What It's Like To Start Working During A Pandemic And A Super Typhoon
20th May 2021
< 1 min read
I’m Kai, a Network Planner with an international telecoms engineering company, and I wanted to briefly share my experience of living through a series of three typhoons, one of them the strongest Category Five, just a month after starting my first job. All during the height of the global pandemic to boot.
The Bicol region in the Philippines where I live is frequently hit by super typhoons so I’ve been dealing with these drastic weather patterns since childhood. Our community knows how to prepare - and the local government always does their best to minimize the damage caused. Disaster management rules weren’t enough to stop Typhoon Goni (the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2020) though. Somehow this experience was worse than all the others over the years. I was preparing for the licensure examination when the pandemic hit. During the quarantine, I tried to continue studying for the exam but it quickly became obvious that COVID wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. I realised I needed to start working and help my family financially. I got lucky in joining Sharesource in October 2020 but just as my training got going, three major typhoons thought it was a good time to hit - like there wasn’t enough going on.
Our entire city lost power (and therefore internet connection) and I knew I needed to make a plan fast to ensure my training wasn’t interrupted. Thankfully I managed to locate a cafe that had a generator - I knew I could work from there with a VPN to ensure data privacy and a decent internet speed. I am so grateful to Sharesource and their client for their understanding and flexibility in allowing me to do this. I’ve got to be honest though - being out in public at the height of the pandemic was tiring and stressful. Being in close proximity to strangers every day was not fun - it felt like the virus was everywhere. I worried about my health constantly but thankfully didn’t get sick. With great relief, I was able to move on to working from my cousin’s place, where power had been restored, just a week later. This was a lot more doable - though I was still dealing with an unstable internet connection due to the typhoon damage. My anxiety started to abate a fair bit.
Overall it was roughly a two week period of needing to ‘make a plan’ - though it felt like a lot longer at the time. I’m incredibly grateful and blessed to work for a company and client that really understood my predicament and recognized the lengths I went to to ensure my initial training wasn’t interrupted. The culture is caring (they’re constantly checking up on us) and they hire people with the same frequency - which is awesome! We work hard and we play hard! My work designing fiber optic networks feels particularly meaningful during this pandemic where social gatherings are restricted. I have a clearly defined career path, in line with my skills and passions. I am beyond blessed to not only have a job at all during this mad time that the world is going through, but to have such a cool job where our personal and professional growth is actively encouraged every day. My mantra? Live each day with gratitude for your blessings and you’ll keep attracting more blessings!
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