On life with a job and life without

I’m back on the blogosphere! And what a very apt day to resurrect my blog — on Easter Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚ Why the comeback after the long hiatus? Well..as of this writing, I have no stable job. Which not only means that I have loads of free time, but also that I am, more importantly, rediscovering my passions. But before anything else, I feel obliged to tell the story, and answer the FAQs, as regards my current occupation–or lack thereof ๐Ÿ˜‰

As many might know, I started working for a Below-the-Line Marketing Communications agency merely two weeks after graduation. For those not familiar with the industry’s terms, I’ll save you your google time. As opposed to above-the-line marketing which focuses on brand/product promotion on your typical trimedia (print/television/radio), below-the-line marketing places its focus on on-ground channels: events, mall promos, the occasional seminars, et al. My job? Accounts Executive under the Strategy Development Team. Quite a mouthful I know, but the job description is too. In a nutshell, my responsibilities included developing and pitching marketing plans, creating cost estimates, looking for prospective clients, and doing market research. The position was challenging, to say the least, for a newbie like me. From day one we were made aware that since the business was cutthroat, we were expected to respond suitably. Work hours were from 8am until the wee hours of the morning, and you are constantly drilled to push yourself ย harder – if you lose a pitch it means someone else’s idea was better than yours; if you win you have to prove to the client you can carry out what you proposed, and come up with something that surpasses that plan for next time.

I’m not discouraging anyone from the business — long hours become endurable when you’re brainstorming the wackiest of ideas with equally wacky teammates, with the added bonus of eating ย heaps of delicious food, for free. The compensation doesn’t hurt, either. And that feeling of winning a pitch, then seeing your brainchild come to life? It really is something ๐Ÿ™‚ But the sleep deprivation, the stress of finishing numerous pitches on time,and the incessant comments of my loved ones about me not having time for any other thing at all, had me put things in perspective. Looking back, it definitely wasn’t the job description that made me leave, but its toll on my health and my family. So last January, after 8 months of working as an AE, I filed my resignation and bid goodbye to the crazy world of BTL Marketing.

Camwhoring moments help us pull through all-nighters

Jel and I trying out the newly installed Xbox Kinect in the SDT room, one of the awesome perks of having to know the latest gadgets that can be used for our proposals ๐Ÿ™‚

From L-R: Me, Jel, Pauline – our SDT Head, Cecil, Alex, Sab, Katie and Jen

Which leads us to now, three months after I chose to leave my first job. What have I been doing? As I mentioned earlier in this post, I am rediscovering my passions. I’ve been dancing, surfing, drawing, playing the guitar, writing, reading, travelling, and observing. I’ve also been trying new things — I joined the Bible Study Fellowship, I’m learning how to cook, I’m taking running seriously as a sport, and next week, I’m trying out boxing. Some eyebrows might be raised — aren’t I a little too old to be wandering about, aimlessly, when I’m supposed to be looking for stability and a fulfilling career? Well my answer is this: I’m soul-searching. I am wandering aimlessly NOW, discovering what it is that God wants me to do through what I love to do, so that when I’m old and gray, i won’t have any regrets, because I KNOW THAT WHERE I AM AND WHO I’VE BECOME IS EXACTLY WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ๐Ÿ™‚