By Samira Gutoc
Cash is hard up for many this January, start of the year after December shopping and parties. Incoming graduation ceremonies in Mindanao such as Mindanao State University- Main campus are sending off many youngblood anew to the jungle of job-hunting and joblessness. To compound the hardship for those affected by calamity like Taal, there are no more documents or anything to help one recover financially.
I receive many Facebook messages about financial problems, solicitations, applications for a job and so forth. And since I have no office or grants to accommodate them, I am writing this so I can send this out to many youth and evacuees too who have been displaced not just from Taal but from clearing operations in Manila.
Networking is a skill I learned way back in college. I volunteer for concerts and other events so I can learn more from events management and even get a freebie. After college, I got my first big cheque from GMA 7 being a “consultant” for a movie Bagong Buwan. I edited material and sent them online. All these because I had acquaintances who I reconnected to.
I am particularly inspired by another freelance volunteer like I, Gamal of Baloi, Lanao del Norte, who approaches companies operating here to partner with their corporate social responsibility. He earns from his own NGO work but he also gives back through his networking skill. He is articulate, has initiative, and positive despite hardships .
Below are some survival tips for job-hunters. If you are not a graduate, do not give up, there are other opportunities from i.e. TESDA .
- Everything starts with documents. For evacuees, retrace yours. Your barangay , NSO and NCMF for Muslims should be able to assist in reprinting your certificates at no cost hopefully. In our case in Marawi, IDEALS, an NGO helped in making an identification card for the evacuees.
- Polish your resume. Find a friend working in human resource (HR) department and also ask friends who can help you assess and highlight your competitive skills and express your vision especially the English proficiency. Read and understand the organization or office you are applying to. Know their needs and upon being interviewed, offer what you can contribute to them. Know what locations are available, target that. For example, not many would want to be assigned in such an area, so why not take that job because you have no competitor on that vacancy. Grab it, be part of the organization. Prove yourself first before you request for a transfer.
- Send your resume to as many companies as possible. Online applications are the in-thing such as that by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao Job Portal.
- In the meantime that you are job-hunting, find means to subsidize your travel and meal costs. Be available for part-time work and one time events. Be known in any organizations or individuals who are events organizers. Volunteer if you must, create a social circle that you can run to.
I can add so many things to suggest in the list, do add in the comments section. May the force be with you, aahon din tayo.