We crawl before walking, walk before running — why shouldn’t business writing be the same?

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

When I started work more than eight years ago, my boss often rewrote whatever I drafted.

It didn’t matter what it was — email, slide deck, research note, meeting minutes. Words would be replaced, sentences rearranged, entire paragraphs reconfigured. Nothing was sacred. Sometimes, there was no trace whatsoever that the original — my work — even existed.

It wasn’t a great feeling. I often asked myself if I was really that bad. After all, I did well with written work in university. Surely, I was doing something right!

Yet, deep down, I knew the drafts always turned out better. More…

A story that is fourteen years overdue.

Image by David Peterson from Pixabay

Fourteen years ago, I was given a platform to lend my voice to a cause I cared deeply about — education in Malaysia.

I didn’t take it. I kind of wish I did.

Today, I share a bit of my story about that moment — the opportunity it presented, what I ended up saying, and the gulf in between.

I do this not to wallow in regret, but in hopes that it will resonate with somebody somewhere. A reader who may be feeling the same fear, insecurity or cluelessness as I once did. …

It’s about readiness, results and recognition.

Image: athree23/Pixabay

The office is abuzz. Promotion season is around the corner, and rumour has it that one of the junior staff might be moving up the ranks. You stumble upon the shortlist:

  1. Ismail, the workhorse. Whatever the ask, he answers — even if it means working weekends or nights. He shows up each day eager to execute, and ready to volunteer for another assignment. The can-do attitude notwithstanding, the quality of the work is not as consistent as desired.
  2. Michelle, the upstart. She brings fresh ideas to the table, especially for big problems, and she does so with a zeal and…

The horizons of dreaming.

Image by Hilmi IK from Pixabay

All Malaysians know this question well.

Apakah cita-cita anda? What is your ambition?

Writing about it is like a rite of passage. An initiation, even. It begins when words are committed to paper, and ends only when a grade — along with some sense of self-worth — is conferred in bright red ink.

We encounter this question early in schooling life — at about seven years old — often as a prelude to essay-writing. …

Here are 4 ways to do it.

If you Google “meeting”, you get over 2 billion results. That’s twice the combined number of results for “poverty”, “inequality” and “climate change”. Let that sink in for a minute.

And what are most of the “meeting” search results about? How to run better meetings, of course. There is just one problem:

Most of the time, we’re not the ones running the meeting.

Unless you’re the big boss, you probably spend more time running away from meetings (and failing), rather than actually running them. More often than not, it’s someone else’s meeting. It could be your boss. Or your department…

I only started reading regularly in my mid-20s. Here’s how I did it.

I grew up surrounded by books… that I didn’t read.

Until recently, my record looked something like this:

Pre-2013 numbers are rough — and probably optimistic — estimates.

It was not for lack of trying by my parents. The importance of reading was a message that rang loud and clear in my household. And my parents walked the talk. Despite being extremely frugal people, they spared no expense (or effort) with books. On some weekends, we would make 3-hour drives into the city just to get few new titles, whether from the library or a warehouse sale.

I was around books all the time, literally. Our house was strewn with…

And how not to be the new hire that “just doesn’t get it”.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Nathan looked like a bright prospect for the organisation, on many accounts. Graduated with honours from Oxbridge. Member of the rowing team and debate union. Various leadership positions. Articulate, cogent and affable in the job interview.

But two years from getting hired, Nathan was struggling to make an impact. Expectations that were once set against his potential had since been adjusted to the bare minimum. And he wasn’t meeting these revised standards either. Soon after, Nathan would hand in his resignation… in hopes of greener pastures.

Not all stories of young and promising graduates have this unhappy ending. But too…

Zhi Wei

A 30-something city dweller with small town roots in Asia. Policymaker by training, creative by temperament. I write to share borrowed wisdom from the world.

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