Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The best job in the world

I always claim that the song, "Journey" by Ms. Lea Salonga actually hits home. I have been to many places, literally and figuratively, that I can actually tell myself and others that I have journeyed far and wide.

This is not meant to brag or to flaunt whatever I have accomplished or failed to accomplish. I just want to tell you about my life.

In my younger years, I have experienced show business. I was not really a star, but I was able to experience how it is to guest on tv shows, do a recording, have a little concert/recital, something like that. I was able to join talent contests- win in some and lose in lots of it.

In my elementary days, I got the first taste of having a business. I sold little "lala" chocolates, tira-tira, Big Bang, Cloud 9, and the like, to my classmates. In first year high school, I moved on to "puto". After that, I proceeded to preparing sandwiches with all sorts of spreads and I sold them to my classmates and some teachers. In my fourth year, I repacked peanuts, cornicks, butong pakwan, pusit, etc. and sold them at school.

In college, I laid low in selling for awhile. But I joined musical theater at that time, and started with a new sport- diving (not scuba diving but the olympic diving thing!). I got to compete again too!

I went to law school after college, and tried all sorts of jobs. I got a teaching job in a university. At first, I was only doing it part - time but I got promoted to full-time status. I became a full time prof and a full time law student. It was tiring! I resigned after a few years, and was recommended by a friend to a Japanese family whose kids need tutoring. I grabbed on the opportunity and enjoyed it. A year after, I got a job in a government office as a speechwriter. I became a "consultant' (for lack of a better term to suit my job description as there was no item available) for a few months. But since the job was co-terminous with my boss, I had to leave when he retired.

After that I focused on the bar exams. With a lot of luck and prayers (from my family and friends), I passed it.

Then I got invited to a job interview for a job in a newly-established company that I have never applied to and never heard of. I got called to work for that new company several months later. It turned out to be a call center. But I accepted even if I was already a lawyer then. It was a training job though. What a career shift! But I still taught during Saturdays.

After a year, I got married and another year later, I was blessed with a baby boy and I have a new job.

Then a great opportunity opened up for me. I applied and was accepted as another government employee in my dream office. I was assigned to handle the media and I enjoyed it a little.I got transferred to a new department which I liked also. Then I got promoted promoted. Life could really be sweet!

During this stage in my life, I was faced with two bosses - my office (a demanding and irritating one) and my baby (very demanding, terrorizing but I never get tired of it). As my office demanded more from me, so did my baby who is getting bigger, smarter, naughtier but more loving. And who would have thought that an infant could create such terror in the minds of a new mother!! Each tiny whimper, every red spot or even a small cry can make my brains run fast forward and think of possible bad scenarios that could happen or might have happened.

It's no joke. A baby is a very demanding boss. You get no pay either, no vacation leaves, sick leaves, bonuses or other fringe benefits. Each day of feeding and taking care of the baby is a lot of hard work and it can really tire one down. But how can a mother resign from motherhood when the little angel laughs and smiles as if the whole world revolves around her? How can one say "no" to an angel?

So no matter how hard motherhood is, I wouldn't trade it for any job in the world. There is no contest that motherhood is the best job in the world.

And I got that job.

How do you know it's time to say goodbye

We all have our own dream jobs. It might be something glamorous, one that involves travel, one that gives away certain perks that normal people don't receive, it may give someone power or prestige, or it may be something that is plain weird.

When I was about five years old, I wanted to be a singer. Why? Because I can sing. Period. When I was a little older, I wanted to be a teacher. Why? Because I liked watching my teachers erase the board. I thought that would be a cool job. When I was in grade six, I wanted to be a computer engineer. Why? It sounded good. When I was in second year high school, I was influenced by my Papa to be a lawyer. Come 4th yr, I wanted to be a doctor. But since I wasn't able to get in the quota course of Public Health, I chose my second choice which is Political Science. So, I was on my way to becoming a lawyer. In the middle of my college years, I dreamt of becoming a factory worker- one that entails no thinking - just pure counting of how many Storck candies one would put inside a bag, or packing biscuits in a box or plastic.

I was able to reach all those dreams, except the computer engineer dream, the doctor thing and the factory worker (until now, I'm trying my best to achieve that last one - either as owner of the factory or a business woman who repacks goodies in boxes or bags.)

I also dreamt of working for a particular government agency which I am now able to achieve. Am I happy? The first few months was hell. It was difficult adjusting and I still had no friends at works. The next few months, things improved and work became tolerable. I am not really complaining, it's just that, the work was unexpected (I repeat, the WORK, not the WORKLOAD). It did not give me the satisfaction that I crave for.

After all the promotions and the increase, I feel like quitting any day from now. Why? Because I am not happy.

Some say that in any office setting, there are relationships that develop (professional or otherwise) that may either allow one to grow or not. There is also that thing called "politics" in the office which actually drag the office down. And there are some officemates who make one really hate going to work everyday, for one reason or another. Not to forget is that concept of "professional differences".

For some, these are challenges that spice up a workplace. For me these are challenges all right, but they really make going to the office suck. I may be patient but I don't have that much patience to endure this. It makes me unhappy, and it makes me feel that I am not successful in what I do anymore.

Just an example. Whenever I hear my phone ringing any time of day or night (and mind you, my ringtone is my baby's laugh, my heart starts to palpitate and my heart starts to beat double time and my brain goes on a rewind of events (What have I missed doing this time? Did I do anything wrong?). Despite the medical coverage benefit that we have in the office, I might not be able to enjoy it because I would probably die of a heart attack any time soon.

The pay and the benefits are great, but it's getting not worth going to the office everyday anymore.

So how does one know when it's time to say goodbye to a certain work?

The easy answer is when one is not happy anymore. But how is happiness or the lack of it gauged? Is happiness based on the salary or benefits? More money means more food on the table, less worry on how to make both ends meet or more people that could be helped. Is it based on the self-worth that one feels when one enters the office? Is it the power that one wields because of the position that he or she occupies? Is it the consideration that the work has the potential to allow one to help others in the future, or propel one to stardom or god status?

For me, it all boils down to one thing- money and power can't buy happiness. So why stick with hell when you can settle for heaven, purgatory, or just plain Earth?

I'm going to start baking now so I can pack my cookies in nice, colored boxes for selling later.