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This morning, I visited Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome. I bought a one year pass which will expire in June 2019 and have yet to use it.

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Here I am, having a mini holiday in Japan, right here in Singapore. Sakuras are fresh and in full bloom. I came at 9am, no queue and was out by 930am.

The drive was just 10 mins from my home and enroute to work. When I texted my envious friends, they could not believe it.

Weakness can be a strength

Yes, Singapore is that small. Its tiny size is a weakness as well as a strength. All attractions are accessible. Just a mindset change away.

What resources are you underutilising?

🍍Just like my one year membership at Gardens by the Bay which I bought at $45 during a promotion.

🍍My “close distance” to the displays which are refreshed every month.

🍍Treating my Asian tiger mom as my best feedback coach. Undeniably she often has my interest at heart. (Her coaching fees are free.)

The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one. – Oscar Wilde

Globalisation, off-shoring, outsourcing, right-sizing, machines replacing me. Sorry, Mr Wilde, thinking about this doesn’t make me love my job, but more fearful.  Fear makes people do weird stuff.

What if my boss starts listing my job on eBay and get workers to bid salaries online, like a reverse auction and have jobs going to the lowest bidders.

20 ideas of the future

A excellent book that deserves a place on the shelf is “50 ideas you really need to know about the future” by Richard Watson. He is a scenario planner and has a blog on top future trends.  http://www.futuretrendsbook.com/author/

I’ve digested the 50 ideas into 20 career areas with potential. Jobs are disappearing and new ones being created.  Read his book to see the ones that don’t yet exist (e.g. robot relationship counsellor?).

For those of us who want work-life harmony, we will see more part-time, flexible working, and tele-commuting. More job specialisation – yes I see that coming from my clients in headhunting. Watson predicts that work that cannot be outsourced to highly intelligent machines or outsourced to highly intelligent people in lower-cost countries – I call them localised jobs that need the emotional, personal touch: nursing care, teachers, architects, writers, poets, painters, musicians, philosophers and plumbers, together with certain scientists, designers, engineers, lawyers (funny he should say that, the Law Ministry just said we’ve over-supply of lawyers), stress counsellors, masseurs, religious ministers, policy makers, strategists, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Many of these jobs are context-specific. Although we have a glut of lawyers, we are lacking in those practicing family law, criminal law for instance, according to the Ministry of Law. And young people, if you choose the area of study because of the trend reports, read the fine-print carefully.

Commencement addresses are another excellent way of seeking advice from the successful.

Mr Khenghuai recently sent me the following link of Vivek Wadhwa’ commencement address the Hult International Business School on 22 Aug 2014. URL Source: http://bit.ly/1zufhrO

The present stage of man’s history is unique, as entrepreneurs can do what only governments and big corporations could do before.

Computers, and the information technology that they enable, are going into other fields –  artificial intelligence, robotics, medicine, 3D printing, etc. This has allowed the creation of new industries and the replacement of the old. This can come in the form of 3D printing household goods, entire buildings, electronic circuits, and even food; delivering of goods by drones; developing new organisms to improve agriculture and clean up the environment.

With the good, there is also the bad that these technologies bring – large-scale destruction, spying, and many unimaginable horrors. Technologies which are available in Silicon Valley, and the same knowledge and ideas, are available everywhere – entrepreneurs, governments and criminals, are also developing them.

The jobs and careers that exist now may not exist a decade later.

The most important skills of the future?  

“Ability to learn and adapt”, “to collaborate with others and build relationships… share ideas, inspire and motivate.”

What Dr Wadhwa said, reminds me of an account of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement address at Havard, where she shared an advice then Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave her when she was considering joining Google. Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/sheryl-sandbergs-full-hbs-speech-get-on-a-rocketship-whenever-you-get-the-chance-2012-5#ixzz3BgTVpVO8

Do you want a seat on the rocket?

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
― Alvin Toffler

Its recruiting season soon and time to start writing resumes, preparing for interviews. One question which students don’t need to take seriously is “Do you have a hobby?”  I often see “Reading and running” at the bottom of the resume. As if, anything else too lavish connotes a lack of focus on work and job hunting.

In Nolan Bushnell’s book “Finding the next Steve Jobs“, he shared that his boss, Kurt Wallace hired him in part because he was so impressed with his ham radio hobby. Bushnell is the “founder of Atari, and the man who launched Steve Job’s career”, writes Walter Issacson, author of “Steve Jobs“, the autobiography.

Hobbies aren’t just a sign of passion and creativity, they are also about diverse knowledge. Bushnell cites Stephen Gillett, COO of Symantec, who publicly credited his obsession with online role-playing game World of Warcraft with helping him manage his on-the-job tasks.

Others who start businesses based on hobbies, [you mean besides Mark Zuckerberg, Mchael Dell, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs?]

Australian-born American entrepreneur Megan Duckett always loved the stage.  Growing up, she would perform as a dancer, cellist but she knew she wasn’t of the league to perform professionally. During an internship at High School, she applied to Melbourne’s Victorian Art Centre to do the lightings. Instead of going to a college, she went to work as a freelance lighting technician and got into the ecosystem of rocknroll bands. She later went on to work for an events planning company. One day, she got a request to dress up 10 coffins to look like Dracula beds. [She didn’t even know how to sew. But that didn’t stop her.] Soon she went on to make costumes for children during weekends etc. One day, while they were doing their taxes, her husband commented that she was making more from her weekend crafts than from her day job. Today, revenues of her company stood at US$5.4 million. [Bushnell wrote that Duckett sewed the coffin drapery because of her child’s Halloween party but I couldn’t verify this in her interviews found on the internet. Nonetheless she has an inspiring story off the beaten track. Read more: http://www.more.com/reinvention-money/careers/she-got-rich-doing-what

Being connected to the eco-system is really important.  Someone once said, that in Silicon Valley, you can change jobs without changing parking lots.

Unfortunately, a number of young people today, would just want to sit in front of their computer. [When I was in university, I recalled spending my time studying and relaxing with friends. Anything else was a waste of time and distraction from studies. My sociable parents would force me to volunteer at the neighbourhood community centres. My dad would try to strike a conversation around international affairs (on newspaper) at dinnertime. Which eventually helped in my entry into the Foreign Service. So, I didn’t know better either.]

Someone sent me a cute cartoon on how modern man has evolved.  It certainly describes L. In his youth, L would play squash, keep a small aquarium, try different restaurants, meet interesting friends. Today, he’s sitting in front of his computer reading his favourite graphic novel.  Come to think about it, so am I, in front of the screen.

Anyway, a little about the artist, Levni Yilmaz. According to his interviews, it was an accident how he got into cartooning. The evolution of his work from a hobby to a career seemed more out of practicality.  “I had just moved to San Francisco, and I didn’t know anybody. I was a transplant from Boston. I was finding it difficult to meet people, so I started keeping a journal just to keep myself company. I would write down what I did on any given day, and after a while, I started illustrating it as well with these goofball little sketches. One day, I woke up with a hangover, and read what I had written the night before on the bus, on the way home from a rather disappointing party. …  There was no planning, or proverbial lightening bolt of inspiration. I find that most life changing excursions can come from looking at banal events with a slightly heightened sense of curiosity.”   “I stared doing screenings around town that were getting good responses, and it occurred to me that I should try selling DVDs.”  [Drawing cartoons was something he did as a child, and returned to, as a way of letting out steam in his journals before he decided to commercialise it.]

Read more: http://therumpus.net/2010/11/tales-of-mere-existence-the-art-of-lev-yilmaz/

http://rascalmag.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/it-was-an-accident-an-interview-with-cartoonist-lev-yilmaz/

http://www.ingredientx.com/

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Joke sent by a friend:

After 2 years of selfless service, I realized that I had not been promoted, no salary increment, no commendation.
So I decided to walk up to my HR Manager. The manager looked at me, smiled and asked me to sit down saying: “My friend you have not worked here for even a single day.”

I was shocked to hear this !!!, but the manager went on to explain, and here’s the conversation that took place.

Manager: How many days are there in a year?

Me: 365 days and sometimes 366.

Manager: How many hours make up a day?

Me: 24 Hours.

Manager: How long do u work in a day?

Me: 10am to 6pm
(i.e 8 hours a day.)

Manager: So, what fraction of the day do u work in hours?

Me: 8/24
i.e 1/3 (one third).

Manager: This is nice of u! what is 1/3rd of 366 days?

Me: 122
(1/3 x 366=122 days)

Manager: Do u come to work on weekends?

Me: No sir.

Manager: How many days are there in a year that are weekends?

Me: 52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays equals to 104 days.

Manager: Thanks for that. If u remove 104 days from 122 days. how many days
do u now have?

Me: 18 days.

Manager: I do give u 2 weeks sick leave every year. Now remove that 14 days from the 18 days left. How many days do u have remaining?

Me: 4 days.

Manager: Do u work on National Day?

Me: No sir!

Manager: Do u come to work on Labour Day?

Me: No sir!

Manager: So how many days r left?

Me: 2 days Sir!

Manager: Do u come to work on New Years Day?

Me: No sir!

Manager: So how many days r left?

Me: 1 day sir!

Manager: Do u work on Deepawali ?

Me: No Sir!

Manager: So how many days are left?

Me: None Sir!

Manager: So what r u claiming?

Me: I have understood, Sir. I did not realise that I was stealing company
money all these days.

Moral – NEVER GO TO HR FOR HELP!!!
(HR. HIGH RISK.)

So, How many days do you work ?