Holding the fort on New Year’s eve: a workaholic's confession
Today marks not just the end of 2012. It is also the first time that I will be waiting for the transition of the year with a lot of things to accomplish at work.
As a fulltime engineer, part-time content contributor for an online marketing agency, and freelance writer, I tend to need more work hours than the average Juan de la Cruz. Sometimes I complain about it, but I can say with all honesty that I love all 3 jobs and I cannot see myself doing otherwise at this point in time.
My main job as a geodetic engineer for a consulting firm allows me to take part in meaningful technical projects that aim to make a difference in the infrastructure of the country. I get involved with flood control, disaster mitigation, and geospatial analysis for better operations management.
As a part-time content contributor, I get intellectual stimulation and a lot of insights in the field of online marketing and advertising.
As a freelance writer, I get to craft the nuance of my imagination and express my innermost self.
The schedule is insane, to say the least, but I derive a certain fulfillment from all 3 jobs that makes my life perfect despite its imperfections.
I will not be a hypocrite; I admit there are some days where I just want to stay in bed all day, listen to my iPod, and not have to deal with one deadline after another.
Some friends think my schedule is suicidal, but any driven young breadwinner with a clear set of goals for improving the present and preparing for the future will understand why I took on more than one job at this twenty-something phase of my life.
I have a family to support and a family to build in the future aside from preparing that proverbial nest egg come old age.
On my Facebook news feed, I often see my friends and former college classmates living the life and being able to reach for their dreams because of their decision to pursue greener pastures.
I admire and respect their brave heroism to take that risk and bring pride to the Philippines with their excellence overseas, but I also believe that it’s important that some Filipinos remain here to “hold the fort.”
The sad reality is that our country remains in shortage of skilled workers even when we supply the rest of the world with their manpower needs.
Many times, I am extremely tempted to leave the country too and go for the same career path, particularly when one of my father figures got rushed to the ICU because of a heart condition.
Working in other countries will give me 6-digit salaries in dollars every month because value professions like engineering never run out of opportunities there. But even during my college days, I had that idealistic desire to stay in the Philippines and do meaningful work that serves my countrymen.
Whenever I feel like giving up, I just think that I stayed here in the country to be physically with my loved ones and also to do work that improves the country somewhat.
Chugging away at work milestones and tasks on holidays, weekends, and evenings aside from my day job has its many drawbacks. Getting sick and getting burned out is one of the many risks that come with having multiple jobs. But it can be viewed as a challenge and a special type of privilege.
Job opportunities are not that easy to come by for all college graduates here in our country, and I am very grateful that many companies believe in my capacity to deliver despite the often overbooked schedule.
So, here I am typing at a computer screen to mark more things as done on my to-do list. This is a rather unconventional way of welcoming the change of year from 2012 to 2013, but I love every minute of it.
While the rest of the world welcomes New Year with fireworks, I welcome 2013 with passion, productivity, a promise of a better tomorrow, and a persistent sense of meaning out of the things I do and the positive change I make in my own small ways. - Rappler.com
Helen Mary Labao will be working this New Year's eve crunching numbers and producing content. She wrote this article on behalf of all Filipino engineers who choose to remain in the Philippines to work in the company of their loved ones. Follow her on twitter: @HelenMaryLabao
How are you celebrating New Year? Tag @rapplerdotcom on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org and share your ideas on how to celebrate while saying #NoToFirecrackers. Share your plans for a better you using #Start2013Right. Happy New Year!