In College, our professors often stressed out the importance of taking up the boards – that having a license will give you some edge when you hunt for your first job.
It’s with this thinking that I decided to take up the board exams for Psychometrician. It was a tough decision, mind you. I wasn’t the smartest in class nor was I the most diligent. Hell, I couldn’t even study for my quizzes to save my life. So when I made up my mind and announced this, my family was surprised and ecstatic. I thought then, why not? I needed it anyway to make job hunting easier for me.
Lies. All lies.
Job hunting could never be easy. In fact, job hunting and easy could never be put in the same sentence unless there’s an is never between them. It just ain’t a straight cut road, and while my professors made sure to drill that into our heads, no amount of lessons could ever prepare me for the heartbreak, loneliness and anxiety that plagued me soon after the boards.
Even with the license, I quickly realized that finding a job is as arduous as any other venture out there. I even started to think it’s not an advantage for me (though this is mostly groundless and is just a product of my stupid thinking)! Companies want people with six months experience. Ha! Like how could that even work? At most, the only experience we fresh grads have is our internship, and it doesn’t help that mine sucked so much.
Talk about ridiculous, eh? Though yes, I do acknowledge that there are companies out there who prefer freshies, businesses that have entry levels for young people like us. Still, finding them is as easy as passing the boards (which is not easy at all). Gah.
So let’s get down to business.
I listed here five lessons I learned after the staggering board exam. You might have already heard these from your professors, friends or parents. Nevertheless, I’ll still put it out here for people like me who didn’t.
Pursuing the field that you love is not a walk in the park
It’s not even a dreamy road, far from it. I’ve met several people, veterans in their field, whom told me that their first job wasn’t even related to the degree they graduated with. The first one is always the hardest one. We are in our first step of the ladder, the first stage of the corporate life, and it’s in this very moment when we feel shit and think about where we want to be.
It’s confusing and winding and tiring.
But worry not. It’s common to be unsure of what is to come. It’s a basic human emotion, after all. I learned that I shouldn’t be afraid of being afraid. What matters most is what we do with this fear and how we overcome it. Hard but hey. Nothing is really ever easy, eh?
Finding a working place amenable to you is hard
For people like me who live far from the business districts, this is a very big problem. Not only do we have to worry about the travel time and transportation method, we also have to take into account the expenses of everyday’s ride to work.
Good thing we have buses, LRT and that dreadful MRT. Honestly, I’m not happy with the idea that I might use the LRT or MRT for work. I’m scared of forcing my way through the enormous crowd but a special person told me that work is not play time. Ehem. This is a slap to me, especially when he told me I need to strip down the princess suit. That I need to step out of my comfort zone and sacrifice. He was right, of course. I can’t really afford to keep the sheltered life.
When I got my first job, what he told me was reaffirmed. I discovered how tough real life is.
There is no perfect job, no work tailored especially for you. You can’t find it wherever you look. Work will never adapt to you. You will adapt to them. For sheltered teens like me, this is the scariest thing ever. But the moment you suck it up and accept that things won’t go exactly your way, you are on your way to growth and professional maturity.
The wait for your job application is shitty and nerve-wrecking
There is nothing harder than waiting for the results of your interview. Truly. While I waited for my applications, I kept on thinking whether or not I passed, if my waiting is in vain or if I need to start hunting for another job prospect.
While doing the last is good, there is charm in waiting. Patience is a virtue, as they said. It is reality that some companies take long time in processing their applications. I know some friends who rushed out and ended up losing the application they so wanted just because they couldn’t wait for it. Though in their defense, the reasons why they did what they did was because 1) they already needed a job and 2) they didn’t know they will get contacted at all.
Choosing between two job offers is flattering but life-changing
Should you come to this fork in the road, which one would it be? Left or right? It’s a tough choice, I know, but weigh it down. Don’t be rash in choosing. Do your research. Trust me, one research goes a long way. Read blogs, Pinoy exchange, and find some reviews about the company.
You have to ask yourself these questions:
- Will you grow with it?
- Is there any avenue for professional advances?
- Will you be compensated enough?
- Does it feel right?
- Will there be more gains than losses?
Arriving to a choice is never easy but when you do, make sure you stand your ground and never regret your choices.
Not everything is taught in school
My professors did their best in exposing us to real corporate issues but I guess I never listened enough. Now that I am in this stage of my life, I regret not having done so. Everything is so new and surreal at this point. Sure, universities teach theories and practices but there are things that you can only learn by performing them; by seeing them yourself. I guess this is the point of internship but even that is very limited to what it can teach.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is you have to be ready for everything that will come your way. Whatever it is, you have to prepare yourself for the worst and best scenarios because there is no better teacher than experience itself.
Final words . . .
Let me end this with this powerful advice that stuck to me the most. It’s from my professor and I think nothing truer has been said. When you are facing a burn out, just think back to this post and remember this:
Most likely you will not find the job that you love. What you need to do is love the job that you found.