Thursday, March 20, 2008

Should you resign to get motivated?

Still remember you first day of work? What happen 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years later? So, you resign and start over the process again. 2 years later, then what you should do? Resign again? How many times you can resign in your career path?

Does this cartoon look familiar to you?

One of the hardest challenges to be employee is self-motivation. 2 years is usually the case just enough to take down your motivation and enthusiasm. In other words, 2 years you must CHANGE. So the only choice left is to resign. No other choices? Nope, there are few things you can do before you resign:

(1) Proactive Approach

People resign is usually because they do not get the recognition that they suppose to get. Identify the recognition that you want (e.g. promotion) and calibrate with your boss to set the expectation. The recognition must be within 2 years.

(2) Change Job Functions

If you do not get the recognition, you must request to change job function or task. Work on something else that you’re interested in within the same department. Give yourself 2 years again and back to step (1).

(3) Try for Internal Transfer

If none of the job functions those attract you, time to look for internal job’s opportunities in different department. This is one of the mistakes that I made when I resigned few years ago. I should have looked for internal opportunity first. Don’t make the same mistake as I did.

If these 3 steps fail, you only look for external job.

Once resign, you start all over again the 3 steps above. The key is really to make the CHANGE or MOVE in every 2 years. 2 years is the optimum duration in my opinion.

I think this is the best way to keep yourself motivated if you really want to stay in the corporate ladder. Believe me, you don’t want to wait until the day you drag yourself so hard to work every morning. You want to avoid that as possible, don’t you agree?

To avoid that, you need to upgrade yourself in every 2 years.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Are These Petrol Saving Tips Real?

The following petrol saving tips have been circulated around the world for quite sometime and few days ago I received it again. So, I’m just sharing these tips to you. But the question is how true the tips are? Are these tips real?

(1) Fill up your car or truck in the morning when the temperature is still cool.

When temperature high, gasoline expands (less dense), with the same amount money you get less gasoline.

My Comment: It sounds making sense from the physics point of view. I think I will buy in this. You may also interested there is a special pump to compensate the temperature swing but I don’t think every petrol station has it.

(2) If a tanker truck is filling the station's tank at the time you want to buy gas, do not fill up.

This is due to the fact that the dirt and sludge in the tank is being stirred up when gas is being delivered, and you might be transferring that dirt from the bottom of their tank into your car's tank.
My Comment: It doesn’t really matter to me whether it is true or not because it never happens to me (tanker truck is around) when I pump in the gas or petrol.

(3) Fill up when your gas tank is half-full (or half-empty).

The more gas or petrol you have in your tank the less air there is (empty space is small) and therefore gasoline evaporates less.
My Comment: It sounds theoretical right, but have you ever think of the more gasoline or petrol you have in your car, the heavier your car is and therefore the fuel consumption is higher? I wonder the impact is minimum and I think I choose *not* to buy in this. What about you?

(4) When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to the high setting (pump faster).

Hoses at the pump are corrugated; the corrugations act as a return path for vapor recovery from gas that already has been metered. If you are pumping at the high setting, the agitated gasoline contains more vapors, which is being sucked back into the underground tank, so you're getting less gas for your money.

My Comment: Hmm… how true is this? Honestly I don’t believe in it and I definitely has tried it out myself and I don’t see any differences between the low and fast setting. Anyway, I don’t buy in this.

The way I look at it, driving habit also plays a very important role.

The way you drive affects how often you have to fill up. Driving smoothly with as little sudden acceleration or braking could help a lot in your fuel consumption. Research is also showing that if you cut your average speed from 70mph (110kph) to around 50mph (80kph), you will burn about 25% less petrol. Around 50mph is the optimum speed for fuel consumption.

Here is my conclusion for Petrol Saving Tips that I’m going to follow:
  1. Pump petrol only in the morning.
  2. Maintain my driving habit – not to accelerate and sudden brake.
One last thing, buy an "Manual" car instead of the "Automatic" one. Is "Automatic" car really necessary?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

FD, Savings, Inflation and EPF Rates in Malaysia (1996 - 2007)

You may want to ignore this post if you do not interest in Malaysia rates for Fixed Deposit (FD), Savings, Inflation and Employee Provident Fund (EPF).

If case you have not heard about EPF, EPF is something similar to CPF in Singapore and 401(K) plan in U.S.

The chart and raw data below shows the FD, savings, inflation and EPF rates in Malaysia from 1996 to 2007.

Year FD (%) Savings (%) Inflation (%) EPF (%)
1996 7.26 4.10 3.50 7.70
1997 9.33 4.23 2.70 6.70
1998 5.74 3.87 5.30 6.70
1999 3.95 2.76 2.80 6.84
2000 4.24 2.72 1.60 6.00
2001 4.00 2.28 1.40 5.00
2002 4.00 2.12 1.80 4.25
2003 3.70 1.86 1.20 4.50
2004 3.70 1.30 1.50 4.75
2005 3.70 1.30 3.20 5.00
2006 3.80 1.30 3.60 5.15
2007 3.70 1.30 2.20 5.80
Average 4.76 2.43 2.57 5.70

As usual, EPF has the highest interest rate, follow by Fixed Deposit (FD) and savings. Except in 1997 where the FD has higher interest rate than EPF. As you can see from the graph, both EPF and FD outpace the inflation but not in savings. Therefore all my emergency funds are put in FD rather than in savings.

The tricky part of this data is all these rates here are accurate except for the inflation rate. As what Michael said in my post previous - How can I get most updated inflation rate:
"National reported inflation rate is for "Everybody", and I am NOT Everybody."
The inflation rate shown here is national inflation rate and it is definitely not accurate for you because everyone of us have different inflation rate depending on your spending. That's why you see a lot of people have 10% raise but they don't' save 10% more. Why? This is probably their personal inflation rate increases too. Once you have your personal inflation rate, I bet the FD won't be able to outpace the inflation rate as like the data shown above.

Hope this data is something useful to you. You can also look at inflation rate in other countries here if you're interested.

[Updated: 27 Feb 2011]
Apparently the data in this article is only up to 2007 and I will use the following post to keep track of the latest interest rates in Malaysia. Please go to that link:

Didn't find what you want? Use Google Search Engine below: