The Letters, Writer

Reflection: Count Your Blessings Always

Dear V,

The real month and the real beginning of unemployment is here. Interesting thing is, this felt like a much needed break. Not at a good time but it felt like a big relief.

Looking back the day you moved from Philly to NYC after graduating in 2010, a time where recession was still around, you only had 1 year OPT until July 2011. Moving back home wasn’t such a bad idea but you knew you wouldn’t get far without an Ivy League degree at home. Employment mindset was still pretty traditional back then.. You wanted to max out your chances here. Luckily, your sister was still residing in NYC then, so (#1) you saved on rent..

You took on an unpaid internship at an ad tech company.. pretty interesting job.. it was essentially the infancy stage of a major boom in the later years (which came by really quickly actually)… Internship ended… but there’s no way to take on another unpaid internship again… Luckily your sister had a “lobang” with her client – a part-time job at a spa in Hoboken.. Learned a lot of customer servicing in USA and how to ask for tips politely for your staff appropriately. Lots of learning curves there. Harsh but a good one.

After searching long and hard and standing firm on what you want, you got it! That (#2) first job at a publishing company! Who would have thought. They were a pretty big deal then and even bigger deal now! Probably not as relatable to your gender but great start! They (#3) sponsored your work visa! You’ve made great friendships then, got a (#4) promotion after 2 years there because you asked about it and showed it through your work. Yes it was hard to ask for it since Singapore’s working structure is slightly different. But again, there are always tons of rooms to grow.

Fast forward to 2013, you needed a change because of your hunger to learn, your huge curiosity appetite led you to move into the buyer side of the world. Again another great name on your resume! Albeit they are not known to be media, but they’ve got some awesome brand names! Great people, great parties (oh boy this is what it means to party in the agency???). You got to watch (#a) new pilots, you got a (#b) pretty good discount at a branded sports store! You also did learn to (#c) pace yourself out by embracing beers instead of liquor and wine…… HAHA

2015: you wanted more! Programmatic was the boom! (let’s be honest though you were quite hesitant when you did programmatic at your first gig… you did reject several opportunities including one at A9! which is part of Amazon now! so that’s on you!) But you also wanted some client-facing time too!

It wasn’t easy moving from ops to account management then… apparently back then no one really believed that ops people will do well with account management.. Not sure where that stereotype came from. You had interviewed for one and the hiring manager was determined to keep pushing you to ops role.. But you stood your ground and said no and kept your hopes high that someone will take that chance on you, and yes someone did!! She was the (#5) best boss you’d ever had! Up to this day, she still got your back!

Amazing friendships, amazing experience, amazing time.. Until major layoffs happened – 3 layoffs over the span of 6 months…. No you weren’t part of that but it’s terrifying enough. What’s terrifying was you only had less than 2 years left on your visa… You knew the GC wasn’t going to happen with them.. You had no choice but to search.. And you did!

2016: Back to agency world, but not that party type anymore… A pretty big one in fact.. What’s even better, it’s exactly what you wanted (in terms of the job type…) Great learning experiences and great accounts, great people – smart people to be transparent! Slow fast forward to 6 months on the job, you only have 1 year left on the visa… Ok time for the talk even though you’ve only been there for a short time… HR said they don’t usually do it for anyone who’s been employed for less than a year, but they had no choice with your case so after some magic with your boss, (#6) it was happening! Calls with attorneys, lots of paperwork and verifications…… (#7) Best Xmas present in 2018 with a GC Approval!!! With all the craziness happening during this time…. This came sooner than the estimated June 2019 timeline. But it did!! You’re no longer under the stress of only working with companies who can sponsor, but you’re free to roam around and work for companies you’ve always wanted!

But next move became a boomerang move. You were familiar with it… You are a creature of comfort and it was also exactly what you wanted with the responsibilities… But it wasn’t too long before you were let go.. slightly over 6 months into it…. You were not alone though.. there’s been almost 7MM unemployed due to Covid19. It’s a dark time, but we’ll get through these. Look at the 7 blessings you’ve encountered in the past 9 years in NYC! All through your firm stand. You didn’t cave in to a marriage albeit there were some offers.. But I’m glad you didn’t go down that route because you’re a terrible liar.. They’ll see it all over your face HAH!

You’d been tested and tried and you’ve survived! This is another test and trial moment! You will get through this. Others may have a harder time, but don’t be afraid to reach out. You know what this is like. Be a support. It won’t be easy but it won’t be difficult. Be brave! You got this!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s