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Migrating from Blogger Saturday, 3 February 2007

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I’m migrating to a new blog – WordPress.com as it offers the flexibility to password-protect specific entries. All my existing entries will reside here in Blogger (at least until I have time to move them over). But new posts will now be at https://dragonzlad.wordpress.com/ .

See you there!

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Another Chapter Thursday, 25 January 2007

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Now, this is very irritating. I was really pleased with myself for finally clocking my first mobile blogging when I came home to find that the blog was not registered by Blogger. So here I am, re-typing everything again when time could have bee put to better use like applying for that job in the papers :

Yup, I have officially informed the bosses of my intention to leave. They were quite surprised by my decision. But I guess it is time to really explore the world out there. So my plans have been set in motion, now if only that ideal job would come by. And I am keeping my fingers crossed. I just had a meeting with a manager from one of the world’s most famous investment bank. While the role wasn’t that of a banker, it would make for a very good start. So wish me luck.

Approached Monday, 4 December 2006

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I had a really wierd start to a seemingly wonderful Sunday. Can’t mention that at the moment but it was really strange and it unsettled me somewhat. So there I was feeling really disturbed and having about 4 hours before my dinner appointment. I decided to go to the gym and then soak in the hot jacuzzi for a while. I was soaking there for a while when I noticed this fella coming in. I noticed him earlier as he was in the same suana as I was. He got in. A whiile later, he introduced himself and we chatted about the usual stuff about how often we gym and such. Then a few more fellas came into the next jacuzzi. Then he came up to me and whispered,”You know, it’s not very discreet in here.”. I knew what he meant, having got gay friends. That explained the compliments he gave me on my physique. But I was surprised and not wanting to assume, I asked,”What do you mean?”. “You know what I mean.”, he replied. Nothing came out of it as he left to shower while I stayed behind for a little while more. Do I look gay? A girl friend once commented to me that I could attract both sides. In any case, this whole episode did make the my Sunday really really strange.

Friends’ Endorsement and Networking Sunday, 19 November 2006

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My job hunting seems to have improved somewhat of late. A friend of mine recently strongly recommended me to his boss. Although the issue of experience (lack of it actually) did crop up, my friend put up a strong argument for me and his boss agreed to meet me for a chat. Another friend, T, also recommended me to her friend in a IT company. Both of them have given me really positive feedback like some of my other mates. Everyone felt that I will certainly do well in the private sector. I remember once when we had to give anonymous feedback to one another on paper, T gave me such compliments that I felt “high” and confident that I could find a job easily. Of course, reality is that recruiters will not see that side of me, unlike my mates who have worked with me. It has gotten to the point that I don’t bother with Saturday’s Recruit papers by Straits Times anymore. It seems networking and getting my name out through personal endorsement worked far better than cold calling.

New Blogger.com Sunday, 19 November 2006

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I read in today’s papers about how Blogger.com has incorporated a new feature that allows one’s blog entries to be made private. I thought finally here is a solution to maintain this blog without worry of family and friends reading certain entries. So I made a switch to the new beta version. Unfortunately, this new version only allows the “permission level” to be set for the entire blog and not for specific entries. Kinda disappointed.

"Sliding Doors" Friday, 17 November 2006

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“Sliding door” perspective of what my futures, in parallel existence, might be.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yet another day in the office. I went about my administrative tasks and soon enough I found myself staring into my monitor. I wondered whether my career was confined to this uninteresting scope. The phone rang. I answered and my heart skipped a beat. I asked a few questions urgently and then place the phone back angrily. Just then, my boss walked in and asked if I was aware of the problem. I nodded and replied that I would update him on the findings and new developments. The boss left. I sat in my chair and stared into my monitor blankly. I wondered why I would continue with a seemingly uninteresting job that required one to pick up the pieces when something happen. Realising that time was running out, I scrambled to find out what went wrong.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Hey Keith, how’s it going?”, I greeted my boss with a smile. It’s the start of a new week and I sat down with Keith to discuss the anaylsis and recommendations I had made for the business. I explained the Porter’s forces to him and the SWOT anaysis that I had done. But I could see that Keith was hesitant. Keith wasn’t too sure if the company had the resources to pursue the recommendations. The small-medium company wanted to expand and had enlisted my help but I wasn’t too sure how ready the company was in going regional. Keith’s mobile rang and he answered it. He looked up at me. He puts down his phone and told me of some complications that had occurred with the current job. I nodded and stood up to go to the job site. After all, in the small-medium company, one should expect to wear more than one hat. For now, I have to be the operations supervisor. My role as the business development manager will just have to wait.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I stared at the fair porcelein-skinned girl in front of me. Long black hair, stylished cut with a well made-up face. A slim body with long legs to match. She could be one of the Chinese actress in Lee Ang‘s movies. She was singing a popular Shanghainese song which sounded alien to me. Around me, my Chinese business associates were leering at their KTV partners and groping them very openly. Mr Chen shouted across to me in Mandarin,”Hey, why are you sitting there like a block of wood? Come, relax and enjoy yourself!” and he pointed at the girl next to me and he winked. He then broke out into loud laughters. “Ph-ui!”. Another business associate spitted onto the floor as he reached out for the bottle of XO on the table while his KTV girl continues to caress his groin. I looked away. It was 2am when I got back to the hotel. I was feeling ill with all the liqour I had but I was glad I managed to convince my associates that the girl will have to wait another time. I sighed. I didn’t expect to be double-hatting as an accounts manager when I took on the role of product marketing manager with this MNC.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yet another day in the office. I whistle a tune as I always do when no one else is in the office. I have long grown to accept the way things are. I amjust glad that I have a stable job (for now) that pays decently. I will not get rich with that kind of pay but at least I do not have to worry about the bills too much. “As long as I spend within my means!”, I remind himself. After many years in this industry and job, I try not to think about what I can do if I leave now or in a few years to come. My Inbox opens and I check my email.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Keith beamed at his management team as he annouce that the company had done well for the year. It had expanded and profits were good. He annouced a big bonues for their hardwork put in. Keith then asked Shirlyn and me to his office. When we sat down, he smiled at us and told us that he was giving us a pay increment. Keith was happy that the company has progressed in accordance to the plan that they had made together. I smiled. I was glad that work is interesting and challenging despite being in a SME. And my pay, which is a pay cut when I left my job to join Keith, has since surpassed my pay at my previous organisation.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The girl smiled coyly at me and beckoned for me to come over and sit with her. I smiled and walked across to her. Noticing how shy the girl acted, my associates burst out laughing. I sat down. I started chatting with her while taking an occasional glance at my associates. I reminded myself that I have to push the new product to them before they leave with the girls for the night. The girl placed her hands on my thigh. Slowly she kneaded my thigh….. then my groin. I smiled. The merry-making continued till one in the morning before I finally got back to my hotel. I laid naked in bed with my clothes strewn on the floor. I looked at my body. It had grown to be like all my colleagues’. I lost my form and fitness with all the long hours at work and traveling. I closed my eyes, I was feeling a little high with all the liquor I had but I had gotten used to it. At least I wasn’t throwing up anymore. I smiled at how far I had come since joining the company as I got out of bed to take a shower. I was glad I didn’t have to compromise on my values although it did call for some acting. But I wondered how much more my liver could take.

The Hunt Continues Monday, 30 October 2006

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I just noticed that I titled my previous post as “Job”. Not quite truly reflect my posting so I had it changed. I think I wanted to post some updates on my job hunt but I must have been distracted. 😛

My job hunt gathered steam after my exams. That really explained why the 2 months passed by so quickly. I had a number of calls, mostly for positions in financial sales such as insurance. However, there was one really promising position with a MNC. So I applied. Shortly after, I was called for an interview. I was surprised but I guess it helped that it was really an entry position in sales. I was delighted and really became hopeful after I managed to get a 2nd interview a week after the first one. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through that one. While I wasn’t successful, I am glad for it as the interview made me realise that sales wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Although I remain open towards joining the finance industry via sales (then working my way to where I want), I am still more keen on business development and strategy work. Recently, there’s some developments in this area so I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. I just hope that I did not get my hopes up too prematurely.

what?! Two months already? Thursday, 28 September 2006

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Has it been 2 months already? My exams are over (for now) and since I’m more or less ettled into my new place, I finally had time to simply relax and enjoy some quiet time. And what do you know, 2 months had gone by.

An Update Wednesday, 26 July 2006

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Yes, an update is long over due. So many things to see to recently. I have finally moved to my own place after some delays in the renovation. I had to personally inspect the works to make sure that the works were going according to my expectations. There were so many screw ups…well, anyway, the most important thing is that I have moved into my new place with Y.

As for my job hunt, I haven’t had any success at all. I didn’t try very hard actually as I was very selective. I really want to do something that I like or expect myself to continue to do for some time to come. Or something that can add value and allow me to progress. Or maybe I just need a connection or someone influential to bring me into the firms (Know anyone in Singapore GB?). Anyway, I had a conversation with a colleague who said that while our jobs were not exactly high paying ones like bankers’ (a deliberate use of bankers as an example 😉 ), it was stable and offered a good work-life balance. Which is true coz unlike the UK and Australia, banks in Singapore have a reputation of long working hours.

Oh yeah, I have been thinking of this blog of mine. Should I keep it as it is or modify it so that it will be family-friendly in future. I think my family members will be a little appalled at what they see here. :p oh well, I probably mentioned this before in here somewhere…..

mao dun Sunday, 21 May 2006

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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. 😉 ]