๐Ÿ˜ถ [Relationship Series] An Introvert at Work

15 April 2022

Today, as a content writer in the creative industry, my responsibilities include not just planning and writing content from the safety of my desk, but also getting out there and engaging with clients, joining in various meetings for content feedback and actively helping in brainstorming for creative solutions. For somebody who can feel a little overwhelmed by fast-changing schedules and projects, I still find fun in what I do, especially when I can see my work published somewhere (also with the condition that I find peace at home, hanging out with my family and friends, and of course my cats).

Working can be really scary at first and when something unexpectedly new pops up, my first instinct is to internally panic before I aim for the steering wheel and take action. But with time, I start to do that less and less, and instead give myself some space to learn new things about the person I call “Me” and how best I can adapt, with my introvertedness and all. 

I’m a proud “work in progress” introvert. I believe that we don’t have to hate ourselves for being who we are or camouflage among the extroverts to look like we’re contributing. We bring value to the workplace in our own way too. What we need is to recognise our values and take advantage of our natural strengths. 

In this article, I hope to offer awareness of my experience balancing between working and staying true to my introvertedness for others to relate to. Believe it or not, we're not alone.

5 Things I Learned From My Working Experience As An Introvert 

There are More Introverts at the Workplace than We Think

Basically, we’re not alone! According to Susan Cain, author of the international best-seller, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, introverts make up a third to a half of the workforce. That’s roughly between 35-40% of the population consisting of quiet introverts like us. 

But why does it sometimes feel like it’s hard to spot an introvert at work? 

It’s because for some of us, we manage to hide our introvertedness and live as the ideal extrovert. Personally for me, I never hide that part about me since it’s just written all over my face. Hiding it would be a futile effort on my part. The surprising part was that my officemates made it clear from day one that they were mostly introverts as well. I felt right at home.

  • The countries with the highest percentage of introverted top executives and senior managers: Singapore 53%, Zambia 53%, Malaysia 51%, Russia 48%.

I’m Not Shy or Afraid of People (sometimes)

I resonate thoroughly with Suzi Swartz in her article where she expressed the stigma surrounding introverts and how people tend to mix up introverted and shy together, when in fact, if you’re an introvert, you view the two things very differently. 

I’ve been labelled “shy and quiet” all my life. Open up any of my school reports during Teacher-Parents Day and the first thing that appears in the headline and report summary: “Syazwani is a reserved and quiet student”, and basically there was something clearly wrong with that.  I am an introvert and a quite shy one at that, but it's not always the case for all occasions.

The problem is that because of this stigma, it also confused me to think that I'm naturally always shy around people. On the contrary, my extroverted jobs have pushed me to almost effortlessly talk to people when I need to, make calls, lead projects/presentations. But once that is over, I find my safe space again and recharge.

I Need My Own Space to Focus on Work

I’m one of those people who values privacy a lot, especially now that I’m working with tight deadlines to meet and responding to calls for fresh ideas. I prefer being alone in a quiet environment while working, either at the office or in my room when I’m WFH because it offers me zero disturbances while all the creative ideas are zooming in my brain. I noticed that I worry a lot less about being watched when I’m left alone (overthinking issues pop up a lot when this happens).

Of course, I can be flexible and do extroverts’ way of working, but it takes me longer to complete those tasks (especially when I’m not prepared) and socially recover.

Give Me Time to Digest New Information

As an introvert, I do my best when I’m thinking alone, especially when a load of new information is given to me. I need the time-off to decompress and digest it before I can give my own input towards it. 

Based on my experience, after I’m allowed to reflect and think through quietly, my input that comes afterwards tends to be more thoughtful, carrying more weight than when I’m rushed and throwing whatever ideas I have on the top of my head.

I Know My Limits and When Not to Overextend Myself

I’m an infuriating perfectionist, and an introvert at the same time. 

The combo doesn't always go hand-in-hand, especially when I’m absorbing a lot of work, taking no breaks and social battery charging time because I don’t know what my boundaries are. As introverts, we need to think for ourselves a little more so that we can maintain a healthy, less tiring relationship with our work. I know we love our work, but stretching ourselves too thin won’t do anyone good.

These limits include:
  • Knowing what time of the day you’re most productive and when you need recharge
  • Recognising factors that distract you at the office or when WFH
  • Being aware of when to limit in-person interactions and go offline; texting and emails

Overall, as an introvert who has almost exclusively worked in extroverted jobs, there’s no reason to adopt a different persona just to match with the vibe at our workplace. If we can find the balance between our introverted nature and our career, we definitely can find the balance we need without feeling guilty of being an introvert.

If you recognise yourself in what I shared, I’d love to hear what you’ve learned through having extroverted jobs in the comment section.


Read these articles for more information:

  1. Introverted? Here Are 13 Ways To Make Your Personal Brand Shine (forbes.com)

  2. An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving on the Job - Guides - The New York Times (nytimes.com)



When it comes to shoes, I always pick comfort and then a bit of style above all else. It's just how it is with me, and my lifestyle at the moment absolutely demands it especially because I walk a lot and at an insanely inhumane speed to the office or out with friends. 

But lately, I've been wanting something more than just my typical black trainers that I wear for all occasions. I won't even deny it, wearing trainers is comfy and since mine are in black, it's easy to match with any outfits I put on. However, at times when I'm wearing a pretty dress or a baju kurung, those shoes just look a bit too chunky for my liking to pull off the "graceful, sweet-demeanour, ayu" kind of look that I hope to achieve. 

I guess this is where a pair of heels comes in. 

What am I Reviewing Today? - Lucca Vudor

Prior to this review collab, I didn’t have my own pair of heels. It was just me and my trusty, black trainers. Yes, just one main pair of shoes. And it just so happened that I was craving to expand my shoes collection, like having my first owned heels when the review invite popped up.

Now, Lucca Vudor is a luxurious shoe brand that upholds one dear promise; offering comfortable shoes that don’t make the ladies feel like cutting their feet off (I’m exaggerating this but that’s essentially their message). This is like music to my ears, especially because a) I’ve always generally loved the look of heels, super pretty and elegant, and b) I absolutely dread the pain of wearing one at the same time.

But with Lucca Vudor, they claim to have shoes that can be an exception.
๐Ÿ‘  They use quality Italian calfskin for soft, extra breathable shoes.
๐Ÿ‘  Offer enough space for our precious toes. So sayonara to horrible blisters.
๐Ÿ‘  Special cushion insoles for extra support and lift.

My Choice for Review - Saloma Heels


Where do I even begin? There were so many options for heels! Of course, Lucca Vudor has other kinds of women's footwear too like flats, sandals and slippers. But I was aiming for the heels since I didn't have any and they had quite the collection of pretty ones. I had like ten “to be determined” shoes in a list and had my friends vote which one would be the most suitable.

And that was how I got myself the Saloma heels
Lucca Vudor Saloma pink nude high heels
Photo credits Lucca Vudor

Stylish and Comfortable Enough? - My Thoughts

The Saloma heels are low, closed toe heels in the pretty, soft pink nude shade. In the website, they categorise this as a sandal but to me I view it as heels, just because of the obvious. It is made of surprisingly soft leather (can actually smell it straight out of the box), soft calfskin leather insoles and the straps have a short stretchy band so I can fit my feet easily into the heels. 

The overall design is simple and adorable, very suitable to be worn for all occasions. At retail price, the Saloma shoes can be purchased for around RM309.30 now that they’re on sale.

lucca vudor saloma nude high heels
Featuring the Saloma heels in our garden!
After wearing it outside for a couple of hours, I was convinced that as of now, I was in love with it. I was also genuinely surprised by the fact that I didn’t get any horrible blisters at the back of my foot or on my toes where the pointy part of the shoes were at.  

Now I'm not girly in any way (although I adore pastel pink and if possible, would like to be drenched head-to-toe in that very colour), but I do have my moments when I want to look a little different, a little ๐Ÿ’…, you know what I mean? Heels can be that game-changer factor to completing an entire look. And to me, the Saloma heels were that. Super pretty and comfortable to wear. They're also not intimidating for newbie heel wearers like me, I walked and balanced myself just fine. Furthermore, contrary to what they say, I did feel a huge difference to my confidence without the cost of painnn. 

I guess a little note to my friends here about the heels, is that if they do get wet (for example in my case, the dew from the grass in our garden), the water droplets do show up as dark splotches on the leather material of the shoes. But not to worry, it does fade once it dries up again.

So, with all that in mind, would I recommend Lucca Vudor to my readers? Absolutely. 

*Disclosure: This article is written in collaboration with Lucca Vudor but all opinions are my own. 

Our Experience: Covid & Home Quarantine

24 March 2022

And just like that, on a super rainy Sunday afternoon last week, my mum sent a brief message in the family WhatsApp group saying that both my parents were tested positive for Covid. We also had the feeling that sister could be too because she was slowing showing similar symptoms. 

I can't represent the whole family on what our initial response to that was. However, I guess I can say that for a brief moment, we all felt daunted and saddened by the news. We knew that at some point, despite all the SOPs and careful precautions we took for the past 2 years, there would come a time when the virus slips through and affect us. 

Luckily for us, as a household, we were all fully vaccinated and boosted. For my sister and me, we had our booster just 2-3 weeks ago before Covid was on us. 


Updating Our MySejahtera


This was safe to speak, painfully annoying to deal with - the app. Not fun at all. On Sunday, both my parents had updated their Covid status on their app and received the HSO. Later that day I updated my own status as close contact but it took another 24 hours before I got the orange status "Close Contact". And then on Tuesday I believe, my status changed back to blue and I was considered low risk... despite living with three confirmed/possible Covid patients.

I didn't want the risk of being asymptomatic and passing on the virus at work, I requested to WFH until everybody is well again and showing no other symptoms. 

Social Distancing Among Ourselves at Home


This wasn't much of a problem for us. We each have our own rooms so for most part of the quarantine period, we stayed inside continuing our work or classes as usual. If we wanted to take food or drink, cook or whatever outside of our rooms, we wore masks. For those of us with Covid, we had gloves after washing our hands.

Food, Health Supplements and Grocery Shopping 


For the first 2 days of quarantine, we mostly ordered our meals through GrabFood or FoodPanda but it got to the point that eating outside food made us feel queasy. Plus, ordering meals for a family of four is pretty expensive. We wanted something fresh and simple. Unfortunately, most of our ingredients had run out, we didn't have the time to get to the grocers and stock up on food supplies before the quarantine. 

Luckily, a close friend of mine suggested to use HappyFresh app to handle the grocery delivery part because it worked out for him in 2021 when we had the endless lockdowns and MCOs (oh yes, what a time that was). All we had to do was download the app, look up for Lotus and add the items we need to our shopping cart. All the ordered items were delivered the next day.

As for our meds and extra supplements to help with the coughs and fever, there's quite a selection of pharmacies nearby to get our stock. The rest we ordered from a relative.    


Work From Home (WFH)


It had been pretty bearable actually, I wasn't a stranger to staying at home for long periods of time and working from the comfort of my home. And the best part was that during my short breaks, I'd spent 10 minutes to play with my cats Leo and Dessi before continuing to complete my tasks for the day. 

Of course there were downsides to WFH and self-quarantine for an extensive amount of time. I missed my routine of working in the office on certain days of the week, eating lunch together with the colleagues, and socialising with my friends outside. I also developed the craziest food cravings and was ordering foods and snacks from the apps every few days. 
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I'm glad that part of my life is over (for now... can't really be sure with the pandemic still around) and I'm back to being on the outside. 

Have you guys been under quarantine or similar situations before? What was that experience like for you?




I live on a comparatively small budget when it comes to spending on myself, be it makeup, skincare, food, etc. Anything above RM100 would have me sit back and contemplate is this a need or a want, what is this? And if price point isn't a problem, it doesn't help that I'm generally very picky with shopping. Something that I like, for example, a cute blouse or new blush can sit for weeks in my shopping cart before I finally make up my mind and say, "I want it."

Is this what they call procrastination? 

But anyway, I guess all this also affects my choice of perfumes. There are so many types and brands out there, and I have ZERO knowledge about buying perfumes. Like what if I buy a bottle and a couple of sprays later, I decided I didn't like it? At the end of the day, I still want to smell good just if only the perfumes I want to try fit my current budget. 

What am I Reviewing Today? - Scentses + Co



And this is where Scentses + Co comes in. I have to be honest here, I've been seeing their ads EVERYWHERE for monthssss, on Instagram and Facebook, you name it. And the first thing that hook me into their brand is what they do - giving guys and girls the freedom to explore an array of authentic luxury designer perfumes without having to commit to buy a whole bottle when you want to try something else each month.

For me, that's the best bit about them. I don't have a specific preference for a perfume brand or the kinds of perfume that I like. I'm a totally noob and newbie in this department but with this option, I can get to explore what perfumes I like and don't like without burning my purse. In fact, they have over 750+ perfumes to try out and new perfume launches every 14 days. That's pretty crazy good if you ask me.

How Scentses + Co business model works is that it is subscription-based, so every month you can select new perfumes (or top-up the ones you like) to be sent to your doorstep. These perfumes vials come in at 8ml, and according to Scentses + Co, it can lasts for 30 days with 3 sprays daily.

There are currently two types of subscriptions, I picked the Lite package for review that's worth RM49.90/month.


My Perfume Choice

I had to rope in my sister for this because I didn't know what brand I wanted or what perfume I should try. My criteria were, I didn't want something that's too strong and floral (it makes me sneeze my nose off), much preferred fragrances that are musky and have that fresh after-shower kind of vibe. So okay, I had a rough idea of what fragrances I like but just didn't know what perfumes smell like that.

For this review, I went for the Signorina Misteriosa from Salvatore Ferragamo. From what I heard, you can't go wrong with this perfume. And so, I wanted to give this a go and see how Scentses + Co would deliver it to me. 

Inside the 1st Month Subscription Box

Delivery was fast, fast. Within days of placing my order, a mysterious package arrived at my door. I had almost forgotten it was the perfume that I ordered because I didn't think it'd arrive so soon.

The Packaging




And when you open things up... Voilร ! 



Packing was simple and slick. I like the simplicity of the design and its practicality (I'll talk about this in a bit). To get the product out, I just needed to slide the interior box out with the perfume and inside of it were:
  • Free black plastic travel case (get it in your first month of subscription)
  • 8ml fragrance in a glass vial and
  • Welcome note that I'm pretty sure had personal written notes on it (cute!)
  • Info card on my perfume of the month
I really love opening up packages when the first thing that hits you in the nose, is the fragrance. Oh, and you know how I said the box is practical? Instead of throwing it away after getting your perfume, you can just flip it over and now you have a place to store your new perfume collection!


Worth the Price Tag? Practical as Claimed? - My Thoughts

I had a whole week to test the perfume and its travel case. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it outside like at a mall or my office, because I'm currently under quarantine at home. BUT because I've been WFH all week and I do dress up for work, I still managed to test the perfume out.

I actually LOVE the perfume! I didn't think I would, I was preparing for the worse like you know, losing my nose in a sneezing fit and end up not liking it. The perfume I chose lasted for 6 hours on me. Very noice!

The travel matte-black case feels great to carry around, especially because it's small and slim enough to fit inside my handbag. And get this, if you don't like the colour black for your travel case, there are other colours to choose from. I saw on their website they had a cute rose-gold case (I'm just thinking... hmm). 

To switch to different perfumes using the case, simply twist the vial out and insert a new until you hear a click. Then you're all set to go!


And remember how Scentses + Co have like over 750 perfumes to choose from and counting? What if the options are just too much and you don't know what to pick? I just noticed that they have "Our Handpick: Scent of the Month For Her/Him", so their team would pick a featured perfume for that month for you! I think this will be fun, it's like gifting a random surprise gift for yourself.
What about pricing point? I think if I wanted to expand my perfume collection without going broke, this is pretty great. I currently have just 3 perfumes that I own, including the Signorina Misteriosa from Scentses + Co, and I do want to expand it a little so I have more options. 

And say I do go broke or a little tight on budget for that particular month, I can skip, pause or cancel my perfume subscription any time I want, no questions asked. 

The only thing I would wish for them to improve is to curate the perfumes selection better, especially for newbie perfume buyers. It can look a little bit overwhelming, so perhaps for newbies or those who don't know what they want to choose, the perfumes can be categorised into types of scents? So we can choose according to the scents we generally like or want to explore. 

Overall, I really love the experience I had with Scentses + Co. Would I recommend for others to try? Yes, definitely. 

Click here to start shoppinggg!


Have you tried Scentses + Co before? 
How was your experience?


How My First Two Months in 2022 Went

27 February 2022

 

Hey guys, it has been a WHILE. And I'm pretty sure I've gone a little rusty with my writing because these days, it takes me a good chunk of hours just to complete one writing piece. It's like when that one brain cell is all is left while the rest take a long a vacation.

But anyway, I think a lot has happened since the start of 2022. And to be completely honest with you, I feel like I've gone through half of the year in just January. I really don't know why, time seemed to move extra slower last month and now we're living in February that's whizzing very quickly to March.

Before I start to ramble on about losing track of time, here's a quick wrap-up of January and a teeny tiny bit of February 2022:

January 2022

Makeup and Skincare Collection Spring-Cleaning

My special trolley that's dedicated to hold all my makeup and skincare stuff together has definitely seen better days. Since the pandemic and the many countless lockdowns we had over the year, a lot of my makeup were left unused. Some were practically brand new or I had only reached out for them once or twice, but I found that quite a number have already gone bad (can't explain it). Others have completely given up on living and expired or dried up (RIP Maybelline eyeliner T_T). However, it felt oddly satisfying to throw out some of my old lipsticks, dried skincare bottles and powdered products into the bin. What was left is more space on my makeup/skincare trolley and I'm back to when I first set it up. 

The spring cleaning was a good eye-opener for me as well since I learned that my skincare and makeup routine hasn't changed that much. I haven't tested anything "new" to add to my collection. Maybe 2022 can be that year?


Friends Reunion and a Taste of Tik Tok Inspired Pasta! 

I haven't seen my two friends who I met through my internship period in 2017 since just before Covid. It has been a long while and earlier this month, we managed to have a mini reunion! Thanks to Myra, we got a taste of Tik Tok inspired pasta over a long conversation and some laughs. I couldn't feel the muscles on my face after that was over. 


Mini Family Barbeque

We had a busy month in January. My family thought we deserved a small break at the end of the week and a barbeque with marinated chicken and beef was just what we needed! I can't remember when was the last time we had one, most probably before covid when we had relatives and the cousins over. 

And for the first time EVER, I got to try out s'mores! It was golden on the outside and an oozing melting goodness on the inside after the first bite. It turns out to be quite a snack although personally, I thought it was very sweet. I love sweet foods like ice creams and boba drinks, but s'mores are on a whole new level of sweet.


February 2022

My Birthday, creeping closer to my thirty series.

I had a nice small birthday celebration with my family just after Chinese New Year. I honestly wasn't expecting much this year and I was not in the best state of health to celebrate. But I had friends sending the cutest gifts over and my family got me a cake with meds as a side dish (that was a very nice touch).  It was a treat I didn't think would cheer me up so much after being holed up at home because of all the fever and coughing.

This birthday feels a little different because to me it is a reminder than I'm getting closer to my thirties. Am I excited, nervous or feeling completely indifferent to it? I can't tell, it seems like it's a good mix of everything and to be very frank, I think I'm mostly looking forward to it? Or not? See, I really can't tell. One thing for sure though, I sure as heck don't feel grownup. Am I supposed to be super wise and know-it-all about how my life works, because I really don't. I'm still pretty much going with the flow at the moment.


Of course, restock on some important self-care purchases (ehem!)

On a sadder note, I have not been consistent with my skincare that much during most of 2021. I'd slap some moisturiser and essence on, and then I was good to go. Even then I only remembered to follow my skincare routine at night. This year though, I take the time for at least 10 minutes to get through my skincare and just recently noticed some products needed restocking. This included my holy grail Loreal Revitalift crystal micro-essence and for haircare, Lucidol Argan Hair Treatment Oil.

The rest of my skincare collection remains pretty much the same as last year's. However, I am looking for anti-ageing products to tap into. I've been hesitant to try because I have sensitive skin that apparently hates anything new. It gets to the point that I'd feel it's a miracle if a new product works on me at all and stays long enough to be part of my skincare collection family. 

It's that much of a struggle.



I Had My Booster Shot!

I have friends left and right who received notifications for their booster jab appointments, while my app remained quiet. Not going to lie, I was a little restless about it especially with the sudden spike of daily new covid cases. Not willing to wait much longer, I went for a walk-in booster jab at the nearest vaccination centre to my home and within 15 minutes, the whole thing was over. I got boosted!

Previously, my vaccines were the AstraZeneca and for my booster, I had Pfizer. A day after receiving the jab, I didn't experience any serious side-effects at all. And this may be a little TMI, but what the heck, most girls experience this. I was going through the earlier days of my period and to be very honest, the cramps pretty much overwhelmed whatever discomfort I had from the Pfizer booster. In fact, the only noticeable changes that I took notice of was just fatigue and the need to sleep all day. The cramps champion over everything else.

After a day of resting, I was back to being old me!


A few honorable mentions:

And of course, I know how much popular my two cats are; Dessi (white cat) and Leo (read his full story here). They're doing really well over the past few months, maybe gained a kilo or two as well. Leo has grown an extra coat and he's just a walking buzzy ball of cuteness at the moment. 



How has January and February treated you guys? 

Do share in the comment section and we'll have a chat!

Weekend Trip to Kebun Kebun Bangsar

4 November 2021

 

Hi there! So last weekend, we made a quick trip to Kuala Lumpur, specifically Bangsar area to visit Kebun-Kebun Bangsar. My mum had always wanted to visit this place since the lockdown happened last year but it was temporarily closed down because of covid. 

Okay so true, we do have our own pretty garden to admire, however, sometimes you just want a different kind of view other than the one you have. In our case, my parents in particular wanted new inspiration to further beautify our garden at home. 

Arriving

At 8AM on a Saturday morning, we all huddled in the car and set off for Bangsar. Unfortunately, I can't share with you how the traffic was like post-pandemic in KL because I'm the type of passenger who just immediately sleeps like a log once I'm in the car. It also doesn't help that I'm not much of a morning person on the weekends. 

Kebun-Kebun Bangsar wasn't difficult to navigate on the Waze app. The parking outside of the premise was limited but since we were early, we managed to snipe the last spot. We arrived around 8:30AM when the weather was still cool but if we arrived an hour or two later than that, we would have melted in a pool of mush.

Entry Fee

It was FREE, but you can contribute a few ringgit as a contribution for the urban community vegetable farm to keep going. They also had a few volunteers working around the farm as we explored the premise.

Enjoying Nature in the City & Feeding Animals

I had my phone out and camera ready the moment I stepped outside of the car. The morning in KL looked really peaceful, a few cars went slowly past the farm and the air felt cool. There's a small entrance to Kebun Kebun Bangsar through a small gate. We scanned our MySejahtera app first, went in and dived into a picture-snapping spree. 


It felt like we stepped into the Secret Garden. The area behind the entrance looked very cosy, with a small greenhouse to the right that had boxes of animal feed you can buy from RM2-RM5 per packet. Beside the building was a snug hangout area with a campfire prop in the middle beneath the shades.
Going past the greenhouse, we walked into a stretched out lawn area with chickens and roosters running around, a couple of turkeys, and a peacock not subtly following the visitors for feed. Kebun Kebun Bangsar also got a super friendly sheep with really soft wool chilling by the shades near the visitors sitting area.

On top of the cute animals we could feed and pet, we definitely noticed just how surreal the farm is in contrast to the residential houses built around it and the Kuala Lumpur buildings in the distance.






There were four or five happy cows at the very back of the farm, busy mowing the grass for breakfast. Around them were carefully planted herbs of all kinds and we could actually smell the herby aroma in the morning air.

We were there on the farm for a good an hour and a half. Coming here felt like a good way to spend our Saturday morning. If we lived nearby, I could definitely see ourselves visiting this place more often. I really recommend you guys to visit this place if you're nearby in Bangsar.

Have you visited Kebun Kebun Bangsar before? 
Do you have other places in KL you've been to before and would like to suggest we visit next?