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      February 06, 2024

      Dare to Design Your own Career – From Malaysia to Germany

      Initially, I perceived Continental Petaling Jaya as a small factory, unaware of the global scope and technological responsibilities handled by our IT HUB. As I mark my ninth year with the company, I anticipate many more to come. Throughout my tenure, my role has undergone significant transformations. Beginning as a programmer and operator, where I supported the daily operations of an IT system, I have now transitioned into the role of an IT consultant, maintaining regular communication with internal business users worldwide.

      Grab the Chances that came up: One Year assignment in Germany

      The most thrilling chapter of my journey thus far unfolded during my one-year assignment in Germany as an IT Consultant specializing in software quality. The responsibility proved to be a considerable burden, yet my German manager consistently placed trust in me. The unique blend of freedom to make independent decisions and high expectations propelled me to attain greater heights in my role.

      A pivotal lesson I acquired during this period was the concept of ownership. Previously, I was accustomed to completing assigned tasks, but now, when I believe in the right course of action, I take initiative and respond. The metaphorical "elephant in the room" aptly captures this notion, emphasizing the importance of addressing crucial topics openly and initiating discussions. I firmly believe that this approach is the way forward.

      Adjusting to the German lifestyle presented its challenges, particularly in the early days with the shift to the early closing culture. However, human adaptability proved to be a strength, and after 3-4 months, I began to feel comfortable. Embracing nature brought me true joy during my stay.

      Why Freedom to Act is my favorite Continental value

      My preferred corporate value is "Freedom to Act." As I previously highlighted for my time in Germany, this principle is also notably present in our operations here in Malaysia. Implementing ideas is more feasible compared to other companies.

      Within our IT HUB, where global roles prevail, we engage with colleagues from various HUBs worldwide on an equal footing. Our team has moved away from the traditional headquarters-centric approach, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit. This shift allows everyone to take on the role of an entrepreneur, contributing to the creation and realization of projects with a global team.

      Operating in Asia means I receive more requests in the afternoon. However, with the "Follow the Sun" approach, there's no need to worry if a task isn't completed by evening; colleagues in different time zones seamlessly continue the work. Staying late is only necessary for specific tasks or projects that involve collaboration with colleagues in other time zones, and this isn't a daily occurrence.

      IT guy that believes in knowledge continuity and giving back

      At Continental, I've embraced a gradual learning process, seizing every opportunity that arises to advance my career. Within this environment, I've discovered my strengths – adept at interpersonal relations, empathetic to people's needs, unafraid to voice opinions – making the role of an IT Consultant an ideal fit for me.

      In my personal philosophy, I firmly believe in imparting knowledge to the next generation, ensuring they can carry forward our work and reach greater heights. Consequently, I actively explore ways to establish a social framework facilitating the exchange of our best knowledge and experiences among colleagues. Two initiatives I am currently involved in are Quality Circles and Topic Groups.

      In my personal life, I continue to relish my existence, always open to new adventures and immersing myself in the diverse cultures of every civilization. Additionally, I allocate a portion of my time to contribute to the community by participating in the construction of new houses and facilities for the "Orang Asli" (native people) in my country.

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      Alan Tung

      IT Consultant