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mao dun Sunday, 21 May 2006

Posted by dragonzlad in Uncategorized.

mao dun (in Chinese roman spelling) pronounced “mao doon”, meaning undecided.

That’s what I am. At one time, I had a fairly good life with plenty of time to do whatever I fancied. Then I thought I ought to put my time to more productive use other than sitting in front of the computer and chatting with friends and strangers online. And especially since I thought I ought to prepare myself for a career change. So I started my MBA studies. And now, I am whining about the fact that I have no life anymore since I had to attend classes, complete my assignments, hold down a full time job, spend time with S, and also to sort out the renovation and furnishing for the apartment.

Then there is also the question of what job or career I want. I once thought I wanted to help in the investigation of cancer. Then I thought I didn’t want to study towards a PhD and changed my direction. I thought I wanted to work in the commercial world. As a result, I had to do the full 3 years in uni while my peers had the first year exempted with their diplomas. Strangely, the degree I undertook wasn’t a business degree. It was in engineering. I was adviced that I should pursue a more specialised degree like engineering and accountancy instead of doing a generalist degree like a business degree as I could always do an MBA at a later stage. Considering the various options, my strengths and future prospects, I opted to do engineering and I did quite well in it. However, as fate would have it, the 3-year financial crisis that hit Asia from 2001 changed everything. I ended up in civil service as it offered the highest paying job then. It was not entirely a boring job, far from it in fact. But have you ever found yourself busy but yet unexcited about the job?

That leads to the next 2 questions – higher pay vs perceived job satisfaction, and what job/career should I look at?

“Whatever you end up doing though, make sure you find the job enjoyable. People perform much better when they’re doing a job they like, and of course, better performing people have more successful careers.” (GB, 5 May)

Do people look out for aspects of their job that they enjoy or are they already enjoying their work the first day they started? The former would seem like self-denial or is it actually practical and real?

Back to the 2 questions, I wished I knew the answers. I wished I could look into the screen of my mobile phone and see my reflection slowly growing misty and revealing my future if I chose, say, option A etc.

I guess I wouldn’t be very good at playing the Interview Game. I’ll probably end up with more questions, for myself, to the questions asked. What’s the Interview Game? In short, it is to ask someone to interview you.

The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions – each person’s will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

[Disclaimer: Never use the Mandarin you may pick up from my blog unless in desparation like in a life and death situation. 😉 ]



1. Gay banker - Monday, 22 May 2006

Hi DL, I won’t ask you to interview me at the moment ‘cos I guess you’ve got enough work to do,(and you’ve never been shy about asking me things anyway!!)

I’m glad you’re spotted the key bit of advice I gave you a few weeks ago – to find an enjoyable job. So forget about the different pay prospects and look at all the opportunities from the point of view of whether you’d think that you’d enjoy working in that particular field. Of course you don’t know whether you’ll actually enjoy it until you tried it for a while, but at least you should try and guess in advance whether you’ll like it.

The completion of an MBA is a natural career milestone, so the opportunity will be coming up to try something new. Cancer research, engineering degree, both sound quite quantitative, so if that’s what you enjoy make sure that any job you apply for has significant quantitative content.

Good luck, GB xxx

2. Dragonzlad - Friday, 26 May 2006

You know, I once taught a bunch of 8-year old kids. Lovable bunch on a contract basis and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought I might like to go into that if not for the fact that the pay would suck and the administrative jobs that comes along with a permanent teaching position.

I think the only way I may truly find enjoyment in my work and yet getting paid in amounts that I’ll be happy with is in running my own business. I may be misinformed since some friends who tried have gone back to be an employee.

Or maybe, I should just find something that interests me, take the plunge and hope for the best, huh? 🙂

3. Gay banker - Monday, 29 May 2006

I sense a bit of “yes yes GB, all very interesting in theory, but completely useless in practice” in your reply DL!

None the less, I stick by my original comment “People perform much better when they’re doing a job they like, and better performing people have more successful careers”. Perhaps it was a mistake to try and elaborate on that. But I’m sure it means that if you take a job just for lots of $$$, it might be OK for a short while but not long term because it will grind you down.

So indeed, “find something that interests you, take the plunge and hope for the best”. At the end of the day, no one can really do more than that!

GB xx

4. Dragonzlad - Monday, 29 May 2006

Darn, it really is hard to change the way I “speak”. I was given the feedback before that what I say comes out wrong somehow, sometimes. I try to be very careful but it ooks like I failed again. I didn;t mean it that way. SOrry if it did, hope you didn’t go away thinking that I had been unappreciative of your advice! 🙂

I wouldn’t say your advice “is useless in practice”. Just a little difficult to achieve sometimes, especially in Singapore I think.

As for my reply, what I meant was that I feel that sometimes I find it very tiring thinking about all these issues to the extent that I think I ought to just stop worrying and take the plunge.

5. Gay banker - Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Just spotted your reply to my comment from 29th May. Sounds like you’re just like my boyfriend number 1, because he’ll agonise for ages about various stuff, and I’m always trying to get him just to give it a go!

Anyway, you’ve been very quiet recently. How about an update to let us know what stage your job-hunting is at now?

GB xxx

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