Growing up in the Philippines, most children were given only two options on what they could be once they are adults: become a doctor or become a lawyer. Well, my dad was brought up that way because the elders fantasized about having a title on their children’s names thinking, that it signified a higher level in the society. That’s why he became a doctor despite it not being his personal preference. And so, the same thing was echoed to me.
I was born and raised in the metro so I was raised wanting to partake in those fancy kinds of jobs. All I knew is that if I didn’t choose any of the two, I’d be in the corporate scene. I thought that being in the corporate world was the path for me. When I was in my last year of university, I was able to figure out that I wanted to do something else; there was a bigger world for me outside of the desk job life. (Nothing against those who work in the corporate world though, I just knew that it wasn’t meant for my personality. I wanted to be immersed in more outgoing jobs.)
I took up Business Administration, with a Major in Human Resource. It fit my personality, but I still felt I wasn’t meant for it. Months before graduation day, I asked myself: what do I really want to do after I finish my college program? Should I go after what makes me happy or should I go after money-making?
I knew that I needed to start somewhere, and what was to come wouldn’t be the best phase at all. I may hate it, or I may love it.
I knew that with the culture that we have in the Philippines, I’d be judged by my relatives if I went with something unconventional. They wouldn’t understand a thing or two, so I shouldn’t bother explaining to them what I wanted to do.
Over the first five months of being a fresh graduate, I sent different kinds of job applications—for events, marketing, human resource, etc. It may be through the power of law of attraction, but I kept thinking that for my first employment, I should be in the creative field. I could dress up with my own style, my salary would be far from the minimum wage offered by other companies, and I’ll be able to work with foreigners and the environment of the office would be more westernized. I was given the chance to work as a Sound Design Engineer for a music production company. I enjoyed it while it lasted, but a few months after I got hired, I decided to resign, thinking that there was something else meant for me.
What was I thinking? A lot of people didn’t understand why I resigned before the end of my 6-month contract. I might be out of my mind, or maybe I was just on this continuous search for things that I feel I should have, but I was able to realize two things: 1) I should have a job or business that would provide the funds for me to have the kind of lifestyle that I prefer, and 2) that I needed something I enjoyed while being able to enjoy, even if it wouldn’t be monetized completely, as long as it is either something related to the creative field and gave me a sense of purpose.
Where am I right now, you may ask? I currently work as a farmer. You might be thinking that I am working under the sun. Well, I am—on some days. It’s not something I created or applied for. It was the only thing available for me that I could work with, since it’s a family business and I am next in line for that job. I didn’t really appreciate the agricultural scene in the Philippines growing up, but it showed me how it could be an alternative career for some people. It is something so beautiful that we shouldn’t give up on it as a country. A lot of farmers’ offspring would think of going to the city for a better career, but if only we would be able to work on this properly and open other people’s eyes, it is a field that you won’t regret on choosing. On some days that I am not working for the farm, I am trying my best to get into the radio scene. It works well with my schedule and I enjoy contributing to this radio show. It really is important to keep on putting our work out without getting anything in return because we don’t know where this will lead us to in life.
I’m a frustrated writer, so I’m thankful for this opportunity to be able to write for you and share my story. I am also an aspiring social entrepreneur once I’m ready for that field. My career path may not be ideal in any way. I am judged all the time. I feel a lack of sense of purpose. There is only one thing I am sure of: I am passionately curious and I will remain this way until I reach the point in my life where everything would be ideal to my taste. We should be realistic when it comes to making decisions, most especially when we are still starting out. No one else would help us in several matters and we should be able to balance the different aspects on how we define our career. It has a different meaning for each individual and it will always remain that way. Just do you. In the end, the goal is to be happy where you are in at life.