Embracing the change

Today marks my first two days with my new company. I again, as new hire, go through the usual but very helpful stuff called orientation. Introduction to the company’s history and background, to the different process involved in managing its people and business, to the different policies enforce for the benefits of both the company and its employees. One day is not enough to fully orient oneself. A day or two is insufficient to have myself adjusted to the change of the environment, people, process, technology and business.

My previous company has been my comfort zone for quiet a time. Now that I moved out, I feel like I stepped into a different world. Strange! The changes are very obvious.

Sometime yesterday, I told myself to just feel the change and go on with the flow of the environment, be familiar with it because the change will become a part of me eventually. I’m here. This was what I was aiming for; the moving forward; the growing up. Now, I will just have to explore the change, understand, embrace it, and move forward with it while having a positive perspective in mind. This change is for my benefit.

On the lighter side, I am so excited to blog about receiving the gift sent across the miles from Allison. Thanks for Mel hosting the online exchange gift last December. Honestly, I never planned of joining but as if there's someone who coerced me to immediately signed for this activity. Turns out to be fun! Charge to experience. What I got? Two pieces of fashion jewelries: earrings & bracelet, a cosmetic set, a corsage and a journal. I absolutely like the journal, perfect for writing down thoughts. And the color, purple - love it ! Thanks again Allison. The package actually arrived second week of January. But since I addressed it to province, I was only able to check on it this week. Here are the snapshots... opps! the pictures are to follow. I am updating my blog from an internet cafe (I guess this will be the case from now on until my budget allows me to buy my own laptop), seems their USB port is not working :(

I fall in love with Theo again

First of all, Theo is not my boyfriend and there is no intimate strings that attached us. Most importantly, he is not a guy.

Okay, Theo is the fur-headed, the plumpy, the naive "Theodore" of Alvin and the chipmunks. Yes, I've watched Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel movie. But I admit, I like the first one better. I like their dialogue, the story, the music, their songs. And I laughed harder in the first movie than this one.

I instantly fell in love with Theodore after watching the first movie. Why did I fall in love with him? Maybe because of his timid and yet thoughtful lines. Or maybe because of his chubby cheeks that I really would like to pinch. The scene where he is requesting to sleep with Dave really appeals me.

"I had a nightmare... can I sleep with you? You won't even know I'm here...." And the next morning, you see him sleeping in Dave's face covering his eyes! (lol)

Switch topic: Today is my last day at office. I am torn between what was and what could be. Monday, I will be taking a different route. Excited. Sad but definitely happy for the change.

Life has great options. You don't always have to pick what seems to be the best. Sometimes, the best and the perfect are not always what makes you happy. You may have chosen what seems to be a wrong decision or caught in a not so good situation but at times, it is through them that our lives become better! These lines best describe all the unpleasant things that happened for the previous days. All are blessing in disguise.

It's Positive!!!

Before end of yesterday, I received two phone calls. An invitation for an interview scheduled within next week. Guess what? Those phone calls came from two of the prestigious, multi-national company: Accenture and Lawson! But it wasn't the chance of exploring opportunities with them that delighted me yesterday. It was the hope that came with those calls. Yes, those two companies were the ones I was eyeing on my previous job applications. Myself was appeased thinking if these companies are considering me regardless of my course, then why not the company I was about to join this Monday? My hope was rekindled. At last, I won't end up bumming around for God knows how long.

Then the night came. Sleep was scarce. I felt the tension again. It seems the renewed hope I just had earlier was flickering. Morning came and I received a text message from my headhunter instructing me to check my mail. I was hoping for a positive feedback but I don't want to set my expectation to something that I know will just disappoint me so I was thinking the other way around. I was really feeling butterflies on my stomach while I was on my way to office. If I could only have wings on my heels then I, by all odds, flew over Ayala just to reach my desk, open my computer and check my yahoo mail.

I was really praying and God again this time expedite the answers. There in my monitor the lines read: "...that would be fine and no conflict on her end since she is qualified for that position based on her work experience..."

I was just so happy and just murmured a thank you to Him.

I'm scanning my memory for what happened these past few days. I remember those phone calls. I realize just when I was feeling dejected, God made something happen through other people. By receiving that phone call, it helped me to be able to see through dark clouds with revived hope and a disposition that no matter what the result is, there are still better options for me to choose from.

And really, when it rain it pours! Because after reading that mail, I received a message from an overseas friend telling me that she was able to purchase the book I was hoping to buy online. And she is going to ship it within 4 to 14 days. Can't wait! Thanks Ferly. I know you're not reading my blog but just the same, thank you again. That book will help me in my next career project - acquiring an ISEB certification, hopefully.

Now I am just looking forward to Monday, my first day to this new endeavor. I am glad everyone is wishing me luck. Their encouragement is already a strong shield for me against whatever challenges I might face with this new work.

New work, new challenges. Higher position comes with greater responsibilities. Greater responsibilities come with greater risks. So help me God :)

I am not a fraud

I am bigger than the problem. This is my way of thinking that's why all problems I've encountered from the very first time I stepped out of my comfort zone were considered minor and were easily solved. I guess, God had made my personality strong because He know I badly need it to take on responsibilities and to withstand any challenges that will come with these obligations.

However, there really came a point in our life when all our strengths are put into adversity: Patience, ability to decide wisely, health, discernment of things, believe in your family, hope and faith in God. I can say that now is the lowest point in my life (so far, because I know this one will not be the last one).

Our daily struggles consist of daily problems: financial problems, bills, food. Basically all about necessity. I can say that these problems are minor and really a part of our day to day living. Without these, I guess our life is useless. The essence of us working hard is nothing.

When our daily struggles is combine with a one step higher than our minor problem, then it is where the real problem materialize. Basic needs + family problems + jobless + financial problems + piles of bills + etc = BIG TIME problem.

What I'm trying to do here is to analyze where I am standing. All of those mentioned above were added to the bags of problems I am carrying right now.

Take one step at a time.

Live one day at a time.

Take your priorities.

If you have to ask me to mention one important thing in my life, it is my Family. The heap of difficulties I have now made me realized that. Because of all the pressing matters I have to attend to, it's the conflict with them that I did prioritize. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Five days that my focus was on them. On my mother. I forgot my boyfriend. I forgot that I am on the brink of losing my career. I forgot my financial problem. I forgot everything! I told myself that I have to settle problems with my family first or else the rest will fail. This is how I realized I am really that dedicated to my family. And it's sad because I know now that I am willing to sacrifice everything for them. Even my own happiness. And I don't like anticipating for the day that it will happen. Because I know also that it will be the time when I will hate myself and will start hating them for obliging me.

Solve one problem at a time.

Monday, my family problems were solved. And I thank God for answering my fervent prayer request to enlighten the mind of everyone. One problem is down. I gain. A plus point to my strength. I am stronger. And it's an automatic switch to face the next bigger problem in line: my career.

I am a very honest person. Very open and I guess the conflict with my family rooted for this one positive and at the same negative strength of mine. This is the very first instance where my integrity was put into question or has been at stake. My jobstreet profile is incomplete but I have a document attached on my jobstreet account that I assume will be checked on. Someone from my headhunter called for an initial assessment sometime last year and I am pretty sure if she'd asked me about my course I will say it's a 2-year course ONLY. I could not help adding the word only since this is how everyone treats a lower rank , if compared to a higher rank. I always hear it one would say I worked as a janitor only if asked by an employee with a better job profile. I don't like the negativity the word ONLY conotes. But for the sake of comparing it to a degree course, then really a diploma course is nothing compared to a degree right?

So there, I applied for this job where one of the qualifications is "an applicant should possess a degree course in IT". Armed with confidence and years of experience in IT-related field, I took my chance despite that my educational background did not match the required educational attainment. I know this part here is a repetition of my post here. I was very thankful that I made it through their initial assessment, technical interview and final interview until finally a JO (job offer) has been signed.

Last week I submitted some of my pre-employment requirements, these include my diploma. There they have noted for the first time that my course is a 2-yr course which caused a record descripancy. They asked me for character references, contacts of my immediate supervisors from my current and previous companies.

On Tuesday, someone had come by my boarding house checking my background. I wasn't around so I'm glad that one of my boardmates was there to answer some questions. Questions were: years of stay, if I was able to pay the rent, how much is the rent, etc.

Yesterday afternoon, a guy called me doing again a background check. Some are details about my family, my mother and father and sibling's educational background, their personal information, my hobbies during free time, if I have a credit card, my activities in the province, etc.

I don't have problem with all those questions because I have nothing to hide. I am not a fraud! I even want them to check my mail (of course in my presence) especially the Sent folders where they can check all my previous sent job applications where my attached resume contains my true educational background. What I provided them are the truths and one thing that is really alarming it really bothers me is that where they got the information that I am a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science/Information Technology graduate??? With all those questions, I feel like they are peeling my clothes, my skin until I'm bare. If I can only let them see my conscience, I will definitely try doing it. Just to prove them that I am intact and to restore my integrity that was stained because of this - what? a misunderstanding? a faulty assessment and documentation?

Am I a victim of a malicious hacking? Am I a victim of a faulty system? Is it my carelessness of submitting a faulty application form?

Just to clarify the latter, I re-check my jobstreet account and found out (warning: repetition ahead) that the Educational Background section is not completely accomplished. And I have attached a complete resume (in word doc) that any employer can refer to. And I have the confidence that they would request for an updated resume since in all my job applications, they do request for one.

Or are all these happen by a chance? to test me again?
All I can say is I am not a fraud.
I will take one step at a time. My other problems, they are not urgent. I will be facing it once this one is done.
I should not be here in the office in the first place. But I need to answer some urgent emails so I'm here :)
On my way here, I was analyzing my blog title In between breaks. I came up with this name because I was only able to blog during breaks. But then I realized that I am busy working during those in between breaks. I should have named my blog "in between work" or "in every break". Why this sudden thought? Nothing. I was just thinking of renaming my blog. Or perhaps I should just stick on it since it is the name known by my co-bloggers and since what I am blogging about are the things that happened to me in between my breaks (which of course are work-related, personal views and experiences). Whatever. I guess I have to gather my scattered thoughts first.
I wish everyone a 'happy blogging'. And for me? Wish me luck. And pray for me if you are willing :)

A Follow-up Update

This is a follow-up update of my previous post.

Yes, change brings challenges. And it's scary. You cannot just settle to an expectation of what is going to happen. Beyond of my first step is all unknown. It's a risk. And I think what I am doing now is the greatest risk that I have taken in my life so far. I'm afraid and I'm crossing my fingers. At the back of my mind is a little scared voice saying "you've done a wrong decision..."

Two year course.

More than 5 years of extensive experience.

Would the above combined qualifications weigh best than one with a 4-yr course of no or lesser experience?

There is a confusion of my recent job application. The qualification was at least an applicant should possess a degree in computer engineering or any related course. I applied anyway, thinking I've got an experience as a shield. I was thinking it will be up to my employer or headhunter to assess and if they will call me for an interview, it's a chance and I will definitely go for it. The end result. I was considered for the job. Already signed a job offer. Already prepared my pre-employment requirements. I submitted those pertinent papers today. After several hours, I got a call, a verification of my course - is it a degree or JUST a diploma? I said it's a diploma course. Why would I lie about my educational background in the first place?

All the while I thought they know. During interviews, they never asked for my updated resume. I guess they got my resume from Jobstreet, which unfortunately my profile is not completely accomplished. I asked them what will be the problem then. They said nothing, just verifying to settle the mismatch. What will happen next? Will they still consider me knowing my education did not meet the qualifications they've set? I don't know.... what I could do is pray and cross my fingers hoping for their consideration. I know they still have the prerogative to withdraw my contract even though it was already signed. But just in case, I believe my capability will have significant contributions to their company's goal.

The risks: I have few days left in my current company, I am as good as a resigned employee. If my contract is withdrawn, I would end up jobless - for the first time. This would jeopardize my other plans on finances, business and personal. Another scared voice said: "you should have not resigned, not yet." Ahh... what a domino-effect!

Change and Goodbye

Notice the What's New section on my side bar? It's been there for quiet some time now. And I'm glad that I was able to snatch a moment to give further details about what's really going on with me for the past more than a month of I will say a little bit of stuggles in decision-making, career plan and financial management. Did I say a bit? I guess I am just being modest.

If you happen to read my post about my career realization
here and here, you will really understand what I've been through.

The last quarter of year 2009, I was hot in pursuing other better job opportunities. What really makes me want to get out of my current shell are probably the same reasons most of you have - growth, challenges and change. After almost four years of staying without an attempt for any job application, the job hunting seems like a new experience to me. It feels like I'm a fresh grad just starting to discover a career except that now I am capable of thinking and expressing myself in a clear and consistent manner plus the fact that I already have experience compared to the one just starting to establish a career.

My struggle was not really in finding the job but in selecting which job I should take on. Early December, I had to think over the two equally better job opportunity knocking at my door. The one offers the technical exposure that I've been wanting for my over five years of doing software testing. While the other offers something different. Though the context is still a software testing, it is more on networks and technical configuration of routers. Both offers growth, challenge and change. Both offer good compensation. However it is the latter that offers better benefits and this really add to my confusion. It was really the first one I was eyeing but when the second offer comes in, I had a change of heart.

What follows was a long sleepless night because I know I had to make a decision come morning. After some pondering moments, I gave up my first choice and opted for the second one. I never thought it would be that hard turning down an offer that is also good plus giving an explanation to a person who in the first place had given me a favor. It was really consuming my mind thinking of best words to say so I won't cause any offenses.

What was next will be my confrontation of myself, the reluctant feeling of leaving and moving on. On my outer self is a composed one, very firm in my decision to pursue career development and challenge. But my inner self is leaning into the emotional side. To think that my almost four long years of stay were spent in a company of people and were consisted of happy thoughts, bonding moments and fun and comfort. I am really at ease if not only for the demands of time and change, I will be glad to stay. I know I have worked with some of most amazing and excellent people; people whom I had a different perception; perception that I realized was wrong once I started working with them; realization that had changed me somehow, professionally better.

Now, I am reluctantly counting the days. I somehow dread my first day of starting on my new company. It's the fright of knowing I will be working with a different set of people whom I didn't know. I will again go through another adjustment phase and I am crossing my fingers my stay with them will also be as best and memorable as my stay with my current company.

To everyone that I have worked with, shared a laugh, sentiments and insights with. To everyone who believed in me. My deepest gratitude are yours.

P.S. I am also crossing my fingers that my new company is not strict in implementing their internet connection policy. I hope I can still continue my blogging in between breaks :)

New Year

January 01, 2010-12:00 a.m - when the dark skies were lighted and flashed with fireworks and the usual night silent were disturbed by the series of firecrackers rushing high into the night sky, I was at peace, by my room's window and by myself, just looking up. I had the tremendous feeling of awe and blissfulness for the things that happened to me within the past one year. I uttered a prayer while humbly holding my heart with a gratitude to God.

A perplex thought had me come up with this question: Why does New Year always comes with a feeling of re-starting your life when actually you'll just have to continue what was left of the previous year?

New Year.

Another journey ended and a new journey has to begin.

A new chapter of life.

A renewed hope.

A fresh start and best time to start anew: career, dreams, plans.

We always look forward to things that we want to accomplished and we hope for the best things to happen. But I think, New Year is not only a mere change of year for most of us. New year comes with a deeper meaning: Change. Change within ourselves.

While I was standing and looking upward, I was thinking, all those rejoicing are nothing but superficial if we don't internalize within ourselves the resolves that we need to have in order to live a more meaningful life ahead.

Best wishes to everyone for the year 2010!!!
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