4 Fears that New Graduates Have to Face

About 700,000 graduates this year will enter the workforce very soon. If you’re one of them, I’d like to say (with the voice of Morpheus) “Welcome to the Real World!”

A lot of these graduates probably have jobs now. But a greater number probably doesn’t.

Whether you’re employed or still waiting, actively hunting, here are 4 common fears to deal with.

Take heart though, if you face these fears, you’ll only become stronger and better able to build a fulfilling, sustainable life.

1. The Economy & Unemployment.

While the Philippines has a growing economy and we received a lot of positive vibes from the recent World Economic Forum, the unemployment rate is still high! In fact, it even increased to 7.5 in January 2014.

Almost a decade ago, the country had too many Nursing graduates. A lot of them ended up unemployed. But the others got creative & looked for jobs in different industries. Some of them became call center agents; others became Medical Transcriptionists, and still, others got additional training & skills so they can apply for new jobs.

Companies in the country still have a bias for graduates of the top Colleges & Universities. But even if you didn’t come from those schools, take an inventory of your skills & abilities and be confident. My book Start Up: Find Your Place, Engage the World. Sustain Your Life” helps you come with this.

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My Yuppie Story 4: The Cloverleaf of Dreams: Going Back to Manila

I graduated with a degree of BA Political Science from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, back in 2003. I started working in June 2003. That means, I’ve been in the workforce for 11 years. So, I decided to look back at my yuppie story and share it through this blog. This can be a pretty long series, so I hope you join me in this ride.

Part 1 is here: Into the Unknown
Part 2 is here: Into the Province
Part 3 is here: First Job, First Salary, First Phone, and Other Firsts

In the quiet town of San Manuel, Isabela, nobody could hear the anxious screaming inside my head. At times, I couldn’t even hear them, myself.

After resigning from my teaching job by April 2004, I looked at several opportunities in the province. My father, who was assigned to a church in Quezon City offered to take me with him. I’ll have a house to stay in, food, and a couple of other amenities if I agreed.

I told him no.

I thought I could easily find a job in our province. But towards the Christmas season of 2004, my prospects of landing a job was getting dimmer and dimmer by the minute.

Waiting for some calls.

My friend, Angel, who was working at the DILG Region 2 office prompted me to apply at two government offices in Tuguegarao, Cagayan–at the National Economic Development Authority, and Department of Interior and Local Government.

I took the exams and passed. With good results, if I might add.


But the call for interview never came.

After some months of waiting, I decided to try another avenue. I applied as College instructor at two campuses of our State University. Did my teaching demo and had some interviews.

In both cases, I knew that I performed well in the exams, in the demo teaching, and even in projecting a confident and competent professional. I’m a UP graduate, after all.

So I waited, and waited… and waited some more.

In the lull moments that I was waiting, I had to keep myself sane. Good thing, we had cable TV! I watched a lot of documentaries on Discovery, some movies on HBO, and Star Chinese movies.

Yup. Star Chinese.

I mastered the art of reading sub-titles while totally enjoying the unfolding scene before. Truth is, I already watched Shaolin Soccer even before it was shown in Philippine theaters.


Thanks to my mother, I didn’t need to worry about the food I’ll eat, and other stuff I needed.

I did some odd jobs, like editing documents and silk screen printing of t-shirts for some friends I knew. Because I had a computer I also accepted some lay-outing and printing jobs.

Because of my church involvement, I also helped out in our youth ministry. So, I needed additional money to cover my fare when I went visiting churches and places for youth events.

Boy, was it difficult!

All those time, self-doubt assailed me. And that cynical voice within me kept telling me this was all a mistake.

Should I hold out and wait for the calls that would tell me I got accepted for a job in the province?

Was it time to throw in the towel and seek greener pastures back in the big city?

Decisions, Decisions

My mother and brother went to Quezon City to celebrate Christmas with my father, and my sister and her husband. I was left behind. Being an officer in our church youth organization that covers half the province of Isabela, I had to attend two Christmas camps. It was fun. But it was definitely a lonely way to celebrate Christmas. I swore to never do it ever again.

During those camps, I had conversations with friends about my plans, my employment, and what I wanted to do with my life.

When you’re in your early twenties, people generally expect you to start something that could potentially last for the rest of your life.

I was 22 at the time. If I based my life based on my parents’ timeline, I would be married by age 24, I would have my first child by age 25.

What the heck? I didn’t even have a girlfriend by that time.

And so the questions came. Not just from many people. The anxious voices within me kept screaming, and I badly wanted to silence them.

The clincher, though, came in January 2005.

My mother and I talked.

About family, and helping out financially. My sister and her husband haven’t graduated by this time. My mother’s income was enough for her, my brother and I. I wasn’t contributing anything to the family finances at all. She also reminded me that I was a UP graduate. That I deserved something better than staying at home all day.

It wasn’t exactly a slap in the face. I understood her concern–for me, and for our family.

And so, that evening, I texted Ian, one of my best buddies in College. Good thing, he had a friend, Ken, who worked as a training officer in a call center, and their company is hiring.

See, the best way to look for a job is to ask for referrals from friends. But then, that also meant that I better made sure I performed well in the company. But I digress.

So I got to work. I updated my resume, got a 2×2 ID picture, sent my resume, and hoped for the best. But I also wanted to cover my bases. That’s why I also updated my Jobstreet.com.ph.

That same week, I packed my bags, got myself a bus ticket going back to Manila.

When I graduated from College, I knew for certain that I’d be in Isabela to make a difference, to change the world, even. Read about that here.

But a year and a half after, I had to swallow my words, admit some kind of defeat and go back to where most of my batchmates decided to make a living.

Was it only about making a living?

Applying to a call center was the farthest thing in my mind. But that was a quick solution to my predicament. I needed a job and soon!

So I found myself boarding a bus once again–but this time, I was back where I started from. I had to go back to Manila.

At the Cloverleaf of Dreams

Normally, I could sleep in a provincial bus the moment my back meets the reclining seat. But no matter how I tried to sleep in the bus that night, I just couldn’t. My eyes were closed but my mind was wide awake, listening to the questions, trying to understand my directions.

Where did my plans go? So much for idealism.

Is this how the real world works? Does this mean shelving my dream of making a difference in the world?

After a long journey through the night, I circled the cloverleaf and my bus entered EDSA at Balintawak, together with the trucks and vans that delivered fruits, vegetables, and meat at the Balintawak market.

It was early in the morning and traffic was bad.

And I wondered if my career was also stuck because I refused to move or because I didn’t know where I was going.

How to Listen to a Podcast via the Stitcher App

It’s no secret that I love, love podcasts! I have one–the Happy Yuppie Podcast. But I also listen to countless other podcasts here and abroad. They entertain me, keep me less bored while traveling or waiting for a friend who’s running late.

If you need more reasons for listening to podcasts, check out this post.

If you want to listen to a podcast on the go–while you’re driving, or stuck at the train or a bus, or taxi, maybe, I can only recommend one app to help you with that: Stitcher!


Stitcher is not just a platform for podcasts, it’s also a platform for what is known now as “On-demand radio.” It serves audio content or radio that you can access wherever you are, whenever you want to.

Stitcher is available on both Apple App Store and on Google Play Store for Android.

It’s totally FREE!

How to Subscribe to a Podcast via Stitcher App

Don’t worry if you feel like you’re a total newbie in listening to podcasts. There’s always a first time. But once you get the hang of it, you can easily do it over and over.

Follow along our screencast below and just do it step by step. You won’t get lost. Promise!

Check out the slideshow below for the steps you need to take to install and make the most out of Stitcher Radio.


While I want you all to listen and subscribe to my podcast, I would also encourage you to listen to other podcasts. Check out my list of Recommended Podcasts.

If you don’t like the slideshow, check out the Screencast below.

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