The first company I worked for after graduating from college was San Miguel Corporation, my dream company then. A little before I reached a year in the company, I received an email from my mom. It was from her friend / colleague, about a certain job opening that they thought I may be interested. I wasn’t looking for another job then, I was still happily employed in San Miguel. When I read through the email, two thoughts struck me – I was exactly the person they were looking for, and the work opportunity they were presenting was one-of-a-kind. I just had to try it out. There was nothing to lose.
And so I emailed my resume, and then I was called in for interviews. I was very transparent to them that I was only considering this opportunity, but I was still happily employed. I do not know how many people they considered for the position, but they may have realized the same thing I realized the very first time I read about the job opening – I was the person they needed. Of course I also had doubts about transferring. There was a lot of benefits in San Miguel that I would be foregoing if I did transfer. Also, the work assignment seemed so demanding, I was afraid that I won’t be able to survive. Lastly, they were offering me only the same salary as I was receiving in my previous job – there was no financial incentive to transfer.
I had to weigh my options. I could choose to stay in San Miguel and enjoy the stability of my employment there, as well as the uncomplicated nature of my work. I could choose to really gamble on my career by leaving San Miguel and joining this new company. Should I join a small company (of 5 people then) or stay in a giant corporation? Should I transfer to an office twice the distance from my home? Should I leave my stable corporate job for a job in a non-profit organization?
At the end of my discernment, I wrote and filed my resignation letter to my boss. I told her the real reason why I was leaving – because there was an extraordinary opportunity presented to me, and it would be a big mistake for me to let it pass. She knew there was nothing she could do to make me stay.
Fast forward to three years after, I am now still working for The Mind Museum (in-the-making). I joined the initially as a Project Development Assistant, and then later I was offered to be an Assistant Exhibit Manager. Don’t be fooled by my titles, I actually do a lot more than those titles describe. I enjoy everything I do, however tiring they may get. I love what I am working on. It’s monumental, and that’s no exaggeration. Imagine being part of the team who is building the first world-class science museum in the Philippines. From a team of 5, there is now 10 of us, and still counting. I am a pioneer, being that I am employee number 3 (less all the people who have left the team), the first after my two bosses. Still toiling hard to go up the ranks, but this opportunities has given a lot of valuable learnings for me, beyond anything I would’ve experienced if I did stay where I was before.
Opportunities come and go in our lives and we have to be able to identify which opportunities we should not let pass. Sometimes they require from us a giant leap of faith. Sometimes taking the leap can make our lives better or worse, but they will teach us valuable lessons nonetheless.