A Millennial’s Cry to All Fresh Grads (and How to Get Unstuck)

CONTEXT: I’m a 24 year old law grad who graduated officially last November (convocation and all). Gotten a job offer by last September and landed my job of choice at iPrice by last October.

With all the recent barrage of media outlets covering the “unrealistic expectations” of fresh grads in Malaysia, I can’t help but to provide my two cents on the matter.

They frequently cited 5 reasons most fresh grads remained unemployed:

  1. Unrealistic salaries
  2. Poor attitude
  3. Choosy about job or company
  4. Lack of English proficiency
  5. Poor communication skills

Let’s start with salaries –

Referring to an employers survey conducted by JobStreet in 2016, it was report that 60% of fresh graduates expect a starting salary of RM3,500 while another 30% wanted RM6,500 to fund their lifestyle.

I personally think that RM3,500 a month isn’t an unreasonable ask given the rate of inflation we are experiencing. But please don’t go around thinking it’s a given when the average salary of most entry level positions are around RM2,500.

That said, kudos to the ones who are asking for RM6,500 for their ambition to think big.

But there is one HUGE thing to consider if you are one of them:

  • How much value are you creating for the company?

You must understand that from the standpoint of business, the boss will be more than happy to pay you RM10,000 a month if you can provide returns of RM100,000. In fact, they will approach you if you are that good.

Learn to give more value than you receive in payment

Poor attitudes –

Our mindsets determine our outlook on life.

I have no rant for this but just pure empathy.

Empathy for those who have yet to see what they are truly capable of.

I was no private school child. I went through all the Kebangsaan schools like everyone else did and I was never taught the power of the growth mindset until I started my path in reading book almost every week.

I was obsessed with the ones who are successful. I watch Gary Vee everyday, read Seth Godin’s books, had my Instagram plastered with fancy quotes and sportscars.

(This all happened after my finals, mind you.)

This entire journey changed how I saw the world. With that mindset, I went in for my job interview and got my job of choice 2 months before officially graduating.

My recommendation is to read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.

Tom Bilyeu, the American entrepreneur best known as a co-founder of Quest Nutrition, the second fastest growing private company in North America described the book as “the single most important book ever written in the English language.”

Tony Robbins, when asked which books he has gifted the most on the Tim Ferriss podcast, said this book was one of them.

Here’s a video to get your feet wet:

Choosiness –

What’s wrong with that?

When you have choices, you should choose right?

But please, don’t sabotage yourself because of ego.

There is never a job that’s beneath you, only jobs that limit your potential.

Lousy English –

I can take on two stances on this:

  1. The school system is to blame for not putting emphasis on English
  2. You are to blame for not realizing it was important early on in the first place.

I prefer to take the second stance. But that isn’t fair to those who genuinely came from backgrounds that were very non-English.

If you have difficulty in English now, start learning.

There is no excuse. None.

Can’t communicate –

When we are trained to write more than we are to speak, our speaking will generally be worse off than our writing – for sure.

How to learn? Speak more in low risk situations.

Do it with family friends or close friends to begin with and then slowly move to colleagues and acquaintances.

You got to start somewhere if you want to get to some place.

CONCLUSION

Finding a job is easy. Any job I mean.

To get the job you want is the challenging bit.

The greatest lesson I have learnt since graduating and working on my career is to the virtue of being patient.

We millennials lack it tremendously.

There are times you would think to yourself that your employer is paying you oh so little in the beginning and you are not getting the perks you deserve.

But as long as you practice these two things, you would be alright:

  1. Always do what’s right (even if it doesn’t feel like its worth the effort right now)
  2. Be patient.

Don’t believe me? Ask your seniors.

 

This post first appeared on LinkedIn.

I Still Feel Jealous When I See My Friends…

Why do I still feel this way?

The other day I was scrolling down my Facebook feed when I saw a friend of mine post a picture of his first car purchase… I immediately felt belittled.

I felt inadequate… but most of all – JEALOUS (not envy).

But then it hit me – I don’t even like to DRIVE!

Have you ever caught yourself feeling that you were dealt the unfortunate hand when see your other friends succeeding?

“Why can’t I have that?” you say to your self.

We keep comparing our behind-the-scenes to other people’s highlight reels.

And damn is this unhealthy.

What is the best way to deal with it?

The answer is in the quote – comparison.

Comparing yourself in admiration to others is fine. If you strive to be the best in the world one day, then it is good to look at the best and see where you stand.

But the healthiest way (as cheesy as it sounds) is to compare yourself to your past.

This solves the huge “I’ll be happy when I…” problem as well.

Don’t sabotage yourself by delaying your happiness everytime you see something (or someone) that other’s have.

Instead you should look back:

Really. Think about how far you’ve come.

You should be proud and grateful.

There is no merit in jealousy.

SO BE GRATEFUL (but don’t forget to go for gold too)

🙂

How to Be Happy Right Now

The greatest pursuit in life isn’t money or fame. But it is the pursuit of happiness.

We often confuse between a means goal and an end goal.

An example of a means goal is making money and exercising regularly.

An end goal is the reason why you do it in the first place.

Why make more money? To have more options. To be able to know that everything is taken care of.  But what is it that you want to take care of? Yourself? Your family?

Why exercise regularly? To keep fit and to be healthy. For what? To be able to enjoy life and take care of our loved ones.

The end goal should always be at the top of our heads.

Means goals are the fancy ones. The ones that sell. Lamborghinis & Rolexes.

End goals aren’t so sexy. Feeding your family, loving your family.
It’s not glamorous but it gives you the reason to stay in the game.

End goals are to be your focus if you want to be happy right now.

Delaying happiness is stupid at best and destructive at worst.

All you ever needed was around you. But you rather wait and claim it once the dust is settled.

There is a TED Talk titled Be A Man and the speaker, Joe Ehrmann who has been at many deathbeds during his service always heard the same two questions spoken by men in their final moments (and it wasn’t about the things they owned):

  • Love
    Was I a great father, husband, son?
  • Legacy
    Will I remembered? What have I contributed for the betterment of the world? What footprint did I leave behind?

These questions are real and true and it gives a you a perspective on what people in their limited time genuinely cared about.

Warren Buffett was once asked in an interview what his definition of success was and he said that having a big bank account doesn’t make you successful. He has met many wealthy people who are depressed and hated by their families.

To him, the definition of success was simple – that the people who you wished love you love you.

He said money can buy sex, but it can’t buy love.

Some of you may say, “Easy for him to say, he has $60 billion!.”

Well, it is exactly because he is very wealthy that he is qualified to say it.

Would you take him seriously if he were poor?

What is your definition of success? Or put another way what warms your heart?

Tony Robbins, the life strategist, was given a task to take a quadriplegic man who became that way on his honeymoon with his wife after he dived wrongly into the hotel swimming pool and broke his neck. He can barely move clench his hands and can’t feel anything from the chest down. His wife has to change his diapers everyday and his catheter every 2 hours.

When Tony was asked to turn their lives around, he had to question his beliefs on what makes a great life and his conclusion (which I suggest you write down somewhere) is AN EMOTIONALLY RICH LIFE.

So what he did was take them to sky dive. It was a first for the both of them. It was unreal.

After that, they made the guy play murderball – a sport played by wheelchair bound players, and he succeeded in going through it.

He wrapped it up by re-enacting their wedding ceremony on stage with the same people present in their previous ceremony.

It was a spectacle to behold and a great lesson to learn.
In that, life can take away something from you. But how you react to it is what makes the difference.

You either be mad or depressed, or look to the bright side and practice happiness regardless.

You can start being happy now by knowing that tomorrow is unknown and that what is certain is the present day.

Keep working towards your goal, but don’t let it be an excuse for you to not be happy.

3 years of being unhappy so that you can enjoy a moment of achievement?

What ever happened to singing in the shower?
Or laughing hard at a joke?
Or dance like a moron while listening to your favourite song?

It was all emotion. The things that make you feel alive was all emotionally rich.

To wrap up:

  • Remember the bigger picture: Love & Legacy.
  • Live an emotionally rich life.

“Every day set out to be the happiest person on the planet.” – Tony Robbins

Can’t go wrong with that.

Live a life of emotion and practice happiness now.

*****

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How to Achieve Goals (Really)

Goal setting is important. Really important.

With the New Year, everyone is sharing their New Year Resolutions.
Six pack abs, more money, travel, etc.

Resolutions and goals are life changing and changes don’t come easy.

It is common knowledge that gyms see a spike in memberships during the beginning of the year and declining attendance in the later months.

The truth is goals and resolutions require a lot more discipline than people expect.

It is no wonder that people give up so easily and so soon.

To attain our goals realistically and seamlessly, we need to have them supplement our existing lifestyles. We can organize this into a system. To set this system up, you need to do 3 things:

1. Set The Goals You Really Want to Achieve

“The journey of a thousand miles begin with one step.” – Lao Tzu

The commoner lets other people set goals for him. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. He sees everyone else going to the gym so he thinks that would be it.

He sees people posting up luxury watches so he thinks he should get one too.

Don’t be him. Please.

The goals are yours. So you are fully accountable as to how it pans out.

Remember the time something you given to you and you sort of treasured it, compared to the time you actually had to get it yourself and treasured it fully.

You tend to take things more seriously when it is entirely yours.

2. Break Your Goal Down Into Small Actionable Steps

Let’s say your goal is to make more money in your day job.
What are the steps you need to do to get there?

You need to take on more responsibility at your job and be more wise to when it comes decision making.

But the first won’t happen till you do the latter.

Question – how do you become more wise?

Besides putting myself in situations to make decisions, you need the right frame of mind to make it.

You can go about it by reading books.

If you break it down to small bite sized pieces, that would be a few pages at a time.

If you wanted to workout, you can start with just 5 pushups.

“5 PUSHUPS? I rather not do it!”

Trust me, it’s better to start small and be consistent than to go big and unpredictable.

3. Make It Complement Your Lifestyle.

So let’s say you have decided that reading books are the way to go for you.

But the problem is, if you never liked reading books, you would have an uphill battle.

Like you, I didn’t enjoy reading books so much but I wanted the benefit –  the knowledge.

I discovered early on that no matter how many books I bought, it would take a lot of time and effort to get through 30 pages in one sitting. And it’s a strain on my eyes.

The solution?
Audiobooks.

It wasn’t until I discovered audiobooks that I was able to listen to up to 2 to 3 books a week without carving out extra time on my schedule.

I got to this conclusion with this question:

What form does your action step take?

For example, reading books is a form of _______.
My answer? Consuming information.

With that, take a Sherlock Holmes approach and reflect on how you regularly consume information.

For me, it was:
Music – through my earphones
Radio – speaker in my car
YouTube videos – earphones and my smartphone
Facebook – on my smartphone

I was already used to consuming information through my ears i.e. listening – therefore, audiobooks were a great fit to me. I just had to swap out the music for audiobooks.

So everytime I go and take a drive, I will be listening to about a fifth of a book in a round trip.

I didn’t need to change my schedule or lifestyle to get smart.

It is highly important that you take baby steps. Don’t go all in thinking you will get all you ever wanted in a few months.

Good things take time.

***

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