Career Kickstart
The first job you land could be the most important decision you make in your career.

I have seen thousands of resume from fresh graduates, get to know hundreds of them through telephone and face-to-face interviews. I realise one thing pretty common among fresh graduates. Many of them fall trap into securing a job quick by getting as many job applications as they can rather than evaluating their career options thoroughly. High chances are, they will either get a job quick that don't last long or they will need to go through a series of interview rejections.

It's about quality, not quantity.

Two months ago, I was in Southern University College (SUC) to conduct a Career Kickstart seminar for sixty undergraduates to address their concerns about job seeking. The experience reminded me a lot about myself 7 years ago, hunting for a desire job which is closely associated with my course of study. However, little did I know, the so called 'desire job' in my mind that moment wasn't desirable. Fortunately, I have chosen a less traveled road, to embark on Management Trainee Programme which I was given the opportunity to experience 8 job rotations that has lead me to my desire path, HR, a path that I never wanted and never imagine as one of the options prior to that.

>
 

Some graduates tailor their career options to what they perceive as the most desirable industries or companies. Where you apply should not come before your passions. The starting point of job search is where your interests lie and what will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning and go to work. Even if you don't know what's your passion, you can still find some clues by asking yourself "What have you done that really excites you?"

As you evaluate your career choices, don't get pigeonholed by your educational background. In many cases, you are able to pursue the career opportunities that match your passion and personality, that is beyond the confines of your educational background and expectations. You would be surprised how adaptable YOU can be.

Don't underestimate the power of your first job, it will set the tone for the rest of your journey. Kickstart your career wisely, your first job should give you a steep learning curve. The real payoff is over the long run.

  • Chew Ann Jee
    Chew Ann Jee
    HR Specialist, Learning & Talent Management, Human Capital Management, Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd

    Chew Ann Jee had her career kick-start by chance and that chance led her to a career path by choice, from a Medical Biotechnology Scientist to a People Scientist (HR Specialist). Chew Ann Jee holds the prestigious Master of Science (MSc) in Medical Biotechnology and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biohealth Science (First Class Honours) from the University of Malaya (UM). She has also successfully published her research “Anti-proliferation and anti-migration activities of ten selected Zingiberaceae species against Chew Ann Jee started her career by embarking on a 2-year Management Trainee Programme in Great Eastern in Malaysia. The robust job rotations the program has instantly opened up my perspectives and speedily expanded her business horizons in Financial Services. Six years later, she was offered a whole new challenge at one of the top Property Developers Mah Singh group in Malaysia to assist with its HR Transformation. Taking another big leap, she ventured from the Financial Services Industry to the Property Development industry with the scope of focus in People Development and Performance Management. Now, she is embarking on a new venture in Financial Services & Technology Industry.

You May Also Like

The CMO of People
The CMO of People

Many organizations are not getting the best out of their HR function. Ask a CEO, “What is your...

The Challenges of Hiring Future Ready Leaders and  Russian Doll Theory of Hiring
The Challenges of Hiring Future Ready Leaders and Russian Doll Theory of Hiring

One of the biggest challenges most companies face today is hiring transformational leadership talent...

Why Do Most Innovation Programmes Fail?
Why Do Most Innovation Programmes Fail?

What do companies do when a new boss says “Innovation has to be part of our DNA”? Here ...

The Greatest Resource any Organization has is the Creativeness of People
The Greatest Resource any Organization has is the Creativeness of People

For too many years people have been treated as expense items instead of highly valuable resources. T...

How To Quit A Job You Love
How To Quit A Job You Love

It is not easy to quit a job you love. Even with a new dream job in-hand, cutting the cord that conn...

Take on Mistakes
Take on Mistakes

Yes, we do say mistakes teach you a lot and you shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. But we...

Five Stages Of Organization Evolution And Key Characteristics And Concerns At Each Stage
Five Stages Of Organization Evolution And Key Characteristics And Concerns At Each Stage

Organizations almost always progress through five more-or-less well-defined evolutionary growth stag...

Managing in Multi-Cultural Environment
Managing in Multi-Cultural Environment

As several companies expands the business overseas, it is crucial to understand how to run the busin...

Crossing Corporate Cultures Creativity In Organizations Across Industries
Crossing Corporate Cultures Creativity In Organizations Across Industries

Every market has its own unique business practices. People working in different business sectors dev...

Four pillars of Yoga for holistic health
Four pillars of Yoga for holistic health

Every human is unique; therefore it is necessary for each of us to find out for ourselves how we can...

Brave to Lead Like a Girl
Brave to Lead Like a Girl

All of us are dealt a unique deck of cards. Our aim is to identify our strengths and play those card...

How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?
How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?

You Change Lives When You Empower Others! (Extending Influence #1) When you empower others you chan...

How Important is Vision in a Successful Life?!
How Important is Vision in a Successful Life?!

Understanding Vision (How Important is Vision #1)   How do you communicate and give vision to ...

How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?
How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?

You Change Lives When You Empower Others! (Extending Influence #1)   When you empower others y...

High Potentials vs High Performers
High Potentials vs High Performers

A Leaders Guide to Identify the Differences  Mistaking a high-performing employee for...

Is 7% good enough?
Is 7% good enough?

A topic discussed at the recent World Economic Forum was the reluctance of male executives to mentor...

Learning & Development as Part of a (Digital) Transformation Strategy
Learning & Development as Part of a (Digital) Transformation Strategy

The global workforce is constantly evolving to support a knowledge based, digital economy. Due to th...

The Future of Work – Digital Nomads and the Gig Economy
The Future of Work – Digital Nomads and the Gig Economy

It is estimated that within a short couple of years, a large portion of the workforce (estimated to ...

Political Correctness towards Civility To be, or not to be, politically correct...
Political Correctness towards Civility To be, or not to be, politically correct...

We can incidentally praise or criticize others depending on how we say it, the word choice or expres...

Let's not confuse loyalty with longevity
Let's not confuse loyalty with longevity

Let's not confuse loyalty with longevity It is interesting that the issue of loyalty in the wor...

The Attitude of Gratitude - Replying does not mean Answering
The Attitude of Gratitude - Replying does not mean Answering

The Attitude of Gratitude - Replying does not mean Answering In the ever increasingly connected di...

(Work-Life) Balance or Harmony (! / ?)
(Work-Life) Balance or Harmony (! / ?)

(Work-Life) Balance or Harmony (! / ?) Welcome to the world of Work-Life Harmony, beyond Work-Life...

Making Board Meetings More Agile
Making Board Meetings More Agile

Making Board Meetings More Agile Given my belief that the world we live in today has changed irreve...

It's Good To Fail
It's Good To Fail

It's Good To Fail I want to share with you something different from a normal convocation speech...

Four Lifehacks To Be More Productive Now
Four Lifehacks To Be More Productive Now

Four Lifehacks To Be More Productive Now Here are four daily life-hacks to help you to be more pr...

A leader sets an example, a leader doesn’t just order things, he does it so that others can do it  
A leader sets an example, a leader doesn’t just order things, he does it so that others can do it  

A leader sets an example, a leader doesn’t just order things, he does it so that others can do...

How would you end Executive Loneliness?
How would you end Executive Loneliness?

How would you end Executive Loneliness? What is the hardest part about being a leader? Altho...

Leadership Soft Skills Required for Business and Personal Success
Leadership Soft Skills Required for Business and Personal Success

Leadership Soft Skills Required for Business and Personal Success We often get asked, “What s...

New-G Leaders: Remember the Cow
New-G Leaders: Remember the Cow

New-G Leaders: Remember the Cow "Cow Don't Drink Water, Cannot Push Cow Head Down"&nbs...

Google your self
Google your self

What are your key leadership attributes? The beliefs and behaviours that make you unique and success...

Culture is not enough … Get the right culture
Culture is not enough … Get the right culture

A few years ago in Europe I asked a group of business leaders if they had the right culture.  S...

How Leaders Can Create a Culture of Agile Collaboration to Win in a VUCA World
How Leaders Can Create a Culture of Agile Collaboration to Win in a VUCA World

China growth-deceleration, the normalisation of monetary policies on the USA, tepid economies in Eur...

Is LinkedIn Improving Itself Out of Business?
Is LinkedIn Improving Itself Out of Business?

I still remember the day I joined LinkedIn.  A friend of mine called in frustration and asked w...

Life is the Name. Transformation is the Game.
Life is the Name. Transformation is the Game.

Over the past half a century, I come to realize life is about having gratitude and resilience. We ne...

How to handle negativity and negative colleagues at work
How to handle negativity and negative colleagues at work

In arithmetic's, negative into negative equals positive. But that’s just in arithmetic'...

ADAPT or PERISH: It is time for HR professionals to decide and create a new function or move out of the way!
ADAPT or PERISH: It is time for HR professionals to decide and create a new function or move out of the way!

Artificial intelligence in recruitment and performance management giving employees their key deliver...

Leadership Confidence in Times of Uncertainty
Leadership Confidence in Times of Uncertainty

How do you successfully lead an organization in uncertain challenging times?   Unparalleled st...

Insights for Making Working at Home Work!
Insights for Making Working at Home Work!

How can business and HR leaders manage challenges and find opportunities in the new realities of wor...

The Real You Is Not Really You…
The Real You Is Not Really You…

The Real You Is Not Really You…   We tend to see and act with our surrounding based o...

3 Powerful Lessons To Make A Successful Career Out Of Your Passion
3 Powerful Lessons To Make A Successful Career Out Of Your Passion

It Feels Like a Dream As I went on stage today to receive the Asia's Most Talented Coaching Lea...

How to Recover Your Direction - a case study during COVID19
How to Recover Your Direction - a case study during COVID19

What really happened 5 days ago I set myself a new challenge. Coronavirus had fundamentally changed...

Career Tips, Please
Career Tips, Please

Last week, I was tagged by the fab Tim McDonald in a LinkedIn post asking to share some pointers for...

Impact of AI on the workforce Pre and Post the Pandemic
Impact of AI on the workforce Pre and Post the Pandemic

With the sudden advent of COVID-19 - a global crisis of unprecedented scale, organisations now are c...

Peter Principle - Are you a victim or Perpetrator?
Peter Principle - Are you a victim or Perpetrator?

The Peter Principle – Who do YOU Blame? In my junior years of business, many times clients an...

4 Best Practices CEOs and Public Speakers Can Learn from Athletes
4 Best Practices CEOs and Public Speakers Can Learn from Athletes

What struggles do CEOs and public speakers have in common with athletes? For one, there’s the...

Stay Connected With Us