Monday, July 08, 2013

How looking for a job is like looking for love

Through my job search, I've realized that there are a lot of similarities between job hunting and looking for love: 

When you're looking for a job or looking for love....
There will be lots of moments of self-doubt. Sending your resume across after a promising chat with an recruiter only to not hear back from them ever again is confidence shattering. Very similar to the moments when you hit it off with the perfect girl/guy only to be given the cold shoulder later on. It happens again and again. It is quiet painful. But we don't stop searching for love just like we don't stop searching for the right opportunity because of a couple of setbacks along the way. 

When you're looking for a job or looking for love...
It is basically a numbers game. You have to put yourself out there. Every rejection at least means that you have explored that opportunity. If you haven't explored it, then you would've avoided the embarrassing rejection but it also means that you rejected yourself long before you gave the chance to someone else. It is the same as to love. 

When you're looking for a job or looking for love....
You are not going to be perfect for everyone, just like you are not going to be perfect for every job. But you better believe that you are perfect in your own way. Eventually, somewhere out there, there will be someone who appreciates you for who you are. And one is all you need. 

When you're looking for a job or looking for love....
It is an brutal process of introspection and growth. Similar to the courtship during a relationship, we become aware of our weaknesses and blindsides when courting a new job opportunity. We learn from this and become wiser upon every encounter.

When you're looking for a job or looking for love....
Lot of times you are being led on. The hiring manager may make positive noises just to keep you hanging around, which is pretty similar to what some guys and girls do to potential dates. Pretty cruel, but it is a fact of life. 

When you're looking for a job or looking for love....
You will be surrounded by people who are willing to help. Your friends and family will be there to support you along the ride. Sometimes, we just need to stop being so proud and receive the kindness of others 

I believe that if we are not put in situations where we have to change to adapt then we will forever be stagnant. I've resigned from my last job with the confidence that everything will turn out alright to do a year long sabbatical. I'm a natural optimist; so that was easy for me. Yet, I didn't know if it was going to be alright. In fact, it wasn't alright. The job market was horrible; the experience itself has served as a humbling experience for me. Nevertheless, I believe that an life that is limited by your fears is not worth living. Was I worried that I wasn't going to find a job when I come back? Of course I was. But that is the same thing as being worried about losing our jobs tomorrow. Of course we worry about the future and fear the unknown. I think the trick is to never let that fear get in the way of us living or loving. Fear of things shouldn't be what guides your life; the love you have for life should be the driving engine towards all the wonderful experiences that life is willing to offer, if you would only stretch out a little bit and reach.

How to enroll at a girls-only university in Seoul, Korea

In Feb 2013, I spent a entire month living and studying on the campus of Ewha Womens University In Seoul. Unlike the certain segment of the population who must be pros at this, it was my first time setting foot in a girls-only university; I had never been surrounded by so many young girls before in my life. As culture immersion experience goes, it was drastically different versus what I had done before. I will assure you that being surrounded in a all-girls school by attractive college aged Korean girls all day is a lot more comfortable than living in a Muay Thai camp surrounded by enraged, half-naked, sweaty male Thai fighters. I found the situation so hilarious that I had to share my fortunes by inviting my Korean friends to come and visit me on campus. Now these are Koreans guys born and raised in Seoul; and yet they were walking around like little boys in the candy story, giving me a lot of street cred along the way. They told me that this university used to be so traditional that the only males that were allowed on the campus were preachers and delivery boys. They were even more amazed to learn that I had a dorm room in a coed building which housed both guys and girls. Of course, the boys were in the minority; in fact, I don't think I saw more than 5 different guys in the dormitory for my entire stay. And settling into my university life, I went and did my own laundry in the communal laundry room. But every time I walk in, the girls in the laundry room always gives a little jump at seeing a member of the opposite sex. The place is basically filled with baskets filled with, you know, girl stuff. So I was slightly uncomfortable being there as well. And I think my uncomfortableness probably made the girls who were there even more uncomfortable. So it became a vicious cycle of throat clearing with nervous shuffling of shoes and avoidance of eye contact until the girls all bolt from the room leaving me to do my laundry in peace. 

How to do this
It's been seven years since I attended a class at a university so the feeling of being back in a dorm and attending classes was quiet refreshing. Ehwa University was a typical university with modern facilities and a great staff. The only difference is that there were just lots and lots of girls. It took a bit of getting used to, but eventually I got used to being the only guy in a roomful of girls. And honestly after the initial shock of girls was over, the whole experience was kind of boring because I'm happily in a relationship, and the language barriers was difficult to breach. This was at the end of my trip, so I flew back to HK pretty frequently over my month there that I probably missed out a bit on the "immersion" part of the experience. Nonetheless, It was extremely fun and great to be a student again although only for 1 month. 

You could apply for the language program (the only way guys can attend Ewha) by emailing the Ewha Language Center. The Korean gov has a excellent site with a list of all the language programs here -

That's pretty much it. Let me know if someone does attend so I can visit you! =)
My student ID - will treasure this forever

Graduation ceremony

My teacher

My friend

My dorm room