My fondest memories of school will always revolve around grades. It was always about GPA or CAP or how many ‘A’s one scored.

It’s true even till today. Students I speak to ask me how they can improve their GPA or chances to qualify for an institute of higher learning.

If I could turn back time, I would really want to look at the bigger picture of life and not be too focused on just scoring ‘A’s. 

Life is more than just all the ‘A’s combined.

After I left school, I realized I struggled. And I was miserable. 

Despite having an Honours degree and being a 4-time Dean’s List holder, all this came to naught when I stepped into the workforce. My algebra and calculus distinctions didn’t help at all. Neither did my expertise in syntax, semantics and phonology.

School didn’t prepare me for life as a whole. I had to learn it on my own. And there are 3 skills school never taught us. This is sad but true.


Skill #1: Entrepreneurship

One of my interns from the school of business whom I was mentoring told me frankly that what he learnt from me from the actual starting, doing and growing a business was something his business lecturer never taught them back in school.

Well, I’m not surprised.

There are many textbook warriors out there – they are good at teaching theory. But beyond theory, how many of them have actually started and systematized a string of businesses? 

You go figure…

You don’t need a business degree or diploma to start a business. You need guts, acumen and most importantly, entrepreneurship skills.


Skill #2: Lifeskills

I remember I felt awkward going from an all-boys secondary school to a junior college because it was my first encounter with members of the opposite sex. Many a times, I kept to myself as I didn’t know how to strike a meaningful conversation with girls and felt they were always observing my every movement.

I also remember I failed my first job interview miserably. I was ill-prepared. I thought my stellar grades would sail me through. I was dead wrong. This was because I wasn’t taught how to prepare for the interview.

As the term suggests, “lifeskills” are skills that will help equip us for life – whether we are talking about presentation skills, interview skills or social interaction skills.


Skill #3: Branding

What makes you stand out from your classmates or course-mates? After all, everyone is going to graduate with a degree or diploma. How much extra value can you add to that piece of paper you hold in your hands?

I never really thought all these questions as I was just running the rat race in the corporate world.

I only seriously began exploring personal branding when I launched my first business and knew I had to offer something different so as to stand out from the other competitors. 

Don’t wait till it’s too late to start branding. Even if you are still a student, you should start thinking of your value proposition.

Ironically, because school didn’t teach me these 3 vital skills, I took the future into my own hands and equipped myself over the years by learning and growing through each experience. It wasn’t always a smooth journey but it certainly was an eye-opening one. And today, through my programmes and blog posts, I pass them forward to the next generation so that they too, can be equipped with these vital skills for life and be future ready :)


If you are a guy, the most common staple in your wardrobe is a shirt. Business shirts, dress shirts, polo T-shirts and even crew neck T-shirts.

The shirt covers half of your body and is the closest item worn near the face. Therefore, the shirt that you wear must fit you well. If it doesn’t fit, you will not be feeling confident at all. In fact, you will be feeling like s***.

It is not difficult to find a shirt that gives you a good fit. And you don’t really have to tailor (unless you have some spare cash and don’t mind spending).

Here is my 5-fit checklist you should look out for when choosing a well-fitting shirt. It must pass all the 5 areas before you buy.


Tip #1: Fits At The Shoulders

This sounds like a no-brainer but I’ve seen guys wear shirts that are either a size too small or a few sizes too big. Remember, the shoulder seam should meet at the corner of your shoulder bone. If it meets before it, then the shirt is too small for you. If it meets after, then the shirt is too loose for you.

The shoulder area test is the first you should check when trying on the shirt. It is also the most visual aspect others around you will take note.


Tip #2: Fits At The Chest 

Like it or not, the chest is most defining body part of every man. That is why most guys pay special attention to training their pectoral muscles at the gym, doing bench presses, cable flyes, dumbbell presses and of course our all-time-favourite push-ups.

There is a Chinese saying that goes 挺胸做人 (literal translation: chest out and be a man).

Therefore, if you desire a more fitted silhouette, you would want to make sure the chest width is reduced without being too tight that it creates unnecessary lines across the chest.

Come on guys, I mean – if you exercise, gym or are still in the prime of your life, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to flaunt your chest, right? 

Of course, if you want a more relaxed fit, then choose a shirt that gives you more space around the chest.



Tip #3: Fits At The Armpits

I’ve tried shirts from both ends – some that are way too tight and others that are way too loose.

Remember, when you raise both arms laterally (just like doing lateral raises in the gym), the armholes should feel comfortable and your movements unrestricted. If you have difficult lifting your arms comfortably, that means the shirt is too tight at the armpits. Conversely, if you lift both arms and feel you suddenly developed batwings, then that means it is too loose at the armpits.


Tip #4: Fits Around The Waist

The shirt should be smooth all the way around, with no baggy or excess material. There should be comfortable movement which allows you to sit down without having the material pulling at the buttons.

Choose slim fit or straight cut according to your body shape. The former is more contoured around the abs area while the latter is more generous around the waist.


Tip #5: The Length Must Fit

A shirt should be long enough so that it does not pull up out of your pants during everyday activity. I’m referring to business shirts in this instance.

Remember, the standard shirt has a six-button front, excluding the collar button.

Business shirts must be tucked in at all times as they are unsightly if left tucked out.

Dress shirts, however, can either be tucked in or out. Those meant to be untucked will have flat or curved hem. But they should not be longer than the zipper of your pants. And when you lift both hands, your belly should not be exposed.

If you follow these 5 ‘fit’ guidelines, I’m sure every shirt you buy from now on will fit you to a T.


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