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The Last 8 Weeks of 2021: Stepping Back

Never ever I have in my life I tried to polish my CV just to get people’s attention, up until yesterday. That’s the world of post graduation.

A personal madness in 2021.

the sunset view from my village The sunset view from my village.

This is crazy. I don’t want to sell. I have never been good at marketing anything (I ever tried!). I even hate to promote myself. I know this kind of mindset cannot be applied everywhere. But that’s not how I want to approach this world of job-seeking or whatever you call it after finishing formal school. I always believe I have to “earn it“, not first asking for the thing or derail my integrity just to get ahead. There’s a nuance there, but I think we kind of get the point.

Step back! Step back. No rush to get ahead in these worldly matters. That’s what my instinct told me hysterically every morning, which I often ignore. I neglect various important aspect of my life in 2021, just to get ahead. But not this time.

So, in this last chunk of 2021, I will dedicate myself to

  1. Repair my relationship with myself and Allah SWT.
  2. Shift my perspective about certain matters, so that my mind and heart will be at peace even when I’m ruminating those matters.
  3. Learn things I yearn to learn for so long! Become a proud beginner.
  4. Chill and let life flows. I made plans then it is the time to execute!

For now, I think I have placed the right mindset. The question is, how do I make them become realities?

First, I believe in the power of environment. With a tidy, clean, and serene living place, my mind will become more at ease. With that, I have to take care of

  1. my soul compartment: my heart,
    • by keep reading Riyadushshalihiin and listening to Ustadz M. Nuzul Dzikri’s podcast, with other resources that talk about purifying the heart and improving my ibadah (in general sense),
    • by keep journaling and writing post like this;
  2. my heart and mind compartment: my body,
    • by doing heavy exercise for at least 10 minutes everyday,
    • by slowly decreasing caffeine intake, stay dehydrated, and eat wisely;
  3. my body compartment: my house.
    • intentionally tidy the whole house every morning as possible (that’s a ton of work, actually!), without anyone asking.

If I manage those things well, I will do well. I serve myself and people closest to me, with providing a comfortable place to live and a comfortable person to live with.

Second, I admit that I lack hard skills and knowledge for the field I want to contribute on: machine learning , as an engineer, researcher, and writer. There are handful of checklists I need to fulfill in order for me to obtain necessary competencies, and eventually earn a scholarship and a graduate program, or even, land a suitable career.

These are the key areas I need to upgrade as soon as possible, followed with the action plan:

  1. English test (IELTS), especially speaking and writing skills.
    • I made a study group with my friends.
    • Schedule my test in early 2022.
  2. Research and practical knowledge in Machine Learning and Computer Science.
    • I enrolled DeepLearning.AI’s MLOps Specialization, Standford’s Algorithms Specialization, and various courses from 365 Data Science.
  3. My portfolios for work, scholarship, and graduate program.
    • I will start focusing on this in December; after taking courses and while intensify IELTS preparation.
  4. Cleaning my plate with the greatest satisfaction.
    • I still have few periodic organizational responsibilities. I’ll contribute as the much as I healthy can.

I no longer lurking around between job posts. I have applied to numerous open positions and did some interviews, then eventually withdrawn myself. I don’t put hopes in securing new job in the near future. I will leave that to Allah. He knows the best.

Then the last, I need to chill. Play with my sister. Laugh with my friend. Talk to my parents. Feel the heat of the sun in my hometown. Read books, more fiction. Enjoy what’s available.

Yes, my goals are clear. I need to believe in those goals (and myself!) by actually execute them. More importantly, Allah is waiting for me to prove my commitment.

O Allah, make all my affairs good and do not allow me to rely on myself even if only for the blink of an eye!

–Rasulullah ﷺ (HR an-Nasa-i and al-Hakim)

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.