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REFLECTION ON PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
Jackson and Geckeis (2003) stated that Curriculum vitae is a detailed biographical description of one’s education and work background. A CV is not similar to a resume which only contain a brief description about candidate in one page. A CV contain details background, educational background, working experience, skills, weaknesses, strengths and so on. Most of the candidates, has the wrong impression regard the purpose of CV, which is, to look a job for them. However the CV is aim to land the candidates an interview. Unfortunately, not much of the candidates are aware for this fact.
Job vacancy advertise on newspaper or internet currently will state a few of essential requirements such as a certain education level, understand certain languages, basic computer skills, be responsible and so on. There are a few of qualities that the employers will need to build into their teams.
Leadership skill is quite an important qualities that will require by the employers. Sandler (2003) emphasise that leadership is recognized as central to determining the success or failure of any organisation. A leader able to provide clear direction, motivate and encourage the staff to accomplish several tasks. A leader is important in a group because leader will kept the big picture of the group although he will still evaluate the details in order to make sure everything is undergo well. A group leader will help his group member by train them to be better in their own role in a team and ensure them to be prepare to face new challenges all the time. This is the reason why, a leader must be experience and he can shares his experience to others. As a leader, he should able to gain trust from his group member, member who trust their leaders will more able to share their opinion to their leader, on the contrary, a leader also must trust his group members as they can complete the tasks by their own. I was not a good leader since I am a student as shown at appendix. A leader shall be confident but humble at the same time. Confidence will help on strengthen the position as a leader and humble to accept the mistakes and rectify it. I was afraid of given wrong instruction and direction and leads to major mistakes, I was not confidence enough for my opinions that needed to be discuss among the group.
Reliable worker is an important asset for a company because an unreliable worker will affect the profit and reputation of company. A reliable workers shall be royal and always priories the profit of his company, this is a major reason that an employer will hire such candidates and promote them. A reliable worker also must know the importance of time, not just to be punctual in working and meeting but to have a good time management to schedule the task and make sure completed it by or before due date. He must also has good self-discipline and shall not easily distracted by other staff, he must know the best time for rest and right time to work. A responsible worker is require as to be honest and responsible for what he did, no matter right or wrong. If such work done is incorrect or fail to satisfy the client, such worker shall be honest to admit it and be responsible and make changes until the work done correctly. He shall not shirk all the fault and responsibility to a scapegoat. Only Irresponsible workers will criticize other colleagues and forces them to bear such burden. This will reduce the effectiveness of company production. Besides that, a reliable worker will also take care of his physical and mental health. Workers are encourage to intake balance diet and involve in exercise. Long period of sitting will cause disease like workplace injury and will increase workplace absence. Thus, some of the company will arrange physical activity during weekend and encourage workers to join for exercise and stress relieve. Worker has to be always prepare for a stressful situation and able to handle it, so that the work result will not be affected. A healthy soul enable workers to perform well. Elements above should be found in every reliable worker in a company. I was quite reliable as an intern in the company and also as a group member. I always punctual and responsible. I will do my best job and honest on my mistakes so that I can rectify it as fast as I can. Mistakes is not so bad because it gave me lesson so that I will not repeat it next time. I take care of my health to prevent sick and affected the work progress and work performance.
Communication and Negotiation skills
Every job in this world require us to interact with co-workers. Workers with good communication skills get to express their thought, idea and opinion to others. Language act as one of the important medium of communication, no matter in writing form or oral form. For example, writing form in letter, memo and variation order, oral form in oral instruction, interview, meeting, discussion and etc. Thus, language grammar is important because incorrect grammar will misleading someone to other meaning that we wish to express. There are several ethnic in Malaysia. As a Malaysian, it is significant for knowing the major three languages (E.g. Malay, English, and Chinese) which commonly apply in Malaysia as to deal with client with different races. In Malaysia Construction field, Malay language may require for giving instruction to foreign workers on site. While, English or Cantonese Language to Client, site manager, project manager and etc. Language has a great power that a word error which misunderstood by a workers will cause a serious damages therefore, it crucial on beware of unclear work and instruction, confirmations are always require to ensure the rightful action to be taken. I was good in Chinese and English language and a little weak in Malay languages as shown in Appendix 1, 2 and 3. I was able to learn to communicate with several parties liked my colleague, contractor, client and suppliers during the industry training. As a professional Quantity Surveyor, pre-qualification report needs to be prepare which aim to request feedback for tenderer.
Besides that, negotiation require good communication. Employer will require a worker with good negotiation skills because disputes often rises. A good negotiator will make fully preparation by research the other party background and choose the rightful negotiate style with right attitude and strategy to achieve goals. Negotiator are often encourage so that the negotiation will result a “win:win” stage. This will not affect the relationship between the parties indirectly and allow chances for cooperation next time.
Power from a team is greater than only one man power. Boller (2005) mentioned that teamwork is really powerful because it enables individuals to do together what they do not have the ability to complete themselves. Employee need a worker with strong leadership and also teamwork spirit. A team fill with different characteristics of workers could help each other to fulfill the deficiency. Every team member shall be divided to share equal workload so that it is fair for each member. I was assign to work in a team with two senior and a supervisor during the internship. Our team in-charge of a few projects. The work load is separated upon three of us. I was just a trainee and I just be assign to assist my senior on preparing contract document, final account and etc. Moreover, each member could provide different kinds of opinion and suggestion so that the result can be more rational and not just depends on one man decision. I can do certain measurement and other trivial but urgent staff. It is because I was still not qualify on fully handle a job.
Computer act as an important tools in this technology era which emphasis on efficiency. Basic typing and fundamental Microsoft office knowledge are require for most of the job. However, it is far not sufficient for a Quantity Surveyor, Quantity Surveyor must also be familiar with most of the advance construction measurement and drawing software liked AutoCAD and Binalink. I am glad I have the opportunities to learn Binalink for measurement during the intern. It is a good software when it come to the data processing, the data will be arrange systematically in an effective way as compare with other methods. Other student do have a chance to learn because learning this software is include in the syllabus. I am good in AutoCAD as there is a programme in college which enable us to learn this software. Years of college life enable us to master Microsoft office due to the assignment and presentation. Experience in presentation will help when Quantity Surveyor needs to present the work progress to client.
A worker who always able to solve client’s problem will attract the employer. However such worker shall make sure the problems are solve in a positive manner to avoid bad impression of the client. Problem Solving means that applying logical sense and imagination if necessary on the situation and construct out a solution to overcome such problem. Hence, problem solving is connected to a few of skills as stated below:
- Resilience: Ability of Resilience is crucial for the situation assessment and also the reassessment if fail to do it previously.
- Logical thinking: Apply logic sense to investigate the problem and determine the correct solution.
- Analytical skill: Deeply analyse the problem
- Creativity: Approach the problem through innovative way and sometimes unexpected result came out.
- Teamwork: Share the possible solution among the group to determine the practicability of several solutions and choose the best solution.
I was not having and excellent problem solving skill as refer to Appendix 2 below. I have a good logic sense but lack of creativity and imagination. My poor problem solving skills had affected my performance in the industry training and my supervisor wish that I can improve the problem solving skills as fast as possible.
Enthusiasm and Confidence
Enthusiasm make a people to put more effort on a staff. An Enthusiastic workers are always like to accept the challenges and work harder. They are highly interested on what they doing and willing to learn more. Taylor stated that there is a higher level of confidence necessary to be successful and to be a leader of a team, department or company in current world. Confidence makes a people look professional and determine. I was lack of confidence in my works during the internship. I was like a stammer when supervisor questioning my works even though I did it correctly.
Personal and Time Management (Paper 3)
There is a reason why some people are complain about 24 hours are not enough for them in a day. This is all because personal and time management. I have a poor personal and time management because I do not like my lifestyle to be too discipline, I will not schedule a time table for working task because I prefer do whatever I want when I think it is necessary for certain time. This is a bad behavior and cause me to rush on the college assignment through burning midnight oil. Thus, this situation leads to unable to pay attention during the lecture class at day time due to insufficient sleeping time and this end up a stressful situation because I often require my friend for helping my exam revision. I get to learn a better personal and time management through module paper 3 in order to reach a balanced lifestyle.
First of all, tasks have to be identify in order to achieve and effective management. Create a regular “to do” list for urgent or vital tasks which nearly meet the due date. Make sure the list is always updated as to remove the “done” tasks and add up the new tasks. Following by prioritizing tasks, there will not be only an urgent task once a time. Therefore, timeframe need to be allocate to make sure every emergency task. This balance approach will avoid stressful situation and the task can be complete before the due date. After prioritizing task, I should assume that all the assigned tasks as a series of goals than need to be achieved. So that this will encourage me to achieve the goals. I will award myself after achieving goals because this will increase the efficiency of tasks completion.
Goals shall be set to be achieve rather than unachievable. It is because unachievable goals seems like wasting effort and time for nothing at last. Otherwise, achievable goals are more willing to fight for it. Besides that, good planning before beginning of the task is important for the result. Never burn midnight oil again at last minute.
We are always live in busy but chaotic life and if I want to end it, I should start from my desk. Clean out the unnecessary things and file out the paper systematically to ensure easy document approach next time. Follow by the “Computer desk”, clear out the junk email, apply system filing to the email as well. I should had start Microsoft Outlook which is a good personal planner system which enable me to determine the date I am available or busy.
I should have to focus on one task per time, this will let me more concentrate on it and make sure this task will be fully accomplish. Minimize usage like online game, smartphone apps and social network page will enable us complete the task faster than we expected. There are 7 habits listed in this module paper are the habits that own by the highly effective people.
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- Put first things first
- Think win/win
- Seek first to be understanding , then to be understood
- Sharpen the saw
This module paper also let me understand about stress and how to manage it. Stress are commonly form by these factor such as long working hours, culture, pressure from client, healthy issues and certain domestic issue. Theses stresses will cause some negative symptoms
Communication Skills (Paper 11)
I was a shy person and often speak even with my friends even though I am good at English and Chinese language. I am afraid to say because I was afraid of speaking the wrong word and create an awkward in the conversation.
Effective Questioning (Paper 13)
The answers or responds I obtained from asking are usually not what I require during my internship. It is because my questioning method easily misunderstood by senior. I do not have the courage to raise the question again to interrupt my senior who is busy on their works, even though I still not clear on some parts of the work. Hence, I make mistakes at last. This is all because I am afraid of being pointed by others and say I was wrong. I do not know the right way of questioning. Therefore, lack of communication and misunderstanding the requirement affected the assignment’s result at last. I learn that planning is important before asking questions. I should have ask relevant question that will lead to answer require. Question shall not be ask in a fast manner, it may lead to misunderstanding and interrupt the respondent mind. Certain pausing between the questions allow respondent to think clearly and give an accurate answer. Moreover, I learn that tactic of questioning may affected the respond too. Question shall be lead to gain positive response. Responses must be analyse because people may give answer in several ways.
Problem Solving Skills (Paper 14)
I am facing the problem solving skills in my college life and also during the internship training. I was too rely on someone for solving the problem during teamwork assignment. Therefore, when it came to an individual assignment, I was weak unable to achieve the higher marks.
First of all, set up the objectives to be achieve and barriers that need to overcome. Then, use the following six steps to solve the problems.
Start with problem identification.
Request further information and technical advice from other relevant participant and experts. Diagnose the problems and categorised it to look upon the error and reason causing it. Gather the information and determine the goals and barriers to achieve.
It is unwise to be rush upon this stage, which is finding solutions.
Problems may occurs during implementation stage, thus, contingency needs to prepare in form of time and cost.
At last, the effectiveness solution has to been monitor. The strength and weakness of the solution shall be record because it may act as a resource for future if the same problem occurs.
Negotiation skills (Paper 16)
Negotiation is common in every career field because disputes rise everywhere. Fisher and Ury stated that Negotiation is a basic meaning of acquiring “things” you need from others. Downs stated that a good negotiator require skills and a successful negotiation goes beyond resolving disputes and conflicts. I was encountering problems liked communication skills and effective questioning as stated previously. Therefore, my poor negotiation skills was an extension of those two defects. My group was involve in 3 projects when I start my internship. Supervisor given me a deadline for a work done while I knew I would not able to made it by due to plenty of works. I did not negotiate with her because I was often not good in negotiating and avoid leaving a bad impression to my supervisor. Through module paper 16, I must have a good communication skills and effective questioning in order to improve the negotiation skills. Firstly, the dispute rises must be comprehended before decide to negotiate with other party. No one is born to own a splendid negotiator. There are some competencies to be rely on to be a good negotiator. Firstly, it is important to look for the background details of the parties and prepare some alternative solution. Follow by the skills like analysing, interaction and communicate. Negotiator has to analyse the strength and weakness for both sides and try to achieve the “win-win” solution with the party through good communication. In addition, attitude shall not be ignore, negotiator shall not involve any of the emotional approach during negotiator. Negotiator must be rational and professional upon every situation, even though he dislike the clients/party. Negotiator also shall pick the right negotiate style to deal with the party. Finally, preparatory work has to be done before the beginning of a negotiation. These preparation include research for certain information, sometimes might include legal issue. Then, construct suitable strategy to handle the negotiation and set up the goals that need to be achieve at last.
In a nutshell, it is important to be well prepare before apply for a job position.
We must use our strength and opportunities upon the company and proof it to the employee that we are worth hire for without regret.
Jackson, A.L., Geckeis, C.K, 2003. How to Prepare Your Curriculum Vitae. 1st ed. New York City: McGraw-Hill.
Sandler, P., 2003. Leadership. 2nd ed. London: Kogan Page Publishers.
Downs, L.J., 2009. Negotiation Skills Training. 1st ed. United States of America: American Society for Training and Development .
Fisher, R. Ury, W.L., Atton, B., 2011. Getting to Yes: Negotiation Agreement Without Giving In. 1st ed. Toronto: Penguin Group.
Boller, S., 2005. Teamwork Trainning. 1st ed. United State of America: The American Society for Training and Development.
Taylor, R., 2013. Confidence at Work: Get It, Feel It, Keep It. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Kogan Page limited.