I graduated with AB Management from a university in Metro Manila in March 2006. Until now, I am jobless and I feel so discouraged. I don’t want to see my friends and classmates who all have jobs now. I don’t want to attend family affairs because I’m always asked where I’m working. I was just an average student with average grades. I have already sent my resume to 28 companies. Only 12 called me for an interview but I never got any second interview. I am losing my self-confidence because of my joblessness. What shall I do to get a job?
I can see how your frustration at not getting a job after almost a year since your graduation, can overwhelm you with sadness, discouragement and embarrassment, such that you are withdrawing from people who will likely ask you about your job. In our society, our identity comes from what we do for a living and where we do it.
So, what can you do while waiting for the right job for you? Before I proceed, let me suggest that you don’t avoid social contacts. To do so will only further erode your self-esteem. If asked what your job is and where you work, simply state, with a straight and smiling face, that you are still looking for THE right job suited for you.
Then proceed with your job hunt. First. Take a look again at your Resumé and see how you can improve it, in content and appearance. Look at a good book or browse thru the internet on Resumé writing and go about improving your Resumé. Make good copies of your Resumé for distribution to your network. Getting the right job is worth the expense of reproducing your Resumé and giving it to as many people or companies that can lead you to the right job.
Second. Find out why you weren’t called for a second interview. What did you say when you were asked the frequently-asked questions such as: “What are your strengths?” “your weaknesses?” “Why should we hire you?” etc. How did you answer these questions? Reading about job interviews, how to answer, frequently-asked questions, etc. can help you discover what you need to improve. Adapt your answers to the questions likely to be asked and memorize them. Then practice your answers until you can say them confidently.
Third. List down sources of information of job vacancies. The following are good sources:
- Job market pages of newspapers such as those in the Sunday Inquirer.
- Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of your city government. They hold job fairs. Know the schedules and dates of these fairs. The PESO has a list of job vacancies which are posted. In addition, go to the Bureau of Employment Service of the Department of Labor for more leads on job vacancies.
- Alumni Office of your school. Ask the staff to help you. Give them copies of your Resumé. You can also go to your professors and ask for their help. Again, give them copies of your Resumé.
- Relatives and friends, and friends of your parents and siblings. They form your network. Let them know you are looking for the right job and gave them copies of your Resumé.
What is the right job for you? Ideally, the right job is one that is in line with your chosen career. The right career is one that fits your interests, your aptitudes and skills. An AB Management degree had probably equipped you with knowledge and skills which should be included in your Resumé and which could be the basis of identifying entry level jobs available to college graduates, in general, or those with a major in management. Identify and analyze the job positions open for people with your background. List these entry level jobs. Do not simply say “I’m looking for any job.” Rather, you say, “I’m looking for an entry level job as a bookkeeper/ telemarketer/customer service representative/sales representative/medical representative/ etc., etc., etc.”
Fourth. Develop a positive self-image. This is an area that you need to give importance to because a low self-worth, brought about by frustrations, can affect your job hunt, now, your work performance later, and your career progress eventually. A job applicant who withdraws from or avoids people, who applies for “any” job, who is unprepared for job interviews because he thinks that “They’ll not like me.”, etc. is showing signs of a low self-image.
What should you do to feel good about yourself now? to develop a positive self-image? I suggest the following:
One: Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable and Time-Bound) goals that you can achieve immediately and daily. Your long-term goal is to be employed in the right job in the right company and in the right industry (banking, healthcare, hotel/restaurant, manufacturing, etc.). Doing so, will make you feel good about yourself.
Examples of daily SMART goals:
- On Monday, surfing the internet will provide me with knowledge to improve my Resumé.
- On Tuesday, I will print an attractive and complete Resumé and have 20 good photocopies of it.
- On Wednesday, I will give copies of my Resumé to 10 persons who, in turn, can give them to the recruitment staff in the companies where they work.
- On Thursday, I will read about job interviews, know frequently-asked questions and the answers to these. I will adapt the answers to these questions and write these down.
- On Friday, I will memorize and role-play with myself [better yet, with your friend] how to answer these questions.
Make a practice of setting daily SMART goals that are challenging yet achievable by exerting your best efforts. Setting these SMART goals will motivate you and give meaning to your daily life. Achieving these goals will make you feel good about yourself, and boost your self-confidence.
Two: Volunteer your service to your community (such as your barangay, homeowners’ association), church, hospital, etc. Whatever you volunteered to do, do it faithfully, consistently and well. Make the people you work with value your presence when you do a good job and are dependable. Doing volunteer work well with no expectation of payment, will increase your self-worth. In addition, volunteer work will look good in your Resumé, and give you names to put in your list of references when asked.
Three: Hone your employability skills. Study, practice and refine your (1) communication skills, such as speaking English correctly, writing in grammatically correct English, reading with comprehension, listening to understand the other person, etc.; and (2) computer skills. These skills are very useful in all jobs and in all careers throughout your work/career life. Invest on these. Update your Resumé to include your added competencies.
Four: Read Bible passages that describe the value of every person to God and His great love for each one. Be guided by His Word on how to conquer despair, discouragement, self-doubts, etc. Try reflecting on Isaiah 41:10,13-16; Isaiah 43:19; Jeremiah 1:17-19; John 14:1; etc.
Five: Read self-help books on self-motivation and self-management. Try Bo Sanchez’s Your Past Does Not Define Your Future, Roseanne Romero’s Amazing Grace, Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Bruce Wilkinson’s The Secret of the Vine, etc. Invest and enroll in self-empowerment programs such as Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
The above are some proactive strategies you can use to help you and prepare yourself for the right job and for your future.
Be hopeful to get the right job. When you do find it, exert your utmost by working hard, doing excellent work by exceeding standards, working as a team player, aligning with your superior, etc. This is another topic which you will do well to read about in good books, now, as part of your preparation. As you can see there are many productive things you can do so that you have no time for self-pity.
God bless you. Pray to Him to make a way for you to get the right job and career for you.