“Surviving San Francisco: How I Landed My Dream Job at 28”

Trish Quema La Chica

Policy and Advocacy Director for the Hawaii Public Health Institute (HIPHI)
FWN100™ Global 2015

My chapter focuses on my early experiences after migrating to San Francisco from the Philippines. This was in 2010, a time when the city was still reeling from the effects of the financial crisis. Jobs were scarce and I was trying to shift my career from journalism to the public sector. This chapter highlights the challenges and barriers I experienced job-hunting for the first time in the U. S. My experiences as a journalist with ABS-CBN ignited my desire to work in public policy, implementing positive change. In the U. S. I applied to numerous jobs for which I was qualified and after almost 20 rejections considered applying for retail jobs. Finally I got a job as an administrative/program assistant based on my story and resiliency. Now, almost six years later, I am the Policy and Advocacy Director for a key public health organization working with the state legislators of Hawaii to pass bills into law. This chapter identifies key lessons and best practices that I hope others, particularly the youth, may find useful as they search for meaning and purpose in their jobs. Some key lessons include the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone, having courageous conversations, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and creative in achieving your goals. Finally, this chapter includes details from my personal experiences to help illustrate each key lesson.