Again, life journey becomes a topic of discussion among friends lately. Our group of friends are in our mid-forties. In this group of age generally we would think we have achieved everything in life and be satisfied with our achievement. A family you are proud of, sons and daughters, husband and wife. We make our assumption about it by looking at a family in the park, supermarket or just anywhere. Their laughter and happiness sometimes able to make us happy and we assume they are a happy family.
Unfortunately we are unable to really know their level of happiness, obstacles and differences. A marriage is never and was never between two human beings. Whether married or single, each of us has our own responsibility towards ourselves, families and societies. We are not complete by ignoring the facts of life. We need love, care, concern and many more to make us a complete body. Along with that we have our obstacles to tackle and handle. Whether big or small as a human being there are hurdles, obstacles and test in life. Obstacles bound to happen at any times of our life. Even a mosquito bites is uneasiness to few of us.
At each corner and turn of life we have steps to make and to take. In general we are a machine with programme but without manual since birth. When we are small we do as we are told. We never or hardly asked any question to our parents about life. We learn life as we go along with our daily routine. We see and we learn from others too. While doing and performing the routine I am sure we start questioning about almost everything. Why? How? Where? Why not?
Step in life begins with childhood, growing up years and adulthood. Each step determines our success and failures. Success will not guarantee happiness. Failures can carry us to triumph because life was never sucks. The beauty of failures we learn from it, strife harder and do better the next time. During the journey we might meet someone. Their existence in our life is various. It might be completion of another human soul or it might be passers-by to give us heart-ache, happiness, sadness or a simple lesson of life in our journey. How, why and where will come but whatever the situation may be, we should embrace each moment and be thankful with each step along our life journey. Nothing is permanent in life as we all know but it does not stop us from moving ahead and achieved our dreams.
Personally, I have been at many crossroads in my life. At every point I try to make a turn and start new. My first economic crisis was immediately after my SPM. Continuing my studies was the best option that time because I can’t get a job. My intention was to continue study while working. Not much of objection from my parents but job very hard to come by. Somehow or other I managed to juggle both. Keep my part-time job while I’m studying. Few years down the road the economy pick up and I landed myself in the industrial sectors. As time goes by I move from one company to the other until one fine day I landed myself in service industries. Financial and banking gave me opportunities seeing the financial background of the country as industrial sectors gave me opportunities seeing at the import and export of our local products from tiny hook and eye to components of computers, electronics and others.
I treated my job very well. I put all my energy in the job as though my life depending on it. Diligently I go to work every day and even work my self for long hours. I hardly take my leave unless necessary and giving ways to my piers to go for their leave. My medical record was very clean. I do think the management are very happy about my performance. They reward me with best employee of the month and again the best employee of the year consecutively together with extra bonus. I feel good but not long after that I fall sick. Nothing prepared me with the sickness and I am sure nothing prepared the branch where I work. It is not serious but nearly put me in hospital and my medical bill for that month increased. Much a shock to the human resource department I guess, because I received a letter from them asking me to explain and why did I go for treatment on bank panels’ clinic. I was referred to a specialist centre that was not in the bank panel clinic and hospital. It’s started with a cough and cold together with fever but at early stage I still go to the office in that condition until it worsens. Honestly I did not know why I push myself that far.
The simple letter from human resource makes me think are they really thoughtful for my health or the increase in branch expenditure is their main concerned? Of course the increased of expenditures was their main concerned. I am sure. Few months from that moment I need to go for weekly check-up until I’m getting tired of medication and treatment. It should be a lesson for me but I also keep on saying I need to keep the job because it is my rice bowl and my daily expenses comes from the salary. I was too scared to face the reality if I lose the job. I was in my comfort zone and try very hard to keep it.
After 14 years in financial institution I took a decision to quit and I make a vow not to go into any financial institution or related to it. Anyway while looking for another job I was given opportunity to lead a team of investors for a foreign bank. The task is for new business opportunities in Malaysia. Oh no…I told myself not another financial institution but at that time I am very eager to leave my current job and the new offer looks challenging. Within a week I was in a new office, new task, new boss and everything new. Not that difficult though since the experience help me a lot with the new task. It was really fun working for a while until few obstacles comes into view and makes me think all over again.
Now, it is not about losing the job but it is about making decision. Honestly I am very complacent with my job and very much in my comfort zone with my current job. Nothing prepared us in our job if we are about to lose them. Sometimes it’s happen drastically and we are lost in that transition. We even failed to realise the benefits of losing them. We are too scared and afraid with our lives if we lose our job. Am I right? But, if we take it positively we will be surprise how it turns our life for better doesn’t matter at what age we are.
In December last year things started to change radically in my current job. Due to economy instability of the parents company, few projects schedule for 2011 been postponed and later stop. It is now a real test in my life. It does not take long to affect the other staff and me. The first thing definitely a salary cut together with other benefits and slowly it becomes late. Although the first sign been seen somewhere in the middle of 2010, I still hoping this would change and will pick up very soon. I have lived on hope ever since. With hope we need to make changes. At this age looking for another job although it is not impossible but it will be impossible at the end. Reason being age factor and of course the salary range.
When tough get going, the tough gets going…the words keep on ringing in my ears. I do realise things will never change if I am not willing to do the changes. Although it might be late for me but I do believe things will only change if we want to. Due to the nearly worsen situation I make a decision to move on. Without any preparation I embark to start my small food business. I can cry out loud with the difficulties but the reward is unbelievable. It is a spur of moment decision, hardly 48 hours. I am lucky to get support from my siblings and friends. I am grateful because at the same time I still have my permanent job. We did not be laid off as yet. We are given time to search for a job or start something new, while they are trying to sort the situation and fit us best.
It is nearly a month now. Although nothing can be seen as yet in terms of profit or allowing me to pay my bills and dues on time but it is worth while. I make a living with my effort and time. No bosses, no punch card, no yelling and harsh words. I will be in the office at any time they ask me and still visiting client in between. Tired? Not enough sleep? Hah tell me about it, but I can assure you it is rewarding. My sincere hope and wish may Allah grant me all the courage and confidence to go on and make this venture as my turning point in life. At least for now I do know how it is to be your own boss.
Don’t believe me? Try it for a week and you will know how it feels.
Owned and written by : Sanaa 26/04/11