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Melanie Masriel: What I Would Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

If you could travel back in time and give your younger self some advice, what would you say?

Pertama kali bertemu (virtual) dengan Mba Melanie Masriel, atau yang akrab dipanggil Mba Mel adalah saat acara virtual conference Girls Beyond, Beauty & Beyond, bulan Juni lalu. Saat itu aku mendapat kesempatan menjadi moderator sebuah sesi Zoom Webinar. Mba Mel adalah salah satu pembicara di sesi tersebut.

Setelah obrolan di sesi webinar itu, I instantly adored her. Aku melihat Mba Mel sebagai sosok perempuan inspiratif yang berprestasi di karirnya. Gaya bicaranya yang tegas memberikan kesan perempuan yang kuat, tapi juga hangat. She is such a role model for all young women in Indonesia.

Mba Mel adalah salah satu orang yang menduduki posisi eksekutif di subsidiary lokal perusahaan kosmetika terbesar di dunia, L’Oreal Indonesia. Saat ini Ia menjabat sebagai Communications, Public Affairs, and Sustainability Director di Indonesia. Kurang lebih 20 tahun sudah Mba Mel berkarir di dunia Communications.

Senang sekali saat Mba Mel mengiyakan ajakanku untuk wawancara segmen artikel ini. Akhirnya kita janjian untuk melakukan wawancara via Zoom.

A: “Terima kasih Mba Mel untuk kesempatannya! Kita akan membahas tiga topik dalam wawancara ini, yaitu career, love, dan life. Mba Mel coba bayangkan pura-puranya lagi di interview sama diri Mba Mel sendiri, tapi dalam versi usia 20 tahun.”

M: “Sama-sama Alda! My pleasure. Ok sip, yuk kita mulai.”

Question #1 “Any career advice for me as a 20-year-old?”

M: “Umur 20 tahun itu berarti aku sudah mau lulus kuliah di Australia, saat itu aku banyak melakukan kontemplasi, mau kerja di Australia atau mau pulang ke Indonesia, but then I decided to go back home to be with the family. Latar belakang pendidikanku adalah Bachelor of Commerce, dengan minor di komunikasi. I started my career in marketing, kemudian setelah dua tahun baru lah pindah ke dunia Communications. If I had the opportunity to talk to my 20 year-old self, I would tell her something like this.

Dear 20 year old me, you’re graduating soon! You must be really excited to enter the professional world. Here’s my advice for you:

  1. Look for a job that you love. Because when you love what you do, you will do the extra miles. When you love what you do, trust me, the bright future will be there for you. So, always try to see the glass as half full! Kalau dikasih kerjaan apapun, just do your best! Kalau nggak yakin atau gak tau akan suatu hal, just ask.
  2. Saat wawancara kerja, selain kamu akan dinilai oleh calon atasanmu, I think you need to assess the person as well. You want to learn from someone that is inspiring, someone who can be a role model to you, someone whom you can ‘pick’ their brains and steal good things from. It’s also important to build good relationships with them. Walau belum tentu akan kerja lama bareng mereka, tapi kita nggak pernah tau. Path will cross, mungkin saja suatu saat akan kerja bareng atau kolaborasi lagi.
  3. Look for a company that will give you space to learn and to grow. It’s also important to be in a work environment that feels like home. Saat kamu berada di dunia profesional, akan ada hari-hari di mana kamu akan tenggelam dalam pekerjaan. Kalau lingkungan kantornya kurang nyaman, kamu bisa nggak betah, walhasil gak perform. Selain itu, mencari teman di tempat kerja yang chemistry-nya nyambung juga penting banget to brighten your days at work!”

Question #2 “Will I ever get my dream job?”

M: “Remember, ‘If it is to be, it is up to me.. So if you want to have your dream job, it is up to you to make it happen. Dalam menentukan profesi/karir, sangat penting untuk kamu bertanya pada dirimu sendiri, Apakah betul passion kamu di situ? Lalu kita tentunya harus percaya diri, kerja keras, dan berikan yang terbaik. Jangan lupa untuk selalu selipkan dalam doamu, karena hanya Yang di Atas yang bisa kasih lampu merah untuk wujudkan dream job-mu. So back to the question, I will tell my 20-year-old self with great confidence, “Yes, you will make it happen!

Question #3 “What skills do I need to master as a fresh graduate?”

M: “For this question, I would like to focus more on a set of skills to master in the Communications field.

  1. Skill of storytelling. Communication is all about telling stories. Kemahiran tim komunikasi sangat berpengaruh terhadap reputasi perusahaannya
  2. Skill of public speaking. Sebagai seorang public relations professional, kita dituntut untuk selalu siap mewakili dan merepresentasikan perusahaan. Maka dari itu, sangat penting bagi kita untuk terus mengasah keahlian berbicara di depan publik.
  3. Networking. Ini penting banget untuk dibangun as early as possible and as much as possible. Networking is about building connections not only in times of need, but more importantly nurturing relationships during sunny days. With a good network, you will have more options to help open doors for you in various required occasions/situations. 
  4. Last but not least, you also need to learn the art of advocacy. Profesi ini menuntut kita untuk lebih artikulatif dalam mengemukakan our intention… lebih persistent in pursuing/defending the mission we believe in… dan lebih cerdik menentukan kapal yang mana yang akan berhasil membawa kita meraih misi tersebut.” 

Question #4 “Do I need to worry about finding my true love? Will I ever find him?”

M: Worry mungkin nggak, tapi tetap harus usaha. Jodoh memang di tangan Tuhan, tapi Tuhan gak suka jika kita hanya berpangku tangan. Jadi cinta sejati itu gabisa hanya ditunggu, tapi perlu dijemput. Menurutku you do not always have to wait for the guy to reach out to you first. Sah-sah aja untuk kita sebagai perempuan to make the first contact, untuk membuka percakapan. Then you can assess along the way if you can feel the chemistry and figure out apakah orang tersebut punya perasaan yang sama, because the feeling needs to be mutual. I think in this era women are so empowered and braver to express our feelings & wants. But of course, in a graceful manner. 

Saat mencari pasangan, apa yang perlu kita cari? I think it’s important to find someone that completes you, that can bring the best out of you, someone who will do the extra mile for you. You will know you found the one when you feel one.

Also I would like to stress to my 20-year-old self, that it’s not the end of the world when you lose one. She needs to know this.”

Question #5 “How should I spend my spare time?”

M: “Papa-ku always says, waktu luang itu bukan waktu yang harus dibuang begitu saja tanpa ada gunanya. You still need to invest in your spare time. Beliau bilang, ada 3 hal yang harus kita investasikan dalam hidup ini. 1.) Invest in your health. Kalau kita sakit, life won’t be easy for us. So eat well and exercise well. Aku suka banget kulineran dan aku juga suka banget nyobain berbagai macam exercise. Mulai dari yoga sampai muay thai. Dan sejak pandemi ini, I found my new peace of mind in cycling. 2.) Invest your money. Nggak bisa dipungkiri uang itu akan membantu kita menjalani hidup dengan lebih baik. 3.) Invest in your families and friends.  Spend time with your family and friends, travel with them, invest key moments with them. They are the people that will always be there for you.

Question #6 How should I cope with failures?

M: “Aku masih ingat dulu saat awal-awal kerja, kalau berbuat suatu kesalahan di kantor, aku bisa pulang ke rumah with guilt dan dengan suasana hati yang nggak keruan. I would advise my 20-year-old self that whenever you make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you are failing. It means that you just found a way that didn’t work. Or maybe a thousand more. Because of failures, you will know what to avoid in the future, you will know how to do it better. “There’s always a bright side to every failure because failure is the best teacher.”

Question #7 Should I care about what other people think about me?

M: NO and YES. No saat komentar tersebut sifatnya menjatuhkan, tapi yes jika sifatnya membangun.

Banyak yang bilang kalau kita nggak perlu mikirin pendapat orang lain. Well, somehow it’s true, but I think sometimes we also need constructive feedbacks. Aku tipe orang yang senang dikasih feedback. Kita lama-lama bisa kok menilai intensi seseorang memberikan feedback ke kita itu untuk apa. Apakah mengkritik hanya untuk menjatuhkan? Atau memang sifatnya ingin membantu kita untuk berkembang menjadi lebih baik?

Bagaimana cara kita tahu? You will eventually build your sense around it. When people say something about us, coba dicerna dulu aja. Terkadang memang ada komentar yang nggak perlu kita dengerin, tapi banyak juga komentar yang sifatnya baik kok. Sebagai manusia, kita terkadang nggak sadar kalau melakukan kesalahan. That’s why sometimes we need other people’s opinions. Jangan sampai kita menutup mata karena merasa paling benar, menurutku nggak seharusnya seperti itu juga.”

Question #8 “Will I have a happy life in the future?

M: “Yes you will. Of course, YOU WILL. But you need to always remember that life is not always easy. There will be problems that can bring you down. Hidup itu seperti roda, kadang di atas kadang di bawah.

Whenever you are feeling down, or whenever you feel unhappy, just remember that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

1 Comment

  • Vivi
    4 October 2020 at 11:02 pm

    So inspiring 🧡
    The truly motivated story delivered with realistic truth.

    Reply

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