Life and Work Lessons I’ve accumulated through the years

Friday, August 03, 2012

* I finished this post a couple of weeks back but it took this long to post because I had to look for photos. This is a personal post on lessons on this so called realm of work. I enjoyed writing this and hope you would pick up a thing or two and enjoy as well. =)

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I’ve wanted to write something that would pick my brain like the good old days in school when you’re inspired to write a paper. Yes that did happen to me, numerous times under the tutelage of one of my favorite professors EVER – Ms. Frances Sangil.

I've learned a few lessons about my so-called career path in the past that I would like to share. My friends will attest to this facet of my personality. I’ve also wanted to write about something that made me smile at the end and hopefully enrich someone.

On Commitment
More than just at work; this is applicable to everything else in life. You will need to feel the burn of commitment to truly understand this paragraph. Don’t get into something you know you won’t be able to commit to. Don’t say yes to a job interview that is located 3 hours away from you and eventually you know that if you take the job you will just hate the commute. Think before you act. Making the decision to commit can make a world of a difference in your life financially, emotionally and psychologically. 

On Work Ethics
Life will throw you in a huge washing machine and you already know that people are different. Develop a work ethic that is not only effective for you but benefits others as well.  Try (operative word is try, I am far from perfect) to work in a way that helps others. Don’t adhere to a style that makes it difficult for your colleagues to work with you. It can be as simple as being open minded but not a pushover. The exchange of ideas between like-driven people is exhilarating; it can use up your juices but the lessons and ideas created can be epic.

One must learn to draw the distinction between friendship and professionalism because once that is muddled, it gets tricky. Having good work ethics can lead to more work in the future thanks to the positive response of the people you work with.

On Hard Work
I've never been one of those people who could throw their wishes and the universe conspired to help them get it. I’ve always been about doing the work and if there were lucky breaks along the way, awesome. Never underestimate the power of hard work; you won’t know how near or far in the future you will reap its benefits.

I find it hard to sympathize with someone complaining about their situation but do nothing to change it. You complain that you don’t have a job but have you applied to companies already? Have you exhausted all your resources to achieve your goal?

On Opportunities
It’s true, they never appear twice. As cliché as it may sound, it is a fact so grab it while you can. As you’ve read above about hard work, I firmly believe in creating opportunities. I’ve gotten work and projects thanks to lucky breaks and connections but majority of my work history came from created opportunities. Keep track of the companies you want to apply to and send them your resume even if they don’t have any job listings. Immerse yourself in researching intensively on grants and scholarship programs if you want to pursue further studies abroad. If you have some down time, try to help out with projects of friends. The work you put into their project can even be included in your portfolio. If you are a photographer, create shoots with your contacts to get the photographs you want and sharpening your skills.

Don’t be afraid to go out there and find opportunities for yourself.

On Rejection
Not all rejections are created equal. Hand in hand with your hard work and persistency, you will still get rejected.

When my workload was light years ago, I scoured the internet and magazine shelves for titles I would love to write for. I had the nerve to write the EIC of Conde Nast Traveler about writing for his magazine. I got rejected but he sent me one of the most encouraging rejections I’ve ever had. I tried to look for the email to post it here verbatim but I couldn’t find it. The EIC told me he appreciated my enthusiasm and love for the magazine but I lacked the experience they needed for the magazine. He suggested I align myself with more well known publications and apply again in the future. Thank you Mr. EIC for your constructive advice and encouragement, it gave me the direction I needed. I sent him my heartfelt thanks because he took the time from his busy schedule to reply to my inquiry. Heck local magazines don’t even do that! Haha What more international ones?

I may not be a millionaire, a visionary in my industry or a power player in the corporate world. I am just me with some insights worthy of sharing. What are your lessons that you would like to impart?

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