A Story of Chances: The Road to Professional ExcellenceEmployee Journals
Year 2022, my 8th anniversary with RareJob Philippines. What started as a means to have a secured full time job is now what led me to being one of the recognized supervisors for this year’s Professional Development Excellence Award. I can only describe it in one word: Progression.
I started as a Full-time Tutor Support Staff handling the morning operations in 2014. Being the morning staff within those two years was very challenging yet full of opportunities. I had to be at the office before 4 AM to start the Lesson Operations, and I had to make sure that everything was working well so the lessons could start smoothly. There were a few hiccups during those times but it came with lots of opportunities for collaboration with our internal and external counterparts. I’ve got to work closely with our Tokyo Customer Support Team, which led to my promotion in 2016 as the Escalations Management Team Supervisor, handling complaints and escalations from the front-liners.
At the beginning of my supervisory career, I was struggling with delegating tasks to my members as well as displaying an authoritative figure. It took me a year to fully grasp the position. Year 2019 was when I also got the position as the Operations Support Team Supervisor. Handling two teams was very difficult and time consuming; you have to set your priorities and make sure that all concerns are addressed, considering that the teams worked 20 hours per day, 7 days a week. There were times that I couldn’t even do simple tasks such as respond to emails. I got through those difficulties and had a chance to go to our Tokyo Office to observe and work on the improvements of our operations.
And then 2020 happened, the year everyone wanted to forget. When the news about COVID-19 broke, I knew that we had to use our Business Continuity Plan. Right before the start of lockdown, I already asked the management if we could pull-out some of our equipment just in case we would not be able to report to the office. I secured 8 laptops for the members, but I still had 15 people who didn’t have any means to work.
When we were all told about the ECQ (Enhance Community Quarantine), those 8 members shouldered the responsibilities of the 2 teams. The tasks of 23 people were then done by less than 50% of our manpower capacity. The hardest part was how to do touch base or weekly meetings with my members. Those days, I saw myself working for more than 14 hours per day. I was very exhausted but always kept the hope that it too shall pass. I realized that if I’m not okay, my members will not function. Plus, we were extremely lucky that we still able to keep our jobs during the time that retrenchment and unemployment was rampant.
As more support from the management was received, we were able to get back on track in 3 months’ time after the ECQ imposition. We manage to have all the employees from both teams to work, and we were able to accomplish weekly individual meetings. We also shared our personal experiences during the pandemic. What I learn preciously was the art of listening. When you listen to someone, you get a different perspective on how to operate and how they would reciprocate your treatment. It gave me lots of opportunities to know more of the strengths and areas for improvement of my members. 2 years passed, but we manage to get back on track, albeit not physically seeing each other.
When I received the Professional Development Excellence Award, I was delighted to get the recognition. Who wouldn’t want to be recognized as one of the best staff in the company? But aside from this personal gain, we do it for the people who helped us to achieve this award. I couldn’t have done this if my team members were not working hard and trusting my direction. I wouldn’t be creative and bold if my superiors did not give the creative freedom. You are motivated to do your job, not just for yourself but the people who are the main contributors to your daily achievements.
To those who will read this short and very simple blog, I hope that you consider 3 things in your corporate life: Listen, Be Open, and Be Grateful. Listen to the important people around you. You have to know the people in your work life who add value to you. Listening comes with full attention and openness. Be open enough to change and give chances to people. They say that the impression from the first 7 minutes last, but how can you know a person’s work ethic within such a short amount of time? When you open yourself, it also humbles you and in turn, makes you grateful. Gratefulness comes with the ease of working through difficult times and seeing things in a different perspective.
To be the better version of yourself, you have to forgive and try again when the next opportunity comes. Forgive yourself for the shortcomings and do better the next time you’re given an opportunity. Chances are endless as long as we don’t burn bridges along the way. Imprinting this mindset to our work life is far better than any recognition anyone can receive.
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