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Choosing a First Job by Jon Oliver R. Balili

One evening, Algeb, a fellow college graduate from the Financial Management program, posted about her job hunting woes on Facebook. She wrote:

“Please help me choose:
SMALL COMPANY with job in line with the field of study? Or BIG COMPANY but job is not related with the field of expertise?
PLEASE CHOOSE AND EXPLAIN WHY?? PLS. Disregard the compensation. HAHAHA. Thank you!”

Quite easily, I answered that she should go for the small company and not let her accumulated knowledge gained from her education go to waste. I went on to say that I declined an offer from San Miguel Brewery because the job didn’t fit me. Many other suggestions of a similar tone followed.

At the time of answering Algeb’s question, I had already been working as a Research Assistant for A2D Project – Research Group for Alternatives to Development, Inc., a small non-governmental organization engaged in development research, for about a month. San Miguel Brewery, the largest producer of beer in the Philippines with an insanely huge market share, was another company I ran to for a job. Algeb’s dilemma, in a way, reminded me of my own experience in getting a job.

I was offered a job at A2D Project by my thesis adviser who turned out to be a member of the board of trustees. Except for a year of experience, I met all the qualifications outlined in the job description including basic knowledge of econometrics. As for San Miguel, I dropped my resume with them during a job fair at the University some time ago. There, I was simply asked if I knew how to drive a car and if I had a driver’s license. Eventually I was contacted for an interview. I hadn’t been told yet what position I’d be given, but judging from the questions on driving and inquiries from friends, I speculated marketing. Although I love driving, marketing isn’t my cup of tea.

The choice to take for me was clear. I have no regrets about turning down the big company even if one of my neighbors has a San Miguel Brewery – marked car and I commute to work. Deciding on something like this probably isn’t easy for some, like Algeb. So for them, I’ll just quote Mary Schmich and say “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.”

One last piece of advice: don’t ever say “If I don’t get a job, my mom will throw me out” at a job interview. A friend tried it. It didn’t help him at all.


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This entry was posted on May 6, 2013 by in Feature Writer, Happy Times & Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , .

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