Tag Archives: jobhunting

To quit or not to quit, that is the question

I came across this recent article on Yahoo.com detailing the signs to watch out for when it’s time to quit your job:

The article has stated the following as red flags, highlighting the need for you to start scouring the classifieds, polishing the resume and work on a killer resignation piece (what? do you want to be the guy who left using a crappy resignation letter?)

1. Does my company stand for something — anything — special?
Hmmmmn, let me see. I left university ten years ago and has been with nine companies during that time (including company A which I spent 2 years with and company B where I spent a good 3 years). Out of all these companies, I had the pleasure of working for giants in the Philippine publishing industry, multinationals with regional exposures, start-ups, down to a PR agency with 15 employees, and operating out of a studio condo unit in Mandaluyong. In each and every company, I was always on the look out for what the organization represented. I have been amazed, awed, inspired and disappointed countless times. And yes, I already left a company because I never saw any possible future for it. True enough, that company folded two years after I left–after the owner grew tired out of the “whole game”. My belief was that I spent quite a number of years earning my dues, I think I deserved something better.

2. Am I excited to see my colleagues when I show up for work on Monday morning? Oh boy, where do I begin with all my melodramatic rants and ramblings about office mates, office politics and all the shit that goes with it. OFFICE POLITICS and POWER TRIPPING — that’s my foremost hate in any company that I’ve been part of. I already experienced not getting off the public transpo the minute I saw the office building, taking a round trip and going home instead. Why? Because I can’t–for the life of me–stomach the people who I’ll see inside that pathetic little room we call the office (this was my second job–as receptionist/executive assistant for a Japanese real estate company). I pretty much met every possible character in the office play book: the powers that be, the lackeys, the power trippers, those who fix the books and try to get away with it, the office flirt, the assistant with the brain the size of peas. When I was younger, I was impulsive. The minute I meet someone I hate, I go. But when I became older, I realized that NO MATTER WHERE I GO, these people will always exist. And the true measure of a PROFESSIONAL is HOW YOU DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE. Maybe with old age comes the grace of choosing my battles. Now, I learned to live and let live. And stop judging people–for all we know, they too have their own stories which we will never understand.

3. Do I have a voice at work — does anyone who matters listen to what I say?
The fact that people of power is interested to hear what you think is VERY IMPORTANT. This means, you are an asset to the company and they recognize your insights on important issues. When I reached my mid-20s, I was fortunate to be part of a company which valued my insights and my work output. I was also lucky to be in a position to influence the views of the powers that be. Having an intelligence discourse with bosses and higher-ups was something I always looked forward to—never mind that there are times when I’d be so nervous, I’d mix my verb usage or I get tongue-tied. The thing is, I was able to speak my mind. Nothing can be more precious than that.

4. Am I learning as fast as the world is changing?
Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like the world is moving too fast and the world is changing, yet you remain rooted on the same spot as before? If you ever felt that way, maybe it’s time for you to recognize better opportunities.

5. Am I making enough money? Yeah, money shouldn’t be the end-all and be-all of everything. But, you have to agree that money pays the bills, sends the kids to school, gets the food on the table and gives you a comfortable life. It makes life easier. And besides, do you want to be an underpaid slave whose talent is not even commensurate to your salary? Money makes things easier for people. It also makes going to work worth it–especially if it makes life lighter and easier for you. I am not saying you be a money-hungry bitch and demand more. What I am saying is having that feeling of satisfaction cos it means you are being paid so well.

The reason this piece has struck me with familiarity is because I have been accused of being a “serial resigner” before. And with the holidays and me meeting people from secondary school, university and even from previous jobs–the news of my latest resignation was made tabloid-fodder and punchline material for my friends who see my job-hopping as a “inconvenient habit” and a “sad cycle”. People say resign from jobs as a hobby cos I am blessed with a killer resume and can land jobs at any time.

Well, not exactly. Like any normal person, I dream of landing a job which will tide me over until retirement. I want a job where I will be part of long-term and not just a passing name and face on its 201 file. Like any person, I have dreams of climbing the corporate ladder and earning mondo bucks. That is why I work hard…that is why–even at the midst of a vertigo attack–I try to work. Because I want to achieve something for myself. I want to be part of a company which values me and trains me as a valuable part of a team.

My friends think that I get a sick joy out of resigning. If only they know the truth. Thing is, every time I hand over a resignation, I keep thinking if its worth leaving. If life outside the company is worth leaving friends and comfort zone over. I keep thinking why I always choose to leave and not stick it out. Am I too impatient, too in-a-hurry for success not to wait out for a big break? But every time I am reminded of a possible promotion and increase in salary; of the possibility of providing a better life for my child–I am left at peace with my decision.

So, yeah–to the people I hang out with: I am not a serial resigner. I am person on a look out for my place in the sun. On a look-out for a better life and a better future. if this means continuously looking for what IT MAY BE…then so be it. I was never to say no to risks. Life is an adventure anyway.

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This rat race gets pretty tiring sometimes

I remember when I was a fresh grad and applying for a new job. The cycle is humbling: you go to your desired company to present your resume; you stay for a looong exam which left your hand raw and wished to be called for a preliminary interview; you agonize for a few days before being called by the company for a 2nd, 3rd and final interview. Then, after what seemed like forever you get THE CALL: welcome to the company, you’re hired. If you are really unfortunate, you don’t hear anymore from the company. So, armed with your trust pang-apply costume and a stack of resume, you scour the urban jungle for a chance to get the job of your dreams.

Ten years after and a couple more companies in between, I still ask myself why I have to go back to repeating this cycle each time I try looking for a better employment. Am I that much of a masochistic corporate slave that I keep going back to this.

One time, I remember seating near two guys whispering loudly and discussing the long wait, as they’ve been “sitting for almost an hour”. The oldie in me wanted to snicker and answer back, you call an hour-wait long? I remember applying for a junior position in 2003 and waiting for what seemed like eternity (four hours) only to be given an exam in the end (to my mind, you could have given me this exam the minute I walked in right?) And guys, if you’d like to bad-mouth HR for not attending to you immediately, please keep your voice to a minimum. If I heard you, I’m sure the good receptionist did too and that counts against you. Not exactly the best way to please people, kids.

Sometimes, I ask myself when will I get tired of the whole scheme. Writing your personal and professional info on the Info Sheet, answering exams in varying nature and trying to please the interviewer, with fingers crossed they’d take you in. After which, showing up for work on your first day, working on egg shells, secretly looking for a new friend, working your ass off to impress the higher ups. It’s a vicious cycle.

But nothing beats my most painful and humiliating job-hunting experience. After I left Bulletin, I applied for an editorial position in this broadsheet called “Not the Star and Not the Inquirer, either”. After what seemed like an eternity in interviews and finally impressing the Managing Editor, I was asked to return the next day to finalize the job offer. Silly, 21 year old gullible me went back excitedly the next day only to be told, “We’re sorry, there’s a mix-up. The position is not really open”

This really happened to me and just remembering that experience always reminds me why I don’t bother to read that newspaper even to this day.

In search for the job of my dreams

How do you know if you’ve found not just a job, but a career?
In the first place, how do you differentiate if you have a “job” or if you have a “career”
And given the chance, which would you prefer?

I am 30 years old and sadly, I know that I still haven’t found the job that I can call as my “calling”
I started working as a writer and for three years, I enjoyed crafting stories and finding my name and my thoughts and ideas published. That time, I thought it was something that I’d like to do for the rest of my life– in spite the fact that the pay is low. It’s not even the freebies or the feeling of slinging a media ID around your neck…it’s writing and creating stories and seeing your name on print. It’s that.

Sadly, I lost the idealism I had after University. I went into PR and found it to be more challenging, more exciting and definitely more financially rewarding. Though the hours are longer, especially if there are events, working for PR and Corporate Communications allowed me to use and take advantage of all my interests and hobbies. I’ve always been someone who loved writing, meeting people and hurdling challenges–being with PR made me do all the things that I loved while earning good money.

Honestly, I thought I was destined for a career in Corporate Communications. In my previous company, I enjoyed a good reputation among bosses. I was well-known and got along well with other people. I was groomed to be the “next one” — that is until the mess I had with the boss and all of my dreams and possible opportunities went down the drain while I silently watched. In the blink of an eye, I went back to being “nothing”.

It’s been three months now since that happened. I kept on telling myself that it is for the best. That no amount of prestige, power or money can replace your sanity and well-being. I needed a breather for myself. I needed to stop chasing that dream.

I am now employed as a Copywriter–a field I desperately wanted to crack, and a skill that I want to pursue. Early on, I knew that stringing together bits and pieces of words for an essay, a short story or for news; is a million light years away from copy writing. Me–the one who had words coming out of her ass–must now convey a story, convey the message in a few words, while catching the attention of the intended market. I knew it was never easy. I knew. But I had to fucking try.

It’s been three months now and I felt like I got the short end of the stick. I tell myself that I am fine…for once, I am earning good money without even using half of my brain. After all, who wouldn’t want premium moolah , minus the hard work. I was paid good money for doing stuff I could do in my sleep. Yeah, I am fine…

Deep inside I know I am just kidding myself.

They say that the best job in the world is doing something you wouldn’t mind doing for free. In short, do what you love. But how many of us are that lucky? Maybe, only a few…especially if you are Ben Southall, the dude who won Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” six months ago.

But we are not Ben Southall. And even Ben Southall had to say goodbye to feeding the fishes, guarding miles of white sand and taking care of the whales at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Now, with his contract up, Ben Southall is returning to his normal life.

Deep inside, I knew that at least Ben had a chance to do what we he really wanted in life. I knew I’d do it in a heart beat.

What’s wrong with the world, anyway? Here’s someone *ehem* Me *ehem* who’ not asking for too much pay. Just enough to save money for my family and for my yearly travels; someone who wouldn’t mind spending Saturdays or overtimes at work doing something she loves; I don’t mind traveling or attending long winding meetings where everyone has something to say; I don’t mind wearing uniforms.

I am good with what I do. Please hire me.

Job-Hunting Post #1: Job Fair

Don’t get me wrong…I’m currently employed.
But with my health conditions taking a nose dive 3 years into my current job–it’s time to reassess where I stand
So, today — I joined the Tourism Dept.’s "Trabaho sa Turismo" Job Fair…it was good — obviously, madaming kailangan ng trabaho!

It’s going back to basics–sometimes I tell myself I’m too old for this, and with my current position now — "should I go this way again?"

This gets uber validation when 30 minutes into the fair, I wandered into an open booth with no personnel manning it (probably out for lunch)
Me, along with 2 girls were signing the sheet when the HR people arrived (from the look of things either fresh grads or entry levels)
When they saw the people lining up and signing even without them…
…they snickered.

Yep, snickered in front of people applying for a job. Here goes the conversation

Girl 1: Kaya naman pala ng nga ‘to na mag-appky kahit wala tayo
Guy: Hah, eh di sila na lang ang mag-apply, huwag na tayo tumao
Girl 2: Paggupitin na rin natin sila ng application sheet tutal kaya naman nila
Guy: Or better yet, interviewhin na din nila ang sarili nila "sorry, i did not pass…! try again! hahaha

…and they laughed and laughed, with me in front of them

I wanted to tell them…what gives you the right to treat applicants this way? magkano ba kinikita nyo?
but i AM still an applicant…so i shut the hell up and left

till now, i am still beating myself over this. is it right to keep my mouth shut?