Rejection could set new direction

By Athira Liyana

GOMBAK, 31 March 2021: The thought of being rejected after graduating is something that many would frown upon – but what if a rejection is a direction to success just like how failure is key to success?

A webinar conducted on Tuesday night (30 March) by the Department of English Language and Literature (DELL) and Secretariat of English Language and Literature (ELITS) saw the presence of their very own 2012 alumnae, Syazuin Sazali and Haneesa Zahidah, at ‘The New Normal BENL Alumni’ (TNNBA) Talk Series, sharing their thoughts on career experiences after graduating.

Syazuin is currently an Industrial Readiness trainer and a part-time lecturer while Haneesa is an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) teacher at Fairview International School Kuala Lumpur after faced with countless trials and rejections in their career path prior to their current occupation.

Speaking during the talk, both Syazuin and Haneesa expressed their career experiences before they become what they are today. They stressed on the importance of self-resilience when faced with obstacles such as rejections when exploring within one’s career journey.

Syazuin shared how rejection of her parents’ disapproval of her career choice and failures she faced in every industrial company she joined had persuaded her to strive harder despite “feeling like a loser”, as she put it.

In those harsh times, Syazuin took the rejection as a direction to pursue her current occupation as an Industrial Readiness trainer in which she used interpersonal skills obtained in the industrial companies she worked with. Hence, also becoming a part-time lecturer she is today helping students to develop their interpersonal and English communication skills.

On the other hand, Haneesa illustrated her story of the time she was working under a consultancy company where she performed well and progressed as an employee. However, despite her good performance and progress as an employee, Haneesa felt like she did not develop as a person.

Haneesa mentioned that if she were to remain at the consultancy company, she would not have reached her fullest potential. That is why Haneesa utilised these inner rejections to fulfil and redirect her career to the academic path.

Following the experiences both encountered, Haneesa and Syazuin proceeded with a list of advice to the participants of future workplaces, whereupon they encouraged the participants to look beyond the present, where they should try to see themselves in the next several years from graduation.

On that note, the list of advices Syazuin and Haneesa provided for students to prepare for their future career paths are as follows:

  1. Plan and work on what you can do presently; you cannot control the future, so prepare for it as plans can change.
  2. Incorporate skills and hobbies/values to your career path.
  3. Build up on skills you know you need to improve on.
  4. Balance both your academics and co-curricular activities.
  5. If you are in a dilemma between your own interests and parent’s approval as faced by Syazuin, the  advice is to “make it clear to your parents what you want to do in your life and ensure that you’re capable of doing so.”
  6. Pursue your interest, but bear in mind that plans do change, and priorities that meet your set of goals and needs shifts based on the time and space you’re at.
  7. Try things out of your comfort zone. 
  8. Show employers what you did outside of academics too.
  9. If you’re good at sports, showcase that in your resume so that employers know you’re not only academically active, but physically active too.
  10. Your strength in academics complements your personal skills.

The key point to take from the presentation by Haneesa and Syazuin is that one should always seek knowledge and learn to build on your skills. They also reminded the students to be practical, to learn, unlearn and relearn to ensure their rejections become their new directions. ***

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