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No Choice Is Perfect by Zhen Lin

My first job started thirteen years ago when I graduated from college. Initially, I preferred to work in the city where I studied. Unfortunately, after sending several job application letters without getting any feedback, I was confused about my future and always asked myself what I could do.

A few months later, I got a job after I decided to go back to my hometown. I worked as an officer in our local private school. As the youngest employee, my colleagues treated me more patiently and were friendly. With their help, I gained work-related knowledge quickly. My first duty was supporting our school staff, dealing with absences, counting monthly salaries, and arranging daily training. Later on, I was also given responsibilities of administration work, including taking the minutes.

After one year, I joined a microfinance company. This was the first new model company entering our city with a modern job perspective. Before I entered this industry, I had no knowledge of it. I remember that day I got a phone call from my friend; she told me there was an excellent job and invited me to the interview. She made a detailed introduction about the company's background; its parent company was one of our country's top 100 finance companies, but she did not know enough about the associated company. I realised opportunity always comes with challenges. After two interviews, I got a risk control officer position. The wage was double as much as the last job. This was one of the important reasons that prompted me to job hopping.

Our company provided small loans to individuals or groups who needed help getting money from the traditional finance support system. My daily job was submitting customer loan application forms to the approval department. If the customer passed the time review, I was required to arrange a face-to-face appointment and review the information again. I needed to check the authenticity of the documents, for some using the property ownership certificate or for others certificates to prove their replacement ability. I was also liable to make the final decision for the total loan amount to be paid to the customer. Our company was engaged in marketing and risk management. We worked hard towards our common goal and were proud to achieve the prestigious Sales Champions of 2013 Award.

As the market expanded, the disadvantages grew bigger and bigger like a snowball; our bad loans ratio increased as much in the same period, and we had to do another job – collection. I was so stressed under the heavy workload. I felt anxious when communicating with customers and lost confidence in analysing new customers' repayment ability. I realised I needed support because I couldn’t express how I felt about it. I got encouragement from colleagues and friends, did not lose myself in work, and knew every challenge we faced was an opportunity to grow and strengthen our abilities.

Now, I have been out of work for seven years. Between work and family, I choose family. Sometimes, I regret it, but I know no perfect choice exists. Every choice will bring me different experiences and feelings. In the future, if I go back to work, my past job experience will help me start work quickly.

Author: Zhen Lin (ESOL Entry 3 Student)

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