In one of my recent interviews, I was asked about my achievements as a professional and it took me some minutes to ponder on what would be the best answer to impress the interviewer who was obviously impressed with the list of job experiences indicated in my resume.
With the speck of time given for a should-be-swift-yet-convincing answer, a statement of a former boss came across my busy brain. I could clearly remember what she said “wala pa kayong napapatunayan” and I answered the interviewer with confidence.
I may not be a perfect employee and maybe not even a model to co workers but I am self-assured that I have done some good deeds to the society and to my country as well.
Isn’t it an achievement when an employee can’t be bought with anything and had never thought of cheating the company in any way? Or never was tempted to steal from the company?
Isn’t it an achievement when an employee tries not to emulate the mediocrities of some superiors?
Are our achievements measured by the position that we handle? Or is it by the brands of clothes that we wear?
Smiling, I answered the interviewer with pride “aside from the countless immeasurable experiences I have experienced from the jobs I had, what I was most proud of was when a Filipina gained the respect of a racial society”
I am brown skinned. I don’t look like a westerner. I don’t speak with a better “western accent” but I always made sure I gain the respect of foreigners not only for me but for the Filipinos.
It was my second year in China as a foreign teacher. But it was my first time to be invited as the judge for an interprovincial speaking contest. It wasn’t because the host school (JORDAN SCHOOL in Weifang) wanted me to be one of the panelists but because the other Canadian wasn’t available that time.
I did not expect anything from them not even what we call “respect”. Based on the stories told by Filipinos in other cities, I was not hoping for any thing but “ni hao”. Filipinos are exempted from the five big countries that are legally allowed and socially accepted to teach the mother-tongue in the People’s Republic of China. Lucky are us who were able to go there with a Z visa.
It was quite hard to enter a racial school (one of the best academy in that area) but I had to make them realize I was just there to do my job.
It was not an equal treatment between me and the other two fellow FTs, one of whom is a Canadian who happens to be a very close friend and another was an American who eventually became one of my two buddies.
It took us the whole day judging the speech competition because there were over a hundred students participating in the contest. The winners will be representing the province in the interregional level. Five of the contestants were my students and were trained by this Filipina teacher.
After the competition ended, each of us was asked to give our comments and advices to the students.
As I sat down, the head teacher approached me and told me that I was the best FT they have invited that season. We had a feast the night of the competition. I was treated with fairness and with the same level of respect they gave to the westerners.
Before we left that night, the head teacher whispered to me that the head master of the school is offering me a teaching job.
I left that season.
Two of my trained students made it to the province wide. His parents were too grateful and treated me to a place they call “the golden sunset of the south”.
Nothing compares to the feeling of being fulfilled not only as a professional but as a Filipina.
So, I guess achievement is not just having a title but achievement is when someone carries a clear conscience when it comes to her profession.And achievement is when you have done something good not only to yourself but to the society.
I just hope that person who asked me that question won’t underestimate other people in the near future.