After Five with the Hive

Scene: Google Meet for the marketing department’s coordination meeting.
Iris: Sinong magleleave this week?
Gabby: Well… me. For good. (cue tears)

My first coord meeting, five years ago. Ganito pa lang kami karami. :’)

I was going to publish this after I sent my final output report to our office Discord, and then I’d stick around to watch for everyone’s reactions. But I don’t think I can wait that long HAHA. It’s still a surprise either way. That’s one of the perks of maintaining the website and managing social media posts: I can create surprise content! Maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but, oh well, paalis na rin naman ako HEHE.

If it isn’t clear yet, I’m leaving my position at Happy Hive after five years. It’s nothing dramatic; my bosses have known about it for the past seven months. It’s probably weird to give such advanced notice, but weird is our normal.

That’s what it was like at Happy Hive: WEIRD. Where your first employee evaluation has one boss (Cheska) telling you, “I think you’re as strange as, if not stranger than, all of us here,” which just means you fit right in; where you can say that your career plans have changed, and all you and your bosses do is joke about it till the very end.

Email thread of my formal resignation notice on our first workday of the year. Names are censored just in case. (But if you know, you know.)

On my last coordination meeting with the marketing department, Reena said something along the lines of: There’s nothing to be sad about and they’re happy I’m moving onto better things, “pero actually, I hate you!” HAHA valid naman. I’m sorry na ganito ako!!!

The cake that Reena will allegedly prepare for my despedida. Ok lang basta masarap yung cake.

As part of my delayed quarter-life crisis, which I blame on the pandemic, I want to try being a graphic designer for a bigger company. I started out at Happy Hive as a junior designer—basically an architectural assistant, but they found out that I liked making posters, so I would occasionally help out with social media posts. Eventually, my role evolved into being a full-time creative content officer. I actually got licensed as an architect last year, but we’ve all known for a while that it wasn’t a path I wanted to pursue. It’s honestly a miracle that I even took the board exam. That’s thanks to encouragement/joking (?) discouragement from the office!

Let me be a lesson to employers: if you don’t want your employees to believe in themselves and move onto bigger, scarier things, don’t affirm their abilities! Charot. But seriously, I have Happy Hive to thank for helping me grow into myself and have more confidence in what I am capable of. My superiors were more than just that: they were my friends, mentors, and supporters, who gave me the freedom and trust to explore creatively and the space to heal when life got too much. Asking for help and mental health breaks wasn’t easy, but that’s something I learned to do because I knew I would be met with kindness and understanding.

I don’t feel too sad about my departure yet. Maybe it’s because the office is less than 5 minutes away from my house. Maybe because we hide our true, soft feelings with humor (OOF.) But I know I will never find another company quite like this. They played a huge part in my personal and professional journey, and I will always be grateful to them for it. UwU

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