Good evening here in Indonesia. I hope you have a good day wherever you are ^^
I’ve been posting lyric post and more lyric post. Since this is personal blog, I guess I need to put a story about myself (yeah, it’s an excuse). So, I will start today’s post with my work life.
I started this blog in May 2015 when I ran away from my final project. My very first post is about how you should consult someone if you are confused about what major to take in post-secondary school (red: university). And then a year later in July 2016 I got a job as an Education Counsellor.
Right. How funny. I never intended it to be this way honestly.
And when I started this job, I knew immediately that it is not for me. Or at least my mind seemed to think so. Why? Because I don’t like meeting people on regular basis. I don’t like intruding people’s life by phoning them and telling them about our services. ‘My voice sounds awkward.’ ‘What should I tell them first?’ and then ‘I am afraid I tell them the wrong information.’ ‘I am afraid they will flee instead after I talk to them. Then I will disappoint my employer. I don’t want to disappoint them.’ ‘Why I can’t seem to remember all those details?’ ‘The time is so slow… please ticking away more quickly.’ ‘What should I do for now? Should I read? Can’t I do something else?’ ‘If I play the available game in this computer, will they mad at me?’ ‘Oh God, just let me do something.’ ‘But I don’t want it to have to do with guests.’
And so on and so forth… those kind of thinking were swirling in my head, even until now (only the frequency of it is more of a headache the first few months than now. Now I get better control of it).
But first before I go on telling you about my feeling, do you know what kind of job being Education Counsellor is?
My naive mind when I first applied for and started this job is that this job helps people who wants to study abroad by giving them information about university or majors and then helps them enroll in it. Because sometimes the procedures is so foreign that we need someone’s help to apply study there. I don’t mind helping people. I feel happy when I explain lecture materials to my friends. I feel happy when I help someone even just the littlest thing. So… this job is about helping right? In education no less. I always have respect for education, SO, I am sooo in.
Well, it’s not entirely wrong but it’s only the tip of iceberg.
And the rest of the iceberg is what I almost can’t shoulder by myself.
This is business. And in business, there must be products and selling and profit… True enough. This company runs business in education sector. Our product is services; helping people get information they need about university of their choices, major they wants, accommodation they desired; helping them preparing documents and enrolling them into university of their choices; processing their student visa; all in all, it’s about arranging things so they could just go and study there – have it easy. We make it easier for them. Sounds wonderful and helpful. And my company gives this service FREE OF CHARGE. WOW right?
Okay, that’s our product: services. The true product we sell is studying in university we have agreement on (Yes, we are agent). This true product is an investment in form of education. Unlike selling car which can be seen and felt immediately – can be explained by asking them to touch the body of the car, and things like that; selling education is hard because it is something that can’t be seen and felt immediately (we sell overseas university after all) And it is expensive! on top of that, you will be in foreign country without parents’ protection.
The struggle is how to convince customer to buy this investment. Not only convincing the one that will using it (children) but also the one that will pay it (parents) and vice versa. The struggle is real. And since people have different backgrounds and personalities, sometimes it can be super hard or super easy.
BUT then again… we can’t sell our services if there’s no customer right? So, the first priority is searching for customer. Yes. Apparently, being Education Counsellor is being a Sales. Not door-to-door sales. Thank GOD. But, more to Technical and Follow-Up Sales. So, we held Education Fair or participate in one, got database of whom interested in studying abroad, and then phoned them one by one to see which one is the true gem. Yep, sales. (and yikes, my phonebook and chatroom full of not personal things.)
That’s when things turned sour for me. I was grasping in the dark, and then just several weeks after being hired, this company held education fair. What luck! And they assigned me to become a proxy representation for five universities, in which I’ve only just learnt four of five and just understood the surface of one. What was I supposed to do when someones coming into my BOOTH??? I couldn’t even remember what majors each university had and the description. ‘What is their selling point…’ ‘What makes this university special rather than the other one…’ ‘Is their entry requirement different?’ ‘What if someone asked about scholarship information? I haven’t learnt it yet!’ and on and on again…
Yes, the first day of that edufair was a disaster for me and to me. People rarely came to my booth seeing I couldn’t explain well even though I represented at least two already-famous universities. There was one parent that came and asked, and then just went away after taking a brochure from my booth without leaving a single contact info. He said, “I went here to get info but I don’t get one from you. Why should I leave my contact info?” True enough, but I was shock. I was a newbie, plunged into this so quickly… and then failed miserably.
Buyer really have no mercy.
After adjusting and enduring, I thought I got better grasp of things. Then we participated in high school edufair to get more potential databases. And then in the middle of things, around September, my mind stopped functioning. ‘I can’t do this anymore, I want to go home.’
That was the first time after leaving home for this job that I ever thought of it. Wow, I must be really sick of it because I finally thought like that. I felt awkward – it’s not for me. And because of it, I fell sick. I caught cold. And it ran for more than a month.
And then I moved to my true office in another area (previously my work counted as training in headquarter office). I felt nervous. What if and what if…
But compared to HQ Office, I can breathe much easier here. Because my supervisor is one that have similar kind of thinking – ‘You are you; I am I. Let’s do our best.’ kind of thing. Thank God I chose to be assigned into this area when I was hired even though I thought of it nonchalantly. I never thought office atmosphere and type of colleague could affect your work so much. I experienced failure yes, but I gradually getting better and I didn’t feel sick. ‘It’s okay. So far it’s okay. I’m fine. I can do this.’
And under this new place I begin to stabilise my feet. I get database; I follow up them in my own way. Not all of them replied but I would treasure those who did. Finding information is fun – I can spend all my time browsing! When I don’t know I can just ask my supervisor and she doesn’t get angry (well sometimes a little mad when I kept asking the same thing; my poor memory).
This office is not as strict as the HQ one. When there’s no job at all, she doesn’t mind if I play a little (Well, seeing she’s also opening facebook, online shop, and the likes, I don’t think she has the right to lecture me, but she never has any intention to do that in the first place, so we’re content with how it is).
When there’s customer walked in, she handled them and I got to learn how she did it. And then the next time she went to the HQ and I got jackpot (customer walk-in), I knew more or less what should I do. In the end, it’s not very successful and I probably lost the customer, but I don’t feel as depressed as before. This is what we call progression! I hope I can get better at it.
And now I currently have student who wants to apply in university we represented. one from high school edufair database and one from walk-in and another one from friend’s recommendation. I just hope it all go well. I hope there are more student who I have already approached who will use my services; and I hope more and more student knew about my and our services.
After all, being a sales has to achieve target set by company. I have them too. But I don’t want to care about that now. All I could think about right now is doing well on my job, because I am currently doing well and I don’t want to get depressed again. I enjoy searching information, encourage my student who’s currently busy studying, helping them enroll in university, seeing their happy face after they send me documents and all that.
Feeling it like that and the fact that I can breathing more freely here, I believe I can improve more and more. I commit to myself that I won’t quit this job and company until at least a year working. I want to see the fruit of my work that can only be seen in a year. I want to see whether I still want this job later.
To conclude, I still love the idea of Education Counsellor. Helping people is really my forte at heart. But the whole process is just not my thing. The introvert me is tired of adjusting over and over. I do well in adjusting but I need to at least have time of my own (so I holed up in my room after work hour over, but it can be a luxurious time sometimes because of various things happening in my life).
I am not totally miserable now though. I will keep endure it until my commitment is over and I will review it again, whether I want to continue or not.
Because if I quit now or then, I still don’t know what kind of job I should apply next. But a ‘Sales’ is not really for me. And certainly not ‘Telemarketing’.
All I can imagine is I want a job where I can stay at home and do it at my pace; working in front of computer with my favourite music blaring from my headset. A coffee on the table and some notebook… (fantasy much. I don’t write much after all. more like, typing…)
I guess it’s all impossible, unless I become a translator… or novelist… or entrepreneur of something. Working under people will never have it this nice. I should enhance my capability so I can work by myself…
I hope I can do it. But now… I will adapting to be Education Counsellor. I won’t quit until I know this world well enough.
P.S.: Now that I think about it, maybe God is currently granting my wishes about wanting to establish my own school 🙂 By making me an education counsellor, I was forced to learn about school and university and their system. I learn about curriculum I never learnt before and this knowledge might help me establish my own curriculum. Well, the dream is still far away with me being like this but I am happy enough to know that God guide me to my dream slowly…