Hello. Welcome to the world of the unemployed. Whether you’re fresh out of college, or just left your last job for some reason, or (God forbid) got fired, let me tell you something: Congratulations! Nope I am not being sarcastic, nor have I gone insane. You might be asking yourself who in their right mind would congratulate the state of joblessness, but please take a step back and consider the thought for a moment.
You see, I was in the same state some time ago. Resigning from my very first job January of this year, I was rearing to find a new career track, or at least figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. And so I devoted my time to dancing, writing, and rediscovering hobbies and passions. I was convinced that by March, I would have figured it out. But March came and I found myself saying that April would be the month I would come to that realization. Needless to say, by the time June was fast-approaching, I was alarmed that five months had already passed and I was still going nowhere.
Dear Job Hunter, I did not congratulate you because, unbound by company policy, you have the freedom to laze about and bum around for the remaining days of your life. I congratulated you because of the wealth of information and experience you get out of job-hunting, as well as the opportunity to rethink your goals, rediscover yourself and start anew.
When June came my family was already going mad, and I was feeling the pressure. I did not want a half-year bumming record on my resume, and I knew that neither would my employer. And so I did what any jobless person from my generation would do–I opened my laptop and logged in to jobstreet and jobsdb. I updated my resume and in a fury, sent a copy of it to various companies–ones I’ve dreamed of working for and ones I’ve never even heard of. And then the calls came.
Job Hunter, had I been the same innocent, unassuming graduate I was a year before, I would have gladly pounced at the first company to offer me a job. But people and experience have taught me otherwise. A job is supposed to fit you–your personality, your interests–and have an environment in which you could thrive. I’ve learned that finding the right job, especially when you’re looking at it long term, is like finding the right boyfriend. Believe that you deserve a great one. Don’t just settle.
Most interviewers ask if you know of their company, and after discussing the job description, also ask if you feel the position they’re offering is for you. In one of the interviews I said yes to both when it was clear in my head that both answers should have been a flat no. Had I accepted the job, I would have gotten in partly because I lied, and I would be in a job that I knew I wasn’t fit for. Dear Job Hunter, the right job for you is out there, if you look hard enough. Be honest, and be patient.
Many job searches can lead to frustration when you feel like you fit the position, then see “X no. of years experience required” or “knowledge in field of X is a must!”. Barely 8 months in the working world and already searching for a new job, I know the feeling. But here’s good news–some companies tend to overlook these things we consider barriers, when our positive traits far outweigh the negative ones. If you think you can do the job despite your lack of experience of knowledge in a certain field, then by all means, go for it. Job Hunter, don’t undermine self-worth, it is a powerful thing. Others will believe in you if you believe in yourself.
Looking back, I guess a couple of things drew me in the ad agency career track: flexi-time, client meetings (the chance to get out of the office every so often), and the freedom to wear a mini skirt without being reprimanded by Human Resources. I am restless. I have to be doing something all the time. I cannot take just sitting down, and it was my personal belief that I was not made to work in a 9 to 5 job stuck in an office cubicle. Furthermore, being an Iskolar ng Bayan constantly in shorts and boots or Havs, I was never made to conform to any rule regarding how I dressed; government offices and conservative universities made my visits to their buildings such a pain. These things in mind, I immediately wrote off working in a corporate setting where I would spend most of my day in a cubicle and be required to dress up in a boring suit. But you see Job Hunter, I learned later on that these narrow-minded beliefs I had, had I not thrown them away, could have been a hindrance to me landing a great job. You may be missing out on amazing opportunities that are actually suited for you, because you have preconceived notions about the job. So keep an open mind, and do not be quick to judge. In the world of job-hunting, never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
So you see, Job Hunter, you learn a lot from joblessness and job-hunting. Besides the aforementioned, enduring the long process of endless interviews actually led me to realize what it was I was truly looking for in a job–and it wasn’t just the superficial things like the lack of a dress code. As I stumbled upon heaps and heaps of various job opportunities, what I truly wanted became clearer and clearer to me. Job Hunter, I know you have your own experiences and your own learnings–you might have even been through a lot more than I have–but I believe you deserve a great job, so just hang in there. Your future is bright. 🙂