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What to Do When the Job Search Makes You Wait

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Words of wisdom and career advice from Tita Kalli

Dear Sarah,

Before anything else, congratulations on your graduation! Kamusta yung graduation party? Ilang klaseng pancit meron?

It’s half true that it takes a few months to get a job in any field, not just education. The job search reacts differently for everyone. Some lucky ones get job offers even before they take their final exams and some lead a string of odd jobs before landing one they actually wanted. Don’t get discouraged by any of this though—your fairy job mother has a plan for you.

Most jobseekers juggle multiple job applications at a time and from what you’ve told me, you’re doing the same thing. What’s difficult about this is that your foreseeable future is alway dependent on the next move that the company or recruiter makes. You try to keep your schedule free in case something comes up and if nothing does, you’re left with piles and piles of free time, correct?

This time can make you go crazy if you don’t use it well. Tama ka, Sarah. You don’t want to just sit and wait. The best thing to do is build your resume and your candidacy. Use this time productively so that when you get called for your next interview, you’re even more qualified than the version of your resume that you sent! Under promise, over deliver. ;)

But, Tita Kalli, how do I build my resume and candidacy? I got you, Sarah, I got you.

Take classes

You will never have more time than the time in between jobs or between school and your first job. Diba there are days when you're just at home, looking for new movies or series to watch? Hija, don't lie to Tita Kalli, alam ko na iyan. If you don't want to give up watching TV, watch a series, films, or documentaries where you can learn something. TED talks, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel or the Knowledge Channel are great resources at your fingertips (as in the remote control).

Take it a step further and look for online classes to attend. There are many universities here and abroad that offer free, online classes that come with certificates when you complete them. Or better yet, enroll yourself in an actual class. Learn about management, try yoga, or take public speaking lessons. Marami pa 'yan. Promise.

If you want to start small, read. Read as many books as you can on all kinds of topics. Beyond learning new skills for yourself, potential employers will value your personal dedication to learning. If you are on a budget, there's no excuse because there are free alternatives. You want to work in education so this is right up your alley, Sarah!

Attend events and network

This one will require you to be more proactive but has great potential benefits. If you look on Facebook, you always have a friend who is interested in going to this event or who is attending that event near you. Instead of shooing the notifications away, read them and see if there's something that you'd be interested in attending too. Try following thought leader fan pages to see what they're cooking up. And if all else fails, google "education event manila 2016" and see what comes up.

Going to these events and meeting people in the industry or sector could be your ticket in. Again, you can start small. Attend an event with a friend and agree to meet one new person (hindi 'to para sa love life ha!) by the end of it. It sounds intimidating, I know, and it isn't always easy to do but it's a much better alternative than staying in your pambahay all day, clicking refresh on your email, and hoping for a miracle.

Exercise

With all the down time that you have, now is not the time to let go of yourself. Not just your body but your mind. Use this time to build an exercise routine so that when you do start working, your routine will be part of your daily life. If you have a routine already, wonderful. If not, start small. Work out for 15 minutes Monday, 20 on Tuesday, and by Sunday you'll have a 45 minute workout. Remember that this isn't about burning fat but burning tamad.

Exercise your mind the same way.  I have an inaanak who has weekly learning goals. She sets a topic for herself to learn about, let's say behavioural pyschology, and she commits to reading one book or attending one event/week, reading one article/day, and having 1-3 conversations with experts or professionals about behavioural psychology. I'm sure one day she'll be president. But do you see how simple it is? If you have chores or have to help with family matters, that's okay. You can always adjust the goals to fit in your daily life.

There is a lot that you can do while waiting. In fact, there's a lot you can do that will increase your chances of getting a job. You've already done one: you asked for help. I'm on your side, Sarah!

Your fairy job mother,

Tita Kalli

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