Ever since I was young, my parents drilled into me that I should finish elementary school, high school, and college, and then find a job. This simple formula of theirs made me think that if I did all those things, I would be truly, unquestionably happy.

l worked hard in school so that I could get a good-paying job. And I did. At first, I was a writer for different companies; I bounced around because I tried to find a place where I felt I could be myself. When I found "the one," I worked my way up from being an editor to editorial director. When I look back at what I’ve accomplished in my 20s, it seems as though I finally did what I needed to do to be happy with my life.

However, there had always been a voice in my head that told me that while I loved my job, I needed something else, something more. This voice lead me to numerous instances where I questioned myself and who I really was without my career. After all, I was so focused on trying to get where I am that I barely had any time to do anything else. When I made that realization, I knew I had to start finding a new hobby or a new passion. Better late than never, right?

So I joined workshop after workshop and took various classes, but nothing seemed to click. On top of that, they would eat up a lot of time—there wasn’t a day when I didn’t feel burnt out. And no one was more frustrated than I was.

Then one day, I came across an ad for Cream Silk’s Conditioned For Greater campaign. I was intrigued because it didn’t seem to advertise a certain product—the campaign was all about empowering Filipinas to do more with their lives. The brand partnered with Edukasyon.ph to provide free online upskilling courses to do just this. Since I was curious and the ad seemed fitting to my situation, I decided to enroll. What’s the harm? It’s free and I could take them on my own time. I chose to take business courses like entrepreneurship and marketing because I always wanted to own a business some day, I just didn't know the first step on how to go about it.

Since I graduated from college, I didn't consider furthering my education because I never felt the importance of school in my present career. But the business courses were like nothing I studied before, so I decided to stick with them. I consider myself a creative, so before I started the courses, I was afraid that I wouldn't understand any of the jargon that would be presented to me.

On the other hand, the courses came in easy-to-digest videos, and at the end of each module, I had to take a quiz to test how much I learned. The lessons were very detailed but easy to understand, and some of the things I learned can even be applied to my current job. It made me excited to be getting into something new—I wanted to succeed so I worked through the courses diligently. I was able to learn about market trends, basic accounting, and the ethics of running a business—things I never learned in college and would have never learned if not for these courses.

How was I able to manage juggling between online school and a full-time job? Simple: I stuck to a strict daily schedule. The courses came in two- to four-week time frames, with each module lasting just an hour long. It wasn't overwhelming, and I felt at ease knowing that it wouldn't be hard for me to dedicate at least an hour of my day to the courses. And if I was really busy during the week, it was easy to revisit the courses during the weekend. As someone who has to finish what she started, I was determined to complete them.

I became more business-savvy and found the courage to start my own accessories line—a passion I didn’t realize I could turn into a business. As someone who adores delicate necklaces, rings, bracelets, and anklets, this new raket of mine has not only provided me with a new source of income, but its challenges and rewards have also made me excited to wake up every day. For the first time since I joined the corporate life, I felt rejuvenated and excited.

After all this time, I can't believe how freeing it is to have a steady career while growing a passion of mine—I've never been happier.

Learn more about Cream Silk #ConditionedForGreater by following Cream Silk on Facebook and visit the Cream Silk website.

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with CREAM SILK.