Posts tagged career
Posts tagged career
Hello My Tumblr Friends! How are you? I haven’t been in touch with Tumblr for a long time. But today, I really want to write something; something that has been bothering my mind for too long.
Since my graduation in July 2011, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, particularly about career and life goal. Well, as an IR graduate, the most ideal thing to do after graduation is to work in Ministries/ (high profile) International Organizations/ Multinational Companies/ Embassies. I know few of my (lucky) friends make it there straightaway. They start from the entry level positions, and expect to get promotion in a year or two. Some other friends work in media, schools, low profile NGOs, and banks. There are of course some reasons behind their decisions to work in these areas. It might be because they actually have genuine passions in these areas, or they want to gain some experience first and later they will move to another companies, or they don’t know what to do and simply want to work anywhere and earn some cash.
Few of my friends, who are International Relations (IR) grads, continue their studies to overseas just after they earned their bachelors degree. Some of them are funded by their parents, and some are funded by scholarships. Most IR grads from Indonesia take master programs which majors are still relevant to IR disciplines. Upon their graduations, they expect to work as academicians or practitioners.
Ideal vs Reality
All or most of IR students have the same ideal picture of their futures. The successful formula of a happy IR grad is Bachelor’s degree + 2 years working experiences in IR field + getting scholarships for Masters in overseas = living the ideal life (to work in an IR-related field for middle/ higher position, to earn a lot of cash monthly, to travel a lot).
Unfortunately, both the work opportunities and master scholarships, that are specific for IR students, are rather limited. We often have to compete with non-IR grads. Unlike engineers who have plenty of job and scholarship opportunities specifically targeted for them; the IR grads often need to compete with other non-science grads (e.g business, communication, and other social sciences grads).
High academic merits and relevant experiences are the prerequisites to get a scholarship. Other factors that might determine our success in getting scholarship actually come from ourselves. I’d say self-confidence is one of the most important factors on this matter. Some people lost their self- confidence while they look at the requirements for the scholarships admissions (e.g minimum GPA 3,5, TOEFL 580, minimum two years working experience). They don’t even want to give a try because they think they don’t have these qualities. Yes, the “TRY” factor is also important. I remember that I attended a seminar about Fulbright scholarship a couple of years ago. There was a Fulbright alumnus, sharing about his experience to the audience. He told us that he could finally achieve his dream of studying under Fulbright scholarship after trying for six times. On his sixth year, he finally passed all of the selection steps and he made it to the United States. So, self-persistence is really important too.
The Dream and the Alternative
While I was watching the last episode of Kick Andy on Metro TV, I heard a very good mantra that inspired Ahmad Fuadi to write a novel titled “Negri 5 Menara”. The mantra is Man Jadda Wa Jadda. Only if you’re persistent, you can make it happen. The word it here refers to dream.
So now the question is: what’s your dream? I do believe that everyone has a unique dream. I do not believe that every IR students dreams to become Minister of Foreign Affairs or UN Secretary General. Our dream might be different from the so-called “ideal picture of IR grads”. This ideal picture might actually come from someone else’s dreams, not ours. It could be from the lecturers, who expected us to apply what we learned from them in the university into real work. It could also be from the parents, who had invested a lot for our education; of course they demand something in return. But let us think again, do you really want to live someone else’s dream? How long will you stay? I am very sure that each of us has a very personal and specific dream, and only few of us who are willing to take it seriously.
My point is, don’t get stuck in someone else’s dream and don’t feel desperate if you fail to make your parents happy. You might not get it because you don’t really want it. If you keep trying to achieve something that you don’t really want, you are actually losing your potential to succeed in other opportunities. I believe if you fail on something, it is not the end of the world, because there’s always an alternative. Talking about the alternative means talking about back-up plan. If a Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters!
Plan, Problem, Process
Sometimes it’s disappointing to face the fact that we don’t always get what we really want in a timely manner. We always plan to do things quickly, and we always try to accelerate or bypass the process. In real life, nothing is as fast as cooking instant noodle.
I have been talking about plans with my female friends lately. I found out that most women want to achieve their life goal as quickly as possible. We just want to work for maximum two years, study master for one year, and get married afterwards. Another interesting fact is that I haven’t found any of my female friends who are really into a long-term career. Does it mean that my female friends are mostly traditional, non-career, and pre-feminist women? J I need to discuss about it later.
On our way to the ultimate goal in life, problems might occur and they might come from various sources such as relationship, family, finance, health, etc. For women, relationship plays a very vital role in balancing our everyday’s mood. The ups and downs in relationship might affect the process of achieving our life goals. We also tend to put our relationship as a primary factor when it comes to decide about our future planning. Therefore, to manage a healthy and balance relationship is very essential in order to support the whole process.
We always think that by cutting some parts of the life process will help us to get the result faster. But if we think again, we will miss some parts that might be important for us to learn; besides, what’s the point of rushing if we can’t enjoy the process? Some people also love setting deadlines. Please be careful with deadline. There is a good thing and a bad thing about setting a deadline. The good thing is, the date itself can motivate us to work with discipline in a timely fashion; and bad thing is, there’s a tendency for us to think that “if I fail to meet the deadline, therefore I fail to meet my goal”. Failure to meet deadline might de-motivate us and make the whole process even longer.
Lastly, I just want to say let’s enjoy every step, every moment of our lives. No need to worry too much about the future because in the end everything will fall into place.
To my ladies: Say Shio, Citra Mutiara, and Anggi Dewanggarani.