After entering EDSA through the Balintawak Cloverleaf, madadaanan mo ang Muñoz, and then you’ll approach the intersection of North Avenue, EDSA, and West Avenue. You can’t miss it. Nandiyan ang SM North, isa sa mga dambuhalang malls hindi lang sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong mundo! Katapat lang nito ang isa pang mall—Trinoma!

It’s not an exaggeration kung sasabihin mong may mall ang bawat sulok at gitna ng Metro Manila. Konting tumbling lang, mall na naman! Hindi lang ang SM North at Trinoma ang palatandaan ng North EDSA. Dito mo rin makikita ang pagkahaba-habang pila ng mga tao paakyat sa unang station ng MRT.

Have you heard the term “di mahulugan ng karayom”? That’s exactly the scene sa MRT North EDSA tuwing umaga. At bilang isang bagong miyembro ng work force, that is the kind of mornings you will face. Every. Single. Working. Day.

Before you even think about your ninja moves para mas mabilis makapasok sa MRT o magbiyahe sa opisina, you need to prepare yourself as you apply for work. Kahit na medyo unsure ka on what to do, make sure to cover the basics. Ito ang ilan sa mga bagay na dapat mong ihanda as you run after that dream job.

image credit:

image credit: MyStreetsPH

Prepare your resume.

Hindi mo naman kailangan ng sobrang lupet na resume. Ang mahalaga ma-highlight mo ang educational attainment at relevant experiences mo. Ilagay mo na rin dun kung may leadership experience ka and kung nag-volunteer ka sa isang organization.

Maximum na ang two pages. Recruiters are busy people and the role of the resume is to help you land an interview. You can always elaborate what’s on your resume during the interview.

Important Documents.

Get a copy of your Transcript of Records. Sa ibang mga universities, matagal hintayin ang Transcript of Records. So as soon as you graduate, i-apply mo na agad yun. You can also ask for a True Copy of Grades sa College ninyo and that will be enough habang hinihintay mo ang ToR.

Kuha ka na rin ng NBI clearance sa pinakamalapit na NBI office. Get your SSS number and your Tax Identification Number (TIN). Kapag may copy ka na kasi ng mga ito, mas madaling ma-process ang application mo, lalo na sa mga BPO companies. Always bring several copies with you kung mag-aapply ka ng work.

Create a Linkedin profile.

Linkedin.com ang Social Network para sa mga professionals. Get your resume at puwede mo itong gawing basehan sa paggawa ng profile mo sa Linkedin. You can also add different skills at mga experiences mo sa Linkedin. Think of it as your online resume. Minsan, may mga recruiters na naghahanap ng potential candidates sa Linkedin. If your resume stands out, baka may kumontak sa iyo na recruiter.

Clean up your Social Media accounts.

Since nabubuhay na tayo sa isang Digital World, it’s a good practice to look at your Social Media account bago ka mag-apply. Clean it up. Sabihin na nating personal account mo iyan at walang kinalaman sa magiging performance mo sa work, but more and more recruiters are looking at the Social Media account of potential candidates. I’m not saying that this is extremely important. Pero may mga company kasi who want their employees to embody the culture of the company. Kung may makikita ka sa Facebook or Twitter timeline mo na hindi appropriate, better change your privacy settings or remove the post altogether.

Practice for the Job Interview.

Huwag kang nenerbiyosin sa job interview mo. At para hindi ka talaga kabahan, practice expressing yourself. Huwag na huwag mong ime-memorize ang mga sagot mo sa mga tanong kasi it will not work! Dapat spontaneous ka at kaya mong i-communicate ang confidence at ang skills mo. I-review mo na rin ang laman ng resume mo. Sobrang embarassing kung may ma-miss out ka na tanong na based sa information na nasa resume mo.

Grab a friend at mag-practice kayo in answering each other’s questions about potential jobs na inaplayan mo. While you’re at it, polish your English skills. Although maraming books kagaya nito ang Taglish at nakikipag-usap na rin tayo sa Filipino at sa Taglish araw-araw, business communications still require you to speak and write in English.

Saan ba puwedeng maghanap ng work?

Classified Ads.

Hindi naman ganun kahirap maghanap ng work. You can check the Sunday edition of most broadsheet newspapers at sobrang daming trabaho na doon. Gupitin mo yung mga gusto mong trabaho and look at the requirements. Do you have what it takes? Kapag may mga lead ka na for jobs na aaplayan mo, then go for it, send emails. Show up at their recruitment centers and go for it.

Online.

Marami na ring job portals online. Puwede mong i-browse ang iba’t ibang klase ng work sa Jobstreet.com.ph, JobsDB.com.ph, MBClassifiedJobs.com, at marami pang iba. Kailangan lang malinaw sa iyo kung ano ang mga types ng trabaho na gusto mong aplayan. You can also create a resume sa mga job portals na ito. Check your emails regularly for these websites dahil every now and then, nagpapadala rin sila ng mga job opening based on your interests.

Job Fairs.

Although may mga career experts na nagsasabi na hindi masyadong effective maghanap ng work sa Job Fair, it is still worth a try. Prior to the Job Fair, i-research mo na yung mga companies na nandoon and look for those na gusto mong aplayan. Show up to Job Fairs with several copies of your resume. Most job fairs also feature some learning opportunities para sa mga job seekers. Take note of those events. Ngayon na nag-uumpisa ka pa lang, learn as much as you can from the experts.

Referral from friends.

Sa experience ko, referral from friends ang pinaka-effective na paraan ng paghahanap ng trabaho. When I came back to Manila after my short-lived teaching career, isang kaibigan ang nag-refer sa akin. A year after, nakasalubong ko naman ang friend ko na si Alpha sa may Cubao malapit sa Gateway. At nagkataon na hiring ang company na pinapasukan niya noon. So ayun, pinadala ko sa kanya ang resume ko, and a year after, I got hired in the same company. Kung nirecommend ka ng friend mo sa isang company, do a good job para hindi mapahiya yung friend mo.

If you get accepted to a job, congrats! Umpisa na ng isang bagong journey para sa iyo. Tandaan mo nga lang ito, as you start your career. There’s no such thing as a dream job. Or actually, it exists pero mahirap siyang hanapin. While you’re figuring out what you really want to do with your life, mas mabuti nang i-grab ang mga opportunities that come your way. When you finally figure out what you do, you’ll learn how to transition and pursue that dream job.

Welcome to the Rat Race!

Kung bibiyahe ka along EDSA at papunta ka sa mga business districts ng Ortigas, Makati, or Taguig, marami ka namang options for transportation. You can bring your own car. Kaso, kaunti lang ang percentage ng mga yuppies na may sariling kotse. Bukod sa gagastos ka sa gasolina or diesel, magbabayad ka rin ng parking pagdating mo sa opisina ninyo. Another option is to take a taxi. Kaso mahal! Baka maubos lang ang suweldo mo sa taxi fare. Eh di para ka na ring nagtratrabaho para lang sa mga taxi companies.

You can also ride a bus. Kaya lang, karamihan sa mga buses ang ruta eh Cubao Ibabaw, Ortigas Ilalim, at Crossing Ibabaw. At during the rush hour sa umaga at sa hapon, their average speed could be 5-10 km per hour! Good luck na lang sa schedule mo. May mga UV express din naman na puwede mong sakyan. But they can also be stuck in traffic, together with tens of thousands of vehicles on EDSA. Kaya tuloy, kung isa kang yuppie na kailangang bumiyahe along EDSA, you have no choice but to ride the MRT!

Kung akala mo, nag-say goodbye ka na sa pila noong grumaduate ka from College, you’re terribly wrong. Just one glance at the MRT stations tuwing umaga, makikita mo ang sobrang dami ng mga tao na sasakay sa train. On any given workday during the rush hour, it will take you about 30-40 minutes para makaakyat sa mismong station ng MRT. Kung wala ka pang ticket, kailangan mo ulit bumaba para pumila para sa pagsakay sa tren. That will take you another 40 minutes para makasakay sa tren.

Iyon palang isa hanggang isa’t kalahating oras na ang mauubos sa pagsakay pa lang sa MRT. Depende sa destination mo, it may take you another 30-40 minutes para makarating. Sa pagko-commute pa lang, pahirapan na. Unless lumipat ka sa isang apartment na mas malapit sa workplace mo, asahan mo na na ganito ang araw-araw na eksena ng buhay mo!

Welcome to the rat race indeed! Ano nga ba itong rat race? Bakit ganyan na ang tawag natin sa trabaho?

Maraming mga professionals kasi ang napre-pressure nang todo pagdating sa kanilang work. Sobrang pressured or motivated mag-work na nakakaligtaan na ang ibang aspekto ng buhay. Hindi lang naman kasi tungkol sa trabaho ang buhay. But too often, lalo na kung bata ka pa at bago sa workplace, you want to give it your best shot, advance quickly sa corporate ladder and achieve your dreams! Masaya na rin kung makukuha mo ang mga gadgets na gusto mo at ang mga bagay na gustong gusto mong bilhin.

Keeping up with the Joneses.

On top of the work hard, party harder practice, marami ring yuppies ang mahilig sumabay sa uso at ipakita sa mundo na ang kanilang lifestyle ay “world class”. How do we succumb to this temptation? Simple lang, kapag may bagong iPhone, sige bili! May usong brand ng tsinelas or “flip flops” as they are called at one time, bili! If you saw your friends visiting Singapore, touring through Asia and then Europe, sige tour ka rin. At kapag may mga new restaurants, bars, and clubs to enjoy, sabay ka rin sa uso.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to travel. It’s also okay to keep up with technology. But are you really doing this for yourself or gusto mo lang sumabay sa uso at makita ng mga tao na “kaya mo rin” that you are also living the “yuppie life”? At ito pa ang mas mahalagang tanong, can you really afford it? Or nagkakandalubog-lubog ka na sa credit card debt because you’re keeping up with the Joneses?

Is work a necessary evil?

Sobrang daming books na lumalabas ngayon tungkol sa Entrepreneurship, Personal Finance, at Freelancing. Marami sa mga books na ito ang madalas sinasabi na kung gusto mong maging “financially independent”, having a business is the way to go. They go so far as to say na kapag isa kang empleyado, isa kang corporate slave.

Has work become a necessary evil? Kailangan lang ba nating mag-work at magsakripisyo para lang kumita ng pera? Do we see our jobs as that—mga trabahong pinapasukan lang na magbibigay sa atin ng ability to pursue our personal dreams and buy the things we want to buy?

Kung Rat Race ang tingin natin sa work, then it doesn’t matter if we win the race or not. Sabi nga ng isang speaker: “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” If we become too consumed by work, puwedeng mawala ang balance. Para lang itong pagsakay ng MRT, minsan you no longer care about the other people around you. Ang tanging mahalaga na lang ay makaabante ka at makasakay ng train. Ang kuwento nga ng maraming ladies na sumasakay sa Female-Only cab ng MRT, mas matindi pa raw minsan kung magtulakan at mag-unahang pumasok sa train ang mga babae.

Kung ipu-pursue mo ang career growth at financial growth sa company nang hindi iniisip ang ibang tao around you, then yes, you can become a rat! But along the way, kahit makuha mo ang mga goals mo, you may notice na wala ka na palang kasama. And that over the long term, puwedeng ma-burnout ka at mawalan ng satisfaction sa work na ginagawa mo.

Design your life and career.

Sa isang TED Talk, nagbigay ng warning si Nigel Marsh tungkol sa pagtratrabaho:

“[C]ertain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day-to-day basis with a young family… And the reality of the society that we’re in is there are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.

“If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you may just not like their idea of balance. It’s particularly important… that you never put the quality of your life in the hands of a commercial corporation. Now I’m not talking here just about the bad companies—the “abattoirs of the human soul,” as I call them. I’m talking about all companies. Because commercial companies are inherently designed to get as much out of you [as] they can get away with. It’s in their nature; it’s in their DNA; it’s what they do—even the good, well-intentioned companies.

On the one hand, putting childcare facilities in the workplace is wonderful and enlightened. On the other hand, it’s a nightmare—it just means you spend more time at the bloody office. We have to be responsible for setting and enforcing the boundaries that we want in our life.”

If you want a meaningful life, you have to design it.

Wala kang ibang aasahan kundi ang sarili mo. You can always ask for advice and perspective. At the end of the day, ikaw pa rin ang gagawa ng mga decisions kung paano mo titingnan at bibigyang kahulugan ang work na ginagawa mo sa araw-araw. Besides, kung nasa early twenties ka pa lang, you will be working for the next 30-40 years. Aba, matagal-tagal na panahon yun. You better make sure that you are doing meaningful work for yourself and for the world.

* * * * *

This is part of the #BiyahengEDSA series of reflections for the Pinoy young professional. Read other parts of this series below:

Introduction
Monumento: Out of the Way ang Idealism
Balintawak Cloverleaf: Entry Level
North EDSA: Ito Pala ang Rat Race
Timog Avenue: I Just Want to Have Some Fun!
Cubao Traffic [Poetry]
Ortigas: Relihiyon, Rebolusyon
Swerving after Crossing Ilalim on a Monday Morning [Poetry]
Boni-Guadalupe: Shifting Lanes
Ayala: Traffic sa Fast Lane.
Magallanes: Divergent Roads
EDSA Extension: Ito ba ang aking destinasyon?
Pasay Rotonda: At the Crossroads