Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin
Merry Christmas! You may be green with envy, as you see people rushing in the department stores, shopping as if there is no tomorrow. You see a long queue at most ATMs, as people are withdrawing their 13th month pay, bonus pay, year-end productivity bonus, and what have they.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, you can hear the music play. However, is it really the season of fun for most job seekers? Truthfully, this is quite depressing. You find yourself with no budget to buy gifts for your loved ones. You might even wish you could go to the mountains to hide from your “inaanaks” (godchildren).
I feel for you. However, this is the time when you should neither fret nor sulk. Keep your spirits high! Seize the opportunity to prepare for the coming year. Do not procrastinate. Now is the perfect time to strategize your job-hunting.
If you are looking for a job, here is a to-do-list to get you started, and the other things you can do in the meantime:
• Get in touch with family, friends and relatives. Send them Christmas Greetings via email or cards. It is the perfect time to network. They may be able to give you a job, or at least refer you to others looking for employees. Remember, there are many jobs that are not advertised, and the only way to get them is through networking.
• Rewrite your résumé. Show your résumé to your friends and ask them to point out errors. Revise it, making sure it is correct and current. Do not forget to make a cover letter, and make sure you write your job objectives clearly.
• Look for a sideline business. If you cook well, then it is the perfect time to sell your puto bumbong or bibingka. You may also offer to shop for a busy aunt or friend, and charge a minimal fee. If you have talent in creating crafts, you may sell them as personalized gifts. If you are imaginative, you may offer to design or decorate a party place, and charge a fee accordingly.
• Do volunteer work. Make use of your time productively. You may offer to help in the church or in the community. Even if you do not get paid, the feeling that you are truly appreciated will help uplift your spirit. Besides, doing this will automatically expand your networks, and enable you to acquire knowledge in different career fields.
• Practice your interview skills. Find out the frequently asked questions during interviews, and then try to write appropriate answers. Memorize at least a framework for these answers, so that the next time you face an interviewer, you are more confident in responding.
• Study relentlessly. Learn the basics in computer programming, or brush up on your grammar skills. Keep up to date on the developments in your field. Maybe you can even take up a short course to boost your credentials
• Know what you want. A major reason why many jobseekers fail in their job-hunt is because they do not know what they want. They do not know what they like to do, thus they do not know how to prepare themselves to be better equipped when applying. If you want to be a call-center agent, do a research on the job description and qualifications needed. You may also need to practice your communication skills. If you want to be a graphic designer, then learn the latest software, and prepare a good portfolio.
• Try job hunting. It has been our experience that it is hard to get applicants during this season as the end of the year draws near. Some prefer to wait until they get their 13th month and Christmas bonus; others prefer to enjoy first the holidays before they go job hunting. Since there are fewer applicants, you have a better chance of landing a job.
• Always remain positive. Having no job is quite demoralizing. Yet, you still have to stay positive. Banish your need to cry or blame the world for your misfortune. Count your blessings and believe that your luck will turn for the better sooner than later. You are the one ultimately responsible for motivating yourself.
Soon, it will be Christmas, and you are making plans for the coming year during the most festive time. You should be among those celebrating the season, as you are making better plans for your future. This should be more inspiring than just going shopping!
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