I was asked to do an interview by one of the writers that I greatly admire. Ngobesing is talented, renowned Cameroonian journalist in Cameroon. If you have been reading a lot in the blogosphere, you might be one of his many followers like me. His blogs focus on inspirations and creation of the better, happier world we lived in. Outside of his blog, he is an extremely generous writer who pops into MiddleMe to leave encouragements and supportive kind words to me.
When he honors me with the idea of a collaboration in the form of an interview, I was more than delighted to accept. Below is an extraction from the interview article, I am sharing. I do hope that you enjoy reading my answers!
And before I forget, to my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving!
I have met many new people since I started blogging. Many of them have made a great impression on me. I love their ways. I love what they do. They inspire me. I thank God for knowing them. Knowing them has been a very edifying and uplifting experience for me.
One of such persons is Kally. Kally is a very sweet soul. If a day passes without her visiting me on my site, I feel empty. She is loving, caring, and inspiring; in short, such a magnetic person. She runs a blog titled MiddleMe.
I thank Kally for accepting to be my guest. There is no doubt in my mind that you will enjoy this interview with her and also draw much inspiration from it.
Hello, Kally. How are you today?
I’m great! In fact, I am excited to be able to do this interview! The first interview I have ever done in the blogosphere.
I am delighted to welcome you to Success Inspirer.
And I am delighted to come back to Success Inspirer each time.
I do appreciate the fact that you have honored us by accepting to be our guest. Secondly, thank you for always being there to support what we are doing at Success Inspirer.
I am very honored that you have invited me to be your guest. What you are doing is great. I am always inspired by your poems or articles! I think what you are doing is fantastic and spreading around your positive passion for doing wonders in the world.
Kindly let us know you better. Your full name; where you live at the moment and where you were born.
Well, my name is Kally and that is a unique name given by my parents, seeing that Kally is always spelt with an E instead of an A. I have the privilege to be born in Singapore, a small country no doubt but it is a place where it is safe, great education and plenty of opportunities. I am living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and it is the next-door neighbor of Singapore. I am about 1-hour flight from home.
What do you do for a living?
Currently, I am a full-time writer, career specialist and a freelancer.
What does this mean?
I have always enjoyed writing and teaching people. When I had enough of the corporate world (something I have been doing non-stop for the past 20 years of my life), I decided to combine these two passions of mine and see where it leads me.
Can you describe your ideal day? Tell us when you get out of bed; what you do before you get to work till you retire for the day.
My ideal day? Ever since, I took control of my life, every day is ideal for me. Ha ha! First thing in the morning, I usually start reading all the posts of my followers that I have missed due to the time difference around the globe. Then it’s up keeping the house in the morning and go for a swim at noon or read a novel or catch up with my friends, leaving me the rest of the afternoon to manage my own business, talking to my clients and writing of course! I will continue this until it’s time for dinner (I prepare my family’s meals in-between work) and its purely family time in the evening until bedtime. I do sometimes sneak a read or two on my followers’ blog before bedtime.
Tell me if you love your job or not. Are you satisfied with this job or you are keeping your eyes open for something better?
I love what I am doing now if not, I will not be doing it. I believe in having passion in what I am doing. Of course, I will always be open to interesting job opportunities. Working from home has its quirks and perks but I would love to work in a corporate world when opportunities arise, but it must add value to myself as a person and not purely for money.
What are the major problems that girls face in your country?
If you are talking about Malaysia, the inequality, the safety, the education. Don’t get me started but I have only settled in not too long ago so I’ll like to keep my mind open. But if you are talking about Singapore, we are having two first world problems, low birth rates, and low marriage rates. Having a family in Singapore is pretty stressful in the terms of the high cost of living is incomparable to the wages we get. In addition, there are little efforts to promote work-life balance.
Everything in Singapore is about how productive and hardworking you are. If I were to describe a typical worker, it will be a 9 am to 8 pm work life, burning weekends at home to rush out the report for Monday meetings.
With a work schedule like this, no wonder no one is rushing to get married and have kids! Sadly, nowadays, most of our children are taken care of by our maids instead of the mother because both husband and wife must work in order to provide a better living for the family. This is one of the reasons I started my website, to help people live a little within their cubicle.
What help are available in your country for young girls who face violence?
We have strict laws in place and zero tolerance in child abuse. We have support groups, 24 hours helplines, MSF (Ministry of Social and Family Development)and AWARE (Association of Women Action and Research). People are highly encouraged to report to the police or relevant authorities any suspicious activities around them and this encouragement is spread through media and education.
What is the atmosphere at your workplace? What are the things you like and the things you do not like your office?
Haha! Can’t answer you that since I no longer work in an office. But generally in my working life, I have been blessed with many generous mentors very willing to share a part of their knowledge and experiences with me. That is something I really missed not having to work in a regular office – people interactions. There is nothing I really hate about all my previous workplace because I believe in controlling the situation, adapting the culture and always think positive!!
Describe the working relationship between you and your boss.
I am the boss now! Haha! To quote from my past, I have a lot of great bosses, both male and female coming from different countries and background but I too, have the share of incompetent, nasty bosses. Some of the great bosses have in turn become my personal mentors as well as great friends. My boss of 15 years ago still asks every now and then how I am doing!
Reading through your blog I see you have been helping a lot of people solve the problems they face at work and even in their lives. Tell us more about this.
Throughout my career, I have been approached a lot of times by my colleagues seeking advice because I usually see things from a different angle. I am very intuitive when it comes to engaging people and I don’t like to judge. I have always wanted to be able to put up the advice I give in a wider platform and share it with others. My website gives me the platform to do that.
There is a significant portion of my readers who are my ex-colleagues. Almost every problem is the same but just in different situations and by different people. I get extremely frustrated when I see a good worker resign not because he or she wants to but because they hit certain obstacles from a simple under appreciating person to a serious workplace bully.
So I want to bring the message across, working blindly is labeled as slogging for life; even a worker ant in a huge colony can make a difference.
How do you see the way young people behave these days in your community. How hopeful are you that they will grow up to be responsible parents and leaders? What advice do you have for them?
The youths have a better quality of life and lesser struggles than we have as they enter into workforce fully qualified – education, better exposure to global issues and wider knowledge of information due to accessibility to technology.
During my youth, to use a computer, we had to queue up at the school library. I have friends who are 10 or 15 younger than me, some of them are climbing the social ladder and some of them are successful business owners; they are very competitive and super technology savvy. My advice to them is that don’t be afraid of failing because when you fall, you’ll learn even more.
You just mentioned modern technology. How do you see social media? Many people are worried. What reasons are there to be worried?
Many people don’t know or are unaware that whatever they post now, will stay around the Internet for a long, long, long time. What you post on the internet now is probably appropriate for your age, social standing, and your status but what about 10 or 20 years later when you become a CEO of a multinational company or a famous journalist or even elected as a president?
It may seem to be super far-fetched now but never say never. Wait till you are someone famous and important then let’s see how much you like your drunk photo being dug out by the paparazzi and plastered on headline news.
You have a lovely blog. What is your blog about?
Thank you! MiddleMe is where I share my 20 years of experiences in the corporate world, letting others understand that a job is not just a job, you actually can make your 8 hours at work a lot easier and maybe, fun too. I touch on heavy topics like management, appraisals, interviews, reducing conflicts, but I make it fun, readable and inspiring.
Tell me how you became a blogger.
Some time ago when I was still a manager, I loved to source online for inspiring articles for my team to chew on each week. However, most of the articles I found relating to jobs and careers were heavy with percentages and facts that one gets tired of reading. MiddleMe is something you can easily swallow during lunch breaks or on the way home from work or even during a coffee break.
Another main reason for the birth of MiddleMe was I kept getting the same kind of questions, just different situations asked by different people. More than once, the thought of sharing my advice to everyone instead of a single person popped up.
What are your dreams as a blogger?
I hoped one day I would be invited to share some of the content personally on a podium as a speaker. I found that speaking face-to-face to an audience has a much better effect that reading from a post. I want to reach out to more people especially people who are just stepping into the workforce so they are able to learn from my mistakes and try not to do the same. I would love people to experience the good mentors I had, and in turn be a good mentor to others.
You must have a lot of lovely friends. What do you like or dislike about your friends?
The thing I dislike about my friends is that they are so far away from me! Before MiddleMe, I didn’t have any FaceBook or Twitter and the only way for them to keep in touch with me was to call me or text me or email me. For this, I am very grateful that they did that. They also take turns to come to Shanghai or Kuala Lumpur to visit me.
We have not yet talked about your family. Can you share with us about your family?
I have a very supporting spouse here in Kuala Lumpur who allows me the freedom to dream and to write. His and my families are both back in Singapore. And I have the cutest sister ever! Not forgetting I have a bunch of supportive fans in Singapore and Shanghai who used to work with me. I consider them as my family because we have been through thick and thin together. Without them believing in me, I won’t have the passion that fuels me today. All of them are my pillars of strength.
What are your dreams in life? What would you like to become?
When I was young, I wanted to become an advertorial designer, a teacher, and a successful businesswoman. I entered the teaching world when I graduated. After a few years, I moved on into the corporate world and was successful in it.
I am now at a stage where I am proud of my past achievements and very comfortable where I am. This stage is now where I explore the creative side of me and write what I am passionate about. And mostly, I am focusing on family and friends first since I neglected them over the years while I was concentrating on my career.
Many young girls would like to be like you.What can they do to be like you or even to do better than you?
Don’t be like me. Be yourself. Be comfortable in your own skin; your own culture. Most importantly, when you are young, take the time to explore who you are, what you really like without being influenced by others or bowing down to peer pressure.
Be adventurous and take risks. Know that you will fall and you will fail but with each fall and failure, comes maturity.
Who are some of the people you admire the most. That could be in your country Or in the world. What do you like in them?
There are too many people that I admire, but I do not want to be them. You see, admiration is based on projected views, which might not be as accurate because we all see what we want to see. I love Steve Jobs’ perseverance and his disregard for common market trends, his determination to follow his heart, his passion, and his dreams.
More so, I admire a lot of people who are not famous, everyday people just like you and me because it is more realistic to do so as their actions impact and influence you directly.
Looking at your country and around the world, how do you see women in leadership positions. How are they doing?
I think they are doing great and I think we should have more female leaders. To me, it is possible to juggle both careers and family life. However, it is extremely hard to have an equal balance.
I know some women claim to have it all but ultimately, it is a sacrifice of something somewhere. Maybe sacrificing not your career, not your family but perhaps yourself. Everyone needs time off for himself or herself. I feel it is a personal choice. No one should judge those who choose to be a career woman or a Stay At Home Mum because every family’s situation is different.
When you are not in your office writing or blogging, what are you doing? How do you spend your leisure time?
I swim a lot, almost every day to keep myself healthy and get me out of the house! I also correspond with my friends regularly to give them career advice, this will sometimes take up a few hours. I read a lot too. Not only on my followers’ posts but also actively seeking for other people’s blog to read as well.
Which are the books/movies that have influenced you the most?
The most I would have to say Miffy and Friends, I know it is a children’s book however without that first book of mine, I may never have picked up the passion of reading! I wouldn’t pinpoint any particular book or movie because it doesn’t seem fair.
But I do have to say when I read blogs; they do influence me in my writing and sometimes that gives me the inspiration to write off from those topics I read. Because books and movies even though they might be based on real life sometimes, are still not as real today as yesterday. But stories of others are as real time as it is upon penning down in a blog, and that passion for pushing people wanting for sharing their words and emotions through their post gets to me.
I would say personal posts are the ones who influence me as a writer the most.
What word do you have for those who read this interview?
Now you have a tiny glimpse into my life and into my brain, I hope you will continue to drop by MiddleMe.net to know more about me and to read my articles.
If this is the first time, you have heard about MiddleMe.net, I welcome you to come in and leave me a comment if you like what you read.
I like to thank you very immensely for finding time to respond to our questions despite your charged schedule.
You’re most welcome. I very much enjoyed this interview. Thank you for your interest and taking the time to do this.
If you enjoyed what he did, do leave us a comment below!! And do drop by his website for other inspirational pieces.