Modest beginnings & big dreams
I grew up in a modest household with modest goals - to work hard, earn enough to make a decent living, raise a family. Growing up Indian in a Filipino environment, the outcome was relatively predictable - culture dictated the cookie-cutter successful life in our community.
Deep down though, I always felt like there could be something else to aspire to that was different from what I saw around me.
When the opportunity to join a 2-year global rotational program presented itself at work in 2010, I jumped on it without hesitation.
This could be my ticket to see what else was possible for me, I thought to myself.
In that time and all the years after, I grew into more and more significant roles, had a career trajectory that made all the hard work feel worth it, and had the privilege to settle into a comfortable life in Switzerland.
It felt to me like every aspect of my life was in its proper place.
Until I became a mom.
Being a mom is one of the best things that has happened to me - and it also shook me to my core.
My identity was so much attached to my work and to meeting others' expectations, that I struggled to have the space and energy to be both a good enough mom and a good enough employee.
Because good enough wasn't enough.
Exceptional performance and unwavering reliability were so much of what I was known for, that I didn't know how to be anything else.
So I put up a front - one that showed control, joy, success.
But truthfully, I couldn't keep up and I felt like I was letting myself and others down; and worst of all, I was proving everyone right who doubted I could make it work.
I was tired, resentful, angry, and sad all at the same time, until I eventually burned out.
Recovery and rediscovery
Towards the end of my therapy, my doctor said that recovery is about gaining back what was lost.
This message deeply touched me - to truly recover, I needed to find myself again - to discover the things that truly mattered to me, to learn to set my own expectations and be happy with good enough.
Things needed to change.
I knew then that my life was going to transition to a new path. Unsure of the destination, but healthier and more pleasant than the one I’ve been on.
One where I felt autonomous and empowered again.
I am a better mom, sibling, daughter, wife, friend and colleague because I feel much more empowered and aligned to my values.
Working with Meaning
My professional "life" will always be an integral part of my identity - as I know it likely is for you too.
Consolidating everything I've learned from my career in Human Resources, and from my own burnout and recovery, this is what I've learned:
Our work and workplaces are intended to be good for us and our wellbeing.
They are meant to contribute to our sense of purpose, fulfillment and security.
A place where our talents and potential can be used for a greater cause.
With that lens, I've taken this opportunity to pass on the learning and help individuals and organizations transfer that intention to reality - through no-frills, back to fundamentals, pragmatic approaches that keep the human experience at the center of it all.