Those were the words of Elena Luz Vuz Viaje, our featured SupaAgent of the month!
Known affectionately by her friends and family as “Elaine”, “Elena” or “Len”, our featured SupaFighter of April hails from Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila in the Philippines with roots originating Laguna and Cavite. Elena is the youngest in the family and runs her own baking business (it’s seasonal for now as she only bakes for Christmas).
A fan of travelling, Elena desires to travel the world. While her ultimate dream destination is Europe, as she finds it very romantic. Besides travelling, Elena also has a distinctive taste in movies and enjoys independent Filipino films. The movie buff’s favourite is Patikul, which was the first indie movie she saw.
Having been with Supahands since August 2018, Elena first got to know of Supahands through a friend as she was looking out for job opportunities to work remotely. Although doubtful at first, she took a good leap of faith and signed up to be a SupaAgent.
“I am very happy and grateful today that I took that risk in signing up because if I didn’t, I will not be a part of a good company.”
When asked how has being a SupaAgent added value to her life, “Supahands helped me and is still helping me financially, to fund myself and my needs and to support my family.” Elena said. Besides monetary gain, according to the seasonal baker, Supahands has also helped her to see life from a different perspective. As the SupaAgent experience has opened up her eyes, giving her a glimpse of hope which fuelled the possibility that she can help support her parents without the conventional 9-5 office job.
One might wonder how does she cope and manages her time with so many tasks on hand, caring for her parents, working as SupaAgent on top of her other part-time online jobs and running a baking business. For time management, Elena firstly writes down all her responsibilities, she then prioritises them according to the level of urgency. When it comes to planning and managing her baking business, before committing to a customer she will make sure that it will not affect her other responsibilities. She stresses that she would not commit just to have a high number of orders, instead she would make sure that she is able to deliver properly and she does not like cramming.
“I do everything that I can at a time. I don’t like the word later”
A believer of lifelong learning, Elena constantly looks to learning and developing new skills, and working with Supahands makes it possible especially with the help of her first Project Manager, Shaza which help propel her in learning and picking up the skills needed for a task. “I like how she works with us. She is not intimidating when it comes to relaying things with us and you know that if you have issues she will address it and help you right away. I am so thankful that she is my very first PM.”
With many hopes and dreams, as Elena’s passion lies in baking, she hopes to own a cafe one day. Ultimately, she aspires to be a successful freelancer and wants to prove that one can indeed succeed as a digital gig worker.
“I know I can achieve that by giving my best for the projects that I am getting in this company.”
A true fighter within, the cheery young lady confessed that she has learned many things the hard way and is proud to have battled and survived depression, “I had several relapses during my teens and I was really a difficult daughter and sibling.”
Elena’s depression first started when she was in grade school, subsequently, she suffered from a relapse in high school during her fourth year whilst also battling PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). It was through Elena’s battle with depression and her experience with counselling that sparked an interest within her and to pursue a degree in Psychology.
“Because of that experience, I was encouraged to pursue a degree in Psychology. It also helped me to understand myself the people around me and it made me a stronger person.”
Trials and Tribulations of Life
However, upon graduating even with stellar grades and being a partial scholar, job hunting did not come easy for Elena. Thankfully, she eventually landed her first job as a customer service representative for three years before she was diagnosed with a bulging disc that led to sciatica. Although she went for several physical therapy sessions, in the middle of 2016, her bulging disc relapsed and she was forced to leave the workforce.
A year later, her father was diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), an incurable disease. With her brother being the only breadwinner, the weight of responsibilities of caring for her parents fell upon her. Elena also supports the family with working part-time jobs online including being a SupaAgent.
They say “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Elena is the perfect embodiment of the saying. Despite one challenge after another thrown at her by life, Elena is able to see through it all and is grateful for the experience.
“I am blessed and grateful to experience hardships because it made me a better and stronger person.”
Elena admits that she still experiences the downside of life up until this point, but she is now more equipped on how to handle things in a better way.
“Without that experience, I will not be as strong as I am today. I was never ashamed to talk about it because it is part of who I am and who I become now.”
Despite all the challenges that she has faced and the inner battles that she has fought so fiercely, Elena is very open to sharing her experiences and battles, she explained “I want to raise the awareness and to let others know that it is okay to say what we experienced and mistakes don’t define us as a person but the learning and how you move forward after facing adversities in life are more important. I would also like to open the minds of the people about psychological issues.”
Elena added that she once experienced discrimination and humiliation due to her depression and does not want anyone to go through what she did.
“I want to remove the stigma about people who are challenged psychologically.”
Not only did Elena overcame her challenges, after having gone through so much. She makes time in giving back to the community and is a volunteer for the Youth Christian Community. Elena has so far embarked on a medical mission, orphanage visitation and several relief operations for the victims of a fire in Mandaluyong.
Writing our monthly featured SupaAgent has always been an eye-opener, as we get to know each and one of our SupaAgents better and on a personal level. We at Supahands are deeply moved and inspired by Elena’s unwavering courage and strength while facing the many adversities in life.
Come be a part of our SupaAgent community! Click here to submit an application today!