Labor Day. I think it’s fascinating that my first day as a full-timer is Labor Day. I think it’s representative of my journey for the past 6 years. Just pure labor.
My career path is not a straight line.
2015, I started out as a reporter for a newspaper. Quit. Became the editor-in-chief of another one. 2017, Got an internship. Marketing. Got promoted to content specialist. Quit. Quit both the editor and the content job. 2018, Another internship. Still marketing. Got promoted to head of marketing. Quit. 2020, Another internship. HR. 2021, Quit. 🙂
My CV is decent but I hate that it looks like all I do is jumping jobs. Like I’ve never stayed with a company for over 2 years. What kind of person can’t stick with a job for more than 2 years?
Did I tell you I go insane when I feel like I can’t control the situation?
But then again, for the past 6 years, I have always been a full-time student. I still am. I’ve always put my education first (because I’m a good child who listens to her Vietnamese parents). Plus, Czech schools are way too easy compared to Vietnamese schools so it takes me like a day to finish all assignments and essays for every subject that entire semester. Yes, I’m a proud nerd. I’m also a control freak and an over-achiever with anxiety issues. If you have read any of my blogs, you know I like check lists. Love them. Can’t live without them.
And as a control freak, I’m really struggling right now. For the past 6 years, I’ve got that student visa to rely on. Having a student visa means I could jump jobs. I could work here, intern there, do photography gigs in the evening, tutor kids on the weekends. Like, I could just work for fun. And if I didn’t like the job, or they didn’t need me anymore, I just could just say bye-bye and move on. It wasn’t like my permission to live in the Czech Republic was dependent on my job. But that’s changing now. I’m getting an employment visa.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited to be done with school and start working full-time, earning real cash like a real adult, but I’m also terrified of the uncertainty. If there’s one big lesson I learned during my internship at SAP, it is that “the only constant is change.” I know, it doesn’t make any sense. Agree. But hear me out. It’s true. When I started my internship with SAP, I really thought I would fight tooth and nail to stay with the company. I worked hard. I took part in all kinds of networking events there was. I helped out every project I could. I worked so hard, my full-time colleagues were concerned and kept reminding me that I only worked 20 hours per week and should not work overtime.
I was all-in. Like I have always been with any jobs I have had. I always put in 110%. But then the pandemic got very serious, everybody had to work from home, a lot of re-orgs happened, projects got pushed back or cancelled, contracts aren’t extended, the hiring freeze,… just a lot of changes took place. And I nearly went to insanity because nothing was in my control.
What if something like that happens again in this new job? What if they downsize and I get let go? I would have 2 months to look for a new job or I’m out of the country, potentially forever (you know the visa complications between the Czech Republic and Vietnam, right?). And yeah, probably that won’t happen because I’m talented and got connections. But still, that’s a lot of risks.
Let me tell you about my dating experience, career-wise.
I treat my career with the same attitude I have for my relationship. I’m committed. When I’m in, I’m staying. We’re going to work through our differences. We’re going to fight for us. We’re going to grow and grow old together. I really thought SAP was Mr. Right. And I was really looking forward to our lifelong journey ahead. Well, it didn’t happen. Because I just quit SAP.
And with every job exit, I feel the same pain I feel when I get out of a relationship. Well, I haven’t been through that many relationships, but, that’s the point, I’ve been with the same guy for the past 5 years, but changed 5 companies in the same time. Why can’t my career path be as stable as my relationship? I’m a loving partner. I care. I like…yeah, see, this is tricky because I didn’t always like the company I worked for. I also, sometimes, actually most of the time, didn’t like what I was working on. I often felt underappreciated and/or overqualified for the tasks assigned. And usually when I had learned more about the company and got to know its dark side, I changed my mind about us. And I thought continuing such relationship would be unhealthy and so I left.
But that does not mean I stop loving the company immediately. I’ve dedicated a part of my youth with this company. It taught me so many things about this industry, about this role, about me. We didn’t always get along. We disagree on things. There are miscommunication and misunderstandings and mistakes. But we’re all humans, yeah? We’re allowed to make mistakes. And we have had great moments, too. Cool projects. Big milestones. Free merchandise.
All I want to say is that I’m grieving. I’m grieving over my 10-month relationship with SAP. But also over all my really really sad relationships with other companies as well. We always ended things on good terms, but that’s why it’s so sad. Because even if it was a semi-toxic relationship, it was a relationship and I was committed. 110%. Always.
I think though, is that, similar to a relationship, the reason why I couldn’t keep a job for long was because I underrated and undersold myself. Every single time. I chose a job that was safe. And it made sense at the time, right? I was a young student, just moved to a new country, barely spoke a word of Czech, had no work experience but a lot of insecurities. It made sense that I would get just the most basic mundane underpaid internships, right? Yeah, well, similar to a relationship, in order to keep me engaged and passionate, the job has to offer me new things to learn, challenge me, help me grow, inspire me, show me love and appreciation, etc. And if it couldn’t do so, well, somebody had to go.
And by now you should know that this blog is not about my actual dating life.
Anyway, let’s talk about boys.
I talk to my Mom about my job more than I talk about my boyfriend. And she always has opinions about them. About my companies, not my boyfriend. She thinks my boyfriend might be an alien in his previous life, but that info doesn’t help. She really likes SAP. And she really wanted us to stay together. She thinks this German guy is very organized, very professional. He cares about me and he is nice. It’s just that he only wants a 6 month relationship? Like, every 6 month we need to talk and he gets to decide if he wants to continue to date me or not. Also, he doesn’t want to put a label on it, you know? Like keep it non-headcount relevant, just casual contractor. Also, we’ve never seen each other in real life because of the quarantine, just a lot of emails and video calls?
Oh, before the German guy, I was dating a Vietnamese-Czech guy for like 2-3 years. We weren’t serious at the beginning, but then we really hit it off after I found out that we were both into video production and content marketing and social media and photography and event planning, just everything media related. It was just super cool. We were just the perfect match. Though our relationship was not always healthy and balanced? I was often stressed, tired, overworked, bothered by texts and calls 24/7, felt guilty for not doing more when I was literally doing everything. But he also took me see places I’ve never been, introduced me to so many successful and inspiring people, and gave me the ultimate creative freedom to do and be whatever I ever wanted. But then Covid happened. He lost his job and also sense of direction? I was really hurt after our breakup. It was tough. Because I really loved him. I think I still do.
I guess I think about my job also more than I think about my boyfriend. I’m also constantly stressed about work, but rarely have issues with my relationship. Sometimes I feel bad for my boyfriend because work always gets prioritized. I don’t know. I just always think you can’t control love, but you can control work, right? Because it’s your work, right? You create the plans, you run the processes, you make the drafts, you pitch the ideas, like, it’s all on you, right? Wrong. It’s not on you. It’s on the team, it’s on the board, the stock market, the pandemic, the weather forecasts, anything but you. So, basically, you can’t control love or work.
And so, meet my Danish boyfriend.
I think I was most serious about my two recent jobs, the German guy and the Vietnamese-Czech guy, and that’s why it hurt so much leaving them. That’s why this time, I’m doing long-term.
I’ve signed an unlimited contract to work as a Communications Consultant at NNIT, a Danish IT company based in Prague and my job starts, today. Labor Day. Yes, I’m ready for yet, another relationship. My sixth boyfriend is a Danish guy because I’m international like that. And we’ll see. First impression: He’s a bit out of my league, a few years older than me, I’m more used to dating younger guys or at least same age, but this guy is definitely older. He’s more mature than I am. But we agree to take it slow and he will help me learn and grow. I like that. Also, the benefits are very attractive. And, he lives next door to my ex SAP. Show-off much?
Also, we had only dated for like a week before he offered a long-term relationship? We met twice. Each time for an hour. Online. Video calls. But it was clear that he was very interested from the get-go. He made a very swift and firm decision. And I just can’t say no. We’ll be doing internal communication, event planning, employer branding, social media, video production, graphic design, content creation, etc. everything I’ve ever wanted to do and more.
We’re seeing each other on Monday. It’s going to be the first time we meet as an official couple. Very excited.