Christian Joseph Licupa
Sales Technology Support
Christian Joseph's Story
At SAP, we believe that when you bring everything you are, you can become everything you want.
The channels of communication here are open at all times and to me, that is a sign of a company that truly values its people.
Christian Joseph Licupa
The tears in his eyes might have seemed incongruous because it was a joyful occasion. The Mass in the adoration chapel in Cavite, where Christian Joseph (C.J.) Licupa worships every week, was a service of thanksgiving.
It was an occasion of happiness, not sorrow, but his emotional reaction was so strong that it took him by surprise. And exactly the same thing happened at a second church in Laguna.
His father had suggested the idea of the thanksgiving Mass and C.J. had readily agreed. But as soon as he walked into the familiar churches, his eyes filled up. To understand the cause of his deep emotion, we have to first appreciate the context of his story.
He had worked in the business outsourcing industry for 11 years and as he points out, the real reward during that time was being able to help customers. In addition to truly caring about making a difference with clients, he was also drawn to helping his own colleagues or team members. In his role as a team manager, he was particularly focused on helping anyone who had any sort of issue. Irrespective of whether it was attendance or lagging in performance, CJ was always there to assist.
"I was able to help people with different personalities and diverse attitudes. It made me feel really good each time I was able to help when a colleague was down – being able to lift them was a reward in itself. I always found out what were the things that made them go to work and the things that brought them joy in life. Because of that, I was able to help them with any problem, irrespective of whether it was professional or personal.
"I put so much into my role. My enthusiasm never wavered, despite the fact that there was little operational leeway in the way we worked. Our routine never varied and it was repetitive work every day. Make no mistake about it - I was very grateful to have the job but even our daily breaks were mandated in terms of time, as well as when exactly you took them. A fifteen-minute break was no more than the allotted time. A one-hour lunch break was not a minute more. We had to take those breaks precisely when they were allotted to us, without the slightest flexibility."
Then in February 2016, he was told that he needed an operation to remove his gall bladder.
"I was told I would need a month’s recovery period after the surgery. For the first three weeks or so, I was not able to walk but from that point onwards, my movements became less restricted. However, things did not go as planned. There were some post-surgery complications and the doctor told me I would need to extend my recovery period in order to fully regain my health.
"I went to the company and told them what the surgeon’s opinion was and asked if I could have another month of sick leave to complete my recovery. Even though I was a high performer and a manager, they told me I would have to resign because they could not extend my medical leave. The only option, I was told, to resign if I wanted to prolong my recovery period.
"Their exact words to me were: ‘We are not a charity’.
"At the precise time when I needed my employers the most, they told me to go. They cut me adrift.
"It was a very difficult period in my life. I was trying to come back from major surgery. Adding to my weakened physical condition was the complication that I now had no job and no income. To make it worse, I certainly had no immediate prospects of finding work because I was medically unfit until the doctors gave me a clean bill of health. Meanwhile, there were bills to pay and although I had some savings, I knew they would not take me very far after I had taken care of all my financial commitments.
"Then SAP changed my life by offering me a job. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s a pure statement of fact. It was all so unexpected. A recruiter saw my LinkedIn profile and put my name forward for a role at SAP. I honestly could not believe it.
"I started at SAP in August 2017 as a Technology Support specialist, where we did a lot of troubleshooting. After the initial training period, I had about one to two months in that role before becoming an Enterprise Analytics Champion. Now I’m a Sales Technology Support Onboarding Champion, where I help to train new people who are joining the team.
"Aaron Dicipulo and Tica Fetiveau, who interviewed me and turned out to be my managers, asked questions that related more to my personality rather than my hard skills. They were able to get to the core of who I really am and therefore what I was able to offer SAP.
"Another aspect of the interview that CJ really appreciated was that Aaron and Tica told him he could work from home. It was a truly important consideration for someone whose one-way journey to the office can take anywhere from two to three hours.
"I realized immediately that they are very understanding. This was the first time I’ve ever felt valued in an organization and certainly the first time I’ve ever felt as if I am important to the company I work for. I have never been so happy, fulfilled, or contented as I am now. That’s what makes me so keen to tell my story about SAP Philippines.
"There is something else about this job that I find really uplifting as well. When I worked in the outsourcing industry, I was able to communicate worldwide to help customers solve many problems in a variety of locations. But that was really where the process of communication ended, as we were not able to talk to our supervisors in the way we can at SAP. The channels of communication here are open at all times and to me, that is a sign of a company that truly values its people."
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