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Apple is a great company, and its greatness was largely due to Steve Jobs.

I bought 4 iPhones before that still believe that it’s one of best phone compare with the rest on the market.

However, I still wouldn’t want to be like Steve Jobs.

 

With his employees

Everyone knows how Steve could be a jerk to his employees. Many of those who worked closely with Steve Jobs were humiliated and being yelled at in the public. He even took credit for ideas that wasn’t his, sometimes from those employees that he constantly abused.

All of these do not change the fact that he built a team and many great products that people loved.

Steve Jobs made it clear that he had no intention to care for other’s feeling and will not hesitate to eliminate anyone who doesn’t perform up to his expectation. What I do not understand is how he managed to build a high performance team with his abusive management style.

Anyway, I would prefer a company with more humane culture whereby the management will show the minimum level of respect of employees, celebrate success and give credits when due.

No matter how great one is, nobody can create a great product without a team. Even if they didn’t perform up to your expectation, at least their hard work should be recognized. The least that the company can do is let them leave with their heads up.

 

With his family

I had never met Steve Jobs in person, although I wish I had the opportunity. Where I learn about him is from the thousands of articles about him since he passed and reading 2.5 times of the awesome book of Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (I gifted it to a friend before I managed to finish the third time).

For Steve Jobs, family always comes after his work and passion to create a truly great product. I can’t say he is wrong and as user of many iProducts, I’d benefited from his work. I respect and salute his work but I would never want to be like this.

Family is a crucial part of my life. I need my family as much as they need me. I strongly believe that work or business is a mean to contribute by creating value for others while providing support for family and I to live comfortably.

I would want a lifestyle business that creates value for my customers, while making enough money for me to achieve financial freedom. More importantly, I can spend enough time with my family when needed.

This means that I won’t be a billionaire nor create products as great as Steve Jobs did, but I can live with that. 

 

As a CEO

It is hard to argue that Steve Jobs is not a great CEO, given what he had achieved and leading Apple where it is now. However, I still have doubt in his approach, especially on the level of details that he gets into to ensure everything is aright, literally, everything.

One of the smartest thing that he did was reducing number of products greatly, down to only four if I remember correctly. Not only this align company’s focus on these core products, but also simplify the company structure and management. Which could be one of the reasons that he can spend most of his time on product development.

Having said that, the amount of work and complexity of the task as CEO of companies like Apple is humongous. Going back and ford about the exact ‘white’ to be used on a product shouldn’t really be something that a multi-billion dollar company. Don’t forget that there are many great talent and experts in this field working in Apple.

Product development is definitely important, but it is really necessary for the CEO to spend so much time on the minor details that most of your customers wouldn’t realize the difference?

It works in Apple, as the history has shown, but would it work in my company? I seriously do not think so and I will never try.

 

With his customers

Steve had famously said that he doesn’t conduct focus group survey because customers do not know what they want until you show it to them. He create a great product and assume its greatness will attract customers, and they did.

This happens again and again that people started to believe that as long as you create a great product, the customers will come. Only that it wasn’t true.

It may work for Steve Jobs and Apple, but 99% of time it won’t work on the rest of us. Developing product without customer insight is too huge  a risk to take, especially for smaller companies with less than 3 products.

One mistake could be fatal to your already slim chance of surviving in the cut throat business world.

 

Having said all these, there are many areas that we can learn from Steve Jobs. I will try to write another piece about the skills and tactic that we can learn and use from Steve Jobs in the future. 

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To buy or not to buy, that is the question. If you are thinking whether you should or should not buy property in 2016, this is for you.

For most people, property is the largest purchase in life, which is why this decision should not be taken lightly. My objective is to make the process simpler and easier for you. I will explain the pros and cons of both sides for you.

There won’t be an answer for you, sorry, but hopefully it will help you to make a better decision.

2 sides

Let’s start with why you should consider buying property in 2016 first.

  1. You will get a better deal

If you pay any attention to the property market, chances are you would know that property prices had been softening in the past 12 months. The Malaysian Reverse even reported in Oct 2015 that the price dipped as much as 15%!

I can’t verify if that the number is true, but it won’t be far off.

I own a few properties in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and on average I received 10 messages of buy or rent enquiries every week. I regularly check with agents on the market price of both rent and selling price of my properties.

Based on my observation, the market price has fallen about 5% to 8% in 2015. The scariest part is, there are not many transactions even with the lower price.

I have heard of ‘fire-sale’ of 10% below market price being thrown at the market, and even that, it took a while before an investor grab it.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but if the general consensus is to believe, 2016 will only be worse.

All these are bad news – for the owner, but they are music to the ear of potential buyer. This is the time for bargain hunter.

If you decided to go for it, one place you should look is the auction market. A simple google result will lead you to a few auction properties websites.

These websites usually does not show the full details of the properties for free users. However, a simple cross-checking of different website can usually find the actual address of the property you want.

There are agents asking for commission of 2% for properties that they ‘found and introduced’ to you, this is total cow dung.

You only need to pay commission once to the auction house, not to the agent who ‘introduced’ that property.

Also, NEVER pay an agent for them to bid for you. The details could be another long article, but for now, just don’t do that.

 

  1. A good hedge against inflation and Ringgit depreciation

If you listen carefully to those ‘property investor’ or ‘expert’ that won’t stop recommending everyone to buy property now, they are all singing the same song: inflation caused the cost of construction, labour, land and everything else to go up, hence property price will goes up as well, that’s why you should buy now.

Putting aside any personal agenda that they might have, there is some truth in it. To be exact, the two main causes of further increase in property price in 2016 would be depreciation of Ringgit and inflation.

Politics (and probably corruptions) aside, one of the main reason behind the depreciation of Ringgit in 2015 is the low cruel oil price.

Will the cruel oil price bounce back strongly in 2016? Chances are they won’t, so you may expect the Ringgit to continue its fluctuation and weak for most part of 2016.

The real inflation in 2016 will be again high, it may not be as high as 2015 but inflation will definitely stays in 2016. By the way, I measure inflation by the price of roti canai and teh tarik, and not the government’s official figure.

Based on my kopitiam sources, the cost of construction had increase at least by 30% in the past 12 months. Also, with government’s continuation of subsidy rationalization, signs are clear that we will continue to see the price of goods continue to goes up. 

This is probably the reason for buying a property in 2016, to hedge against the risk of inflation.

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OK, now let’s talk about the other side of the coin: why you should NOT buy property in 2016.

  1. Low rental yield

All of my properties managed to command between 2% to 5% increase in rent upon renewal in 2015. I believe the general trend for rent (at least in KL and Selangor) has increased in 2015, but I don’t have any statistics to support it…

Although landlord managed to get higher rent, but the increase in rent is not as much as the price of the property. The net effect is that rental yield is lower and you will have a tougher time to get a cash flow positive property.

This means even if you rent out your newly purchased condo, it would not be able to fully cover your installment to pay the bank. This is also the case for most investors who bought a property in 2014 and 2015.

Besides, many projects that were launched during the boom days in 2013 and 2014 will be flooding the market this year. Will already low yield and more supply in the market now, rental will be pressured to stay or even goes down this year.

Forget about that property investment book that recommends you to buy property with monthly rental yield of 1%. Your chance is as good as getting a RM2.6 billion donation in your account tomorrow.

I did a quick calculation for my property in KL, the average net rental yield (after deducting management fee, assessment rate, agent fee, etc) is about 3.5%. While the interest rate for housing loan hovering around 5%, you will have to fork out the difference every month.

The cost of owning a house now will be higher, simply because you need to pay more to the bank but receive less from your tenant (if you are lucky enough to find one).

 

  1. Capital appreciation will be very low, if any

Most industrial players agree that 2016 would not be a good year for property, capital appreciation, if any, will be modest at best. Do not expect the bull market in the past two years to extending its run into 2016.

The problem is most of the Malaysian’s income level don’t grow as much as the property price in the past few years, couple with the high inflation rate, the purchase power of potential buyer is much weaker now.

The demand side of the market is and will still be weak in the near future. With less potential buyer in the market, your house will NOT appreciate as much and as fast as it could be. So, you should expect a longer holding period to see any decent return on your investment.

Unlike share market, in property, you only need 1% to 2% of the unit to go default and being auction to drag the price of every unit down. Typical number of unit of a high rise condo in KL is in the range of 400 to 800.

When you have 8 to 15 units of a condominium being listed on auction market over a few months, you can expect the price to be trending downward slowly. However, this will be a long process, probably 6 to 18 months to see significant discount of the price.

It might be better to hold on to your purchase and wait until 2017.

 

  1. Better investment opportunities in other area, such as REIT

If you haven’t buy any property and wanted to get into the game now, accept the fact that you had missed the boat of property boom in 2011 to 2014. Don’t fall into the trap of panic buying.

Be very clear that in investment, your objective is to achieve financial freedom, property is just one of the many routes that can lead you to your destination. The key is to make your money work harder for you so that you can enjoy financial freedom earlier. 

Any Property Investment 101 book will teach you the two most important aspects in property investment: rental yield and capital appreciation. With both don’t look good in 2016, why are we even talking about property investment then?

If you like property, maybe you should consider REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) listed on Bursa Malaysia. You can easily find some that provide 7% yield, which is double of my estimate net return of rental yield based on the current property price (both REIT and property yield are based on end Dec 2015 figures).

If you can accept slightly higher risk and shorter investment period, you may even consider investing in share market directly. Historically share market has been able to fetch return of around 8%. However, if you are new to share market, do spend time to do your research and due diligent beforehand.

Even if you plan to buy a house for own stay, it may be better for you to keep your money in share market or REIT for now, and buy your dream house later.

So, that’s all I can think of for now. Like I said, I won’t be giving you a simple answer to this difficult question. I just hope that you would consider both side of the story before making your decision.

 

Consider this as bonus: here’s my suggestion of strategy of property investment in 2016

  • Holding power is the most important single factor, make sure you can serve the housing with relatively lower rent income or no income at all
  • Go defensive and save your bullet only really, really good deal
  • Focus on rent-able property and secondary market
  • Do your homework, do a lot of them

Strategy for Property Investment in Malaysia 2016

Good luck and happy investing!

 

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Don’t buy that new iPhone yet, and no, I didn’t mean that you should buy a Samsung Galaxy either.

I didn’t mean for you to ditch that smartphone and return to the dark age of using that dumb phone.

I just think you shouldn’t spend that money on a new fancy iPhone or Samsung Galaxy but instead, use it for the betterment of yourself.

Smartphone and internet had become part of our life, you will be missing so much without them, I know. However, most part of productivity and benefits of smartphone can be delivered by a sub-RM1000 smart phone nowadays. That’s why I don’t think you should spend that kind of money of a new iPhone, unless you had achieve financial freedom.

Here are some suggestion on how to use that money instead.

 

  1. Buy something that will appreciate in value

In other words, instead of spend your hard earn money, invest it. Your new iPhone would probably depreciate about 30% or more as soon as you bought it.

On average the rate of return for share is 8% and property is about 7%, in short, there are the things that you buy that you can sell later with higher price, unlike your old iPhone.

Money is not everything and we should live at the moment, I agree with that, but spending that money on a fancy before you achieve financial freedom just doesn’t make much sense to me.

Learn to invest, especially if you are an employee. This is the safest way to financial freedom for you. You won’t want to depend on your children to support you, their life would not be easier either. 

Do your homework, learn the basic of investment, research which share or property to buy. Then use that money that you plan to spend on that new iPhone to invest.

Most importantly, 20 years later, come back here and thank me 🙂

2. Invest in yourself.

Don’t feel like buying and keeping things? Invest in yourself then.

Attend professional certificate course or training that will keep you competitive.

There are many quality online learning websites such as Coursera and Udemy that offer FREE courses from famous universities. They are also paid course that are typically less than US300 dollar. You could attend 2 or 3 of these courses with your budget.

Or buy books or any tools that help you to stay competitive.

We discussed the return of investment of buying shares and properties, what do you think the return on investment will be of staying competitive for years in your field?

 

3. Backpacking oversea

Many of my friends travel overseas with less than RM5k of budget. One just back from Japan for a 7 days trips that cost him just RM4k.

No doubt an iPhone gives you a better user experience than a mid-range XiaoMi, but I would swap that better user experience for a yearly oversea backpack experience.

Some of the benefits of travel

  • Make new friends
  • Make you a more interesting and socially experience person
  • Step out of your comfort zone and embrace new culture
  • Will be an invaluable experience for you

Traveling overseas, especially when you are backpacking, is a fantastic experience for your mind.

Embracing different culture and lifestyle will widen your perspective.  If you visited Cambodia and downtown of India, you may not think the iPhone is that important anymore.

It gives you a new perspective in life, especially your life, and rethink your value and goals.

At the very least, traveling trains you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace changes.

4. Small online business

This is not for everyone and could be seriously biased, but since this is my blog, so I get to make the decision to include it 🙂

I know starting a new business is not an easy task and not for everyone. But I still believe everyone, even if you are not in sales or marketing, should know a little bit of how business or commerce works.

Most of us wouldn’t have the opportunity to run a multi-million dollar company, but we can start a small business and try grow it to be one.

Internet has lower the cost of starting a small business with great potential. RM4,000 can give you a lot of room to try a few ideas during your free time.

Even if you couldn’t sell your internet business for a billion dollar later, the process of planning, starting and running a small business is a great learning experience for you.

Here are some of the online businesses that I think anyone can try during weekend and work from home.

These are the reasons that I don’t think you should buy the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy before you reach financial freedom.

 

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2016 will be a tough year, no doubt about it. How are you going to prepare for it?

Don’t just quit your job to start a business, only 4.3% business survived the first 42 months.

Instead, you should try to start a new business on part time basis, better yet, a business that generates income for you by working from home!

Here are 5 type of businesses that you can start in 2016 during your free time.

Latest Art Work!

  1. Freelancing

Use your skills to earn extra income during your free time.

Internet has made it easier than ever to be a part time freelancer. You can just register yourself on some of the popular websites, and start hunting for jobs!

Most of these are short term projects that can be done within days. Once you build up your profile, it will be much easier to take on the next job.

Common freelance jobs include graphic designs, web design and development, copy writing, photography and many more.

What if you don’t specialize in these, you ask? I heard you.

Think of your expertise and experience. Which area that usually people seek your advice? Can you be a consultant?

Do you have a hobby or interest that you are pretty good at? Fitness, dancing, sports or music instrument? Be a part time trainer or coach.

Alternatively, pick up that secondary school text book, and be a part time tutors. Advertise your service on free classified website such mudah.my.

If you have an expertise that you can teach, you can even try to record it on video and make it an online course. This may take a little more work and it is definitely worthwhile.

If you are not strong in technical skill and don’t have enough experience, then look for easier tasks such as baby sitting and house cleaning.

When there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

  1. Be a Social Media Rock Star

Social media presents another opportunity to start a side business without leaving your home.

It has been proven that you can make big bucks on internet without charging a single cent from your fans or followers.

If you already have a lot of followers (10k and above) on any social media, then you are in luck. You have already done the hardest part, it is relatively easy to make money on social media for you now. 

However, not all traffic to your blogs or followers on your social media account can help to pay bills. Even people with millions of followers could still be struggling to pay rents.

Find the right way to capitalize on your huge fan base, you may need to try and test a few ways, but it should not be too difficult if you know your audience well.

For those who are not as lucky, and just starting to build group of followers. Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Be your true self: Find a niche market that you truly interested in, so that you don’t need to pretend to be someone else. Authenticity attracts followers.
  2. Choose the right platform that suits your style: Needless to say, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all has very different way of communication and presentation. Choose the one that best allow you to engage your audience.
  3. Have a clear mind of who your target audience are: Be specific about your topic to discuss or share, so that you would attract the right target audience. It would be much easier to monetize your followers with the right target group.
  4. Provide a lot of value to your follower: Create or share useful information with them. Make sure that their time spent on your channel doesn’t go to waste. Usually a how-to guide or tips are popular content on internet.
  5. If you get paid from the sponsored content, say it in your post: People understand that you have bills to pay and there is no shame that you are promoting a product on your channel. Typically being transparent about it is the best way to handle sponsored post.

Having said that, it is not easy to be the next Justin Bieber, because there is literally no entry barrier for anyone to create a social media account.

It will not be easy to stand out from the millions of others, but if you made it, it can be very profitable.

New Look

  1. Online Selling

There are a few way of selling products online.

The most straight forward way would be just create an online store on ecommerce website and start selling your product.

However, chances of most of you who are reading this article doesn’t have your own product.

Here are some of the ways that you can try to still be an online seller even without your own product

  1. Affiliate marketing

How it works is that you help to promote a product and the supplier or manufacturer will pay you for every successful sales. Usually you will need a platform such as personal blog to do this.

You don’t need to fork out any money upfront and you can start earning commission on your sales

Searching for affiliate marketers to join is easy, there are plenty online.

Don’t simply take any affiliate product and promote it, choose the affiliate program that you trust and believe in their product.

  1. Buy in bulk from China and resell

To be honest, the competition in this area is stiff, because it is too easy to do. To increase your chance of success, you must do your homework. Try to find unique item that not available to every seller on the internet.

Be creative in promoting your product, such as taking nice photos, better description or creative use of the product.

iii. Drop shipping

This is what I prefer and would recommend anyone who is starting to sell online. How it works is you find a supplier or manufacturer of certain products and promote their product. Whenever you receive an order, just forward the order details to the supplier, they will directly send out the item to the buyers. You will only be charged for the items that you bought.

I prefer this way because not only you don’t have to deal with all the hassle of warehousing and logistics, you also get choose which product to sell. You can start with 100 products immediately without any financial burden since you don’t need to pay anything unless you sell something.

Although the profit margin of drop shipping would be lower than buying in bulk, but you are taking much lesser risk. You don’t want to go bankrupt while trying to make some extra income, do you?

 

  1. Be part of the sharing economy

Have a spare room in your house? You can now rent it out to a little extra income.

Airbnb is an online marketplace for rooms. You can enlist your properties on that platform and start your small hotel business.

Think Airbnb like the market that you can list your room or house there for rent to others.

The process of registering an account is simple and straight forward. But to ensure you make the most of it, a little bit of photography skill would go a long way.

Use your creativity and learn from others on how to make a killing on Airbnb. Most of the tips are not difficult to implement. You can find these with a simple google.

However, please note that Airbnb does NOT do background check on the traveler.

Every time you receive a booking, check the reviews that other hosts left for the traveler. If you are not 100% convinced, do NOT accept the booking.

You should also list down the house rule, for example, whether smoking is allowed, number of visitors, etc. Only take those that agree with your terms, this will save you from potential unpleasant experience of hosting strangers in your house.

I would want to recommend Uber, but given the recent controversy, my suggestion is to hold your horses for now.

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  1. Be a Maker (or baker…)

Do you like making things? Do you bake, craft or handmade items during your free time?

You can turn your pocket hobby into a side business without quitting your day job.  Create a free Facebook page or promote your craft on Instagram.

Or even sell your handcrafted goods to other countries by listing them on online maker market such as Etsy. 

Here are of the handmade products that you may consider

  1. Food: Probably the most popular category on the internet and they are selling like hot cake =) Many home-based bakers sell cupcake, fondant cakes, cookies, macarons, you name it. As long as you can bake and you know how to promote your product, this is one of the easiest ways to create some side income.
  2. Bath and beauty products: Handmade items are always a hit in bath and beauty product, you may even bought one before! However, not many were aware that most of these products are quite easy to produce even by novice at home. This is a list of 50 DIY bath and beauty products with recipe and instructions! Try some of it, if you like it, chances are your future customers might like it too!
  3. Bags: I never understand the rational of paying ten of thousands for a limited edition handbag. Espeically when you can make one over a weekend! Doesn’t know how to sew? Google is your friend. Here’s a link of FREE 45 bag making tutorials, here another link, and there are many more available for free on the internet.

 

These are the 5 type of business that you can start over a weekend and run it during your free time, most importantly, you don’t need any large sum of money to start any of these.

Which one would you choose and start to earn more money in 2016? 

 

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Every final year student should learn how to prepare a perfect resume with the right content that get you that job interview. 

Don’t waste too much time on the template or format of your CV or cover letter, instead spend time on activities that you can put in your resume.

It is the content of the resume that makes you stand out from others and got the job.

In this article, I will share with you some ideas and actionable tips that you can do NOW to build a great resume that help land your first job faster than others!

  1. Start a pet project

Nothing is more boring that a fresh graduate who doesn’t know anythingPet project picturesoutside of his textbooks.

This is why a pet project is important: it forces you apply your knowledge to solve a real world problem.

Find a problem that you are interested in and its relevant to your field of study.

Spend a few hours every weekend for at least 3 months on your project, you should see a reasonable result by then. Success or fail, it will be an experience that you can put in your resume.

If you are in IT, create a website, contribute to Github, or write a program that predict when your cat yawns. If you are marketing/business, start a small business online, try everything to make it profitable.

If I were given to choice between a full-A student but haven’t done any projects with another result-not-so-bad student but had applied his or her knowledge in real world and achieve a small success, I’ll pick the latter anytime.

It is not the IQ that decides if you can perform at work, but the skill that applying your knowledge to solve a real problem.

 

2. Choose the right final year project (FYP)

Don’t think of your FYP as merely another requirement to get your degree certificate.

The most talking topic during your interviews will be your final year project and internship (more on this later). Nobody would be interested to know how you score an A in Calculus, but the interviewer would want to hear all the details about your final year project.

How does it work? If it’s a team project, what is your role and how do you contribute to the team? How do you think it can be applied in the real world? How can it be further improved if you have more time and resources?

To be able to answer the questions above well, you must be passionate about your FYP. You must pick a topic that you are really interested about and create something useful. Invest your time to research on ideas for your final year project, it will be well worth your time. 

As the old saying goes, it is not work if you love it.

Choose a topic that you are passionate about, and half of your work is done.

 

3. Plan for your internship

Internship is a sneak preview of working life, and also potentially a ticket to secure your first job. 

Start with a goal in mind, write down what you want to achieve in this internship, or how you would describe your internship in your resume. Prepare your internship application and resume like you are apply for a real job. 

Then based on your requirements, choose a company that will actually train you and teach you skills, instead of treating your like a slave.

Do your homework and apply early. When they call you up for interview, put your best foot forward, but most importantly, take the opportunity to learn about their internship program for the interns.

Ask about details of the internship program, will there be any mentor? What should be your job scope? Would you be assigned deal with some real problems, or just running office errands? How many interns do they accept? 

Develop good relationship with your supervisor and colleagues, observe and learn as much as you can.

Internship provides you valuable working experience that could make you stand out of other hundreds of applicants, if you do it right.

 

4. Use social media account to your advantage

More than half of the employers admitted they check job applicant’s social media account during the hiring process. This could help, or hurt your chances of getting that job you want.

First, create a LinkedIn with updated resume and a great summary. Follow companies, groups and discussion related to your industry. Post and share related news that you are interested in.

Better yet, include your opinion on the news/latest development. It doesn’t have to be a 500-word analysis, it could just a simple ‘this is interesting!’ or ‘I believe this will definitely change how XYZ works in the next few years’.

However,  it is important that you must always be your true self on social media, don’t post with intention to impress potential employer (even though you are).

For other social media account accounts, the strategy is the same. If you enjoy the freedom you have on Facebook and Twitter, set it to private so that others can’ view it. But, make sure you set your LinkedIn profile to be able to view by public.

This is obvious but just in case you forgot: include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your resume.

Use Social Media to your advantage

5. Find a mentor

The objective is to learn from their experience, and if you develop a good rapport with them,  don’t be afraid to ask for them to be your referral on your resume.

Find someone that you trust and you want to follow their foot step. If you can’t look for those that have working experience in the field that you want.

Starts with the lecturers in your university or college, or your manager during internship.

It says a lot about you that someone (other than your lecturer, because everyone is doing that) is willing to put their name on your resume and back you up.

 

These are the 5 actionable tips that will help you to build a resume that makes you stand out from 99% of other applicants. Try it, and let me know when you got your first job offer 🙂

 

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One of the best advice I received during my early days: ask at least one question in every meeting.

In that Multi National Company (MNC) that I worked in, everyone is smart and the company was hiring about 100 new employee every year, so competition is very stiff there.

It is not easy to stand out in such environment, especially for a fresh graduate. Asking question is one of the simplest and fastest way to help you build a name and learn. 

A Small habit that Goes a Long Way

This small act, if you do it consistently, will increase your invisibility and help you to learn faster.

Bear this mind before the meeting starts. If you are prepared to ask questions, you will be more focus and attentive to what others are discussing or presenting. You will realise that you can now understand most the issues and projects better.

One thing about smart (but not wise) people is, they seldom ask question. They worry that asking questions or seeking clarification make you look bad in the eye of management.

In fact, the opposite is true, you appear smarter in the eye of others when you ask question

As long as you pay attention and ask the right question, soon others will remember you.

How to Ask Correctly

Don’t ask question that meant to belittle others. Ask a question that seeks to understand or learn better about that subject. Ask for clarification, not challenging others.

More importantly, make sure you done your homework and know what you are asking. Else you are just wasting everyone’s time. 

If you want to ask question during a meeting or event hall session, be humble. Shows that you are seeking clarification, or raise an issue for discussion.

I usually start with a big smile and say ‘I have a stupid question here….’ or ‘You all may know this already, but I wish you can help me by clarifying this….’. Position yourself as learner seeking advice, not challenger.

Try ask a question in every meeting, it goes a long way.

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