – which means that you are so obsolete that your colleagues even forgot to include you in the list.

More crushingly for you, you see Jimmy the janitor tagged on Facebook in the group photo at a company event – posing with the others.

 

People either seem perplexed to see you or don’t seem to notice you

If you’re in the pantry making a cup of coffee and yet still manage to ignite a small talk for a few seconds or a couple of minutes, then you’re doing fine because at least you’re not invisible. But some of you might experience being ignored as if that you’re made out of thin air that they can walk through, or see the confused faces of colleagues as you enter the office as if you look like Chewbacca dressed in a Kimono.

 

You have lunch alone

 


Image credit: culturedvultures.com

You spend your lunch eating alone sitting on a bench at a park feeding pigeons. When you eat at the office it’s always at a secluded area when no other living soul could be seen.

Your invites to have lunch together are always almost rebuffed and your visits to a restaurant during lunch hours are usually greeted with “table for one sir/miss?” followed by a wry smile from the waiter.

 

Your opinions are not considered

You have a feasible solution for the problem that is currently at hand but no one seems to take your ideas seriously as there are always seen as superficial or not “in line with the company”. Your ideas are also always rejected more often than you can remember.

 

There are cricket sounds during coffee breaks

A coffee break with a group is a sacred practice that is usually a slot to socialize among fellow colleagues which usually leads to interesting conversations – even with people who you hardly speak to at work.

But if there’s an awkward silence during coffee breaks when you’re around and your fellow colleague prefers to play Angry Birds on their phone than starting a conversation, then you know that even that something as sacred as that doesn’t apply to you.


Image credit: kotaku.com

 

However, it’s okay to be different because not everyone can belong to a particular social group. If you happen to be different then you should be proud and learn to accept this because at least you’re different and original and not the archetypal or the exact template of people around you.

If you have confidence issues, then you could attend workshops to build your confidence or if that doesn’t work, you could always be a little honest to your colleagues and tell them how you feel. If they can’t accept that, then don’t be devastated either, don’t spread rumors about your colleagues and just be yourself because your unique personality will eventually attract others just like you.

 

 

 

6 Ways To Exceed Expectations In Your New Job

Image credit: zimbio.com
Image credit: fortune.com
Image credit: fortune.com

A new job, a new beginning as they say. But if you’re reading this then there are two likely possibilities: 1) this will your first job or 2) you’re starting a new job.

If you’re landing your first job then congratulations! you’re now officially a member of the workforce and we wish you a long and successful career in the corporate world.

If you’re starting your new job, then congratulations as well! you’ve left your old and mundane desk job from staring at the computer and sitting the whole day, to work in a new organization with a desk job that requires you to stare at the computer the whole day (yippee!).

Anyway, whether you’re a fresh graduate or if you’ve already had working experiences under your belt, chances are you’ll want to impress and repay the faith of your new bosses to vindicate their decision for selecting you instead of the other unfortunate candidates. So here are 6 ways for you to exceed expectations into your new job:

 

1. Prove that you’re independent and reliable

You were hired so that the company can rely on someone to get ease the work load and get the job done, if your presence only increases their workload instead of easing them then why would they spend considerable amount of resources and time to bring you in right? Be aware of your surroundings and attentive to your job, there’s always something that you can do even whether it’s improving something or something that needs improving.

Be confident and prove that you can handle things on your own. If a customer calls in and complains about something, you would want to prove that you can single-handedly handle the situation the right way without assistance. So do what you’re hired to do and convince you superiors that you’re the right person for the job.

 

2. Take the initiative to understand your job better

If you are tasked to write about farm animals but the only knowledge you have about farm animals are those who end up in your breakfast plate and in your stomach (in other words, you’re clueless), how could you possibly write about farm animals other than how to eat them? Here’s when our friend Google comes in handy. You’ll need to research assiduously about what you’ll need to do. Just don’t plagiarize as you don’t want to end up in a sticky situation.


Who what where? I swear I’ve never seen that article before!

Alternatively, you could also do your research from other sources other than the internet such as books or even just by asking around. Your ability to shine in your job largely depends on your desire and motivation to learn about the ins and outs of your job, how everything functions and what you can do to perform better.

At the end of the day, your initiative will illustrate that you take your job seriously and that you always give your best to understand your job – which will delight your superiors. If your knowledge about farm animals have become so profound to the point that you breathe farm animals, then good job lad, this one’s for you *raises glass*.

 

3. Do more than you’re expected to do

In this competitive age, specializing in one specific role is fast becoming extinct. These days, multi-tasking and diverging into different roles has become so significant that it is a norm, even for fresh graduates. What you would want to do therefore, is to show that you can handle different roles from time to time. If your quota is to write 5 articles a day, make it 6 or 7.

If your boss expects you to write a report, make it the best damn report that his or her eyes will ever lay on because this is your chance to impress them that you deserve this job. Just don’t overdo it as you’re not a robot. Even Superman can’t do everything every time.

Jesus H. Christ, what is it now? you want me to mail those kitty postcards? "help" you with the Anderson report? (Image credit: zimbio.com)
What is it now? you want me to mail more kitty postcards? “Help” you file the Anderson report? Please tell me you’re not asking me to hold hands and sing Kumbaya together (Image credit: zimbio.com)

 

4. Help out in the office

It’s not a requirement to do everything outside of your job scope but if you happen to see your department or your superiors with their hands full, don’t be crass and just leave them to their misery, instead try your best to help them whether it’s something simple like sending an email or giving them plausible suggestions to a problem that they’re stressing over as it would help them in some way even if it’s only marginally. They will likely be appreciative and thankful for your help, that way you’ll convince your boss that hiring you was the best decision he or she has ever made.

 

5. Don’t stop asking questions

Image credit: theconversation.com
Image credit: theconversation.com

You’re bound to be lost at the beginning of your job as no one expects you to know everything on your first few months let alone your first few days or weeks.

So in order to understand more about your job, environment and colleagues a little more, the best way to do it is through asking. Think about it, if we didn’t stop asking questions, how did we find the answer for our problems?

If primitive humans didn’t wondered how to communicate with a bunch of barnacle heads, you would’ve have trouble understanding this article let alone reading this because language wouldn’t have existed. If we never wondered “how can I get pizza without leaving the house?” societies would’ve never know the luxury of eating Domino’s Pizza in the comfort of their homes.

It’s okay to be asking questions when you need it and don’t be intimidated by it, because you’ll be surprised how greatly it’ll help everyone especially yourself, as your questions might help them solidify what they’ve already understand and you’ll spare yourself from potential embarrassment for wrongly calling Bill as John and calling John as Bill. Remember folks, learning never stops!

 

6. Be productive!

Fine, you’ve finished your work for the day and sure, it’s okay to check your social media accounts every now and then or read something interesting online to unwind, but don’t take advantage of this by spending 5 hours of your working time watching Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy or Better Call Saul, instead use your spare time to learn something in areas that you feel that you lack in.

Unfamiliar with Excel or writing a proper email? Utilize this time to read or watch tutorial videos online. The point is that you should do something productive to keep yourself occupied because if you want to come to the office to watch PewDiePie videos, then you might as well stay at home to spare the rest of us in the office from your obnoxious laughter.