I have not made any of my posts to be of any use to fill the void for the diplomatic corp service (DCS) and medical missions overseas. I have just noticed that last night when my son Ibrahim got an offer for the DCS exam (to be held on 13 April 2013 at Ahmad Maher School in Kota Bharu, Kelantan). Affandi went frantic trying to recall whom we can obtain help from, for Ibrahim's sake.
Many of you may have sibs, relatives and friends in the DCS and medical missions overseas. Please respond (under Comments) so I can tailor some of my posts to help others in the DCS and medical missions overseas.
I can only recall when my own father was to be Malaysia's Ambassador to Germany in the 1970s, I was instructed by my mother to privately study German in Penang. It was quite difficult to adapt to her wish and I refused to learn a new foreign language, and my mother was very disappointed. Our schools don't offer or teach foreign languages and these will need to be learned outside of school hours from private institutions. Most schools overseas offer languages - French, Spanish and German. Many Malaysian universities offer languages but I don't know how useful these programmes are. Reading, comprehending, writing and translating a foreign language is hard if not tackled at a young age.
Administrative skills is something picked up from handling problems at the workplace. A fresh graduate will need at least a few months to be settled and happily working. Overcoming the initial obstacles at the workplace is a big stumbling block and most first timers find it intimidating and will often want to back out. They don't realise that a lot of problems crop up at the workplace because we have an artificial workplace created by unthinking people before us. Newcomers may need to slightly modify the old workplace and realign the work procedure before they will get to enjoy working with others.
Learning the cultures of other nations and fitting in at a new place overseas can be comforting, discomforting or intimidating for some. But there is the Internet and so many travel books we can buy and read about other countries. I'm sure kids love reading about other countries and want to visit them. Our school system may have this bit built-in or not, I'm uncertain. But I have heard of student exchange programmes, so these are already in place for kids who are keen on international exposure.
We can always fall back on the idea of 'Hijrah' and take the challenges at any workplace, be it local or foreign. It is actually up to us, to make good of any workplace and under any work condition. The world is a large working place. I almost forgot 'Katak di bawah tempurung' is something of old and we can do away with it. Now, we can safely say, "I wanna be myself and working for the world, at my place, at my rate". That way, we will always be able to adapt and adopt and fit in well, just about anywhere, for any job, at any time. I think that is the best attitude to take when faced with a new and challenging job offer.