Tuesday, June 03, 2008

More advice for new grads (part 2)

For Coy and Joe, specifically, though here's hoping other fresh graduates would find some useful nuggets here, too.

After what McVie calls the hard-to-beat front act of Alan Alda's inspirational speech, what else could we say that wouldn't sound drab? But we'll try, because that's what friends do to their younger pals--they assume a pose of superiority and think the fact that they're ahead (a bit!) in years entitles them to lecture the noobs. Hohoho.

So, here's a surprise, JoeBreaker and Cokskiblue, now that you're out of college and presumably anxious about what lies ahead. Some of your friends from the blogging world (the working stiffs, at least) contribute their two cents' worth on work, money, ambition, courage, focus, laughter, self-reliance, credit cards, and--very important!--the need to moisturize.

These are a mix of inspirational and practical suggestions culled from our own (I'm tempted to say nasty and brutish, but I might scare you kids) experiences. Effort to collate ha. Go ahead, use what's usable, set aside what's not. Lemme start with my own two bits.

1. See your first job as a fresh start. You didn't do too well in school? Grades quite embarrassing? Never mind. The workplace is a great leveler, with everybody--honor graduate and borderline flunkie alike--having to start from scratch. You can, if you want to, outstrip those who have the early advantage of good grades by junking old habits and starting anew with vigor, enthusiasm, a will to learn and excel. I spent nine years in Human Resources; it was always a point of enormous satisfaction to see unspectacular hirees surprise everyone, including themselves, by sobering up, realizing that work is a whole new banana, and becoming paragons of competence and hard work. So what if you were so-so in school? In the workplace, create a new and inspiring story for yourself.

2. Don't get a credit card--yet. Resist the blandishments of credit-card companies, those-sweet tongued sirens who would say anything just to get you to sign up for their magic plastic. Getting a credit card is a breeze; managing it can be a distracting effort, as it slowly but perniciously introduces you to a lifestyle of quick satisfactions and deferred reckoning at a time when you're savoring the first flush of earning your own keep. Work hard and reward yourself, but all within your means. Trust me, those friendly credit-card companies won't be as friendly once you miss a payment deadline. And, with your entry-level salary, you will.

And now for the rest of the homilies [with my side comments].

Jeff: Keep your head down. Focus on building up your competencies more than how much you think your services are worth. That way, you create value for yourself that stretches into the long haul of your career. [His SMS ended with “Nyahaha!”]

Kring: Always think long-term. Choose jobs from which you'd learn and be trained well over those which promise a better salary. Money will come eventually. What's important is that at the start of your career, you've done and learned as much as you can and make sure you get paid doing what you love.

Poyt: Coy, brilliance can only take you so far. It also requires hardwork and getting things done on time. LOL. Choose your battles. You don't need to take every project that comes your way. If you love your work, you'll treat it like your babies. You wouldn't want one that is half cooked, would you? Joe, face your challenges head on. Responsibility is scary but it looks like you have to do it anyway. But responsibility will also make you tough.

Fritz: 1. Choose your first job wisely. If you have a choice, opt for the company with good HMO (better if you can have your parents and dependents covered with minimal or no extra cost). Money makes you liquid. Benefits make you sleep well at night. 2. Corporate culture can make your life miserable. If you are surrounded by unprofessional, gossiping, or politicking colleagues, quit that job. In the long run, you'll either influence them to be better or they'll influence you to be like them. There's a 9-is-to-1 chance in favor of the former. [“latter” daw pala] 3. A great boss listens. 4. Work-life-balance is a myth. Work-life harmony is workable. Manage your expectations early on. 5. Do not lose sight of your ideals, but be receptive to the realization if they become obsolete. 6. We don't work to find best friends in the work place. In the event that you do meet one, consider it a bonus. [Ganda!] 7. I believe in you. You'll make it good. [O ha!]

Angel: Find a job that you enjoy and love doing, don't settle for a job for the sake of earning moolah. Treat your co-workers as friends, not just colleagues. [Anubatalaga? Dude, you and Fritz need to talk.] Learn from them. For you to stay young-looking, be happy, always wear a smile, laugh often. Depression will come once in a while (it's natural), but you will handle it for sure. Learn to get out of that box as quick as you could. Save and invest. Lastly, don't let your contact numbers spread in the credit card industry, or you will end up being bugged every hour by agents asking if you would like a credit card, insurance plan, membership of any sort and even funeral service (I learned it from experience!).

AJ: You will learn that too much idealism sucks and that many things that you thought you will achieve after graduation may not be possible. But that shouldn't stop you from trying hard to achieve them. Also, know how to play the dirty game of politics at work, because no matter how hard we deny it, it exists. And, yeah, get used to OTY (unpaid overtime), tax deductions, and no sem breaks nor summer breaks!

Rick: Go after the things you'll learn, not the salary you'll get. Avoid being late for at least six months. After that, pwede ka na magka-sungay konti. If you can't stand the company you're working for, then leave. Mas okay yun kesa binabad-mouth mo sila. (Smiley here)

Karla: While your university may give you added (pogi) points on the CV, you still have a lot of proving to do. Not all the best come from UP. [Hear, hear!] Always strive to outdo yourself. If you got a job well done today, it doesn't stop there. Always keep your eyes and ears open. There's always a lesson to be learned from everybody, from the boss down to the rank-and-file. Network, network! Some of the best jobs aren't found in the newspapers. But always, remember to have fun while you're at it. It's not just about the money, you know.

Juned: 1. Life is not black and white. 2. It's okay to be proud, but do not be foolish. 3. Not all issues or battles have to be fought; choose your battles. 4. It's only for now. [Hello, Avenue Q!] 5. Nasa Diyos ang awa at nasa tao ang gawa. 6. Enjoy life but... 7. Save save save!

Mcvie [looong but witty, so pagbigyan]: To those entering the workforce, if there’s one advice I can offer you, it is this: Moisturize.

Make lots of mistakes when you’re young. You can still make mistakes when you’re older, but they’ll be more costly. But always make sure you learn from your mistakes.

Scratch your itches--as much as you can, as early as possible. When responsibilities are fewer and your movements freer, go and pursue as many different pursuits that interest you. If you have a lot, start earlier. If you’ve zoomed in on just several or a few, then you’ll have your whole life to pursue them longer. Or you’ll have the time and energy to discover new pursuits.

While you still have no idea of your monetary worth, choose that which interests you rather than what pays you more. When you’re older and you need the money more, then you will have the right to price yourself.

Learn to allot some me-time for yourself during the day. You can spend part of lunchtime reading a book, or talking a walk, or eating your lunch in the park. 15 to 20 minutes is enough--you’re not yet entitled to hour-long lunches.

Prove yourself always. Employers will only value you if you value yourself and you value your work. Prove to yourself what you are capable of; and then you prove to others that they need you.

No one is indispensable. That’s why proving oneself is a lifelong task, even if only for yourself.

Never ask anyone how much their salary is, and never tell anyone how much you’re getting. (Although starting salaries are usually standard, when a fellow new hire asks you about your salary, just say, “Starting salary.”)

Have fun. The job will take up most of your waking hours. If you’re not having fun, then where’s the fun in that?

This too shall pass. There are good days; there are bad days. There will be days when you’re crowned king of the world. Be humble; this too shall pass. There will be days when you just want the earth to open up and swallow you whole. Chin up; this too shall pass. [Coy, chin up daw!]

Never stop learning.

Learn how to shrug your shoulders. At the end of the day, it’s just a job. There are more important things in life; they’re the ones you leave behind in the morning and go home to at night during weekdays (and some weekends). Unless you join a call center and they put you in the graveyard shift. In either case--day job or night shift--the ravages of age will take its toll on your skin. So always moisturize. [Korek!]

Words, words, words. Now, kick some ass, go for gold, conquer the world and slay every cliche there is about success!

[Part 1 here]


Karla said...

@Mcvie: You are so right about the moisturizing part! The first thing someone told me when I started working night nine months ago was to invest in facial care, no matter how expensive. It'll pay off daw. I should have started earlier in my adult life!

Gibbs, I had a lot of fun reading this! Way to go!

Rick said...

@ poyt you sound like a mom! hahaha :)

Rick said...

@ mcvie i love your lengthy advice. perfect :)

R-yo said...

wow! wise words indeed, from seasoned men/women. learn from them, you, youthful people! but most of all, take mcvie's advise to heart.

Fritz said...

In one item, my "former" should have been "latter." Rush kasi LOL Sorry gaiz

joelmcvie said...

Since Gibbs edited out my intro part (Ang loooooong na nga naman pala! Malay ko ba na SMS lang pala ang habol ni Gibbs, hahaha!), let me just state here that my "advice column(!)" starts with "apologies to Baz Luhrmann". =)

@KARLA: I only started moisturizing this year! Jeez. That's why it was the first thing that popped into my mind.

@RICK: Thanks! Antanda ko na, noh?

Maria "Ria" Jose said...


Very good advice. Sana nabasa ko rin to before.

Good luck to Coy and Joe! :)

Fritz said...

@mcvie you da man! I disagree with moisturize, though, for reasons already published by Gibbs a few posts back LOLOLOLOLOLOL XD

joelmcvie said...

@FRITZ: Eh teka lang... so what was all that shopping for facial products in Bangkok for, Mr. Ironman? LOL =)

gibbs cadiz said...

KARLA, ako din, i learned about moisturizers et al rather late. buti na lang wala din ako masyado bisyo sa buhay--except...! :)

RICK, erm, isn't she? haha, jokee poytee! :)

R-YO, seasoned talaga? hehe. dapat kasama ka sa lineup. pag-uwi mo. :)

FRITZ! corrected na zya. hehe, so dedo ka na ba sa office? or do they now listen to your beauty/grooming tips as well? :)

JOEL MCVIE! siempre ang fab ng contribution, hindi lang pang-sms, pang-twitter pa! LOL. haha, thanks kuya! (nyee!)

RIA, aynaku, may part 3 pa'to, kasama ka na sa contributors, haha! :)

CokskiBlue said...

Awwwww..... :)

This one of the nicest thing a friend has ever done for me. Thanks bud!

Gumawa ako ng post as a reply... make sure you read hanggang part 2. hehe


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