Feb 13, 2018

What does Canada want from experienced professionals

Next month will be our second year anniversary of arriving in Canada.
My expectations on career was not high as we were told so many times that to land back in your profession is like a needle in a haystack.

After settling down, arranging the kids school and so many little things that kept us very busy in the first 2 months of arrival hubby & I were both back in our field. I did the math and my Canadian annual salary is equivalent to my Malaysian salary. This can be viewed in 2 perspectives. I was hired as an HR Assistant earning a salary of a Learning & Organizational Development Manager. Pays well for lesser responsibilities or my compensation didn't literally change moving here.  Which made me think if I am able to specialize again in either Learning & Development or Recruitment I would at least be happier and be better compensated. Frankly I am not a fan of other parts of HR other than these two. While I can do the job,  I naturally excel and get excited with L&D as well as Employee Engagement Programs.

Two years later I am still stuck in this job with very limited opportunities to grow or even showcase my skills. I think the hard part for this is not seeing a clear path ahead. I know what a dangling carrot looks like compared to my other bosses really walking the talk of growing my career. For some weird reason too I can't seem to get hired in other companies. I was either too overqualified for some (when I go for entry level positions) or for the same level jobs I was not the most competitive candidate out there. Such a dilemma so I am taking matters in my hands and explore my options. The only thing I haven't done is take up a course to "beef" up my resume. Apparently I've been told numerous times that it's how the 'games' are played. Whereas my experience is as solid as a brick. It is so frustrating because no matter what format of resume and no matter how specific and individualized my cover letters and resume are I am not lucky enough. So here's to the beginning of my quest to fulfill what I hope is what these Canadian employers want from HR Professionals like me. A Canadian education or Certification.

I hope one day they realize though that it holds back their progress. Only those with time and money can actually pursue additional degree or certifications. Doesn't mean they are less talented. In Asia even if we are not decorated with fancy certifications and multiple degrees I have seen more very dedicated employees who work hard and innovate.

Oct 31, 2017

Why I Need Friends in my Life

An old adage says...no man is an island.
This is especially true to me. I think that's what's harder for me here in Canada. I can't connect to anyone here the way I connected to my friends in Philippines or Malaysia. Even my KL lunch buddies are more relatable than people surrounding me here.

It's driving me insane because there's no safe sounding board for me anymore. I can't even cry well the tears roll out but after a good cry I am usually fine. I just find myself bottling everything up inside to function on my day to day. I pride myself before as being patient and understanding...nowadays I snap more often. Crack under pressure and it just keeps piling inside like a heavy weight on my chest.

This wouldn't happen if I just have someone to unload once in a while and still be silly. My friends hear me out don't give nonsense advice most especially dont lecture me and they dont get equally stressed when I rant. When the timing is right they know I am done and can be goofy again. Likewise I love hearing them rant about their lives too makes me feel I am not alone.

 I guess I learned the hard way what is more important for me...family, friends and a good career. Money is just secondary. Sure I drive my husband over the wall in my ideal lifestyle but most often I feel that's to fill the void inside me. Because I felt happy carving pumpkin with the kids, I felt happy just sitting and watching a movie with them, I felt happy when we have bus commute adventures together.Of course kids will be kids and they act out and stuff. Iaree more intense in her episodes and its really tough to be going through this knowing that I am not enough and that something can be done.  Oh God help me :( :( :(

Mar 24, 2017

At last...I am finally back on a PONY

Talk about baby steps.

A lot of people compliment me & hubby that we are in our respective fields (IT & HR) immediately as our first job in landing. It is a known fact (due to my incessant whining to close friends & this blog) however that my work (or lack thereof) is killing me to boredom. I am not being arrogant here to say that everything that I am doing is something I can do in my sleep that is why my turn-around time is in a SNAP leaving me with plenty of empty hours in the office. I do not think the job is beneath me but I do not see my value add to the organization.

My manager is not very keen in exploring aspects of me developing training for the employees nor is employee engagement (or employee events at the minimum) is in our umbrella. Those who know me very well will find it weird that I got excited I would have to cover for the payroll supervisor for 1 month while he goes on leave. Which means I have been doing payroll for the past few weeks now and was really excited about it. Of course when the novelty wore off I found myself wondering why I became a math teacher as (I kid you not!) 60% of the time sheets they employees/managers computed wrongly!!!Calculators people!!!So yes my job became basic 1+1 checking the papers before I can enter in the system! Absolutely not living the dream!! LOL

Anyway what I am seriously excited about this time is I got a training request from a manager for basic MS Office. I told her that since we are non-profit org why don't I do the training myself. I know MS Office is not my area of expertise but I am banking on myself being an advance user and with (hopefully still) good facilitation skills. So I got it and another Director approached me for the same request. So yes I am back on the pony for now just to make sure I can still get back on the horse later. Yey!

Mar 23, 2017

Packed Lunch

Packed lunch here in Canada is an extra challenge for me it's nut free ( no nutella sandwiches) and fish free( no tuna and sardines) so forgive me if I cant help but smile as I was putting away the left over dinner Ate said "Mommy there's still mashed potato can I have it for baon please?" And I said ok also bring these green beans and she was ok we were just worried the volume might not be enough to fill her up. Then I asked bunso what she wants and she happily replied "Anything youstill have over there mom just add strawberries please" I told her that Ate is already bringing the left over mashed potato and she was fine with it which meant she was thinking of the left over chili. Too bad the weather wont permit that it won't keep warm so I told her she can't. So she said "Oh ok anything then"

Yup one happy mommy here that my kids eat vegetables and fruit!

Feb 28, 2017

Parenting Scores

It's amazing when you feel you are doing something right for something that you have been so exhausted in doing and driving you nuts.

The past few weeks hubby & I were plain exhausted. I even asked him if I can hand in my resignation papers from being a mom and he said he had been thinking of the same thing too. The kids are pushing our limits and we haven't really had much of "self-care regimen" to keep us sane. Over the weekend however we told them to dress up for church and they came out of their room all dress up with matching clothes and announcing that they are getting along so well. There were a few minutes of bickering during the day but not so bad to that was a triumph. Last night we sent them to bed at 8PM after brushing their teeth and all (same as every other night) at around 8:30 PM their lights were off and we heard them saying their prayers together for the first time without us. It was a lovely prayer made more special as it was their own initiative. We can't help but smile and stand up to bid them goodnight again. Usually putting them to bed and the actual sleeping is a big struggle. Despite ushering them to bed at 8 - 8:30 they mostly end up asleep by 9:30 PM the earliest. So yey to me & Ryan! Parenting is really hard but the nuggets of moments you get a peak of the person you hope they will be is so rewarding! Don't get me wrong our apartment is still a chaos of mess.

Feb 16, 2017

Conversations with my 5yo

I always love having conversations with my daughters mostly they dominate it by telling long winded stories of the day or something they found amusing. I treasure all of their stories. I love seeing things through their eyes but since their innocence is fleeting so fast I thought I should share some here with my 5 yo and I will update this time & again

Feb 14 2017
I bathed her as I wanted to make sure her congested nose gets relieved. After the bath...
Liezl: Mom I love you. I am happy you take care of us. Without you we cannot eat. Daddy needs to learn how to cook before you die right?
Me: Well we really do not know when we will die
Liezl: But you will die when you are 100 years old that's why when you are 99 I will be very sad because on your next birthday you will die.
Me: *eyes popped* LOL
Feb 13 2017
Cooking palabok I asked her to stir the pot.
Liezl: Wow you are cooking spaghetti!
Me: It's palabok not spaghetti
While eating the palabok
Liezl: We are not allowed to bring spaghetti to school
Me: It's palabok not spaghetti
Liezl: (Still oblivious) Don't pack this spaghetti for my lunch ok?

Oct 19, 2016

Bring on the Halloween 2016 fuss!

Like in every holidays, occasions, etc this year it's all FIRST for us.

So Ryan wasn't keen about Halloween - CANDIES, EXPENSE ON THE COSTUMES & COLD WEATHER. He can't comprehend the safety of the weather and the possible tons of candies not good for their teeth after. Thanks to Ate Elsie he got convinced and allowed us to shop for costumes last weekend.

Liezl was very determined with her scary witch costume so we just both a witch hat on top of a headband with spiders all around ($2), matching green gloves with spider print on top ($1.50) & table runner with spider webs - for her cape, kelangan daw kse ng web na tirahan ng spiders nya ($2). For Iaree she wanted to be a pirate...then we thought how about a bat and she loved the idea. We found a headband with black ears ($2) and we went searching for a good wings material.

After 4 shops we found a magician's cape in Dollar Tree which I can trim the bottom and will be perfect and I went shopping for makeup since they want to be "scary".

Yesterday we received a note from Liezl's school that they are not allowed to be so scary as it might frighten some of the kids so Liezl was asking daddy if they can shop for a different costume. LOL.Apparently whatever day it falls (this year its on a Monday) that's the day people celebrate it. So they will be in school and we have to be up early for me to put on their make-up. Iaree wants fake blood so I need to make a trip to the grocery so I can DIY some.

As I kept watching youtube videos on how to make halloween make-up I was getting scared myself. LOL. I obviously need to bring my A game here and shop for candies to share in their day-care & school.

Aug 16, 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

I should really get an umbrella.
This isn't the first time that I got wet in the rain here in Manitoba but yesterday was pouring. God is so good that it POURED after I was already in the bus. The rainfall was imminent as I waited for the bus and the dark clouds was fast approaching. I started feeling strong winds too and the drizzle while I prayed please let this be my bus please let this be my bus...and it was! About 5 minutes later it poured.

I looked at the clock inside the bus and thought I am already running late picking up the girls. Despite the fact that the bus driver drive like it was a mini-van he was driving and creating 7-8 feet high splashes of water on the side walk. I texted our sitter and told her I was running late and I will arrive wet. LOL. I didn't get a chance to read her response and she did call me as I was getting off the bus. When I reached her place the kids were wearing big hooded sweaters (not theirs, coz in the morning I decided to remove their sweaters due to the hot hot weather over the weekend). I told them lets make a run for the bus on the other side so we didn't have to wait for it from where I got off as there was no shade. We did run for it but in the mid of our run we saw the bus pass by. LOL.

I thought of taking shelter at the sitter until it's closer to the time the bus is back but she said no. I am taking you girls home. If its not for the girls I would've said no. In the car she told me how when she was a single mom taking home her kids at the harshest of winter she would silently hope that some car would stop by and offer them a ride. How she knows how hard it was taking the bus with weather challenges and wouldn't mind driving us home.

I have been contemplating on this for a while now how we easily look the other way when we see who are in need. We do not know how big of an impact it has on their life. An ounce of kindness = sliver of hope.