Once upon a time I dreamt of climbing the corporate ladder, but like in the multiple endings books, the pages I turned led me to a different story. I saw a LinkedIn notification about a college batchmate who got promoted to a higher position in a big advertising agency, the industry I once belonged. It has a nice ring to it, and I thought to myself: (1) we’re growing old and becoming experienced, it felt strange but we’re actually now in the stage of being the boss; (2) I felt envious, or am I?
I used to think one day I’d become a top executive, buy a condominium unit in Manila and a house in Tagaytay where I can spend the weekends and go home to anytime I’m stressed or I feel like it. I’d be very busy, calling shots in the office, respected and influential. I’ll end my days relaxing and drinking with friends. Then repeat. I will also have time to travel to places for leisure and work. Maybe this is what I’ve become in an alternate universe.
This was how my Monday went. I woke up, combed my hair, brushed my teeth. I went out the room to turn on my laptop, because I’m rushing to finish a presentation which was a test for an online job I’m applying for. I wanted to get a head start before daughter wakes up. My husband had to do some errands. I just asked him to come back home immediately so he can play with our daughter while I work. We squeezed in brunch when she woke up. Some quick interruptions here and there. I was able to finish in more or less five hours. We found out that my in-laws are flying back early the next day. It was a spontaneous decision. We’d spend the night in Tacloban, so my husband doesn’t have to drive for three hours so early in the morning the following day.
I thought to myself as we drove to Tacloban, I could be a director too, but that would mean long hours of work in an office. I might even bring some more work at home. I’d have to commute everyday. I can’t just go to another province spontaneously at 4pm in the afternoon. I’d have more money to spend. I don’t have that now, but I have time.
I, then, felt an appreciation of technology. It has afforded us to work anywhere, anytime. The job postings I look at right now are from all over the world. Good thing there are websites like UpWork and onlinejobs.ph. Jobstreet now also have home-based job postings. I don’t have to leave the comforts of our house to go there for an exam or interview. I haven’t been hired, but I think this is where the world has been heading now, virtual business districts where opportunities are endless. There will be no fancy corporate attire or corner office or nights out with colleagues. However, there’s the opportunity of not only getting hired but also to hire. From becoming virtual assistants or freelancers to CEO or Founder of your own company. To top it all, I get to spend time with my daughter and husband, and be as spontaneous as how we did when we went to Tacloban.
What we want is the wealth of time. I even told my husband that we have to do everything we can to make sure that we also get to spend time with our next kids as much as we did with our first born. Having a stable income is crucial to achieve it. Right now we are not able to visit our family and friends in Manila as much as we want to because we don’t have enough funds. This is the reason I’ve been trying to establish myself online the past couple of weeks. This is the reason we’re asking ourselves what businesses we can start and sustain.
It may not be for everyone, but I think I like and I am excited about where this story is going.