Career Advice From A Sister

Take me as an estranged elder sister, one that you barely recognise from the many years of being away from home. One who faced more failures than successes in life, yet somehow managed to weather through the storms of life. I’m here to tell you that things are going to be okay.
Benny Razali
Writer, gradmalaysia.com

Don’t limit your options to your degree’s scope

Being an English graduate who majored in Professional Communication, I mastered various types of communications, especially in writing methods – or so I assumed. With my knowledge, I thought that would be enough to become a professional writer. Curating content? It should be relatively simple, right?  

I could not be more wrong. My confidence in my writing skills took a hit when I failed writing tests – interview after interview. I felt extremely downhearted. Then came one interview session where I met a senior writer who was also being interviewed for the same position. He told me that he was an engineering graduate who delved into the world of Human Resource for a couple of years, doubling as a freelance writer at the same time. Given his credentials, it was only logical that he was offered the job position, but I, on the other hand, was gifted the greatest revelation. 

We often choose a degree that may lead us to our desired career path, but life has its own little surprises that may divert the course of our journey. Keeping an open mind will also give you broader options on your way to success. 

Don’t try to achieve anyone else's expectations but your own

It’s easy to feel dejected once you realised that you’re not receiving the same great offers as your friends did. I’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong – you’re comparing your self-expectations with the achievements of others. But here’s the thing: the hustle is real for everybody. Your friends might have prepared themselves for their desired job; you probably just didn’t see the amount of blood, sweat and tears that were shed in the process of it all.

I’m not telling you to not expect anything out of yourself, but instead of comparing it to others, work harder on actually achieving those expectations. 

Remember, the working world is just another learning level

To be honest, the moment I got my first official writing job, I turned off my brain from learning new things. Turns out, learning doesn’t stop outside of the university, instead, it even demands an even greater level of dedication. Your knowledge bank will always need replenishing – the only difference is that you’re being paid for it.  

Every journey differs from another; your setbacks will be totally different from mine. But if you happen to read this after a good cry from being rejected by a company or simply from a series of no call-backs, just remember to be patient and to persevere. Fix your résumé and cover letter, dust your suit and hang it up neatly before your next call of adventure. 

You can do this!