It was year 2005, when I was in fourth year highschool. We have been deciding what we want to take in college. I was confused. I wanted so many things to learn. So many schools I want to tryout. But, so many factors needed to think about. Back then, with my 15 year old brain I was at a dilemma. Since it was normal for schools to held career orientations that’s when I first heard the word IT (also known as Information Technology). I was curious. And so I asked, good thing one of my Uncles is a Computer Science graduate. So my heart was set out to be an IT professional. My ultimate dream… is to be an IT Manager.

So there I was taking up tests and applying for the IT department. The first school I went to, I was not accepted. Due to my lack of confidence to pursue it. I ended up taking Management. But my heart, screams  IT! And so I transferred. Though I had to go back to first year I didn’t mind. Cause for me, I had a chance to re-do my college years and make the best out of it. And I also get to re-do those grades that was not so good. And after four stressful years, I graduated as an IT.

As I was looking for a job, all I could think about is starting in this industry. Thus, my first job as a programmer for mobile applications. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t research anything about it. Not like what most people do during that time. I was just there to know more about this industry. I wasn’t prepared for all of it. I wasn’t informed it was so hard to be in a real world and my chosen industry. So I had to resign. I didn’t want to but I had to. I needed to be more ready.

Then came my second job, as an IT Instructor to 1st and 2nd year students. Boy was it fun! Waking up and teaching this young ones on how to create tables, understand functions and create something from codes. It was a dream come true. It was hard, but I re-learned everything again. But then, what can a small paying job do for someone who has a large family? I needed to learn again. I needed to choose. Between my love for teaching, or my career or my family. Which is more important? Do I really want to do this for me? or because society dictates it?

Then I land to my first ever corporate job. It was not as fancy as the other jobs in the IT industry but it was my stepping stone. It was what opened my eyes to what Makati, and corporate world is. And frankly, it was brutal. For my two months in that e-commerce company. I learned:

  1. How to commute (I was not good at this at all)
  2. That most bus drivers think that they are driving sedans or SUV’s.
  3. There are a lot of cars in Manila
  4. The extent of the pollution in our country
  5. If you don’t wake up early, you’ll be late.

I also learned, that anything can happen. In my two months there, I thought that I was conquering all my fears. But the worst thing happened. The company unfortunately had to close. It was a start-up company operating for a year that time. A lot were laid off, one of it was me. It was totally heart breaking. I never once thought that this can happened to me. In the span of 2 years in the workforce and a lot has changed. Worst part is I didn’t find a job right after that. I was a bum, and tried my luck as a drummer in my all-girls band.

For five months, I tried and tried to find work in the IT industry but none was responding. There were call centers here and there. But my heart was not set on it. My heart was set out to be a full-blown IT professional. So I waited. I did patiently waited and prayed to God. I learned that through thick and thin He will be there. And most of all, He listens. Sometimes, we thought that He doesn’t. But I believe He has this big book of records just writing all of our requests. I needed to be still, I needed to learn. I needed to trust God.

And so came year 2014, I declared that I will have a job on the first month. I was nervous, but I was also excited. To be able to go back to the workforce after 5 months was truly unbearable. True enough, God really listens to prayers. I had 3 interviews on the first month alone and 2 job offers. I took the one who offered my dream job.

I was ecstatic. So excited to finally start to do the things I imagined myself doing in the industry during my college years. On the first year of my job, I think I did a great job. A year after I was rewarded with a big raise and second raise months after that.  But during those months, it was gruesome. I literally shed tears, energy, blood (exaggerating) and sweat to learn all the things I’ve learned from this line of work. As I journeyed, I came to realize it was so hard to be in this kind of job. My summarization as what an IT professional is:

  1. You constantly have to think every moment of your life. Not just think but analyze all of the things you encounter. Including the things people says infront of you. Even if you don’t have to.
  2. Being in this business you have to be fast-paced, easy to adapt and easy to be taught. Cause there will always, always be someone way better and  younger than you .
  3. IT IS A HARD AND TOUGH JOB (cannot express it more).
  4. When you limit yourself into learning what you’re best at, you also limit yourself into learning more about the industry. Hence, you get stuck at what you do best only. For some this is good, for others who can be too stubborn this is bad.
  5. And lastly, it may be a HARD and TOUGH job, but it’s one of the most fulfilling job ever. If we are able to give a solution software that can minimize or eliminate the problems of a company, it gives me so much joy and make me realize why I wanted this job in the first place.

I still have a lot to learn. As they say, “Madami pa akong bigas na kakainin.” But I am willing to learn more. There may be times that I want to give up. But, in my experience being in this industry is hard because of us, the people involved. From the project owners to the testers to the developers to the managers.

I do hope and pray, that someday us from the IT industry can be united into solely helping all of the companies to have better systems. Being an IT professional, I believe we have the upper hand in THE business. May 23-year old nga na naghack ng COMELEC website e. Pero let’s put it to good use. Like the makers of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Spotify, Uber, and so on. We have the power to change the world. Make it count.

Peace to all,

Aiah

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