Who are we and what are our principles?

by - October 29, 2021

I recently went for a second job interview (online) with USM. I am still with HUFS now, and the news about the renewal of my contract here will only be out by the end of the semester. Surely, as much as I love working here, I also miss home and I have to make decisions for the long term. For the long term, I do hope to be back in Malaysia.

Anyway, back to my interview with USM, I made it to the second interview! Alhamdulillah. The first interview was with the school, and the second interview was with some panels from other schools and from the university senate as well. I was sooo nervous that day! Some of the questions, I had already anticipated and practiced in advance, thankfully, but the other questions were unexpected and somehow funny for some reasons hehe. I dont know when will the results be out, but I honestly dont think too much about it. If I get it, it will be for the best; if I dont, it will also be for the best. This is how I deal with life these days: it doesnt matter, as long as I have tried my best. I believe in whatever has been planned for me, as long as I have usaha. *wow i feel so mature* 😝

So, back to the title of this post, "who are we and what are our principles?" Sebenarnya masa temu duga hari tu, saya ditanya tentang pendirian ni oleh salah seorang panel tu. She gave some introduction about how a lecturer's responsibility isnt just about teaching, it is a lot more than that. 

When things get tough, when all we think about is to satisfy the university's KPI, where will our principle stands? 

Panel tu beri contoh, "ada pensyarah, yang apabila sibuk dengan penerbitan, mula melakukan sesuatu yang tak berapa beretika, tapi dah semakin menjadi kebiasaan", dan saya faham maksud beliau. Kemudian beliau tanya tentang pendirian saya, apa pendirian saya? Basically, what kind of person will I be when I realise that this job may put me in situations that might "require" me to do something unethical? Saya ambil sedikit masa untuk berfikir sebelum saya jawab soalan tu.

Lepas dah ambil sedikit masa, saya pun mula menjawab dengan penuh berhati-hati. Jawapan saya lebih kurang macam ni intinya:

"Pada saya, apabila kita bekerja, kita memikul tanggungjawab dan amanah. Kerja tu sumber pendapatan kita, jadi sangat penting untuk kita pastikan yang kita jalankan tanggungjawab dan amanah tu sebaik mungkin. Kalau ada amanah yang perlu saya selesaikan, saya akan cuba buat sebaik-baiknya mengikut kemampuan tanpa menyalahi etika, walaupun perkara yang salah tu dah dianggap biasa." 

To carry an amanah wholeheartedly has long been one of my principles. Sometimes I do things with a REALLY heavy heart, because doing the right thing is usually difficult. Sometimes I thought if only I can take a short cut through this. But then when I think again, we have to do the right thing and do things right.  In my answer, I even added:

"...mungkin senang untuk saya cakap sekarang sebab saya masih belum berada dalam situasi tu (situasi yang memaksa kita untuk membuat sesuatu yang menyalahi etika), tapi saya harap masa tu nanti saya masih akan dapat berpegang dengan prinsip ni" (and then i stared at the screen and waited for the panels to respond 🌝)

So that question made me do a little self reflection. Mampukah aku bertahan dengan pendirian ni? About doing the right thing and doing things right. Im not sure if my answer was what they wanted to hear, but Im happy they asked. At least I get to ponder on who I want to become, not just as a lecturer or a public servant, but also as a person. Setiap kerja yang kita pegang tu satu amanah, bukan sekadar bekerja untuk dapat gaji pada akhir bulan.

I know it might be easy for me to say these things now, because Im not there yet. That "desperate" times are not here yet. I also know that we are sometimes doomed to make mistakes. Im not justifying whats wrong/unethical, but I also have no rights to judge those who might have taken the shortcuts, maybe they had their reasons. But still, I hope I will never change. Im also putting this piece of writing here as a reminder for my future self. 

"Dear older Jaji, whether youre 40 or 50, remember to always carry amanah wholeheartedly!!  - sincerely, the 29 year old Jaji whos adulting hard right now haha."

I just want be happy and I want to live my purpose. But I also know that life is not meant to be easy. But no matter what, I hope that my principles will keep me strong. We decide who we are, and I surely dont want to be a person who throws away their principle just to have it easy.

May Allah guide us through everything <3

p/s: I have another job interview with UM next week. They even have a mock teaching session. Wish me luck!

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