My story since joining Talkpush on a 6-month internship, coming to work in the Philippines, discovering Asia and helping to build a global business.
Let me introduce myself: my name is Lukas, 23 years old & I’m German. I’ve been travelling quite a bit in the past but felt that I needed to experience more of Asia. So, when I was planning for my final university internship, I looked for inspiring start-ups in the region that I could join. This is how I came across Talkpush. After a few interviews, I was offered an internship within the Client Services team. The company had recently expanded its operations in the Philippines, so after discussing the possibility of working in Hong Kong and South Africa, we settled on the Philippines as the best place for me to learn and add value to the team.
Discovering the Philippines, then Asia
Manila has the drawbacks that many big Asian cities suffer from: it’s crowded, somewhat dirty and there are awful traffic jams. But, once you get past that, it also comes with many qualities and benefits:
- The Filipinos are super welcoming, always going the extra mile to make sure you have everything you need to feel at home. Most Filipinos speak fluent English, thus it’s easy to meet and connect with locals.
- Filipinos love their food, and you can find anything you like here (Indian, Chinese, Western are popular options), including some great local delicacies.
- The cost of living is affordable (read about it here). I’m getting paid similarly to an intern position in Germany, but my salary stretches further here.
If you’re into outdoor activities you’d be pleased to find that everything from surfing to hiking to scuba diving can be done around Manila and is accessible within a few of hours.
Tired of the local beach? Feel like exploring the region? In Manila, you are just a $150-flight trip away from Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Macau, etc. thanks to low-cost airlines Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Over extended weekends, I visited multiple of these great destinations in my few months at the company.
Earlier this year, Talkpush launched its operations in India, so I got a chance to go there, spending a week with colleagues and clients in New Delhi & Bangalore. Great food & beautiful culture, I even managed to attend a friend’s wedding in the process! Looking forward to going back!
Small is beautiful
While the team is still small (only 20 people at the time of this post), it is already very multicultural with colleagues from the Philippines, China, India, France, US, Malaysia and more. We’re encouraged to celebrate our cultural differences, rather than to white-wash them and diversity contributes to our success. So I’m trying to via the german cliché attributes, being efficient, straight-forward, task oriented and lacking any sense of humor *wink*
In a small team, you get to pick up a lot of interesting work, with tasks covering marketing, business development, operations, customer service and advertising. I also got to carve out a couple of pet projects, including a new how-to video guide for our users. Our team is always working to reinvent ourselves, so a cool idea can become a cool reality in just a few days.
…but small can be scrappy too.
Of course, not everything is butterflies and rainbows here either. Small is also messy. Talkpush embraces the start-up culture of flat hierarchy, which can lead to disorder and a lack of clear structure at times. This can be the cause of confusion and frustration here & there so my advice is to communicate a lot and start a lot of group chats on Slack or Whatsapp to avoid clashing heads. Everybody helps each other when needed, but be aware that no one will take you by the hand and walk you through every step of your job. You have to be able to get the support you need, and to independently discover the full scope of your job. Don’t join Talkpush if can’t set your own schedule.
Talkpush is a very flexible work environment. You decide where and when you work, as long as the work gets done. Since I wanted to discover the country, I often extended my weekends by a day or two to see the beach a little longer. Some days, I started work at 8am, others at 1pm…. As long as you have an internet connection, you can get your stuff done. Nobody tracks your whereabouts.
Flexibility works both ways though. Sometimes, I’ve had to stay up until 2–3 am to take a call with Guatemala or Costa Rica. Our small team has to support clients all over the globe, so time zones get disregarded ever so often. This will improve as we expand our global operations, something I’m working on at the moment…
Enough about the weekends, the travels, the food and the hours… Lets talk about the task at hand. Talkpush is changing the way recruitment is being done. Every day, we help to connect thousands of job seekers with employers. This changes people’s lives, which gives real meaning to our work. Solving big problems attracts big competition, with a new start-up popping up every day looking to solve the same problems we are working on. Staying on top of it represents a mental challenge. I believe over time this builds into positive habits which translate into long-term career success.
So if you’re not averse to crazy schedules and the frustrations that come from figuring things out as you go, Talkpush is looking for people just like you. Don’t be shy and write to our recruitment chatbot Stanley by clicking here, and find out what positions may suit you.