Real life starts when you finally leave your own comfort zone and accept that life is not as utopic as what the Republic by Plato suggests.
I am having a dilemma; I need to consolidate in my mind the idealism and realism that keeps popping in my head every time that I will drop my resume in HR department. There are jobs, there are a lot of jobs, waiting to be filled and companies are willing to provide their employees the perks and privileges that will make them stay.
Job hunting is like an investment
Job hunting is much like investing in equities, in real estates to name a few. Your four year college degree is also a kind of investment. Your parents spent thousandths if not hundreds of their precious salary to send you in a good and reputable university. Your degree of specialization will determine what kind of asset you will be when you finally leave the four corners of your classroom. Companies will hire those who is profitable, those who can make money for them, while on the job hunter’s perspective, they are looking for companies who can provide them career growth, and of course experience and benefits.
Degree of specialization determines your asset
Like any other fresh graduate in the country, I am one of those graduates with a multidisciplinary degree. Meaning, I can work in any field of study, weather in sales, marketing, admin, research, public and labor relations, outsourcing and among other industries which may require both critical and communication skills.
Like any other graduate, finding your own niche in a competitive market will be a big problem. It is because, first, you want to maximize what you have learned in the university and apply those theories in your prospective job. Second, since you have this thin paper called “diploma” you don’t want other people to underestimate your capabilities and even your intellectual capability. You might tell yourself, “ I made policy papers when I was at the university, I made presentations and researches about the global politics and economics, I analyzed the trends in both emerging and developed markets internationally, I made comments, argued, draw perspectives and even conduct a thorough research for persons of high value in society, I formulate and synthesized events in history according to theories of International Relations and even International Political Economy yet I will work as if I am not a qualified person?”
Let us define what qualified person is. Well based on my experience, a qualified person has what it takes to be on the position being offered by the company. Going back to my list, the third will be your idealism vs. realism mentality.
In an emerging market like the Philippines, there are actually four industries that pushed for the economic growth namely: the Business Processing Outsourcing industry, the Tourism, the Agribusiness, and the Manufacturing. If you studied hard when you were in the university, you will have a hard time to decide which industry you will fall. Why? Basically because, at first, university education plays a lot in propagating the “ideal”, the standard, the norm of how to decide on things. Do you think if you will apply the standard meaning of democracy what might happen in the Philippines for the recent decades? If the concept of merit and bureaucracy (ideally) applied would you think that there will be consul generals that will be recalled by the foreign ministry because of falsification of documents? Would the Philippine democracy wont be as elicit democracy as it is now?
Think again buddy, the life you and I had for the past 20 years are just as ideal as it was. But the real world needs more aggressive, flexible individuals that will make profit for them. What is the reality? The majority of the population in the country is living below the 2 dollar per day as a standard definition by UN on poverty. How do they able to measure poverty? Do they have any idea how does a poor lives with a hundred pesos in his pocket? While the majority of the Filipinos read in the newspapers that the recent upgrade by Fitch is a good sign of development, the question of inclusive growth remains a cloud of doubt. Who benefits from such upgrade by the Fitch? Those who invest their excess money in equities, time deposits and even in bonds; but the ordinary “Juan de la Cruz” won’t benefit from such good news because he has no idea about banking and finance. He even has a little or no knowledge on how banks make profit out of his money, nor the role of banks and financial institutions that may affect his own job.
I will admit I am a beneficiary of the welfare state. What is welfare state? Allow me to give you an idea what is a welfare state. France is my primary example. In France, an individual who is born is entitled to social services, education, livelihood, and health. The French government subsidized these services to the people. Meaning, those who are both working and non-working French citizen is entitled to such services.
In the case of the Philippines, the government only subsidized those who are living as poorest of the poor under the 4 P’s of the current administration. They will provide an educational assistance and maternal assistance to those who qualify for the program. Quite interesting, is that, those who are beneficiaries of such programs owns a dvd player, an aircon at their abode, 2 cell phones and you might think that they are not really poor. While those who are newbie in the real world, doesn’t have a penny in their pocket to print their resumes, and to shoulder transportation costs. I may sound unrealistic, that I am proposing an unemployment voucher for those who are fresh graduates and this can be used for their job hunting game.
Job hunting is not an easy game. Neither surviving the game is not an easy one. I guess, it is just a start of something new (with ♪ background music of HSM: Start of Something New).J J J