Alétheia

ἀλήθεια, ας, ἡ (the state of not being hidden)

The One-oh-Ones

I basically describe myself as a goal oriented person. — well before.

My life is in twists right now. I used to know where I want to go, what I want to do, where I want to be but with all the stress and reality, I suddenly find myself lost in oblivion.

Way back then, I had this notebook I always carry and whenever I think of something, I try to search for a place and write everything down, afraid that the thought might fade. The notebook was filled with so much dreams, ambitions that kept me going. It’s my life-game plan, my directory, my manual, my treasure map. And each single day, I think of something that can help me unfold the mysteries and challenges that can help me achieve where I want to be I write it down immediately. I was a bookworm. I crave for words, for stories, for books. I could never leave a day without reading and the books I read also helps fuel up for more. People identify me as a very ambitious person and I was so proud of it. Rarely do people know where they see themselves but not me. I am 100% sure that this is the path I want to take and this is the direction I want to go. That was way back then.

I graduated seeing myself working in a PR or Advertising or perhaps Brand/Product Marketing. My first job was PR, I was a project based writer but the compensation isn’t enough and the stability is on the rocks so I told myself to find a more stable job that can help me pay the bills and get where I want to go. I applied to more than what my hands and feet can count and there were oh-so-close opportunities that will suddenly slip right of my fingers. It was so frustrating. How can a girl reach her dreams with this kind of set up. It took me months until I finally decided, Mara, stop being too picky. You’ll get there. And so, I accepted an opportunity in the insurance industry. They pay was good, the benefits were okay and I tried convincing myself that this will help me get up that ladder. But in 3 months, I was dreading to get out. The reason is because, the job was not me. I was stuck in the office the entire day, doing insurance stuff without even having my own computer. It was tiring but I told myself to be patient. 5 months, a month before my regularization, I was doing good and my regularization documents are already on its way for approval but deep inside, I was dragging myself just to get to work. My mind is screaming, begging to leave and so I did. My boss was hesitant to let me go but the only thing I was so sure of is that if I spend another day at that office, I’m gonna explode.

For my boss back then. Ma’am please don’t get me wrong. It’s not that the job wasn’t good, it’s just that, the job wasn’t me and I’ll be forever indebted with your teachings.

The day after I resigned, I immediately got hired to a multinational company as sales. The job was good, the offer was higher and the people were very nice. But then again, it was a very tiring job. I got my regularization and I was doing pretty good until some realizations started cluttering my sense of direction.

I suddenly felt that I was lost. At first I thought it was just the tired version of myself talking but months and months came by and I felt like drifting to nowhere. I asked myself, where do I really see myself in the years to come? With my job in sales right now, will I be able to achieve ny goals? Questions flooded my mind and answers are left unspoken. I was emotionally, physically and mentally worned out.

I leave our house at 5:15am to arrive at 7am in Makati so I can leave for Laguna at 7:30 then arrives back at 7:30 pm in Makati and get home by 10:30 and the same goes the next day. Then talk about stress with my current clients and internal processes. Plus the stress of achieving your target and keeping up with your boss. Then when you get home you have to deal with another set of dilemmas not to mention boyfriend issues and the very famous financial constraints. It’s too much to handle for a 22 year old like me.

I used to paint, write, edit videos and take photos. What happened to those skills? Gone. Why? Because I was too busy keeping up with my current busy life.

I am still trying to figure out what do I really want but I do hope I’ll be able to see the light soon because this is really stressing me out.

Beginnings

I am literally on the very most bottom if my career. You see, I’m in the Sales and life is not easy. And again, no. I dont sell condominiums, cars, credit cards or insurance. Sales is not literally defined as those people giving you flyers or asking for your 30 seconds which will eventually turn out to be a minute or two selling you things in a so called good deal. Please people. Stop co-notating jobs. ( i’m sorry but please give me this moment to vent out.)

Moving on, everyone has to start with something right? Not everyone is a COO (child of the owner) or my daddy knows someone here stuff. For normal people like us, we start from scratch and work ourselves up the ladder.
Yesterday, I was finally able to go on a client visit on my own. I work in a Multinational ICT Company. How i got in is another story. So as i said, i am in sales and one of our job is to develop pipelines (Maghanap ng bagong customer) we dont do the typical mall ambush or asking people, “Excuse me, are you interested blah blah…” I dont do that but I’m not saying what I do is not close to that. We visit clients in their office. You create your own database and fill in with client details and start calling up. The good thing about this is that the company i work with is a top player in the industry.
My first visits were nerve wracking and its because i am new to the company and to the industry. I dont know a thing or two about IT and I am sooo terrified with the thought that what if the client starts asking me things? (Nope, trainings came in later on the picture) and true enough, the customers had some requirements i dont even know how to spell.
UPS.

PABX

UCS

SQL

I was like, what the fuck are these????? So what i usually do is i bring along a colleague or as we call ourselves, account managers( AM ) . Since they’ve been around for quite sometime, they’ll be able to assist me. Every time i had a client call, i’d drag someone with me. Sometimes i really feel i’m pissing them off but i still cant go out on my own. Until yesterday.

Normally, there are cars assigned to each visit but unfortunately, yesterday, someone has an emergency trip to the Tarlac and i have to give way. I am currently based in Makati but the client i am about to visit is in the northern part of the metro. I was thinking of grabbing a cab in front of our office but i realized it will cost me too much even though i know that it’s reimbursable. So i decided to ride the MRT and take a cab from Shaw instead. The trip basically ate 2.5 hours of my time because of the infamous traffic and my meeting only took up 30 mins. Well, that’s life. While i was on the road, i was thinking how kawawa i look. Well, not physically but compared to the other AM who have already bought their own cars and have already established themselves in the industry that they don’t really need to do these things i am doing. I told myself, keep it cool Mara, one day you’ll get your break. This kind of situation motivates me knowing that i am really working my ass off.

Again I told myself, One Day.

Optimism on a Friday.

Amidst the long day grind, find something optimistic. This will help you ligthen up.

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20 Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2015 by Josiah Go and Chiqui Escareal-Go

Posted by: Josiah Go January 2, 2015

I just have to share this to my fellow marketers out there

This is the link to his blog post.

Last year, we put together a list of trends which was really borne out of personal reflections, based on past experiences on how things tended to progress or divert into other patterns of change. This year, besides our own observations, we have put together another such list, this time combining our own forecasts as well information shared by some Mansmith Young Market Masters Awardees and friends from TNS-Kantar who gave their insights on what 2015 will look like for various industries.

Stability of the Middle Class
1. Launch of new categories – As the economy improves and income rises or stabilizes, expect consumers to be more open to trying new ideas and newer categories, including existing categories with lesser market penetration (cereals, yogurts, mouthwash, insurance, water purifiers, smartphones).
2. Emergence of the economy premium (Econoprem) segment – While masstige is prestige brand pricing downward, econoprem is economy brand pricing upward. With benefit plus and aspirational packaging as key features, the fast growth among those in the middle class will see a willingness to buy at pricing slightly higher than economy brands but more affordable than imported brands. In the beverage category alone, one can see Red Oak sangria, Excellente brandy, Don Papa rum and Manille liqueur as examples.
3. Cheaper smartphones – Within a “red ocean” competitive environment, low priced smartphones will create abundant alternatives to source information and entertainment, leading to a more informed and connected population.
4. More investments and luxury purchases from unmarried (single) yuppies – Increase in disposable income plus easier access to opportunities such as travel and education will lead to many young Filipinos postponing marriage and/or having kids to their late 20s or 30s. This may also mean that these young people may choose to invest more in stocks and insurance or buy branded premium items as they have higher disposable income considering that they continue to live with their parents and thus, have lesser personal overhead expenses.

Convergence of 3T’s (Traffic, Technology and Time)
5. Shift to small store formats – Traffic will lead to smaller store formats (community stores, mini-marts, convenience stores) for greater buying convenience.
6. All-in-One – To save time traveling, convenience stores selling food will become a fast food substitute. They will also threaten other categories as they are becoming one-stop convenience shops for almost everything else.
7. Tech-solutions – People will become less tolerant to wait in line after enduring traffic on the road, thus, leading to more tech-based solutions (transportation, shopping, entertainment) to help manage personal and work life necessities and increase own discretionary time.
8. Even loyalty cards will be made obsolete as customers will prefer the convenience of everything on their smartphones, addressing the irritant of carrying too many loyalty cards in one’s wallet to be able to avail of benefits. This mobile solution will not just improve customer experience and convenience but can also be used for targeted promotions for greater relevance and impact for the brand.

Primacy of Self and Wellness
9. The Urban Outdoor – More people are dressing up in fashionable, outdoor inspired looks.
10. Cycling is the new Golf – More runners are becoming cyclists, and cycling is the rave among executives resulting in the phenomenon known as ‘MAMILS’ or ‘middle age men in Lycra (tight fit jerseys and shorts). Toby’s group has in fact opened Trek Bicycle Store, the first cycling lifestyle store last December to take advantage of this. Furthermore, triathlon is also booming. There is a record number of new triathlon events in 2015 in response to more people challenging themselves to attain their personal best.
11. Natural and slow food for better health and wellness – Together with the stability of the middle class who can now afford to choose healthier lifestyles and food, we will find a rise in the number of farm-to-table restaurants and stores offering organic and alternative choices to fast food.

Alteration of Go-To-Market
12. Go-to-market – Business models will keep changing. In the pharma industry, med rep cold calling visits in hospitals or massive sending doctors abroad to drive prescriptions will no longer be the norm, due to both regulatory issues and ROI on such activities.
13. Digital as an Entire Value Chain – Digital (online, mobile) will continue to rise against traditional media, not just because of rising smartphone ownership but also because of real time interaction and feedback. However, it won’t be treated a mere tactic but as an ecosystem where the consumer journey (search, buy, service) will be taken into consideration.
14. Internal branding – HR will play a greater role in internal marketing. No longer will they be expected to do the usual recruitment and benefit management alone but those strategic thinking HR will be Chief Execution Officers or becoming the 2nd CEO no less, empowering others to get their job done and at the same time showing their own ability to get the company’s and brand DNA’s interpreted internally.
15. Bloggers as Influencers – Top bloggers will continue to have more significant roles to play other than merely online blogging. Together with mainstream media personalities, they will also become major endorsers and brand ambassadors and will cross over to other media, becoming a key factor for success for making brands succeed. Examples include bloggers featured in a Preview magazine cover, and Unilever bloggers as brand ambassadors.

Socialization in a Digital World
16. Rise in membership of clubs and associations- The internet and smartphone will make people want to find another channel to connect in a more personal level. Organizations that have exploited this are Anvil Business Club among the Filipino-Chinese and White Space Club among entrepreneurs and marketers where people get together to interact and exchange ideas personally and build networks outside Facebook and Twitter.
17. Click and collect – Instead of click and deliver, you can expect more consumers reserve or order online then pick up and/or try instore to interact with other people.
18. Authenticity – Brand advocacy will become a minimum requirement. As consumers become more well informed, they will be able to spot the difference between honest purpose and mere activities to glorify brands, the former treated as a friend, the latter a foe.

Ascendancy of Entrepreneurs
19. Entrepreneurs as Rock Stars – Successful entrepreneurs who are creative, thrive in uncertainty and are practical problem solvers will be hero-worshipped by the young. With personal freedom as a big come-on, many younger people will be inspired to be entrepreneurs to make a difference in society, even at the expense of finishing their college education.
20. Emergence of Entrepreneurial Apps – With rise of business apps, housewives can become hoteliers or home restaurant chefs, a brother can be in car rental business, a cousin in the neighborhood messengerial services – where services can be offered online to time-constrained individuals needing someone else to run an errand for them including walking the dog.

There are many more matters that will continue to evolve in 2015 and will definitely affect the economy including social issues in migration, religion, education, gender roles, climate change and disaster preparedness, among others, not to mention the ASEAN integration this year and political movements toward the 2016 presidential elections. The short list above is our top of mind that uses a marketing and business perspective and we are sure that a watchful eye on constant changes in consumer behavior and consumption will bring forth just as many opportunities as well as counter-trends.

Grumbles of aFoodie

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I am a sworn foodie.

Check out my instagram, 70% of what I post are food and I can’t help myself.

img_14951I have this thought to never starve yourself just to save money. I think it’s pretty reasonable since eating is actually a necessity and restraining yourself won’t get you anywhere. Plus the fact that drawbacks will come swallowing you down when you restrict yourself from one of the pure heavens in life. Drawbacks such as looking soo skinny your face is like a skull and that is not beauty for me. Or having those cravings or wants you never had since all you did was restrict yourself from spending. Or maybe having those regrets in like that you can never take back. You will never know those what ifs if you don’t try.

I have a sensitive tummy. Believe, it’s hard when you’re a foodie but this doesn’t stop me from being who I really am. This started in college, I was hospitalized because of amoebiasis. Then I recovered but then I later found out that I have gastric ulcer which makes this worse. Because of my amoebiasis, I am restrained with some foods I can’t eat and the funny thing about this is I can never tell until my tummy aches. Another is my ulcer where if I eat a lot, I tend to get bloated or get heart burns. A lot of people get this because acidity is a common thing with Filipinos but to hell with these right? I am going to eat as much as I can because this is me.

To those who tries their best to reduce weight, please don’t get mad at me. This is just a personal point of  view.  I  also have this  attitude to never  repeat  a restaurant.  There are tons of restaurants  in the country, even in Manila and I try my best to try it all. Well, except for those days when I’m really saving but for those days where my tummy overrules my mind, that’s what I do. You can still eat well without spending that much. It’s all about budgeting. Save at least 20 a day, try out a new restaurant every two weeks and you’re good to go. You don’t have to eat out everyday. That’s absurd! Unless you earn 5,000 net a day and you’re single and you live nearby without any other expenses, then you have no problems but for someone who just want to try things out, then once a week is good enough.

Thoughts of a Fresh Graduate Student

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It is very normal for fresh grad students to expect a lot from the corporate world. We’ve been trained and we’ve been taught that the image of the real world  is like getting an early morning coffee, going straight to work with #ootd, settling on your perfectly organized, perfectly well lit and air-conditioned office, chatting with your office mates with their 3 inch stilettos on, meeting with the bosses, preparing for your presentation, catching a cab after your shift ends or maybe simply living like a New York style employee.

Well, that may apply to New York but not here in the Philippines. This is one of the most traditional countries  where  everything  seems  to  be  irrational.  Yes.  Irrational.  Traffic  is  irrational.  Public transportation is irrational. Tax is irrational. Some people are irrational, basically almost everything is irrational. We live in a country where most people see the corporate world as waking up at 4:30am, in the morning, leaving the house before 6 to beat the traffic, hustling to ride the jeepney, busses or even lining up over the unjustified MRT or UV shuttles and arriving at work before 8, urging yourself to survive another day, waiting for your shift to end as you battle with the evening traffic once again and finally finding comfort on your own bed at 9 in the evening, dreading for a long night rest. Not most Filipinos have  their  own  cars.  Some  are  quite  blessed  to  rely  on  their  #thankyoudaddyformynewcar  or #bestparentsever or #gradgift but for the most of us who depends on the #someday, we still have a long way to go and most fresh graduates are quite traumatized with the fact that this is only one of the many things they have to deal with their everyday life when they enter the corporate world.  I repeat, this may seem a lot but this is only one of the many things people have to deal with.

Here comes another reality. When you start your first week on your first company. Not all employees are friendly, believe me because I’ve had already two companies to worked for.  You might find yourself in a midst of a crowd where everyone has already their own group or they have their own business to attend to and no one bothers to acknowledge you or express concern to the newbie. This is reality. You might have to survive on your own. Some may look like bitches, some may be very accommodating, others…well… it would depends on how you perceive their attitudes but here are some of the survival tips I can give to survive your first week.

  1. Be all smiles. Your new, you have to make an impression and you don’t want to be labelled as the mataray na newbie or snob so take it from me, always smile.
  2. Greet everyone you meet.  This  works  a lot.  Whether  it’s  the security  guard or  the service personnel, greet everyone! Good morning ma’am, good afternoon sir and of course don’t forget the smile. This will surely make a good impression.
  3. Be patient. You’re new. You can’t possibly expect your manager to load you with work. You have to take things slow and learn the process so just seat down, relax, observe as much as you can and be patient. Read emails, read books. This helps.
  4. It’s never wrong to ask. I know some of us are afraid to ask, fearing that they might think we’re stupid to ask absurd questions but that’s not really the case. We’re new, we don’t know how things work and we’re still on the learning process so don’t be ashamed to ask questions. But always think about your question first before firing them away. You might ask something that’s already obvious. As much as possible, we want to look smart.
  5. It’s okay to be afraid. Yes, this is a new world, new people and it’s okay to be afraid. We might be afraid of our first day, or who’s going to join me for lunch, or am I going to get along with the people? There are so many what ifs and question on our mind and it’s okay. You just have to take time to adjust and don’t worry, everything will fall in to place once you settled in.

The corporate world is a jungle and it’s a small jungle. You’ll meet people you’ve met before; you’ll work with previous classmates, or a friend of your friend or even a far relative. Don’t expect a lot, learn to adjust. Some companies may take time to provide your own computers, or even your own tables. Expect that but don’t get tired easily. Everything is not always what it seems and don’t ever ever assume you’re better than everyone else whether it’s with grades or school. This will create an egoistic image of you. Be humble. Humility comes a long way.

Dealing with your boss is another thing. Some boss may be very intimidating, some don’t really care much about their  employees  and there  are others who are really  nice.  I’m lucky to have such nice bosses. Your boss will be your second mother or father when it comes to workplace so do your best to establish a harmonious relationship with them. But if it’s difficult, just be yourself and work hard and enjoy because at the end of the day, (if your boss is really a pain in the neck) you don’t really work for your boss, you work for the company and you always have to take note of your personal satisfaction.

Entering the corporate world if your journey alone you have to take. You’ll no longer have your parents or friends at your side but you’ll establish new ones along the way. Work your way up and always pray. If you’re an extrovert and communicating with new people is a skill, share it and remember, in a sea of people, there will always be that one person who needs someone like you. Approach them. And for those experiencing the newbie syndrome, everything will fall eventually into place. Good Luck!

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