For Bean Ninjas bookkeeper Rose Thomas, remote work has allowed her the freedom to put family first.
Rose and her family are based in Davao City, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.Meet bookkeeper Rose Thomas and find out why Bean Ninjas is her ideal remote work opportunity. Click To Tweet
Rose Thomas’ Journey to Bean Ninjas
Rose is a CPA by profession. She worked office-based from 2010 to the second quarter of 2016 as a financial analyst and an accounting supervisor.
She’s worked in commercial banking, retail and had some side businesses both in the private and government sectors.
In late 2016 her mom’s brain tumor was progressing, and that led Rose to try working from home for the first time.
Her motivation was simple: earn money from home while looking after her mother at the same time.
“When I started working home-based, I ventured as an admin virtual assistant, inventory officer, bookkeeper and accountant as a freelancer and a part-timer most of the time.”
Putting family first
Taking care of her family has been both a blessing and a challenge for Rose.
“I’m the eldest and the only lady among the three siblings. As a typical culture here in the Philippines, it’s the daughter who usually looks after her parents.
For a couple of years, I have somehow lost a number of opportunities when I had to attend first to the needs of my ailing parents. My mom had a brain tumor and my dad has had four strokes. They were in and out of the hospital.”
It was through her challenges that Rose found the support, courage, internal drive, and gifts in her life.
“I remember going through postpartum when I gave birth then working at the same time and attending to the needs of my parents during the last days of my mum. It was pretty crazy but my mind would somehow say I can’t give up. I have mouths to feed and mountains of medicines to pay.
It was emotionally difficult but my husband was supportive. When I had to go to the hospital, he looked after our son. And I pray a lot asking God for help.
It was also helpful to tell someone how difficult things were. It does not matter if it gets resolved or not as quick as I would want it to be. It was also helpful to remember the good deeds of my parents while I was growing up, makes it easy to move forward and accept the situation then. I have somehow resolved to myself that though I did not reach the career path I dreamed of, I have been abundantly blessed in other areas and it’s more than enough.”
Life has an interesting way of revealing to us what’s really important, right?
As fate would have it, one day Rose came upon a Bean Ninjas job posting from an online job agency advertising remote jobs for people based in the Philippines.
Rose Thomas’ Top 3 Career Lessons
Throughout her journey, Rose has learned many lessons. Here are her top 3 guiding principles for a successful career (and life).
1. Never stop learning
As a self-proclaimed “book hoarder”, Rose has an endless thirst for growth and learning.
“I believe no matter how great you are and how successful you are, no person should say ‘I know everything’. No one knows everything.”
Rose is also very aware of how fast things change, even in a “traditional” industry like accounting, and the benefits of ongoing learning.
“… with how things are turning in various industries, if I don’t innovate and improve with the stuff I already know and with the things I still don’t know, I would surely be left behind. With continuous learning, I know I have something to offer not everyone in the same industry can offer.”
Rose is also learning about areas outside of her core job function too.
“These are the reasons that though I am an accountant by profession, my curiosity on admin tools, marketing, and information technology gets piqued. I’ve attended online and short courses on social media marketing, SEO and stuff.”
Rose’s favourite business-related books are:
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. “I got so hooked with it, finished it in two days.”
- Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. “It was not a typical business negotiation book.”
2. Network (even if you’re an introvert)
Rose realised early on that no person could succeed all on their own, especially when life or career roadblocks appear, and that Google doesn’t always have reliable answers.
So who do you turn to for answers to challenging queries?
That’s when Rose decided that connecting, sharing, and learning with others is the key to success. As a result, she’s grown both professionally and personally and she has no shortage of friends to turn to get questions answered.
“I made a decision to give time to network and get to know people, know their thoughts and share opinions on various topics. So I joined groups, initiate conversations with people, get to know them personally and professionally. And it’s been great. I have people I can ask help on and people whom I could also share my knowledge on if they need help.”
Being an introvert is no excuse either, according to Rose.
“I am an introvert and quite shy at first. But I am not a passive introvert, I am always curious, always observing. And one of the many things I deemed very important is to network with people who would be a positive influence in your life.”
3. Be humble but not timid
At the start of her career, Rose quickly learned that a certification or status could only get her so far. She needed to drop the ego and prove that she could perform at a high level.
‘Initially, before I started working, I thought that my Cum Laude status and my CPA license was enough to be the best in what I do. I was full of air as I was used to being on top of the class. I found out a few months after that I have a lot to prove and these educational attainments are actually not the basis when you’re working.”
Rose also encourages self-awareness, respecting your leaders, and asking for help when you get stuck.
“It’s important to know when to tell people you don’t know it all and that you need their help and that you still need time to get the hang of things. It’s important to honor your supervisors and those on the same level as you and those under you. Again and again, I would always think that no one can succeed on her own. On the other hand, I don’t also equate humility with timidity. It’s important to be humble and courageous at the same time.”
Furthermore, as Rose suggests, speaking your mind and being vulnerable – even if uncomfortable – is better off for everyone involved in the long run.
“To be transparent with what you think can be a better option rather than regretting not telling anything at all or just saying ‘Yes’ when you have better options to say.”
Whilst others may dream of epic adventures or wild experiences when asked what 3 things are still left on her bucket list Rose’s response was much more humble…
1. Travel – top 3 destinations are Japan, Korea and a food trip in Thailand!
2. Take a one week leave with my husband and just sleep
3. Go to the beach alone, read a good book and turn off my mobile.
Keeping it simple Rose, we love it!
What Rose Thomas loves most about Bean Ninjas
Learning from her past experiences, company culture played a big factor in her decision to apply for Bean Ninjas.
“I became interested as most of the job descriptions are tasks that I have experience with. I did my own research of the company and was attracted to the culture. Working home-based I have had experiences where I came into a conclusion just how important a company’s culture is and it’s something I looked into first before jumping into the boat.”
According to Rose, a supportive global team of superstars and culture of collaboration are what really stood out about Bean Ninjas.
“(What stood out are) The culture and the people. People are excellent here and helpful. There’s no competition, just collaboration. It feels great to collaborate with excellent people who value your feedbacks, and are not stingy when giving feedback.”
When asked why Rose continues to enjoy working at Bean Ninjas, her response was crystal clear:
“Freedom and the encouragement to voice out your feedback.”
It’s because of all her experiences that Rose is able to leave this wise message for her 13-year old self:
“Be kind to yourself. Life is not all about lemons and apples but you’ll get through it. You are braver than you think.”
We completely agree… You are braver than you think.
At Bean Ninjas, we’ve mastered how to build a high-performing team across multiple continents. That’s helped us discover quality talent like Rose Thomas. Learn more about our team and career opportunities here.