CFA Speech for Career Story Day

Transcript of my speech for the Career Story Day at CFA Homeschool last February 16, 2021, presenting Happy Shift PH and a gist of my life as a social entrepreneur and part of the workforce to the Accounts, Business, and Management (ABM) graduating students (Grade 12).

Good afternoon, everyone!

I am truly honored to be with all of you today and it is my pleasure to share little stories of mine that I hope can be of, somehow, an inspiration to all of you to continue thriving in life.

In this time of a health crisis, it seems that our lives have been disrupted and keeping up with our studies, work, and usual activities have been more difficult than it was then. A year into this situation, it sure taught us some lessons on importance and tolerance; however, I do know that its tough and whatever you feel in this situation is sure valid. And as it continues to be of a challenge, it is true that we need one another to survive, and yes, in a safe distance.

Happy Shift PH, for one, was also affected by these so-called pandemic challenges but we still continue to thrive despite of. Nothing is ever easy, there are times of troubles and deep challenges, but I say moving forward with it will always be worth it. I have started this business back in 2016, very broke, living in an 18 square meters apartment with bills to pay, career and graduate studies that seemed to be going nowhere. I had no assets; I barely had anything to save from my salary because of rent, daily cost of living, tuition fees, and the like. But, it was one of the most memorable and happiest times of my life. Perhaps, it was doing something with purpose – bigger than myself – that kept my spirit going.

Now, Happy Shift PH is a social enterprise that aims to help the community with its sustainable and eco-loving products – from soaps to reusable items. It also supports other microenterprises in the Philippines by hiring them as our direct suppliers of services, raw materials, and other ready-to-sell products. Happy Shift PH also supports Philippine-centered campaigns for the environment, organizations and people who are in need – World Wild Fund (WWF), Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines, the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, JCI Valenzuela, and other local government efforts.

I used to think that maybe I am not fit into the mold. In my earlier years before Happy Shift PH, I was so clueless about what I will do with my career and with my life, in general. I jumped from one job to the other because I am still finding out things about myself and the field I was in. It was frown upon to change jobs after a year or two, or even less that that; they say, ‘typical millennial.’ While I know that changing jobs or career paths can mean starting over again, I do it anyway. Not because I want to prove something to the world, but rather to prove something to myself and live my life with a purpose. I do not advise you to be fickle-minded, but what I can advise you is to try, to step out of your comfort zone, to explore the horizon, to be not afraid to ask questions, and listen to advice adults give you even if you do not agree with them, even if you dislike their ideas. It will always be good to reflect on it as it is by also listening that you will learn.

My enterprise is not the biggest, but I pledge to continue putting an effort and help even in the tiniest way I can. You give and lend a hand not because there is a promise of goodness in return, but you give and help because somebody needs it.

It is with a purpose that we can live our life with meaning and happiness. Whatever it may be for you, for now, it is never too little or too shallow. It is through small things that we can create bigger ones.

Senior High School might be overwhelming and so is what comes after it. During a summer vacation before I enter college – I literally still do not know what to do with my life, what career I must take, what purpose I got. I was lost. Even after I landed my first job, my second job, and even the job after that, I still do not have a hindsight of what I want to become and what I will be later on. But, that did not stop me from simply moving forward. Every day, I choose to learn something I do not know – from simply doing the laundry, techniques to fight stains, to writing one paragraph that is readable, and learning Adobe Photoshop just because.

Maybe what I am just trying to say is that you will never stop asking yourself questions of doubt. However, through it, you may encourage yourself to learn further. You will get to know yourself better and you will be able to trust yourself. Others opinion of you will not be too much of an importance and it is by knowing your center that you’d be able to fight the challenges along your way.

Friendships and romantic relationships are also blessings that you will encounter as you traverse through your life. You should know that not everyone will be your friend, but not everyone will be your enemy as well. You choose your friends, you choose the ones who will be there for you even not physically, but people who will be there for you whether you need them or not, in happiness or in sadness, whether you are broke or wealthy; or, someone who may or may not comprehend with every feeling you have but chooses to understand and be there for you no matter what; and you must also do the same for them. You take good care of people who take good care of you.

All of these that seems to be fillers can help you choose what career path you will take. It will all be an influence on what you want to become. Your family, your friends, your teachers, your classmates, or even simply the people you talk to everyday can guide you to a good direction, you just have to reflect and communicate, too. Remember that communication is not only about talking, but it is also by listening that you can effectively communicate.

There is no secret to success – faith, commitment, hard work, and courage are your best fuel. In simply believing you can and keeping yourself in check of your strengths and weaknesses can make a lot of difference. Do not be petrified to ask for help if you need one and do not be unmindful to offer yours as well.

Choose a career that you know you’d be of service. A career you will enjoy and you feel you can thrive. You should remember that nothing will come easy even with the things you love doing. However, you are most likely to continue and blossom if you know you ought to do something because it does not only serve you, but other people, too.

It is also okay if you still do not know what your purpose in life. You have to go through it to know what your real purpose is, your true meaning, and what you are made of. Your failures and mistakes do not define who you are – use them to improve, to be better, and to humble yourself. Do not feel trapped in a certain way that you think that you cannot switch careers, because you can. However, you must think multiple times before doing so, especially when you are already have a lot to consider. When you feel like doing it and moving forward with it, try to explore other hobbies or activities because it can also help you make good decisions, and if you have decided you must explore other opportunities, it is okay. Believe that you can and do not be scared to start over.

It is a scary world out there, but you must have the courage to always try, to always fight. Hardships can teach you a lot of discipline more than you can imagine. I am honored to know that one day our roads will cross again, and you’d be one of the best people I can rely on to help our country be a better nation. As cheesy as it may sound, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Remember that nothing will come easy and your mistakes are gems just like how your achievements are. Learn something new daily no matter how small as it will come handy for sure.

Thank you very much and stay safe!

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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