Career Up! – Notes from the professional panel sharing 

I’d the honour of sitting on the same panel as 6 other esteemed individuals for the Career Up session organised by NTU Muslim Society and Brothers of NUS last Friday night. 

I was the youngest and felt I had so much to learn from the professionals who came from diverse industries such as business, engineering, media and finance. It’s like being brought to the fountain of knowledge – of course I had to drink from it! 

So here are some notes that I took last night for those who may be seeking as well:
1. Importance of being grounded 

In a world moving towards automation and porous talent borders, it’s vital to be aware of our personal values and beliefs. We need to grow strong roots and be unapologetically ourselves, in order to gain the confidence and respect of others. What makes YOU different from every other person who is hungry for the opportunity?
2. Holding onto integrity and positive work ethics

There will be plenty of temptations to stray off and commit dishonest acts in ANY line of work. Trust and character are very important in building both a career and a business, so hold on to our integrity and be honest, without compromising on competency. Hang firm to the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet. 

It’s really less about what we know but WHO we know. Build as many networks and connections as possible. Start from school. Attend diverse events and keep in touch with peers as well as people more senior, whether in person or over social media. We’ll never know which of the connections that we have that is going to open doors for us in future. 
4. Personal Branding 

We need to put ourselves out there and make ourselves visible. Stop taking things quietly and being forgettable. Have a presence and be heard. Think about your personal brand and how you want to be remembered. 
5. Be excellent and humble in our endeavours

Always be willing to go the extra mile (work as if we’re one step ahead) and never be too big to learn from anyone and everyone. Aim high and tackle low. 
6. Take mentors

Seek guidance and help from people who have already achieved what we want to achieve. They’ll be able to share a vast reservoir of experience that cannot come from textbooks or online videos. 
Here are also my personal parting advice to the audience:

1. Excellence is a command, not a privilege, so be excellent in whatever we do.

2, Be willing to say ‘I don’t know” and take every opportunity to learn.

3. Go out and tap on the diversity and wealth of the world. Do not be insular and only look towards our own (Malay) Muslim community.

4. Have heart and remain authentic. 
I hope this is beneficial! Please feel free to share!

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