Life updates

Life updates, and Malaysia’s MCO 3.0

Assalamualaikum, and hello 🙂

It has been quite a while since my last post (almost 4 whole months!). A lot of things have happened between then and now, so I thought that the first post back should be some life updates, because, why not?

Update 1: Aiman & I moved to a new apartment in late February.

After living in our small studio for a year, we decided to move out into a bigger apartment. One reason for this was because I wanted a separate room for my work/home office. For the majority of last year’s lockdown (and work from home), I’ve been utilizing our dining table as my workspace. This does not bode well, what with the little space that we have in the studio anyway.

Alhamdulillah, we managed to find a 2-bedroom apartment in the area for a reasonable price. It was partly furnished, but we still had to bring in major furniture (bed, sofa, dining table, etc). But Alhamdulillah, my parents were also getting rid of some furniture from their house after their renovation late last year, so we had some movers send them over from Shah Alam.

It’s been 3+ months since we moved in, and I’m loving it so far. Most importantly, I’m loving the fact that (1) we now have a dryer in the apartment (courtesy of my in-laws!), and (2) I now have my own space for everything that I do.

home office syaza nazura
My small and cosy home office.

Update 2: I got a raise at work!

Before the Christmas holidays last year, I had a one-on-one meeting with my line manager to discuss my work performance. My first year at the job has been a bit difficult, considering how I probably spent only about 2-3 months out of the whole year working from home. In a role that required me to be engaging and working with students directly, that has not necessarily been helpful.

During the meeting, we talked about potential training opportunities that I can look into. He was the first to initiate the possibility of me taking on an additional project or two outside of my original job scope. This was something that I initially wanted to ask him about, so it was a nice surprise that he initiated the conversation.

Fast forward a few months, and April was the first official month of my additional role/responsibility. So now, on top of my work in the Sixth Form office with the Higher Education team, I also have two mini projects with the Admissions and Marketing team. And while the raise was not as much as both of us would’ve liked, it was better than nothing, considering how the school froze our salary last year due to the pandemic.

Alhamdulillah for this small progress a little over a year into my job here at the school!

Update 3: Aiman & I received our COVID-19 vaccines!

This actually happened a little over a week ago, but Alhamdulillah, we managed to get our vaccines. We signed up (fought for??) the AstraZeneca vaccines during its first roll-out and managed to secure our spots. So far, everyone in my family (my parents and my older brother + sister-in-law) are vaccinated. My parent in-laws are vaccinated too, Alhamdulillah. So we’re now waiting for Aiman’s brothers to be able to get the vaccines, hopefully soon.

I’ll share more on this later in a separate post hopefully, purely for my own reference in the future.

life updates: I got the COVID-19 vaccine!
Do I get my 5G signal now? Also, repping Mana Undi Kami t-shirt from Undi18‘s fundraiser, go check them out!

Update 4: I did a bunch of things for my side hustle.

Early last year, I started my side hustle of running career coaching and reviews for university students and graduates. I’ve been taking a step back in the past few months (mainly due to some mental health problems I was facing earlier this year), but Alhamdulillah, I also managed to do quite some things despite the ‘break’.

I recently signed up for a personal branding workshop for Malaysian trainers by PLF Nadzrin, which was an eye-opener for me in case I want to go big with this in the future. This also gave me the chance to connect and learn from other trainers and facilitators in Malaysia, which is amazing. I was also given the chance to attend a Psychological Approaches to Digital Marketing webinar by Farah, which was also a very insightful session.

breakaway personal branding workshop

I also tried to do at least one session each month – this included moderating a few Clubhouse sessions on graduate employability issues, Personal Branding workshop with the Selangor Youth Community, graduation talk with UTAR, and a job search session with UMS.

Small tiny steps, but, hey, at least it’s moving forward in the right direction.

Update 5: Met up with some new and old friends.

Now, this was definitely before Malaysia went into our third lockdown since the whole COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. While things were still OK a couple of months ago, I’m very much happy and grateful I get to see some familiar faces. As an extrovert, the lockdown has been mentally challenging because I literally do not leave the house unless it is absolutely necessary (other than going down to the mailroom once a week).

And aside from Aiman and the few meetings I have with my colleagues, I don’t really talk to anyone. So the little chance I get to either physically or virtually meet with some friends is an opportunity that I cherish.

Some of them are friends I’ve known for a while (like Nazran, Ali and Nadine). Others are new friends I made on Clubhouse. Yes, by some bizarre coincidence, the few weeks when Clubhouse was a big thing in Malaysia in February, I somehow got to know this group of people. We now have our own Telegram group and would randomly be on video calls in the middle of the day while we work or eat. Much love to you guys in the Chill Vibes group, thanks for making my days!

Virtual Raya open house with my Chill Vibes gang.

Update 6: Other random stuff.

Other random stuff that happened in the past few months also included:

  • I read a couple of books (which is a good thing for me considering how long it has been since I last read anything).
  • Reached 10,000 followers on LinkedIn a while ago – which was a huge surprise!
  • I reached out to and connected with some professionals (mainly in coaching and/or career services). This is mainly to learn more about what they do and asking for advice/suggestions.
  • My writing project is almost done – my draft should be done by tomorrow insyaAllah. Can’t wait to share this out with you guys!
  • I (am trying to) pick up painting again. It’s been a few months since I last picked up a paintbrush, so I’m slowly getting back into it.
  • I am officially a mentor with Closing the Gap! Will share more about this in a separate post as well.
  • Aiman found a job, Alhamdulillah! After more than two years, he’s finally managed to secure a job. May Allah ease everything for him in his probation, insyaAllah!
  • Sent out ~160 (or so) kad raya for this year’s Projek Kad Raya.
  • Engaged David at ClickWP to help me with some stuff on the blog. I’ve finally downgraded my hosting to a cheaper and more manageable package. Also thinking of changing the template one day this year, but I’ll KIV that until I find a suitable one.
  • I recorded a vlog some time in February – go check it out below!

Until I see you again in the next post 🙂

That should be it for this life updates post – one that you probably didn’t need to know but I wanted to share anyway. Anyhow, I hope life’s treating y’all okay and that you are staying safe and sane wherever you are in the world.

Do reach out if you want to have a chat or something. Until I see you in the next post – stay awesome and take care! 🙂

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