Juliana C Stryker
How I Found My Dream Job
Woo hoo! I just received the keys to Honeyz Cube’s new office space!
You bet there are no words to describe the happiness I’m feeling right now. *happy dance*
This entrepreneurial journey has been one hell of a ride, fulfilling and exciting yet also laced with a lot of uncertainty and self-doubting.
I’m so glad I made it this far.
I’ve been asked a thousand times by everyone and more often than ever, my parents, why I decided to take on such a challenging career path.
Well, I guess it must be perplexing to them as I used to be the type who would sell my soul for a monthly paycheque and decline any job offer that sounds ‘salesy’.
I was naive.
Today, I hold a different perspective and I believe it is largely a result of previous job experiences and meeting amazing people along the way.
I’ve learnt that finding the dream job is not going to be a walk in the park but it is also not a far-fetched reverie either. It just takes a lot of part time jobs, networking, objectivity and good luck too.
I thought it would be interesting to share my experiences and how I eventually found my calling. Maybe it would also help you pick up a tip or two?
Here we go!
Buck The System
It all began when I started my first year of University.
Every summer, we get three months off (which is fantastic) but I also don’t get pocket money during this time. This means I’ll be extremely cash-strapped during the holidays. Not a nice feeling as most of you would be able to relate.
In order to start padding my empty wallet, I began to look for part time jobs for students where no job experience or long-term commitment was required.
I landed my first job as a data collector at a major MNC, soliciting contact information of company managers. My first calls were disastrous as many receptionists simply refused to disclose any information or even direct me to their managers’ phone lines.
Come to think of it – if some random person calls you from a company that you’ve never heard of and asks for your boss’ contact details, would you divulge the info?
As expected, my fellow interns also faced the same problem. Of course, our managers weren’t happy but also didn’t offer any assistance.
So I began to experiment with different ways of asking for information by changing the way I projected my voice, the way I worded my introduction, assuring them that we are a reputable directory like Yellow Pages and that they are not obligated to give us information.
Consequently, I began to notice a slight improvement in the replies too. So I took note of the things I say that made callees more willing to tell me more and enhanced my script as I go along.
By the end of my one-month internship, I reckoned my success rate was almost 98%. Well, there were still a cautious 2% bunch who preferred to keep mum.
But that’s fine because for the first time, I felt like I was in control of a situation – with a grown up. I like that they spoke to me like I’m a professional too.
When you’d only lived 19 years, you’re probably told what to do most of the time so this to me was a nice turning point.
The most gratifying part was when I was asked to teach their employees how to gather such information more effectively. This was certainly fulfilling.
And that is my first taste of the corporate world. I learnt that sometimes, even your manager may not know how to solve a problem. You’ll have to be independent and always think on your feet and maybe even buck the system to discover new and efficient ways of doing things. You never know till you try and who knows? You might uncover hidden talents and skills!
Close A Sale
In my second year of University, finding a short-term job became slightly easier as job portals like Jobcentral, Jobstreet, JobsDB became more popular. Before, I only used the newspapers and there seemed to be more full-time than part time positions. Hence, I was surprised to learn that there’s actually a wide variety of part time jobs in Singapore.
The platform allowed me to explore many new jobs in interesting industries and I wound up in a real estate agency, assisting a top property agent in the company.
It was a fascinating experience as I got to work with an outstanding and highly driven salesperson and enjoy a front seat view of successful high value transactions.
The motivation and positive spirit certainly rubbed off on my young and impressionable mind at that time. Soon, I was volunteering to run sales meetings and even closed a few deals for my boss.
I loved seeing the happy customers and their satisfaction with my service made me feel empowered and driven. Soon I found myself attending CEHA courses too to up my sales game.
However, my academic workload exponentially increased in my third year of University and the property market also began to slow down after a few months. As such, I decided to call it quits to focus on my final year exams.
The experience made me realise again that I enjoy working at my own pace, being my own boss and calling the shots. Interestingly, it also made me recognise the flip side – long hours, irregular income and stressful nature. Not such a great trade-off after all. So when I eventually graduated from school, I went back to square one and looked for a 9 – 5 job.
Meet Amazing People
This is possibly the most interesting part of my journey.
The 9 – 5 job I found wasn’t exactly the way I pictured it to be. Think 5-star dinners, travel privileges and rubbing shoulders with leaders and dignitaries from 21 countries. It is insane, I tell you.
I found a job in the APEC Business Advisory Council and helped to organize and host the APEC meetings and conferences, meeting the likes of Teo Chee Hean, Lindsay Fox, Carlos Slim, Jet Li and of course, my favourite, Jack Ma.
Honestly, working around these people really keeps you on your toes but it also inspires you every second and makes you believe that if you continue to fight for your dreams, they will eventually come true. These people are real life success stories!
I remember there was one time, Jack Ma shared that he knew how difficult it is to set up a company so the goal of Alibaba is always to help start-ups establish their business and to gain exposure at a fraction of the cost and time. That was the first time I saw someone talk so passionately about his business purpose and vision. It seemed a little altruistic even.
The many other CEOs and business owners I met also talked about their goals and dreams in the same fervent tone. Even though they all engaged in different businesses, every one of these successful business leaders seemed to see opportunities in every situation, hold a more positive perspective and they were always eager to make a difference in society.
Confucius once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” This phrase suddenly made a lot of sense as I got upclose with these discerning entrepreneurs and witnessed the passion first hand.
My key takeaway from this amazing experience is to have a vision for who you want to become, the contributions you want to make and the impact you want to leave.
Career longevity is out of date, career satisfaction is more exciting!
Brainstorm and Discover
I brainstormed a few ideas and also asked myself if there is any job I would work for free for.
The answer was vague but I knew I would like to come out of my shell and make a difference. I also would like to be in control of my work environment and time spent in the office.
However, I still didn’t have a big enough network, funds and expertise so I went on to work in an IT firm supporting their CSR efforts and creating buzz-worthy websites and apps and that’s when it all came together.
As if everything so far had been leading to this point. I finally had the dream and the tools with which to make it happen. I started Honeyz blog followed by Honeyz Cube and haven’t looked back ever since.
Basically I created my own job where I got to do everything I love from writing, designing, photography, organising parties and maintaining social media sites in the sectors I’m passionate about – beauty and fashion.
Today I look forward to going to work everyday. 🙂
And as mentioned earlier, I just acquired a new space and here it is!
It might not look like much now, but hopefully with a few licks of paint and some elbow grease, it will look like this:
Have A Vision
Don’t give up your day job until you know exactly what you love doing and what makes you feel alive.
Have a vision and work towards it. The ball is always in your court.
If you need more information or resources towards finding your dream, I would highly recommend you to take up a few part time jobs first to understand what’s out there. These days, it’s much easier. Simply google ‘part time jobs Singapore‘ and you’ll have plenty of options. Make the best of every job experience and gather as much info as you need.
Life is not meant to be perfect and it will give you lemons all the time, like they always say, go on and just make some zesty lemonade out of it!
Wow! You’ve made it this far in this lengthy article, good on ya!
Finally, follow you heart and don’t stop believing!
And that’s my story. All the best to writing yours!
Your friend, Juliana