I’m an inexperienced job seeker. Obviously. I mean, I had to rely on an app to get me a list of potential employers, and on people noticing my status updates. I don’t even know which skill to focus on, or how to sell myself in front of an interviewer. I find it much easier to just do things instead of having to explain my resume to anyone. Then again, maybe I’m having a hard time now because it’s always been the job that found me — not the other way around.
It was 2005. Months after dropping out of law school, I was browsing the classifieds when I saw this ad of some networking company. Networking as in you’ll be selling stuff and getting commission while reporting to someone who’s just a notch above you in the pyramid. I don’t even know why I decided to give this a shot when ‘networking’ was almost the same as saying ‘scam’ back then. Anyway, I was texting people on my phonebook about this — polling on what they think about this venture I was gonna get myself into — when someone I knew from undergrad in UP Diliman, Dave Shinyo, replied and said, “huwag diyan, dito ka na lang sa amin” (don’t try that, come work for us instead). Next day, I went to the IT publishing company they owned and he set me up for an interview. And that’s how I landed my first job — as a writer at TechFactors, Inc. (TFI). TFI was just a year-old then so I became part of the original development team that made high school textbooks on IT subjects — I authored a number of titles, created and edited courseware materials, proofread books, beta-tested interactive CDs, etc.
September 2007. I was young and I got bored so I quit my job. Luckily, one of the stakeholders at TFI, Dr. Jaime Caro, invited me to join the UP IT Training Center (UP ITTC, now UP IT Development Center). By December, I was off to my second job as Events and Marketing Officer — developing websites, handling social media, doing events, et al. Before that, I didn’t actively look for work, hehe.
September 2009. It was my second year as Program Committee Head of the Philippine Youth Congress in IT (aka “Youth for IT Congress” or Y4iT), an annual event by UP ITTC. Weeks after the event, one of the Y4iT speakers, Winston Damarillo — Fil-Am serial technopreneur based in Silicon Valley — asked me if I wanted to work for him. We were chatting on Facebook and I said “yes.” I applied to one of his companies, Exist Software Labs, Inc. in October so I could be a part of the skeletal force of his non-profit organization, Developers Connect Philippines (DevCon), which wasn’t an entity at that time hence I had to be hired at Exist first so there’s a contract to speak of. I didn’t get salary from DevCon but it’s part of my KPIs in Exist but DevCon is really what he wanted me for. Long story short, I started working for Exist (as HR, later as Marketing Associate, then back as HR) and DevCon in January 2010.
As seen on my previous post, “My Answers to the Ten Toughest Interview Questions,” I was declared redundant in Exist on 15 March 2013. I relinquished my post in DevCon on 01 May. Looking back now, I was fortunate to have had the ‘vacation’ time because I was able to spend Dollar’s last few months with him, here at home. (Don’t miss the three-part special I made for him: Remembering Dollar, My Brother Dog, Life Lessons from Dollar and Dollar’s Instagram Photos.)
Since mid-March, I’ve been to eight interviews. The first one was with a startup as EA (the head honcho turned out to be a founder of my college org, the UP Kabataang Pilosopo Tasyo or UP KaPiTas, an exclusive philosophy organization), second with an office near Exist as HR (I was hungry during the interview, ergo badly distracted), third with a big company in Eastwood as Marketing (in which my application pends indefinitely), fourth with a well-known family conglomerate as Marketing (I don’t know what happened to that; I didn’t follow up), fifth and sixth with a startup in Quezon City as Marketing (apparently they were looking to hire someone with connections to celebrities). I even applied as Digital Strategist in a prominent TV network but they turned me down, said I wasn’t qualified.
There was a magazine with a curious name that I applied to, texted me a full month after I applied. I didn’t go through with it. I always hesitate if the company asks me to wear a corporate attire; this is the second time I retracted my application, hehe. Then I was also interviewed at a PR agency as a Social Media Specialist but I didn’t get news on whether the article I submitted sucked, which I’m assuming it must have because I am no good at writing about politics. Add to all these, several phone interviews and about 16 sent applications via the JobStreet app (half of which I didn’t get as much as an email confirmation from the companies), among others. While waiting for a company to knock on my door, I ventured into blogging; I launched this site last 22 June 2013. Most recently, I had an interview in Ortigas as a Digital Marketer; results will be out in two to three weeks. But I also have my eyes on another company which is in a VERY ideal location. Good thing I found an ex-Exister working there to refer me. Dear [Company A], call me maybe?