mohamad.farhan.shah's blog

My Secret Valentine's Day Location

By Jonathan Tay

I have a confession to make. I am a closet IKEA fan (I’m also a big fan of its tables and chairs as well). I love IKEA so much that I even know the Swedish furniture giant’s proper pronunciation – it’s pronounced ee-kay-ah.

Ever since I got my own place, IKEA has become a regular hang-out location for me and the missus. Gone were the days of sipping lattes at coffeehouses while the day wanes with jazz and the aroma of coffee beans. Weekends are now typically spent at IKEA, cruising through colorful displays of household products and domestic drama.

Backpacks & Business Shirts: You Are Not Mountain Climbing

By Farhan Shah

[This entry is partly inspired by my colleague and partner-in-crime, who blogged about women and high heels here]

While hanging on for dear life during my customary morning rides on the train, I also enjoy looking at the different denizens in the same carriage as me, who all either seem to be surgically attached to their smart devices or dozing off with their eyes open.

It was through these morning observations that made me realize this incredibly bad fashion faux pas – a large number of men in business shirts like to carry large, shapeless backpacks that make them look like oversized school children.

Don’t believe me? Just hang around any train station during peak hours and observe carefully. Besides wearing badly-tailored clothes (which deserves its own blog entry), a lot of men carry backpacks that look suspiciously like the ones they carried during their schooling days.

Book review: iPad at Work & I Wish I'd Known That Earlier in My Career

By Jacelyn Lim

I have to admit, I wasn’t the happiest person alive when my editor slid this book on my table. Do not get me wrong, I am an avid Apple fan. My whole family is; we have 6 iPhones for a family of 4, which says a lot.

However, I can never justify reading a book to understand a gadget. Isn’t the whole discover-and-amaze process the fun part of Apple products? But, a task is a task and after reading the book, here’s a breakdown of the main points I have gained:

Crushed Toy Cars and Childhood Ambitions

My Childhood Ambition

By Farhan Shah

It was tough pandering to my whimsical childhood ambitions. Some days, I woke up with the itch to be an inventor. I would deconstruct (and when I say deconstruct, I really mean destroy) all my toys and then, fix them together to form what my imagination made out to be a cake detector or a hover board.

Other days, I wanted to be a stunt driver, careening around dangerous corners at high speeds and attempting death-defying jumps that would leave the audience flabbergasted and begging for more.

Polish That Resume

Isn’t it frustrating when you get little or no response from recruiters after spending so much time and effort applying for multiple jobs?

Your career experience and academic qualifications fit the bill. And you are sincerely interested in the open position. So why haven’t you received an interview invitation?

The problem could well be in your resume or cover letter.

Make The Most of a Career Fair

The JobsCentral Career & Learning Fair 2011 is almost upon us. Here's a primer on how best you can take advantage of the numerous opportunities there are up for grabs.

Whether you’re a veteran of career fairs or a newbie braving the crowds to land that coveted job, walking through the expansive halls can be a tiring and unrewarding experience if you’re not sure what exactly you’re looking for.

However, career fairs will reward those dedicated enough to do the legwork with a treasure trove of new networking contacts, job openings and learning opportunities. We’ve put together this short cheat sheet that will come in handy when you’re pounding the concrete halls of the JobsCentral Career and Learning Fair 2011.

Brand Yourself Better

With over 5 million people in our tiny red dot jostling for space, education and jobs, it can be quite difficult to stand out from the maddening sea of chaos.

I know I feel the same way. The endless waves of commuters while taking public transport and the constant queues for anything remotely popular sometimes leaves me wishing that I could move to a remote island somewhere far away, except that my island would come with an Internet connection and a supply of Magnum Gold ice cream.

The same frustrations set in when I apply for jobs, spamming resumes to as many organisations as possible with nary a response, except calls from financial planners purportedly offering me a career that will change my life.

Learning How To Resolve Conflicts

Work is already stressful enough without having to deal with colleagues sniping at each other and passing the blame to each other. If only there was a way to walk through the minefield of workplace relations and come out on the other side unscathed.

A group of eager beavers felt the same way and signed up for our Career Excellence workshop - The Art of People Management: Dealing with Workplace Conflicts. Here's what some of the participants had to say.

Speaking with Charisma and Confidence

Amusingly, death is not people's greatest fear. It only comes in second to speaking in public, which has consistently ranked number one in the greatest fears that people have.

Speaking in public, or private for that matter, to a group of strangers should not be a difficult matter. However, a lot of people have problems with this. Recognising this, we collaborated with The School of Personal Excellence to organise a workshop "How to Speak with Charisma and Confidence". It attracted 40 eager beavers who wanted to learn how to communicate better.

Winning Impressions

A good first impression is absolutely vital if you want to ace that job interview. To that end, we collaborated with The School of Personal Excellence to bring two workshops - How to Write Winning Resumes and Achieve Employment Success and How to Ace Your Interviews and Get Your Dream Job - to help you with that goal.

Held on two consecutive Saturdays, the workshop attracted a healthy number of participants with employment aspirations in their minds.