After 5.5 years, I have to say goodbye to one very grateful chapter of my life, my professional life, as a Traveloka employee. This is a very late post, because my last day was back in April 15th, but I guess this is the needed time for me to move on to my next chapter in life =)
This post tries to summarize & shows my gratitude for all the blessings I had received during my longest tenure in my professional life, because I had the abundance growing & learning opportunities, had been living a good life for my family, had been opened new opportunities from my title as Traveloka employee, and found new hobby!
The growing & learning opportunities from the roles and the people
Firstly, is the the abundance of growing & learning opportunities, from the role and the people.
One, was the role I had during my first 4 years as the leader of the SEO team. I learned important leadership traits, how to be and how not to be a leader, I learned how to hire, how to grow, even how to let go of my people. I even learned the proper SEO process from my team members back then, and other marketing and digital marketing knowledge from my colleagues, that in return, I teach back to others.
Two, was the opportunities opened for me to move internally, from marketing department to product team. After 4 years in the marketing department, I got the chance to move horizontally, from a marketer, to a product manager, in the User Platform team. I learned what it looks like from the “other side of” the fence. The mission statement I evangelize as Product Manager was “to make Traveloka website great again”, ensuring Traveloka is great not only on the App (as it did for the past 4 years), but also on other platforms. Sadly, this exploratory mission came to an abrupt end due to COVID-19.
Three, the fact that Traveloka attracts high quality & experienced talents gave me opportunities to learn from others too. Learning was just a coffee cup or a Slack message away. And even after I left Traveloka, I still catch-up and learn from them (funnily, I felt closer to my colleagues & former colleagues now than before). Back then, I can ask them for 1 hour to do a crash course or 101 of the area they’re doing. I did a few “interview tests” with several PMs before I had the actual test before joining the User Platform team. I learned why many management consultants were recruited. I learned about several areas in marketing (PR, performance marketing, TV, etc).
Those things are the things I look forward to for my future employers, and the cultures I’d like to build on my own companies later.
The generous compensation package helped my family live a good life
Secondly, we are very grateful for the generous compensation package that I had been taken for granted. Being a job hunter for the past several weeks made me realize that what Traveloka did was not a norm, it was an exception, a privilege.
I, my wife, and 3 daughters were all covered very well in its insurance package, maternity, vaccines, overall health, and glasses, so we never had to worry anytime we went to hospital. We did tens of trips & vacations, near and far (including Singapore, Bali, Malang, Jogja, among others) that made us very close as family. That helped our family to see the beauty of God’s creation, something we never had the opportunities prior to 2014, before I joined Traveloka.
Also the business trips that gave me chances to visit Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Metro Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, & San Francisco. And ultimately, our “baby moon” umroh trip that I & my wife could only dream for 8 years long before.
We managed to enroll our first two kids to our chosen kindergarten & private elementary school in the town, managed to purchase our first family car (a second hand ex-taxi Nissan sedan) in hard cash, and fulfilled our other financial goals, thanks to the blessings from Traveloka’s remuneration package.
Oh, and don’t forget their attention to mental healthiness. Traveloka has its own Employee Assistance Program. We enjoyed free counsellings with psychologists or counsellors about whatever things hinder us to achieve top performance at work. I utilized it to help shape my decision in moving to Product Manager role at Traveloka back at 2018, and I happily recommended it to my unaware colleagues (where in turn, they were very grateful I told them this program).
I do sincerely wish that many employers are able to reward its best employees with the best compensation ever like Traveloka. Being a “massive path of blessings for others’ fortunes” (pembuka pintu rezeki) is the best reward that can only be achieved by becoming an entrepreneur, something I’m still aspire to be someday later in my life.
The good branding of Traveloka lifted my personal branding
Thirdly, Traveloka’s big name lifted my personal branding and trust from people to me. A lot of doors are opened due to the facts that I was a Traveloka employee.
One of it is several consultancy with several startups. Other are the countless opportunities as speakers, trainers, lecturers, and in-house trainers, in various organizations, campuses, and events. Skillacademy, Mana Class, RevoU, SEOCon, are only a few of it.
I have a dream to speak like Steve Jobs or Simon Sinek or Gary Vee on stage, and wish to have “endless stream of blessings due to the knowledge I had shared” (amal jariyah dari ilmu yang bermanfaat), therefore I do truly grateful for the door of opportunities opened simply from the title “Traveloka” behind my job title.
The new hobby, a new me time
Fourthly, I discovered new hobby! I used to have reading and writing blog as my hobby. But at Traveloka, I found new hobbies: Star Wars. I collected and photographed my action figures so they look alive in front of the camera. I also build Star Wars model kits, make them realistic, not look like plastic (see them in action on my Instagram @ilmanakbar.sw). I found this new hobby in mid 2017, and I’m still doing it now (but now I’m more into model kits than toy photography). Since that time, colleagues around me know me as a Star Wars freak hobbyist, because I put my toys & model kits at my desk 😀
When I made the decision to move from the SEO team to the User Platform team, my former team members gave me parting gifts: an action figure of SH.Figuarts Battle Droid, and (this is the most surprising) a huge Lego Millennium Falcon! I really touched and didn’t expect this. A year later, I sold the Lego Falcon, and I spent the money to buy an airbrush set and several Star Wars model kits (including Falcon model kit too), because I’m not a Lego guy.
I keep continuing this hobby because this is my me-time, a once in a while distraction of work & parenthood life, and it gives me a sense of progress at the times I get stuck at work or personal life. Of course, I do it 100% SNI (Sudah Nanya Istri) and ISO (Istri Sudah Oke), and I do it after the primary & secondary needs of the family have been fulfilled.
All in all, I’m truly grateful of my life at Traveloka, and I truly thankful to my former managers, all the people interviewed and recommended me to join the team, all my friends who joined Traveloka earlier and told good things about me hence Traveloka invited me, and of course the leadership team at Traveloka for all the opportunities and benefits given.
Goodbye to my best years so far in my professional life, now I’m ready to move on to my next adventure. Hope everybody will come out stronger from this storm, as the old adage said, “The strongest storms make the best sailors”.
“Traveloka First, Then Family Forever”