It has been four months since I was kicked out of a job because the company wanted to rehire a former employee. A role that I had been hired to fill, but was then told my services were no longer required because said former employee would be returning to take it back from me.
It is not illegal for a company to do this in Malaysia (or anywhere else in the world) but it is not ethical. Some employees would fight this out in either Labour Court (if money has not been paid) or Industrial Court (for unfair and unjust treatment). I was advised to do the same, but I decided not to.
For two reasons:
(1) It could potentially jeopardise any future interactions and job applications between myself and employers who want to hire me.
(2) As much as I’d want to see the company go down for treating me like crap, but I don’t want revenge. I just want to move on and forget it ever happened.
So I have been spending most of the months at home, occasionally in disbelief that this could actually happen (if not to me, but perhaps to someone else and trust me, it’s not a good feeling!).
At first, I was amazed at all the things I could do in my own time. I could read all the books I have. I could paint and sketch and update my bullet journal and personal journal. I could binge on Netflix until I’ve completed all the series I had been following closely. I could play Skyrim until my eyes bleed.
Frankly speaking, it did not turn out the way I hoped.
After awhile, say about two weeks or so, I started to feel disheartened. The jobs I applied for had not gotten back to me. No responses were found in my inbox. No one said a word about wanting to hire me. Day in, day out. That was it. I applied to so many jobs that the next time I went to check on the job portals, I was back to the same page where I had first started applying.
By the third month, I was almost suicidal. I still had to pay the bills. I still needed food to survive. I couldn’t do the things that made me happy (most of which came from going out of the house and spending just a little bit to see some sunshine).
I was beginning to worry about the opportunity cost of many things — like, should I spend money to buy ingredients to cook at home or should I just go out and eat and come back home? Both ways required me to spend what I didn’t have. I didn’t want to go out because going somewhere would mean I had to drive, and driving uses petrol, and petrol needs money. I could call for Grab, hop on a bus, or use the LRT. And still, they all needed that one thing I wasn’t getting anymore. Not for the past three months.
The fourth month came and we’re almost at its tail-end now. I remember telling a friend and my husband that if I hadn’t gotten a job by or before the end of 2018, no one will be getting any angpow (red packets filled with money) for next year’s Chinese New Year. Drastic but necessary.
And then another friend buzzed me one day. She showed me a screenshot of our ex colleague working at an advertising agency who is looking for someone like me. I was skeptical, to say the least, as I had actively avoided applying for agency roles. Much less one at an advertising agency.
But who am I to say no? Who am I to say that this isn’t for me? For one, I have not tried my hand at it. And two, I don’t actually have a job to begin with, no other available options to choose from. So I agreed to just go in for a chat. Just to know what the job entails and likewise, for them to know more about me.
I went in. Two hours later, I came out.
I can safely say that I will no longer be unemployed. I start on November 1 as a Content Writer for the agency. I have seen my letter of appointment and while I am a stranger to working at an advertising agency, I am still thankful to God for opening this door for me, for giving me a glimpse into the scene, and it is going to be a whole new world for me.
And maybe that’s what I need. Maybe I need to expand my portfolio. Maybe I need to do something new, improve myself in ways I never thought I would. To go the extra mile and be someone. I’m excited about this new prospect but at the same time, I’m nervous and anxious. Perhaps I need to have some faith in myself. I need to have the confidence that I’ll be fine, that I’ll do just fine. Otherwise, I can always ask Him for guidance.
Who knows? I might even like being there!