10 jobs I’ve had in 10 years

When I was in primary school, I grew up wanting to be a Teacher. Probably because that was one of the only jobs I was exposed to at a young age. When I was in secondary school, some classmates said I looked most like a reporter (perhaps I looked a little reporter-ish with my roundish-square glasses but definitely not anything like Rita Skeeter) but I never thought of becoming one until I did an internship at the local newspaper. When I was in polytechnic, I thought of taking my ACCA (an accounting professional certification) after my accounting diploma and then become a full-fledged accountant. But a 1-year stint in the accounts department made me realize I was not up for that occupation. So here is a list of jobs I’ve had since I first entered the working world at 16, right after my GCE ‘O’ Levels while waiting for entry to tertiary institution.

1. Factory worker

(Temporary) This was my very first job, after I finished my GCE ‘O’ Levels. I joined a factory producing spare parts along with three other friends. The sweetest thing was buying my first mobile phone with my first hard-earned pay.

2. Tutor

(Part-time) The closest to being a teacher. During my polytechnic days, I tutored a primary 4 kid on 3 subjects – English, Maths and Science. It was a rewarding job but can be stressful knowing that the student’s improvement lies in your hands. Her family was very hospitable which made me feel welcomed every time I tutored at their house.

3. Telemarketer

(Temporary) Yeah I was one of those pesky telemarketers from an insurance company. But I wasn’t selling insurance, instead my job was to recruit people to join a team of advisors.

4. Purchasing assistant

(Internship) Assigned to a company producing CDs and electronics for my school internship. The company had originally asked for an accounting assistant from my school but filled up the position with a full-time employee by the time I joined. So I was attached to the purchasing department instead. Perks of the job included getting free CDs of movies before they were up for distribution.

5. Money desk journalist

(Internship) Joined the local paper for an internship shortly after I graduated from polytechnic. I joined the money desk department as I felt it was relevant to what I was learning in poly and keen to learn more about business reporting. This was my first foray into the world of journalism and I truly enjoyed the experience.

6. Accounting executive

(Full-time) Joined a media company finance department. Wanted to make use of my accounting diploma and put into practice what I learned. However I eventually discovered that accounting was not to be my career path.

7. Retail Shop Assistant

(Temporary) The same media company had a subsidiary company with a retail shop selling media-related items and they needed an urgent replacement for one day. I was involved with cashiering duties, assisting with walk-in customers’ enquiries and taking care of the shop for just that one day.

8. Editor

(Contract) In-charge of editing the content for a Ramadan website in SG as part of a yearly Islamic fasting month of Ramadan campaign. Liaising with freelance writers and working with a small team who were as passionate on making the site a beneficial platform for the community. This was one of the best jobs I’ve had. Best moment was interviewing Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a Muslim astronaut from Malaysia who spent a few days of Ramadan in outer space.

9. Assistant production editor

(Full-time) Managed the production of scientific journals in a publishing house research arm. Contrary to the job title, my job scope did not involve any editing to the content of the publication but processes on making the final article suitable for print and online publication.

10. Writer

(Freelance) After my internship with the local paper ended, I continued to write with the paper on a freelance basis up till today. One of the memorable assignments was an overseas one, covering a group of student’s village homestay experience in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. I also write freelance for some online platforms in SG.

* * *

This week I chose point #5 from Anna Fonte for the Weekly Writing Challenge: List Lesson. I didn’t realize it’s been 10 years since I first entered the working world! I didn’t even plan the title this way but I only realized it after listing and writing them down – and it actually fit perfectly to be “10” (jobs) on “10” (years). Anna was right, this list ended up to something more.

“But certainly, editing is what pushes the list over the line into literature. You tricked yourself into thinking you were making a list but SURPRISE! You’ll see you made something much more.” 

It’s been an interesting journey with many life lessons and experiences Alhamdulillah. I shall pat myself on the back for being brave enough to go through these working experiences, regardless of my failures, successes and mistakes. MaashaAllah. I’m still finding my cup of tea, but let me consider that with a cup of tea in hand…

A Good Date (Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past)

December 23rd is actually pretty significant to me.

On 23rd December 2006, my father passed away.

On 23rd December 2012, I got engaged.

On 23rd December 2013, I am a one-year old fiance.

Looking into the future…

On 23rd December 2014, I would have already became a wife.

On 23rd December 2015, perhaps I will be a mother? But I can’t imagine myself as a mother yet and though I love babies and kids in general, the idea of me as a mother terrifies me – for now.

I’ve already written about the December 23rd of 2006 here, and the December 23rd of 2012 here.

I spent 23rd December 2013 pretty ordinarily. I decided to fast my last few days of Ramadhan. I dressed up in a grey long sleeved top and my favorite blue flower skirt with Cath Kidston inspired flower prints. In the morning, I wished my fiance a happy one year engagement-sary. Then, I continued my never-ending wedding errands, liaising with my wedding card designer and friend on the final edits of the card. I also queried a potential printer to send my cards to. I managed to tick off some items in my to-do list.

In the evening, I met up with my best friend who is also my maid-of-honor, for a catch-up over dinner at Old Town White Coffee. She had just came back from holidaying in Europe recently and was ready with goodies from Paris and London. We also exchanged gifts – not because of Christmas since we don’t celebrate it – but because we were both born in December and are just a week apart from each other. After dinner we rushed to the nearest mosque to perform our Maghrib prayers, and I had a few moments of calm as the Imam recited some selawat on Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. We walked and talked a little bit more after that, and then headed back to the direction of our homes shortly after.

It was a beautiful day. Ordinary… and beautiful. 🙂

Weekly Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December 23rds Past

My Kinabalu Story: Chapter 4 – How to Overcome Altitude Sickness

Last week, I shared about my experience climbing up and descending Mount Kinabalu. Today I thought of sharing some tips on overcoming altitude mountain sickness (AMS), which can occur from an elevation of 2,400 m onwards. This post is also in time for this week’s “Weekly Writing Challenge: Dear Abby“. If I were to title this post with a question, it would be “How Can I Overcome Altitude Mountain Sickness?”

AMS can affect anybody, regardless of whether the climber is an expert or beginner. My buddy was not able to continue to the summit due to AMS, hence this would hopefully benefit you climbers out there who are planning for an upcoming expedition.

view of south peak

As Mt. Kinabalu is of 4,095 metres in elevation, you are prone to experience shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and talking at the same time somewhere above 2,400 metres. AMS can be minor or major depending on the individual. In certain cases, it can even be fatal.

Here are some tips taken from my own experience:

1. Water, water, water. Always hydrate yourself!

As the atmosphere becomes thinner and thinner with increasing altitude, the air density (the number of molecules of both oxygen and nitrogen per given volume) drops. Which means the available amount of oxygen to sustain mental and physical alertness decreases with altitude. So we need to replenish the lack of oxygen by drinking lots of water.

2. Packing the right nutrition is extremely important. (See below paragraph for detailed explanation).

3. Recognize your body’s needs and take frequent breaks

Because of the climate change, you will find yourself out of breath more regularly, especially if you are climbing and talking at the same time. Take frequent breaks so that you will be able to pace out better, and use this time to drink up. Furthermore, take this opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and the scenery around you. The view does get better when you are higher up the mountain.

4. Listen to the rangers and the limits of your body.

[A side story regarding AMS which the ranger had shared with Khadijah; there was a case when a female climber who was climbing with her husband, felt some tightness around her chest and felt nauseous as she was climbing up. She ignored these symptoms and continued on despite experiencing the symptoms more and more. It was a fatal mistake because eventually she collapsed and passed away that very moment. To God we came from and to Him we shall return. The ranger had to carry her body down to base camp…]

nutrition_berries

Nutrition is very important and I believe it helped me a lot despite my inadequate training.

Here are some good foods I ate throughout the climb:

1. Goat’s Milk (Malay: Susu Kambing)

I drank this every night before going to bed, before and throughout (during the overnight rest at Laban Rata). It helps restore your bones and also provide the required calcium you need in your body.

2. Cranberries, Raisins, Figs (Malay: Buah Tin)

These are excellent supplements and energy boosters for during the climb. They provide natural sugars and have the right tinge of sweet and sourness to keep the AMS nausea at bay. [Fun fact: The figs hardened as we got higher due to the pressure and coldness. Interesting, aye?]

“By the fig and the olive…” – At-Tiin, 1

There’s many reasons why it was mentioned in the Quran. It has so many benefits!

3. 100 Plus

This goes without saying. Besides plain water, I had a 500 ml bottle with me which I drank *very sparingly* throughout…

I also kept some Snicker bars but it did not help much as it contributed to my nausea the higher I progressed. Natural sugars are the best.

Hopefully these tips can be beneficial to anyone planning for any upcoming expeditions. Best of luck in reaching that summit!

This post is part of the series “My Kinabalu Story” based on my expedition to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia on 26th September to 1st October 2012. For more chapters go to ‘Kinabalu Khronicles’ in the Categories section.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Dear Abby

Mosque Meets Sky. Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

horizon_masjid-alkaff

That point where the arch of the mosque’s minaret “touches” the horizon.

That day when the sky and the clouds seem to be having an adventure of their own.

That time when you just have to say, “SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah). Thank you God for creating such a beautiful world.

Taken just before dusk, with my Samsung Galaxy Note 1. (Mosque: Masjid Alkaff Kampung Melayu)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

Green is My Hue. Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

green is my hue

I went to East Coast Park with one of my girlfriends today and we stumbled upon this spot and totally loved it. The tree branch was hanging and it was the perfect spot to sit and relax on it. I didn’t mean to wear green and be matchy-matchy with nature today, but I am loving the shades of green in this photo. Bright green, blue green, brownish green… Seeing all this green in this photo makes me feel peaceful and relaxed surrounded by nature, being at the beach… A timely reminder for me to relax and take a breather in the midst of the craziness of everything that’s going on. Alhamdulillah. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

For breakfast this week I had some time to make scrambled eggs as well as an apple kiwi ginger smoothie (because I’m having a cold and nothing like ginger to zest up your health!). As usual this is one of my cats, Kak Long (which means elder sister in Malay, named so because she’s the eldest of her siblings) being a busybody with my food. Kak Long is the most playful one in the bunch, always hungry no matter how much she eats!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!