Indonesia, di Mata Saya dan Dia

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Jakarta dari puncak Monumen Nasional

Tom pertama kali datang ke Indonesia pertengahan Agustus 2015. Ini merupakan pengalaman pertama buat dia traveling ke luar negeri sendirian, pengalaman pertamanya keluar Eropa, sekaligus pengalaman pertamanya ke Asia. Jadi, nggak cuma buat saya, buat dia pun pengalamannya nggak terlupakan banget saking banyaknya hal baru yang dia temuin. Ini saya cerita beberapa contohnya, ya.

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Tentang kondisi traffic di jalanan. Dari pertama kali dia naik mobil keluar dari komplek bandara, matanya nggak lepas ngeliatin jalanan (iya, bukan ngeliatin saya). Dia kayak bingung gitu karena selain jumlah kendaraan yang banyak banget lalu-lalang di jalan, pengendaranya juga nggak semuanya tertib. Ada motor yang tiba-tiba nyelip gitu aja, angkot yang berhenti mendadak, mobil yang belok tanpa ngasih lampu sen, dan sebagainya, Dia curious banget gimana sebenarnya peraturan di Indonesia tentang berkendara. Soalnya di tempat dia tinggal, volume kendaraan benar-benar sedikit. Bahkan kalau malam hari, jumlah mobil yang lewat di jalan raya itu bisa dihitung pakai jari. Motor? Nyaris nggak ada. Apalagi kalau musim dingin, nggak ada motor yang nampak di jalan raya. Lucu gitu jadinya ngeliat muka dia yang nervous gitu liat jalanan. Terus dia berulang-ulang bilang,”I think I am not able to drive here, somebody will probably kill me or I might kill somebody.”

Tentang orang Indonesia yang ramah. First impression dia terhadap orang Indonesia yaitu friendly. Jadi ceritanya waktu dia baru mendarat, pas lagi nyari saya, ada segerombolan ABG cewek yang ngedeketin dia, kenalan, dan minta selfie gitu. Dasar Tom orangnya baik nyaris menuju innocent, dia iya-in aja dan selain itu dia sempet disapa sama beberapa staf bandara juga. Jadi sejak itulah dia pikir orang Indonesia ramah-ramah ke foreigner. Dan itu beda banget sama di negaranya, di mana orang lokalnya pun lebih sering jutek even ke orang lokal lainnya.

Tentang jenis pekerjaan dan service yang excellent di Indonesia. Mungkin karena jumlah penduduk yang banyak, terutama di usia produktif ya, di Indonesia kita bisa nemuin banyak banget jenis lapangan pekerjaan yang nggak bisa atau susah kita temuin di Eropa. Contohnya, pembantu rumah tangga, mas-mas di supermarket yang masukin barang belanjaan ke kantong plastik, mas-mas di supermarket yang nimbangin buah, tukang parkir, tukang jualan macem-macem di bus, mas-mas yang bukain pintu mobil di lobby mall, penjaga pintu tol, dan lain-lain. Yang paling lucu sih yang bukain pintu mobil kita di lobby mall. Tom kayak,”What is he doing??” dengan muka wondering gitu. And setelah dijelasin, dia kayak,”He is paid to do that??” Ya gitu. Soalnya juga di negaranya jumlah penduduknya sedikit banget kalau dibanding Indonesia. Jadi sebisa mungkin semua perusahaan hanya menggunakan jumlah minimum tenaga kerja. Dan tipe pekerjaannya juga banyak yang sudah dikerjakan mesin atau self-service.

Terus pernah sekali dia amazed banget waktu masuk toilet di tempat umum, lalu disapa gitu sama penjaganya, something like “Welcome to the toilet, Sir.” Terus dia keluar-keluar WC, excited banget, terus bilang,” Oh my god there is no such thing like that in Czech, here everyone is so happy and content with what they’re doing, even if it’s just cleaning the toilet.” Tom bilang di negaranya hampir semua orang yang kerjaannya di level seperti itu nggak akan mau kasih effort lebih buat bikin customer seneng; mereka literally just do what they should do. Kita nggak bisa expect untuk disapa, dilayani dengan senyum, dan sebagainya. Jadi bangga-bangga gimana gitu. Dipikir-pikir iya juga sih. Jadi terharu.

Tentang Jakarta: modern tetapi uncivilized at the same time. Kesimpulan itu didapat setelah dia lihat mal-mal yang begitu mewahnya, yang isinya pun barang impor dengan harga selangit, kendaraan-kendaraan bagus yang ada di jalan, rumah-rumah yang besar dan sebagainya, sekaligus mengalami sendiri gimana buruknya kondisi traffic di jalan, tata kota yang berantakan, polusi, dan sampah yang sering ganggu di jalan. Dia juga nggak terbiasa nggak bisa minum air langsung dari tap. Semoga Jakarta (dan Indonesia secara umum) bisa jadi jauh lebih baik secepatnya ya.

Tentang keluarga Indonesia yang hangat dan banyak anggotanya.  Mungkin untuk keluarga muda sekarang sudah mulai berubah, tetapi rata-rata keluarga generasi dulu kan anaknya banyak-banyak ya. Jarang yang cuma 2. Bisa di atas 5 sampai kisaran 10. Alhasil, sepupu saya ada banyak banget. Mungkin kalau ditotal ada 20-an. Sedangkan Tom keluarganya kecil sekali. Dia bahkan nggak punya sepupu sama sekali. Dan keluarga besar saya masih sering ngumpul-ngumpul paling nggak sebulan sekali gitu. Dia seneng bisa lihat keluarga yang besar tetapi dekat satu sama lain dan bisa saling ngobrol gitu.

 Tentang weather yang gitu-gitu aja. Secara Indonesia negara tropis, jadi ya udah, udah nggak bisa diapa-apain.

Tentang susahnya nyari alcoholic drinks. Ha-ha.

In the end nggak semuanya jelek loh, ya!

Kalau dari saya sih, yang paling saya suka dari Indonesia tuh keberagamannya. Orangnya macem-macem banget. Nggak cuma dari warna kulit atau fisiknya aja, tetapi dari budayanya, agamanya, mata pencahariannya, cara pikirnya, dan lain-lain. Bisa dengan mudah nemuin orang yang hidupnya kaya sekali secara materi sampai orang yang kerja hanya untuk ngisi perut hari itu. Jadi kita bisa belajar banyak tentang kehidupan dengan hanya melihat lingkungan sehari-hari gitu.

Kalau yang paling saya nggak tahan dari Indonesia yaitu mental korup-nya sama close-minded-nya. Nggak usah dijelasin kali, ya, entar sakit hati sendiri.

Kalau kalian, apa nih pendapat yang paling ngena tentang Indonesia?

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Life After Graduation: Nothing Goes According to Plan

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I graduated not long ago. I was beyond happy when they announced my final presentation result. Being announced as a Bachelor of Economics was all I could dream about when I was studying at university. Starting the new experience to actually earn money sounded very challenging as well as exciting at the same time.

Honestly, I had a high expectation of how my first job would be after I get my degree. I was one of those students in the class who always got an A when the other students had to struggle to get a C. I was the one who always paid full attention to what the teachers said in class. People counted on me to get information on the deadline of final project and how to solve the latest equation. When the exam period came, I organized a small study group so that we could learn from each other. No wonder, when a bunch of reputable companies came to our school to do a recruitment process for the fresh graduates, I instantly got various offers from many of them.

After several awkward interviews, hours spent waiting, energy-consuming writing test, and countless portraits of me wearing formal dress, I finally got my first job offer from a company. I was, again, beyond happy, because I could finally start working even before my graduation ceremony. The job description sounded pretty cool too, packed with a nice monthly numeration. Plus, the first visit to the office made my heart skip a beat because it just felt sophisticated; being a part of that dynamic team in a very growing industry. It’s something that I’ve always read in a novel, something that I’ve always watched in movie. You know the whole scene, right? Well-designed office in a high skyscraper, located in the most modern city of your country, completed with young and busy employers who talk about stuffs that sound unfamiliar to you. I just finished my exam, and now I had a new identity card as part of this team.

Little did I know that my first experience in a corporate would end in numbered days. The training process that I thought will train and equip me with new computer skills, turned out to be unorganized, and I spent more time Googling about how to do the task than actually doing the task because there was literally nobody there who was responsible for me — the new clueless staff. I had to work longer than the normal working hours — not only because I had so much things to get done, but also because they have to do the training session after working hours, otherwise they could not finish their own job. I thought the former team consisted of a bunch of motivated young employers who were passionate in what they did at work. They turned out to be regular people who did everything just because they had to do it, and they spent most of the times talking about the next employers who will stop working, and also the next company that they would be applying to because staying in that company was never their plan A. Complaints were everywhere. Every team needed more people to get things done. And there was always not enough people for every team. All I could feel was a massive negativity.

Just when I tried my best to accomplish one task — a task that my coworker referred as “too much to handle for the new kid like you” — and tried to talk to myself, telling my inner-self to be strong, telling my eyes to stay open and focus on the spreadsheet, something happened. They told me that in the following month, the only person in my team would move abroad and there was not much option for me rather than to replace him as well as his responsibility. I instantly thought that was a joke. I still couldn’t apply the right shortcut just to get the right formula. I still couldn’t fully comprehend how exactly the company managed their business process. I still didn’t even know the other staff’s name who sat next to and across me at the office. How could I possibly manage all the new tasks which definitely required more complex calculation, depth analysis, and coordination with all the divisions?

Knowing that it didn’t go according to the contract that I have signed before, I finally made the craziest decision ever: leaving the company even before the coworkers remembered my name. I sometimes wonder how they would refer to me after I quit. But, it’s either quit or become “the one who has to figure out all by herself how to do a job properly in just 3 weeks — a job that obviously would lead to long-hours working in the office where nobody cares about how stressful she is — and the one who would definitely create nothing more than an awful mess at the end”.

I was totally devastated. Partly because my first dream corporate job after graduation turned into a nightmare, and mostly because I chose to give up on that nightmare. I cried on the phone call with my boyfriend and my best friend that day. That was just too much for me. I once read one article that said, the only way to tell if you are just in a normal stress or you definitely need to stop working in a company, is by start imagining yourself getting a car accident so that you could be happy and stop working the next day. At that moment, I really wish I had a terrible car accident, terrible sickness, or whatever, as long as I didn’t need to come back to the office. People who know me well probably would describe me as a very hardworking and persistent person. I didn’t like the feeling of giving up. It’s not like the normal me. But in that case, I chose to give up.

A short phase after I quit, felt like a limbo. I still couldn’t believe what just happened. I took quite some time to think about “what was that” and “what I supposed to do now”. I turned down any other company’s offer because of this job. I even lost some of my music students because of this job required me to relocate. And now I didn’t have a job anymore.

After getting out from the crowd and hectic schedule, I started to do things that I genuinely like. I started playing music again. I started reading articles again. I talked to my family about what I was going through. I felt like I found myself again.

I decided to just simply apply the phrase “do what you love and the money will follow” to my life. I became a professional music instructor at a music school. I did audition, interview, training, and other stuffs as well. I try to give my best to teach my remaining music students at home so that I could have more of them. I also manage my previous start-up which was kind of being forgotten not long ago. And, in my spare time, I help improving my family’s business, which also aligns with what I love: kids and education.

So, do I earn more money now? No. By now I still don’t have fixed monthly income because I only have few kids to teach. I still haven’t passed the probation period. And everyone knows startup needs a lot of money at the early stage. I don’t make more money than an average fresh-graduate who work in a company. But I do make a fair amount of money; enough to make me happy, enough to make me proud of what I’m doing. And I believe I’m going to earn more.

And, am I happier now? Yes, one hundred percent. I can manage my own routines. I don’t feel horrible anxiety anymore when I check e-mail. I write more and more pieces of articles. I become nicer to people around me. I am not tired all the time. I have more time for people I love. I can hear more melodies in my head. I don’t feel the constant need to check my watch. I can even have my own staffs and pay their salary. I complain less about life.

I realized a valuable life-lesson from this experience: “You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.”

And, by the way, I am still a hardworking and persistent person. I just selectively pick the battle that I love most.

originally published in Medium.

Siapa di Balik Kesuksesan Starbucks?

Howard Schultz
Howard Schultz

Coffee shop-nya ada di mana-mana. Mungkin, kamu hafal juga nama menunya. Tapi, kenal nggak nih sama founder-nya?

Howard Schultz lahir pada 19 Juli 1953 di Brooklyn, New York, sebagai seorang keturunan Jerman dan Yahudi. Schultz tumbuh dewasa di Canarsie Bayview Housing Projects. Terlahir dalam keluarga yang sangat sederhana, Schultz menjadikan olahraga seperti sepak bola dan basket sebagai pelariannya dari masalah hidup sehari-hari. Setelah lulus dari Canarsie High School pada tahun 1971, ia mendapatkan beasiswa atas prestasinya dalam bidang olahraga untuk bersekolah di Northern Michigan University. Schultz pun berhasil menjadi orang pertama dalam keluarganya yang menerima gelar Sarjana Komunikasi pada tahun 1975.

Schultz bekerja sebagai salesman untuk Xerox Corporation. Pada tahun 1979, ia melakukan lompatan karir menjadi general manager untuk perusahaan pembuat kopi milik Swedia bernama Hammarplast. Schultz mengunjungi salah satu klien Hammarplast pada 1981, yakni toko biji kopi bernama Starbucks Coffee Company di Seattle. Ia sangat tertarik dalam proses pemilihan dan pengolahan biji kopi. Lantas ia pun bergabung menjadi Director of Marketing di perusahaan itu.

Dalam perjalanan bisnisnya ke Milan, Italia, Schultz memperhatikan bahwa coffe bar dapat ditemukan hampir di setiap sudut jalan. Bukan hanya menawarkan espresso yang sempurna, mereka juga menyediakan tempat yang nyaman untuk pertemuan bisnis. Gerai-gerai kopi itu memegang peranan penting di negara Italia dengan jumlah yang mencapai 200.000 buah.

Sekembalinya ke Amerika, Schultz mengajukan ide kepada pemilik Starbucks untuk menyajikan cita rasa espresso yang tradisional ditambah dengan ekstrak daun teh dan bumbu yang telah lama menjadi spesialisasinya. Ide itu ditolak karena ketidaktertarikan pemilik Starbucks terhadap bisnis di bidang restoran. Di tengah kekecewaannya, Schultz akhirnya membuka gerai kopinya sendiri di tahun 1985, dengan nama Il Giornale. Dua tahun setelah itu, manajemen Starbucks memutuskan untuk fokus kepada Peet’s Coffee & Tea, dan menjual Starbucks kepada Schultz senilai 3.8 juta US Dollar.

Schultz mengganti nama Il Giornale menjadi Starbucks, dan memperbesar bisnisnya secara besar-besaran hingga ke luar Amerika. Ia begitu fokus dalam mengembangkan usahanya itu dengan tujuan utama “to serve a great cup of coffee”. Pada 8 Januari 2008, Schultz berhasil menjadi CEO di Starbucks. Kini, Schultz berhasil meraih total kompensasi sebesar 9.740.471 US Dollar dan menjadi orang terkaya ke-324 se-Amerika versi Forbes tahun 2006.

Begini jawaban Schultz ketika ditanya mengenai kunci kesuksesannya:

Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. Compromise anything but your core values. Seek to renew yourself even when you are hitting home runs. And everything matters.”

5 Young Entrepreneurs on Things They Wish They Had Done Differently in the Earlier Stage

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Creating a start-up is not easy. Successful start-up entrepreneurs might make it look easy, but it really is not. There is no definite formula on how to make your start-up successful, which is why entrepreneurship is so challenging. However, one can learn from either their own or others’ experience.

Here are the confessions of young entrepreneurs on developing their start-up:

“I developed the idea together with some of my friends. Up until now, we have been doing things together, including the production and selling process. If I had known better, I would have been more detailed in terms of ownership rights. For instance, in profit-sharing. It’s also important to discuss the what if-s. For example, what if one of us quits. It’s important to make sure everyone knows what’s to come. I personally didn’t expect that at the end of the day, our motivation and attitude towards the business process are strongly tied to what we earn. The higher our return, the more motivated we get.” – Fiona, 22

“I didn’t know that digital marketing would be so vital to the success of my company. To be honest, I didn’t care so much about it at the earlier stage. My restaurant has been running for 2 years now, and I still haven’t explored digital marketing to promote my business. I observe how the majority of my competitors have good social media management. If I had actively worked on the whole digital marketing thing, probably I would have gained more from online media. Now, I have come to realize that digital marketing has such high impact with almost zero budget – they offer almost everything for free!” – Andrew, 24

“I wish I hadn’t impulsively set a promotion strategy for my product. I once put a big discount for my product, which was a waffle with different sets of toppings.  I lost almost half of the daily customers when I set the price back to normal. I didn’t account for how sensitive my customers were to the changing price. I learn that the effectiveness of promotion tactics really depend on what you sell and what industry you are in. Just because it works in other brands, doesn’t mean it would work for yours.” – Ivan, 23

“I thought I could juggle everything at the same time. So, I interned in one company while developing my start-up in apparel industry. I was wrong. I was exhausted all the time. There were a lot of things to do. I didn’t have enough time to do everything. As predicted, the start-up didn’t bring as much growth because I simply didn’t have the energy to make it happen. I think, when you want to do something extraordinary, you just have to focus on one thing.” –Nick, 22

“Being flexible is not my strength. One little change can stress me out. I used to decide everything from my point of view, not the customer’s. I wish I could be more flexible and not so stressed about change. For example, I had to reduce the price of my products, because it wasn’t reasonable charging higher price after considering our location. It was such a devastating moment for me because I have planned to set a higher price. I took a long time for me to decide what to do. If I could do things differently, I would have just shut up and reduced the price. That way, I would have scored more customers and saved more time.” –Kate, 22

So, dear fellow entrepreneurs, what’s the one thing you wish you had done differently?

When You’re The Only One Who’s Struggling to Make the Relationship Work..

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Relationship requires two people who are willing to make each other as happy as they could possibly be. However, it’s not always what happens in reality. Sometimes one person gives too much while the other partner is not appreciating what the other person has already done.

Here is what happened when you’re the only one who is willing to make this relationship work.

His ignorance bothers you – a lot more than you expect. And it happens a little more often than how it was in the beginning. You literally tell him everything, from how many assignments that you should complete for the next three weeks, how great your presentation was this morning, how much you desire to go traveling in summer, and how much you miss your best friend. You never hear the support or words of encouragement that you need. Because sometimes, people just need to hear it from the person whom they love most. You never hear any constructive comments. When you are in doubt or fear about something, this person never tries to calm you down and they never says how much they believe in you. No. All you get is a simple OK with an emoji in the end.

He is not only physically distant with you, but he is also emotionally unavailable. The idea of sharing his personal thoughts and feelings to you makes him uncomfortable. You never know what he exactly plans – not even about his life – but for a simple thing like what he plans for this weekend. You think he probably needs some “me-time”, away from you. Fine. Everybody needs that once in a while. But suddenly a text comes up and he says he will go for a short trip with his friends. A group of friends that you never really meet before. Because he just never engaged you in this kind of thing. And no. He didn’t invite you.

The perception of love seems really complicated for him. For him, love is an unsolved mystery in the future. Something that he couldn’t clearly describe, because he said he never experience quite the same thing. He said “it isn’t love, if it doesn’t work out in the end”. And he never makes it work with somebody else. Yet. So when you told him the L word, he couldn’t look at you in the eyes and he didn’t tell you back the same thing. You thought you will be the one who can change his mind about what love is. Apparently the more frequent you tell him how you feel, the colder he becomes about love. So that’s why you stop telling him that.

You are so busy decoding his mind. On why he never initiates text or phone call anymore. You are counting the days since the last good date with him. Just out of sudden, this person stops doing everything that he was eager to do before. But he always brushes it off easily every time you ask if something’s wrong. You tried a few attempts to contact him first. And secretly hope things will get back to normal. But it’s not. He shows that talking to you is not that important for him to do. Despite the difficult circumstances, you still want to hear his voice. But this person not even bothered to try to contact you first. Talking to you and spending time with you don’t seem interesting for him anymore. The harder you try to keep him close, the more obvious how he blocks you out from his life.

After quite some time, you finally realized that this person is not worthy of your love and attention. You realized that you cannot change people, no matter how hard you try. You understand that this person is not a bad guy, but he is just not the guy for you. Maybe he is also not happy by what you did. Maybe he is just not ready for some big things that you have offered him. And it’s nobody’s fault.


It’s time to move on. 

One day, you will find someone who will not only be your partner, but that person will also be your best friend. You can share every details of your thoughts, every goal and dreams, and how much you love what you are doing, and that person will be there for you to listen, to celebrate, and to support you when you are not sure about what life might give you. This person will suddenly text you just to let you know how much they think about you. You know each other too well so that you can completely understand what the other person is thinking about. You will feel content about the present and confident about your future as a couple. You will feel so much joy and love from that relationship that there would be no space for anxiety or fear anymore. You will find someone who cares about you just as much as you care about them.

With this person, love is so effortlessly simple, because the two of you sincerely wants to make each other’s happy. There would be no mystery to solved. There would be nothing to decode. Instead of spending endless time wondering what’s going wrong, you will spend most of the times by cherishing the laughter and the lovely quality-time that you will both share together.


And with this person, you will stop feeling lonely.

Because being with you, is what makes him genuinely happy.

Galau Masa Depan

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Udah mau akhir tahun. Yang anak kelas 1 SMA udah mulai mikirin mau ambil IPA atau IPS (atau mungkin IPB). Yang anak kelas 3 SMA lagi sibuk apply-apply kuliah (atau mungkin lagi sibuk bimbingan belajar supaya lebih siap ikut tes masuk universitas). Kalau diperhatiin, anak sekolah sering banget ngalamin yang namanya bingung. Nanti, abis lulus kuliah, bingung lagi mau kerja apa dan di mana seperti saya. Bingung terus, nggak ada habisnya.

Saya juga bingung kenapa bisa begitu. Salah satu alasannya mungkin adalah sistem belajar di negara kita yang terlalu general. Terlalu banyak mata pelajaran sewaktu sekolah tapi nggak gitu dalam dipelajarinnya. Jadinya, kita tahu banyak hal, tetapi nggak pernah sampai ke tahap menguasai satu bidang. Saya sering di-curhatin sama anak murid dan bikin geleng-geleng kepala. Terus, nanti waktu masuk kuliah, semua yang dipelajari waktu SMA seolah-olah nggak ada jejaknya. Hilang begitu saja. Waktu kuliah pun apa yang dipelajari nggak related sama apa yang dipelajari waktu SMA. Begitu pun waktu kerja, semuanya baru lagi. Terus, buat apa dong kita belajar susah-susah? Tuh kan, jadi makin bingung.

Pemikiran saya waktu SMA juga sempit banget. Semoga bisa jadi bahan pembelajaran buat anak SMA sekarang. Dulu waktu milih jurusan untuk kuliah, saya pikir profesi yang akan kita jalani bakal sesuai seratus persen dengan jurusan yang kita ambil. Saya juga nggak banyak tahu kemungkinan profesi apa yang bisa dilakukan setelah ngambil jurusan tertentu. Yang ada di pikiran saya: ngambil jurusan Psikologi lalu jadi Psikolog, ngambil jurusan Hukum lalu jadi pengacara, ngambil jurusan Komunikasi jadi PR, ngambil jurusan Sastra lalu kerjanya nggak jauh-jauh dari translator, ngambil jurusan Marketing nanti kerjanya jualan. Sesederhana itu. Tiap kali denger nama suatu jurusan, pertanyaan pertama yang muncul: Kalau kuliah itu, entar lulusnya jadi apa dong? 

Ternyata, dunia tidaklah se-hitam-putih itu. Secara, anak lulusan Teknik aja sekarang banyak yang kerja di bank.

Kamu harus banyak cari informasi tentang mata kuliah apa aja yang akan kamu pelajari kalau kamu ambil jurusan tertentu. Biar ada bayangan kira-kira belajar apaan sih empat tahun nanti. Apakah kebanyakan menghitung, menghafal, menganalisa, menggambar, menyampaikan pendapat, praktek lapangan, atau bagaimana?

Terus, cari informasi juga, pilihan karir apa aja yang possible kamu lakukan setelah lulus dari jurusan tertentu. Sekarang ini, banyak banget jenis pekerjaan yang mungkin 20 tahun lalu belum ada atau belum berkembang. Misalnya, social media specialist, app developer, sustainability expert, dan lain-lain. Dulu, mungkin orang juga nggak bisa hidup cuma dari bikin-bikin video. Tapi, tahu dong, sekarang banyak orang sukses menjadi Youtuber?

Banyak juga jenis industri yang lagi berkembang banget sekarang sehingga banyak diperlukan jenis pekerjaan baru di perusahaan. Misalnya, industri e-commerce. Mungkin kamu sudah hafal nama-nama company-nya saking seringnya ngiklan di TV dan radio. Intinya, educate yourself sebelum memutuskan jurusan untuk kuliah.

Ada satu buku yang bagus untuk ngebantu kamu menata masa depan. Judulnya CAREER: The Perfect Guide to Finding the Perfect Job For You. Didesain dan ditulis khusus untuk target pembaca remaja, buku ini ilustrasinya menarik banget, warna-warni, banyak gambar, dan enak dibaca. Buku ini dibagi ke dalam beberapa bagian, sesuai dengan bidang ilmu yang ada. Kemudian, dibahas secara detil deh setiap bidang ilmunya. Ilmu itu tentang apa, pilihan kariernya, orang dengan sifat kayak gimana yang cocok untuk ngejalaninnya, skills yang dibutuhkan, cara mengembangkan kemampuan kamu di bidang ilmu tersebut, sampai-sampai ada gambaran tentang career path, rata-rata gaji, serta working hours di dalam pekerjaan tersebut nantinya. Buku ini menjelaskan lebih dari 400 pilihan pekerjaan.

Abis baca buku ini, pastinya pikiran kamu jadi lebih terbuka, dan kamu bisa jadi lebih fokus dan terarah – setelah lulus kuliah, mau jadi apa. Lebih bijak juga untuk ngambil jurusan kuliah karena kamu tahu: lulusan Psikologi nggak cuma bisa jadi Psikolog, tetapi juga bisa jadi staf HR, researcher, trainer di perusahaan, dan konselor. Lulusan Sastra Inggris juga nggak cuma bisa jadi translator, tapi juga bisa jadi jurnalis, editor, PR, kerja di advertising, dan masih banyak lagi.

Jadi, jangan takut “nanti nggak bisa punya kerjaan bagus” ketika ingin memilih jurusan kuliah yang kamu emang suka. Seperti kata artikel ini, jurusan kuliah nggak segitunya menjamin kesuksesan kamu di masa depan kok. Kuliah kan nggak cuma belajar, tetapi ketemu orang-orang baru, nyobain kegiatan-kegiatan baru, dan ngerjain tugas yang macam-macam jenisnya. Semuanya bisa ngebantu kamu buat mikir, sebetulnya kamu orang yang gimana sih? Dan kamu lebih seneng kerja yang kayak gimana.

Selama kamu suka apa yang kamu pelajari, punya attitude yang baik, dan apalagi, punya banyak pengalaman di bidang yang kamu kerjakan, pasti bakalan ketemu deh formula kamu sendiri untuk bisa sukses di masa depan.

5 Beautiful Life Reminders from 5 Awesome Books

“One day spent with someone you love can change everything."
“One day spent with someone you love can change everything.”

1. Tentang betapa terbatasnya waktu yang kita miliki dan pentingnya menghabiskan waktu bersama orang-orang yang kita sayangi. Kurang-lebih itu deh inti yang ingin disampaikan Mitch Albom dalam karyanya yang berjudul For One More Day. Charles Benetto, lahir dan tumbuh besar di keluarga yang tidak utuh, sehingga mengharuskan ia untuk selalu memilih antara ibu atau ayahnya. Ketika mencoba bunuh diri karena depresi, ia mengalami rentetan flashback dan seolah-olah bertemu kembali dengan ibunya yang sudah tiada. Banyak banget adegan menyentuh yang menyadarkan pembacanya kalau kasih sayang orangtua bener-bener nggak ada batasnya. Malah, kita sebagai anak, yang sering take it for granted dan kurang berterimakasih gitu. Abis baca buku ini dijamin punya perasaan yang sama dengan tokoh utamanya: pengen jadi pribadi yang lebih baik dan menjalin  hubungan yang lebih baik lagi dengan orang-orang terdekat.

''The world is not a wish-granting factory.''
”The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

2. Pengingat bahwa hidup itu realistis – nggak semua yang kita mau bisa jadi kenyataan. Kisah tentang Hazel Grace, cewek remaja yang didiagnosa sakit kanker dan menjalani hidup yang nggak jauh-jauh dari support group, baca buku, dan mengkhawatirkan orangtuanya jika suatu saat sesuatu terjadi kepadanya. The Fault in Our Stars karya John Green ini nggak cuma bercerita soal itu, tetapi banyak pesan penting lainnya yang ingin dia masukkan ke buku ini, terutama melalui love story antara Hazel dengan Augustus Waters, penderita kanker lainnya yang Hazel temui di support group. Meski mereka udah ngabisin waktu bareng, punya banyak common interests, dan Augustus sampe merelakan wish-nya dipakai Hazel untuk ketemu author favoritnya di negara lain, ujung-ujungnya mereka nggak bisa bareng. FYI, buku ini nggak melulu soal kanker kok, kita bisa belajar banyak soal persahabatan, keberanian, pengorbanan, dan bagaimana caranya menghargai hidup lewat metafora-metafora yang indah.

"We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough."
“We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.”

3. Tentang pentingnya bersyukur dalam hidup. Ide cerita yang nggak biasa bisa kita temuin di Every Day karya David Levithan. Tokoh utamanya, namanya A. Iya, A, doang. Si A ini setiap hari lahir di tubuh orang yang berbeda-beda. Dia nggak punya identitas, nggak punya keluarga, nggak punya teman-teman yang pasti setiap harinya. Keadaan makin rumit ketika suatu hari dia ketemu cewek yang dia suka. Lewat perjalanan A, kita bisa ngeliat kalau kehidupan manusia banyak banget ragamnya. Dan nggak semuanya enak. Nggak semua orang hidupnya berkecukupan. Nggak semua orangtua sayang dan bisa ngurus anaknya dengan baik. Nggak semua orang yang pacaran sebetulnya seneng dan setia sama pacarnya. Banyak situasi dalam hidup yang bikin orang depresi.

Sedih banget ya,  nih apa katanya soal cewek yang dia suka: “I will never have a photograph of her to carry around in my pocket. I will never have a letter in her handwriting, or a scrap-book of everything we’ve done. I will never share an apartment with her in the city. I will never know if we are listening to the same song at the same time. We will not grow old together. I will not be the person she calls when she’s in trouble. She will not be the person I call when I have stories to tell. I will never be able to keep anything she’s given to me.”  

Tapi bukunya nggak sesedih ini kok, banyak humornya dan kata-kata yang bikin kita mikir.

“sometimes you don't need a goal in life, you don't need to know the big picture. you just need to know what you're going to do next!”
“Sometimes you don’t need a goal in life, you don’t need to know the big picture. you just need to know what you’re going to do next!”

4. Hidup kadang perlu dibawa santai. The Undomestic Goddess dari Sophie Kinsella menceritakan tentang Samantha Sweeting yang gila kerja sebagai pengacara. Ritme hidup yang serba cepat, tekanan yang tinggi dari kantor, dan kesibukan yang gila-gilaan sampai ia hampir nggak sempat merayakan ulangtahunnya sendiri. Sampai suatu saat, dia melakukan kesalahan fatal dan dia pun langsung dipecat dari perusahaan. Stres, galau, dan nggak tau mau ngapain, Samantha kabur ke desa kecil dan nggak sengaja nerima pekerjaan jadi pembantu rumah tangga. Buku ini ringan, lucu, gampang dimengerti, dan banyak pesan moralnya. Kadang terlalu banyak menge-set target, memaksa diri untuk bekerja keras, dan berpikir terlalu jauh ke depan nggak bagus juga. Kinsella mengingatkan kita untuk enjoy the little things in life.

5. Going Home karya Danielle Steel menyampaikan satu pesan: ”Every woman falls in love with a bastard at least once in her life”.  Period. Kata siapa buku yang bagus selalu punya karakter yang like-able? Di buku ini, tokoh utamanya, Gillian, tidak disukai oleh pembaca. Bisa dibilang dia bukan tipe cewek yang bisa jadi teladan deh. Karena dia gampang banget dimainin sama cowok, mau aja diperlakukan seenaknya, dan nggak bisa bersikap bijak dalam menentukan pilihan. Siap-siap geregetan waktu baca buku ini!

What’s on your list?