Things I've Learned (So Far) Since I Started Working

By Karla Aguas - 9:48:00 PM


HUHUHUHU! I can't believe I'm even making an entry on this topic. I'm still in denial (student parin ang peg ko... for LIFE!) that I'm done with college and am working to build, as my Mom keeps on saying, my "Nest." But alas, time keeps on moving and life stops for no man (uyy profound!) and I have to slowly but surely, face the reality that is-

BIG GIRL NA AKO. (Huhuhu)

So I've decided to make a list of a few things I've learned since I started working in June 2012. I know it's only been 9 months and I'm technically a "Working Baby" (Hihi, it sounds so cute) but I can honestly say that being thrown into the real world has really changed my perspective on life and on how I view things. So I thought I'd share with you all (since I just love making` kwento) a few things I've learned these past 9 months in.

Thank God for your college "Hell Weeks"

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When I look back to my college days (uyy feeling oldie? Lola vibes?) I can still  picture myself clearly. I remember walking to every class, eating in Som Mall, making pa cute to my boyfriend, making chika with friends, treating Sec Walk as my official "Cat Walk" (I was actually more concerned with not TRIPPING while walking to class), escaping to the library for AIRCON, having readings photocopied by dear Ate Alma (Hiii Pangga!), hiding from manong guard every time I would leave my ID at home (Ninja mode ON), complaining about the heat and loving every minute I spent in Ateneo. Until the occasional HELL WEEK.
AHHMAHHGHAADD I'M GOING TO DIEEE!!!
I'M NEVER GOING TO GET ANY SLEEP WHYYYY!!!!!
THERE'S SOOO MUCH TO DO!!!!!
*&(%#$&^&%^#@#@!!#%^&%^
You've heard it and you've said it. You've had the all nighters (which I never experienced cause I'd always fall asleep by like, 10 PM HAHA #studentfail), the unlimited coffee, the yosi breaks, the crying sessions and the YM conversations that consisted of more complaining than actual work. Yes I've been there, many many times. I never thought I would be able to get through 3 papers, 2 oral defenses and 2 tests all in one day, but, I did. DESPITE ALL MY CRAMMING and LAST MINUTE WORK. God has really always been by my side because I honestly don't know how I would've been able to do it without Him and Starbucks Katipunan.

So what am I getting at? Well, because of those "hell weeks" in college, I've learned how to manage my time and my work better. I've always taken pride in my "multi-tasking" skills (I can eat and type, text and talk, write and watch TV- you name any combination, I've probably already done it or can do it. #naks) but when I came into the "real world" I was really tested. You see, hell week in college really does prepare you for what lies ahead. If you make the mistake of slacking off or delaying your work, you will, most probably, die. Joke lang! Di naman! But you have to remember that when it comes to the work place, your work is what represents you.


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If you give half baked, poorly done work, then, more often than not, it will reflect on you and your work ethic. The trick is to be able to prepare ahead, work efficiently, and DO NOT PANIC. At work you learn to become more responsible with your duties and obligations. You have to remember, at work, there's no "extra credit" or "bonus projects." What you get is what you get and you HAVE to make sure that whatever it is you send out to your boss, is YOUR BEST WORK. College hell weeks have helped a lot because I know that I can handle whatever challenges are given to me at work. Sure I panic at first, but I get over it. Why? Because I have to. It's my job.
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I've handled events on my own, prepared banners, talked to suppliers, checked lists and dealt with guests all in the 9 months I've been working and I'm still getting the hang of things. What I realized though is you should never panic. If you can handle 5 long tests, 3 defenses and 4 papers in one day in college, you can do it at work too! :)

The REAL Value of Money: Saving vs Spending

Nananana Saveman! WEHHH CORNY!
This I'm still getting around to be a pro at but for now, I'm so much better than I was back in college. You see, I'm not earning very much (Clue: I earned more as a student with my allowance and extra money than my ACTUAL salary here at my job) and because of this, I've learned to become more frugal wise with my expenses.

I've never really splurged so much to the point of being broke, but I also, have never really known through experience the ACTUAL value of HARD EARNED money. I guess I have my mom and dad to thank for this. My dad never says no to me (my pa cute tactics are VERY effective with him) and my mom NEVER let any of us be troubled by house expenses or bills. Plus, she would always take me shopping when she could. So I never really knew what it was like until I got a job.

When I was finally employed, I told my parents that I would pay for my own things like my cellphone bill, clothes and trips and that I would also contribute around the house (I pay for our drinking water since that's all I can afford right now). I would NEVER EVER ask them for money. They didn't demand any of these things from me, it actually came from me. I realized that it was time for me to learn, little by little, what it is to be a "grown up." Plus, they've given me everything, I had to be able to repay them some way.

Because of this, I've learned how to not just buy something just cause it's on sale, I've learned to compare prices of things, I appreciate budget packs, and I choose to invest in things I know I will be able to use for a long time. And you know what I really learned? There is NO SHAME in buying more affordable things or wanting to get the MOST out of your money. It isn't about the brand or the "sossyness" a piece of clothing brings you- it's about how well you can REALLY use the product.

Me at the grocery HAHA
Right now, I buy little things for myself- soap, facial wash, deo, napkins (sorry guy readers), cereal, milk, coffee... so I also know how prices are in groceries and see for myself the price increases and whatever else my Mom complains about Haha! I get it now. I get why she gets stressed sometimes with the grocery! :P Also, I've learned to invest in things and keep my savings in the bank where I can't touch it! Haha :)) I'm now more obsessed in planning trips abroad with my sisters. I figure, it's money well spent because not only will I be able to see the world on my own budget, but I will be able to explore a new place and experience new things with my sisters than buying tons of shoes and bags and whatever else I see that's sparkly and pretty. Traveling with family = Bonding and adventure! What a perfect combination! :)
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I'm proud to say that I've saved enough for two trips this year- Malaysia in July and Cambodia in August-September. Now the only thing I have to worry about is my pocket money! Haha :P

Leave the EGO at home and LEARN

Everyone has an ego. Everyone. I cannot think of one person on this planet that doesn't have an ego. I have an ego. Which is why this is one of the hardest things I'm STILL, continuously learning thanks to my job. You see, it doesn't matter where you came from, where you studied or who your parents are. When you start working, more often than not, you start at the very bottom. And at the very bottom, is where you meet ALL SORTS of people.
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One of my issues (and I'm going to be very honest here) is that it's hard for me to get my work critiqued. I'm very particular about this because I really spend time with my work and I really make sure that it's the best that it can be. So when it gets sent back to me and there are edits or whatever, I get annoyed. It's not because I think I'm better than people, it's just because for me, it was the best it could possibly be. And you see, at work, in a job, THAT CAN'T BE. You have to be able to swallow your pride and ACCEPT the corrections or comments and LEARN from it. You have to learn how you can further improve your work. Instead of making tampo about the corrections, be happy because you are learning something new, something more.
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Another thing I've learned is that there are people out there who really do power trip. You know, those "high up there" people who feel that just because you're at the "bottom" and they're at the "top," they can treat you however they see fit. I've encountered some of the rudest and most unpleasant people and normally, I would make ganti- I won't be bastos, but I would voice out my opinion and how I don't appreciate how I am being treated. But at work, that can't be. There's a right time and place for everything and sometimes you just have to smile, still be polite and just move on. I can't tell you how many times I just want to say "You know, you've been where I am now and you know how hard it is. You could at least show some compassion instead of being such a power tripping jerk." But no, instead, I smile, greet them, ask them if they need anything and continue with the work I'm supposed to do. In life we really have to pick our battles and sometimes we have to fight with our own egos. I just think to myself that if God wills it for me and in the future I am in the same position of corporate power aka a boss, I know how I should treat those "below" my position. I know what kind of a boss I will be and I know that I won't be rude or power trip cause I know how unpleasant and unfair it feels.

Make friends but be always be professional

I like meeting new people and I like hanging out with all sorts of characters. I'd like to think that I can get along with almost anyone if they are willing to hang out with me (loner?). The hard part is where to draw the line between being professional, and being friends. I'm happy to say that I am blessed with wonderful workmates (shout out to my team if you guys actually read my blog! HAHA)
Well that's not very professional
You have to remember that at the end of the day, when in the work place, always be professional. Never let your mentions get the better of you at work. I'll admit, there have been times that I've cried in my desk, made tampo and wanted to seek the advice and comfort of my office mates. But I try not to- why? Because again, there's always a time and place for everything. Also, don't be hurt if you're having a bad day and your office mate doesn't ask you about it- sometimes, they don't want to make "pakialam" because it's your business. Or for them, it's not something to be discussed at work. So don't get hurt by it or take it against them.

Also, don't make them feel that they are obligated to cover for you and vice versa. Work is work and you are responsible only for your work. So don't do anyone any "favors" and expect them to do the same for you- maybe they will, maybe they won't. What's better is to just not leave any room for disappointment or hurt feelings. And don't offer too much information or talk about things that should just be talked about with family or your more intimate circle. Unless you enjoy the attention and want everyone to know everything about you, just keep the conversation topics light or work related. :) So enjoy the time with your office mates and be friends with them. But remember, the office is still the office and if you need something not related to work, well, you have your other friends that you can vent/cry/make kwento to. :)

Appreciate the Little Things

Again, the little things. The simple joys! This is what this blog is all about! :)

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I can't tell you guys how much more I VALUE sleep (to think my nickname is BATUGS) now that I have a Monday-Friday (and events sometimes on the weekends) job. Every freaking minute spent in my comfy bed is a BLESSING that I look forward to everyday! Seeing my friends, spending time with my family and going on dates with my boyfriend- these are things that we sometimes take for granted when we really shouldn't. These are the blessings and the best things that life has to offer us.

A good song on the radio, a nice sunny but COOL day, a lighter workload at the office, a "good job" from your boss, family dinners and kwento sessions- these are little things that I've come to appreciate more. These are things I savor more. :)
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Also, I now appreciate little acts of kindness. You know when manong guard, or kuya SMS (our cleaning service people) say "Good morning or Good afternoon" or simply look at you and smile- I call these people the angels of my everyday life. You see, they have problems too, they're tired from work as well and they have bad days- but they are always, ALWAYS, so kind. How can you not come to appreciate that? How can you not say HI back or ask them how their day is going? I make it a point to talk to them, smile and try to be a little blessing to them as well. Cause their lives aren't easy either. We're all fighting our own battles and it's important to make each other feel appreciated, valued and loved. Even if we don't know them personally.

So there you have it, just a few things I've learned and am still learning now that I'm working. Hoping this helps you in any way. Remember, life lessons are another simple joy in life. It's great to always be learning something new :)

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29 comments

  1. i love this entry ate karla :D malapit na po kase ako makarelate ng tuluyan sa topic na to, dahil 1 year na lang po at graduating na ko :P pero syempre po ieenjoy ko talaga ng bongga ung natitirang 1 year ko :D anyway! ang inspiring po talagang basahin ng blog entries niyo :D

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    1. Aww you're still so young though! Make sure to enjoy every last bit of college okay? There's really nothing like it. Thank you so much! :)

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  2. Hi! I so love this blog of yours! Im still in college, uhm 3rd year college sa June =) This entry of yours wants to make me study even more harder! Parang excited na rin ako mag work =)) Thanks for inspiring me Ate Karla ;) I really am Inlove with you na!! :)
    - A xx

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    1. Hi A! Yes!!! Study as hard as you can and do well in school. But also don't forget to enjoy summer breaks and being a college student! It's the best years of your life talaga promise :) Awww love yew too (Tayo na?) Hihi :)

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  3. Ahhh, same thoughts on being in the "professional" world. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in my thoughts about work and you actually made me want to blog again too. Hahaha good luck with your career! :)

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    1. Hi Pat! You should definitely start blogging again! It's a great outlet outside of work Hihi :) Thank you, good luck to you as well!

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  4. So true!Now that I'm working,I pay everything na,my parents don't send me money so I really need to save and learn how to handle it.I'm lucky lang coz my meals are free in our resto (dapat lang!hahah)and I live in the same building so walang gastos sa pamasahe!hahahah...Sometimes I'm the one who sends money to my Mom,coz there are times that she makes pa cute and ask for her allowance..hahha..And it makes me happy that in my own little napapasaya ko siya!:)))...btw,it was nice seeing you and Nico last Sunday!You're so SWEET..PRETTY and SEXY!(naiingit naman ako!hahaha)..I hope to see you again soon!:*

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    1. Hi Brenna! It was really great seeing you last Sunday. Aww that's so cute!!! I love how you give your mom an "allowance"- that's really sweet and generous of you. I bet your mom appreciates it a lot. Some times we tend to forget that our parents are people too and it's nice to "spoil" them sometimes :) See you soon!

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  5. Couldn't agree more! I've been teaching preschool students for 3 years already (started working when I was 20 :| )and currently taking my MA as well in Ateneo. We all know that teachers are not well compensated (graaaabe) so it's really a struggle for me to save so I can pay for my tuition which is, well, very expensive. Work makes you appreciate life's simple pleasures. :) Good luck and enjoy the "adult life"! :)

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    1. You know it's funny, I had a dream two nights ago that I was a preschool teacher and I loved it... It's making me rethink things... Anyway...

      That's amazing though! You're paying for your own tuition? Wow! You go girl! Good luck and enjoy as well! :)

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  6. Hi! You smoke? :)

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    1. I did before. I've quit for a long time now :)

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  7. I love how you don't structure your blog posts like an actual article and just kind of let loose :) And I love this topic! So true for me as well. Really. I only somehow came across your blog from someone on my Twitter. I'm a trying hard sportswriter covering college hoops haha. Hoping to bump into you in one of the games and possibly talk or rant or rave about how working world is treating us fresh grads! haha Will you watch FilOil?

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    1. I'd like to think my style is more conversational and informal. I like my readers to be able to have fun while they read my entries :) Aww well I do hope you keep coming back for the other entries as well. Hmmm that I'm not sure. It depends on Nics and if we can get tickets. Maybe for the big games yeah! :)

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    2. Well, I think readers are definitely enjoying judging by the comments alone! Haha I've bookmarked your blog already! I read back and loved the entry on Stacy's! Definitely trying that place out. I'm also currently building up my own blog. It's mostly features and content of people and things that inspire me. Mostly music and sports stuff but also other things. Maybe I could feature you one time if you're down for it :)

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  8. Where do you work? What kind of events? :)

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    1. It's a corporate job with corporate events for clients and big time companies. I'd rather not say what company :)

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  9. Thanks for this, Ate Karla! I've always despised helle weeks ever since I was in high school. I never knew that I should be thankful for them. Hahaha. At least now, I already know some of the things that I should value and shouldn't overlook in college. However, I'm still scared of having to do a thesis for almost one year and then defend in front of a panel. Scared as hell. Haha. But still, thank you! More blog entries please!!! :) - T. :)

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    1. Hi T! Don't be scared, just think of it as a new adventure, a new challenge that will help you grow as a person. It's all about perspective. Good luck and ENJOY! :)

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  10. ano po course nyo nung college? :)

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    1. AB Interdisciplinary Studies, Major in Communication and Psychology :)

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  11. lm interested with this course,but l dont have idea, how much is the tuition? and does it take board exam? Thank you so much! :)) :D ;)

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    1. You can ask in Ateneo, I'm sure they have a pricing thingy for each course- it depends on what you get :)

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  12. What's your work and where do you work? :)

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    1. I'd rather not reveal my company's name since I don't know if it's okay to but I'm a Marketing and Multimedia Associate for a big firm :)

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  13. Ngayon ko lang kasi nakita ang blog nato and i'm loving it espicially sa entry nato nkaka relate ako even though 4 more years pa ang pag dadaanan ko. Ate karla please and please dont stop writing some inspirational blog hehehe and stay pretty all the time :))) - leanng.

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    1. Hi Leanng! Aww thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed this entry and I'm glad you've found this blog to be entertaining. Please do visit for the other entries :)

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  14. Hi Karla! We work in the same firm (I'm from another department though) and can I just say that I love our SMS, guards, and sila kuya elevator! Hehe they are always so nice. :)

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    1. Hi there work mate! Yes they are, they're such sweethearts :)

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Thanks for reading my entry! I hope you enjoyed it. :)