Congratulations to the 2009 graduates!

February 23, 2009 at 12:54 am Leave a comment


In just a few weeks, thousands of Filipino students will graduate, marching to a new phase in their lives. But with so much bad news on employment, recession and the financial crunch, what can our graduates look forward to?

Ruth B emailed to ask advice for her as she is going to graduate soon.

I see that you took up a business related course and the corresponding master’s. I have taken up elementary education (specialization in Special Ed) and will be graduating this March or April. I was wondering what you would recommend a soon to be graduate does in these very scary times. I come from a family that has all the means to let me take my master’s degree now, and I think its something I’d like to do… My idea is to take my master’s now and get a part-time job would be smart.

toga1I am a strong advocate of further studies, whether it’s pursuing a master’s degree, learning another language, or just attending seminars and workshops. Knowledge is not only good in your professional life but also gives you a sense of fulfillment that no money can buy.

For the about-to-graduate, here are some tips for you to kick-start your career:

1) Send out your resumes as early as possible.
Even if your graduation ceremony is still in the next few months, start sending out your resumes. Check the job vacancies in Jobstreet, JobsDB and BestJobs to see if there are opportunities waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to apply to these positions even if you still haven’t received your diploma. The important thing is that you start attending interviews, taking employment exams, etc.

2) Start an emergency fund.
When you have finally landed a job, make sure you start saving money for your emergency fund. In my previous post (read here), an emergency fund will keep you afloat if you lose your job, you get sick, in case there’s a real emergency. You should also save some money if you want to pursue graduate studies in a few years.

3) Do your job well.
It goes without saying but you’ll be surprised at how many fresh graduates take this for granted. The workplace is not a venue to socialize with newfound friends, a dating service, nor a place to party. When you’re in the workplace, do your job well by coming in on time, being productive, performing well. Make sure you leave a good impression to your bosses and officemates as this is a great opportunity to build your personal brand. The network you maintain in the first few years of your professional life can help you later on.

4) Pursue higher learning.
Whether it’s taking a master’s degree or something else, decide where you want to go in your career. If you’re passionate about teaching, it’s might be good if you take up a master’s degree in your area of specialization. You can also attend seminars or workshops. Be purposive that everything you do is aligned with your goals.

Good luck, 2009 graduates! May you all be productive members of the society.

Entry filed under: General Tips. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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