Let’s start from when I was a little boy in primary school. You see, I have very large protruding ears as a little boy. My relatives, especially my grandparents would like to tug at them and proclaimed that little boys with large ears grow up to become doctors and make loads of money.
Hence I grew up with the aspiration of becoming Dr. Alvin Lim when I was little.
However, by the time I took my PSLE, I realised I suck at Science, having to put in more extra studying than my peers to keep up. Being a pragmatic dude since young, I knew I was never going to make it as a doctor at this rate. Plus some of my friends were also scaring me about how medical students have to take practical lessons cutting up frogs and other small animals – that really put me off the career path.
By the time I was in secondary school, I discovered my forte in Art. I wanted to be an artist when I grow up – whether it’s a fine artist like Rembrandt or a pop artist like Andy Warhol or even a comic artist like Frank Miller or manga artist like Akira Toyama; as long as I can draw for a living, I figured I will be very happy. At the same time, I took up the subject, Design and Technology (D&T), for my ‘O’ Levels. That got me interested in engineering and building things. I want to be one of the many noble, nameless engineers that started the industrial revolution, bringing exponential progress for all mankind.
I topped my cohort for both Art and D&T for my prelims and ‘O’ Levels examinations. I was in doldrums. I could not decide if I wanted to be an engineer or an artist. Then, I came up with a brilliant solution during a scholarship interview with my secondary school’s old boys association – I decided I would grow up to “an engineer by day and artist by night”. I must have been pretty convincing at selling this career goal. I was awarded two scholarships in the end from the old boys who interviewed me. They told me I was the first double awards recipient. I was the boy who foolishly believe one can have the cake and eat it at the same time.
When I went on to Junior College, I struggled with my maths and science subjects. It was only then that I realised my strength was always in the arts and humanities, being more of a words and idea person, rather than numbers and strict logic. I enjoy reasoning, I enjoy writing essays, I hate MCQs with standard answers and cold, hard numbers. I found myself without any career aspiration to work towards, having now giving up on becoming an engineer.
When I entered my National Service, I contemplated signing on with the Navy, drawn by the drama serial starring piping hot Zoe Tay (plus I was a competitive swimmer then). After my Basic Military Training (BMT), I saw enough bullshit to put me off this silly thought for eternity. Till now, I hate going back for my in-camp training.
Still directionless, I chose my course in university on an elimination basis, while on board the MRT train to NTU as I clean forgot to submit my application form till the very last day. Medicine was out as I did not make the grade. Anything with science or maths were out too – hence engineering, architecture and business degrees were struck off.
That left me with law and communication studies. For some inexplicable reason, I chose the latter.
This proved to be the right choice as it steered me towards my current job – a marketer by day, a blogger by night; a dream job for me.
I changed a few jobs along the way, including my own business ventures, before I got to where I am now. Looking back, a common thread linking all my previous jobs were that they were linked to the online industry in one way or another.
I am currently the marketing guy at the bilingual web portal, http://www.omy.sg, a business unit under media group, Singapore Press Holdings.
I blog during my free time for leisure, and also because it is intrinsically related to my day job as a online marketing guy. You have to walk the talk to be convincing.
As a communications student, I managed to excelled in all four specializations – PR and advertising; broadcast and audio production; journalism; and communication research. I was good at everything, but was a master at none.
I could write well, but my Grammar is tardy. I could shoot and edit videos, do beautiful storyboards, but was unable to produce any extraordinarily outstanding work. I could illustrate and design, but was not particularly exceptional.
In the media industry, it is not enough to be good to earn a decent living – you need to be great. You need to stand out from the crowd. You need to be the best, if not, among the best.
It took me a few job changes to bring me to where I am now. I found out that my “Jack of all trades” trait fit perfectly for the online industry, or more specifically, online publishing.
In the online industry, my “good” in many different fields become a collective “great”. You do not need someone who is particularly adept at just one field of work for the online publishing industry. You need someone who knows a bit of everything and I happen to have the right credentials to fit this mold.
I enjoy my work. I enjoy the challenges thrown upon me as the Internet continues to evolve each day.
When you love what you are doing, work become less of a chore and more integrated into your daily live and routine.
This is my humble story. I hope it inspired you to find your dream job.
More on JobsDB.com’s What’s Your Dream Job Contest
JobsDB.com is kicking off their first ever Dream Job Contest and they are asking job seekers all over Singapore what their dream job is – and they want to hear from you! Ever wanted to be a “Party Planner”, “Zoologist” or an “Oil Rig Operator”?
How to participate?
Simply visit HERE and tell JobsDB.com all about your dream job!
10 winners will be selected and as a winner, you get to win any prize of your dreams worth $388. Here are some suggestions if you have no idea what prize to ask for.
By the way, JobsDB.com will be announcing the winner on 1 December so hurry! You have only 30 days to ponder over your dream job and dream prize!
• JobsDB.com is the leading online recruitment network in Asia Pacific.
• One of the largest and most comprehensive databases in Asia Pacific with over 14.6 million job seeker members and over 220,000 corporate clients, JobsDB.com is definitely the best place to go if you are looking for a job!
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