Monday, August 17, 2015

Thoughts that Count: Young, Free, and Graduated [Part 1]


Photography by good friend, Kenneth Tung

It has been a year. Last year, 8 July, was the day I walked up the stage, shook hands with the dean and bravely whipped out my phone with a huge minion casing to snap a selfie with him before scooting off the stage to recover the awkward silence and claps. 

It has already been a year. Haven't really had the time to sit down to pen down all these thoughts so I thought now is a good time before my memories and thoughts start to fade. Jumping right into a job one week after your graduation ceremony might not be the most ideal thing to do. Most would rather sit around, do nothing, travel, enjoy doing something that they love, sleeping till noon, and the list goes on. However, I chose to jump right into it. Now thinking back, I was actually rather excited to start of this new journey, hence my hashtag on instagram, #tohappierdaysbeyondgraduation. 

Well, this has been a rather up and down year. With laughters, with tears and lots of learning. No doubt there were times when you just felt like giving up, after seeing no results in whatever you do or due to many circumstances or obstacles. But, hey that is just for awhile. The gloomy clouds will eventually hide and the sun will rise again. 

Many of you know that I was struggling a year ago with going full-time with Sketch-a-Tote. Well, it didn't happen due to many various reasons. But as I think back now, I am glad that I didn't, on so many levels. But that doesn't mean that Sketch-a-Tote means nothing to me now. In fact, I still hold on closely to Sketch-a-Tote, Sketch-a-Card and my new project, The Blessing Mail. They taught me to be independent, responsible, matured, creative, brave and unrestricted at times. It's just that now is not the right time yet, or maybe not anytime soon. I believe that God has His time and perfect plan, so I shall be patient and continue to do my best at work. 

I have lots to give thanks for at work. Many would have feared work politics, terrible bosses or terrible working environment. I must say that I've been really lucky and blessed to have very helpful and supportive colleagues and bosses. We are like a super solid team. Though sometimes it might be hard, the people are definitely the ones that make life a little happier and bearable. For that, I'm truly counting my blessings. 

So here's some advice from the graduate-with-one-year-of-experience: Find Joy in the Ordinary. When it is something boring, do it with a little creativity. When it is something tough, do it with a little patience. When it is something impossible, do it with a little perseverance. There will be times when you feel as if you are the biggest in the world just because you have graduated or that you have a brilliant linkedin account or impressive portfolio. But I guess we are all wrong. Always start small, start humble, and start teachable. And one day, you will be great. 

To all my dear friends who are stepping out into the society soon or have just entered the workforce, wishing you all the best! It may be easy for you to "chiong" all out to prove yourself, but don't let that burn you out. In the end, you will just end up all unhappy and frustrated. Pace yourself out and you will eventually get there one day. I always believe in 'slow and steady wins the race'. There's no such thing as rushing to success overnight. They do happen, but hard to sustain. 

And no matter what you do, do what you love and you will love what you do. Have passion in what you do and that energy will drive you forward no matter how tired or how demoralize and inadequate you feel. 

It almost felt like yesterday when we talked about studies, syllabus, modules, exams. Well, now we are talking about salary, job scopes, interviews, OTs. We've all grown and that's exciting. 

If this post has spoken to you in some way or another, you will probably find some insights from the next post: Young, Free, and Graduated (Part 2) too.

Love, Quans

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