Tag Archives: work

You Must Learn

The wife and I have decided to upgrade our afterlife skills by pursuing the Program Takrif Islam course through PERGAS. It’s a ‘basic’ course, no doubt, but there are many areas that would be considered ‘basic’ where I feel like I am genuinely lacking as a Muslim, and I was attracted to the fact that there is a progression path for those taking the course on to Sijil Pengajian Islam, Sijil Lanjutan Pengajian Islam, Diploma Pengajian Islam and the Bachelor in Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage, offered in conjunction with the International Islamic University Malaysia. Given the heritage and leadership of PERGAS, I trust that I am in good hands and I pray insha Allah that whatever knowledge I gain is beneficial in this life and the next.

I really feel like maybe I missed out a little in not studying beyond the fundamentals of Islam when I was younger, and that all this is is a chance to play catch-up, as I move into my thirties. And I understand that this is but a small dip into the ocean of the wealth of Islamic knowledge, and that to truly pursue knowledge (and wisdom) will take a lifetime, and even then it will never be enough.  I just read this post, and it was both relevant and immensely humbling. Wa Allahu Alam.

In wordly matters, I think that to some degree my lack of experience and relevant knowledge in the areas I wish to explore career-wise is hindering my job progression. To that end, I’ve decided that I want to pursue a certificate in visual communication/graphic design, and take a second degree or a masters in mass communication. It’s what I should have done in the first place I realise, but maybe my head wasn’t in the right place when I was younger and in any case there’s no point complaining about what’s passed, just to look forward to better things in the future, insha Allah.

Wa Allahu Alam.

Peace be upon you.

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Working Week Woes

Coming back from two weeks of National Service, as tiring and back-breaking as it was, helped me break out of the day to day grind of work. This isn’t the first time I’ve appreciated NS for getting me out of a situation I didn’t want to be in, and it probably won’t be the last.

I’ve posted a little bit about my work situation before, and for the sake of privacy I don’t really want to post too much. Regardless, this job just isn’t what I was expecting and I don’t see a future for myself in the organisation. Among my main grievances are the lack of concrete job descriptions and responsibilities, and the lack of possibilities for job advancement. There are other reasons, of course, but nothing I can go into here, even behind the veil of so-called anonymity,

I think writing about it earlier I would’ve been much angrier. As of now I’m just resigned that this is the reality of my job for now, and to just bear with it until I find something better.

Alhamdulillah it hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been able to make time to pray regularly, I’ve made friends, I’ve hopefully become more mature in a personal and professional sense and I’ve saved enough money to get married. So I take the good with the bad and try to understand the lessons I’ve had to learn and grow from.

Wa Allahu Alam.

Peace.

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Agenda

Among the things I have on my plate right now…

  • Getting married, and consequently needing to prepare for the wedding, and married life
  • Brushing up on my religious knowledge in light of my upcoming marriage
  • Trying to do well at a job that I increasingly find unsatisfactory…
  • …while simultaneously trying to find a good new job elsewhere
  • Trying to figure out when the remnants of my corn surgery will heal so I can get back to working out properly, and wear proper shoes

Peace.

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On a productivity trip…

Given my issues at work, I thought it might be a good idea to seriously look at myself and my problems with organisation, procrastination and general productivity. I am a serial procrastinator and I know I have issues with self-confidence, and procrastinating is good when you’re trying to decide whether or not to buy a new pair of pants, since you’ll (hopefully) avoid wasting money on something that’ll go out of fashion in a month. It’s horrible when you’re starting out at work and trying to make an impact while making sense of a busy schedule.
So I’m trying to figure out a system that works for myself, which won’t fall apart should things go off course every once in awhile. In the meanwhile, scouring through bookstores and Amazon I think the following books are a good place to start to inspire an all-new, all-improved organised and productive self.
  • Organise Yourself – Ronni Eisberg & Kate Kelly
  • The Art of Organising Anything – Rosalie Maggio
  • The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson
  • Getting Things Done – David Allen
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

I’ll probably borrow before I buy, but insya-Allah I want to hit the ground running when I change offices and not burn out and not fade away, but just chill and get things done.

Peace.

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Work updates

It’s tough to hear that from your boss that your job has sucked the life out of you, which is almost literally what I heard from my boss yesterday. As my previous posts would’ve shown, I haven’t been enjoying my work at all, and naturally as a result it suffered. I think a couple of months back any enthusiasm I had for my position just fizzled out, even with a change of job scope and I’ve been going to work for the sake of my pay cheque. It’s a sad state of affairs considering how enthusiastic I was when I actually started at my workplace. This is actually the longest I’ve continuously been at any job and it’s genuinely distressing to think I might be useless and not able to hold a job down.

My boss, I feel, has been generally supportive and is now moving me to another department to see how I fare there. They’re definitely not going to hold on to me if I mess things up again. I’m hoping for the best, but at the same time I realise I have to cover my bases and have an exit strategy in case things don’t work out.

Insya-Allah everything turns out for the best.

Peace.

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money money

I could really use the extra cash, but I have no idea how to have a secondary source of income when I can barely handle my primary source.

Work stresses me out, I have to admit. There’s so much to do, and I don’t think I have a good grasp of what it is I’m supposed to be doing. Paperwork has never been my strong point, and I would think messing it up before would teach me that.

My direct superiors have of course noticed the frankly horrible job I’ve been doing and I’ve been told that the bulk of the paperwork part of my job (the responsibilities of the position are at least threefold involving admin work, customer service and marketing) will be shifted to my colleagues, a fact that I hate because it makes me feel like a wuss for not being able to handle it and terrible because it places yet another burden on my colleagues already heavy workloads.

I don’t really like to talk about work, but I have to vent because I don’t really have an avenue for this otherwise. I don’t feel entirely comfortable talking about this to my colleagues, although for the first time ever (given the relatively short amount of time I’ve actually been working) I’m trying my best to build a genuine rapport with the people I work with.

Besides, I’ve always been more comfortable writing things down rather than speaking about it. So here it is.

I sometimes worry that I’m not coping all that well at work and I’m just a few steps away from being fired for poor performance.

I still intend to serve out the entirety of my one year contract with the organisation, but at this point in time I can’t really see beyond that. Insya-Allah I have the strength to carry out whatever I need to do with diligence and conviction, and that whatever comes my way is for the best.

Peace.

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One more thing…

My organisation’s website has possibly the worst webpage design of any government affliated body. Take note that the bottom of their homepage has a link for Netscape users. Seriously. I’m shopping around for web design courses just to be able to redesign it.

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Achmed’s work updates

Work is good, alhamdulillah. My current job has me in a self-help organisation. I’m in the skills training department, which works to upgrade people’s skills (a very Singaporean thing, yes) to improve their employability. People often bitch and moan about the nature of organisations like the one I’m in (i.e. that they don’t do enough, there’s too much bureaucracy… which are valid concerns) , but on the whole I’d like to think society is better off with them than without.

My work currently involves a lot of paperwork, which was scary at first for me because I’ve been historically terrible with paperwork at all the office jobs I’ve held. With that having been said, I’m slowly getting the hang of it and managing pretty well. It might be a little corny to say so, but I’m grateful to sites like Lifehacker and Zen Habits which really help me out with getting organised and time management and things of that nature. As LG knows very well I can’t plan for nuts so I could use all the help that I can get. It also helps that my predecessor is still in the same building to help me out anytime I need it.

Soon I’ll be doing more outreach to promote the programmes under our organisation’s umbrella though, which is interesting. I’m supposed to be going out to mosques and companies and the like to speak to people. It’s new and a little scary, but it’ll be good, insya-Allah.

Also, for the first time possibly ever I’m in a position of semi-authority, being the third highest ranking person in my department. So far though it doesn’t feel that way since I also have the least experience. People don’t treat me any differently because of it though, and I hope I live up to the challenge.

Also, my organisation is 90% women. In most of the offices I’ve worked in the gender ratio tends to lean disproportionately in favour of the women, but it’s particularly striking here. At my induction I got this exchange…

Staff  #1: I have a daughter in poly… (looks intently at me)

Me: ?!

The next day…

(in the middle of conversation with another person before turning to me) Staff #1 (Same person): Do you have a girlfriend?

Me with jemput-jemput in my mouth: ?!

I’ve gotten flirted with/hazed on once by an engaged woman (clearly because I was entirely uncomfortable with it) and got told by my colleague (who’s twenty and getting married later this year by the way) that her fiancé has forbidden her from going to lunch alone with me.

Don’t worry LG!

Anyway, that’s work in a nutshell. Alhamdulillah I’m happy with what I’ve got and insya Allah I will benefit from everything that comes my way.

Peace.

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Angry Achmed?

Part of why I’ve been blogging only on occasion is that there hasn’t been much to blog about. Being unemployed has seemed particularly horrible for almost three months, and it didn’t help that at times (sometimes once a day) the dread of being unemployed for the long term seemed to hit very close to home.

All sorts of things float through your head. I should’ve done better for my O Levels/A Levels/University grades, I should’ve gone to poly,I should’ve picked a different major, I should’ve signed on to the army, I should’ve applied there…

And everybody’s got advice on what you should do, which is often enough at odds with others advice on what’s wrong and what needs to be done. As noted earlier I use my mother’s computer, and when she saw the folder with all my cover letters she asked why there were so many. I think I felt a bit of incredulity about that, as though the reason I couldn’t get a job was because I wasn’t applying.

I wanted to post this to get it off my chest, out of frustration and because sometimes release is necessary.

Now though I’m just happy to say that I’m starting work on Monday, Alhamdulillah. The pay isn’t great, but on the bright side it’s much better than what I would’ve gotten had I gotten a permanent position at my last place of work, and it’s much closer to my home and I don’t think I’ll have much in the way of qualms about the work.

Insya-Allah all goes well.

Peace.

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Career Log Stardate 29321

I’m still on my job search unfortunately, but I have some plans in the works that insyaAllah will be good for the future. In the meantine, I came across this post on my beloved Lifehacker.  The Career Log is a simple concept but it actually seems like a pretty good idea of keeping track of what you do at work, what you expect from a job and where you want to go in your career. It seems like a pretty good use of the Moleskines that Rawan (yeah I’m being really creative with the fake names here) got for me for my birthday.

Peace.

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