This is the only picture I took this past Eid-ul-Fitr and the first picture since a long time. I couldn’t decide whether to be happy or sad.
I have been beaten down pretty badly these past couple of months. I used to be a Star Girl. I felt I could weather anything, but nowadays, I’m not so sure of that. Little miracles like finding money on the ground have stopped happening to me. Back in the days, I was a prodigy. All I had to do was read the textbooks I was given and explore additional readings on my own, and I was acing my tests. This formula doesn’t seem to be working so well for me nowadays.
Take my driving experience, for example. I learnt what the instructors told me and obeyed the traffic rules, but I struggled with my turns (hand over hand,etc), which eventually led me to crash my new car. It was when I decided to forget what I learnt in class and use my intuition that my turns got better. My first brother also went to a driving school, he tried to use the tricks he learnt in class, but he also dented his car. Then, there is my second brother, who never stepped into a driving school and started his lessons by driving. His driving is pretty impressive, and he has not dented any car.
These past few months at work, I have failed some tests even after reading and memorizing test materials circulated. The pass marks were too high, and so many questions were set out of the scope of the reading materials, but this wounded my confidence still because I seem to have lost my lucky streak. I have been following the success stories of my classmates, and it seems that the really confident and outspoken ones are exceeding expectations. They are travelling the world, bagging more degrees and creating fun families.
I thought I had cracked the code by following the guides; respect your elders, read your books, and pray. That formula is not working!More and more, I have come to appreciate that networks are really effective for surviving this world. Social media influencers prove this every day. The more people you get to notice you, the higher your chances of succeeding. My experience at work has taught me that there is a standard that we all adhere to no matter our skillsets . We do not go below that standard, and even if one’s skills far exceed the standard, the chances of one getting promoted and even getting to make a career pivot is about who notices them .If I have learnt anything these past few months as I have started research for an MBA, it is that I need not be modest about my accomplishments, but I have to sell them because no one else will. I have to reach out to people who have been in similar shoes for tricks and lessons for acing my application and also to target companies I would like to recruit for.
I have decided therefore to reduce the time I spend with my head in books and started to relax and take risks and living in the moment. One of the things I appreciate in my life now is serving as a customer service representative. Roles like this used to freak me out because I am shy as well as being an introvert. I used to worry that I would not succeed but I have cracked the code for listening and communicating with people. I am doing pretty well for someone who used to be scared of people.
This networking thing may not be as scary as it used to be when I was straight out of college. These couple of days, I have been able to bluff and flirt my way into getting favours from other colleagues.
Who can blame me? It is time to be street-smart.