Monday, January 4, 2016

From SAP to Marketing. I Might Be Nuts.

So perhaps most of my friends already know I finally moved on to being in Marketing, something I have wanted to do since early 2014.
It's already not easy to switch jobs, let alone switching an entire career to another.

I was in SAP for more than 3 years, starting from scratch upon my graduation in Engineering.
If I have to be honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do back then.
I had only one goal since young, which is to graduate with a reputable Bachelor's Degree and start earning money to ease my family's burden.
My parents have not paid for my anything (except random meals, etc. when I got back home on weekends during uni time) since I left my Secondary school and I really wanted to contribute back to my family as much and as early as I can.

After more than 2 years in SAP, I decided that it wasn't the path meant for me.
As much I loved the people I worked with, I did not find happiness in my job.
Besides working to give my parents allowance, I was merely working to shop during weekends due to stress.
I had good food, nice clothes and even more awesome skincare/make up to make up (pun not intended) for the times I was unhappy/stressed during weekdays.

Even though I was slowly getting good in SAP, I can never find the genuine interest in it.
I couldn't find ways to excel in my job and I felt like I wasn't able to be as good as my peers.
From there, my confidence started dwindling down and I began to search for myself, what I was really interested in and perhaps good at.

I had a mentor back then who is my ex-boss' wife. She would come into the office to spend time with a few of us just to guide us in English - speaking, writing, vocab, grammar and she would even listen to our problems!
I would like to think that my English is commendable but I've always loved learning English so I didn't mind having extra lessons on it. :D

Thanks to her words of encouragement and letting me know what I'm good at, I realised that I might be in the wrong field after all.
After doing some research, I decided that what I wanted to do was similar to what marketing executives are doing.
I like to be surrounded by people, to strategise on what works and don't, to meet people, to see tangible results.

My work in the SAP field allowed me to travel to Europe and US, and I could have travelled to the Middle East and possibly Australia if I hadn't left SAP back in July.
Anyone who knows SAP should know that SAP gives you good money (travelling is a bonus if you work with MNCs - I happened to work for 2 giant oil and gas companies), but what they didn't tell you is that you might not have a life.

I complain almost every single day after work to Babe. His job is much tougher than mine and I certainly did not help at all by being such a nuisance to him.
But I'm grateful that even after all these years, he never gave up on me... :)

So one fine day (actually really horrible day) in June, I decided that I've had enough. 
How did it happen? It was all due to the drop in crude oil price.
Because of that, O&G are obviously the companies which are directly affected by it and retrenchments were happening everywhere in the field.
To sum it all up, people were leaving and workload increases for the remaining employees due to the freeze in hiring.
I was a victim. I had to do more than what I was asked/paid for and trust me, it wasn't as simple as what I'm telling you here.
Even after voicing it out, they couldn't give me what I wanted and I finally made up my mind that if I don't leave now, I'll only be dragging on this life and I was already at the point of breaking down.
My complaints lasted whole day, from lunch till dinner and I was constantly worried about my work.

It was not healthy anymore.

Finally, I made the decision and started aggressively looking for Marketing positions in KL.
The funny thing was, I was not afraid at all of not getting any Marketing jobs.
I was confident that I can land myself a Marketing position and what I did was to keep on applying for all even if the companies were looking for Freshies.
I knew I did not have a choice so I made sure I tried almost everything related.

My guardian angel must be around me when one day, a HR Recruitment Manager from a reputable hotel called me and asked if I was willing to take up a contract job with them in Marketing.
I jumped to the opportunity even though I knew it was only for a mere 2 months but I wanted to foundation in Marketing, anywhere is good to start!

But guess what!

They extended me for another 3 months but I left after 4 months being with them because my boss couldn't guarantee me a permanent position after my contract ends as they were also having a hiring freeze until further notice.

I'm not up for such uncertainties. I hate uncertainties in life.
So I continued my job search and landed myself a senior marketing position with my current company.
If you'd ask me if I love my job so far, I can tell you I definitely prefer it more than IT.
I like the flexibility where you can decide what you want to do to bring in business for the company and not what you have to do correctly (in the sense where you can google for answers with analysis, of course) in IT projects.

My relatives think that I should go back to IT while I still can while Babe who wasn't initially very supportive of me changing career, decided that he should give me the support I needed.
My family knows I'm big enough to decide on my own.
My friends? In general, I would like to think they're also very supportive of my decision because they know me well enough what I'm good at and not.

I thought I was crazy at first to be leaving my comfortable life (in terms of financial) but after almost 6 months of leaving IT, I must admit that it has been a roller coaster ride.
I'm still working on adjusting my lifestyle (due to pay cut obviously) but I think I'm doing okay at it for now.
My point is, it doesn't matter what others think of you but it matters what you think of yourself.
If you believed in yourself, you're already a step ahead of others. Screw what others think.
This is your life, not theirs.

If I had any advice to those who might come to the same crossroads as I had, BE BRAVE!
You only have one life. If you don't take chances, you'll never know what lies ahead of you.
Even if you failed, you would know better what works and what doesn't.

Wishing us the best of luck ahead!


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