Give a brief description of what you do in your job.
I joined Facebook in April, 2016 and have been working as a Senior Process Analyst. My role is to assist our key clients and their advertising agencies to promote their events and products on their Facebook page.
What has given you the greatest joy in your work? What has been the hardest?
I love the fact that I get to help connecting those who’d love to share their great ideas to the world through Facebook. Back when I started using Facebook about 10 years ago, it was just a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Now you can also do business on Facebook. The growth of the the company has been incredible. Working with some of the smartest people on daily basis makes me want to work hard everyday.
The biggest challenge has been (and I think always will be) the diversity and understanding the cultures and characteristics in the region. Fortunately, I got to travel the world throughout my life and have met people from all over world. My job is to support not only Japan but also English speaking clients in the Asia Pacific (mostly Singapore, India, Australia and New Zealand). So it is critical to understand the cultural differences and what’s expected and what’s not expected in each country.
What is one thing you’d like others to know about your job/career?
Martin Luther King Jr. famously quoted, “I have a dream.” I’ve always been jealous and envious of him. If you are one of those people who know your dream(s) and passion(s), follow your heart. I’m sure you know how to accomplish it.
Unfortunately when I was in college, I wasn’t one of those lucky ones. I had no idea what I wanted to do after college. All my good friends had a plan after college. Some became a teacher, some decided to be a dairy farmer, and some moved to a big city and entered the business world. That wasn’t the case for me. I switched my major several times and couldn’t exactly figure out what I wanted to study. In the end, I graduated with a degree in Individual Studies. Nothing against those who are majoring in Individual Studies. You are still learning from some of the best professors in the entire nation. My point is, as we all know, college is not a cheap to attend. Sadly after having spent 4 years, that was the best I could’ve done. So in a way, I felt like a failure. I felt like I let every down. I really felt like a loser.
Some might be able to relate, learning new things is a joy. Despite the lack of academic success, I truly enjoyed what I learned in the classroom. But school isn’t easy to everybody. As a matter of fact, school may not be for everybody either. Like myself, some of you might be having a hard time choosing a major, some might be not the greatest test-taker and so on. For those of you, I know how horrifying it can be to think about the future when you are not exactly sure what you are doing with your life. Because you can’t foresee anything. Some assurance would be helpful but there are times in everybody’s life when that’s even a lot to ask for.
So what did I do? I worked. I knew I didn’t have any skills nor knowledge. So I went after experiences. I could’ve just stayed at home and moped. Instead, I took whichever job was available and I worked my tail off. For my first full-time job, I was only earning 1500 Singapore dollars (about $1100 U.S.). It actually doesn’t sound bad. Although in Singapore, rent costs at least 700 Singapore dollars and cost of living is one of the highest in the world. I still remember eating tons of junk food and gaining weight because of it. I didn’t like it but it was cheap. And that was the compromise that I had to make.
Looking back, it was one of the toughest periods of my life. But I’m glad that it happened. Because the job actually led me to the next awesome gig at Apple and then Facebook. Education is important. I don’t mean to cheapen the value of academic success. But having a good work ethic and getting experiences are as important, if not more.
To those who are overwhelmed about future, believe me on this. When you start job-hunting, it wouldn’t go as smoothly as you hoped it would and might even make you want to say “Winter is coming..”. But no winter lasts forever. I was just a normal college kid. Yet, I managed to get where I am. Anybody can work hard. Anybody can find a career.
How have you experienced Christ’s presence in your job/career?
I truly believe that there is a reason for everything. I like what Steve Jobs shared at a Stanford University commencement. A lot of times, we don’t know what is happening in our life and we even get frustrated because of it. Having said that, it’s been comforting to know that I have been led here. No matter how difficult the situation was, there was always a reason behind why I was where I was. As mentioned, I wasn’t academically gifted. I loved sports but I wasn’t athletic nor skilled enough to be on a team. Yet, I always try to have a can-do attitude and to bring a good work ethic. But I’ve been fired before. Yet, here I am. Even after all the endeavors, I somehow managed to get where I am today. I don’t think it was a coincidence at all.
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Thanks for sharing, Hiro! I admire you for who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Well done! I’m glad to see you’ve found joy and fulfillment working at Facebook and can’t wait to hear more.