February 12, 2014 marks my 5th anniversary with the company I am working for and also my 5th in Afghanistan. This is by far the longest tenure in all of my career. I think 1 day, the Afghan government will just offer me citizenship to their country, hehe… 🙂
I am excited about this milestone. My company gives out 5-year award certificates plus gift/souvenir options.
So what does this milestone represent to me?
1. Being here all the more affirms my belief that “nothing happens by coincidence and that everything has been written since the birth of the Universe”. I believe that the life I had for 5 years is the life I was supposed to live. Looking back and tracing my footsteps, I am destined to be here. But don’t get me wrong. My journey hasn’t ended. This 5 years is just a part of it. A wonderful and enriching one.
2. Independence and self-reliance. While I was born hard-headed, stubborn, strong-willed and determined, living alone in an austere environment has taught me a broader definition of independence. I learned to decide on my own for bigger things and stand by them, no matter what happens. I became the captain of my ship, holding myself accountable for my own actions.
I learned to spend holidays alone, Christmas and New Year included, sprucing them up with a bit of creativity to add a pinch of excitement to it. I learned to look for things that will make my stay happy, especially at times when my itchy feet wants to take a vacation somewhere. I learned to appreciate whatever comes my way.
3. My personal growth and development. I have come a long way from my days in the Philippines, doing survey part-time jobs on weekends with UP friends, being with fresh graduates like me doing site inspections in GSIS Building, working for the government in NWRB, working on project developments especially on MRT’s and getting big breaks from VIAP. I have learned that I can learn to do different jobs, be well-rounded and be a greater multi-tasker.
In my 5 years with my company, I have worked in 4 different programs and in 6 different positions. I got a good break and invaluable training from my supervisors as Subcontracts Administrator in MATOC program. I became more visible and got challenging tasks from my supervisors as QA Inspector in AMDP program. Being a Buyer is an endless challenge and headache. Hehe… But surprisingly, I enjoy the dynamism and unpredictability of being our program’s “shopper”.
4. It’s also in the people, people! While success comes through your own hard work and dedication, a big part of it is due to the people who I worked with and became friends or even roommates with.
I maintain my high regard to my MATOC supervisors for being successful in training a newbie in contracts like me to be someone who at least now knows a bit of what she’s talking about.
It is always a pleasure to have fellow Pinoys in the camps I stayed at. There was no missing out on Pinoy foods and Pinoy fun having them around. It is always a treat to have someone to talk to in Tagalog or Ilocano.
While I say this, I do not discount the pleasant non-Pinoy colleagues and friends I made. There has just been a lot of learning and bridging between cultures. Working on multinational and big programs will only teach you to be more open-minded and respectful of others. And, I get to be a bit of multi-lingual with a bit of Spanish, Dari and Hindi to add to my vocabulary.
To the person who believed and brought me to this company, he has my eternal gratitude though he may never know just what a BIG experience this stint has given me. He has been an instrument in this journey.
5. Dreams do come true. I earn a bit better now, giving me a little bit of financial freedom which allows me to fulfill my dream to TRAVEL.
My job affords me at least 3 times of travel in a year. Instead of spending all my vacation days home, I explore new places by myself or with a travel buddy. At times when I feel bored or lonely, thinking about my next trip is enough consolation. I was also able to get “superpower visas” easier.
I wouldn’t have had a blog to write without these travels which greatly inspire and fulfill me. I believe that apart from the enjoyment I get travelling and being in new places, travel gave
Today, I discovered another word – quinquennial, which means “a fifth anniversary”.
Thank you, D, for being a wonderful employer. While I wish I could say I wanna grow old with you, I know the adventurous and free spirit in me would one day prevail and take me to another place to bloom.