On Job Opportunities
By Apolinario Villalobos
They say, opportunity knocks only once and if that happens, one should seize it. Unfortunately, it is this dictum that most often puts the vulnerable in unlikely situations because of the opportunist that sometimes lurks not far behind. There may be opportunities that come as they are – plain opportunities, but the fussy let them pass by and later regret what they have done.
There are some people who may be considered lucky because of the seemingly unlimited opportunities that come their way. However, some of these people fail to utilize them due to inadequacy on their part that these opportunities require. This happens for instance, when job opportunities are laid down in front of a newly graduate, but he is helpless as his knowledge and skill just do not match what any of the jobs require.
Life is full of opportunities, if only we know how to recognize them. Sometimes we perceive some opportunities as hindrances just because we do not want to stretch even an inch of our muscle to seize them – we do not want to make a sacrifice to hurdle them. We always thought that opportunities are easily obtained.
The onset of waves of unemployment throughout the world, has given the concerned governments more than one reason to take a second look at their educational systems and pre-employment programs for the undergraduates. Despite their effort, however, it seems that the educational institutions are far from cooperating because “junk” courses are still being offered. One of these is the “Airline Secretarial” being offered by schools in the Philippines. Just imagine the thousands of graduates from this course every year to be equated with the small number of airlines in the country. Even the so called “BS Tourism”, graduates of which end up working as sales girls in shopping malls, waiters in restaurants or bell boys in hotels. And, to think that taking up such course is not easy on the pockets of parents because of the costly pre-graduation requirements such as field trips and “practicums”. I admire those who take these jobs, just so, they have something to earn while waiting for the right opportunity to come their way.
On the human aspect of the situation, there are just finicky job seekers who do not want to start their career from the lowest rung. Just because they finished “management courses”, they thought they could immediately land on managerial positions. They do not want to start their career as “liaison officers” (glamorized title of messengers), or office clerks. These young graduates forgot that for them to understand how an office operates, they have to have a wide exposure to its operations. It seems, the schools forgot to remind their students about this situation. Yes, there are forums held about prospective employments, but sometimes, school authorities pick up wrong resource persons who are not honest enough to impart to graduates-to-be what to expect when they join the ever- growing throng of job seekers out in the field of cut-throat competition.
In a tourism forum, one speaker from a government agency spent the whole half day talking about the state of the tourism industry in a general tone. This could have been easily learned in several subjects of the students, if they were serious enough. So for the whole half day, the participants were fed with statistics on tourist arrivals, and other industry information which is far from what they need to know as future job seekers. I was given the other half day slot and it was only this time that the students learned the real situation – that finding a job is not easy due to the glut of graduates that overwhelmed the demand, and that if ever lucky enough to land a most coveted job, it might not fit their course to a “T”. I saw disappointments in the faces of those in the audience. Some jokingly remarked that they should have taken up a vocational course in “welding”.
The real situation in seeking jobs is disheartening, but there is always even a bit of patience in every one. One failure should not give one a reason to lose heart in persisting to land a job. There is a popular adage that says, “while there is life, there is hope”, actually, a literal translation from Filipino which says, “habang may buhay, may pag-asa”.