Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tracy's Dear Diary: ... And I thought I could be a UNIQLO Designer.

You were all I wanted for Christmas and yet I didn't have.

On the first quarter of this year, I thought my life would be so much different and so much closer to where I want to be when UNIQLO had it's job opening here in Manila last November 2011. I've been seeking the right opportunity to come for me for the longest time and I felt this came as I needed it.
Everyone knows I love Japan so much and I'd die to work in the fashion industry in Japan. Since my experience in 2009 when I was a chosen to be a finalist for the Japan Fashion Design Contest, I never felt so encouraged, inspired and appreciated that I seriously wanted to seek opportunities there. Although I just don't know where to start... all I see are "English Teacher job Opening", "Lounge Singers" and others as such. But what the heck, if there's a will there's a way.

Kiko Mizuhara ("Midori Kobayashi" in Norwegian Wood) for UNIQLO
It felt like a good sign seeing her in UNIQLO.
When a dear friend of mine showed me a link about UNIQLO's Career Seminar in Manila... It felt like fate. I'm not actually sure what kind of career are they having an opening for but for sure it can be a chance for me to finally make my Japan Dream real. This time, I feel the bigger need to find a way to live in Japan, LDR (Long Distance Relationship) is very hard and the only way to make it easier is find a way to live closer with Taka. Life and career here in Manila is getting a bit low and I just want a new life o begin with.
As I move along with the Career Seminars and application I felt more desire to get accepted and start a new life in Japan. I even went on designing hiatus and did not accept some clients since I wanted to concentrate on my job application. I was so enticed with the idea of "Changing the world through clothing"  idea that I felt that it would be such a great honor to have a bigger cause and deeper sense of purpose. At the same time, it felt like a ray of hope to  find a decent paying job that will pay ¥210,000 monthly, provide moving, language lessons and also housing. For once, this seems a real dream come true... to do something I really want and be paid decently unlike any other job here in the Philippines.

The application has a lot of processes... They had an online essay about career path and life achievements, another online aptitude exam and several one on one interview set for the period of December 2011 'til March 2012 in time for the training in Tokyo that was set for March 2012.

May be I was arrogant (if I was I don't intend to) but I just really thought I had this in the bag. I've never wanted to be accepted more than ever in my life with this. I thought that my wide background not only in design but also some retail and garment merchandising could be my advantage in applying for the "Store Manager" position. 

As I learned during the first career talk of UNIQLO... everyone in their company starts as "Store Manager" which I really admired. Everybody gets to have that unifying experience that I think makes the company more solid and united as a team. I won't mind working as such. I'm always up for a challenge... but ultimately, I really wanted to be a designer for UNIQLO's product development department if I get a chance to advance my career. Anyways the world is our oister, anything is possible I thought.

I made it up to the third process of one on one interview scheduled on a Friday afternoon of 20th of January 2012. It was a bad day for me when "Murphy's Law" suddenly kick me in the ass with all the possible problem that can occur. A fight with my boyfriend, my siblings, my son's school service, and anything could possibly go wrong just went wrong. It's no one's fault. It was just a matter of bad timing. Well, this is not related to my job application... But it sure made it more of a bitter memory more than ever.

It's my closure and healing... For sometime I thought I could work for UNIQLO
and be a designer that helps change the world through clothing.
But as I come to realize, I seek growth more than anything else.
There should be something more fit for me. Moving on... 
To cut the story short... on that interview that I thought I was gonna bag... The interviewer didn't think I'm qualify for the Store Manager job. As I said I planned on applying further to design department of UNIQLO if I get to advance my career in UNIQLO. He disappointingly said "What if this is the only advancement for you in UNIQLO?". I kept saying I'm willing to learn and work my way up... but I think they were already convinced I'm not fit for the job or may be over-qualified. How sad it is to be held against because of the positions I had in my experience. I shouldn't feel sorry about my success in my past experiences, since when did that became something bad for someone applying for a job? But oh well, may be it just didn't simply fit. 

I felt lost during this first half of the year trying to find another way to revamp myself. I'm still trying. I wanna move on and I have. Although I still feel a bittersweet memory from it. I saw myself feeling disjointed and crushed as the interview came to it's conclusion. I never felt so crushed and rejected. But I have to move on.

Now I see UNIQLO all over the "scene" nowadays and it still feels a little prick of pain. How I wonder people working there now are more qualified than me. Well, it's not a good thought but it does run to my mind. May be writing about it can help me leave it behind. It really broke my heart and partly it broke my dream.
I felt the need to write  about UNIQLO as I browse into their Facebook Page. I really liked some of their UT's and I really wanted to blog about it. But before going into the fun and carefree state... I can't help but to face the big elephant in my room.

It would probably be weird if I start picking my favorite UT's now. So I better end it here... As part of my closure and continuous healing. I pray for serenity to accept things I cannot change. 

There might be something better waiting for me. I still feel a bit lost. But I have to believe it would be better someday.



  1. i thought uniqlo is really liberal and open minded. you may have a better place to be. keep yourself up!

  2. You believe that I did not want you to be one at Uniqlo. But I was really wanting you to have this opportunity.

    1. I just wanted this to be closer to you, I don't even want to design for uniqlo... I just wanted to be near you.


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