A Letter to my 21-year old self (Chronicles of a corporate employee)

Note from Mighty: Hey yuppies, I’d like to welcome Randy Jay Burgos as one of our contributors. He’s been featured in our podcast in episode 005. Go ahead and listen to that episode to learn more about him. Awesome guy, who’s working in Malaysia right now. Welcome to the blog Randy!



Dear Randy.

Hello there, young man!

A few days ago, you celebrated your 21st birthday, a boy’s age of true manhood, as society often says. From this point onward, whatever you do with your life will greatly influence WHO I AM NOW. Yes, I am your 31 year old self, and I am going to tell you what is about to happen in the next 10 years of your life.

I know you have so much fear in your heart: fear of the unknown, fear of your future and of what is yet to come. But do not be afraid. Instead, hold on to these verse, because you will see it being fulfilled.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who trusts in Him” — Psalms 34:8

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. — Psalms 84:11

But first, let me tell you that I acknowledge your fears. They are real. I am aware that after 18 months of being paid below minimum wage by the company which absorbed you from OJT (your first job), you were fired. You went through 7 months of being unemployed right after. Those  frustrating  months revealed how hard it is to get a decent job because most companies are looking for graduates of 4-year courses and recognized universities. While you only finished a 3-year Vocational course.

But life ahead of you is exciting. What you consider as your disadvantage will lead you towards success. And in the next 10 years, your career will undergo transformation.

Learn Raw Knowledge

Right now, you are in your 3rd month with Informatics as an Associate Lecturer — and you are in the company that will equip you with the right tools to control your destiny. So, read carefully: The pay may not be high, but you have wealth at your fingertips in the form of raw knowledge. Harness and use it well.

Learn web technologies. Teach Advanced PC troubleshooting. Read books about Programming. Sit in the Networking class of your senior colleagues. Render overtime without pay and fill your brain cells with skills that will make you technology savvy. These will be your passport to higher pay and better companies. LEARN EVERYTHING IN THIS COMPANY, and you leave with the keys towards successful career. You have until next year, so make the most out of it.

Earning the stripes, from company to company

2004. After Informatics, you will have a short stint with the company that makes your instant coffee. Your job as a local Helpdesk Technician will be the building blocks of your core skillset — Service Desk Management. Sad to say, the complimentary supply of coffee and creamer will only last 3 months. You will be fired (again) because you will forget to backup the hard disk of the senior VP before typing fdisk and hitting Enter. Tough luck, my boy. I can still remember your face as he yelled at you.  Oops, did I scare you? Oh don’t worry, it won’t kill you, but you will spend the Christmas season, broke (again).

2006. Unlike in 2003 when you will take whichever first company to get you out of unemployment, January of 2006 will find you busy going through interviews with a dozen of prospects.  That 3-months being a local Helpdesk guy, in shifting schedules and graveyard work, would have opened your mind to the call center industry which is starting to boom. Even if you initially thought it is a no-brainer job (because your friends will tell you), the 5-digit salary is simply too irresistible. You will jump the bandwagon and spend 16 months earning double of your current salary. Yes, 3 years from now, you will earn DOUBLE of your current salary. So forget that VP’s harddisk that you gonna fry. =)

Are you excited yet? You should be, because you will end 2006 with your first motorcycle bought in cold cash.

2007. Just like your motorcycle ride, this is the year of adrenaline rush, close calls and crash landings — both literal and figuratively speaking. Blood, mud and rain best describes your first motorcycle accident as you lie on the inner lane of C5. How you survived without getting hit by oncoming vehicles still remains a mystery to me. But how you will manage to get home driving the same motorcycle like a bloody action star is just epic!

But 2007 will also see your ego bruised. Having 5 years of work experience since you graduated from college gave you more confidence in yourself. You are no longer the lowly technician, you are the 24-year old call center agent with a cono accent. You will become too cocky, my dear. This is (one of the) point in your life that you will feel invincible. You will have no fear resigning because you know there’s a lot of companies out there wanting you. But your Father in heaven sees the hearts of men, and as ironic as it may seem, your next job at DELL will be short-lived because you will fail to pass the 3 months training period. This will be a painful sharpening, but is necessary to keep your feet on the ground. Don’t worry, you will redeem yourself by the end of that year.

2008 is your 25th year on earth and is the year of breakthrough and new beginnings. You will be absorbed by Accenture, yes the same company I am with now.

I am now 6 years in this company. And in that 6 years, I have seen promotions, career growth and personal improvement. I have seen favor after favor after favor. The verses I asked you to hold on, was fulfilled right before my eyes.

Hard to Believe

I know at this point, it is hard to believe. But impossibility is the key ingredient to every miracle. And one miracle, is that you will be owning a brand new car — 7 years later from where you are now.  Now look back, young man, and remember how you used to work as house-boy, 7 years ago.

But it doesn’t end here.

Right now, I am writing to you from Kuala Lumpur. Your dream to work onshore has finally come true.

The heart of this letter is this:

  1. You are called to shine your light in the Corporate world. Shine brightly.
  2. No matter how confusing or chaotic life seems to be, have faith.
  3. To God, your future is already a history; because He is already there.
  4. God holds the pen of your story. But you get the joy of sharing it.
  5. What you do today, shapes your future. What you believe today, shapes your destiny.

Now get back to work. And don’t try to alter my history by avoiding that VP’s hard disk. =)


image credit: Todd Warnock via GettyImages

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