New Feature: Chasing Dreams

Chasing Dreams logo

I feel like I’m at that stage of my life where I’m trying to figure out where I should be headed, career-wise. I’ve mostly been just going with the flow when it came to my studies right up to my current job. I was a scholar in a science high school and in exchange for free tuition for four years, I had to choose a science or technology major in college. I picked Electronics and Communications Engineering because it sounded interesting – to be honest, I wasn’t even really sure what it was about. Even during my early years in college, I knew that my major wasn’t a good fit for me. I wasn’t passionate about what we were studying and I didn’t see myself working as an engineer for the rest of my life. For the most part, I just wanted to get a degree that would look credible enough to get me a decent job. I didn’t shift out because I had no idea where I would go. Psychology, humanities, history, English literature, philosophy – so many majors seemed interesting but I didn’t feel compelled to take up any of those courses. So I stayed and finished my degree, took the board exam for a license than I never used. I’ve never practiced in that field.

In terms of work experience, I’ve been with three companies so far. I’ve been an analyst ever since I started working. It is such a generic title because I’ve had different tasks and responsibilities in the three jobs that I’ve taken up. I’m thankful because I’ve gotten all those three jobs through friends or former colleagues. Even before going into the roles, I had an idea of what would be involved so I wasn’t clueless during interviews or when I first started. Out of all three, I like my current one the most. I feel like it’s a good fit for my personality. I would probably like it a lot more if I could have my current job and still be based in Manila but sadly, that’s not possible. Although I do have to say that working in Singapore is a great experience in terms of personal growth. I’m exposed to different industries in my current job and while I’m here, it’s my goal to find a career path that I can get truly excited about. It’s even possible that I might end up loving this job, I feel like it’s too early to tell at this point. I have to wait and see where things will lead – I’m planning to stay for at least two years anyway. I apologize if my descriptions seem a little vague, I’m not comfortable giving details about my profession since it’s not related to reading or blogging anyway. My colleagues know that I love to read and that I have a blog but I don’t think they understand the extent of my involvement in the blogosphere.

Do I feel like I got derailed since high school? Would I have taken up a course that isn’t technology-related in college if I wasn’t required to do so? Who knows! At this stage, there’s no point in looking back and having regrets. I’d rather look ahead and explore options. As you all know, I’m passionate about books and reading. It would be amazing if I could find a book-related job that I’m qualified for and something that I can do long-term. But like I’ve said previously, I’m not even sure if that path is something that I want to take. Reading is my hobby and something I love to do, would I get tired of it if I had to work with books? That’s one question that I need to know the answer to before I actively pursue this path. I also know that it’s not just about doing a job you love, because fulfillment is tied to knowing that you’re helping other people because of what you’re doing. I think corporate jobs become frustrating because you don’t see yourself helping others. That’s another thing that I’m interested in thinking about – passion tied with purpose. This is where my new blog feature comes in. I want to put up posts focusing on this topic – going after your dream job, pursuing a career that you’re passionate about and being able to help other people while you’re at it. I thought it would be a good idea to ask fellow book lovers, bloggers and even authors to share their thoughts on how they discovered a job that they love. I think it would be inspiring to hear other people’s stories.

Is this something that you could relate to? Are you also interested in finding out the right job for you, doing something that you love while helping other people? Have you decided if you’ll pursue something that’s book-related or are you quite happy to keep reading and blogging separate from your professional life? Let me know what you guys think.

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32 thoughts on “New Feature: Chasing Dreams

  1. At this stage, there’s no point in looking back and having regrets. I’d rather look ahead and explore options.

    Agreed! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  2. Good luck with figuring out your next step! It’s always difficult to know if you want to work in the book world or just keep it as a passion outside your job but it’s quite exciting as well. I’m looking forward to this feature! 😀 It’ll be great to hear from other bloggers and how many of us work in something book-related or not 🙂

    • Thanks, Amy! It really is difficult to decide whether you should work in the book/publishing world or stick with what you know. If it was easy, I would have done it already. 😛 Okay, I’m sorry for this but I didn’t know that you’re a book­binder and illus­tra­tion agent until I clicked on your blog’s “About” page. That’s definitely interesting. I wonder what it must be like for you?

  3. I can relate–I picked a major in undergrad that sounded interesting (international affairs) but then realized that it wasn’t right for me. After graduating, I couldn’t find a job in the field anyway, which was a mixed blessing. I went to graduate school for library and information science and am much happier now. It’s a far better fit for me, and the work has been much more fulfilling. My only worry at this point is that there aren’t many librarian jobs where I live.

    • International affairs does sound interesting, I don’t blame you for picking that. Was it a fun major? I never even tried looking for an electronic engineering-related job. I believe most of my classmates from college took up positions in IT companies after graduation. Oh that’s so nice that you decided to go to graduate school and get a degree that you really wanted. That’s one of my plans as well, I would love to go back to school but only for something that I’d love to study. I’ve heard from fellow bloggers that library jobs can get quite competitive and that it’s tough to find a job even when you’re qualified for it.

      • It was an interesting major because it was interdisciplinary. I took the basic requirements (econ, international affairs, etc.) and hated them, but the the bulk of my classes within the major were focused on the history/culture of Russia and Eastern Europe, which I enjoyed.

        Library jobs are extremely competitive, and I spent two years applying before I finally got the one I have now (although I was working in an archive before that, so it was still related). At the same time, it’s like that with every job in this economy. I know engineers who can’t find jobs, and a lot of people with masters degrees who work in restaurants because their fields aren’t hiring like they used to. I’m not terribly optimistic that things will get better.

      • Nice, that sounds interesting. I think history courses must be a lot of fun. I was only able to take up Philippine history (which was required) and Asian history in college.

        That’s good that you have a librarian job now! I know so many other librarians are having a hard time getting a position in a library. But I totally get what you mean about the economy – another reason why it’s difficult to switch careers at this time. I’ve had colleagues who have been laid off because of the economy.

  4. Hello there! I love this blog, i’ve been reading your posts for a year now and it’s the first time that I made a comment. Actually, I can deeply relate to your dilemma because I’ve been there. The truth is that being an employee wouldn’t really give you enough time in chasing your dreams. You have to go extra mile and work out for IT after “working hours”. You only work for your survival. Broaden your horizon so that you can find that opportunity to work for your dreams. You have a great heart cause you think about helping other people. I’m pretty sure you can do that if you keep an open mind to other opportunities that is not employment related. Who knows, once you find it, you can even build your own library or publishing house. I wish you all the best 🙂

    • shinmaum, thanks for lurking for the past year and for finally commenting on this post! I know a lot of people work on what they love on the side – so many authors have day jobs because they can’t afford to live off their writing. They do it because they love to write. I think that kind of dedication is admirable. Or like how book bloggers read and review books during their spare time because it’s something that they love doing – bloggers don’t even get paid for what they do. I know that not everyone gets lucky enough to find a job that they love, I just thought it would be a good idea to let the universe know that I’m actively trying to discover what my career path should be. What better way to do that than through my blog. 🙂

  5. I can so closely relate with you , first of all the beginning of your education is exactly how it turned out to be mine , i pursued electrical & electronics engineering , thinking it would be interesting & lead me to a decent job , but now being graduated I am not so sure i would like to take a job as an engineer life long , right now in the middle of this confusion , where to start , what s my passion , can hobby be converted into career …. lets see where I end …

    • *electronics engineering high five*

      Looks like you’re in the same boat! But looks like you just graduated? So you’re ahead of me in the sense that you’re already thinking about your career and where your interests lie. It’s been years since I graduated from college and I’m still trying to figure things out. So many of my friends are also doing the same thing. Good luck with your own dream chasing. 🙂

      • Lolz…. thx for the wishes …. & who knows if the thinking process ever ends …
        But now I know , I can am not going that road alone …
        😀

  6. What kind of book related jobs are there in the Philippines? Find a couple and I’ll come work with you 😉 Nakakamiss ang pilipinas.
    I could kinda say that I’ve pursued my dreams in working in a book-related field, but as I haven’t graduated yet I can’t really say that I’ve done it yet. It has been a bit of a challenge majoring in Illustration, with people not believing that I can draw pictures for a living and live at the level I want. Well, I’m gonna, so there. 😛
    Also, my roommate is returning to Singapore in a couple weeks (she grew up there) and I wish I could stowaway and visit you!

    • Rosie! I don’t think it’s that easy to find book-related jobs in the Philippines – otherwise, I would have explored those options by now. I do know that several major publishers have offices in the Philippines but I’m not sure how big they are or what the functions are. Maybe it would be easier to look at Singapore offices? They’re more likely to have regional offices here since Singapore is a hub.

      It’s good that you’re already pursuing your dreams even before you graduate! You’re way ahead of me in that department. I can totally get what you mean about struggling with people’s belief that you won’t make enough as an illustrator. That’s another thing that I’m worried about – if I do decide to pursue a book-related job, that might mean that I’d have to start from scratch and I’ll probably have to take a pay cut. That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t considered going off the path I’m currently on right now. My job lets me buy books! And good food! Will I be willing to sacrifice that?

      That’s awesome that your roommate is returning to Singapore, wish you could go with her!

  7. I think a lot of people can relate! I was so lost after almost completing my elementary education degree that I really had to stop and think what I wanted to do. I decided I wanted to work towards publishing, because I don’t think it can make me stop loving books and I want to play a role in bringing books to life. But sometimes it is hard to know what you’re exactly doing or where to find inspiration to keep trudging along. I think hearing other’s stories would be great!

    • Congrats on making the decision to work in publishing! If I ever decide to work with books, I think it would be in publishing or with a bookstore because I’m not planning to write any novels. How did you move towards working in publishing, did you get a degree or an internship for it? Sorry, I hope you don’t mind that I’m asking. As you can see based on my post, I’m interested in this kind of thing.

      • I actually have only taken the first steps. I have been accepted to pursue a Publishing MA at Kingston University over in the UK for the next school year, and will be heading there in the fall. For me, this was the best option just because my undergraduate career didn’t really revolve around books in any way and I have no other career experience that relates to books that would help me get a job. Plus, the area I live in does not have any publishing-related opportunities so studying in a place like London allows me to earn internships while studying. It is not a requirement to get a Publishing MA to work in Publishing though, and there really isn’t a monetary difference for those who have the degree versus those who don’t, so it’s not necessary. I’m just heading towards that for the experience!

      • Congrats on getting accepted on that Publishing MA! Wow, I never even knew that there was an MA that focused on publishing. That’s something that I could really get into. But that’s something that I won’t be able to pursue unless I get a scholarship. Actually, even with a scholarship, I think it would still be pretty expensive for me. I tried searching for Publishing MAs in schools nearer to where I am and it looks like my best bet is Australia. I have background in publishing either so I have no idea how I’ll get into it if I ever decide to pursue that career path.

  8. I absolutely LOVE this new feature on your blog! Chasing dreams is something I enjoy encouraging people to do, even though I tend to forget to do so or tend to be doubtful/fearful/insecure. It doesn’t help that I’m not quite sure what I want to do with the rest of my life, what passion I’d really love to be involved with forever — except perhaps that I think it would be wonderful if I could do something related to books. I really am going to take the time to consider all the possible jobs/dream careers I want to pursue – and hopefully, I discover something that’s the right fit for me!

    • Alexa, I’m glad you can relate to this! Like you, I encourage people to go after what they love doing as well. And I admire people who have done it. I have the same dilemma, I think I’ve been putting off doing something about my career because I’m not even sure what direction I want to take. That’s something that I need to work on. I think I just keep waiting for an opportunity to land on my lap, I’m not even sure if that will ever happen (although I do believe that luck is a big factor in finding a great job).

  9. This is such a great post, Chachic! I really hope you do continue to talk about this subject on your blog. I’ve been very frustrated in my own work life over the past few years. After I graduated college, I got a job that I absolutely loved. One in a field I was passionate about that allowed me to do a variety of different things and know that I was really supporting the community we lived in. But then I picked up and moved to New York, and I haven’t had a fulfilling job since. In fact, I haven’t even had anything I would consider close to a potential career. I went to graduate school and got my Masters/Librarian certification with the idea that that was a field I could have that same passion and fulfillment from, but being unable to find a job anywhere in this area within that field has been really crushing for me. I hate that I’m nearing 30 years old, and despite all of my schooling and qualifications I’m stuck in jobs I could have done out of high school. I feel like everything’s about who you know, but because I left a lifetime of history behind across the country, I’ve lost all of those opportunities.

    Sorry for the long pity-party for one paragraph here, clearly a touchy subject am. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love the idea of chasing dreams, but that it’s so so hard for some of us and I feel like I’m personally never going to be happy in any job. It’s so hard to figure out what you want to do, and once you do it can be even harder to carve out that niche. I really hope that you are able to find something that you really love though, and I really want to hear about it!

    • Love this comment, Heidi! I think it’s great that you can relate to my situation and what I talked about. I’m definitely planning to put up more Chasing Dreams posts. I think it’s great that you were able to find a job that you loved right after college but it’s so sad that you haven’t been able to find something like that after you moved. I know how frustrating it is to NOT have a fulfilling job and to feel like you’ll never find one. I had no idea that the jobs that you’ve had the past few years were ones that you could have done out of high school. The economy really sucks, doesn’t it? Like I said in comments above, I’ve heard how competitive librarian jobs are, which shouldn’t be surprising because more and more libraries are closing down. As much as I would have loved to be a librarian, it wasn’t really an option for me since we don’t even have good public libraries back home. I also think it would be tough to get a decent job in the Philippines, without a college degree.

      I obviously love the idea of chasing dreams, which is why I started this feature. But I do know that it’s very, very difficult to go after what you want. And that not everyone manages to do it. Sometimes you have to settle for a job that pays the bills and if you’re lucky, gives you enough time to do the things that you love. In a way, my current job is like that because I can still read and blog on the side (although not earn money from it). I really hope you find something that you love, Heidi, or at least something that you’re satisfied with.

      • Thanks so much for this response, Chachic! It really is kind of an emotional roller coaster going between hopeful/optimistic every time I apply for a job and frustrated and pessimistic whenever I don’t hear anything. Even though I’m doing several jobs atm that I don’t look at as careers, they’re both related to things that I love and have opened my mind to other possibilities for careers in my future. And I’m SO thankful that I have them to pay the bills. It’s been a rough couple of months between car and health issues, not to mention I might have went a little book crazy around BEA. 😛

      • Being on an emotional roller coaster because of your career must be really tough. I can relate to being excited and hopeful whenever you apply for a job that you’re really interested in, only to end up disappointed. It’s good that the jobs that you have now are related to things that you love so you can still enjoy doing them even if you don’t see a career in them. And it’s always a good thing when it opens up other possibilities. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to worry about paying the bills and could just go after what we really wanted to do? I wish it was that easy.

  10. Pingback: Chasing Dreams: The Passion of Writing by Francisco Stork | Chachic's Book Nook

  11. hey – i seriously love your new look!

    and i am finally visiting to comment on this post — just to say i loved reading it and how you think about stuff like that. i tend to go in phases of what i love and then move onto a new thing. anyway, i am so happy wioth being a teacher but am currently also studying! i am doing my masters in librarianship — which means i can be a school librarian or a council librarian (or at uni or wherever). i wanted to be a librarian since i was a little girl, so i hope i end up liking it, haha

    • Nomes, glad you like it! Love the new header as well.

      I had no idea that you’re pursuing an MA in librarianship. Congrats! How long will it take? I’m so happy for you that you’re going after your dream job. I think it’s awesome that you want to work with books. I think you’d be great as a librarian because you love reading and recommending books. Are librarian jobs super competitive in Australia like they are in the States?

  12. Hi! I stumbled here from one of your recent posts (the one about meeting Alexa of Alexa Loves Books). 🙂 I can totally relate with most of what you said in your post. I took up BS Psych in college because my scholarship required a science course. Looking back now I would’ve taken something like Journalism or Communications. Anyway, I worked 8 years in corporate before I decided to jump ship and become a full-time freelance writer in 2011. I think I’ve been pretty lucky than most because it’s working out for me (so far!) and I also had a chance to work with an author PR and marketing company. I still consider myself a newbie freelancer and it’s been a helluva ride so far. 🙂

    Anyway, just wanted to say this Chasing Dreams feature is pretty cool. 🙂 Good luck to you, everyone, to all of us in our dream chasing adventures!

    • Hi Leah, thanks for dropping by to check out this Chasing Dreams post! I have a feeling I would have majored in humanities or social sciences if I wasn’t required to take up a science course in college. Congrats on making the move from corporate to freelance. 🙂 Looks like you’re having fun? It must have been exciting (and scary) to make that kind of decision. I hope I’ll be brave enough to do something similar once I’ve figured out what I really want to do.

Comments are like chocolate. :) Maraming salamat / thank you! I try my best to reply to all the comments on my blog.

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