One of the greatest surprises of joining an industry you don’t know much about is this: the abundance of knowledge sitting there, just waiting to be learned, and the opportunities before you waiting to be explored. These are exactly what I have been reaping since 2014, which is the year I joined the TUV Rheinland Marketing team in the Philippines, located in the capital Manila.
After having worked for years in the journalism and publication business, “overwhelmed” is an understatement if you ask me to describe how I felt when I became a part of the organization. To date, it remains to be challenging, fun, and to say the least, exciting.
Two positions, never-ending communication
Currently, I fill in two functions: as a local communications officer for the Philippines and as a local marketer for the Business Stream Academy in the Asia Pacific region. Both positions require me to communicate with a large variety of people: clients, partners, media, stakeholders, and our colleagues from different parts of the world.
In both of these jobs I need to understand the details and intricacies of the different services we offer. This is necessary to effectively relay to the public how we can help people attain quality and safety in various aspects of their lives and businesses.
I can list a hundred reasons why I like working here, but let me share with you some of the things I like the most:
1. Fascinating people and cultures
No matter how much you love your job, if you don’t get along with the people you work with, you will end up leaving. Who wants to work with people who make things difficult, anyway?
When you’re lucky, however, you will find a diverse group you want to work with long-term. My initial thought after I met the people at TUV Rheinland Philippines was that they were very welcoming.
At first I supposed maybe it was just because we are all Filipinos and we are hospitable by nature – but then I realized that the warmth extends to different parts of the world. Most of the time, I have to coordinate with people from various countries. And I’m not sure why, but everyone just seems so nice and accommodating. That makes work more interesting.
Candid cross-country communication
What is even more fascinating is that people easily approach each other (virtually of course) and ask for help and guidance on certain things. I don’t just learn new things business-wise, I also learn a lot about foreign cultures.
You come to understand that what might be good for your country may not be good for other countries. Or that what is actually working for them will not work for your country. Over time, you just come to terms with appreciating how to make use of the differences to bridge gaps and devise better ideas.
2. Ever-present learning opportunities
Sure, I am required to know specific things to perform successfully at my job. But there sure is a unique sense of fulfillment every time I get an extra takeaway along the way. For example, when dealing with local events, fairs, and tradeshows, I get to meet new people who at first don’t seem to have any connection with me professionally. Then it turns out that they possess the crucial instruments to a project I am working on.
Addressing client concerns has also opened up a learning portal for me: Not only do I help clients with their concerns, I also end up finding out new things I wouldn’t really have given much thought of otherwise.
All that said, what influences me the most is the people I work with internally. It may not always be cupcakes and rainbows, but there is definitely more than a thing or two in every task accomplished.
Sometimes concepts may not align and discussions may not always end up productive. However, over time you learn that this is part of the process and that these kinds of things are what makes a working relationship stronger – the openness to express oneself and the openness to listen to what the others have to say.
3. Work and life balance
A lot of companies boast about the work and life balance they offer, but very few live up to it. As a new mom, this aspect is very important for me. While I do love my job, I also have to make sure I spend the right amount of time with my daughter and my family.
And so far, I have received the support I need. The people here understand the importance of personal time and encourage you to utilize it.
Aside from that, there are plenty of activities which let you take your mind off work a bit and just enjoy the company of your colleagues. The activities range from sports fests, company outings and casual get-togethers to other team-building activities that give everyone the opportunity to chill out and take a breath of fresh air.
These moments take your mind off work. What’s more, they also give you the opportunity to know your colleagues better – a helpful factor I’d say, which contributes to a better working relationship. Getting along with the people you work with makes the job easier and more fruitful.
4. Workplace diversity
It can give you a great deal of comfort to know that the organization you work for promotes diversity and embraces people from all walks of life, as long as they fulfill the professionalism required by their job. I strongly believe that everyone should be given equal employment opportunities and a person should not be discerned for his or her race, gender, or preferences.
TÜV Rheinland strongly upholds workplace diversity and ensures that the people within the group are aware of it, so they won’t feel any inhibitions about expressing who they really are.
At TÜV Rheinland Philippines, for example, there are employees who aren’t Filipinos, but evidently happy to be working with the locals – otherwise they wouldn’t stay long. Sometimes I get the chance to visit TÜV Rheinland offices outside the country. Whenever I see Filipinos working there, I get some sort of validation knowing that they are doing well in a foreign country and even holding competitive positions in the company – something that is absolutely not self-evident in other companies and countries.
Character and competence trump race
This goes to show that you are not rated by your race but rather your character and competence – just what everyone needs to create an opportunity for themselves.
When people are asked what reasons they have to leave their company, there is usually a long list to follow. What I have done here is create this list in reverse, so to speak. In fact, the four aspects mentioned above are just a few of the many things that make staying at TÜV Rheinland a bright perspective.
And I haven’t even been here that long yet – so who knows what other gems I’m going to uncover?
Guest Author: Macey Saavedra
Macey Saavedra works as Marketing Executive at TÜV Rheinland Philippines Inc., which is located in the capital Manila. After having worked for years in the journalism and publication business, she joined the organization in 2014. And to date, she loves the challenge.
Currently, Macey fills in two functions: as a local communications officer for the Philippines and as a local marketer for the Business Stream Academy in the Asia Pacific region. In both positions she is required to communicate with a large variety of people: clients, partners, media, stakeholders, and TUV Rheinland colleagues from different parts of the world.