Transitions: From College Graduate To Hired

In my country, the Philippines, earning a college degree is of utmost importance because society believes that education is the key for a better life, which is absolutely true. Our society believes that if you haven’t finished any college degree, you would really have a difficult time in finding a decent job, which is more likely true.

With this, as a young individual, my goal was to finish my degree in Business Administration major in Financial Management. This is also a dream for any Filipino parent for their child. Truly, the journey of pursuing education is a winding road. Yet, its fruits are priceless. Moreover, after I graduated last March 2016, I thought that earning my business degree is the end, when in fact; it is just the beginning of the longest journey of my life.

JOB-HUNTING JOURNEY

Even before I graduated, I already tried applying for a job. I joined a job fair which is organized annually by our school every February. I applied in BDO Unibank for the position as an accounting assistant. I really gave my best during the initial interview and the pre-employment exam. However, I got nervous during the final interview because the interviewer, which is one of the company’s heads, is greatly intimidating. To make the long-story short, I got rejected. I knew that I was rejected when one of my batch mates got hired, but for the position as a customer service representative or teller.

Likewise, I applied for any position at Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corporation, which is the leasing group of Metrobank. With the same fate, I got rejected. That was when I realized how I am already beginning to compete not only with the existing unemployed population, but also to the upcoming fresh graduates of batch 2016. It’s a cutthroat competition.

Then, during the summer after graduation, I applied for several companies online and at the same time, personally passed my resumes and application letters to companies here in our city. I really polished my resume and application letters in order to make sure that I stand among the rest. I remembered that I applied for almost 20 companies, but only 3 companies responded to my application. These 4 companies are Minergy as an Accounting Clerk (An Independent Power Producer here in Mindanao), Seaoil Philippines as an Accounting Staff (A Filipino-owned petroleum company), and UCPB (United Coconut Planters Bank which is a universal bank here in the Philippines) as an Accounts Assistant.

I already went to the interview for Minergy, but when they discovered that I have a first cousin who is also working at the company, they rejected me. Then, I also went for the pre-employment examinations for Seaoil and UCPB. When I knew that I passed, I then went through the initial interview and eventually, the final interview. I really knew that I did my best. That is why I was expecting.

THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL

After I went through the final interview with these two companies, I waited for almost 2 months. However, during those 2 months, there came a time when I was already in the hopeless stage. It was excruciating. I was already in the so-called burnout stage when you felt that you gave your best, but your efforts were not recognized. Each day, you are expecting for someone to text you or call you for the results of the interview. At the same time, some of you’re classmates are already posting in social media because they just got hired. You are already feeling the pressure because you think that there’s something wrong with you. Until you felt that you’re already worthless.

Gladly, I was able to somehow combat the burnout stage by doing productive things for myself and for others. I jog every morning and exercise at home so that I would be physically fit. I ate healthful foods. I also volunteered with Youth for Christ – Gawad Kalinga, and began serving our parish as a lector and reader. Despite the pressure, I was able to enjoy my time while waiting through the engagement I had with myself, with others, and with the community.

THE LONG WAIT IS OVER

I already said to myself that if these companies I’ve applied for won’t respond to me, I would apply again to other companies. It was already June. Then, in the afternoon of June 2, Seaoil Philippines surprisingly called me for that coveted job offer. I was really very happy. Minutes after the petroleum company called me, UCPB immediately called me, but for another job interview on Monday because they forwarded my application to another department. I thought that it was already a job offer because I really wanted to work in a banking institution. I was already in the confusion stage if which company should I choose, but I just prayed for guidance to Our Almighty Father because He knew what’s best for me.

I went for the interview at UCPB by Monday afternoon. It was a web interview from the 2 department heads at the head office in Makati City. It was really embarrassing because the workers from the Loans Department could really hear me. Also, I lost hope after the interview because I even did not hit the right answer when they asked me regarding consumer loans.

During the next day, I was settling my requirements for Seaoil Philippines. I woke up at 5AM and went to SSS for my ID number application, to PAG-IBIG also for my ID number application, and to other government agencies and printing establishments. I got exhausted during noon time and went for lunch to a carenderia near Dee Dee Toys before I would go to the medical laboratory at Velez Street for my medical exam. I already finished eating my lunch when an unknown number called me. It was the Human Resource Manager from UCPB Makati who said that they would send me the job offer as a Loans Documentation Specialist. I really couldn’t explain my feelings. I don’t know if I would either cry or laugh. Moreover, what matters most is that I was very happy. I was thinking that everything I’ve been through during my job-hunting journey was truly worth it. I realized that everything happens for a reason because every time you got rejected, you are being directed for something better which is truly the best one. Most of all, the moment that I got hired from this reputable banking institution is not the end. It is just the beginning to so many things.

LESSONS I WANT TO IMPART TO GRADUATING COLLEGE STUDENTS

I know that I really did my best during my college life. It’s just normal that you might not be so-good in some subjects, while on some, you really manage to excel in it. To graduating college students, make the most out of your college life by engaging to activities and organizations that would hone your skills such as organizational, leadership, and interpersonal skills. I believe that this would prepare you as you would face the real world soon. Most importantly, value your friends and ultimately, your teachers and instructors, no matter if they have failed you in that subject, gave you a small grade or gave you an A+ mark, because they have honed your minds and you always have a story to tell when you were still their student during that subject, which you either love or hate. Soon, who knows, they would eventually become your colleagues in the future. 😉

The real world out there is really very harsh. It’s a neck and neck competition for the labor market. You might got rejected or fortunately, you might get hired during your first job interview. Everything that happens in your life might not be according to your plan. Yet, He is just molding us so that we would be strengthened in the future because He knows what’s the best for us. What matters most is that through our triumphs and losses, we always seek for Our Almighty Father in whatever endeavors we make.

Cover image from hiredgroup.com

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