Friday, April 20, 2012

ROUGH AND TOUGH

I had a rough day yesterday. I was pressured to decide if I'll take the job offer from a big company that I applied with in Brunei. The energy-sucking and mind-boggling moment started as early as 8:30 in the morning and lasted even until late night. I had to give my "yes."

Positively, after all the apprehensions and a string of pangungulit to all my friends on what should I do, I finally made my decision.

But before I share to you what I decided to let go and keep, I wanna blog about the blow-by-blow detail of how my day went by yesterday. Halo-halong gulo, halo-halong saya.

Read on to know more.



Everyone knows (and I guess happy) that I was offered a position by a big company in Brunei Darussalam. It's a post in a marketing department.

As I disclosed the information among friends (and yes, online as I'm so talkative), some of my friends were so ecstatic about the offer. Most of my close friend know where I'm coming, my sentiments on my current job and all the brouhaha.

Imagine, big company and a position in the marketing on product development, yes, a dream post for some. However, in my case, as I explained to some of my friends, I was apprehensive as I didn't receive yet the black and white of the letter.

Truth be told, the company called me after the interview and they're very keen on hiring me. I'm blessed, that's what I thought.

As the company was reiterating through the HR department that they'll hire me over the phone, I said that before I need to talk to my current employer and resign, I have to see the offer in paper. This was the perfect advice that I got from my friend.

Meanwhile, I was waiting for the renewal of my passport. Through the help of the Philippine Embassy, I got a letter which will grant me a special pass to extend my employment pass for the next days and won't put me in illegal status.  For your information, my employment pass which is stamped on my old passport is only until 21 April, a reason why the other company is rushing me to accept the offer.

I waited for the letter of offer. Soon, I received a call and collected the letter.

As I read the letter, I found that the salary that's being offered to me is lower than my current salary. While there's still a transportation allowance, still, I told myself, it doesn't make sense. Apart from this, I also had concerns on the housing. As you all know, if you're an expat, one of the factors that you should consider before getting a job is as follows: salary, housing and transportation. In my current company, everything is provided.

Eventually, I said to the HR department that I'll get back to them about my decision. I didn't sign the letter of offer.

While I was having lunch, I received a call. The HR department wanted me to come over and the boss would like to speak to me. I said yes.

Soon, I found myself in one of the board of director's office. I was asked about my decision with the job offer.

I raised my points and here it goes:

First, I was not quiet comfortable with the salary. As I told them, the reason why I'm moving out with my current company is because I want to upgrade - professionally and financially.

Second, I was worried about the probationary period which would affect my paper presentation in a conference in Thailand in October. Based on the letter of offer, probationary period doesn't allow for a leave. On a positive side, the boss immediately told me that they'll allow me. That aspect was addressed properly.

Third, I had issues with the housing and transportation. In my current company, a housing and a car (with reimbursable petrol) are provided. However, in a company that's hiring me, the housing's location was not clear and there's no company car. Although there's a petrol allowance, still, I don't get to drive a car.

Fourth, I was transparent with the company that I have plans on going for a PhD. Having said this, I told them that if they'll offer me with a competitive package, I'll choose them. However, with what's being offered, clearly, a PhD and a scholarship would give me more.

The conversation ended and the boss told me about their side on the offer. In the end, I was asked to stand by as they will talk with the management.

I left the office building and went on with my work. But before I left, I passed to the HR department a letter which states I'm declining the offer. I told the HR, if they won't be able to adjust with what's supposed to be reviewed, kindly forward the letter.

Late afternoon, I received another call and it's the same company. They're in awe why I'm declining the offer. Then I repeated what I said. Although they'd increased the salary, still, in my thought, as I weighed things, my company offers better.

Before I received the call, I got two good news. First, I got a letter from UP Open University that I'm one of the Top 3 students in the Graduating Batch of 2012. With this, they're asking me to prepare a valedictory speech. Because we're three, they'll pick one from us. Seriously, as I read the letter, I was stunned and I shook. Super gusto ko lang mahimatay sa kaba, saya, takot at kung anu ano pa. Halo-halong emosyon. Gusto ko lang ma-tae. lol

Another great news that I received was that my PhD research is reviewed to be potential and impressive.Although there's no formal offer yet, still, I can some signs here.

So with two pang-PhD or academic-related signs, I decided to ask the company that I'll get back to them with my decision.

My friends and I had been planning to schedule a dinner this week. Finally, it pushed through on a perfect timing, on a Friday, a day that I also need guidance and advice on what am I to choose. Although the dinner had been planned last week, only the stories to talk about would be to determine the track of a happy night.

I sought the advice of my friends. They shared their side and helped me weighed things. Deep inside, I knew I had a special spot on pursuing what I really want - a PhD. I told myself, hindi na basta basta ang na-a-achieve ko rin at hindi rin basta basta ang value nito, so dapat ilevel up ko na. Isa pa, gustong gusto ko mag-PhD at makapagturo about new media and communication sa Pilipinas.
Tita, Kuya Rhenee, Lisa, Ma'am Betsy, Baby Pia, Elna, Jill, Me and Ton!
 As time passed by, I had with me my firm decision.

I texted one of the bosses and I told them that I would like to take their offer but I would like to ask if they will allow me to leave to take my PhD when the application and scholarship come. They asked, "how many years will you do your PhD?" I replied, "3 years." Suddenly, there was silence.

Eventually, I composed a message in my phone. I declined the offer. Why? I'm sure with what I want. I want to study again and pursue (and take risk as they're no definite offer yet) higher education. I know, I know, better opportunities will come along the way.

And that's how I capped off my night. With a decision to choose a PhD over a job, yes, I'm relieved and so happy.

I'm so thankful with my friends and most especially with God. I was drowning with thoughts yesterday. Sabi ko nga, stress drilon talaga! Stressed. But with the sound advice I got from my friends and of course hours of self-reflection, I realized that I made a very good decision.

With my friends! (Elna, Ma'am Betsy, Ton, Me, Kuya Rhenee, Lisa, Tita, Jill, and Jovert)

Meanwhile, the stress went way with the appetising food that we had last night. We had papaitan, pansit palabok and pork sisig.  I also brought a cake in celebration of the good news that I received for the day. I was soooo overwhelmed to know that I am one of the Top 3 in the graduating class. Award!
Yummyness!

As usual, the night was packed with banters, loud laughters, wacky stories, and impersonations. With this, stress was overthrown. As usual, wagi na naman si Elna na hindi alam ang GENACOL at ang Ouija Board.Hahaha!
Ma'am Betsy and Baby Pia!
Ma'am Betsy, Elna and Jovert!

Lisa, Elna and Ma'am Betsy!

I can't thank enough those people who guided and helped me. Maraming maraming salamat.

If there's anything that I learned from yesterday's experience, here it goes:

1. It pays to patiently wait.

2. Prioritize and listen to what your heart desires. At the end of the day, the decision you make is yours to take.

3.Be open to possibilities yet stand focused on your goal. Sometimes letting go is an act to welcome risks packed with opportunities. I am taking risks. And on this day, another good news came. Hay Lord, sobrang maraming maraming salamat.

4. Know your value - skills, knowledge and everything that comes with a package called YOU.

5. Always trust God. Seek his guidance.

6.  Pray. Pray. Pray.

In my case, apart from storming God with prayers, I also got a thread of advice from my friends and family. Galing, everything ran smoothly!

Now, I have to do the Valedictory Speech for the 16th Commencement Exercise of the University of the Philippines, Open University. So help me God.

Indeed, God is good all the time.

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