As I sit on the plane en route Macau, it dawned upon me just how often I travel. Bearing in mind I just arrived at 1am the morning before from Hong Kong after a work assignment. My friend once made a comment on how he cannot understand why my company would allow me to travel so often and yet still promote me to the position I hold today.
It made me think long and hard; about how he’s partially right but also how he doesn’t understand the nature of my job and blog. Sure, I travel for leisure at least once in two months but most of the time, I do it over the weekend to minimize the number of days I take my work leave. On top of that, I don’t usually travel during school holidays and festive seasons. That’s when my other colleagues do, so at least there’s always someone at the office. Plus I get more annual leave than a general employee and I need to utilize them before year end.
He further added that my job in corporate brand and communications isn’t as “challenging” as I can still blog and run my social media channels regularly. Perhaps he’s right. And he isn’t the only one who thinks so — I’ve encountered many who think I have nothing to do but blog. But what these people fail to understand is, not every job is the same. Sure, I may not be in a (what they term) mentally challenging job like investment banking, auditing or engineering but it doesn’t give them the right to assume my job is easy.
I handle the corporate branding and communications for my division, which also includes flying to different countries when there’s a need. My tasks involve handling day to day operations, liaising with agencies and at many times, being the agency since most of the panel agencies aren’t competent enough. On top of that, the team needs to manage directors and stakeholders, making sure all communication materials are done accordingly and circulated through the right channels.
Not to mention attending to the whims and fancies of directors who can potentially cancel or bail on you, after you’ve put down a huge chunk of A&P budget for an event they wanted to participate in the first place. That’s also why I have to travel last minute for work so if I’ve ever bailed on your event or food review invite, I apologize as that’s a work hazard.
When it comes to the blog, I put in many hours of effort in writing and editing photos on an almost daily basis. I start working on the blog the minute I get home from work and dinner. And I work on this till at least 1am or so. This pattern also applies to when I’m overseas for work, much to the surprise of my colleague who once shared a room with me.
Weekends are spent with my friends and loved ones, and if time permits, I attend an event or two each month. Unlike many who are still active in the social scene, most of my socializing is done over a quiet meal or a happy hour session with people I care about. Sometimes, it feel as though I have two full time jobs.
I’m not complaining about how things are — it’s a part of my life and I love working on the blog. But I am nonetheless frustrated with comments that my day job is easy, because it’s not. It is however one of the most flexible jobs I’ve held as I get to do my own things outside office hours. Then again, I guess those people made such comments in reference to their own job because theirs come with a higher stress level and obviously, they get paid much more. Go figure. :)