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Learning and Development

What University Did Not Teach Me

By LIM KWAN-LYN   On paper, my degree could not have been more suited for the role. Having spent four years earning a Bachelor of Management Studies (Honours), with a double major in Finance and Marketing, I had developed a solid foundation in the areas of management—and topped this up with a good dose of financial understanding and insight into customers. I added trimmings too, holding down part-time jobs and volunteering throughout university life. Like many management trainee programmes, my role was structured as four-month-long rotations over a two-year period. This was one of the main attractions for me, as variety has always appealed to me. I was, like half the people in their early twenties out there, still searching for what I wanted to do in life. I soon came to question my c...

What You Can Expect On the Other Side of Entrepreneurship

By DARSHANA SIVANANTHAM If you’re tired of the mundane work routine, and you’re seeking for some thrill and adventure, then this is for you. You’re ready to take that leap of faith and let that dream job take off for you—working for yourself. You’re done listening to everyone telling you why you shouldn’t do it and how you’ll fail, and you’re completely convinced that this is exactly what you need to do right now. Congratulations! You’ve officially joined the defiant group of risk-takers and dream chasers of this millennia. What should you expect when you decide to dive into the deep end of your career? What is it like on the other side of the fence? What should you be prepared for when shifting gears? Here are five honest, practical pointers on what you can look forward to after taking th...

A Walk-Through Competency-Based Interview

By MATHY RANDHAWA   The first element of recruiting strategy is to determine “why” you are hiring people. You must determine your organisation’s direction and what recruiting can contribute to each of the directions. This will give you an idea of the manpower requirement of your organisation and also the kind of people you need to recruit. Vision, mission, short- and long-term goals, strategies and values of an organisation should be translated into actions for actualisation through organisational structure. The organisational structure will include roles, positions and jobs. In order to actualise the direction for an organisation, the right person should be hired for the right job. Therefore, competency-based interviews reduce the risk of making a costly hiring mistake and increase t...

10 Shades of Severus Snape

By JASMINE CHUAH   Severus Snape of the Harry Potter series has always been a character of dubious stance and till today, continues to be a hot topic for debate among readers. Whether he was firmly of the light or questionably in the dark, there is no doubt that his story holds many lessons and that they are buried in each of the layers that make up the mind blowing character that is Snape. Lily Evans “After all this time?” “Always,” said Snape. It is undeniable that the main motivation of most of Severus Snape’s actions was his love for Lily Evans, Harry Potter’s mother. After all, she was the reason for his protection of Harry. Her death was also the main reason for Snape’s eventual involvement in the destruction of the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Lesson learnt: Doing things out of love, ...

Heroes Wanted – All Shapes And Sizes Welcome!

By KAREN NEOH   The small and incredible team I work with has certainly gone over and beyond to develop content which we hope have inspired you, our readers to do some soul searching perhaps, invest in some “me time” for personal growth, and in turn to reach out to the people around you to help them grow. The editorial team also epitomises the story of the unsung hero – like Prof Severus Snape. Misunderstood and vilified for the better part of the seven Harry Potter books, Snape was a character who quickly came to the fore right at the very end – as Potter finally understood that his foe was truly his protector. Not only did Snape not receive recognition, he assumed the role in secrecy and at great personal cost. Heroes who build lives As much as I would like to share how I leapt out ...

Perseverance: Not Just Not Giving Up

By KAREN NEOH   In the past year we looked at perseverance from several angles – learning from those who have endured hardship, crises and injustices – to those who have set their minds on their personal goals and worked towards them with unwavering fervour. We also learnt about the parallels between high-performing athletes and “corporate athletes”. We talked to people leading large organisations – many of whom have cited perseverance as a critical component for their own journeys, and also to youth who have decided that if no one is going to make improvements in their communities, they would step up and make a difference themselves. Be… stubborn? Is persevering merely “not giving up”? Is it the euphemism for being stubborn and worse, inflexible? The short answer would be “it all dep...

My Top 10 Ways in Combating Procrastination

By LAY HSUAN, LIM   What do Malaysians have in common, besides the love for nasi lemak, football and durians (well, almost)? Hint: We tend to wait until the last minute before filing our taxes, paying our summonses, submitting our work reports (and claims), RSVP-ing a wedding invitation, etc. Generally, we all have a tendency to procrastinate until the 11th hour. To be fair, it’s not just confined to our country. The culture of procrastination is actually quite a universal human behaviour. Joseph Ferrari, a pioneer of modern research on procrastination, found in 2013 that 20% of the population identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For other interesting statistics on procrastination, go here. How do you combat procrastination? Here are my personal top 10 ways. Create a visibl...

The Do’s And Don’ts for Companies in Social Media Space

By SARA YEE   The social media platform has boomed significantly and taken the world by storm. With social media, customers are able to get live updates on the fly and participate in interactive sessions in real time. By reaching a mobile audience, company performance statistics change from being tracked solely by sales figures to being tracked also by the number of hits, likes, comments and retweets on the various posts made across the wide variety of social media. This avenue of spreading information, much like any other, has its draws and setbacks. Depending on how one uses it, it can either help the company achieve a wider reach and better engage its clientele or if misused, can cause public relations disasters that may have serious repercussions for the company. Don’t Reveal clie...

The Internet, a Virtually Powerful Tool for Leaders

By YUSMAR YAHAYA   In recent years, the content delivery platform has developed into what we now call the social media platform where content is disseminated automatically to spread and to be replicated like viruses, hence the often-used term “viral” in social media. Since social media software exists ubiquitously through mobile smartphones, the social media platform empowers everyone to express his or her opinions and garner worldwide attention within a very short period of time. Prior to social media, it would have been nearly impossible for this to be done, especially by ordinary individuals without any access to print media or audio-video broadcast channels. In business circles, while the social media platform is heavily used by consumer groups to express their points of view, it ...

5 Ways to Rock Your Online Presence

By ARIELLE YEN   These days, one of the first questions you might be asked upon meeting someone is: “Do you have Facebook?” – followed by a request to be “added”. Almost everyone you meet will have at least one type of social media profile. Your social media accounts are online journals of your life experiences, thoughts and pastimes, broadcast to all your “friends” or “followers”. The appeal of social media platforms revolve around the fact that they give everyone the opportunity to have a voice, to speak out and to share all sorts of topics of interest. Social media is the new norm In April 2015, there were 1.44 billion active Facebook users and over 288 million active Twitter users monthly. Millions of posts and pages were dedicated to various brands, companies, personalities and m...

Working For a Bigger Purpose

By JON GORDON   What if work wasn’t just work? What if work was a vehicle to live and share a bigger purpose? I believe there is a flawed perception in our society that in order to live a life of purpose we have to leave our jobs and go solve world hunger, feed the homeless, move to Africa or start a charity. These are all noble causes and many are called to do these very things. But for many of us, our bigger purpose can be found in the here and now, in the jobs we have, right under our noses. And when we find and live this purpose, it will provide the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life. Making a difference You may not build libraries around the world but you can find the bigger purpose in reading to your children. You may not feed the homeless every day but you can nourish your emp...

I Just Don’t Have Time!

By DR GLENN WILLIAMS   “I just don’t have time!” How many times have we heard people say this, or said it ourselves? In 2006, Dr. André Martin for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) analysed global trends to paint a picture of the challenges and needs facing organisations as they seek to develop leaders who will guide them through the complexity and uncertainty of the future. His research was conducted on a sample of 800 leaders. Their age range was 29–70, and they were leaders in organisations ranging in size from 11 employees to 10,000. Sixty percent of the sample was male, with top executives representing about 30% of them. Although 52.7% were US-based, 28 countries were represented. Dr. Martin’s primary assumption is that the global landscape is changing rapidly and introduc...

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