Dream Big Like Judy

“He was right about one thing. I don’t know how to quit.” Are you familiar with that dialogue? That is Judy Hopps, the bunny, from Zootopia. In case you are not familiar, Judy is a little bunny who dreams to be a police officer despite the resistance of her parents who wanted her to be a carrot farmer. Not that there is something wrong with being a carrot farmer but Judy feels that she is destined for another profession- being a police officer. She encounters challenges along the way like trying hard to fit in in the academy full of larger animals and proving to her boss that she can make it. Her biggest challenge is arresting the cunning Nick Wilde, a streetsmart fox who later becomes her pal and partner.

  1. Dream big- it doesn’t matter if the dream is impossible to achieve. When you dream big, you try to learn new things that will help you achieve it. You try to meet people who can be your mentor. You try to make things happen because you want to hit your target. Even if your big dream does not come true, you are still left with the learnings and lessons that you can use for your next dreams
  2. Upgrade your skills- some jobs become obsolete so workers lose their source of livelihood. With the continuous upgrade in technology, automation and robotics will become a trend in the next years to come. If you can’t upgrade your skills, you need to have other skills to offer.
  3. Do not be complacent- when you are working in a stable company, surrounded by nice people, and receiving a good salary, do not assume that this will last forever. When calamity strikes, even the richest company is prone to closure. People move around so your next teammate may not be as nice as the one who left. Save and invest a portion of your salary so that when a time like the pandemic comes, you and your family will survive. 
  4. Check your connections- evaluate the people that you are hanging out with if they add value to your life. Review if you have the same principles and interests. Do they cheer you up or do they put you down? Do they support your endeavors or do they laugh at your dreams? Connect with people who can give you the right advice should you need it in the future. Connect with people who can mentor you into something that you want to become. Connect with people that mutually share your passion.
  5. Learn from your experience- there will be times of plenty and times of scarcity. Remember what went right when you accomplished something and remember what went wrong for your failed endeavors. Learn to adapt to different seasons.
  6. Do not get intimidated- David beat Goliath because he was confident that he could do it. Believe that you can do something because nobody will believe in you unless you trust yourself that you can make it. 
  7. Always have a back-up plan- when planning, consider three possible scenarios: best case, normal case, and worst case. This will allow you some flexibility in terms of resources and time. Strategize well.
  8. Practice documentation- create a list of the things that you want to accomplish in a dashboard format so that you can visualize how near or far you are to your target.
  9. Be cautious of people that you deal with- some people appear to be helping you but are trying to put you down. Be kind but be a little skeptical.
  10. Follow your instinct- if something is not right, it probably is not right. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. 

There’s a little or a lot of Judy Hopps in us; dreaming big and trying to be the best person but circumstances will not allow. How do we overcome our fears and insecurities the way Judy did it? 

After reading this, try to list down the dreams that you have accomplished vs the dreams that you have yet to accomplish. You might be surprised to know that most of your dreams have been fulfilled. If this is not the case, then consider today as the day that you decided to go after your dreams.

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Surviving Organizational Changes

In today’s organization, change is part of management prerogative and economic move. Business survival depends not only on cash flow but its most important asset as well; its workforce. Downsizing happens for cost-cutting reasons so that only the jobs with the major impact on the organization is retained. If the organization needs to keep the current activities or jobs of the laid-off employees, they have the option to hire contractual employees to do these non-core activities.

Reorganization happens when the top management sees that merging two departments or sections would benefit the whole organization. Transferring of people from one department to another is also reorganization and even the dissolution of a department or section. The bottomline for all of these is profit; the organization must increase its labor productivity without sacrificing the quality of output.
When Department Heads are transferred to another department or are faced to welcome additional load due to department merging, it’s normal to get upset about it. After all, change, no matter how constant and inevitable it is, is not always welcomed by those affected by it.

How Do We Survive Organizational Change?
1. Always be humble- you’ll never know what you’ll be or the people you’re working with tomorrow. It’s important to create rapport to your co-employees because you’ll never know that the person you loathed so much in the office will be your boss tomorrow. Keep a low profile at the office. Do not abuse your privilege.
2. Be an asset- nobody wants to work with a liability. An asset employee is one who is reliable and open to new jobs or responsibilities.
3. Be positive- reorganization is not a personal attack against you. Remember that the company’s objective is to make profit.
4. Do not badmouth the company-you’ll only appear bitter and bitter people are perceived to be losers.
5. Take advantage of the reorganization to sharpen your saw, assess your skill set and career plans.

What’s Eating You, Iris?

Me- the physical Iris
Myself- the mental Iris

Myself: It’s quite obvious that you were not able to sleep well last night.
Me: I thought I could conceal the dark circles under my eyes with my stick concealer.
Myself: Nah, it’s not about your face or your eyes….it’s your gloomy aura today. You’re not being your bubbly self today.
Me: You know what I’m going through.
Myself: Hahahaha! Of course!
Me: And you have the nerve to laugh at me?
Myself: Hahaha… Well, Iris. I don’t get it why you’re so affected with the current situation in your workplace! Hahaha.
Me: And what’s so funny about it?
Myself: Haha…you are like a tamed lion. A wounded soldier who refuses to fight anymore. An exact opposite of who you really are.
Me: Iris, things change. Perspectives change. Feelings change.
Myself: And what’s so good about those changes? Surely, those people around you have changed. Maybe in their eyes you’re no longer value-adding to them. But do you stop there? Now is the perfect timing to showcase your talent, Iris. Iris, this is a war. Nobody is exempted. You have to prepare for this war.
Me: I’ve stopped being a fighter after settling down.
Myself: How demoralizing! But you were born a fighter. You are always a fighter! Don’t let your personal affairs hinder you to stop being a fighter.
Me: I am just tired…I want a life of solitude. I want to go fishing with my family…I am content watching Showbiz Central every Sunday.
Myself: Now you’re being a loser. Who wants a loser in a company?
Me: I am NOT a loser!
Myself: Then prove it to me. Prove it to them. Prove it to the powers-that-be! Iris, this is a war. Don’t depend on your boss for protection. Don’t expect the management to be fair. There will be casualties so make a GRAND escape plan. Or maybe join the war and see for yourself if you can handle it. Now is not the right time to cry, to imagine things and to be lax. Iris, this is war. Remember WWI and WWII.
Me: Thanks for giving me those insights. I am torn between joining the war and making a grand escape plan. But for now, I will shield myself against the enemies and strengthen whatever amunitions that I have.

From Career Woman to Family Woman

I am still getting used to being a family woman since I took responsibility of my 12-year old daughter a month ago. My daughter grew up with my parents because I was still in college when I had her. Since my mother died last May 2, I decided that it would be best for my daughter to stay with me and my husband who’s fortunately fond of her.

My first days with her were like being with a stranger: I was a stranger to her and she, a stranger to me. I knew in our hearts that we were trying to patch up the lost times of being a mother and a daughter. By the way, I am just newly-married to my husband and the new role of being a wife and a mother just drive me nuts!

My husband enrolled my daughter in a Christian school. It was not as good as her previous school in Bataan but it was the better choice among the schools here in Bulacan. I commend my husband for taking charge of her enrollment because I was busy with my reports at that time.

Yes, I am a career woman. Or should I say, I was a career woman? When I met my soon-to-be husband last year, I was on top of being a career woman: long hours at the office, driven, dedicated, enthusiastic. I think I didn’t lose the enthusiam at work but now, I no longer spend long hours in the office if it’s not necessary. I have a husband and a daughter who wait for me to be with them for supper.

I used to wake up at 7AM but since my daughter started schooling, I now wake up at 5AM to prepare her pack snack and pack lunch. It frustrates me when I see her nagging looks at me when she thinks she’ll be late for school. I would angrily tell her that I am not used to waking up at 5AM so the least that she could do is to appreciate me instead of putting the blame on me when she thinks she’ll be late for school. I told her that it is her responsibility as a student to watch her time and manage it well so she could commute early.

Last night, I exploded. We were having supper; me, my husband and my daughter were in a gay mood. I mentioned to her about the 11-year old boy who died in a plane crash. I said that the boy travelled alone from Brazil to France but the plane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean before reaching Charles De Gaulle Airport. I said that if that 11 year-old boy could travel alone, crossing countries, then she could also commute alone in Bulacan. Her mood changed and later, she complained of stomach pain. Thinking that it was just part of her tantrums, I reprimanded her but when I realized that she was not faking it, I got very worried. I asked her her medical history but she could not answer me well. I exploded and told her that she should be telling me the details because I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I told her that it’s my first time to be with her in all those 12 years so I am clueness about her health condition. In the end, when my anger and frustration subsided, I realized that as a mother, it is my responsibility to know her health condition. I was very wrong in reprimanding her. I was very wrong in passing my responsibility to my parents.

I am still adjusting to my new role as a wife and a mother but I know that it won’t take me long to do so. Now that I know that my family shall be on top of my priorities, I will have to shift from being a career woman to family woman. 🙂

Duty First Before Pleasure

Today is Thursday. I’m supposed to text two of my former college housemates about our get-together on Saturday. We haven’t seen each other for 12 long years and we believe it’s about time to reconnect with each other. Also, my youngest brother’s birthday celebration will be on Saturday; I need to be there to enjoy with my family.

10:30 AM, meeting with the bosses. Result? I need to report to work on Saturday to train some supervisors and engineers about productivity monitoring.

My ever supportive boss asked me, “Okay lang ba na pumasok ka sa Sabado?”

“Yes, sir…. if it’s needed, I will,” I said.

I though I saw my bitchy alter-ego saying these: “Liar! Liar! You don’t wanna go to work on Saturday! You don’t wanna go to work on Monday which is a holiday! Why don’t you tell them that you have an appointment with old friends on Saturday afternoon and a birthday celebration to prepare to on Saturday night? Why don’t you tell them that you will need to go to Zambales on Sunday to attend to your friend’s baby’s baptismal? Why don’t you ask them to give you a break?

I thought I was lost in space for a few minutes. I was torn between my career and my personal life. Duty first before pleasure?

I remember the time when I was just starting my career in my first job. My mother was always mad at me for going home late and for being workaholic. It was not my choice to be workaholic, the nature of my job as an engineer demands me to be one. How can my mother understand my long hours of work when nobody in the family has the same nature of job as mine? It was only about six years later when my brother vindicated my workaholicism when he started to work as an engineer, too.

Duty first before pleasure? As long as they don’t ask me to report to work on Christmas and New Year, yes, I will prioritize duty before pleasure. Babawi na lang ako sa mga mahal ko pag-uwi ko.