Thank you for supporting our first episode. You guys are the best! We cover our small wins and career stories in this second one.
Here is a transcript of the rich conversation that I had with @jannuslim:
Jannus: So, there are times when… Wait a sec, I can’t get a hold of myself. When we started recording, I also started to overthink. Hahaha
Gail: Hahaha, relax…
Jannus: Relax, wooohoohoo
Gail: Hello everyone, welcome to the Gail & Jannus podcast!
Jannus: Yes! Episode 2! Amazing, right? We have a lot of time in our hands.
Gail: You know what, I never expected that everyone would be receiving our first episode well. It was just like you sending me the link and I just shared it on my stories and everyone was like… Whoooo, sharing everything haha. It was so overwhelming. Thank you guys, thank you so much!
Jannus: Here’s the truth, uhmmm, Gail and I haven’t talked and planned about releasing yet. I sent Gail the link to episode 1 because I wanted her to listen to it first but she shared it and then… yeah. Hahaha!
Gail: See? There’s no more fuss anymore, no more drum roll, no more… “We are premiering in 3, 2, 1…” because duh, everybody is busy, everybody is doing their own thing and I don’t wanna think that we’re entitled to their attention so that’s why I just released it afterwards. So, it’s up to the listeners now, when they want to listen and thank you so much guys for listening, for showing your support.
Jannus: Yes guys, thank you so much for listening. So I was checking out our analytics, wow. In my head, I wasn’t expecting anything. Twenty listeners were more than okay for me. But damn, it was more than 20. When I looked at it a moment ago, we had 21 listeners! Hahaha. Joke! So because of yesterday, I celebrated and I ordered matcha latte.
Gail: Hehehe, congrats! How was it? Was it good?
Jannus: So you know how we recorded that episode a while back? And how we released it late, so late that I got tired of matcha lattes now hahaha. Everything’s just a joke!
It’s very cute because I have people texting me “Hey I’m in CBTL (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) and I’m drinking matcha latte. CBTL, 10% discount? (referring to affiliate marketing)
What are your wins this week?
Gail: Oh my gosh. My biggest win for this week has got to be my website and our podcast.
Jannus: Yeah, I saw!
Gail: I finally bought a domain. So my domain name is getsetgail.com and I got it at a super steal price. Like, I’ve been blogging on this cryptocurrency-based blockchain (I was talking about Hive). I’ve been blogging for maybe about.. 4 years?
Jannus: Wow, you’ve been doing it for a long time, right?
Gail: Yeah! Four years! There’s this new project that transfers my content to my own domain (referring to Engrave) so I took the chance and I got it at a super steal price! So yeah, so that’s one of my wins this week. How about you? What are your wins for last week?
Jannus: Other than the podcast, I’m not sure if I should call it a win or a highlight. But, we had an outing or a little get-together with some of my batchmates from high school. So they’re not the usual people who I always go with. They’re a different set of friends and they invited me over. Most of them, I haven’t seen since high school. Is it dramatic to say since high school? Maybe? Okay, fine, since college. Bottomline, it’s been a long time since I saw them. There, it was nice. The place was very nice. We were in front of the ocean. Ocean? Haha. It was by the seaside. It didn’t cost us that much. So, it was a win for me because it was a nice experience and we didn’t spend that much. The fun part was we didn’t connect to the internet so everyone was just in the present especially me since I always check my social media.
Gail: Awww, that’s nice.
Jannus: One of their questions, Gail, during reunions is “Where are you connected right now?” Of course, after I share, there would be a follow-up question that goes like this “Oh, you’re not a chemical engineer anymore?” Hahaha. For those who don’t know, I took up Chemical Engineering as my course back in college and Gail as well. So that’s how we met.
Jannus: We’re both from the same school and the same college. That’s how it is during reunions. When you’re with people that you don’t usually hang out with on a daily basis, they knew that I took up Chemical Engineering but they didn’t know that I changed my career path. Do you have friends like that?
Gail: Yeah! But I’m curious. Wait, before I answer that, how did you respond to their question?
Jannus: Uhmm, even when I started working, it wasn’t really very “chemical engineery.” I told them “I’m a full-time financial advisor now.” They answered with “That’s cool!” Like they were curious about my thought process, why I transferred. Statements like “That’s insane!,” “Chemical Engineering took you five years to finish and you also took up the board exam and then you shifted?” remarks like those are so common. Do you also get those?
Gail: You bet. There was one that stood out to me that I will never forget because it hurt my ego. There was this one time, he was a high school classmate of mine. In our line of work as a Financial Advisor, aside from the fact that we took up the same degree, we also took the same career switch as Financial Advisors.
Gail: So we’re full-time Financial Advisors now. Anyway, back to the story. So I invited this old classmate to a Financial Needs Analysis session, it was online. Throughout our discussion, you know, the works. Asking about his emergency fund, life insurance and all that stuff, at the end he asked me this question “Gail, you’re an engineer right?” and then I said “Yeah.” So he asked back “Aren’t you smart? You were in the top ten of our batch?” I replied “Yeah.” So, he asked again, “Why are you doing this now?” (condescendingly). Oh my gosh.
Gail: So he was like implying that it was a downgrade. My being a financial advisor is a downgrade from being a chemical engineer. My ego that time was about to throw a fit – smashing the laptop – that was what I wanted to do. Instead, I composed myself then said “If you don’t see the importance of what we’re doing here, I think you’re still not ready to get your finances in order so let’s end the call.” Gail’s ego, boom.
Jannus: It’s okay, I mean, I resonated with you in the sense that they were the predominating thoughts in my head when I made the decision to change careers. As a high school student, my background was really in science and technology. I graduated in a Science High School. Our minds were trained to take up Science and Technology-related courses. So, I took up Chemical Engineering and of course, the expectations! The whole time we were in college our minds were framed to think as if we are already in the industry, scenarios like that. They laid out expectations already so even after college, that’s what you will think – “I’m an engineer, I’m an engineer.” Like life happens, things happen. Sometimes, you’ll realize, “Is this really something I want?” For you, what point in your life did you ask yourself that question? I mean, with respect to chemical engineering, when was that point that you asked yourself “Is this really for me?”
Gail: Hahaha, okay. When we look back to our college years, “Do you remember the time when.. College Edition.” Like I went into the chemical engineering with very little idea about what the course or program was going to be.
Gail: You hear stories about the girl who took up the course because “I love chemistry!”
Gail: Right? People share it like that. As for me, I took up the course because I knew that my aunt also took it up. She’s now in Australia. I’m not sure if her work is chemical engineering-related. But I realized, okay, it sounds cool. It sounded like a challenge and so I went in with it. Life circumstances led to that, I applied to a CHED (Commission on Higher Education) scholarship and to another private scholarship. So I was eyeing the private scholarship and it didn’t offer the chemical engineering course. My application wasn’t accepted anyway, so I was left with no choice but CHED. My first choice was Civil Engineering but they weren’t offering that so I was left with the top-supported course – Chemical Engineering.
Jannus: Circumstances really have an influence on our decisions.
Gail: Yes, yes. So, that was it. Anyway, I went in with the decision to take up the course with little idea about what the course is. Midway through the program, you get the feel of what the rest of the program was going to be like – chemical tanks, sizing and mixing, mathematics of mixtures. Then you see your classmates slowly shifting because they have slowly acknowledged that this is not the type of course that they see themselves doing for a long time. Then at that time, my mindset was, I’m already in it, I have to finish it. I have to stand by my decision. At some point in my life, I wanted this. So, I paid no attention to my classmates slowly transferring. I’ve already made up my mind, this was my first choice. I’ve financially invested in this. It doesn’t matter if I’m getting sick already, I’m going to push through. So that was my mindset then. I’m already in it, I’m going to finish this.
Jannus: In it to finish it, right? So if you were going to shift, the scholarship would also end right?
Jannus: Yeah, that also made it difficult to shift. When you’re relying on scholarship, like me, but it wasn’t a full scholarship. It was still a very big factor also to continue. It was an opportunity that was hard to just let go. I also wanted to finish as a proper closure of sorts. But in the first place, hold on, I lost my train of thought… So, it was on year, fourth, third or second year? When people slowly started to transfer to another course. I was also affected by that like you! There were circumstances that led me to think that I’m going to continue because I’m already in it. For me, it was during OJT (on-the-job training) days that my eyes were opened to stuff. When I was an on-the-job trainee, I had it in San Carlos City Negros. It was an ethanol plant, with sugar cane as the raw material. When you look at the plant, it was everything that you’ve ever studied during the past few years. You’ll see the equipment that you used to sketch and size. It was all so interesting. For a month I was there, I realized that if I continued to study chemical engineering and did legit chemical engineering work – that was it. Even if it weren’t, it was one of the ideal jobs that I need to get to be a full-pledged ChE. I wasn’t really feeling it, I couldn’t see myself doing the job for the rest of my life. So, that was my turning point.
Gail: So during OJT was your turning point? On my end, it was when I noticed my friends, they had a feel of how the course was going to go, how they can’t find themselves doing that for the rest of their lives, like that. What made me stay was the mindset that I mentioned previously, I went through college, but it was as difficult as getting hard shit out of your ass. Like you, I also had some realizations during OJT time, I got a feel of how the workday was going to be like, 8 hours of being in the factory with fellow engineers, operators and technicians. I’m going to be looking at the same equipment – every damn day. I’m going to be studying this equipment and there was something missing during that time. Although I really like working with my fellow engineers, it was a really fertile environment for us to grow, there was something missing. And I couldn’t put my finger into it but in hindsight, I realized that I was looking for my significance in my job.
Jannus: Ahhh, yes.
Gail: It wasn’t only the income. When I look at my equipment, I don’t see fulfillment, I don’t see meaning, I don’t see that I’m making a difference. It was then that I realized, “This is not something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to work for something that has meaning. I want to work for something where people are going to look for me because I’ve made a difference in their lives. That’s it, looking at it in hindsight.
Jannus: Right. So, I’m right when I say the feeling… You have products in your company and you are so far down in the process that even if you made a mistake, you won’t make that much of a difference or even if you do really, really good, it really won’t make much of a difference to the product and to the people who’ll be using the product.
Gail: Yeah, that’s right.
Jannus: It’s like you wanted to have influence but you’re not getting much from what you’re doing. Right?
Gail: Yeah, yeah. Kinda.
Jannus: Same, same.
Gail: How was it for you?
Jannus: Me? Uhm, same with you. A part of it was also me thinking about that. I’m a “pabibo” person (someone who wants to be in the spotlight). More or less, I want to have a part of the results of my company. I want the influence part, maybe I find joy or purpose in that? On the other side of it, when I was working for my first company, there was a lot of opportunities for me to take on different roles. They were active on extra-curricular activities, there were different activities outside work so being the “pabibo” person that I am, I joined in a ton of activities! Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I liked that company, there were so many activities to do. Because of that, it opened a lot of doors and it also changed my perspective into how I look at things. Urgh, shucks, this is what I enjoy the most. My thought process at that time Gail was I wanted to do the things that I was doing that I enjoyed and I looked for a career that’s basically doing more or less majority of that on a daily basis. So what I enjoyed the most was interacting with people, dealing with people. My work was a very solitary work, I can’t like sit down and not talk to anyone for like a week and I can still deliver. I wanted it to be more collaborative, more human interaction. If I’ll force myself to continue with the career, it was very possible, I can find a way. But I wanted also to try and experiment where I would be taken by my desire to find joy in these things, finding purpose in talking to people, in collaborating, brainstorming. Like these ba, so that’s what started my considerations in looking for another job. It wasn’t really much of a process, I really just dove in. I looked for a job that I felt I would be accepted and the workload was manageable. I was browsing Job Street using the computer of my previous employer hahaha.
Gail: Right?? Hahaha
Gail: I can relate. Whenever I’m asked to share, right now, I’m a full-time Financial Advisor. So whenever I’m asked to share about the big career switch that I made, I always make this remark that when I was working in a plant – in a chemical engineering related job – the equipment don’t talk back to me. They don’t tell me that I’m special to them, that they feel valued by me, that they appreciate my work. I was also looking for that connection. I find joy in meaningful relationships with like-minded people and I also feel more connected to my job if I’m making these relationships.
Jannus: Aww gosh.
Gail: It was a no-brainer during that time. It was like the perfect marriage – financial advising offered the perfect marriage of what I wanted to do in life and what really made me happy.
Jannus: You know what, I’m so happy for you. I mean, now that you found that and plus you have a very supportive and very active team too! You got everything you wanted and I’m so happy for you.
Gail: Thank you so much. As in, me saying that I found the perfect marriage, that it was a no-brainer, is not me saying the decision process was easy.
Jannus: Correct, correct.
Gail: You got your previous bosses telling you “Oh, we can transfer you to another department, we can transfer you here, and that job you’re getting into will offer no stability to your income. You have no ceiling to your income there, but it’s not stable.” Your friends also ask you, “Are you really sure about your decision? You can transfer to another place and the pay will be much better there.” It was so hard to decide during that time. I took a leap of faith because the circumstances, here we are again with the circumstances, also and the opportunities opened up for me. I got a deal with my manager. She told me that she’s going to help me with my fixed income if I do some stuff for her. That took care of the stability of the income. When her offer came, it made me more confident to shift from chemical engineering to financial advising.
Jannus: Yeah. The difficult part of my decision wasn’t really what people actually said. It was more of what I think other people will say.
Jannus: It’s really what I think people will say. I’m really lucky to have a mother who’s supportive of my decision and her line always goes like this “I trust you no matter what decision you make. I know you’re going to be okay.” But it was really more of what I think my teachers, instructors back in college will say, about what my friends will say. Stuff like that. You go in unsure, you still go there to experiment and see what’s there for you. You don’t have an educational background on this, so you learn along the way. And that really made it more scary and it made it more difficult to decide but so far, I was happy with my decision. Because you know what, I heard from Gary Vee, the author, there was one person who asked in one of his conferences. That young teenager was asking if it was wiser to take up formal education or start her own business – bottomline, it was a decision to make. It’s not Gary Valenciano (a Filipino performer). Hahaha!
Gail: Gary Vaynerchuck
Jannus: Yes that guy! According to Gary Vee, he asked that girl “What do you want to do?” She replied, “I’m not sure.” He answered “Start a business.” “What about college?” the girl asked. “Then go to college,” remarked Gary Vee. His point was regardless of what decision you make, you will never know the outcome of the other choice. What if I pursued chemical engineering, I would never know how things would go if I chose otherwise. It was really about choosing and staying committed to it. So I just gave myself an ultimatum, saying fine! While I’m still young, I might as well make mistakes. Let’s try it for a couple of years.
Gail: I love that!
Jannus: That’s what I keep repeating in my head. To keep me grounded.
Gail: Right? When is the perfect time to make mistakes than now? When you don’t have that many responsibilities yet. You don’t have children yet. You don’t have a family to feed.
Jannus: You don’t have that many big responsibilities yet.
Gail: Yeah. We’re not saying that chemical engineering is not a fulfilling career. We meet many friends of ours who like their career in chemical engineering. Most have pursued career paths in the field. Some have even continued their graduate studies and took up Master’s Degree outside the country. We’ve seen people who are very happy with their line of work. So it’s not saying that one is better over the other. The point is, make a decision because you’ll never know what’s on the other side.
Jannus: You will also never know if you like something unless you try it out.
Gail: Yes, yes. My girlfriends also share this concept, belief. It’s not totally a waste, our chemical engineering degree because I learned how to read technical books, to appreciate framework-based thinking, to logically argue. So, it instilled these and the passion for excellence in me. If I didn’t take up chemical engineering in college, I think I won’t be the Gail you knew right now.
Jannus: Right, right. You would be different.
Gail: What are the things that chemical engineering taught you?
Jannus: Back in college, I wouldn’t say I’m a good student. In a sense that I’m not that smart. So, I relied on group studies. I worked very well and learned better if I had people around me. I realized that how important collaboration is to me and how I feel that I’ll shine in that environment. Char, I feel like I survived because of my friends and how we collaborated when we were studying. I wouldn’t have made it, if not for them. That concept, it’s something that I prioritized now because I know now that I can do better if we were collaborating. If I’m working with people more.
Gail: Yes! It’s a very interesting what you noted because my friend also in college, he also stressed about competition. You mentioned about collaboration, and we also have competition. My friend stressed if we weren’t competitive, we would fail and we would give up in chemical engineering from the very start. If you didn’t have the competitive spirit to go through this challenge, you won’t last.
Jannus: That’s true!
Gail: It’s very worthy to note to have collaboration and competition. It pays to use them at the right time.
Jannus: You know what, I have a different perspective when it came to being competitive. For me it’s not being competitive. You said this to me two days ago, you said “If you want to be better, raise the standards.” I feel like if you’re in the environment of people of really doing their best, you’ll be forced to do your best. You have your friends as example, if they can do it, we can do it, I can do it also. That was what it was for me, I’m not that competitive especially in education or when you have a battle of brains. I’m like, “It’s yours, take it. You win.” It was them being my high standards, like they were my benchmark. Imagine if I settled, I think I wouldn’t have graduated. Like that.
Gail: So, to wrap up, can you give me your three takeaways for episode 2?
Jannus: 3 each?
Gail: No, 3 in total.
Jannus: How about we make it 4? To keep the peace hahaha.
Gail: Okay go.
Jannus: 4 each? Hahaha.
Gail: 2 each.
Jannus: Me. First: it’s really all about being laser-focused on the mission. What you want your life to be, it doesn’t have to be strictly following the path society made for you. For as long as you get to do what you want to do. Regardless of where it is, if you want to change lives, find your platform.
Gail: Yes, amazing. For me, in line with strictly not following the path that society has set for you. This is the affirmation that it’s okay. It’s okay that your career now is not the same college, or same education that you had back then. It’s okay that you’re still finding your way now. You’re still finding that mission that will make everyday meaningful for you. It’s okay.
Jannus: Awww, that’s nice. For me, lastly, we’re done beating ourselves up for our weaknesses, I think it’s time to play by strength and one way to do that is taking the Strengths Finder Test – I’m promoting it? Hahaha, this is not affiliate marketing.
Gail: Yes, we don’t get anything from this.
Jannus: But it’s really a good investment if it’s something that you want to do.
Gail: Yes, and to wrap it all up, it’s also okay to invest in things that you think will make you grow. So it’s okay if you pay 1,300 PHP (25.39 USD) so that you’ll know your strengths, guys.
Jannus: Watch out Gail, I’ll check up on you! So if there are things that resonated with you, let us know. If you’re still listening to the podcast, I’d love to read what you have to say. Did you also have the same experience? Did you like the matcha latte? Hahaha. Or did you even take the Strengths Finder and if you did, let’s talk about it.
Gail: Thank you guys. That wraps up our episode 2! See you in the next one!
Jannus: Yeah, we have a very interesting episode 3. Watch out for that! Thank you very much for listening. See you next time! In the Gail and Jannus podcast. Byee!