Love work! (Or find a way of enjoying it)

JUST BE - Bernadette Sembrano (Pilipino Star Ngayon) - June 1, 2014 - 12:00am

I belong to the working class — in the literal sense. I have to work in order to live. Don’t most of us? Fortunately, we are earning enough to enjoy things that go beyond the necessities of food, shelter and clothing. Even more fortunately because we get to do what we love. I love to work and I love my work. 

More often I hear people grumbling about Mondays, and rejoicing every Friday. What is it about work that is to be dreaded? Is work a curse that some want to go on an  eternal vacation?

People complain that they have to work, and I get uncomfortable whenever I hear people use the word lang (or “only” in English) when asked about their occupation. Janitor lang, ahente lang or saleswoman lang. No job is easy, so we should be proud of what we do. Excuse me, but it is work, hard work. 

I have my Mama Elaine to thank for exposing me to working hard, and finding every opportunity to make ends meet — from selling Triumph bras, Pyrex and getting into real estate. I have to thank Papa for showing me diligence, always so quiet and hardly complaining about the Metro Manila traffic, commuting from Fairview to Escolta in Manila. There are other kids who grew up in affluent families, and honestly, because of sheer envy then, I sometimes wished I had that kind of life, too. Looking back at how hard work has molded me into the person that I am — very hardworking, I have to thank my parents for it.

Work is part of life, not something to be dreaded or avoided. Work can also be your little pleasure, but I can imagine it to be hell for some, and sometimes you really wish you were your own boss. How does that sound? 

Never in my wildest imagination did I even consider owning my own business. My aspiration was to end up with a high-paying job in companies like P&G or Unilever, or get the best training in Shell. UP graduates of Business Administration are teased that we were trained to be good employees, while Ateneans and Lasallites were being trained to become entrepreneurs. Of my many friends and acquaintances in UP, there are less than a handful who set up their own businesses; the majority are in the corporate world and I’m happy that they are doing well. 

I’m dipping myself in a bit of entrepreneurship with our Be Good Store in ABS-CBN, and I must say, it’s actually quite fun doing it. I never thought I’d find something I’d actually enjoy apart from journalism. Essentially, we’re all part-timers in the store. We’re doing something else aside from running the business. My sister-in-law Missy is with sales, my husband Orange is busy with our micro business in Kawit, and I’m a journalist. Our Pards of the store, Mace is a crew in McDonald’s. With this limited exposure in business, my advice to those who want to venture into something that they love doing is, it can be done.  

The book, Entrepreneur 5 P.M. to 9 A.M. (Launching a Profitable Startup Without Quitting Your Job) can be helpful if you’ve been wanting to start a business but don’t know how to begin, or if you feel it’s too risky to give up your current job but you want to start a business. 

To me, life is simple. Love your work or find something that you love doing so it won’t feel like work. Don’t waste your time.

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