Monday, December 17, 2018

Change is good, sometimes.

I am a 42-year-old professional, going 24.

No. I didn't find the magical fountain of youth. Nor did I figure out the formula to reverse aging.

I am just a 42-year-old professional who is back in the market. Not the 'find-me-a-partner' market. The 'get-me-a-good-job' market.

No one told me job hunting at this age is .... hmmmmmmm, how do I put it ... interesting? NOT. It's challenging. Full of heartache. Especially when you have to deal with rejections.

The story's like this ... the year was 1994. I had just finished high school. I was job hunting. I first tried my luck at a sleazy hotel. At 18, you don't actually have much expectation on your job selection. You just want to make money. So, I got the receptionist job, because I speak good English and Malay. But, it was the 90's. My mother is a very conservative person who is always worried what other people might think if they see me working in a cheap hotel. And as a teacher, she does have a reputation to protect. I was devastated, I called the manager the next day and told him I was not coming to work.

My job hunt continued. 

My father, who was the Public Relations Officer for the Sabah Police Headquarters told me about an opening in The Borneo Mail, a bulletin-sized newspaper in Sabah. I went for the interview. I had no experience. My working experience was zero, yet I got the job. Maybe the editor liked my writing and translation. Maybe he thought I was young and teachable. Or maybe I was just lucky. So my reporting life begun that year, December 1994. Borneo Mail was a good training ground for me. I thank my Chief Editor and seniors for their guidance. Too bad it was shut down. It was one of the best papers then.

Your's truly at the beginning of my career at the Borneo Mail. 
Yup, we were still using the typewriter then.

After perfecting my writing skills there, I joined The Borneo Post, a Sarawak-based newspaper, in September 2001, where I gained another 12 years experience in journalism; before moving to a national-based news portal called The Rakyat Post. I was there for three years. 

In the act ... interviewing voters at the Batu Sapi By-Election.

Among my memorable assignments ... covering the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit 
to Danum Valley, Lahad Datu, Sabah.

In April 2016, I took up a new offer, a new chapter in my life - I was the Press Secretary to the federal Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water. The job scope is quite similar to being a journalist, a lot of writing, a lot of digging for information, a lot of patience, finding the right photos to go with the article. But I was not reporting to the editors. I became friends with the editors and reporters, so they will use my boss' story, preferably on the front page.

The job was like a gold mine. Okay, not literally a 'gold mine'. It was a good paying job. I was flying business class. That was the answer to my prayers. I had all my debts covered, and I was on my way to be debt-free in the next five years. That was my ultimate goal, TO BE DEBT-FREE before I rot. I always had the idea to be free with no worries, living on just a decent income, enjoying life like the birds.

Unfortunately, that part of my beautiful life was cut short. So short that I cry every time I think about my goal in life. It was like my life just changed within seconds. The life that I used to love is now just a fairy tale. I long for that life. Like Ariel longing for her legs. Like Rapunzel wanting to feel the grass under her feat. Like my tummy wanting that juicy Big Mac in 'mio pancia', (my belly ... I Goggled that ... lol).

I have been back in the job hunting mission for about six months now. I want at least a part of that beautiful life back. I need to revive my ultimate goal mission back. I am desperate because I am not getting any younger. The experiences I have is nothing because the new market does not mind hiring a younger, newly graduate bunch with lesser experience, because they are 'cheaper'. They are young. They have time to learn. They can still be bossed around. OOOoooooo bummer!

Oh well, life must go on. Bad or good, up or down, that's the kind of life I am in right now. Trying to make ends meet every single month is my new mission. Yes, my priorities have changed. I am thankful to have a decent job that pays me, although my salary is four times less than what I used to make. My phone keeps ringing, not from my fans (not that I have any). It's the banks calling, demanding for their money. Life is no longer simple. My bed of roses is broken. Life sucks.

Still, I am not giving up. Life must go on. I am blessed because in the last few months, I survived, thanks to the help from friends who responded to my S.O.S call for extra money. No, no ... I didn't ask for loans, I have plenty of those already. As a freelance writer, I get paid for the thing that I do best. Writing. Yes, I was a good writer, or at least I think I am. I still is. I think.

I help people with their speeches, or press releases and statements, and I offer services to do projects / programmes. I have plenty of experiences organising events, including those involving Prime Minister and/or Chief Minister.

Plus recently, I picked up a new hobby - photography. I am still in learning process, thanks to the help from my best buddy, a professional photographer.I am just kicking it up a notch. A 'PhotoJournalist' ... oooohhhh that's such a beautiful name. I joined a few app that promotes one's photographs and photography skills, and I am happy to report that I have gotten a few likes ... *grins widely to self*

Yes, I am back in the writing market. And I am going on strong. This blog will be ALIVE again. Stay tune to my next postings. 

And for those who happened to read this posting, please do not hesitate to call me for a job. I will serve you well. And I don't mean cooking. 

I am up for a challenge. writing has always been my passion, and photography is my soul. If you think this posting is interesting, you can expect more from me. I assure you.

No comments:

thanks for your time ...

my mother once told me i was named by my uncle. when i was in my primary years, i remember begging my name be changed
to 'Cindy' (after Cindy Lauper - i don't know, somehow "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was just too good to be ignored...geez),
anyways, thank God she didn't, because today, i so love my name.
thanks mummy and daddy for 'creating' me :-).