The socio-economic impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become palpable all over the world. The closing down of businesses and the tumbling stocks have brought unemployment to an all-time high, with heartbreaking stories of people trying to navigate instant redundancy circulating all over the web.
And yet, instead of feeling despair, UAE-based Filipino Faye Sta. Ana, 27, took this opportunity to inspire others, to let them know that they are not alone in this dim journey. And that with every setback, comes a chance to reflect and be better versions of ourselves.
Faye has altered the way social media is perceived—toxic and depressing—and utilized its beauty in order to improve her personal branding, as well as influence others with her astute insights about life and career. She motivated others to take no shame in their layoff journey, see life on a positive note, and show gratefulness to employers who believed in them the first time around.
In the process, she has made a name for herself, and it is this very optimism that propelled her towards a new career journey—one that she has always yearned for all these years.
According to Faye, prior to the pandemic, she was working as a strategic finance analyst for an esteemed company in Dubai. Now, two months after being proactive on LinkedIn and social media, she has successfully penetrated the branding field—starting her tenure as a marketing executive.
“I’m mostly grateful that I was part of the growth stage of the company, and saw the impact of my work to the lives of the people we cater to,” she said.
The Filipina was made redundant two months ago due to the effects of the pandemic. And while it was a challenging experience, she said she decided to instead focus on improving her skills to be more competitive in the field.
Some of the things she worked on were her MBA classes, certification courses in LinkedIn Learning, as well as a YouTube channel.
“I’ve focused on reflecting what I really want in my career by listing all my strengths, work I love to do, and industries that inspire me. From that reflection, I focused on improving my personal branding. I started my own YouTube channel, experimented on becoming a LinkedIn thought leader, and connected with more industry leaders,” she said.
She also stressed the importance of social media and LinkedIn on launching her new career path, saying that her vulnerability helped her market herself better.
“The more I talked about the experience, the more I attract opportunities. I almost never received hate for being vulnerable in sharing my stories, instead I mostly get support, more connections and free mentorship,” she said.
Days after being made redundant, she posted a video on YouTube about her layoff journey, and how she tries to focus on solutions rather than problems. She said that to her surprise, it got a huge engagement and resulted in her getting 7,000 more followers, over 100 daily connections, and 18,000 daily views on LinkedIn.
She also started getting approached by business professionals for money-making ideas in the post-pandemic world.
Faye said that it was through these numbers and figures that she realized her potential in marketing, branding and mentorship. She started offering pro-bono help to people who needed assistance in revamping their CVs, and linked other laid off professionals with their now-employers.
“You naturally attract potential employers, business partners and mentors by just sharing your stories. You are your own author, you have the power to direct how you want to be seen,” she said.
“Be proactive. Surround yourself with positive people. Maximize the platforms you have without spending a dime. You’ll never know, the rejections we received are a blessing in disguise to help us to go in the direction we are truly meant for,” she added.