Routes to take after graduation

Here are the guides I can give base from my experience for your career after finishing your college. Hopefully giving your time reading my first blog are worthwhile.

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Apologies for my bad writing, because this is my first blog so hopefully I will be better creating contents, so please bear with me *looking at the sunny side*. As shown above, this place is special for me because this is my 2nd home for about 5 years of my life. Lyceum of the Philippines University — Cavite, such a beautiful campus right? So much memories, 1st time to cut class, 1st time to fail subject, many band gigs etc. , and just being with awesome people for 5 years is never to be forgotten.

Congratulations to all the graduates!It is April! Month of the graduates here in the Philippines, Idk the month for other countries, but I’m sure that these soon to be professionals are excited and some are tense for what comes later with their lives. After all of the studying, copying assignments, exams, C: and also the hardships of your parents working or who ever financing you for you studies. It is really important for you and for them to finish your studies. That’s why just walking up on that stage, carry that diploma is really significant. And make your parents really proud for your achievement. For the people who attended your Commencement Exercises you are so lucky. I wonder how it feels. Umm. Because I did not experience it, due to family problem as my father had a mild stroke and I need to take care of him and also because of the financial state of my family so that time my father is the priority. Actually it is almost 1 year after my graduation before I got a job because of the family issues and also I have personal important matters to take care that time(maybe love life). But these things does not stop me.

Although initially daunting, coming to the end of a 4–7 years course actually open up many opportunities. You might want to search for job postings, study at postgraduate level, or you can take your time enjoying like traveling, or other activities.

How do I get a job?

Majority of the graduates will be looking for job. First, you can get help from your instructors as they have many connection on the companies you can apply and also ask for help on your career consultant. Be ready and go to job fairs in your school and outside for more opportunities. You can also check out the applying for a job and where to look for a job section on the justlanded website for more guidance applying jobs and where to look for a job in the Philippines.

On your 3rd year or last year in college you must be decided already what career path will you pursue and what to do with your degree. For me, on my intern days i already decided what career path I will choose so what I did is that I really work hard, and keep on learning especially on the Computer Tech Industry there is always an Innovation there are incredible technological advances that shock the world everyday, so for me the “tech guy” must be the first of the people who is knowledgeable and skillful enough taking care of the issues with regards on this technologies, whether it is about phones, computer networks, computer hardware, software or other devices and gadgets that are utilize today.

If you are not yet decided on what specific career you want to pursue, you can take a career aptitude test so you can determine what jobs are best suitable for your skills and interest. You can also talk to your mentors, professors or professionals for some advice to help you to get some ideas. If you want a career that fulfills you, you need to focus on your interests rather than your qualifications. What job would make you happiest? Choose wisely where you want to spend the big chunk of your life.

Get out there, get involved and make yourself known to employers. Manage your online reputation, your social media accounts, it is also helpful if you have portfolio of your work to showcase your achievements.

Finding a job can take a while, it is important to leave enough space in your timetable for job hunting. Give time in creating your resume. Simple tips in creating your resume from Mr. Mike Simpson of The Interview Guys:

“Be concise. Be brief. Be clear. Be professional”. — Mike Simpson/The Interview Guys

While searching jobs, check the qualifications and skills needed. Give time everyday for you to research and study, it can help you to stay focused and motivated. Make effort from creating resume, job hunting to job interviews. Be prepared on job interviews, it is also helpful if you study the company background.

Here are 10 best jobs interview tips from Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.:

  1. Conduct Research on the Employer, Hiring Manager, and Job Opportunity
  2. Review Common Interview Questions and Prepare your Responses
  3. Dress for Success
  4. Arrive on Time, Relaxed and Prepared for the Interview
  5. Make Good First Impressions
  6. Be Authentic, Upbeat, Focused, Confident, Candid and Concise
  7. Remember the Importance of Body Language
  8. Ask Insightful Questions
  9. Sell Yourself and then close the Deal
  10. Thank the Interviewer(s) in Person, by Email, or Postal Mail

Check out more about the interview tips on the livecareer website on the quintessential section.

If you’re struggling, think outside of the box. You can consider to work abroad, or self employment by putting up your own business. Some people have great business ideas which you can consider testing your entrepreneurial skill by putting up your own company.

Can I get a job when I have a low GPA?

Do not be discouraged if you finished your college degree with a Low GPA score — there are ways you can increase your chances getting job in your industry. And yes you can get a job. Not that easy but you will go there eventually.

Some employers do accept graduates with lower grades, but some are not. Like me, I also have an Average GPA on my college results, when I did some job hunting I have a really hard time getting job from my chosen companies, and also that feeling when you are with the other applicants and you are competing on a one position, I really regret that time and realize that I hope I did better on my college and give more time studying. What I said to myself “hindi muna ako magaapply sa malalaking company, try ko na lang muna sa smaller organizations at magstart muna from there tsaka na muna yung magagandang company at mas mataas na position” “ I think I need to consider the smaller organization first before those big companies, then I can work my way up where I want to be.” That’s why grades really do matter, it’s true about the saying that “SKILLS PAY THE BILLS” isn’t it?.

In Job Applications, don’t hide your results. Believe in yourself and be positive, highlight your strengths, demonstrate that you have the right skills for the position you are applying and also show them that you are different from other applicants, in the good way of course.

But if still doesn’t work, it could be worth improving your skills and knowledge by taking post graduate study.

Should I take Masters, Doctoral or Postgraduate Study?

An alternative to be back at university to take masters, doctoral or other postgraduate study can be a rewarding route for you. After I graduate actually this is one of my options to take my Masters in Computer Engineering to work on Industry and make myself more employable or in Academia where I can teach and share my knowledge to students. But it is too expensive for me so it did not worked for me, but I am considering it again now while I am working and wanting to study masters or take some CCNA classes to have my certifications. However, you need to make sure you’re doing this for the right reason.

If you want to take it because you need a specific qualification or extra knowledge before entering the career you want, or just passionate to study the subject, then great.

Studying additional course work can really develop you on your specialization, and improve your in-depth knowledge from your college studies.

What other options are there?

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During your job search you can travel or do some activities enjoying and taking your time. You can take a gap year like what I did. You can see more of the world, learn cultures, languages and just socialize and meet new people. If you are going to travel, Don’t go too far because the best places are already here in the Philippines like the Big Lagoon in Palawan, Philippines, it is really a breath taking place. I just put it up because I really wanted to go there with my family soon. Haha. But doing this additional activities can really help you and make you more employable in the long-run. Why? Social Communication Skills. I remember on my past work, we are in a meeting with my Boss/VP, and we are discussing about the internal and external clients, my boss suggested us to read the book “ How to make people like you in 90 seconds or less” by Nicholas Boothman. And I read it after my work while on jeep. It’s just an eye opener for me especially how important on how you connect to people and how to get their attention longer. On the page 3 of the book, Chapter 1: People Power — it says connecting with other people brings infinite rewards. Why? Here’s one of the paragraphs explaining.

“Whether it’s landing the job, winning the promotion, gaining the sale, charming a new partner, electrifying your audience or passing inspection by future in-laws, if people like you, the welcome mat is out and a connection is yours for the making. “
“Other people are your greatest resource.”
4 Basic areas of making people like you in 90 seconds or less: (p. 164)
a. Attitude
b. Synchronization
c. Conversation
d. Sensory Preferences
“Improvement in any one of these areas will increase your ability to communicate effectively and quickly with other people.”

We live in a big world and small world, with so many opportunities, right? Traveling, connecting and socializing can help to develop your skills and everything from cultural awareness, languages, even on budgeting and negotiation with other people. But make sure you have a plan when you return from activities.

What if I have a job lined up?

When you finished your college degree and secured your employment then good for you and congratulations! Don’t slack while you are on the middle of the graduation and start of your job. You should fill that time researching and getting ready for the work or role you will taking on. This ensures you to give a great first impression. When working in your industry don’t let yourself stuck on where you are. Remember that there are new generations coming up and they have better knowledge more updated lessons and more proactive than you, there is always some competition. Like what my boss always reminding me, be proactive. If there is no problem or issue in a day, you must be nervous. And continually give efforts to achieve your goals, as for me, I want to get my certifications, or masters degree, be promoted on a higher position, work abroad or teach and share my knowledge to students.

Whatever your goals or dreams are, you’re gonna make it!

So this what can I share to you guys. Entering this part of your lives will be different I am telling you. It is a little scary. And accept it, you will be changing your identity after this. Like what my Band mates, Bandang Pahina, my brothers, sister and me always making fun of that now we are no longer students and we are calling ourselves now “Tito and Tita”, or “Uncle and Aunt” so every christmas we are no longer receiving money from our tito and tita but this time it is our turn to give and share our blessings to other little cousins and friends. You can be independent like living only by yourself maybe outside the country and you will be experiencing to pay for the bills, to cook on your own, do laundry and even waking yourself up not like when your still studying on college.

But for now, celebrate your achievement. Go on and have some fun. Enjoy life while you are still young and make the most of it! Always thank God for everything. Good luck and cheers! -Japhet