Sunday, October 29, 2006

Remembering those days as a Job-Seeker.

This past week, I have been meeting people who are looking for a job. The first person happens to be a fresh graduate. He has lots of enthusiasm and exuberates that youthfulness that cannot wait to get into the workforce. He has been waiting for interviews and I notice that that enthusiasm takes a gradual dip as the weeks go by. He has been waiting for about 1 month.

A second person have just left a previous employment. Waiting is hard, I gather. Trying to find a right job, that satisfies both employer and candidate is something increasingly difficult. There are jobs available but only to the right person with the right skills and experience.

A third person asks about the job situation in Vancouver, to which I replied: "It depends." True. The kind of job available depends on what kind of job, what kind of person, skills and experience. Above all, it depends on the timing. It is sad to be working on one lousy job when the 'right' one comes along later. Some people said that 'Luck' is when preparation meets opportunity.

Perhaps I can say my personal trivia. I landed my 1st job based heavily from my educational qualifications and the good job market in 1989. I moved on to my 2nd job in 1994, after having fulfilled my personal equity equation of "Learn 1 year + Contribute 1 year" system. Fresh graduates normally has to go through a period of learning and training. Even 'On-The-Job' training is considered a learning period, though I know of some employers who exploit this. My second job, I relied heavily on both education and experience. This time, the jobs are better, as my relevant experience enabled me to get a senior position. I moved to my 3rd job in 2000, with a mixture of education+experience+connections. From then onwards, all my job moves were dependent on connections+experience. Education is no longer that important as far as job hunt is concerned.

Why am I sharing all this? I feel that a lot of fresh graduates tend to be initially very idealistic in terms of their job experience. As the waiting period increases, this ideal falls sharply to "Any job will do." Consequently, it influences their career perspectives. On one extreme, ideals will make one very 'picky'. On the other, willingness to do anything makes one looks 'desparate'. Discernment is extremely important. I never liked looking for a job. Even those who are gainfully employed are also 'job-seeker' themselves as I have encountered many individuals who are simply wanting to get out when the first opportunity presents itself. What kind of work ethic is that? I do not know. It may be ideal to get a job that satisfies BOTH employer and employee. In a broken world, ideals like this soon become ordeals. We need to be transformed in our job seeking behaviour. We need to keep praying until we receive our bricks of job exposure, on order to build the chapel of God's kingdom in our circles of influence. Purposeful living must coincide with faithful loving.

Times has changed since the 80s and 90s. There are going to be more part-timers rather than full-timers, more contract positions rather than permanent places. Job security is a thing of the past. People need to learn to work based on short term goals rather than long term commitments. Not surprisingly, many will want to start their own businesses rather than work for others. If you are a job seeker, the following may help.

1) Education: Stay Updated on education and market research. Learn continuously.

2) Experience: Be faithful in your current job position. Your supervisor/colleagues may be your best point of reference eventually, at some point of your life.

3) Connections: Network with people in the industry. With the Internet, this is even more possible on a global scale.


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