Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Brutally Honest Post

I have slowly realised what makes a good blog post. It is simply this: Sharing honestly about your thoughts and opinion. And that is what readers truly want to see and read. They want to hear about your honest thoughts about a matter and not some regurgitated facts (which I am sometimes guilty of).

Being brutally honest is necessary for blogging. But it is also relevant our lives in general. I had a flashback of some vacation work that I used to do while I was waiting to enter into the army for my national service. It was at a conference room. And the manager was rebuking his staff for not bringing value to their jobs. He even told them that he often went on job interviews outside to test his market value and encouraged his staff to do so. To which, one of his staff answered: " We are loyal to this company. Why would we do that?"

At that point in time in my life, I thought that manager was seriously one of those bad bosses. His staff would talk behind his back. They clearly did not like him. But today, I recalled the lesson he taught and realised that his staff probably missed the gist of his message. Loyalty to a company is not relevant to the question. The manager was really asking his staff what sort of value were they bringing to the job and why the company should be paying them. His challenge was for them to quit complaining and add value. And the true test of whether you are bringing value to the job is if another company is willing to pay you as much or even more.

Today as I thought about this point, I realised how true it is. For many years in my life now, I have been working and receiving my pay as though someone owed me a living. I shunned extra work and was always jealous of others who got promoted faster than me. I then had to ask myself this question. Do I quit and find another job? Or do I stay on?

But perhaps the more important question is whether do I add value to the job that I am in. How am I performing? Can someone do this job better than me? Where is my value add? Does my boss look at me and think: "This guy is the best person for the job." Or does he simply look elsewhere. This are hard questions that I ask myself each day. And it is particularly difficult because I am introverted in nature and don't get the chance to shine like the extroverts do. Somehow in all my education, I feel that I have somehow neglected my interpersonal skills, communication skills, persuasion skills and stuff. I might be older but I sure ain't wiser than the fresh graduate who comes in.

I have searched hard for an answer and the harder I drill down to the important questions, the more brutally it hurts. The sense of inadequacy, the feeling that I would do better at the job if I were an extrovert nibbles at me. I question whether it was my family upbringing or whether it was just my personality that got in the way. Or perhaps it was because of the faithful decision I made not to study overseas but locally that has driven me to where I am today. But one cannot look back at the past and wonder. Instead, I need to look ahead and hope for the future. But the baggage of the past sometimes weigh me down. Perhaps a better university would have done me some good in my career progression. Perhaps a more outgoing personality. Perhaps being a little taller. Perhaps being a bit more handsome. I don't know. Somehow, it seems like working hard alone is not enough. A certain X factor is required.

I once thought I was clever. But when I started working, I realised that there are much cleverer people around me. Now I no longer think I am clever. In fact, I doubt whether I am even average in intelligence. Surely if I was above average, I wouldn't be where I am today.

This is a brutally honest post. It is about brutal questions I have to ask myself.


  1. Sometime, the boss and you must be able to click (working fate?); otherwise no matters how hard you work or how good are you also no use.

  2. What? Sometimes? i say it's every time, no matter where you work. Since you are introvert, most probably you are not the "boss-carrying" type. So you better show you are more capable in your work or at least more hard working than your colleague. If not you will have a hard time from your boss; especially if he encourages or practices office politics. God forbid you have this type of boss.
    This was my work life experiences.
    Those who are no good at office politics better slot harder in order to survive(as long as possible) in your work place.
    This was my work life experiences. i think today it's not much difference; because we are all human beings. In fact i think a lot of people choose to be their own "bosses" because they realize they can not work for people because of office politics.

  3. *Like* your brutally honest post.

    I'd like to believe that one doesn't have to be a 'boss-carrying' type (or an extrovert) in order to hold one's own in the corporate world. Of course there will always be those who will do well by their superior upward management skills but then again, perhaps we should look towards those who have done well without the need to carry boss, and take a leaf from their pages.

  4. Just work like you own the business yourself. Standing on the management point of view and workers point of view will give you a clearer picture of why things are happening around you.
    There is no value in a job if it only generates money. However, people all have different agendas and are unlikely to want the same conclusions regarding their jobs.

  5. It's more important to add value to the company and at the same time add skills to your personal self. This way, both the existing and potential company sees you as an asset. This can be done by an introvet too.
    I see a lot of introvets being so good and so confident in their expertise that they can get into deep conversation on the area that you wouldn't think that they are introvet.

  6. Your brutally honest post touched my heart because I am also facing the exact same thought process with regards to my job. I am just not as good as I want to be and I start questioning my education, my personality, my childhood, my intelligence etc. I am also searching for an answer and wish you all the best in your search.

  7. Hi FF,

    "="Truth is different from facts. The truth of an idea is not a stagnant property inherent in an idea. Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true, is made true, by events. Its verity is in fact an event, a process. Any idea, if acted upon, is found to be true by the action we take; putting the idea into practice is the process by which it becomes true.

    Belief in an idea is an important factor in choosing to act upon it, and in this way belief is a part of the process that makes an idea true."

    - adapted from William James

    If you think you're introvert then you'll not do things that are deemed extrovert. If you really want to change your life, start believing that your personality can be moulded. Start acting like an extrovert. Start in baby steps, and one day, you'll belief will turn into actions that will change your reality.

    I did that before, so can you.

  8. Hi FF,
    When i blogged about "As a man thinketh so is he in LP's blog he recommend to read the book.i not only read the book from "NL" i found this webside for free e book below: Enjoy:

    As A Man Thinketh Free eBookThe book is As A Man Thinketh, the most widely written by ... - Cached -

  9. Anyway, who says only extroverts succeed in life?
    If you really know what you want in life, you will succeed, without doubt. Extroverts or Introverts will succeed.

  10. I think extroverts tend to be more well liked and it is much easier for them to be "known" by the bosses...working quietly nowadays just does not seem to work..

  11. Wow that's the exact same attitude I had towards the job owed me something instead of the other way round. It took me a quite a number of years to finally realise that whatever unrealistic expectations I had of my job were just that...unrealistic. And I had to really change my mindset. Still learning and changing.

    But you know...yeah, ok, we introverts probably find it more of a challenge to get noticed by the big bosses, but I refuse to use that as an excuse to NOT get ahead in our careers! Good luck to both you and me!

    - YY

  12. Hi YY,

    Yes, all the best to you!


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