Thursday, February 5, 2009

Calculated Fearless-ness

I promised to elaborate more about the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS) and experiences I had in the Middle East, and through the course of it share some of my guiding principles at work (and generally in life). And to kick it off - Calculated Fearless-ness (you can't google this, I made up this term...).

All of us have something in common - fearful of the unknown, rejection and failure. When I saw the professionally designed NIS website; noticed the unforgiving application details; envisioned all the fluent essays required; and last but not least the thought of an interview with a panel of Simon Cowells, it was just about enough to make me forget about it all. At such junctures, I normally have a habit of asking myself, what's the worst that could happen? - application form gets dumped, application form is accepted but gets ridiculed in the interview, raging fire from the panel of interviewers, letter of discommendation from IDA to NUS (probably not...). I think you get the drift. Essentially, the mind has just been freed of mind-numbing fear since the worst ending is really just not that terrible after all.

Being in my third year, I had the opportunity to apply for the partial scholarship. Although IDA presents the award, the company that you get to join is chosen from a pool of partner companies. The list is extensive and still growing by the year. With a list of companies to select from, it's even more enticing as the bond period can be served in a company we have an interest in.

Besides the extra allowance, paid for tuition fee and a bunch of other stuff, I think the single most important benefit would be the overseas exposure (so the bond is really 1.5 years since the overseas assignment constitutes another 6 months). So, for third year students who see themselves firmly in the IT industry upon graduation, applying for the NIS would be a great option.

Fortunately for me, it turned out to be a happy ending, and I joined NCS shortly after graduation and then off to Qatar after a 1-month warm up period in the Singapore office. It was a blessing that I got an awesome boss to show me the ropes. Being the most junior member and facing both technical and cultural challenges, it was daunting. But my boss resonated with me on this very same habit whenever faced with a tsunami of a challenge or critical decisions - What's the worst that could happen? Normally the fear just melts away and sanity returns to lead us on to better and more effective solutions.

To sidetrack, I'm just looking at the Straits Times (5th Feb) and it says "Gung-ho spirit lacking in many job seekers..." Perhaps, to alleviate the fears, all we need is just to ask ourselves - What's the worst that could happen?

P.S I'll delve into more Qatar stories and write about why we pattern recognition is so important
P.S.S The papers also mention "Blogging is so dated - now you twitter" :p

- dmon

No comments: