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According to Saisan Smith choosing a right career that suitable for us is very important in order to make us feel more passionate on the job. Likewise, I would like to seek a job that can fit my interests and skills when I start to enter the work force. Since I started doing my journal, I had set a clear future plan for myself. The career that I want to pursue is to be an entrepreneur of a wholesale company that deals with clothing. One of the reasons that motivated me to own a business is influence from my uncle. My uncle has his own bakery shop and his business is presenting good results due to his well managed. Furthermore, the second reason is due to I am interesting in fashion. I like to read fashion's magazine or watch fashion show during my free time. Thus, I had interview an entrepreneur to learn and understand more about the requirement to become a successful businessman.
BACKGROUND OF INTERVIEWEE
I interviewed Ms. Sheryn Ng, who is the owner of a recycle company, namely Metroplast Enterprise. Before owning her business, Ms. Ng has been worked as sales executive in a duty free shop at Subang airport and then worked as a manager in a small company. "Those experiences had helped me to enhance my knowledge and strengthen my interpersonal skills," said Ms. Ng. Finally, she decided to own a business that she interested. Ms. Ng started her business since years 1993 as a family-owned private company. Originally she hired premises to start-up her business for sorting and recycling the wasted materials purposes. After a few years, she successfully has her own premises to expand her business. She has been with the company during times of hardship as well as the times her company started shows good results. Ms. Ng is a SPM leaver who does not own a high academic qualification. However, this does not stop her to own her business. In fact, she has devised a clear business plan to manage her company's performance. Thus, I am admire her determination has draws her towards success.
Entrepreneurship requires personal efficacy that willing to take risk and initiatives for going across stakes in order to success (Hussain, Abbas, Shahzad & Bukhari 2011, p.2257). Therefore, it is a huge responsibility for Ms. Ng to manage a company. She is responsible to:
Oversee all operations performed by the company
Hire or decide the employees who have qualify to work in the company
Manage and provide training to the employees in order to improve their skills
Meet with the managers of different department to plan the daily routine
Analyze the sales report and overall performance of company
Make major decisions that may brings significant effects to company
Benefits of being an entrepreneur
There comes out some reasons that motivated Ms. Ng to become an entrepreneur. Firstly is the freedom of making decision. She is able to fully grasp her company's operation and also make final decisions relating to her company. Secondly is the freedom of time management. Ms. Ng able manages her working schedule that suits her best and also her working hours. Thirdly is freedom to explore own business markets. Ms. Ng has the opportunity to develop own marketing strategies in order stand out from competitors.
Challenges of being an entrepreneur
ENTREPRENEUR Besides benefits, Ms. Ng also has to bear and face some challenges on her duty. Firstly is the start up cost. She required a high start up cost while setting up her business because she has to buy equipment, materials and also pay salary for employees. Although Ms. Ng is free to make decision of her company but it also become a challenges for her as well. It is quite stressful for her to handle such responsibility because sometimes her decisions may influence the company's overall performance.
Diagram 1: Benefits and challenges of being an entrepreneur
According to Ms. Ng, the requirement to become an entrepreneur has become more critical in nowadays. Although Ms. Ng is not a degree holder, she encouraged that an entrepreneur should required a business degree in order to be more familiar with crucial managerial skills. To gain more outstanding knowledge, entrepreneurs has to keep improve themselves like study the MBA program. Besides that, a person's skills are also essential in job requirement. A good communication skill is required of being an entrepreneur in order to deal with different type of people (Business and Publishing 2010). Ms. Ng explained good communicators have to able conveying their messages correctly, completely, and clearly to their employees and customers. Moreover, Ms. Ng's job required her to speak well in many languages such as English, Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese for dealing with various business partner and customers.
SWOT ABOUT MYSELF
Good at preparation
Too much of a perfectionist in work
Poor communication skill
Studying in Taylor's University
Gain working experience
High unemployment rate in Malaysia
Competition for jobs among graduates
MY SWOT ANALYSIS
Diagram 2: SWOT Analysis about myself
In order to a deeper understanding of my own personality, I have done a SWOT analysis of myself (Diagram 2). SWOT analysis is a useful technique that can help us to identify our strengths and opportunities as well as also overcome our weaknesses and threats (Mindtools n.d.). I would say that my greatest strength is good at preparation. I prefer to prepare all necessary resources before starting a task. I believe that adequate preparation allows me to ensure everything is planed and done correctly at the first time to avoid me for spending too much time on a task. Apart from that, I am a responsible person. When there is a task assigned to me, I will pay attention to details and get the task done on time. Thus, my strengths have reflected me I am a high conscientiousness person, which is I always well prepared, organized and careful about everything (Hussain et al. 2011, p.2256).
As far as my weaknesses, I would say that I could be too much of a perfectionist in my work. Sometimes, I spend a little too much time for checking my work. Although I have never missed the deadline, it is still an effort for me to know when to move on to the next task. So, I have been trying to use my strengths to overshadow my weakness. Besides that, poor communication skill also becomes my 'stumbling block' to support my ambition. Due to I am not proficiency in speaking English, this has made me lack of confidence to communicate with people in English. As to overcome this problem, my friends encourage me try to speak English with them and also read more English newspaper.
The greatest opportunity that can help me to achieve my job is studying in Taylor's University. Taylor's Business School provides many good academic programmes that enable me to gain exceptional business knowledge. For examples, I am required to do outdoor research but not just based on theories from textbooks while doing my assignments. Moreover, the lecturers who are always willing to offer additional assistance has shows a great help in my studies and future career. In addition, students can gain their career skills and develop interpersonal skills by doing internships (Saisan & Smith 2012). I have the opportunity to expose myself to the working life before graduation because Taylor's is providing this programme for students. From this exclusive experience, I believe that it can highly help me to enhance my employability upon graduation because it has equipped me with those necessary knowledge and skills.
Although I would like to set up my own business, but I still have to gain working experiences to broaden my social network with various business people. Hence, the threat that worried me the most for seeking a job is the high unemployment rate in Malaysia due to instability of economy. Another reason that causes high unemployment is there has a lot of competition for jobs. Too many fresh graduates come out nowadays and most of them come from well-known universities yet I am just one of them, so I have to fight for the jobs after graduation.
Long Term Plan about my future career
Diagram 3: My proposed plan to achieve my future career
I have drawn a plan about my future (Diagram 3) in order to motivate myself to move on towards succeed. First, I will keep improve my English speaking and also enhance my business knowledge in university. After 3 years, I will be graduated and pursue a degree. Then, I will spend about 5 years to gain my working experiences and earn a professional qualification at the same time. Until year 2020, I will continue studying to pursue a Master's degree if I have completed my professional qualification. With my knowledge that I experienced, I will start up my own business now. If the condition allows me, I will consider a retirement at 50 years old.
In conclusion, being an entrepreneur in dealing with clothing is a field of career that I really interested. Thus, I will do my best to enhance my strengths as well as make the best use of the opportunities that I have. Meanwhile, I am able to eliminate my threat by understanding my weaknesses as well. After interviewed with Ms. Ng, I am very appreciated her determination in managing her business. She has inspirited me to strive hard in order to have a brighter future and become a successful entrepreneur just like her. (1500 words)
Business and Publishing 2010, Entrepreneur Responsibilities and Definition, viewed 25 September 2012, <http://www.bnp-chronicle.com/2010/02/entrepreneur-responsibilities-definition.html>.
Hussain, S; Abbas, M; Shahzad, K; & Bukhari, SA 2011, 'Personality and career choices', African Journal of Business Management, Vol. 6(6), pp.2256-2257.
Mindtools n.d., Personal SWOT Analysis, Making the Most of Your Talents and Opportunities, viewed 27 September 2012, <http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05_1.htm>.
Saisan, J & Smith, M 2012, Finding the Right Career, Choosing or changing career paths, viewed 25 September 2012, <http://www.helpguide.org/life/finding_career.htm>.
Sheryn, N 2012, The job of an entrepreneur, [interview], Shah Bandar with Wong May Kei, 22 September 2012.