What To Do After SPM?


The SPM 2008 (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) exam is over now and the form 5 students can start celebrating their liberation from long hours of study, and chasing their homework deadlines.

While majority of them can breathe a sigh of relief, separation with good old friends, especially those students and buddies who have been together for years in boarding schools, can become an emotional event.

As the saying goes – life goes on. And end marks a beginning of a new chapter of life. A life of an adult.

The result of this year’s SPM will be some way ahead and would take months to come out (normally in March the next year). Between now and March 2009, you have about 3 or 4 months time to do something. Is 3 months period too short to do anything? Well, the answer lies in you. Only you can answer the question.

Let’s see things you can do between finishing your SPM and getting your exam results next year.

1. Do nothing

Exactly. Just sit back and relax. Do almost nothing except the usual daily routines. Eat, rest, play Play Station games all day and sleep. If you need money just ask from your parents. No need to go the extra miles and find your own way of earning some hard earned cash. Do this until the SPM result is out. Those who do this are categorized as ‘spoilt’. Eventually they will realize one day how much time and how many opportunities they may have missed by not doing anything during this period.

2. Do soul searching now

Now is the best time for you to take that long break and think of what you want to do for the rest of your life. If all this while you’ve been drummed with the advice “go to top medical school and graduate as a doctor”, ask yourself now if that is where your desire and ambition lie? Perhaps you true passion is in art, music or sports? Remember, one of the worst mistakes you can do in life is to allow other people dictating what you should do with your life. Start minding your own business now.

Take the extra initiative to spend time at education fairs, career talks and other events related to career and education. Get the feel of your next possible move. Talk to the booth participants and ask for some guidance, there will be helping hands willing to help you out. By doing so, you will also improve your interaction and communication skills, especially with strangers. Note that these skills will be very much sought after in the job market.

3. Attend short courses

Do some assessment; evaluate the skills that you’re lacking and find courses or programs that can improve you and prepare you better for a more challenging life later. Enroll for English classes, photo editing, photography lesson and many courses that will add value to your marketability and elevate your confidence. For those selected for NS (National Service), this will be your ‘course’, as you’re left with little option. Rather than finger pointing it as a bad luck, take this as a challenge.

4. Find jobs

Those who look for jobs may not be the most excellent students academically but when it comes to money management and professional career, they tend to do better. Early experience will teach them a good lesson and they will fast to adapt to the reality of the working world. Just remember that someone with a short 3 months of working experience is much better than someone who has zero experience. By working in early life, you will also appreciate money better, especially when you earned with your own effort and sweat.

5. Start a small business

This sounds overwhelming, but there are countless of stories out there about successful entrepreneurs who started their business early in life. Just look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Michael Dell who were ‘forced’ to abandon their studies because their businesses were growing too fast.

Inevitably, these people were met with failures, one after another, but every time they failed, they stood back again on their feet, until they made things right. In school, mistakes are considered bad things and are often come with punishment. In the reality of life, those who fail more will eventually attain more achievements than others.


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Zul is the principal contributor of SKORCAREER. He has featured in other media and publications that include, among others, Reader's Digest, The Star, JobStreet.com, Men's Health, WorkAwesome.com and DailyBlogTips.com. You can reach him at zulkiflimusa[at]gmail.com.

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