I worked in the corporate world as an IT professional for only four years, but those formative years have taught me much about what I want to do.
Being a probinsyano in Metro Manila, there are so many things that I liked and disliked about living in the city.
I know many will relate to what it feels like to always live in a hurry in the city while also dreaming of returning home for good.
Here are the seven things a probinsyano or a probinsyana running in the rat race may be experiencing.
1. You are always waiting for payday.
For many corporate rat race runners, there are only two important days in a month – kinsenas and katapusan.
Whether your pay period is monthly or bimonthly, you can’t deny that it is one of the days you constantly look forward to — maybe besides the weekends and the holidays.
When working in Metro Manila, I often think that every year is divided into 24 and that many employees are also constantly waiting for the 15th and the end of the month.
2. You are constantly finding an escape by maximizing the weekends.
People live for the weekend – from Friday night until Monday dawn. With various activities available in and around Metro Manila, there is no denying that many are looking forward to the weekend.
With the stress built up during the week, spending a quality weekend can feel like a reward.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, a fantastic weekend with family or friends can somewhat deflate an overwhelming feeling of resigning from your work due to stress.
When I was still in the corporate setup and working during the night shift, I often traded my sleep. I usually join mountain climbing, spend time with my friends, participate in a fun run, or teach in an outreach program.
Those activities somewhat kept me sane by doing something that I love.
3. You are carefully planning your vacation leaves.
For a probinsyano working in the city, the holidays and vacations are the best chances to spend more time with their families and loved ones in the province.
That is why many became experts in planning long weekends and plotting the calendar for vacation leaves.
It became almost a routine to plan a longer vacation time as soon as the corporate calendar was released, domestic and even international.
During my stay in Manila, I always looked forward to the Christmas holiday break, which can be extended to two weeks if the holidays fall on a weekday. I only have to spend three paid time offs while working from home.
However, we also have to file leaves weeks or even months in advance to ensure they are approved before buying our tickets.
4. Always thinking about spending more time with your family in the province.
When you finally go home to the province during the holidays, your time with your family is often minimal. You want to do many activities, but you only have three days to spend.
This is also why some employees working in Metro Manila would commute from as far north as Tarlac or as far south as Batangas every day and just sleep during the commute, instead of living away from their family.
5. Calling in sick to rest the mind and have a breather.
Working for highly demanding jobs is detrimental to our physical and mental health. Having a needed rest for the body and mind is crucial to battle burnout.
This is also why some employees working in Metro Manila would commute from as far north as Tarlac or as far south as Batangas every day and sleep during the commute instead of living away from their families.
6. Questioning if the job you have is what you want to do for the next few decades of your life.
I know many of the readers of this blog also experienced the dilemma between choosing a career path that can either be soul-sucking but pays the bills or a rewarding career that is often underpaid.
In my case, I chose the latter, and I don’t have any regrets. Doing a life-draining job for the next few decades because of the prestige, salary, or benefits is not the life I would want to have.
7. Thinking of leaving the city to return to your province for good.
This is the dream – to finally return to your home province to do something more worthwhile than sit in a cubicle to work for 8 to 10 hours for a company that will easily replace you if you ever resign.
It is very common for people in the metro to think of “starting a business” to be closer to the family or live a simpler life. I also had this goal in mind when I returned home.
However, many things can hinder our plans, such as the financial and labor capital, time allotment, or even what type of business to start.
When we finally entered adulthood and began to fend for ourselves, we suddenly realized many things.
I realize that the corporate hustle and climbing the corporate ladder are not for me.
Though it may be the dream of some, it is essential not to lose ourselves trying to attain something that may eventually prove a dead end.
We must strive to live for today while preparing for tomorrow while finding our purpose.
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