Category Archives: work

Dreaming of a corner office and a nice view of the skyline? CEO Suite has you covered

When I was younger, I learned to equate success with having a corner office that came with a nice view of the sky line and with a team of people to help out with the nitty-gritty. For me then — this means continuous employment, clocking at least 15 years or more  in order to finally get prime real estate at the work place. 

As I get older, as my priorities change and as technology evolves, I realized that getting that corner office doesn’t necessarily mean traditional employment. This is the same reason why there’s been a boom in freelancing business, telecommuting and start-ups. People find ways to earn they keep while pursuing their passions – beyond the confines of a traditional workplace. 

For driven and passionate individuals and start-ups, there’s CEO Suite, one of the finest and established network of services offices  in the Region. 

In Manila, CEO Suite is located at the 37th floor of the LKG Tower featuring prime amenities and comfortable work spaces.

Aside from its Manila location, CEO Suites has 600 ready to occupy office suites in 12 prime locations in Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok and Seoul. 
   

   

  

  

Founded in 1997 with its first center at the Indonesia Stock Exchange a towers in Jakarta by Ms. Mee Kim who has a 24 year experience in the service/serviced office industries. A visionary and entrepreneur, Ms. Kim is passionate in providing premium service levels in any CEO Suite location. 

This passion for service is palpable on the center’s  dedication to top-tier level of service and optimal comfort, this includes provision of fully-equipped boardrooms with panoramic views, well-being lounge with sauna and massage chairs, business lounge with gourmet coffee, microwave and an array of snacks, latest telecommunications systems and office equipment. 

The Manila center offers wifi access, strict security and function rooms. Rates for a one person office desk goes for as low as PHP15,000 per month to as high as PHP215, 000 depending on the requirement. 

Meanwhile, one month of virtual office service  goes for as low as PHP2,888. 

 

CEO Suite Regional Marketing Director Charyna B. Francisco
 
 
Center Manager Lianne T. Muhlfeld
 
However, more than the top-of-the-line equipment or swanky office environment, CEO Suite boasts of a strong and capable support of its efficient back office staff: from the front liners manning the reception, security and its accounting staff. What the center promises is that there will always be a top caliber support for your emerging business. 

The team endeavors to follow the SCOOT mentality established by its afable foundress:  Sense of urgency, Care, Openness, Ownership, Trust and Team work. 

For inquiries, you may contact Lianne Muhlfeld, center manager for CEO Suite Manila at (02) 859-2989 or at cm@ph.ceosuite.com. 

   

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Creativity and the search for the familiar feels

how to be a creative person
Image from Buzzfeed

After working for ten years in corporate, I can feel that my creativity level has greatly diminished. I used to find inspiration in everything. But now, writing and trying to create something is like pulling teeth.

I have written about wanting to go back to writing in so many posts in this blog, not just writing blog posts — but really writing for a living again. This year, I have never been more determined to say goodbye to the corporate world than before. I just don’t feel as excited and as motivated with my current corporate job — maybe it’s the hunger to write again or at least learn something, instead of slaving in front of a computer for 8 hours per day. That’s really not harmless, but what’s more draining for me is the people — dealing with them, making them happy with their endless demands and insane requests; the need to compete; the need to write long and rambling self- evaluation on your performance appraisal sheet — honestly, I am just not feeling it anymore.

This realization was made more palpable when I was invited by a good friend to cover their tourism-related event recently. I was there in my capacity as a newbie travel blogger, eager to be of help to promote the local tourism. Upon arrival at the venue, I was seated in a table occupied by print journalists and more established bloggers. When the guest of honor arrived, I overheard the print journalists discussing among themselves if they should make a go at it and do the interview with the DOT secretary while the program has yet to start. They were discussing possible questions and debating if they should abandon dinner and just go ahead with the face-to-face interview. I actually felt jealous.

The problem with doing an about-face and starting a new career (even if you are a returnee) is getting your foot at the door, trying to get an opening or an opportunity. Once I have this covered, I know I’ll be on my way.

Vacation’s over. Now back to the grind!

go back to work

Well, there’s really no way to go about it. It’s back to reality after more than two weeks galivating and doing nothing. It’s time again to face the dreaded project plans, events, pending departmental budgets and all the other stressful things in between.

While it is indeed tempting to bitch about work, we must consider the fact that there are people who will be going back to nothing after the holidays. There are people who do not have jobs and do not have means to support themselves and their families. Imagine days and days stretched before you, spent looking for a job, hopping from one interview schedule to another. It must be excruciating.

We won’t lie — there are days when we rather spend lying in bed, surfing the net than haul ourselves to work, listening to office wise-asses preen and puff themselves like first-class assholes. But in reality, having work is both a curse and a blessing. Having work saved us from further moping at the heels of our bout with depression last November. It allowed us to enjoy fruits of our labor: like traveling, new shoes, a nice set of clothes. Having work gave us confidence and empowered us. So yes, we do not work for a perfect company and we are often surrounded by idiots masquerading as intelligent human beings; but along the way, we are also blessed to meet people who inspire us to learn more, to be more, to push ourselves further than we thought possible. We are blessed to meet and work with like-minded souls, and be part of a team whose brilliance and dedication continued to inspire us. While it is true that we do not see ourselves staying a lot longer than others (10 years! 15 years!), we are also committed to giving back and contributing to the growth of the company that has nurtured us during the last four and a half years of our stay.

Tomorrow is Monday and yes, we will again face traffic, the long lines at the jeepney stop — but we are also facing it with enthusiasm (at least the most we could muster on a dreary January morning) and with a prayer. May the virtual body count we keep in our head be less than those of the previous year.

Earning Online

Earning money is tough, especially in the Philippines where you have to work your asses off just to live comfortably.
Aside from my full-time job, I started writing bits and pieces online to earn a few additional bucks. Early this year, I attended a seminar and one of the spokespersons mentioned about ‘eLance” — which has Odesk as its predecessor.

Learn more about eLance here.

The registration process is easy, after which you can start bidding for projects. In my first week alone, I was already invited to bid for one project and was subsequently hired. Payment was $5 per article and so far I have managed to submit 3 articles to the project. While I would have loved to write more and thus earn more–my full-time work and my responsibilities there is preventing me to from working more hours online. Usually, I reserve my writing after I have arrived from work. There are days when I just can’t do anymore additional thinking after a very long and tough day.

I already transferred some of my earnings to my Paypal account:

First Paypal Withdrawal

I know it’s not much — about one thousand two hundred bucks actually in local money. But that is enough for grocery money and get the imperious cat her favorite nibbles. I would love to make more money online but I know unless I have enough time in my hands — time to bid from many projects and thus time to work on more assignments, it might take a long time until I make a sensible and impressive earnings online.

When this blog was more lifestyle-ish (read: mostly about Japanese celebrities, bits and pieces and reviews), I was asked if I would consider monetizing it. You know, get a registered domain, get Yahoo Ads, put my name out there to be one of the many bloggers who get to earn money just by writing online. But as much as it is tempting, I had to say no to the idea. I am not comfortable selling my reviews and thoughts for profit. I work for PR and I have seen first-hand and paid first-hand good money to some bloggers to promote the brand I represent. It’s a tricky process — something I’d rather not discuss.

Much respect to other bloggers who earn from their sites, but it’s something I am not. I am happy with whatever reviews I get from my readers and I do not see the need to earn my keep that way. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Hence, I am still on the look out for more projects, hopefully one with bigger pay-outs. I also accept freelance copywriting and marketing consultancy work — so I know that once I finally decide to quit the rat race and go freelance full-time, I am confident that I already have a head start.

Writing.

kurt_vonnegut_pity-readers

For the times when I am stuck with the fortieth revision of a program plan or dealing again with the stupid impossibility of office politics that I sit back in my cubicle (amidst the work clutter) and ask myself where would I be should I decided to stick being a writer and not sell my soul to the devil, otherwise known as the Corporate World.

Sure, being a journalist here (even in my capacity as a lifestyle writer) in the Philippines will never guarantee to make you rich. You will be earning peanuts but will have an ample supply of deodorant, feminine wash, napkin, shampoo and gift cheques to restaurants that will last you a lifetime courtesy of various SWAGs from the events you cover. Yes, you will eventually get to the media junket but that is after you have earned your dues and have risen from the ranks from being the junior writer to being an associate editor. But no matter how measly the pay, it is the allure of writing stories — giving angle to what was just previously words and thoughts and sometimes, pitches (from your friendly neighborhood PR agency)–to seeing these same previously jumbled words published, smelling like freshly-churned newsprint that I find myself yearning more.

I don’t know which I miss more: covering events and looking for people to interview; rushing to the editorial office, trying to make deadline while grappling with writer’s block or trying to survive a dressing down and salvaging bits of my pride and sanity as my editor reviews my written piece. Maybe all of these? Because these past few days, all I can think about is going back to writing. Or how I miss the sound of the insistent clacking of keys from 2PM to 4PM on the editorial floor.

I miss being creative. I miss the cred of being a print journalist. I miss the dressing downs that usually came with a side of insight on how you will move up the publishing world. Yes, the only thing I do not miss is the measly pay.

Almost a decade ago, sick of the rejection I had following a failed internship in a well-known glossy, I decide to throw caution to the wind, sell my soul and go corporate. First, I tried Public Relations which can be best describe as “excruciating” especially to an anti-social like me before moving on to corporate communications and marketing, fields I have come to love.

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I was happy — or at least, I thought I was happy. That is until recently when I noticed myself hankering to go back to the twenty year old me, a snot-nosed kid always eager for a writing assignment.

Hustling

While I would like to make myself believe that I have enough money to fund the stupid things I usually get into — I really don’t.

I maybe working from 9 to 7PM, and with responsibilities that can kill an overgrown elephant — but if you would care to look at the status of my finances, OH BOY — I am a merely a pathetic little bitch. Here’s the low-down, my monthly income is in the lower five digits. Might be enough if I am fending only for my big ass, but quite pathetic when I am trying to sustain a lifestyle, fill up a savings account and be a supportive wife to M, my long-suffering hubby looking for work after he graduated from Caregiver school.

Yes, life sucks — but when life hands you lemons, you gotta find a way to make a mean lemonade.

The obvious solution to this is to hustle, something I have belatedly learned a year ago when I started accepting freelancing jobs to get by. On my first freelance writing job, I quit after my second submission — the pay was peanuts but the extensive research needed was too much for my sanity. Then, I started doing copy and copy editing work to a near competitor of my previous employer — the money was good for a while, especially when I was offered a bigger opportunity that is, until the work dried up and here I am, on the look out again.

lemonade

Giving up is not in my vocabulary — I am determined to work hard and hustle, just to earn an honest buck. There is no shame in hustling. It strengthens your resolve, gives you a much-needed ego check and underlines the value of hard work.

Right now, my freelance gig had all but dried up. It’s already been two months and the blank lines in my passbook account betrays this need for more money to come in. The most obvious solution to this problem is to check the net for postings and opportunities. Right now, I’ve signed up for a gig doing hush-huh reviews but there was really no pay involved, except for opportunities and little pleasures. It’s good though, as it allows me to experience things without having to shell out a dime. If I am lucky, there will be (in the near future and sometime) a monetary value in the work I do.

I am not ashamed to say these things because it is part of who I am. I will not lie or cover the fact that I am hustling for a living through any good, honest-to-goodness means. As long as it will never compromise the values I have been taught since my childhood, I am open to opportunities. After all, this world belongs to every hard working man.