Monday, November 26, 2012
I am a graduate. A graduate of Journalism and minored in Political Science. Now, I work in a bank.
Conversation with my friends often revolve around a few things which helped me find my niche. It is definitely worth journaling it in this post, as I believe that I am not alone looking for my own niche without being a valedictorian.
"Why study journalism but work in bank la?". Believe me, there are thousands of people in the banks who did not do accounting, ACCA or finance. However, I had to admit that the learning curve is definitely steep jumping from one field to another. A colleague once said this, "What? You didn't study accountings? Sh*t. Why come to the bank?". That statement was made when he expected me to read and interpret balance sheet and income statement of a company. I had no idea whatsoever of what a balance sheet was or a P&L, a.k.a Income Statement. All I knew was, politics, politics, and politics.
I lived my 25 years believing that there's nothing that I cannot do or nothing that I cannot learn. It is the matter of whether I want to learn or to pick it up. I guess many disagree with this statement suggesting that one may be bad in certain things and excel in another. But think about this, why would someone that you know in high school is good in mathematics but weak in language studies? It boils down to the fact that he or she did not like language studies in the first place, therefore placing less time in it. I was terrible in mathematics since 1987. I had a hard time understanding matrix or differentiation or whatever they call 'logic'. To me, it's illogical to have alphabets in mathematics. Let's not go to additional mathematics. All that I see was, a lump of gibberish numbers and alphabets.
The perception of someone being weak in mathematics automatically disqualifies you to be an achiever in the schooling system of Malaysia. It also automatically disqualifies you from the field of science and also the field of accounting or finance studies. It was a fallacy. A fallacy that links up between being weak in working with numbers to understanding of how numbers work. Mathematics makes understand the concept by way of working with it. Accountings require you to understand before you work with the numbers, and ultimately, work backwards to understand the numbers behind it. Conceptual flaws govern the education system filtering and weeding out possible late bloomers, scoping down the alternatives that one could excel in.
Certainly, I'm not trying to say that I'm a late bloomer. In fact, I never had a chance to bloom. I was, in a sad way to put it, retarded in my academics at the notion of others, ultimately deciding my fate. Under such circumstance, I became a failure. Failures fight harder to achieve what they need, not what they want. What I needed was a concealment of my shame and doubt. I had to be a jack of all trades. I had to be slightly better than the others in many things in order to find my pride. I had to bring others to my level in order for me to defeat them. This was me. This is me.
'Jack of all trades but master of none' is a figure of speech carrying negative connotations in the 20th century but a well sought for master in the renaissance years. Again, I call it a fallacy. Many despised General Practitioners (GPs) calling them the lowest ranking medical doctors. I say, when you 'master' in something, you forget the basics. "Go to a heart specialist with MRCP or FRCP. Tell them you have headache and they will treat you for blockage and suggest that you do a bypass". Those are the words from a doctor who practiced 30 years of family medicine, branched out to weight loss studies as the natural cure to obesity related illnesses, then into myofascial therapy and now studying neuroscience to help children born with autism and adults which suffered brain damage. This is my dad. The jack of all trades whom I grew up looking up to.
A colleague who happens to be the one who interviewed me in the fourth round prior to the job offer said accountings "is not that hard and it's certainly not rocket science". I'm now doing cost accounting, working with accountants and statisticians who went through years studying numbers. Some say I learn fast, and I had to agree. But this is not because that I'm smart, but this is nature's gift to failures. If I don't learn fast enough, I'm weeded out. Game on.