Friday, March 9, 2012

My Winning Piece

     "No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door. The purpose of light is to create more light, to open the eyes of people;to reveal the marvels around." A quote from Paulo Coelho's book "Like a Flowing River" speaks so much about a person' ability to illuminate his or her genuine and distinct character in the pool of diversity and differences. I believe we are all carrying our lamps with us, lit by a small fire representing our identity and uniqueness that could brighten even the darkest path we encounter along the way.

     I can still vividly recall that day when I had to use my own lamp. Like a dusk covering the night sky, I was blanketed with a sorrow-filled darkness when I had to stop my education. I was walking along the highway of life, living happily with a sense of satisfaction when a roadblock suddenly made all my dreams vanished into thin air. My parents were going through a very tough time on the financial lane. As a son, a brother, I knew what I had to do. I did not want to add to the incessant flow of problems mercilessly beating my family down. I knew, despite my inability to provide monetary help, I should take action by all means necessary, if not completely eliminate the problems but at least to lessen the burden of my parents. I was 18 years old back then;a young lad who still found Spongebob Squarepants was funny. However, Spongebob's humor failed to put a smile on my face when I finally made up my mind. One day, right after my little sister's recognition in school, I told my mom that I was ready to stop my education. 

     I was all giddy as I completed the sentences with reluctance. During that time, I thought that my only place in the world was school and that when you take me away from it is like taking a goldfish out of its bowl. I remember how fast my heart beat was when I told her that I would drop my books and find a job. At the back of my mind, I knew finding a job wasn't easy as uttering it but I wanted to make my mom feel better. So, despite my lack of knowledge about getting employed, I managed  to convince her that I could somehow help the family out. As I look back at that significant event of my life, I realized that was the moment when I was in the process of figuring out how I could use my lamp that I was carrying my whole life on my advantage. I didn't exactly know who I was or what I could do as a human being and how far I could go when it came to taking risks but I still went with the flow having no idea what tomorrow was in store.

     The call center industry was as prominent as Patrick Star (Spongebob's best friend) and so I decided to give it a try. I had the biggest confidence when it came to spoken communication and so I thought I could prosper in the call center industry. I have never been so determined in my life and the only thought in my mind was to get a job and start earning money. Nevertheless, it wasn't easy as I thought it would be. In fact, I have never been into a job interview before so I have no idea where I got the audacity to even set foot in Business Process Outsourcing Company with zero knowledge about the process of a job interview. I had my resume at hand, wearing a formal attire, waiting for my name to be called as I sweat profusely in the holding area where all applicants waited. I looked around and saw a number of applicants wanting the same position I was applying for. They all looked professional and experienced and I looked exactly like a person who didn't have any idea what he got himself into. I looked lost. I just wanted to get out of there and maybe try a less formal or less serious job. Perhaps, a service personnel in a fast food chain, a barker in Guadalupe or a security guard in a mall, anything but this pressure-driven job. 

     All these thoughts scurried in and out of my head as I tried to compose myself. All of a sudden, my name was called. It was time to lay everything on the line. It was a now or never moment where my decision would either spiral me down into an abyss of failure or bring me to the highest pedestal I have ever taken myself. I was asked questions I have never been asked before like how do I cook Adobong Manok or can I tell something about myself. My closest friends didn't even ask me to tell something about myself when we were just getting to know each other. We naturally knew each other without asking that question and all of a sudden someone would forcefully want to know something about me? Anyway, it was a miracle that I answered every question without losing my confidence. I was aware that there were several people outside who did their best like what I did. I knew I was in a battlefield. I was in a competition where the best would stand the tallest among the rest, however, I wasn't thinking about outrunning my competitors. Actually, I was more concerned with my primary goal of being hired. I was determined to impress the interviewer by being myself and using my distinct  and unique personality to get the job. After going through the grueling interviews, I was hired, surprisingly. 

     Despite the presence of an intense competition, I was able to get my very first job. Needless to say, I was a happy-camper. Now, given the fact that it was my first time to go hunting for a job, how was I able to succeed? Despite the number of experienced people around me, how did I manage to get a position? Impossibility was written all over my face but how did I manage to wash it off? The answer is simple. I was finally able to light up my own lamp. I figured out what I can do as a person and how I can use my uniqueness and my God-given abilities made just for me to be triumphant. I was clueless and I felt like I was walking in the dark but the light of my lamp which represents my unique character paved way to my victory. I learned to believe in myself and to use my life experiences that designed my identity in every situation I get into.

     It is a common knowledge that we are living in a world where change is as normal as the sun rises and sets and job competitions can never be tougher. Despite of it all, we must learn to believe that we are created to succeed and that everything we need to be victorious is all within ourselves. It is just a matter of discovering it and using it on our advantage. Failure will always be there along the way but failing doesn't mean it's the end of our lives and that we will never have the chance to succeed anymore. It is a stepping-stone towards a brighter and better future. Patrick Star once said, "Everything is going to be ok in the end, if it's not ok then its not the end.".

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