Seeking discomfort for success

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The View From Taft

After graduating from college four years ago, I started working for Sterling Bank of Asia, Inc. I have been with the same department since the start. Having a daily routine for four years can be exhausting from time to time. Questions began to rise in my mind: So, what’s next for me? Should I leave the company that started my career path, or should I continue to look for my purpose in this company?

Challenging and pushing myself to my limits has always been one of my traits. Somehow, I can never be content because I know that I can still do better. But being an overachiever can have a negative effect. I fear failure. I’ve always wanted to try the training program that the bank offers but, I hesitate for fear that I would fail during the process.

The Center for Learning unit under my company’s Human Resources Management Group is always promoting the Management Training Program. This program allows current employees and new hires to undergo a one-year extensive learning experience that would enhance the skills of the trainees in various units, segments, and departments.

Qualifications for this program include: a rating of at least a “Very Good” score in existing employees’ latest performance appraisal; a good transcript of records and other extra-curricular involvement for fresh graduates; and exceptional working experiences for other new hires. The first step in the application process is to pass written examinations and a panel interview with executive department/group heads. After passing these hurdles, the trainees will undergo classroom lessons, rotational sit-in experiences in different departments, examins, and multiple screening tests by the panel.

More than the promotion to Assistant Manager after passing the program, it is the technical skills development, leadership, and values that everyone will gain that have more weight. On the other side, by helping trainees attain their personal goals, the bank will be rewarded with a workforce that is full of competent people who have a high sense of urgency and responsibility. The common goal of the bank and its employees to offer the best quality of service to customers will be achieved and customer retention is highly possible.


This career change may not be easy. I think being apprehensive is normal but one of the training officers, Celle Paguio, once asked me “Why are you scared? Management will not judge you on your current status or capabilities as an employee, rather, the program will help you enhance your skills and achieve your highest potential. This is a matter of developing, not assessing.”

I then realized that the fear of failing this program is just my own judgment and no one else’s. I am grateful to have colleagues who are very encouraging and supportive of my career path. I promised myself that in 2020, I will grab the opportunity to apply as a management trainee.

The idea of leaving the company because I thought that my job was becoming routine is starting to fade. I believe staying with the company is part of my life’s purpose. Learning how to make my job fulfilling is the challenge. By daring to face my fears and signing up for a whole year of training, I will reach my goals. Going outside my comfort zone will actually bring me success. At the end of the day, hitting two birds with one stone is a great idea — learning while earning a living.


Angela Carmela L. Cerdeña is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business. This essay was written as part of the requirement in her Strategic Human Resource Management class.