Showing posts with label Career. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Career. Show all posts

I don't remember the last time I read a book. 

But right now, I am enjoying this:


I discovered this book a few days ago and it is very fitting to what I am up to. A sign, I would say.

Anyway.

As much as I would like to further discuss what's happening in detail, I am deprived of time.

But here's a clue: I WANT TO WORK AT THAT DREAM COMPANY. I am working on that goal and this book is something I never knew I needed. 😊

I know I shouldn't be posting this at the risk of jinxing it, but my desire is stronger than the forces of evil. 

One day, I'll find myself working in one of Asia's best workplaces.

So.

Universe, just do what you got to do. 😁

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It has been over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic. While 50% of the workforce is probably back, others have already adapted to the work-from-home setup. Some, on the other hand, are still adjusting, and may find it isolating and challenging, especially to those who have young children like me.

I have been working from home since the day I got my first job more than ten years ago (although, I did have some office experiences in between). And honestly, it’s not as wonderful as it seems to be. No alarm clocks? From bed to desk in seconds? Who doesn’t want that? 

But while you are stuck in 2-hour traffic fantasizing about working in your pajamas, here are some things people don’t tell you about working remotely. For all I know, this is not for everybody. Some may find this very convenient, while some may just have to put in more effort than others.

1. A dying social life - Sure, distractions are everywhere in the office. But when you spend eight hours of your day inside with little to no human interaction, you will begin to feel lonely. Constant isolation itself can become our worst distraction.

2. You are on your own - Got a question? Google it. Got stuck on a task? Figure it out yourself. While it is easy to chat with others on a Zoom or Google Hangout meeting, it’s not the same as bouncing ideas with co-workers in the same room to come up with a creative and brilliant solution. Whether it’s an impromptu brainstorming session over lunch or a scheduled meeting, the engagement is hard to replicate at home.


3. Distractions - Trust me, it’s difficult to separate life at work and home. You have household chores, kids, and probably pets that always need urgent attention. 

4. Potential burnout - In an office, there is a clear distinction between work and non-work hours. At home, your schedule may become too flexible. You may find it difficult to switch off work and clock out, leading to more working hours, and eventually a burnout.

5. Not all jobs and skills are suited for remote work.

6. Poor internet speed - you should keep in mind that to be able to work efficiently, you must have a high-speed internet like PLDT Home. Slow internet could only mean low productivity.

The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely allowed most of us to experience working remotely. If you are considering making a shift, hopefully, this will give you a realistic view of working from home. But whether working from home is suitable for you or not, always strive to be a better worker.


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The idea of raising a child in a limited screen time environment is something the husband and I planned to do. So, even if our baby was still at 4 months, I already started scouting for toys that spark curiosity and encourage imaginative play. I wanted something that's mainly wooden because they are not only eco-friendly and safer than the plastic ones, but they are also far more visually appealing. And it was then when I realized there were only two or three stores here in Davao that sell the toys that I wanted, and they can be a bit pricey too (or at least, to most moms).

I scoured the internet for weeks and got in touch with different suppliers from Manila and overseas because I wanted to create a shop on my own. I aim to reach out to other moms in the city who feel the same. It was exactly February 14, 2021 when I created a Facebook page, and a day after, I already started selling online.




Starting a business is risky, stressful, overwhelming, not to mention exhausting. More so during a pandemic. But running it online lessens everything but the profit. Less expenses, less stress, more sales.

Having an online store comes with many advantages such as:

1. Minimal Expenses
There is no need to pay for rent or hire a staff since you can work at home. A phone/laptop, and a high-speed and reliable internet like PLDT Home is all I need to get started.

2. More Customers
Yes, you can attract customers to come to your store. Usually, they are the ones who just happened to be there for another business, are just passing by, or are living nearby. The number of visitors will depend on how good your location is. The higher the foot traffic, the higher the cost. With an online shop, it doesn't matter where your customers are or what they do. All that matters is how you deal with them online. 

3. Flexible Time
Not all customers are available during the normal store hours. But online, you can accommodate them in the wee hours of the night, even during a holiday.

4. Lower Marketing Cost
One share or one online recommendation goes a long way. Social media is probably the easiest way to market your goods, and with no cost at that.

5. Convenient
All the things I have mentioned above boil down to one thing: convenience—both to buyers and sellers. And during this time when physical distancing is highly encouraged, ordering is just one chat away.

Three months since we started, I did not expect our online toy store to scale up immediately. Sideline lang sana ito eh. But we came to the point that we were not able to keep up with the demand anymore. We have also expanded our products and started selling children's books. Plus, we now have three active resellers and a space in a physical store right in the heart of the city.

Well, what can I say? Without compromising quality, we offer the cheapest wooden educational toys in the Davao market (I guarantee it).  Thanks to the wonders of the internet, without which, I would not be here answering all product inquiries and contemplating if I should go back to that nine-to-five job or not.


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I fell off the the world for a bit, but for one good reason.

Last February, we opened our online toy store and I became too preoccupied ever since. I have been doing feasibility studies, market research, financial mapping, and business plan—which is actually just daydreaming about making it big. And all these were things that seemed insane the past few weeks. 

Well, it still is. Especially now that our FIRST (emphasis on that one because we're not stopping there) physical store opens today, April 5th.

Visit this shop at The Brick Lane Square, Palma Gil & Guzman Sts., Obrero, Davao City. :)

If you frequent Business Class, Beereaucracy, Runway Sports Bar, or any pub around the area (I swear I am not insinuating that you drink a lot), you will know this place. It's just sad to know that the places I mentioned are either permanently closed or barely surviving. The two-hit combo, community quarantine + liquor ban, sucked the life out of what used to be a party place. But other businesses and restos are still around. Plus there is a huge parking lot that turned out to be a major deciding factor for me knowing how many businesses lose potential customers who can't find a parking space (happens to me ever single time). So I guess, you could say it's a good location.


I am excited and scared at the same time. Mostly scared. Opening a business during a pandemic is a recipe for bankruptcy. But I took the risk because I am surrounded with people who believe in me and also, I have done thorough assessment and extensive research, including going back and forth my competitors' pages so I would know how to rise above them. It's a lot of mental and physical effort and it has cost us sleepless nights. But it's worth it. 

Jan and I could not be grateful enough for family and friends who supported us right from the start in so many ways. From being the first customers to simply sharing our page to always recommending us to doing the deliveries for us when we become overwhelmed with other tasks. It all snowballed from there. 

Great things start from small beginnings.

Now here we are with a small space in a store right at the heart of the city, a thousand page followers, three active resellers, and two humbled and optimistic hearts.

So please excuse me for a bit, I am going to hyperventilate because I realized I just jumped off a slightly higher entrepreneurial cliff. 

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I am so active on Facebook nowadays. You see, I have been replying to every inquiry on every listing I made. It's tedious, honestly. Especially when the answers to those inquiries have already been posted. But I'm not complaining.  If anything, I would like to keep those "hm?" and "available pa?" coming, and hope that Facebook will not flag me for replying with the same line over and over again. Please check your inbox. Thank you. :)

Exactly one week ago, we launched our new online shop. We gained almost 500 followers and made sales. We have also restocked some items as most of the crowd favorites were easily sold out. All in less than a week. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The Little Red Lion comes from the names of our sons, Red and Lionel.
Jan, on the other hand, must be overwhelmed. He is currently the runner and has been all over the city since we haven't found a reliable delivery partner yet. Not to mention, he is also the financer. But I'm sure he'll get the hang of it in no time.

I know this is not the best time to open a business but I guess the desire to earn money on my own stems from the fact that I DON'T LIKE ASKING FROM THE HUSBAND.  Sure, he can provide well. He can pay for the useless things I purchase with no questions asked. But damn. I'm not used to it. I don't want to get used to it.

If we want to go back to Japan or visit the USA with our kids once this pandemic is over, then I have to help him with the finances. He already has too much on his plate. House, car, bills, baby essentials, tuition, weekly groceries, and loads of cat food. Since I still can't commit to a full-time job and making money through blogging is not as lucrative as I have hoped it would be, I'll give this higher level of adulting a try. Who knows? One day I might not need a nine-to-five job anymore. 



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I cannot keep a job for more than 3 years and I do not know if that is a good or bad thing. Hopping from one job to another in a short span of time does not leave a good impression to most employers here. But my career has plateaued. If I am no longer growing and not getting any closer to my career goals, then it's love, peace, and chicken grease.

I told Jan I am quitting my job that has become tedious and repetitive. I probably might be jobless for a year, too. And he's okay with it. But that doesn't mean I will be entering the noble but cumbersome world of housewifery. I detest household chores and I will never be good at cooking. And no, I won't be practicing the art of idleness as I would have always wanted (this quarantine has definitely gotten me lazy being lazy). I am going to take care of a big baby, and be a hands on mom to two adorable boys and a blue-eyed furball who has not succeeded in killing me yet. I will also master a new programming language in between.

That was the plan.
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When people ask me about my current job, I tell them one thing. When asked about what my college course was, I tell them another. And then everybody would give me a second look in awe or most likely in utter disbelief and blurts out, "As in?! Ang layo!"  Kung sa Bisaya pa, "atik?! layua ui!"

I participated in a survey from students who are conducting a study about people who changed career paths after graduating in college. I thought of posting it online because it just might inspire other people who figured out their college course isn't all they want after graduating. So here goes.

And oh, what you will read below are not the exact words I wrote on the questionnaire.
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I don't have a job right now. And maybe a lot of you are wondering how the f*ck was I able to survive three months of paying bills and tuition fees, splurging on unneccessary stuff, and gallivanting without having a stable and full-time job. I do have a few Mobile App design jobs however, and I depended so much on my savings to sustain every whim (wrong move, I know). But just when August ended, I realized that I am running out of funds. Really.
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Whenever something big or a drastic change happens in your life, you end up explaining a thousand times what the eff just happened and why. Case in point, the day I said goodbye to my normal/regular (or however you call it) office day job.

I love how my close friends eagerly asked for details about what I am going through, the changes - be it negative or positive - in my life, how am I coping, and what my plans are. I am happy to know that people care. And I apologize if I'm not too keen on details. It's not that I don't have the guts to tell you about the crap I went through, it's just that I'm too lazy to lay it all down (again and again and again). I am totally fine, I promise.

Okay, that's a lie. Truth is, I never expected I'd go through a phase of separation anxiety that I found myself binge-eating on Snickers and pathetically watching videos of funny animals. And funny babies. And Spongebob Squarepants. I tried to read a book and catch up with the tv series I've been missing. Apparently, nothing works. I still feel a little bit down.
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Anticipation is creeping in. 2 hours. 2 hours more and everything will be shut down, signed out, and perhaps forgotten. My desk  that used to be a home of a cutesy pup plushie, scratch papers, post-its, and candy wrappers now screams emptiness. This room, once a nest of brilliant people fueled by passion, is now an empty space only filled with the deafening chorus of the air condition and our keyboard strokes.

Nothing is going to be certain from here. But there's one thing that I am sure of, I will miss the people who showed me support and encouragement at times of pressure and failure which ultimately led me to discover my inner strength and true capabilities. My colleagues, workadas, friends, or however I call them, have become and will always be a family to me.
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Today, marks exactly one year since I first set foot into the corporate world. Time flies really fast when you get too preoccupied, with or without fun. I never even thought I'd survive a year in this dog-eat-dog world. But look! I'm still here, more alive than ever, typing out loud when I should be prepping for work.

365 days is too short, too fast, and too furious. Within that span of one year, I've lost some and gained some. Aside from the weight and acne scars, I have also gained knowledge, a new sport, friends, and love. I am really thankful that things happened the way they did. It molded me to what I am today - bug fixed and updated. Albeit, still under development; a work in progress trying to achieve how the Supreme Being designed me to be.
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Everyone who knew me and those who read my blog know that I've been working at home ever since I got my first job. July this year, I was quite devastated when I heard the news that the company I work with (and came to love) has to put me from full-time to contractual work since sales and AU dollar rate have been declining. Meaning, I only have work to do and get paid when the need arises.

It's actually the biggest heartbreak of my career because: One, my bosses are really nice. You will seldom see nice (and forgiving) foreign bosses like them. Two, I had a great team. A project manager and developers that I can collaboratively work flawlessly with, beat that. Three, it's the highest paying company I've ever been to that my salary as a designer can equal to that of a developer (or even higher compared to other companies).

I admit it, I know it's shallow, but the last one bit me the hardest.
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September marks the month of transition. Well, to most Pinoys, the start of BER months mean a transition from the ordinary days to the festivities of Christmas. As early as the first day of September some friends are already posting Christmasy statuses on Facebook. So if you're getting a Christmas greeting in social media as early as the first of September, we have not lost our minds. It's just a culture thing.

Well, yeah, I feel the transition. But this September begins a bigger transition in my life. Starting tomorrow, I will be a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) no more. Yep, you heard that right. I will no longer be waking up at the heat of the sun on my face, turn on the laptop and work on my jammies. Starting tomorrow I will have a new routine which includes dressing smartly, beating the rush hour, getting stuck in the traffic, going up the elevator, and checking in.
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When I'm on facebook, I don't just spend my time stalking on people's profiles and read about what they do with their lives. I join groups. Groups for mommies, bloggers, freelancers, hobbyists, online money makers and whatnot. Groups where you find healthy discussions, lessons from experiences, advises, and whatever useful tips you can get from there. Yep, these groups actually prove that facebook's existence is not just for stalkers, braggart, and/or attention seekers - just like every one of us. hahaha

While lurking on one of my most visited groups, Girltalk - a group for women, particularly moms who want to share their journey of motherhood, I came across a number of threads about full-time working moms who are in a dilemma of quitting their jobs to become full-time hands-on mom.


Not everyone is privileged to have an uber rich husband that you can just take your hands off work and focus on the kids instead. It is difficult because at times like this, when bills, milk, diaper, medical, and tuition fee prices go sky high, I can say that money does matter. You work because you want to provide. Provide not just what you can, but provide what you think is best. Right?

Upon hearing(or should I say reading) the sentiments of other moms, I have realized that I am indeed very blessed. Every day, I work an 8-hour shift, and at the same time I tend to my son's needs and prepare him for school, and during breaks or just right after work, I am still able to do a few house chores like cooking, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and/or doing the laundry.

Everyday is too much of a juggle, I would say that. Hiring a yaya even occurred to me, but I oftentimes ditch that thought because I can still handle one very active toddler, the pressing house chores, and the light pressure from work.  The routine's pretty exhausting, really. But I'm not complaining (although sometimes, I do!). When I do, all I just think is to be thankful that I have a job that earns pretty well (at least the boyfriend doesn't have to shoulder all the expenses, plus it puts my self worth at a level), a house that I keep in order, and a family that I can take care of.

Not everyone is lucky to become a work-at-home-mom (WAHM). It's really tiring but the rewards are oh so priceless. I can just take my hands off the keyboard anytime my son asks for a kiss or a hug, who wouldn't love that? :)


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When people learn that I work from home, I get different reactions. Most people would say "Ka hayahay."  Hayahay is a term from our local dialect which could mean any of the following: relaxing, comfortable, convenience, ease, and all other terms related to it. It is as good as saying "It must be nice to have a stress-free work."  

No, not really. And there's no such thing.

Sometimes, people envy me, thinking that I hold all the time for myself. Note, thinking. It seems most people with "real jobs" think home-based jobs can be as easy as just clicking the mouse, (e.g. paid to click, networking, referrals, ponzi schemes) earning while doing almost nothing. No. These are real office jobs we do, only we chose to be at home.

Working from home is not what you really think it is. I am well aware of the perks of working at home, and I absolutely love it. However, I can't deny the fact that I also need to acknowledge the perils that come with it.
My Workstation

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I have this callous. It’s thick and it’s dark.

Ten years ago, I chose to study nursing because I thought this career could take me to a good life: work abroad, have a car and build my dream house.  One hundred hospital duties, thirty absences and countless pink slips later, I dreaded the fact that I chose Nursing.

I regularly slept in class, I flunked a major subject because of accumulated absences, and I loathed every second of every day of every 8-hour health care lecture. I just don’t like it. It cost my parents more or less than half a million pesos to send me to nursing school and I ended up being a disappointment.

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I design websites for a living, cook breakfast, wash the dishes, then feed, bathe and play with my son at the same time. Sounds like too much of a juggle? I don't think so.

I survived the first crucial year of mommyhood, tending to my son's needs, always there to see my baby's sloppy first, watching him grow every minute, never missing a milestone - while at the same time earning money for our basic needs. See? That reason alone is the greatest perk of working at home.

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