Tanujah first heard of the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) during her polytechnic days, when she was pursuing a Diploma in Cyber & Digital Security. While her school often encouraged students to explore opportunities outside the classroom, she was uncertain. It was her father, a constant source of inspiration and pillar of support, who prompted her to just go for it.
Even then, Tanujah was still apprehensive if she would get into the programme because she felt her academic grades were average at best. To her surprise, her fears were unfounded and she managed to earn a place at a global management consulting firm.
While her perfectionist nature means that she constantly strives to do her best, it can also make Tanujah nervous about her performance. "I think I have high expectations of myself. Sometimes I get stressed because I’m afraid I can’t live up to my colleagues’ standards. But I am slowly realizing that everyone has their time to shine, and it’s fine for me to take time to learn," said Tanujah.
This is not a situation unfamiliar to Tanujah. Once a member of her school’s speech and drama club, she often suffered from stage fright right before a show. To overcome this, she simply turned her fear into fuel, went onstage and delivered a dazzling performance. Applying this same go-getter attitude at work, she doesn’t allow her apprehension to paralyse her. Instead, it strengthened her conviction.
"When humans are put into a situation where they have to overcome certain obstacles, and push comes to shove, they will somehow deliver. At the end of the day, this will always be challenges. But whatever challenges I face, I now know I can overcome them. I will overcome them."
Now, Tanujah is no longer afraid of failure. Of course, she tries her best to avoid mistakes, but she has also learnt to step out of her comfort zone. "You shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, or you’ll always be the frog in a well," she said.
Putting her words into action, Tanujah is now working as a software engineer, even though her background is in Information Technology. Here, she optimises business processes by designing innovative solutions that help to derive insights from big data. While unfamiliar to her, such an experience is even more enriching as she gets to keep learning new skills and challenging herself to outdo her expectations.
"At the end of the day, you might not exactly be doing what you studied in school. It’s all about how you’re willing to learn new skills and adapt your situation."