Some reflection while recuperating at home

I recently took my flu vaccine but was still down with flu this week. It was hard taking medicine because it would mean that I will be drowsy for the entire day. Although I got a break from work, my parental duties have to carry on. Such is the fact of being a parent. What is more troubling is to receive a message that made me spend the past few days thinking about it. Due to the sensitivity, I shall not disclose the details. What I need to remind myself is that with every adversity, there is growth, even though it may be unpleasant at first.

Recuperating at home for the past few days also gave me some space to reflect on my work. I have since assumed my appointment for 2 months. Deducting my leave taken to deal with my child’s operation, I had been around for a month. On the bright side, I didn’t come into this role as a fresh graduate. But settling into a new workplace always involves some teething period. I reflected on my experience at Drew and one of my new realisations was that I should have stayed for a longer period of time there as it would allow me to learn. It is, after all, one of the top law firms in Singapore. At that point, my pride overwhelmed me – Why do I need to subject myself to this when I know that I have other options? On the other hand, it is also because I left, that perhaps allowed me to explore other options and resulted in me becoming an OBS instructor. As cliche as it sounds, when one door close, another one opens. While I do not enjoy such volatility in life, I keep myself ready. What I feel sorry for is dragging those around me through these rollercoaster rides. As much as I cherish my job, I cannot do a job “just to make a living”. It would be unjustified because I am hired for my input, for my best ability and contribution, not just to cruise along and do the bare minimum to get by. If I see something that is wrong, I will voice it out, and I try to do it the best way I can. But even so, messages can be misconstrued. Whether people understand me at that point in time or not is secondary. What is important is for me to do my part first by voicing out.

As expected, I did not have a smooth start at OBS either. Thankfully, people were able to see why I am as such over the years. Being vocal as I am, I try to address some of the problems that I see right at the start before I had strong relationships to back me up. We always tell people to wait until we understand the system better before we suggest anything. But often, once we get used to it, we forget some of the problems that need to be corrected. Hence, I think it is important for us to harness the perspective from that fresh pair of eyes whenever someone new joins an organisation. But intuitively, as old timers, what we will question is how much one understands the problem before we even consider the suggestion. Hence, I remind myself not to dismiss any thoughts from anyone just because they are new or junior, but to assess the input itself. Feedback is never easy to swallow, perhaps I also need to tell myself this when I receive feedback.

Sometimes, when what you see deviates from what was advocated, it means you wonder if sometimes things are really just for show. I remember a training organisation that advocated human development. Yet when a colleague makes a mistake, they are condemned. It is contradicting because when we say that we can shape individuals, it should not be confined to our clients, but universally. If we are so good at shaping individuals, then it makes more sense that we train our own people well isn’t it? Things cannot be just for show. Whatever core values we advocate and put up must be truly intended. It would be frightening if it is otherwise. Because if whatever we share so blatantly and openly can be false, what can we really trust? I choose to believe that there is good in this world and perhaps what I see and experience negatively is perhaps just isolated instances. I am trying my best not to lose faith and I am doing my part to ensure that there is confidence by anyone else. Trust is the foundation of many things.

What I have advocated for the longest time remains unchanged. We cannot be a “closed loop” where there are no inputs from outside. For certain organisations where it is not feasible to expose the inner workings to the outside world, it is even more important to take in internal inputs. I guess one change that I have seen in our working culture is that there are more movements across industries. That cross-pollination of industries will allow strengths to be promulgated, which will hopefully make us stronger as a whole.

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By ben@sgben.com

Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me a different insight into life. I share my thoughts not because I think I am right but to be corrected if I am wrong. I am not too concerned about who is right but what is right. Drop me a PM or leave a message and I am happy to talk about anything!

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