British Terms I Learned in Three Weeks

Friday nights are Netflix movie nights with the husband and last week was no exception. We decided to watch About Time, a drama / fantasy movie that lets the men in one family line travel back through time. It’s also a British movie and I think watching it is very fitting right now because we’re country movers and we’re still learning the culture and (although English) the language. The Philippines was a colony of United States so the terms, the slangs, the English that we know are of US reference. I didn’t know that I had to re-learn here because of the differences. =))

Fringe

Better known to me as bangs. If you watched the movie, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) and Mary (Rachel McAdams) talked about her fringe possibly being too short after their dinner at Dans Le Noir.

Eat in or take away

The first time I was asked for a “dine in or take out” I had to ask the person to repeat the question. =)) Some places, Costa Coffee as an example, have different listing of prices for eat in and take away. Saturdays mean I’m lazy to cook dinner so we’ll be ordering either a Chinese, Fish ‘n Chips, or Indian take away nearby. Take away places here open at 5:00 PM. British surely love their take aways. The places were always packed especially those ordering their chips with salt and vinegar fix.

Post Code

I am more used to Zip instead of Post in filling up addresses. We also noticed how awesome the address mapping here not just on the post code but on the actual house. They don’t usually use numbers as block or lot numbers, instead, they use house names such as “FamilyName Cottage” for example and it pins in the exact location! That’s probably what Liam Neeson used =))

To Let

We see this sign everywhere, even the real estate offices are named with Let like Mason Let. I’m actually confused if there is a difference between To Let and For Rent but some explanations say that letting is used by the owner, and renting is used by the renter if that makes sense? No? Okay let’s move on.

Holiday

Holiday back home means an officially recognized significant day such as National Heroes day, Christmas, or New Year. Here, they call it bank holidays which usually fall on a Monday. My husband also mentioned that their British colleagues do not understand if they used vacation leave when they will be off work for 2 days or 2 weeks. They still call it a holiday.

Till

Groceries and supermarkets don’t use cashier but instead use till which means a money drawer in a store according to Merriam-Webster. Also, plastic bags here have charges so bringing your own eco bag is a must. This till’s open!

Surgery

Last week, I had to schedule for a doctor’s appointment to a nearby healthcare center and to do that, I had to register my health insurance number. Not knowing what are the other requirements aside from the number, I had to call and ask for it including the servicing hours. I was answered with “The surgery is open until 7PM daily.” I was confused because I didn’t need surgery, I only need a consultation. After the call I had to Google surgery and found out that’s what they call their health centers or clinics. Had a mini panic attack after that conversation. =))

Bonus: Date Format

It’s not a word but I’ve learned that my birthday would probably be changed here if I filled up forms the same way I did back home. British date format is DD / MM / YYYY instead of MM / DD / YYYY that I’m used to so take note! Very important in registration stuff. 😀

These are some of the terms we encountered recently and most probably we will encounter more in the future. I still won’t be using “bloody” in my sentences though. =))

My 10 Year Career Journey

WARNING: LONG READ BECAUSE I GOT CARRIED AWAY 😛

It’s been a decade! My first day at work was September 1, 2009 at Hewlett Packard. It was a happy job because I spent 4 months looking for work. I felt discouraged because most of my batch mates were already employed that time and I was still a bum. My plan B was to go back to my university and teach if I don’t have work by September. But blessings do come unexpectedly because I got hired before my deadline. My first job was located at Makati and we all know it was the “IT” place back then when BGC didn’t exist yet. Because I already have a job, I was able to resume meeting up with friends for dinner. 😎

My undergraduate course was BS Computer Science from the University of the Philippines, Los Banos. I was an HTML enthusiast in high school and thought of getting ComSci because I wanted to make websites later on in life. Little did I know that the course wasn’t about website making. 😅 Everybody in high school was expecting me to take up Conservatory of Music in UST but during that time, I didn’t think it would be a practical career and would likely be just a hobby. Without any background in programming, I decided to proceed for the first year and told myself I’ll transfer to a different course and campus the next year. That plan didn’t happen because UPLB was a nice place to study at, away from the city, fresh air, serene location, and cheap but good food. Fast forward to four years, I graduated in 2009 and started the job hunting right away.

During my 10 year journey, I’ve worked with five companies. My first company, which I mentioned earlier, was the best and longest one I’ve been with. I started as an SAP PI Technology Consultant who worked on technical support, release to operations and knowledge management processes, and project coordination. I won’t bore you with the details but my LinkedIn has all that listed. 😀

First and best team ever. 🙂

I was taught to do great things now because the reward will come later

It’s the biggest training ground and we were also lucky because our mentors were driven to help us hone our skills for the future of our careers. We were fresh graduates but we didn’t feel like we have a smaller voice than the experienced ones. We were treated as equals and for that I was grateful because that helped me realize that I have a voice in the organization despite how big it was. We were also given opportunities that should’ve been handled by a mid level employee. During the early years of my career, I was taught to do great things now because the reward will come later. I have been holding on to that thought until today and I guess that makes rewards even more worth it when you least expect it. I stayed in HP for 3 years and 8 months and we all know that the only constant thing is change so I had to move on. For me, it still holds the company with the best culture.

I went through a quick stint of being a Business Analyst for Codebridge, Inc., a startup company, after I left HP.

Find the white lady in the room :))

It’s important to know what you want because that will determine your career path and help your manager understand your goals and guide you better.

I was feeling the effects of being a bum again because of resigning without a job replacement. To yuppies who are reading, if you plan to do the same, make sure you have liquid funds for 6 months to 1 year. Better yet, do not resign without signing an offer from another company.

I started the BA work 3 months after HP. It was different from what I’ve started with given that I have a technology specific knowledge. This is when I’ve decided that I wanted to be able to do a cross industry path and it means I had to remove all technical specific skills. I didn’t want a technical career path so I did it by focusing on my transferable skills such as process and management. That way, I’ll be more technology agnostic. It’s important to know what you want because that will determine your career path and help your manager understand your goals and guide you better.

The short stint ended and I found myself moving to a different role this time as a Pre-sales Solutions Consultant for ePLDT covering data center, infrastructure, and software products.

Just 1/3 of the team but stuck with them ever since. Yes, I’m the only girl. 🙂
Photo c/o @iam_color

I do not have any experience in pre-sales but I do understand that my transferable skills acquired in my short stint of doing requirements analysis through my BA work and the rest of my HP years will be useful and thankfully, my interviewer was convinced. It was a humbling experience because I do not have any knowledge on those technologies but I always thought that everything can be learned.

I remember having the interview with the COO and she asked me if I have any questions. Given that I have been a big fan of HP’s culture I asked her what’s ePLDT culture is like. Her answer was, “ePLDT’s culture is defined by its employees contribution.” It really struck me because it was answer that wasn’t really an answer. I never knew her view of the company’s culture before I signed but it got me accepting the offer to be able to understand more. To me, it was more of a challenge to contribute to the company’s culture on what I envision it to be. It was a good two years and two months then I left for my fourth company.

I went back to doing Service Delivery work with Opentext Philippines, Inc. after realizing pre-sales wasn’t really my thing.

APJ Team 1.0 with my previous HP colleague now manager. Blogger poses 🙂
APJ Team 2.0 and my previous team lead now director from HP.

I wanted a fresh start and I realized how my technical skills were still important.

I believe I was not doing it the best that I can and that Service Management will always be my first love. I see how my colleagues strive with the role and though I know I used up my transferable skills very much, it wasn’t enough because the technical skills needed to be believable to customers must be in depth and it’s something I do not have. I wanted a fresh start and I realized how my technical skills were still important. This time, I made sure I used it. It’s a very challenging role because it was a dual hat. Delivery wise, everything needs to be met with speed, quality, and on time. On top of that, operational issues are also under my turf. This is the same period I decided to start my MBA. They were days when I asked myself why am I making my life hard, LOL. But again, I look at the end goal and I just know that the reward will be worth it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to reap the full return because I wasn’t able to finish my MBA. In almost two years, I left this role and returned to my roots which is Service Transition.

Globe gave me the opportunity to go back. I looked at it as the last company because I was getting tired of going through the whole new hire process of understanding the organization, meeting new people, and fitting in the culture.

ITSMO folks
Service Transition Team

I never wanted to be known for what I do. I wanted to be known for the values and learnings I shared because that what makes me do better at what I do.

It was a totally different experience from all of my roles because I get to be the customer now. My previous roles I was always on the other side of fulfilling customer requirements and requests. Personally, it was a test of one’s values, patience, and mentoring. I understand that as a customer working with a provider, it isn’t part of my job to talk to resources and know their concerns, it was my provider’s lead’s job. However, that HP culture was really ingrained and I was more than happy to talk and share my knowledge. I was a functional manager but I didn’t think that doing people management role really was that tiring.

I never wanted to be known for what I do. I wanted to be known for the values and learnings I shared because that what makes me do better at what I do. I ended my career with Globe because of an opportunity overseas but not without ensuring I know how to choose my battles.

My career journey won’t be conventional to people who only see Computer Science graduates as Programmers. A lot of career opportunities are out there. The most important point that I wanted to stress here is that your undergraduate course doesn’t need to define your career and my 10 year journey was a testament to that. Found this trail in Twitter and the responses were awesome.

If you’re experiencing doubts about where you are right now, I hope this post gave you the right push and encouragement. And if you’ve read until here, thank you so much. 🙂

Hello, Goodbye

Nope, not related to Alden Richard and Kathryn Bernardo’s movie =))

It’s the fourth month of August, I am officially unemployed. I left the IT world again, my shortest stint for a regular employment so far at one year and four months, because of an opportunity that we cannot let pass. If you’ve been reading my blog from the start (THANK YOU!), I talked about this scary jump in this post and it’s finally happening!

During my last working week, I was asked by a colleague if I’m sad to leave and I honestly said no. It’s not because I don’t like working there, but because I think I enjoyed working there that I was able to leave good memories behind. Also, leaving means being with the hubba so, nope, I’m not sad. =))

The ITSMO team set up a surprise despedida party for me in the office and gave me two gifts that I’ll use for the cold weather in the other side of the world.

I was asked by the team to do a short speech lol. But what I said was true. In my almost 10 years of corporate experience, I never had horror stories with teams I belong to, I’m always lucky because I get to find friends and I know it’s the same here.

A week prior my last working day, my Service Transition team also setup a get together to play Wolf. I had a horrible TMJ relapse after that night because of excessive talking and laughing. =)) It’s such a wonderful feeling to share everything I’ve learned the past years while working and I hope they can use a thing or two further in their careers.

Like what I said in my last email, I may leave the workplace but the friendships built will truly remain. Thank you everyone and see you around!

Hormones, Self Love, and Word Vomit (Again)

Lately, I’ve noticed how irritable I am. I’m aware that I get pissed off easily but I can’t do anything to stop it, most likely due to red days. 😦 I know a lot of women experience the same thing and this really accurate video from Glamour describes how we go through the cycle over and over again.

I can’t empathize enough with the video but it’s really true! I’ve had days that I can’t take my eyes off the mirror because my skin is glowing and days I hate when the only available pair of jeans in my closet is the high waist one when I’m really really bloated. It sounds like women are crazy with the all the hormonal changes monthly but also super extra by juggling work, family, friends, and self love in between.

Speaking of self love, I recently watched a GRWM video of Verniece Enciso, half of V&V Enciso sisters. It’s totally a plug of Cream Silk’s new product but I did not stop watching because Verniece shared about her lovelife which she rarely does unlike her sister Vern.

She shared how she had trust issues because her first and second boyfriends cheated on her. The first one with a girl, the second one with a guy. 😐 The very thing that struck me from what she said was:

I get that now, in the world revolving around social media, a lot of teens are realizing this late and it’s sad to hear about the high numbers of bullying, depression, and suicide happening. The pressure of being pretty or handsome, relevant, and whatever the media dictates is so high that I’m worried what we’ll do when my husband and I become parents one day. Validation comes from the number of likes or comments on a post, by the number of reposts and when people call you “influencer.” I understand now why Tricia G. (my all time favorite blogger storyteller) quit blogging for work. And I really believe that what Verniece said needs to be taken to heart.

I think women get more pressure than men because the media portrays us to be something that we need to be and I’m thankful that I’m way past looking for validation at the wrong places. It comes with age, of titahood I guess. Probably because 90s kids weren’t born with Fiber internet, Instagram, and YouTube.

A food for thought, how do you tell a person that he or she is worth it?

Random Throwback, Beaches, and Struggles

Posting late because I went out of town last weekend. Rainy season’s just around the corner and we just decided to head out and get some sun. Didn’t get to tan than I hoped for but it’s still vitamin D so as I long as there are visible tan lines, I’m good. =))

I realized that my last beach trip (that’s not rainy) was way back 2016 in Cagbalete, Quezon so here’s a quick throwback from the weekend warriors.

Hello sunburned cheeks!
Tranquility
Sunsets by the beach are the best.

I’m not gonna post anything about last weekend, I’ll save that for the next one but I wanted to look back 3 years ago. Here’s more from the #coolkids LOL.

Sandbar chill.
Yas.

Two photos above grabbed from @janrosantos.

You’re probably wondering why we called ourselves #coolkids. It’s because of the “cool kids” that went to Cagbalete the same weekend we did. I remember one girl trying to roll her luggage through the rocky sand and we were like, WTF is she doing bringing luggage on an island? Anyway, that was just a side story and an inside joke we never got over with.

Continuing with the reminiscing, this beach trip was like a crossover ceremony. Back then, I was about to start working for a new company. This trip was sandwiched between my last working day with company A and my first working day with company B. Didn’t complain much because that trip actually made me feel refreshed. Fast forward to three years, I now enjoy staying home during weekends. Well except for that recent beach trip. I think it’s okay to indulge once in a while. 😀

That was a good weekend, the trip where we cooked sinigang over coal, fried the almost spoiled sinigang the morning after for breakfast (because no electricity means to refrigerator), and used someone’s else’s wooden spoon to mix our cooking rice. I realized that’s all food I talked about so of course the actual beach is remarkable. It was low tide in the afternoon! We can walk to the sandbar because the water’s just through our ankles. We can walk further and reach the Bonsai Island without struggle. Of course the next day the water’s back, knee high and enough to make you increase your efforts of walking.

I remember “when life gives you lemons, make lemonades” from our almost spoiled sinigang turned breakfast bacon. I remember going through smooth days just like walking through ankle deep water. I remember other not so smooth days when you had to struggle a bit because the challenges are up until your knees. Life will always have good days and bad days, and it’s up to us to take it one step a time.

Didn’t see that coming? Me too, I’m rambling! And this is definitely a filler post, I’ll do better haha. See you next week!

Making that “Scary” Jump

I’ve submitted a resignation letter to my boss two weeks ago. I’ve been working with this company for more than a year now but I’ve been in the IT industry for almost ten years. If an employer would look at my resume, they would say I’m a company hopper. Almost ten years and I’ve been to four companies for a regular position, one for a part time position. It’s already a risk for others to hire me as my track record tells them I’m incapable of staying in the same company for a long time. Why should they invest if I’m not staying anyway? I’m still glad my current company hired me knowing my track record. Unfortunately, plans changed.

That resignation letter was submitted without a counter offer from another company. I submitted that knowing I’ll be jobless for quite some time. It has been six years since I’ve done that and I told myself I won’t be repeating that and here I am doing it again. So what’s the difference from that situation way back 2013 and now? Back then, I had not much to lose. I was single (in official documents), I was not a breadwinner, I made substantial savings that I can use for 6 to 12 months, and I was living with parents. In short, I’ve got people to support me even if I go jobless. Now, I’m married, I’ve accumulated substantial work experience to make me stable in my career, I went back to school and started my MBA, and I don’t want to rely to my parents relating to financials. On top of that, I’m moving overseas with my husband which means, new environment (four seasons, pray for my nose please), no family nearby, no friends nearby, and no job.

To be honest, I was scared and I remember telling my husband about it. I was hesitant to leave because it’s a big, scary jump. Our original plan was for me to wait here in the Philippines until his contract finishes and see if he can spend Christmas here as well. It means we had to suck it up and miss each other, we will be both financially stable anyway. Sabi nga nung iba, “tiis muna para makaipon.” I wasn’t sold to the idea of leaving, that’s why when my husband told me less that a month overseas to join him there already, I asked him that we need to compute the bills. I’m scared of being buried in debt. Who isn’t anyway? And so more weeks passed and my husband, who’s probably missing me a lot (hehe), asked me if he should get a separate flat or join his office colleagues to share rent. If I’ll join him, he’ll get a separate flat. His colleagues told him it would be hard to share with others because we’re newly married… if you know what they mean. =)) Also, hubby did his homework by checking if our finances will be secured if I don’t get a job for a few months. He’s ready to be a sugar daddy. =)) Apart from that, I know he doesn’t want me to worry and he answered my worries logically so there’s not need to actually worry about.

Kidding aside, I actually thought about it a lot before talking to my boss. I mentioned earlier that moving there means leaving a stable job, my comfort zone. So I tried to search for online jobs that would actually keep me busy once I’m there (which would be for another post). My colleague told me about his relative that went through the same phase as I am going through now. The husband moved to Singapore and the wife stayed in the Philippines to work. After a few months, the wife decided to go to Singapore and look for a job there. In my colleague’s words, “She chose happiness over her career.” And he told my boss that I might be doing the same thing. Of course I am 🙂 Who wants to be married and live together for 3 weeks then to LDR after? These days I don’t feel “married” because I went back to my parents’ house and continue living the same before our actual wedding. Apart from having two houses now where I can sleep and wearing the ring, not much has changed. And I realized that what I wanted to change, to really be separated from my parents, live independently with my husband and start building our life together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared and I pray for guidance and peace of mind. It was given through a realization that I always need to remember I’m not going through this alone. Because isn’t that what marriage is about? Going through a lot of things together no matter what.

What’s Your Definition of Success?

Can you believe that my original data plan 5 years ago only has 750 MB for consumption? When I got an iPhone, I had to change my plan with a higher data allocation and there I discovered why a lot of people think my 750 MB is ridiculously low. My past time during my daily commutes consist of scrolling through endless Facebook videos. I’ve discovered Nas Daily from there and then last Friday, I saw one episode of a new segment by her girlfriend called How to Life? by Dear Alyne. Her first episode is actually with Nas entitled “How to Succeed.”

It’s a very interesting topic knowing that Nas has been able to raise money through making and posting videos every single day for 1000 days. To say that he’s earning 50,000 to 100,000 dollars a month is insane but when he was asked the question “Do you think you’re successful?” he answered it with a “I had some success, but I don’t think I’m successful.” That made me realize how we can all define success differently.

If you asked the newly graduated, job hunting me 10 years ago, my definition of success would be based on getting a stable job, earning money, and being able to buy all my needs and my wants. Somewhere along the way, my definition changed and I think that molded me into the person I am now. To me, being successful now also means sticking to your values no matter what and hopefully passing on that values to our future children. Being successful means not looking at other people’s progress and comparing theirs to yours. Being successful means defining one’s future and molding it towards one’s goals.

So I’ve defined my success, how do I get there? Nas discussed two things as my takeaway in the episode and this really is real talk. First is on privileges. One follower asked if success is actually for the privileged and it was answered as a YES at some point. I agree! Nas can do anything he wants because he’s male. He was born with good parents. He was born without debt. Had he not have those privileges, he won’t be were he is right now. He was one step ahead from those who do not have them as his foot-in-the-door of opportunities. Second takeaway is about failure. He treats them as a pivot, a change course of action instead of a failure and that keeps them going. I know that there are a lot in store for our future given the opportunities coming our way and I will hold on to those two key takeaways, the first one being also my leverage and the second one as part of my motivation (mainly for this blog to fly and reach those who need to read my ramblings. 🙂 )

I love how the podcast turned out and I’m looking forward to other topics that Dear Alyne will discuss. Hope you picked up a thing or two. I highly recommend you to listen to this episode. It was a good jump off.

See you next weekend!