Sunday, March 11, 2007

28. Career Change

With the arrival of our first baby, Eric, exactly nine months after the wedding, I began to seriously consider other career options. Irregular hours and frequent production work nights will be terribly unfair to my young family. I also found out that my earnings were not enough to give my wife and my son what I would consider a secure and sheltered place under the sun. It was something that I could not talk about with the people in the office because there were no immediate prospects. Some friends in media advised me that marketing would be a good alternative. I was young and already had considerable advertising experience in fast moving consumer goods.

Youth and experience was what most marketing companies would pay a premium for. As an almost instinctive reaction I started reading up on marketing. To my surprise I seemed to have enough knowledge of the subject. Attendance in client meetings during my earlier employment, the exposure to the product launch preparations of seasoned marketing men and later, the discussions with clients and the digest of their advertising briefs were pragmatic sources which contributed to the extent of my knowledge of marketing.

The opportunity presented itself in a want ad that Philippine Refining Company, a Unilevcr subsidiary, posted in a leading daily. The company was looking for brand supervisors to handle the numerous brands in Detergents, Personal Products and Foods marketing areas. I composed my application letter and sent it to PRC. It contained a resume that played down my educational background but loaded up on my advertising experience. After two days of no response I began to doubt that I would even get to an initial interview. I found out that one of the guys in the office, Ely our guy in film production, also sent his application to PRC. When I told him that I too sent an application he was quick to tell me to kiss my application goodbye because he was sure to be taken in. Although said in jest it made me a bit anxious. At that stage any form of discouragement could shatter my self-confidence and increase my anxiety level.

On the fourth day I received a wired summons to be in PRC on a certain date and time.

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