Finding a job
Archie Modequillo (The Freeman) - July 25, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Many thousands of new professionals, recent graduates from the country’s many colleges and universities, are probably now looking for jobs. And for sure there seems to be more job seekers than there are jobs available.


To the average job-seeker, no matter how ample his ability, the main difficulty is how to sell that ability on the labor market. Fortunately, there are techniques which can be learned easily, and the jobs go to those who master these quickly.

First of all, remember that there are always jobs available, only at different levels. Many of those that are lucky enough to have employment are always moving on to better jobs, creating vacancies for new hires. There are employees retiring every day, some being promoted and others quitting their jobs. At any given time, there are employers wanting to hire people. You just need to be the right person, or know how to communicate your potential value to your prospective employer.

Choosing and applying for a job is a full-time job in itself. To treat job-seeking as something to do half-seriously is not only inefficient but demoralizing as well. You are not likely to get good results. And one rejection after another is the fastest way to deplete your self-confidence. While applying for a job, you are already working – as your own salesman. So why short-change yourself? When you would have sold your ability to an employer, you are going to work seriously 48 hours a week. So, work seriously for yourself now.

Analyze your area of competence and ability level beforehand. Do it ruthlessly and objectively. This is, perhaps, the hardest part. Ask yourself: What job can I do excellently? Not simply because you are a graduate of a certain course, you presume to be capable of doing anything that seems to point to your academic training. What equipment can you operate? Determine the things you really like to do and what kind of job will make you do them. Without probing into yourself as preparation, you may get a job only to give it up after a short while because you feel ineffective and miserable in it. A complete self-inventory will help a lot in determining your real job potential, and in giving you a sense of direction in your search for the right job.

Surprisingly, after making an honest self-inventory, most people realize that they have underestimated their potentials. Many fresh college graduates, for instance, tend to feel that they have nothing special to offer. A young lady who graduated from a business course tried for months applying for a job along her educational line, but never got hired. Then she remembered she had always been complimented by friends on her artistic skills; she had once attended a workshop in arts and design. When she passed by a sign wanting a window decorator for a fashion boutique, she applied. She got the job and has been feeling very fulfilled in it since.

As soon as you get yourself clear about what you’ve got and what you want, it’s time to look around for job openings. Set a goal of a certain number of applications a week. Always prefer to apply in person, as much as possible, than just by letter or telephone. You may call first to get an appointment. Many successful executives today even did four applications a day – that means around twenty a week – when they were yet entering the job market.

If no job seems right for you in your first few attempts, especially if your self-confidence is not yet so solid, take a break and train your sight elsewhere. There are workshops and short courses around where you can learn something new to augment your personal skills inventory. For instance, try learning t-shirt printing or candle-making, or take a short course in electronics or baking. These productive diversions can be a source of business ideas, and you might end up being self-employed.

In looking for a job, you may not have to look elsewhere. If you really believe you have ability to sell to someone else, try selling it to yourself. Start your own small business. Many of today’s biggest employers started this way. If you sow a small seed today, you may have a fully grown tree someday.

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