Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of gratitude.

It’s a tough world out there for fresh graduates entering the job market. There are reports of fresh graduates waiting up till a year or more until they land a job. Fauzi Che Rus, Head of Organisation Support at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), knows what it feels like, as he himself has gone through high and low phases in his career.

Like many young people first entering the job market, he was not sure what he wanted to do and opted to be a lecturer for two years. He was lucky to have been spotted by someone who knew where his abilities lay and brought him into the human resources department of a multinational company (MNC).

By the time he was 28 years old, he was a Head of HR for an MNC. Ten years later, he became the HR Director Asia-Pacifc for an American MNC. “I had set goals of what I wanted and I worked hard to achieve them.”

After a few years on the job, he became restless. “I kept thinking what was I going to do next? Coincidentally, that was also the time when many of my peers were going into business and starting their own companies. I was so taken in by their business cards with their designations as CEO or MD, not realising that I was earning more than them. So I left my job and went into business, which did not work out.

“I then went to work for other companies and somewhere along the way, I lost my vision. I was feeling low-spirited and not sure of myself. That’s when I discovered the power of positive thinking through motivational speakers. That’s how I revived my flagging spirit and got back onto the right track,” reveals Fauzi.

“I often don’t have enough time to read or am too tired to read by the time I get home. That’s why I like to buy audio books and CDs by motivational gurus like Tony Robbins, author of books like Awaken the Giant Within. I listen to Robbins when I am on the treadmill in the gym. It really boosts my spirit and makes me charged up to face the day,” he adds.

It’s not enough just to listen or read these motivational books. You have to put into practice some of the advice. “These books give you ideas that you can practise, to see the changes in your life,” says Fauzi.

One such idea he follows is the law of gratitude, which asks one to give thanks for all the good things you have in life. “You can do this any time. I like to do it in the morning on my drive to work. I look back on all the things I have to be thankful for: My job, my health, my family. Even if you have not found a job, look back on the things that are good in your life. It could be a loving family, or even the clean air that you breathe because in some cities, it is so polluted, people get sick from the air that they breathe!”

His six years with SPAD is the longest he has been with an organisation and he is happy where he is today. “My job requires me to do many things: Finance, IT, HR, Procurement and Administration. There’s better exposure to different fields and I am being constantly challenged, which keeps me on my toes!”

His advice to fresh grad is: “If you don’t get a job for a while, you lose confidence in yourself and you start feeling you are not good enough. You have to be strong mentally, if not, you can spiral down and end up in depression.”

He explains further: “If you are not in the right frame of mind mentally and emotionally, you cannot succeed although you might have all the skills. When you are faced with failure, if you’re not careful, it will lead to more failures. And you will begin to wonder why is it people who are less talented than you are going places while you are left behind.”

He urges fresh graduates to invest in themselves and one of the easiest ways to do that is to equip themselves with knowledge and skills, and to “fuel up your spirits” with motivational books and to keep a positive frame of mind.

Thanks to the internet, one does not even have to spend money buying these audio books. Some are available online for free while there are also many videos on YouTube on having a positive attitude and how to get ahead in life by famous motivational speakers, such as Earl Nightingale, Zig Zaglar, Jim Rohn and many others.

The most important lesson he has learnt during his “wilderness years”, as he calls it, is that one must be quick to set new and bigger goals in one’s life.

“Once you’ve reached a goal, you must set yourself another goal. The goal post must always move further. Plan for what you want to achieve next. Some people are perfectly happy to have achieved their goals. That’s perfectly OK. But when you start getting restless, listen to yourself and ask yourself what new and bigger goals – whether in personal life or career – that you want to achieve. Be clear about what you want. Once you are sure, work towards the goal,” he advises.

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