Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Take on the Starbucks Planner Craze

While I'm sleepy and being unproductive at work, let me be productive at least with my blogging. Hopefully, I'll be in a more motivated state after writing this.

Earlier, I got to read an article about today's generation's inclination to the expensive and impractical planner that is the Starbucks planner. According to the article, getting the planner for Christmas has been the new tradition of the youth. Regardless of how unreasonably-priced the planner is, people are more than willing to pay not just for the planner but also for the Starbucks experience -- the feeling of belonging to an environment where everyone (loners, barkadas, yuppies, students, parents, etc.) is welcome to do what they do, be what they want to be. In short, fuck the latte factor! People will spend their money on Starbucks because they want to and because they can.

While I also love my White Chocolate Mocha Frappe topped with more than enough chocolate powder, I've never been really addicted to Starbucks and was never really inclined to availing of the planner. Yes, I get the whole Starbucks experience thing -- their cofeeshops are really cozy, but I don't really go there to work (I get easily distracted especially when the shops become too noisy) or to hang out with friends (we're the practical bunch who'd rather spend on hearty meals; not just coffeeshop meals). I got a planner once, but was not able to maximize it; plus, I prefer the Belle De Jour Planner more. It wasn't even me who collected the stickers. I don't think I'll enjoy collecting stickers too, cos I only know one drink by heart: my white chocolate mocha frappe and I'm not the adventurous coffee drinker. I go to Starbucks once in a while, but only to treat myself when I believe I deserve something for myself. Yup, to me, one Starbucks frappe is a luxury. Yeah, boo me.

So what am I writing about again? Oh, yeah. My take on the whole Starbucks planner craze. For me, it really is an impractical Christmas tradition and I'd rather spend my money on other things. But there's nothing wrong about being hooked on the yearly Starbucks tradition so long as people can afford their penchant for expensive and impractical planners. And there's also nothing wrong about being the practical, non "Starbucks planner crazy" people. Different folks, different strokes. Yun lang!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What are the chances?

My boyfriend's birthday is in May 15. Interestingly, I have this blog entry dated May 15, 2007 which has a line about me marrying a chef.
I cooked ginisang corned beef for us. Nyahaha. That's the only thing I know I can cook well. I think I'll have to marry a chef someday. By that, my ignorance in the kitchen would be compensated.
Guess what? My boyfriend graduated from CSB with a Culinary Arts degree! What are the chances nga naman! Is he the ONE? :)

Here's the link to the blog entry:
HappiDEZz: one down, three to go.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jobs for Journalism Majors

Disclaimer: Sorry, this isn't a recruitment website!

I've had enough of people telling me that I shouldn't be in a particular industry because that's not where journalists belong. I've been told that I won't be able to practice my degree in a BPO company nor would I be able to have a blossoming career in a hospital. Who are these people to conclude that journalists cannot thrive in such industries?

With my experience in the workforce, I'd have to disagree with people who put me inside a box and dictate what I can and cannot do as a journalist. To date, I've been with four different companies from four different industries and by far, I believe I had been an efficient employee in each job.

Journalism majors are flexible and can easily blend in other industries apart from the Media (TV, radio, print media). Let me share the jobs I took on for the past seven years.

1. A Junior Editor in a Textbook Publishing House
Journalists are Grammar Nazis. Their command of the English language is above average and that comes in handy in the textbook publishing industry. As a junior editor, I was tasked to copy read manuscripts and make sure that our textbooks are error-free before they get published. The books we make are used by students from pre-school to high school. This means that I have to read manuscripts of English, Science, Math, Filipino, History books from cover to cover. Every day, I learn and re-learn old and new knowledge. It was fun and fulfilling knowing that you are part of the youth's education.

The Perks: I got to author a pre-school text book! Apart from the honoraria and royalties I got, it was the biggest achievement of my life. I was 24 then.

2. A Marketing Communications Supervisor in a Cosmetics Company
Yes, journalism and makeup! At first, I found it a weird combination because I used to be a plain Jane (still am, actually) who doesn't have any idea on how to apply makeup, but eventually, I learned how fun it was to be in that industry! As a marketing communications supervisor, I wrote numerous articles and edited outsources editorials for the company's partner magazines and newspapers. I also wrote scripts for the company's TV segment on a morning show. I maintained their FB fanpage and website, scheduled when our TVCs would air, conceptualized monthly campaigns, and worked with graphic artists to execute the campaigns. To be able to write decent advertorials, press releases, copies, tag lines, and various write ups, I had to learn how to use cosmetics. I joined workshops, read blogs, watched videos, and eventually learned to do my brows, blend my smokey eye shadow, apply blush on, etc.

The Perks: I had a quarterly supply of makeup! How cool is that? I also got to travel and meet different people/celebrities! I got to interview Sonia Rocco, Sen. Leni Robredo, Miss Earth candidates, etc.

3. A Writer-Editor in a BPO Company
When finding a job, I always stick to my strongest skill -- writing. I knew I wouldn't be an effective call center agent, so I tried to apply to this position instead. I have to say, this is the highest-paying job I ever had. And if I'd be given a chance to go back, I'd accept the offer in a heartbeat! As a writer-editor, I copy read marketing collaterals and made sure they adhered to the company's branding guidelines. I responded to requests for proposals and maintained a database of responses. The job was kinda boring, but my awesome workmates compensated for the very formal environment.

The Perks: It's a high-paying job. Health benefits & travel allowance (75% of my employers did not offer this!). And finally, get this: WORK-LIFE BALANCE!!!

4. Corporate Communications Officer in a Hospital
Journalists have good communication skills. So I use that skill to communicate the hospital's services to its stake holders. This job is basically the same as Job #2, but it's a different kind of fun. This time, I'm in the hospital industry. I write, take pictures, run errands, manage social media accounts, update the website, spearhead events, assist in TV appearances of our doctors, plan and execute campaigns, etc. Most times, it is tiring but at least it's never boring!

The Perks: The company loves throwing parties! So yeah, what diet?! Plus, being friends with doctors means zero professional fees for surgeries and checkups!

See? For journalism majors who wish to deviate from being part of the Media (after all, the Philippines is a dangerous place for journalists), there are other jobs that need your communication skills! Though I envy my practicing journalist batch mates, I am very much happy with the path I took.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Things that Make You Feel Bad at Work

Our jobs play a huge part in our lives. To some, their job is their life. Like any other aspect of life, our jobs bring bad days to our years. Here are the reasons for mine:

1. What work-life balance?
In my current job, I extend work hours almost all the time. I'm usually the last to leave the office at 7pm--two hours after the official time out. That's cos 9 hours is not enough for this sole communications officer who wears different hats--writer, graphic & layout artist, website content manager, Facebook administrator, photographer, events manager, purchase requester, etc. Just last week, I worked on weekends. Worse, the call time on Sunday was at 2 am. So yeah, what 9-to-5 job? What work-life balance? It sucks that this is not a thing in our company.

2. Office politics
I'm a really silent worker. I don't brag about my accomplishments nor do I complain about being overworked. In my mind, I'm being paid here to do my job and that is to deliver quality output when it is needed. It's just unfair when office politics makes you the most worthless person in the workplace. After getting migraine for working on two major events and not enjoying your weekend, you'll get the "wala kang ginagawa" comment. Thanks to people who do a good job of complaining about their responsibilities and to people who make a living through bad-mouthing employees who actually do their jobs.

3. The "thankless" nature of the job
We were once told that being in the Marketing Department is a thankless job. I personally think that is bullshit. Yes, marketing people should be aggressive and pro-active, but that doesn't mean that they are robots who don't need affirmation and appreciation. We're not demanding recognition and rewards for our little successes, we know we are paid for these. But to say we don't deserve to be given pats in the back is just plain arrogant and heartless.

4. There will always be favorites
I don't have a problem if I am not a favorite. That's okay. As long as my employer is satisfied with my contributions to the company, that's the only thing that should matter. I just don't think it's fair when the favorites get babied and favored by the boss. One sumbong and their lives are better, responsibilities lighter. Oh well. But what is fair in this Earth? Right?

5. "Pwede na" standards in recruitment
In one of our meetings, I was disappointed to hear this: "Di naman kailangang magaling at maalam sa paglalagyang departamento. Matuturuan naman yan." That's exactly why skill mismatch is prominent in our workplace and you see people being transferred from one position to another all the time (i.e., re-organization, restructuring). The bad effect of this is that expectations are not met and deliverables are also substandard.

6. Overworked, underpaid
People who can't relate to this are very lucky! My next mission in life is to scratch this off my "Things that Make You Feel Bad at Work" list.