On the back burner?

Call me a reflective person, or a thinker. That’s who I am. It may be bad, or good depending on how you look at it. Sometimes I tend to over-think and I know it’s not healthy because it makes me emotionally unhappy. Just within this week, I woke up feeling angry and upset at people who made “promises” saying “let’s meet up soon”. But the meet up never happens so it leaves me feeling disappointed and I’m wondering whether I should take people’s words literally or figuratively. I told myself countless of times not to trust their words unless they followed it with actions. Time and time again, it keeps happening till I really feel like giving up talking to them. Yes, you can put in effort to talk to someone, and you dont feel appreciated enough by them. In some cases you keep talking about wanting to meet up and when you propose a certain date, they say they will let you know again.

To you, its important that they arrange several days in advance so you can plan your schedule to fit them in nicely. But when they say they will confirm again, they confirm it at a much later date (like 1 or 2 days before they want to meet) and expect you to be free for them?! Or you have to ask them about whether you guys are still meeting and they say not sure yet or whatever. Do they even have the common sense to realize that you may have other commitments too -.- and you have to keep pushing back or rescheduling till you dont even feel like meeting them to catch up properly anymore. I’m certain I’m not the only one feeling this way. If you are treating your good friends as if they are on the back burner, PLEASE CHERISH THEM EVEN MORE if you even consider them as your good friends. Think about them as well instead of just focusing solely on yourself. If you don’t even care about them, you don’t deserve to be their good friends at all. Getting out from their lives would probably make them feel miserable about empty promises.

I nearly uploaded a picture on my social media with words like “Life is short. Be kind to yourself. Stop wasting your time waiting for people to justify their absence from your life with excuses. Those who appreciate you will genuinely care about spending quality time with you instead of treating you as a low priority or as options for their backup plans.” But what’s the point of uploading it online IF the people (good friends) whom the message is intended for, doesn’t get the hint? Or if they still refuse to do anything to change how things are? I eventually chose not to upload it on my social media. & I’m glad I didn’t.(probably another sign that I’ve matured more ^^) I told myself to forgive them for hurting me, plus sometimes its hard to forget the disappointments they have caused so I’ll have to do it slowly.

In discouraging times like these, I’m reminded of the serenity prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

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Haven’t really been consistent in doing QT/devotion of late. I’ll end up accumulating 2-4 days of bible reading at once. Sometimes I’m worried that this will be something done routinely and experience dryness in understanding the scriptures. Please keep me in your prayers regarding this matter…

Spent the valentine’s day weekend serving in my ministry. Though it’s my first in years spending V-day as a single, it felt very meaningful to me because of the opportunity to serve the Lord. My discipleship group was down for “servants of the month” duty and I joined them after service to help out so I didnt spend vday being alone. The married couples in my cell did not celebrate vday so I managed to join them and their kids for ice cream after we finished up with our duty. Yay to fererro rocher flavored ice cream! ūüėÄ It was super good! hahaha. I can never resist ice cream. oopssss.

I had to wake up at 6ish AM to prepare for ministry, which I’m still struggling to wake up this early ūüė° Managed to get a cab via the GrabTaxi app (which thankfully came within 5 minutes of wait) just so that I wouldn’t be late for sound check. To my dismay, the NETS function was unavailable inside the cab. I only had about $14 with me and there was a booking surcharge too. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough cash to pay for the fare. Throughout the ride, the driver kept talking to me and I answered him distractedly while making mental calculations of the fare and praying that the cab fare wouldnt exceed the amount that I had. Thank God that I alighted from the cab paying $12 inclusive of the surcharge (: I was also surprisingly the first one on my team to arrive for sound check. Guess I’ll have adjust to waking up earlier on a Sunday a month. It can be tiring to serve for 3 services a month yet being able to serve has always been a joy, especially if it’s done with the right intention (to humbly glorify Him rather than to seek the approval of man/for self-glorification).

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Turning a year older

Officially reached the early mid-20s oon 4th Feb. These days many people rely on social media to help them remember their friend’s birthday that the wishes dont really feel sincere anymore…so I hid my birthday information from my facebook intentionally, to see who would care & remember rather than just wish me for the sake of wishing. Besides, I’m no longer as young as my “forever 21” days so it aint a big deal too hahaha.

Spent day 1 of my birthday week by volunteering at a nursing home. Sang them songs, distributed Mandarin oranges and even chatted with several of the elderly residents. I felt so sad when I saw them there but tried my best to smile when I interacted with them. Day 2 was a day of running around- dyed my hair, did a new set of gelish manicure and took some passport photos, supermarketed. Day 3 was the signing of my job offer and the medical checkup (which took up my entire noon that I was so worn out after that). Day 4 was my actual birthday. & this is the first year since 5 years ago that I’m celebrating my birthday as a single. It feels different somehow but my friends cheered me up nevertheless :’) . At 12am, my bff texted me his wishes from UK and reminded me that he’s coming back in Apr, and shortly later my godbro, twinnie and a few others sent their wishes. Met my bestie for lunch and to sing Karaoke, and had dinner with my family + cake cutting after that. Day 5 was a detox day. Went to an anti-oxidant centre, then to the gym with bestie aft that, & ate Indian cuisine for dinner. On day 6, I met up with dine, drey, jm and Cc for lunch and went to meet Mini & Nana for dinner @ Buckaroo.

What touched me the most was that my friends who are currently in between jobs/still studying at this point of time got me some birthday gifts which I never expected to get. Thank you Dine, Marvin, Jm, Audrey for the blazer. Thank you Mini & Nana for the perfume, & my bestie who got me chocolates, some stationery, a photo frame with a pic of us and a handmade card. You guys made me feel loved ‚̧ This past week has been rather eventful and I guess the next would be a busy one.

Life doesnt feel much different than it was before, except that I'll have heavier responsibilities to fulfill now & I question myself whether I'm ready to take them up. Can I say that I dont wanna grow up? :\ I'll also be starting full time work soon after the first 3 days of the Chinese lunar New Year. Saw the list of job responsibilities and I can say it's gonna be rather challenging. Gotta get myself all ready and prepped up for the new year ahead! Have a great weekend y'all ūüôā

7 simple “Be” tips for a successful job interview

#1: Be well prepared. Do your research on the company before you even turn up for the interview. Know what you are going to say to the interviewer(s) when you meet them. Try to think of expected questions that they may ask so you’ll know how to answer. It’s also good to show up slightly beyond 15 minutes of the interview so that you have more time to cool down and un-nerve (is there such a word? haha) yourself.

#2: Be slightly humorous. Make the interviewers laugh. When you are able to humor them with¬†something you say (dont be too absurd with your statements though), they will tend to relax more and the interview would seem less formal. When they relax and smile, you know that you’ve managed to “break the walls” down since they have loosened up, and they are able to see your interpersonal skills.

#3: Be proactive. Take the initiative to introduce yourself if they hadnt said a thing about self-introductions yet and get to the gist of your experiences that is of relevance to the job. Interviewers are busy people so they may not have all the time in the world to listen to your long winded, fairy tale stories.

#4: Be interested. Show visible interest via your body language and non-verbals apart from verbals. Smile, nod your head, rephrase what the person has said, maintain eye contact with all of them to show that you are giving them attention. If you are interested in a particular position and the staff from other departments are also part of the interview panel, don’t neglect them.

#5: Be curious.¬†Find out from the¬†interviewers about their¬†personal experiences in the job. Ask appropriate questions that will reflect your interest in the job. If the interviewers ask if you have any question, try to come up with at least 2-3 questions (for example: “what training opportunities are available for the staff here?”) ¬†Do not ask questions like “what’s the salary like?” if you have not been offered the job yet. No one likes to hire someone who is more concerned about the salary than to contribute to the organisation’s growth and development.

#6: Be honest. If they ask you whether you have applied for any job offers, tell them the truth. When I went for the PH interview, I told them that I already had a scholarship job offer from another company but I was still very interested in this job and I hope that they would consider having me on board”. Somehow, after knowing that the other company wants to offer¬†you¬†a job, they may end up trying to beat the other company in recruiting you as part of their team if they really like your personality that you’ve shown during the interview.

#7: Be positive and polite. Even if you are taken aback by the questions the interviewer has thrown your way, keep calm and try not to let if affect your hopes of getting the job. If you are going to say something negative, try to end off the sentence with something positive. Be polite and thank the interviewers sincerely after the interview. You may want to drop them a “Thank You” email to show your appreciation of having the opportunity for an interview with them.

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(my “read more” link was supposed to appear but no idea why it isnt coming up D:)

There is a demand for social workers and only two local schools in Singapore offer the social work degree. UniSIM is a part-time program and it’s still considered as a private university (till 2018 when it becomes a public university i think) despite substantial government funding/grants for the programs. In terms of getting hired, NUS graduates would definitely be preferred as their curriculum is full-time and more rigorous. Let’s talk about non-social work degree programs.¬†In Singapore, many companies prefer to hire graduates from public universities like NUS/NTU/SMU. Meritocracy is favored across the Ministries and Statutory Boards in SG…which is why education is largely emphasized by the government. Grads with FCH, and SCupper would have more advantages to being hired and often given better positions like policy implementation/review/planning. Recognition is given to students from ivy league schools like Harvard, Yale, MIT which produces cream of the crops. Scholars would have better career opportunities and faster promotions too. If you’re lucky, you can enter the civil service/public sector with a SClower or TCH.¬†Sad but true thing is that employers would usually prefer to hire university graduates whose course duration was at least 3-4 years. For students who did offshore distance learning in SG (eg short 2 years courses) vs a degree obtained directly on campus overseas, your chances of being employed by the public service is really close to nothing. & It does matter which school you study at as well (eg Murdoch vs Monash, and JCU vs ANU, the latter would be more recognised). It would be better for you to work in the private sector instead, where meritocracy is less subtle.

One of the challenges I face now is accepting the fact that I would have to enter the workforce as a fresh graduate. Medical social work usually requires a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience in a social work¬†setting. For a diploma holder with 3 years of prior work experience with children, I have to humble myself and start all over again as a degree holder¬†with a job in a totally different sector. I’d have to deal with social welfare, handle financial issues, adjust to working in a fast-paced environment, manage different sets of stressful situations, work with other multidisciplinary medical team members. On a positive note, all I can say is that I’m blessed to have secured this job, with a decent salary increment that’s > 30% of my previous job. I believe my previous job in the education sector + my ~5 years of voluntary work experiences with the youth mental health division in Health Promotion Board could have been stepping stones to pave the way. Having been¬†comfortable in my government job, I hope that I will be able to adapt well to working in the¬†private sector (thankfully my organisation is government-linked so the work there is structured and organised). I’m looking forward to the journey ahead as a Medical Social Worker and bring joy into the lives of the patients and their family (: