Choices…

Earlier today, I received an e-mail from one of the companies I applied to about half a year ago. It’s a Southeast Asian market research company looking for a country analyst in the Philippines. In the e-mail, I’m being offered a part-time post that pays almost three times what I’m getting from my current full-time job. So although there’s a clause in my employment contract that forbids me from taking any part-time or full-time work in another company without written consent from my employer, I’m actually considering taking the job because I need the money right now to help pay my brother’s school fees. If this other employer and I align, they’ll schedule me for another interview the soonest possible. I really hope I’m making the right choice!

Perhaps because I’m the eldest, one of the most natural things for me to do is to look after my loved ones, especially my immediate family. I try to make sure they take care of themselves–that they eat the right food, stay away from vices/harm, do the right thing, remind them of their priorities, and whatnot. At the same time, I try to be independent–I worked for my own allowance and tuition for some years in college because I didn’t want to be a burden to my mom; whenever my salary would allow, I’d keep my share in the household expenses and give my brother allowance for school. My mom trained me to have these instincts, perhaps not intentionally. So yes, all my life I’ve been a mix of a mother and a father–one who does both the caring and the protecting. Which is why I’m too tired. In my relationship, I don’t want to be the only one who does these things. If only there’s someone who could hold me without being asked to; someone who’d be interested in how my day went and listen intently as I recount the events that transpired; someone who would understand that I, too, get tired. Just these and I might be a little happier. I might feel a little more loved.

So it’s true…

People in the office often say that they don’t have work-life balance because work takes up all their time. At first, I took it lightly, but now it’s actually happening to me. Everyday since I started working, I have less than 7 hours of sleep; I barely have time to eat, much less time to watch television or go online to check my blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Nevertheless, I’m still fortunate for I haven’t experienced working on weekends or going home at 4AM or not going home at all. But they’re all saying it will all come in time–sooner for some, later for others. I’ve no regrets though–I know what I got into. Despite some bad experience I’ve had so far, I’m just thankful that I’ve got a job and that my senior is very patient with me. :D

First week at work…

It’s technically my 4th day at work today but I haven’t done anything real yet. My orientation lasts for a week so I’ll be going around the different departments to learn about the flow of things ’til tomorrow. So far, this was how I spent my week:

For my first day, I filled out lots of forms at the HR department. After which, I read the company handbook from cover to cover and discussed with the HR manager. Good thing my girlfriend visited me so I had some company during lunch. In the afternoon, the HR manager toured me around the building and introduced me to each and every employee around. I never got to memorize the names, though, there were just too many for me to remember.

On my second day, I was brought to the company’s other office for a quick tour of the building and an introduction to the employees. I spotted a hot chick on the first door I entered. It was a rare incidence of love at first sight. And from then on, I looked forward to visiting that office again. LOL When we came back to the corporate office, I was finally able meet the whole department as one. They were all convened in one room for the monthly status report when I arrived. They were actually too loud for a formal meeting. Nonetheless, they were very welcoming and I immediately felt like I belonged. I started to feel pressure, however, when they asked me to show my talent in front after the reports were done. They said that they’re the more competitive group and they throw away untalented people. If there is one useful thing I’ve learned from our numerous family gatherings, it is never to decline requests like that, regardless of how “talent-less” you are. So as game as I was, I sat in front, introduced myself and sang a funny song. After singing the first line, they laughed. Not bad, I suppose. I was aiming for fun anyway. Come lunch time, my buddy told me that they have this tradition that buddies should treat new employees to lunch. We went to a nearby restaurant with three of my teammates and in spite our differences, we surprisingly instantly clicked. I spent the rest of the day sitting on my desk, doing my assignment for our monthly social activity–looking up the movie schedules for our set date.

I went to the field office on my third day. Unfortunately, the manager who was supposed to orient me wasn’t around ’til after lunch. It turns out, she was on leave the whole day. But she came to the office anyway for a short meeting. While waiting for the other managers, she gave me a brief lecture on what they do in the field and how to establish socio-economic classes. So on my third day, this is what I learned: that market research is evil because they teach us how to be judgmental in order to establish one’s socio-economic class. LOL After one more orientation with a field supervisor, the manager asked the FS to establish the SECs of the houses within the neighborhood so that I can observe the actual fieldwork. This under the scorching heat of the sun, I had no choice but to oblige. The upside here was that I was allowed to go home an hour and a half earlier.

Today, my orientation was at the operations building again, this time with our team’s data processing head. I was taught how to review surveys, encode and do open coding. Later in the afternoon, I also learned how to manage data tables and such. Yesterday and today are the most productive of my entire week, but are also the most boring. I’ve never felt more sleepy and tired than how I felt on these days. I hope things will get more exciting tomorrow.

Officially employed!

While everyone else dreads Monday, I, on the other hand, can’t wait for it to come. Yes, I officially start work tomorrow. (Yey!) I got accepted into this local market research company with a relatively more competitive compensation package and from what I’ve gathered, a really good training ground for starters in the industry. But what made me choose this over my other offer? 

Prior to taking the job offer from this local company, it was a choice between this and a multinational one. Benefits-wise, the offer from the mnc was, as expected, very enticing to the point that I almost signed their contract without hearing the other offer. It also helped (confuse me) that the HR manager promised that I’ll have the best training, learning investment and career growth with them. In addition, the mnc is part of the WPP, the umbrella company of the biggest market research companies in the world, and is thus known for upholding international standards. So when I’m ripe to pursue my career in another country, having their company name on my CV would make me standout.

It was a very tough decision that up to the very last minute, I couldn’t make up my mind. I found it amusing that, when I asked my family and some of my friends which of the two offers looked better, they all chose the mnc practically because of the name and its fringe benefits. I would’ve chosen it for the same reason. However, I didn’t take it partly since the basic salary was lower. And after I clarified the offer from the local company, I found that it is, after all, as competitive as the mnc.

So I was left with the company’s working environment, one of my primary considerations in choosing a job, as the deciding point. From what I know, the mnc only takes the top 10% of the graduating class of the top universities in the country, enough for me to feel that the air there is rather intimidating. On the other hand, I have a couple of friends at the local company who told me how satisfied they are with their job and how more like a family the whole company is. Needless to say, I freely gave the point to the local.

Meanwhile, three months back, my uncle who’s friends with one of the key position holders in a big pharmaceutical company in the country promised to help me get in. Despite that I wanted to learn first from the suppliers side, I coveted the position because it was a rare opportunity. When I saw him the other day, he told me that he just followed up my application with his friend. But I had to be honest that I already signed a contract with my current employer (because I can’t afford to wait that long, but this I didn’t tell him). My uncle seemed disappointed so I felt really bad. At the same time, I’m not sure the same opportunity will knock again in a few years. Nonetheless, I’ll work really hard and show my best tomorrow onwards. Please pray for my success. Aja! :)

That’s My Tomboy Grand Finals

Mga 7 hours na ang nakakalipas pero hindi pa rin talaga ko maka-move on, guys! Sorry naman! Haha! Gusto ko kasi talagang makapasok si Nicky and Apan sa Top 5 eh. Kaso ayon, hindi pinalad. Okay naman talent nila, diba? Though I think mej kinulang sa energy si Nicky. But still! Compared sa ibang nakapasok, I think she’s more deserving dahil mas swabe yung performance niya. And besides, kala ko ba clean slate na? So anyare at parang may ibang pinaghugutan ng scores?

Pakita ko lang yung mga pictures ng mga pinaglalaban ko, para naman maka-relate kayo. Haha! ;)

Nicky Escalderon

Apan Agra

Anyway… Good luck to both of you, Nicky and Apan, if ever you stumble upon this blog! :D

And to the people behind Showtime’s That’s My Tomboy, good job on this one! :)