Journal · Stories of In-Betweens

5-year Milestone at Work

5-year milestone in an Automotive Industry (WOW – I finally would say that). Actually, it wasn’t my very first job and to be honest, I don’t have any single idea about cars. During my panel interview with 13 panelists – I vividly remember how I answered them when they asked me, where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Isn’t it too upfront to tell them that I wanted to become a manager in that given time frame? Hmm, so I played safe, answered them with, in 5 years, I already earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (still in the process), a management position (maybe not) and to grow and enhance my knowledge and skills in this company (true, I am here until today though).

Here’s the story, I was offered a job in the Finance & Accounting department as an accounting bookkeeper. Despite (3 times) lesser salary offer than my previous employer, I accepted the offer for I knew that I’d be more efficient and effective here, for I love accounting jobs, I must say! Curious? OK. I am a Computer Studies graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. How IT works in Accounting? I trust God and believed that He has His ways, mysterious ways – I’d thought, that’s why I am here.

Let me incorporate those humble beginnings, they said, we are not here without those years of bittersweet hurdles. I agree. A 5-year milestone is something to look back on. Imagined, 5 years – something to be celebrated about. I was so happy that I came this far (is this far enough?) Yes, for me! I will elaborate it further, why did I stay for a long time when I saw it as a half empty glass? It was mainly because I needed to fulfill what I had promised. That was to send my siblings to college. OMG, goosebumps again, can’t get away from strong emotion of fulfillment. She graduated a year ago. Enough, dear self. I can no longer hold my tears, so emotional.

The long bittersweet hurdle story started year 2009, ended 2013, started 2014 and still in long string, no ending – in a continuous queue of work-life process.

2009 when I entered college and literally, had have-not resources to pursue my so glittery dreams. Only one thing I had, courage. Courage brought me to great years of milestones. I enrolled in a course that was never on my list because the circumstances left me with no choice. Either to take this or no scholarship and privilege to study. Which would you choose? I learnt that it is the course you undertake to achieve what you passionately desire.

2013 when college journeys ended, and “real world” as they said, begins. Thanks to four years of actual work experiences at school that equipped me to face new real life-corporate opportunities. Even so, with those years, I did not despise humble beginnings. Two days after graduation, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol. Three days later, I was endorsed by our Dean to INGO, and my three months service-contract started. I was connected with Action Against Hunger Philippines – an Australian Non-Government Organization. We supported affected communities through WASH, DRR, Livelihood programs and the must that time, food & shelter.

2014 when I signed a Project-Contract with ACF- Accion contre la Faim. It was the first time I was able to round Bohol, to send help to the people. I saw their faces of hope to stand again after they (we) stumbled. We foster resilience too. I was fulfilled even how tiring the work was. Grateful again, through it I have known various INGOs who were humane and promoted human dignity and rights. Oh, how I missed it now. And I learnt to “eat whatever is on my plate”. Months went off so fast and my project-contract ended again, the last day of August.

Here, say hurray to the corporate world! See, God is so amazing that He plotted it perfectly. From privilege to college, to INGO experiences and now in the corporate business world. No thank you that can compensate for that, Oh Lord. You carry me through – You are my strength who sustained my heart and I never doubted You.


2014, September 1st, my corporate world 5-year milestone begins. As they said, “when one closes you a door, know that someone opens” In my context “know that there are windows” joke. In a serious manner, there are windows of perspectives and opportunities coming your way, just look at it positively. Can you glimpse positivism in all negatives of life? Do the math, negative multiplied by negative equals positive. Yes!

To continue my season 2014, I started again as a newbie – eager to learn, building anew, adapt to a new environment and many and so. I knew the importance of being rooted and committed to something of perpetual value. I had invested my knowledge to the company “long-term”. Like stocks, it increases its value when aged. Hmm, and with conviction, everything can be learned – no excuses. Three years in a row, I responded with all yeses. Yes to a new role, yes to new responsibilities, yes to new challenges, yes to new people to contact with, yes to adversities, perplexities and disgusting opportunities, and yes to deeper knowledge and understanding. Just yeses. With those numerous yeses, I was commended and rewarded, not of tangible things but mostly lessons learned. It was unclear and foggy to what my purpose was then. But enthusiasm drove me to extend great efforts – I knew, I was oozy and I thirst for more.

As the years passed by, all of my inhibitions turned to pure and firm intentions – to build genuine relationships with people, not just connections. I shifted my goal. And if they would ask me the same question 5 years ago, I would change my answer, I would still be a rank-and-file employee in that duration. No, I was not scared of bigger responsibilities, I just wanted a simpler life – with no complications with co-workers, when I don’t need to be hard, when I don’t hide my emotions and so. We all had issues at work – poor management, incompetence, people with attitude, overloaded workloads, pressures, stress and even insecurities.  My heart, be still – that was what I prayed for. Whether you are in power, keep your feet in the ground. Humility – stand at your own ground.

Work is a gift from God. I am inclined to stop gossiping, and it’s crazy little hard. I served for the benefits of the company, for the betterment of my family, for my own growth – both personal and professional and for the kingdom of God. I just served, no filter.

In this milestone, I had countless hopes. I tried my utmost strength to carry out the tasks I was assigned to. I had surpassed a lot – criticisms, questions about my integrity and capabilities, etc. I gained this great courage because of one event. It was my first day at work, I was so excited and eager to face a new world. I walked in in the office spirited and overwhelmed, but that very day it ended gloomy. “I never hired an IT for an accounting position”, so, who did? Those uttered pithy words disheartened me. Those expressions really mattered. And instead of getting discouraged from that statement, I draw inner-strength and used it to encourage myself to do beyond what is expected to be done. And to prove them that they were deadly wrong. I learnt that, if you are in a position, you should not underestimate someone newbie, you never know what she is capable of – might be, you look up to her in coming years. (PS. no resentment, only gratitude)

“Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.” –  Aiki Flinthart, The Yu Dragon

Did I blab too much? Hehe, just let me please! I just wanted to remind myself how blessed I am and I wanted to inspire you too, folks. If we rode the same boat, it will surely resonate with you. My 5 years stay was truly a roller coaster ride. I had many firsts – international and domestic plane rides, train rides, out of the country, traveled alone, etc. I broke with tears and laughed so much. This work brought me countless good memories that I’d be nostalgic about. Here, I was pruned, honed and cultivated to the person I am today. And celebrated birth anniversaries too — with nothing but sheer grace.

Those jaw-dropping years made up this whole story. Story of being patient, persistent, kind, wise, courageous and grateful. Otherwise, story of rejections, distresses, and discouragements. Came by, and left a mundane life.

2019, my 5th year in the industry and my year of flying. Moving forward, and looking forward to a great working years ahead. Thank you, dear Toyota! To next twists!

The Girl Behind,

Grace ❤

If you want to know more about my blog, click here. Follow @grittygracee on Instagram and like my Facebook page Everyday New GraceMuchas Gracias!

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