Dominic Soh has managed to turn his own trials and tribulations into success: he has a career that he is passionate about, and manages to help other people at the same time! Drawing from his own experience struggling to get a job post-graduation, he set up a company to help other students and young professionals do just that.
Name: Dominic Soh
Website/Blog: Industry Bootcamp
Tell us a bit about yourself …..
I arrived in Melbourne in 2011 as an international student.
After graduating from university in early 2013, I received my permanent residency and 2 job offers at the same time. I took on the role in a tech start-up but got made redundant 2-3 months later because I was extremely stressed and could not perform up to standard.
I was back in the job search process and had to send out 526 resumes over 561 days to land my next job as a full-time business & management trainer.
Through this entire job search process, I managed to start a careers magazine with a friend, in order to help other graduates and job seekers out there. It’s through this magazine that I discovered my passion in training and helping people – which helped to land my trainer position.
Now I’m on a mission to empower students and professionals to succeed in tomorrow’s marketplace.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in life & how did it impact you?
I must say that it’s getting through the job search process day after day.
At that point of time I was working part-time and casually to pay the bills. I worked as an IELTS tutor, a professional marker for high school exams, a kitchen hand and a car rental detailer.
I guess it’s having the persistence and perseverance to put one foot ahead of the other as you move towards your career aspirations.
The job search process can honestly be quite disappointing at times. You can take a long time to prepare a job application, send it out and not hear anything at all for some time. Or get the stock-standard rejection email. And then you repeat the process for other jobs. And you might apply for jobs in other fields and areas as well because you are bordering on desperation.
What would you say are your greatest achievements in life thus far?
Here are some of the achievements which I am proud of achieving thus far:
· Starting a careers magazine from scratch with no publishing experience, and getting it to reach 3000-4000 students in 6 Victorian universities in just 6 months.
· Getting through sending out 526 resumes over 561 days to land my dream job.
· Having my job search journey featured on 8 Australian media outlets like The Age, News.com.au and The Herald Sun.
· Having the privilege of speaking to more than 1000 students and professionals from organizations like The City of Melbourne, Chartered Accountants, United Nations Young Professionals Network, and The University of Melbourne, to name a few.
· Spoke to audiences ranging from Year 10 students to managers and executives of private companies.
· Finished writing my careers book “The Graduate Employability Guide”.
· Completing the Oxfam 100km hike in 2016 with my colleagues – we finished it in 35 hours, and I think I only managed to sleep for about 35 minutes in that period.
· Completing 2 marathons.
· Abseiling off a building in the Melbourne CBD to raise funds ($2.2k in 2 weeks) with a colleague.
How did you work through your struggles to achieve the success you have today?
I guess it’s all about pushing yourself to the next level.
There will be times where you will struggle in the things that you do, especially at times when you are striving for greatness. But do note that the pain is temporary, but the pride is forever. Normal people stop when they are tired, but successful people stop when they are done.
In addition, it’s critical to see success as your duty, service and commitment to the world around you. It’s not just about you. Attain massive success so that others can gain and benefit from it. When you pursue success as a parent, your kids benefit. When you hunger for success as a professional, your colleagues and customers benefit.
Think bigger and think beyond yourself.
What is one tip you have for keeping motivated?
I always try to remind myself that the greatest pain in life is the pain of regret.
There will be a time in your life when you are 70, 80, 90 or older, when you are lying on your deathbed with your loved ones around you.
And when you think back at your life, would you be proud that you did or wished that you did?
Would you be saying “I’m so glad I did…” or would you say things like “I should have…”, “I could have…”, “I would have…”
If it’s the latter, it’ll be too late.
The greatest pain in life is the pain of regret.
Better to try and fail, than fail to try.
Who is someone that helped you on your journey from struggle to success?
2 people come to mind. Benjamin Koh and David Fuentes. One is my closest friend. The other is a pastor at church who’s also my mentor.
Both have been a great support and influence in my life because when I was at my lowest and darkest points, they were there for me and believed in me, even when I couldn’t see much in myself.
What qualities do you think are essential in a person in order to be successful?
Here are some qualities which I think are needed for success:
· The willingness to do whatever it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be.
· Courage. To challenge yourself, shake the status quo and to dream wildly.
· Execution – more action, less excuses.
· Great company. Surround yourself with people who elevate you.
· Hunger. Crave for greater things.
· Sacrifice. Are you willing to pay the price today so that you can pay any price tomorrow?
· Humility. Being able to learn and be taught by others.
· Kindness and generosity. While hungering for success, it’s equally important to treat others with respect and to be a tremendous blessing to those around you.
Do you think there are benefits to going through hardships before achieving your goals?
Definitely! Going through hardships not only builds character and humility, but it is also a test to see how badly we want something.
And it’s through going through hardships that show us what it means to be human. To struggle, to fall and to make mistakes. And to rise up again. It allows us to empathize and to be able to be there for others, especially those who are struggling.
What are some plans and goals you have for the future?
Some of the plans I have would be to expand myself in the speaking and coaching circuit – to reach international audiences so that more can be inspired and impacted.
I also see myself doing more work with schools, colleges and universities to prepare students for tomorrow’s marketplace, while working with companies to empower their staff to be effective in the workplace.
Lastly, what is one piece of advice you have for others to overcome difficulty and achieve success?
Encountering difficulty is a sign that you are moving closer towards success.
Don’t give up! Keep pushing on. Be very clear about the purpose and vision behind why you are pursuing that dream. And don’t just do it for yourself – find a reason and mission that’s bigger than yourself.
Go for it – the world’s waiting to see what you have to offer!
So there you have it - if you have difficulties in a particular area, or struggles you find near impossible to overcome, think about how you can help others in the same situations. You might surprise yourself and even make a career out of it!