The last two months of my life had been marred with tough choices. I applied in 24 companies before getting this job as engineering editor. And if I may visualize my path, I am balancing manuscripts while walking in the tightrope of intellectual and monetary fulfillment. And if you are an average Juan (not one of the million or six-digit earning retired young entrepreneurs that I look up to and admire), you can relate. For you will also have to walk this tightrope before you reach the pinnacle of your intellectual flow state and your financial freedom out of the paycheck rat race.
There were some companies that offered twice the compensation I receive here. Not to mention the fact that I earn way much more as a freelancer. I could have stayed with my online Internet jobs and just file my own SSS contributions and stuff. My bosses did not particularly want me to leave the online world for this very time-demanding work. One of the things I had to adjust to is the reporting to the office from 8am to 6pm. As a freelancer, I was used to just coming up with articles at any time that the writing Muse decides to take a visit. Now, Muse or no Muse, the manuscripts need to be settled asap. Deadlines come in hordes here, mind you. And I am often too tired to do anything when I get home.
But why did I decide to leave the freelance world for this time-consuming thing? Why did I choose to trudge my career path as precariously as this:
I am not sure if other people will find my reasons valid. But it’s different strokes for different folks. Let me give you an overview of what I am beset with on a typical day here at the publishing world.
Behind me is a woman with an American last name who bested most of us in the big boss’ grammar exam. At my left is a super sexy married woman who makes me look at my belly in concern. I’d kill for her waistline, really!
Behind that sexy editing woman is a freelance photo model who hails as a magna cum laude from Ateneo de Naga university.And has the dimples I have been trying to poke on my cheek in fourth grade (With no success, of course!)
Somewhere in the Northwest from my desk, there is a cum laude in Journalism and a Palanca awardee. Seated near them is a SPED specialist and a writing fellow in the prestigious Iligan Writing Workshop. Farther up, there is the top 2 in the recent Licensure Exam for Teachers by the PRC. If you climb up a little, you will be acquainted with some of the country’s best illustrators.
Oh, did I mention that our editor in chief edits the works of famous National Artists for literature? (there is a separate post about him, by the way)
For some people, these things do not matter in a job. But to me, THEY DO. Not because they have titles. But because I am in an environment where I am intellectually challenged to stay on top of my game. Here, excellence is not extraordinary; it is expected. So as I juggle all these manuscripts due by the end of this month, I make sure to check if I dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s correctly.I am just happy people here are most kind and they do not really brag about how kick-a$$ they really are, intellectually speaking. It’s a good environment to be in; people wear their intelligence like their underwear (Everyone assumes they have it but they don’t flaunt it for the whole wide universe.)
I am just so lucky to be here. The pay may not be that high, but I know I am so fulfilled with the benefits of being with these people, these people who are so good with what they do. And they do what I love most, what I love naturally.
In terms of money issues, I have Bo Sanchez’s useful advice to help me out: save 20% of whatever meager sum I am earning each paycheck, and set aside 10% for the Lord as thanksgiving and tithe.I plan to do it as faithfully as I possibly can.
I write everything here not just to advise the job hunter to find work that suits his natural inclinations and passions. But also to remind myself of how lucky I am to be here, in case certain irritations and frictions try to kill that passion I have for this path I chose for myself.