I often get messages similar to the above from jobseekers frustrated at not being able to get a job. Some are high school graduates or at the college level. Some are college graduates from known and not-so-known schools. Some have no experience and some have little experience. I feel their frustration because I had been in their situation before in my younger years when I was just starting out in the world of work. Oh, if only I could be a fairy godmother and grant their wishes immediately. Oftentimes, my inability to wave that magic wand makes me feel so powerless!
All I can offer are information and advice. However, information and advice can be powerful instruments to achieving your goals—as the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” Aside from these and more importantly perhaps is the right perspective to job hunting. Jobseekers should take heed from Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic, who wrote, “It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” In the final analysis, you will have to search for and find the job that fits you, you will face that interviewer or employer, you will decide whether or not you will accept that job, and you will be happy or miserable in the job that you accept.
To start you off on the right track, I offer this information and advice to those hard-pressed to find a job.
1. Finding that job vacancy, where you as an applicant can at least have a fighting chance, is a long process. Getting that job will be a longer process considering the many steps in the recruitment and selection process. This may take months, depending on your qualifications and job hunting skills. I know one jobseeker with excellent qualifications but the shortest time she was able to get a job was three months. So don’t be impatient, keep on looking for that job opportunity.
2. If you don’t have top academic qualifications or experience, the best way to look for a job is by asking your friends and relatives who are already employed for information and advice on job vacancies in their respective companies. Ask them if there are job vacancies in their companies that you may qualify for. But please do not ask them to “ipasok mo naman ako sa kumpanya mo (help me get hired in your company)” because they often will not have the power or influence or desire to do so (unless they happen to be the owners or are influential politicians). All they can give you are information on job vacancies, what the company would usually look for in applicants and an inside look at the personalities and culture in the company so you can find out if you will like the company. They may also have information on job vacancies in companies belonging to the same industry as their company. I know one jobseeker who was able to find a job given a lead by a friend who was employed in a manufacturing company.
3. Another option is to go to your city, municipal or provincial hall. Each city, municipality and province would usually have a Public Employment Service Office (PESO) that assists jobseekers in looking for job opportunities. The PESO may also conduct job fairs from time to time that you can go to. Oftentimes, we forget that one of the mandates of local government units (LGUs) is to provide their residents employment and livelihood opportunities. Many don’t seek the resources of the local government unit, perhaps thinking that they will not be able to help you anyway. However, you may be surprised but there are many LGUs that are very helpful in this area. Some local government units really have excellent PESO services and I do hope your city or municipality provides such services. I know of many jobseekers who were able to find jobs through the PESOs in their respective cities.
4. You can also try searching for job opportunities through print and online media. The paper with the most job ads is undeniably Manila Bulletin with their Sunday Classified Ads section. However, there may be some interesting job vacancies too in the Sunday Job Market section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer especially in government and non-government organizations. You can also register as a member in any of the online job sites, the biggest of which are http://www.jobstreet.com.ph and http://ph.jobsdb.com/ph. You can also try the smaller online job sites—the advantage there is that you may have lesser competition for these jobs as most of the jobseekers would just go to JobStreet or JobsDB.I myself was able to find two of my best corporate jobs through job ads.
5. Be open to the possibility that you may be able to find a job in your own hometown. Jobseekers often look for jobs in Metro Manila but while there are many opportunities in Metro Manila, there are also many competing jobseekers as well. I know one jobseeker who had vocational/ technical training in information technology. Since he was not fluent in Tagalog, I advised him to go home to his hometown and look for a job there where he would be more comfortable conversing in his native dialect. In a short time, he was able to get a job.
6. The key to successful job hunting is apply to as many job vacancies that you qualify for. The operative words here are the last four: “that you qualify for.” Do not apply for jobs where your qualifications do not match the job specifications listed in the job announcement—you will just be opening yourself up to disappointment. But remember, there are many jobs that may not be exactly your specialization but you may be qualified for since you would also have the necessary skills for those jobs.
7. Apply every day, every week, and even a thousand times if necessary, until you get that company that will call you for an interview, until you pass that interview, and until you get that job offer and accept it. Despair is the worst enemy of a jobseeker. I truly believe that for every earnest jobseeker, there is a job waiting to be found.
8. Finally, remember that you may not get your ideal job the first time. The important thing is to be able to get a job because that first experience will be your stepping stone to your next job which may be closer to your ideal job. So, if you do not have top credentials, be open to applying in smaller or lesser-known companies. For as long as the company follows the Labor Code requirements and does not have abusive bosses and the job offers you the opportunity to make use of your skills, go for it!
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