A predator in the rat race

Ludwig Patrick Alejandro

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Looking for a job after college can be a daunting experience. Just remember to keep your head on your shoulders and your gut in check.

It has been two months since graduation, yet I still haven’t got a decent job that’s worth my 4 year strife in college. But that’s not a plausible reason for me to lose a tinge of hope.

I remember my classmate asking me, “How come you don’t have a job yet?”

I replied, “I’m still waiting for my lucky callers.”

 “Because they’ll be lucky to hire me.” It then occurred to me that my corny joke is just solace for me not to lose hope.

I will never sabotage my mother’s efforts in financing my education over the years.

Although I am fully aware of my parents’ subtle attempts of pushing me out our house to start earning, I just don’t want to rush into things that I might eventually regret.

Hence, I couldn’t help but notice the common goals of fresh graduates – to find a “job” and to “earn” immediately.

So I decided to check out several job fairs just to feed my curiosity. And what I discovered is beyond what I had imagined.

Image from Shutterstock

First time hunter

For a first timer, I was definitely taken by surprise when I found myself surging through the sea of heads and I didn’t know where or how to start.

So I scooted around to check the booths that were mostly occupied by recruitment agencies, call centers, and real estate companies.

Just as I expected, booth after booth, my fellow job-seeking fresh graduates flocked and dropped a bunch of resumes out of their manila envelopes. Some didn’t even bother to ask the nature of the company and the job they’re applying for.

Haggle wars

It’s not the applicants who are desperate to get a job, it’s the companies who are desperate.

It felt like a flea market and the only difference was that companies were “haggling” applicants for their time and effort.

I remember this one particular awkward encounter when a recruitment agent went overboard and actually waited for me to come out of the comfort room to discuss their job offer.

I felt like I was being obliged to sign up. He kept telling me, “Sir, our salary is high and we have good benefits.”

Screw that.

But it was my first hunt, so I still gave it a shot.

Fortunately, I spotted a hotel company that seemed to have a different approach.

Despite the warm temperature, the agent that manned the booth was in his corporate attire patiently waiting for applicants to drop by. I was impressed because the moment I deposited my resume, the agent discreetly scanned through it and courteously asked my available schedule for an interview.

‘Too fat for the job’

A week later, I showed up donned in typical business attire. 

The HR receptionist handed me an application form, I then waited for around 30 minutes before my name was finally called.

The receptionist invited me to a small cubicle where she checked my body mass index (BMI). To my surprise, the lady told me I was nearly 9 kilos overweight and asked me to comeback after I shed it since the position I was applying for requires a proportionate BMI.

I was disappointed and impressed at the same time because it shows that they truly value their company.

Why? Because they do strict filtering and carefully hand pick their employees for the betterment of the organization. Just imagine an overweight employee serving in a world-class hotel that couldn’t function and deliver the tasks well.

I chuckled on my way out and swore to re-apply after shedding some serious weight.

‘Catching our prey’

Every one of us has to go out in the wild and catch our prey. 

I’ve always imagined “job hunting” in literal terms –  applicants as hungry predators and the companies our prey.

But to what extent are we willing to wait to catch a huge and healthy prey?

Sadly, numerous fresh graduates are even willing to become prey instead of predator, contented with jobs that even high school graduates are qualified to apply for.

It’s not that I am belittling those who did not finish college; it’s just that we worked hard to get a college degree which involved a serious amount of tuition fees, effort, time and most especially patience.

Start somewhere

I thought perhaps the cliché “I have to start somewhere” has something to do with this whole job hunting ordeal.

Yes, we all have to start somewhere, but let’s be pragmatic enough to find a job we can enjoy and excel at even under pressure.

I may sound like a phony, but sometimes it’s not just about the salary.

It’s also wise to diversify your standpoint considering your health, time, financials, among other factors.

We cannot always get the ultimate job we’ve yearned for, but at least consider all other aspects.

Take your time to consider all the educational expenses, effort, time and patience that you and your parents invested right from the very beginning and realize that you can achieve more than what you currently believe.

Use your freewill wisely. Don’t settle for any mediocrity, set standards which best suit you.

It’s always a brilliant move to explore your options realistically and to broaden your horizons so you could carefully pick out the ones which can positively mold your career and yourself.

So don’t rush things, think of your career as an art.

It takes a lot of time before you can create a beautiful piece of art and of course, money. – Rappler.com

Ludwig Alejandro is a newbie blogger and the former editor-in-chief of Global Magazine, the Official Publication of Global City Innovative College. 

iSpeak is Rappler’s platform for sharing ideas, sparking discussions, and taking action! Share your iSpeak articles with us: move.ph@rappler.com.

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*Image from Shutterstock

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