Would you rather take the tried and tested way, or carve a new path for yourself?
Picture Laura Cho, a 21-year-old university graduate from Myanmar, many years ago. Equipped with a Bachelor’s degree in Education; imbued with a passion for teaching; and blessed with a job at a local high school already reserved for her, Laura should have felt like she had a world of opportunities waiting to be grasped.
However, she made the decision to drop the job opportunity. Everyone around her was shocked. Why would she do that? After all, teaching is a very noble profession in Myanmar.
Her parents were outraged and intensely worried she would not find a stable job. Her friends all thought she was making a very foolish mistake, and her relatives and acquaintances did not hesitate to tell her that she was wrong, whenever they saw her at home or on the streets.
Laura was at a loss and constantly doubted herself. To make matters worse, she had a huge argument with her father, and he challenged her to prove him wrong by finding a new career and surviving in whatever industry she chose.
Choosing the Right Career Ladder for the Right Reasons
Finding Her True Self
An Opportunity to Help
From there, people started approaching her for help. Her clients came from countries like America, Brunei, Japan, Thailand, and of course, Myanmar.
“I have had hundreds of clients and the number is growing,” she shared when I asked her for the figure. What surprised me even more was that she did not find any of her clients by herself.
“They all approached me because of the insights I posted on social media, or because of word of mouth,” she said with a grin.
“I never considered this a business, just a side hustle I am passionate about. At first, I was doing this for free, but people didn’t take it seriously, so I started charging the right amount to match my value.”
People have told Laura that she saved their careers, or even their lives; and more than any amount of money, that is what makes it all so fulfilling for her.
“One day, I want to do more for people by helping the unfortunate and those who don’t have access to the internet. Imagine seeing people getting empowered and getting a good paying job, when they didn’t think it was possible for them. I want to teach people, share knowledge, and support the society.
“And yes, I might have rejected my job in teaching in the first place, but it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy teaching. I have always loved teaching — I just wanted to do it on my own terms, and not confine myself to what society tells me I should do.”
This article was published in partnership with Diageo Southeast Asia to celebrate International Women’s Day.