A journey to remember

Archive for the ‘Work History’ Category

I am introvert, but I can be extrovert when I have to.

Introvert is not comfort to be in the middle of the crowds, and neither am I. Mingle is definitely not my thing, except when it comes to work. Talking to clients and colleagues is a part of my job description, so that like it or not, I have to blend in. I can’t be just the girl who sits quietly on the corner (even back in college, I always sat on the front row just because it helped me to focus with my study back then).

Introvert is more comfortable with small circle of friends and I find it is so true to me. I feel more engaged with a smaller group of friends and I’m not interested to have more friends in my phonebook. However, that simply can’t be the case when I’m at work. Networking can be so powerful I can’t ignore it at all. Not only networking helps me to achieve my goals, but also it gives me the best opportunity I could possibly have.

Finally, as most people know, introvert is shy, and so am I. Introvert is not that kind of person who is carving to be the center of attention. With that being said, I just can’t be shy at work. I have to show others what I’m capable of even if it will tend to make me as the center of people’s attention. I know that being shy will never take me this far in my career. And it turns out that being well known is actually not that bad, not at all!

Does it mean we have to be extrovert at work? Not entirely. There are many introvert qualities that also keep me going with my career.

The first one, introvert is a good observer. When I don’t talk, I observe, I connect the dots, and I get myself an insight. It makes me good at reading people and this kind of knowledge is a powerful skill you’ve got to have at work. When you know the people you work with, you know how to deal with them so that you can work together with them to pursue the goals (in other words, your goal).

The second one, introvert is a better listener. I’m capable to patiently listen to my colleague instead of rushing to get my own turn to speak. And once again, it helps me to get to know the people I’m working with. It gives me so many useful information about them and about many other things happening in the office. Knowledge is power, and sometimes, all you’ve got to do is just to listen to others’ long talks.

The third one, introvert is usually sensitive and so am I. I can sense how others feel towards something just by looking at their gestures and facial expressions. It helps me to predict someone’s reaction to certain thing so that I can prepare the best way to deliver that information to them. Different people may require different approach, and this is where being sensible can be a huge help.

The fourth one, and this is the most important one, happiness of an introvert comes from within. I don’t lay my personal satisfaction on someone else, not even my bosses. I know myself better than anyone else in the office. That’s why I don’t need my boss’ compliment just to make me proud of my works. Not all bosses keen to let me know how satisfied they are with my works and that’s totally fine to me. Same thing when my boss has a bad day, it won’t instantly get under my skin. His problem is not necessarily my problem too. And that to me, is the beauty of being an introvert.

Unlike many researches out there, I’m a firm believer that introvert and extrovert have equal chance to succeed. Everyone can be anyone they want as long as they work hard and work smart to make it happen. Don’t let ourselves become the barrier of our career. Overcome our personality problems and start to make things happen!

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Biasanya, gue akan segera menulis farewell note gue di blog ini segera setelah hari terakhir gue di perusahaan ybs. Kali ini lain ceritanya. Hari terakhir gue di Lazada sudah lewat 2 minggu yang lalu sebenarnya, tapi gue baru ingin menulis farewell note itu baru-baru ini saja. Kenapa demikian? Karena ternyata, ini perpisahan paling berat yang pernah gue rasakan!

Sebetulnya gue sudah mengajukan resign sejak pertengahan tahun lalu. Cukup waktu untuk handover, cari pengganti gue, dan yang enggak kalah penting, untuk menyiapkan perasaan gue sendiri. Saat gue resign, gue sedang merasa sangat nyaman dengan tim terakhir gue di Lazada. Bukan cuma cocok dalam hal pekerjaan, tapi juga dalam hal-hal di luar pekerjaan. Berkat mereka, hidup gue di kantor jadi terasa lebih menyenangkan. Gue jadi lebih banyak tertawa, dan gue juga jadi merasa punya tim yang bisa gue percaya. Banyak orang yang bersikap berbeda di depan dan di belakang gue, tapi tim gue itu, gue yakini bukan salah satunya. Dan percaya nggak percaya, tim seperti itu sekarang ini sangat sulit untuk didapatkan!

Minggu pertama setelah resign, sangat terasa ada yang hilang dari keseharian gue. Makan siang jadi terasa berbeda, makan Indomie juga jadi terasa berbeda (sudah bukan lagi makan Indomie malam-malam di pinggir jalan dekat kantor). Ingin cerita ini-itu tapi tidak ada teman di sebelah gue yang bisa langsung gue ajak bicara. Dan tentu saja, sudah tidak ada lagi teman-teman cowok yang celetukannya bisa bikin gue tertawa terbahak-bahak!

Di akhir minggu pertama, gue enggak bisa tidur. Gue kangen Lazada. Timnya, sudut-sudut kantornya, kegilaan pekerjaan gue sehari-harinya, gue bahkan juga kangen dengan kamar kost yang sudah gue tinggalkan segera setelah resign dari Lazada itu. Baru terasa, sangat-sangat terasa, semuanya enggak akan pernah lagi kembali sama.

Ternyata memang benar, kita tidak akan benar-benar tahu apa yang pernah kita miliki sampai kita benar-benar kehilangan. Awalnya gue pikir, gue hanya akan kehilangan tim terbaik yang pernah gue punya saja, tapi ternyata, gue juga kehilangan sebagian kecil dari diri gue sendiri.

Gue mulai kerja di Lazada saat bisnis marketplace-nya baru lahir hampir 4 tahun yang lalu. Banyak kenangan, pengalaman, dan pembelajaran yang tidak ternilai harganya. Di sana gue dipertemukan dengan teman-teman baru, di sana juga gue kehilangan beberapa teman lainnya, di sana gue pernah sampai jatuh cinta (ada sampai belasan cowok yang gue pernah naksir selama kerja di sana, hehehe), di sana gue pernah berprestasi, di sana juga gue pernah melakukan kesalahan dan mengalami kegagalan. Jika diingat lagi, sulit dipercaya semua itu pernah terjadi hanya dalam waktu kurang dari 4 tahun lamanya!

Di awal minggu ke dua, gue mulai mempertimbangkan untuk kembali kerja di perusahaan lainnya (awalnya, gue berniat fokus mengurus bisnis gue sendiri saja). Melihat betapa antusiasnya orang-orang di calon kantor baru gue itu pada akhirnya membuat gue mulai bilang sama diri gue sendiri, “It’s time to move on.”

Lazada, sampai kapanpun, akan selalu menjadi cerita favorit gue. Gue akan selalu bangga pernah menjadi bagian dari cerita sukses perusahaan ini. Kemudian soal tim gue, entah kenapa, gue mulai meyakini, “It was not a goodbye between us!”

I often feel blessed with my life, and Lazada has been one of the greatest blessings in my entire life. Thanks to you, Lazada! Thanks for the memories and all those crazy days! You will be missed.

xoxo,

Riffa.

I can’t stay forever mad with the people I used to care about. It can take a year, or maybe, it can take a decade, but I will eventually forgive them for what went wrong back in the past. Be it in personal or work relationship, no matter how bad it was, somehow I always found my way to have them back in my life. It might not be as close as we once were, but at least, they are not my forever enemy.

Why would I want to do that? Because they used to mean a lot to me and whatever they did wrong could never change the good memories that we used to have.

For starter, at some point, I always manage to be friends with my ex crush. Yes, they broke my heart, but in most cases, I used to broke their hearts too. It’s actually my loss if I decided to get rid of the beautiful memories I used to share with them. I would never forget the way they made me smile, the butterflies in my belly, and all the little things they did to comfort me, and most importantly, to make me feel loved. Once I fall in love with somebody, they will be forever mean something to me. I may never feel the same way again, but they will never be a stranger and I will always have a tiny place for them inside my heart. Once in my lifetime, they were my fairy tale, and they will always be my favorite stories to tell to my grandkids.

I will also stop hating the bosses who made me want to leave the companies I used to work at (I’m not saying I hate all my former bosses though). Back to the times I worked with them, each and everyone of them had contribution to my career development. They challenged me, they gave me opportunities I was unsure if I was capable of, and of course, they rewarded me even more than I thought I deserved sometimes. I am not who I am without my former bosses, and I’m thankful for that.

And finally, sooner or later, I will forgive ex best friends who betrayed me. I used to hope I could grow old with them, as people always say; best friends forever. Seeing my hopes were torn apart couldn’t be more heartbreaking to me. I’m already used to have envy people trying to ruin my happiness, but I never expect to watch my best friends doing the same thing to me. But still, there were some reasons why I called them my best friends. They helped me in the lowest points of my life, they woke up in the middle of the nights just to hear about my bad days, they were once the people I chose to be my family.

I’ve come to learn that my Mr. Wrongs were actually learning to become a Mr. Right (even if it’s most likely for someone else but me). They had to make those mistakes so that they knew what they should do to become a better man.

My horrible bosses were not pure evils or whatsoever. The crazy pressures they had were just beyond their capacities as human back then. If they are good enough, someday they’ll come around and they’ll eventually learn how to become a better leader for their teams.

Finally my former best friends… from all people in this world, I know better how kind and how good they actually could become. Hard times in life changed them, yet whatever their pain and struggle was, I sincerely hope they will soon find a light at the end of the tunnel. And if they will ever find themselves guilty, more important than my forgiveness to them is actually their forgiveness to themselves. That way, they will learn how to stay kind even when this life gets rough.

Again, this total forgiveness may take ages for me to get there. It’s not the forgiveness itself that is hard to be done; it’s to forget the way they once made me feel. Not to mention how hard it is to heal a broken trust. It’s definitely not easy, but doable.

Everyone makes mistakes, and so do I. And at the same time, everyone needs time to heal, and so do I.

Setelah nonton Kung Fu Panda untuk ke sekian kalinya, saya jadi menyadari ada beberapa pelajaran yang bisa kita terapkan dalam dunia kerja, baik itu dari sudut pandang atasan maupun sudut pandang bawahan.

Apa saja?

Sebagai atasan….

  1. Jangan mudah menyerah saat mengembangkan bawahan di kantor. Tidak semua orang mempunyai learning curve yang sama cepatnya. Jika kita sebagai atasan sudah menyerah, mereka sebagai bawahan juga akan menyerah pada dirinya sendiri. Po tidak akan mau meneruskan latihannya jika bukan karena Shifu yang terus berusaha melatih anak didiknya itu!
  2. Believe in your team, even in their darkest times! Pada dasarnya, semua orang memiliki kebutuhan akan rasa dipercaya oleh orang-orang yang mereka anggap penting (dalam dunia kerja, atasan adalah salah satunya). Kepercayaan kita sebagai atasan dapat membantu mereka untuk bangkit dari masa-masa sulit dalam perjalanan karier mereka;
  3. Pelajari motivasi masing-masing orang dan kembangkan mereka dengan cara yang paling sesuai untuk mereka. Tidak ada yang namanya one size fits all dalam dunia kerja. Ingat adegan di mana Shifu melatih Po menggunakan makanan? Motivasi Po adalah makanan, sesuatu yang belum tentu sama penting untuk lima anak didik Shifu yang lainnya;
  4. Jangan membuat bawahan merasa “not good enough”. Ketika seseorang merasa bahwa upaya terbaik mereka tidak pernah cukup baik untuk atasannya, mereka akan lebih memilih untuk pergi dan mencari tempat lain yang membuat mereka merasa masih memiliki peluang untuk level up. Terkadang, bersikap keras dan tegas memang diperlukan, tapi jangan sampai kelewatan. Jika kita masih ingin mempertahankan mereka dalam tim, maka jangan sampai membuat mereka merasa kehilangan masa depan karier-nya bersama kita; dan
  5. Jangan sampai kita bablas membesarkan seorang “monster”. Terkadang, rasa bangga yang berlebihan terhadap bawahan bisa membuat mereka menjadi sombong. Membuat mereka menjadi lupa untuk bersikap rendah hati. Tujuan karier mereka jadi hanya materi dan jabatan semata (sama seperti Tai Lung yang terobsesi mendapatkan Dragon Scroll). Terlalu banyak pujian bisa membuat mereka tidak mau menerima kritik sekalipun kritik itu baik untuk mereka. Ingat selalu satu hal ini: atasan yang gelap mata akan menciptakan bawahan yang juga gelap mata.

Sebagai bawahan…

  1. Jangan takut untuk bermimpi besar. Banyak orang yang terlalu minder terhadap dirinya sendiri. Hanya untuk bermimpi pun mesti pakai embel-embel “harus tahu diri”. Seolah hanya orang besar yang boleh punya mimpi besar! Bermimpilah seperti Po si anak tukang mie yang akhirnya jadi Kung Fu master!
  2. Cari atasan yang bisa kita percaya sebagai role model. Penting untuk kita mendapatkan atasan yang dapat menjadi role model dalam perjalanan karier kita. Saat kita sudah menemukannya, maka kita harus percaya bahwa segala yang dia lakukan adalah untuk kebaikan diri kita, termasuk segala tuntutan dan kritikan yang dia berikan untuk kita! Cara seorang atasan mengembangkan anak buahnya tidak selalu manis dan membahagiakan, ibarat menelan pil pahit yang sebetulnya baik untuk diri kita ini;
  3. Jangan terlalu santai dalam menjalani karier. Orang yang terlihat selalu santai cenderung sulit mendapatkan kepercayaan rekan kerjanya, terutama atasannya. Selalu bercanda dan memasang silly face hanya selalu lucu untuk pergaulan sehari-hari saja. Selalu bertingkat demikian dalam dunia kerja dapat membuat orang lain mempertanyakan komitmen kita sebagai seorang pekerja;
  4. Jangan pernah terlalu lelah, apalagi terlalu malas, untuk terus bekerja keras. Tidak ada kesuksesan yang mudah untuk dicapai, itu sebabnya, atasan akan lebih memilih untuk mengembangkan orang-orang yang mempunyai kesadaran diri untuk bekerja keras dalam membangun karier-nya sendiri; dan
  5. Salah satu pelajaran terbesar yang ingin disampaikan Kung Fu Panda adalah untuk percaya pada diri sendiri. Akan percuma saja atasan punya kepercayaan besar pada diri kita jika kita justru tidak bisa mempercayai diri kita sendiri. Seperti isi movie quote-nya Kung Fu Panda: “To make something special, you only have to believe that is special,” dan “There is no secret ingredient, it’s just you.”

Finally, meskipun saya bilang ada hal-hal yang dapat kita pelajari dari Kung Fu Panda, tetap ada satu hal yang tidak boleh kita percaya dari jalan cerita film kartun ini.

Apa persisnya?

Jangan percaya bahwa kita bisa menjadi “master” dalam suatu hal hanya dalam waktu yang singkat saja. Seringkali, meskipun kita sudah berusaha sangat-sangat keras, tetap dibutuhkan waktu yang cukup atau bahkan sangat lama untuk kita bisa sampai di tujuan.

Kung Fu Panda tetap hanya film kartun, dan kenyataannya, tidak ada orang yang bisa jadi ahli Kung Fu hanya setelah berlatih selama beberapa minggu saja 😉

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I was upset last night. I’ve started to do some free advertising (Instagram, Facebook, Path) to recruit sellers for my online marketplace and I’ve announced that the sellers can find us at hunters@thelenstory.com.

I was so excited that the website was underway and I was getting closer to my biggest dream, excited with the tremendous supports given by my families, friends, and even my colleagues in my current employer (yeah, I’m still working for someone else’s corporate too), until my sister in law texted me and she said that her friend could not send e-mail to that mailing group!

I instantly knew that I made mistake on the permission setting and I thought that I could easily fix it. I logged in to my domain administration account but then I was confused.

What did I do wrong?

What should I do to fix this?

So there I googled to search for some clues and it was super annoying that the given guideline was no longer matching with the latest version of the mailing service I use! I clicked here and there, I finally found the setting I was looking for!

The first trial, I told myself, “Oh well, this is easy.” I logged in to my personal Yahoo mail account and sent a testing e-mail to that mailing group… but it bounced back!

I googled again… it appeared that there was one separated setting that I should change. I changed it and sent a second trial e-mail… and it bounced back again! I rechecked everything, one by one, until I realized I missed clicking one button!

Alright, here we go… the third trial… and the e-mail didn’t bounce back to my Yahoo mail! I finally nailed it! But… wait. The e-mail was sent from my Yahoo mail, but I can’t seem to find it in my thelenstory.com inbox!

I refreshed my browser, over and over again, but still, the e-mail was not coming!

At this point, I was super upset to myself. If the same thing happens in my corporate job, I can just text IT Helpdesk and they will fix it right away. This kind of issue may never ever happen in my corporate job anyway. I can ask IT team to prepare the mailing group and they will get it done with no issue like this in the first place!

Can’t you see? My current corporate job is actually comforting!

Have a connection problem? Go to IT team.

Have a legal confusion? Consult with Legal team.

Tax administration? Let the Finance team handles everything (you have no idea how irritating it could be!).

Running out of money? Send e-mail to your HQ or regional office asking (or a bit of begging) for more funding, hehehehe.

But seriously, running a business is like “running” from your comfort zone. Unless you are very well funded, building a new company will push you to learn all the little things at work. You will have to roll up your sleeves even higher than your old corporate job!

Back to my group e-mail problem… how did it end? I finally realized that I hadn’t registered myself as the member of that mailing group! That’s why I didn’t receive the e-mail in my inbox, hehehe.

Having said that my old corporate job was comforting, running my own business is way more challenging to me. Yes it makes me have to touch the ground, but if you see it from another perspective, it actually makes me learn a lot of new things about building a company from the scratch. Until someday, this little scratch; this start-up, is going to be my very own corporate job.

As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I’m currently working on my own start-up. Just finished the blueprint, business plan, and of course, vendors hunting.

Here are 3 things I’ve learned about building a start-up at this very early stage:

  1. How to choose vendors and the traits you should consider before awarding the projects. You don’t need to hire super expensive vendors but you can’t always choose the cheapest service just because it fits your budget. At this point, you will realize the importance of chemistry and belief in your business partners. If you don’t feel clicked since the very beginning, it they don’t share the same passions as yours, and if it takes ages for them to response your inquiries, then you’re just not meant to work with them. There are plenty of good vendors out there, but not everyone will work well with your business;
  2. How to do free marketing. I’ve learned a lot from a couple of successful business founders. Free is not always bad, it can be as effective, it just requires more times to figure it out and a lot more times to work on it. Your apps is not yet live anyway, you have plenty of times to do it yourself. I’ve chosen not to accept any investor’s funding and free marketing (or cheap marketing to some extent) is the only choice I have at the moment; and
  3. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t have all features I want to have in the first development. I should be able to distinguish “the must have” against “the nice to have”. It’s better to have a few well developed features rather than a lot of troublesome features on your apps. Go live as soon as you can, new features can be developed later on.

I’ll write more about my start-up later on! I’ve created a new category in this blog named The Lens Story and a new tag named The Start-up Story.

And yes, my start-up is named The Lens Story. The web apps is going live in the next three months (insyaallah).

Stay tune!

A couple of months ago, an old friend from high school passed away. She was just 30 years old, yet she died from a heart attack. That day she said that she was tired and took a nap in her office, and she never woke up.

That news was somehow beyond shocking to me. I came to question my purpose of life. It reminded me of my forgotten dreams; all the things I wanted to do before I die, all the things that I sacrificed for mornings to nights in the office. I always thought I had plenty of times, but what if I didn’t?

It was also shocking to me because the day my friend died, I also felt pretty much the same symptoms as hers. I didn’t think I was sick, I just felt extremely tired and I always craved for a long nap. I still remember the nights I fell asleep in the office, with a cushion in my arms, and then I’d woke up just to go back to my laptop again.

I finally asked myself, “Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?  And from all the things I wanted to do in life, what did I want the most?”

I want to run my own business. Turning my biggest dreams to a reality. I want to run a company that makes the employees a better person; the very best version of themselves. I want to see my ideas becoming a brand. And I want to prove myself that I can really do what I thought as “the impossible”.

I want to take further study. I miss reading thick books and worked on my exams. I miss the butterflies in my stomach everytime I was expecting my grades came out on the screen. I missed the excitement, the joy, and the pride knowing that my hard work was paid off. I really really miss to be a student again and to learn from someone else again.

I want to write a book. Any book. A novel, I hope. I’ve always wanted to become a real writer ever since I was a little kid. I want to be able to see a book with my name on it displayed in a bookstore. I want to have some legacies, and the book I write should be one of them.

I want to travel around the world. One or two countries in every continent on earth only in one trip. I had been working too hard even before I finished my study and I really want to take a long break.

And of course, I want to finally meet my Mr. Right. I’m sick of feeling like I’m not good enough. I’ve had enough of restarting over and over again. I’m done with wondering and waiting. I want to be able to tell myself that I have finally found someone to share a lifetime with.

Right after all those thoughts, I made up my mind. I should not wait any longer. So there I told my boss I would only stay until end of year. I wanted to spend more times on my own start-up. I also eventually reduce my overtime to have a lot more of me times. I continued writing my novel and I started to look for the best business school in town. And the best part is that I finally moved on from my latest heartbreak and all the dramas that came with it. What about traveling the world? Oh well I can’t do everything only in a year, but least, I’m starting to get my life back to the track that I really want for myself!

I hope, I really hope, I will still have enough times to do at least, to pursue all these 5 biggest dreams of mine.

Amiin for me, please? 🙂


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About Me

What my blog is all about? It's all about my life; my very own fairy tale, that I would love to share. This is my story, my ups and downs, it's a journey to remember.

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