A year ago, I was in the middle of crossroads: to go to the industry or to stay in the academe. It was a hard decision for me. I was scared. I was scared to leave my comfort zone. I have been so used to this laid-back life in MSU GenSan. And people around me were saying that it wouldn’t be a wise move to leave the state university (stable) for NEC, especially in the peak of the financial crisis.
I was scared. Not only for myself but also for my family. If I failed and get kicked out of my next job, then how in the world could I support my siblings’ education? It would be very, very hard.
I was scared. I was scared to start again. New office. New people. New environment. I thought, “What if I don’t get along well with my new officemates?”, “What if I don’t meet their expectations?”, “What if I realize that I could be happier in MSU?”, “What if things didn’t turn out right?” What if this, what if that. Too scared, too many whatifs.
And now, after a year, what has become of me? Has anything changed?
Well, I was able to go to Japan for my PhilNITS/AOTS-sponsored training. And there, I realized, that I didn’t have to be ashamed of my job. That it was cool to be a college teacher. Certainly, teaching in the university doesn’t involve dining in fancy restaurants with business partners or prospect clients, or traveling to different parts of the world, or driving flashy cars, or wearing the latest fashion trends. Certainly not. But teaching gives a different sense of fulfillment.
Yes, I realized, I LIKED teaching. It’s a fun and cool job to make a difference in young people’s lives. It’s fulfilling to see those curious, expectant eyes flash with excitement for a new thing learned or discovered. It’s satisfying to see former students grow and excel in their careers.
But, the problem is I want to be excellent in what I do. And currently, I don’t see myself doing that. Yes, I know I shouldn’t blame the computers, the facilities, the students, the administration, the government, nor the system. But I believe I am giving a mediocre performance because I don’t have enough facilities and the proper working environment. The system is not helping me either. I need an employer who knows me, who knows my needs and who’ll support me in achieving our common goals.
I am seeking for that kind of employer. I know I have the potential to be able to help any company or organization achieve its goals. And I hope that the next university I will be joining can be just that. I want to work with excellent people so that I can learn from them, and be excellent myself.
I am the type of person who needs to be recognized for a job well done – not really as big as a promotion – just a simple recognition to make me feel important could do. Oops, but I’d also like to be promoted. It would certainly be fantastic, if, after six years in my career, I could at last, taste a promotion. What I don’t understand in our system is that we don’t even get step increments, like, for example, from Instructor 2, I would be like Instructor 3 after 3 years of very satisfactory performance. The hundreds difference on my payslip could make a lot of difference in boosting up my morale. But no, it doesn’t work that way. People need to wait for at least 10 years to get a promotion. And luckily, if you do get promoted, you’d have a big difference in your salary. Like, for example, from Instructor 2, I could become Assistant Prof IV! See? It’s a big, big jump.
I don’t know if we share the same opinion. But this is no longer working for me. I need to try other opportunities.