Keinian ideals: What do you want in a job?

Most people these days have to hold a full-time job to support ourselves comfortably. Before we actually headed into our first job, most of our time was taken up by full-time classes. We learnt in school how we should present and conduct ourselves in an interview, and got counselling on the type of job we might be suitable for.

All of the above help to get a job, but have we actually thought about what we want in a job, or the ideal job that we want?

What do you want in a job?

#1 Definition:
Different people have different views to what a job should be.

  • Some view it as a means to an end (aka simply getting money to pay the bills)
  • Others think of it as an all-consuming goal that they will stop at nothing to achieve e.g. becoming the hotshot CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Your definition of a job will help to shape the type of job you look for.

#2 Motivation:
Think about what drives you to stay in a job.

  • Is it the camaraderie and familiarity of having good relationships with your colleagues?
  • Or is it the fact that you have got an appreciative boss who likes the things you do?
  • Perhaps it is the learning experiences that you glean from the job, or
  • The satisfaction of a job well done at the end of the day.
  • The shiny addition of that branded company name to your portfolio?
  • Pure laziness; the office is close to your place.
  • A balanced work-personal lifestyle, perhaps?
  • Or it could be the most prosaic reason of all; it is all about the staggering amount of money you are offered.

It is probably a combination of the factors above, but you have got to understand what drives you to stay in a job, before making any further decisions. In my opinion, money should never be the sole driving force behind a job. It is rare that one is satisfied by purely monetary reasons in a job, much less a career. Empty and unsatisfying jobs will have you hopping to another place soon enough, which goes in an endless cycle of interviews and adjusting to new environments yet again.

Is this what we want? More importantly, is this what you want?

Write your thoughts down as a list of needs, and think hard.

#3 Planning and application
Things usually go well when planned, and it applies here as well. Use the thoughts from above, and put it into practice. In your future job searches, match the job against your list of needs in a job. Raise relevant questions during the interview, and try to align your ideal job needs against that prospective job. For example, if you prefer to have time after work to yourself, getting a job which involves endless overtime (and probably endless nights spent feeling pissed off) might not be the best way to go about doing it.

This way, you will get a better idea of whether the job actually is to your liking.

Hopefully this post has raised some interesting thoughts in your head; feel free to comment on any other relevant issues for this topic.

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DRW-SIN-MEL: A week of sunning, eating, shopping and sweating

Here’s a brief recap of my past week.

After screwing my flight up the previous day, I finally managed to make it onboard the plane in one piece. Needless to say, transit flights are a torture. It’s worse when you consider the fact that it was a day flight. Day flight = tough to sleep = sucks.


Here’s the fly that I unwittingly blew into accidentally fell into my breakfast tea. Apparently the fly did not find my tea particularly enjoyable, since it decided that drowning was greatly preferable to drinking it all up.


This was a particularly interesting sight on the plane: clouds and their shadows on the continent. I thought the darker areas were lakes at first, until it occurred to me that having that many lakes did not seem logical at all.


This picture was the snap of the day: the horizon above the cloud layer. Pretty isn’t it?


This was a half-hearted effort at tweaking the contrast, which made the picture look particularly artificial, hmm.


First glimpse of Darwin: pretty place, and probably not very densely populated.


Transit lounge, and my gone-in-60-seconds CCLM (chicken, cheese, lettuce and mayo) sandwich. Hunger is always the best sauce.

-~-

*Insert suntanning/swimming sessions. Ahhh..*


The niece, who has already learnt to walk. Time flies.

-~-


Dinner at Handlebar (over at Lock Road, Alexandria area): general consensus was that the food’s overpriced for the quantity. The portions do seem to have shrunk somewhat since my last visit.

-~-


Beef noodles at Purvis Street with YT and LH; quite tasty but I should get a bigger helping next time round.


Brightly painted houses opposite Bugis Junction: very very nice.


A whole bunch of people exercising over at OUB UOB Plaza atrium; must be some fitness initiative.


Miscellaneous sights nearby.


Splendid night view from Waraku Central.

-~-


Subway time at Tampines.


BSCI revision with War Machine (from the Iron Man series) in tow; you get this when buying the Iron Man popcorn combo from Golden Village cinemas.


A hand in perspective.


Swensens at Changi Airport T2: entree portions for the price of full portions. My comment on their feedback card:

“Portions were microscopic.”


Which was why we had supper at Bedok 85 after that.

-~-


Yoshinoya’s beef bowl: yum.

-~-






Mayday’s latest concert!

-~-



In-flight food; yet another $6 sandwich on the way home.

Thanks to all the friends who’ve met up, and mucho thanks to those people who send me off at the airport all the time; you guys are great!

Sony PS3: One possible fix to a blank TV screen

So I got a Sony PS3 finally, after many months of waiting. And as usual, something had to screw up during setup. I guess the things I buy are really not satisfied to work out of the box, they have this deepseated need to be meddled with somehow.

And setting up the PS3 wasn’t exactly rocket science. Connect power, connect appropriate video output (HDMI or RGB) to TV, and hit the power button. That was basically it, but all I got was a blank screen.

WTF?

The brother was a little more thorough in reading the user guide while I doublechecked and triplechecked every single physical connection on the setup, and here’s the fix that finally got us going:

If you have used HDMI as the video interface before, RGB will not display at all i.e. you get a blank screen.

To reset the video settings:

  • Turn off the PS3’s power entirely.
  • Turn it back on, and leave your finger on the power button on the system front for five second at least, until you hear two beeps from the PS3. That means it’s successfully reset to the default video resolution.

Everything should work fine after that.

Skype: No sound when calling with Philips VOIP841

This is for those fellows who bought the Philips VOIP841, and have had problems talking and/or listening using the handset.

To those who haven’t heard of this phone before: it is a Skype handset that does not require a USB connection to a computer. In short, you can plug it into the router for your internet connection, and it will work fine: full points for convenience. Good thing to have, if your parents aren’t tech-savvy (like mine) and you want to save money on overseas calls (like me).

It has got a pretty price tag though: S$299. Other Skype phones that required USB connectivity to the PC already cost S$200 and above, so I thought this was pretty justified. Another plus point’s that the phone actually looks kinda awesome.


Awesome-ness. Sleek and definitely bloody appealing.

Setup was pretty easy; plug all the cables in (power, Ethernet, phone line) and everything else was smooth sailing. The only (and bloody fcuking irritating) glitch I encountered was when I tested a call from my laptop to the phone. I could hear nothing, and nothing I said could be heard.

The Skype forums highlighted a possibility that it might be a firmware issue, so I went around the Philips VOIP841 product page hunting for the firmware. It might be entirely possible that I’m blind, but I did not see a link to the firmware anywhere at all.

So I’ll be posting the steps to fixing the mentioned bug here, it should be of help to anyone else who has been facing the same problem.

  • Download firmware 1.04.80 from the Philips site. You’ll need to upload this onto the handset.
  • Get the IP address of your VOIP841 phone, select the following options on your handset: Menu – Settings – Information.
    Example: IP address: 192.168.1.2
  • Enter the IP address into your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera; whatever-it-is that you use to surf the net.)
    Username is philips, password is voip841
    Example: http://192.168.1.2
  • You should see a system menu come up on your browser.
    Go to the System option on the left, and select the Browse button to select the firmware file that you downloaded earlier; it should be VOIP841_1.0.4.80.bin.
    Click on the Upgrade button.
  • Wait for the firmware upgrade to finish and it will reboot the handset automatically. You will see your browser screen displaying the system menu page once again after all the reboot warnings are gone.
  • Power off the handset; remove one of its batteries.
    Wait for 10 seconds and put it back in; the handset should turn itself on again.
  • Login to Skype and test the call; everything should be fine after this.

Disclaimer: this is exactly how I worked my problem out; I am only offering a possible solution to it. Feel free to share your solution as well if it’s different.

An interesting day (or how I missed my flight home today)

Like the title says, I had a pretty eventful day today.

Original plan:

  • Wake up 9am, idle till 10am.
  • Head down to airport early to check-in.
  • Take flight home, MEL – DRW – SIN.
  • Meet friends and family at airport.

What actually happened:

  • Woke up 9am, idled till 10am.
  • Headed down to airport early to check-in.
  • Belatedly realised I did not bring my spare AUD, left it at home instead. Apparently my checklist of things to bring did not include money.
  • Decided to head back and grab it, as I had slightly more than 1.5 hours to spare.
  • Reached city in less than half an hour.
  • Hailed a cab, promptly got stuck in the Flinders street daytime jam. (Point to note: never drive on Flinders in the daytime. Take the tram.)
  • Grabbed AUD, got back into cab and headed back towards airport.
  • Called Jetstar, and was told that I had to get back and check-in 30 minutes before the flight i.e. I was fcuked. (Point to note: never be late for Jetstar flights.)
  • Got stuck at Docklands while waiting for the V-line to clear the road; long traffic jam.
  • Got stuck behind slow vehicle on the fast lane on freeway; more time wasted.
  • Yakked with taxi driver on the merits of various airlines e.g. Malaysia Airlines has decent inflight food?
  • Reached airport 20 minutes before plane took off. Was told that I had to pay $100 to reschedule the flight to tomorrow by another Singaporean who missed the flight too. Operation Amazing Race failed.
  • Checked around the ticketing sales desks for other options. No domestic flights to DRW, one-way ticket to SIN cost approx $1100 (including taxes).
  • Paid $100, rescheduled flight to tomorrow and headed home.
  • Had lunch with building manager.
  • Fed Cookie and informed everyone not to come down to airport.
  • Went to Crown Casino, two hours of roulette.
  • Came home, slept till V came home.
  • Dinner outside: Hong Kong fare at Dessert House: Chinatown.
  • Bought a pink rose for V; $5.
  • Bought The Big Issue magazine from the bloke over at Swanston who always shouts “get-your-big-issue-only-four-dollars-support-the-homeless-and-long-term-unemployeddddd!” (It’s five dollars now.) I told myself that I’d get a copy from him the next time I heard his signature shout. Been hearing him do the shout for a year now, I figured he deserves something for his effort.
  • Wrote blog entry.

Cookie: then and now

Flickr allows video uploads now, which is a good feature since it allows videos to be organised together with images already hosted on Flickr. This gives Flickr a bit of an edge over YouTube in terms of storage integration, but Flickr video still loses out in terms of loading speed for now. One other thing’s that switching the video to full-size does not pixelate the video too much, so that’s a good thing too.

This was when Cookie first came to us:


And now:


Snoozing.

Talk about change; it’s funny how fast she grows. V says she’s no longer as cute, and I agree. What happened to the droopy ears!?

Keinian ideals – Communication

This is more like a sequel to the previous post on sustaining relationships; a small yak about what I think is really important when looking for a partner.

No prizes for the right answer, since the title says it all.

Communication, the means of exchanging information. Not only the exchange of information, but the discussion of ideas and thoughts. Agreement, disagreement, compromise; everything else starts here. Communication is the means to overcoming problems and working out an answer.

If your partner’s not willing to talk things out, everything else doesn’t matter; not even if she’s the sexiest babe you ever had in your life. (But if you’re only looking for a carnal relationship.. then that’s another story altogether.) We’re talking about average, run-of-the-mill relationships here, not exceptions.

As with everything else, there are a hundred and one ways to do something. Communication is definitely not the only way to solving a problem. You could always take a baseball bat and bash the problem until it keels over and drops dead, but I’m not sure you’d really want to do that to your future spouse. Communication would be far more effective, less painful (for the other party), and definitely causes less disruption to your life (no need to spend time in a jail cell for physical assault).

If you’ve been dating this gorgeous babe for awhile and thinking about whether to take things to the next step, here’s some food for thought:

*Note: I meant “next step” like from casual dates to a serious relationship, I didn’t really mean taking it physically from second base to third or something. You shouldn’t need someone to teach you about things like that, and if you do you either need a shrink, hormonal injections or a brain transplant. Or all of them.

Think about it:

  • [Yes/No]: Is she exactly the kind of person that you have had in mind for a long term relationship? Can you stand living with someone like that for the remainder of your existence? (Or at least, the next ten years before you throw the towel in and file for divorce.)
  • [Yes/No]: If she isn’t, do you think that she would be the sort to talk things out properly with you, rather than throwing a hissy fit and start screaming/sulking/insert-other-hissy-fit-actions?

If you got no twice in a row, you might want to think twice about this; it’s seriously a matter of life and death here. Preserving your sanity is always the priority here, never doubt that.

If you got a yes for the second point, things are worth a second thought at least. Perfection would be a yes on the first point, but reality is often disappointing. Learning how to work things out together towards a rewarding future is more valuable than any perceived perfection could ever be.