The never-ending journey to find our best selves is not a challenge to balance the scales of success and failure, but an invitation to embrace identity-shaping experiences
I continue to consider myself lucky to be handpicked from obscurity three years ago by a company I now call my second home. I have dabbled in a variety of interests, each one unique from the one before it.
In more than a decade of soul-searching, I have been a public school teacher in the provinces, pushing my progressive practices amid traditional values. I have also been a wildlife researcher, on the hunt for what was then what we perceived as endemic geckos. I have privately tutored several jaded teens whose dreams, I hope, have been fully realized by now. I was a medical student who opened cadavers and attempted to memorize every strand of muscle existing in the human body. I worked in the events industry, where I carefully priced concert tickets and balanced ROIs. I briefly joined the retail industry, where work was pairing wine with cheese and listing discounts for the week. And before my tenure in publishing, I was involved in the global BPO industry. Here, I was wide awake for long periods, providing communication solutions from one continent to another—be it cultural pride in Latin America, women’s safety in India, or the multi-lingual demands of European countries.
Growing up, my fears of being boxed in one particular stereotype stemmed from the irrational plotlines of mediocre television. And so as I aimed for high marks and wrote tirelessly in a worn-out publication office for the school paper, I also joined the school choir, attempted to play for the tennis team, and ran for class president. Still, I realized I was never number one at anything. And that was my self-proclaimed perennial problem.
My career in One Mega Group gave me an avenue to explore all of these mini facets that would appear in specific instances. I would identify animal or plant species in shoots, explain written medical advice, and resolve team disputes with classroom diplomacy. Here, my being number one hundred and whatnot in the many things I tried didn’t hinder my growth and progress. It instead made me interested in the hundreds of various things we wrote about and made me feel knowledgeable enough to work with any material given. Work became empowering.
And it was also character building. The colorful personalities of the daily office setting inspired me to emulate the most admirable traits from the leaders I looked up to. My first two bosses taught me unforgettable lessons on the dual nature of a leader. On one hand, I learned to be protective of my tribe, to be vocal in opinion, and to be strong when my team needs me to be. On the other, I learned the value of restraint, the importance of silence and reflection, and the experience of choosing battles wisely. Lovingly, in my thoughts, I refer to them as A Song of Fire and Ice (in the spirit of Game of Thrones).
As I honed my skills in storytelling and learned the ropes from my peers, I soon found myself gaining a much better perspective on what many may perceive as a scatterbrain mentality. I’ve learned to compartmentalize every experience and put each piece of knowledge gained to good use. I have realized that our varied interests do not divide us, but serve as connections to many figures who we may have expected to be completely different from us.
In the next few days, as we open another chapter in the history of One Mega Group, I explore many sides of myself as I read each riveting story from our panel of contributors. I take a glimpse of each brilliant mind and search for familiarity behind each genius, each skill. And in finding differences, I invoke clarity and understanding. The way we approach ideas reflects our eagerness to learn. And as we continue to shape our identities, whether we force it or not, our character composition will remain ever-changing and, hopefully, ever-growing.
The idea of being a jack of all trades and a master of none doesn’t scare me as much as before. Now, acknowledging the many hats I wear, I have learned to wear each one with pride. And through this platform, I hope you find it in you to do too.
With journalistic experience spanning just about three years, Pipo has been working in the communications industry for nearly a decade with tenure in various sectors such as global communications, retail, advertising, events, and marketing. He has served as Copy Chief and Newsroom Head for One Mega Group, and for the last couple of years, has been Lifestyle Asia's Managing Editor for its print publication.
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