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20

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04 10

TUE
S
D
A
Y

2
TUESDAY
4 October
2005

COVER
STORY

s
g
n
i
W
BY NIKI CHEONG
SHANON Shah and Ida Mariana have quite a
few things in common. Not only are they
both the stars of an upcoming musical, they
also have similar stories to tell about their
lifes journeys. Shanon and Ida both gave up
their jobs are professionals to follow their
dream.
Heres a bit of a background story. Shanon,
27, is known today as a musician, having
released his debut album Dilanda Cinta earlier this year. However, in his previous life,
Shanon was a risk management consultant!
He graduated with a degree in Chemical
Engineering.
Ida, on the other hand, was a practicing
lawyer before she gave it up to pursue a
career in the arts, and went back to university
at 30 (shes 33 now) to do a Masters degree
in theatre studies.
Shanon and Ida are enjoying themselves
doing what they currently do now Shanon
is still promoting his album and performing
at various places, while Ida splits her time
between performing on stage, teaching theatre at a local University and deejaying on
Red 104.9.
I really wanted to study music, said
Shanon who was trained in classical piano
when he was just a small child.

y
lF
o
T

And I wanted to go to a music school in


Italy but my parents couldnt afford it
because to get a scholarship, you first had to
go to England to audition. His second option
was to do chemical engineering as I liked
chemistry and math. However, even though
it was his choice to study that course, he
knew that it wasnt for him.
This was even more evident when he
returned to Malaysia from his studies and
started working.
Actually I wanted to resign from first day,
but it was not realistic, he said. The company
he worked with was the one that had given
him his scholarship, so he was obligated to
work there.
Things were not much different for Ida.
Right from the start of practicing law, she
knew that it wasnt going to be long term.
Her story is different from Shanons however. Law was not her choice, but that of her
parents.
I made a pact with my dad, she
explained. Once Ive done the degree he
wanted, then I could do anything I want.
The moral of their stories however is not to
give up what they worked so hard for. In fact,
both of them had no regrets whatsoever
about the courses they did. Ida even took it
one step further.
She said: I chambered to know what I

wanted to say no to. I chambered for nine


months and then practiced for about six
months but every day I felt sick, and didnt
want to go to work.
So one day she just woke up and decided to
send her resignation letter in.
It was the happiest thing I did, she
recalled. I remember thinking at that time
that if I was to jump of a building, I would
fly.
Both also agreed that although they disliked their jobs and career paths at that point,
it was a necessary stage they had to go
through in life. And having gone through a
tough time both had advice for anyone whos
feeling the way they did.
If youre not enjoying what youre doing,
you need to think, Ida said. Think about if
you will enjoy something else that you pick. If
you know it, then go for it. Just do it.
Shanons advice wasnt far off.
Consider why you are doing it, whether its
a necessity or parental pressure, he said.
But work through the possibilities. Dont just
decide to drop what youre doing. Maybe you
can work behind the scenes or something
else youre interested in to test it out. But
dont just sit around idling and complaining,
be pro-active.
Everyone needs options, so find out what
options you have.

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COVER
STORY

3
TUESDAY
4 October
2005

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