Rising Up to Challenges

A warrior of the light is reliable.  He makes some mistakes, and sometimes considers himself to be more important than he really is.  But he does not lie. When people gather around the fire,  he talks to his male and female companions.  He knows that the words he utters will be kept in the memory of the Universe, as a record of what he thinks. And the warrior reflects,  “Why do I say so much, if I am often unable to do everything I say?” This is an important matter for reflection.

The heart replies, “When you publicly defend your ideas, you will have to be strong in order to live up to them.” It is because he thinks he is that which he says, that the warrior ends up becoming exactly that.

From the website of Paolo Coelho

Given the last reorganization, I find myself in unchartered waters.

To be honest, despite knowing how competent I am, for the first time, I have little idea on what exactly do I need to do. My new boss has taken us aside a few weeks ago and made me in charge of execution and to “save costs.” Hence, my job is to look into my department’s processes, identify the gaps and then figure out a solution on how to save our company money.

Deep inside, I groaned.

Smoothing processes can be a tad tricky.

In a way, it’s like being in an IT support position — when the computer works, everything is fine and dandy and nobody thinks you’re contributing much. However, it’s during crisis that you show your value. You step in, put out the fires and come out the hero. However, as your job is to ensure that fires don’t develop in the first place, well, that makes you dispensable until the next fire. 🙁

Saving costs are trickier.

Given that I’m in a huge organization where every vendor has been globally approved, it’s quite a challenge to look into the many crooks and crevices to determine which changes you can make. That involves hours of emailing, conversations and meetings just to execute a single change. Not really looking forward to handling that bureaucracy at all!

Nonetheless, everything is excited. At the very least, I know that I still have job security till the next cut (as if that’s something we can celebrate about). 🙂

For one, my job allows me to stay in contact with many heads of all regions. It’s quite exciting to even be in conversation with these top-of-class market makers and finding out through the many nuances of your emails and calls just what makes their minds tick. It’s interesting to learn that despite their top salaries and high levels of competencies, they’re human too with the same fears and concerns as you. It’s also humbling to deal with them, and is a constant reminder on how much learning I still need to go through to stay in their level.

Second, the work is challenging.  Jobs that already have a clear description are oh-so-boring. Somebody else had already set the paths and all you have to do is follow the instruction manual to do a terrific job.

However, you’re not a path maker. Someone else had already gone through the many hardships to make life smoother for you. Wouldn’t it be more fulfilling if you were actually filling in those bricks and pieces that would lay the ground for those coming after you?

Third, this is just the growth I am looking for. In a way, though I’m a small potato in such a big organization, I am quite grateful for my new demanding boss for giving us the opportunity to shine by ourselves. Sure, we can always easily fall flat in our faces and given our high profiles, it’s quite easy for us to fall as spectacularly as we came. Sometimes, it scares me on how big and confident I can sometimes sound when I’m talking to business contacts.

Regardless, I truly have no choice — I must sound competent and a know it all (of my job) to increase my credibility. If my contacts feel that I have no clue what my job is all about, then basically, my position is null and I’d find myself thrown into the wayside within months.

Anyway, that’s where I am at work: Talking big and doing the best I can to achieve our lofty goals.

Last week, I mentioned to my boss my concerns on how fast we’re propelling this and he was quite comforting when he said, “Bonita, that’s why we are citing these high goals. If you set your targets high, at the very least, you motivate people to reach the stars. Regardless on whether or not they can reach it, at least, it’s higher than if you asked them to just crawl the ground.”

Well said indeed, but let’s just hope that the tiger doesn’t change its stripes. I am very aware on how fast things change in a huge organization. One day, you’re the flavor of the month and the next week, you’re thrown out in the garbage. In a way, working in such a large office has made me realize how fast sentiments change and loyalty is not as secured as when you’re in a smaller satellite office. Admittedly, I miss Taiwan and my previous cozy work environment.

But I shake it off — I’m in Hong Kong on and no matter how painful, change is good. Without change, how can we grow? And it’s only in the hottest fire that a diamond slowly but surely forms from the rough. I just hope I can survive the pressures and challenges Hong Kong forces me to accept.

Pray for me lo!


Apologies for the delay in response. Hahaha, you may probably think I’m dead!

As I’ve moved to Hong Kong, the first few weeks in January was full of me hecticly working my arse off for one of Asia’s big-ass events, moving to a new place and buying enough furniture to settle in quite well. To top it off, I still don’t have Internet at home!

Imagine this, in one of the weeks in January, I didn’t sleep for almost 36 hours (in the end, I slept for 2.5 hours or so)! How I survived that debacle was quite a miracle (or I would say, tons of adrenalin) but fortunately, everything passed and ended up quite well.

Fortunately, the conference turned out superbly and I finally moved to my new place in North Point. The happy part is that my house is coming quite well together with my nice Ikea sheets (Ikea btw has turned out to be a favourite sojurn to visit after work) and mirrored ceiling (yes my dear so stop having dirty thoughts!). I still have a few details to finalize (say, paying my electric bill), but overall, everything is turning out quite well.

Personal life, I don’t really have one anymore. Boyfriend and I are no longer in contact, so would it be safe to say that we’re through? 🙂

In a way, it ended well and am not just saying this to justify the failure of this relationship.

The reason why I didn’t really give it too much of a fight was that it was a doomed relationship in the first place.

The last time we met in December, it was quite clear just how different we were from each other. In addition, he couldn’t really follow through with the actions to make it work.

For example, there was really little that we had in common except that we liked each other. His brute on-the-go attitude was too tiring for me, and I constantly wondered how much more I needed to put out just to keep him interested. And when one woman wonders how many hoops she needs to jump through to keep the relationship going, well, you don’t need to be Einstein to realize just how much work-intensive relationship can be sustainable. At the same time, I was also hesitant to move far too forward: if he did make it possible for our relationship to our future, would I really want this man?

And the answer was, “Hmmm… I don’t know.”

Regardless, there are no regrets.

I’m very glad it ended along the same time when I arrived in Hong Kong. Honestly, it was very exhausting to hide the relationship from everyone, and it’s hard for me to levelly look at some people in the eyes and be nonchalant when my companion mentions my boyfriend. That sort of dishonesty is really not part of my system. What’s more, there’s a few people in Hong Kong that I value as friends, and I know how much they will disrespect me if they found out. As you can see, my relationship was not something to be celebrated about, and that spells doom if you ask me.

Hence, it’s great to actually jump into a relationship, learn from it and then get out fast before you got seriously burnt.

Sure, it was sad when it didn’t work out. Most of you were witnesses to just how much I’ve missed him, and how I was dismayed when the relationship was ending. However, I’m glad that I’m still emotionally sane and it is taking me faster than usual to get over this relationship. At the very least, I’m currently not sobbing my eyes off and thinking of jumping of the building every time.

So with that, next!

Especially with the heavier workload, this is actually a great thing! 😀

I can now focus further with work, and my present life in Hong Kong. Given the longer work hours, it would take a miracle and a lot of effort just for me to go out there and meet new people so that I can again replicate what I did in Taiwan. For some reason, meeting friends in Taiwan was a lot easier than in Hong Kong! Isn’t that insane?

Anyway, hope all is well and do leave me a note when you can!

Kong Hei Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

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3 thoughts on “Rising Up to Challenges

  1. Hey! Happy New Year! (should I say Chinese? Seems like discrimination. Also, I’ve heard of a dialect where it’s said “Gong xi fa cai” 🙂 ).
    It’s probably not that nice about your relationship but hey, at least you got out of it quickly and with little to no traumas. Enjoy Hong Kong and get settled in like you did in Taiwan, best wishes for the new year!

    I’d write something more but suffice to say that I’m alive, just totally swamped at the moment.

  2. You’re all right though everyone says it a different way, DS. In Mandarin, we say “Xin nian kuai le.” In Cantonese I think, they say, “Gong xi fa cai.” And glad to get out from the relationship. Too bad about it though. Oh well, just a new start!

    Thanks for dropping a line even if you’re swamped!

    Welcome back Alatus!

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