Monday, June 13, 2005

Graduation Blues; Perfect Job-hunt?

After graduation, most students face the challenge of looking for a job. And on an emotional level, fear joining the REAL world.

For some, being a student is one of the easiest part of life. You go to school, do your homework, talk to classmates, given allowance, etc. It can get stressful come final exam week, but the pressures of school life might not be as comparable as that of the REAL world.

Looking for that perfect job becomes an obsession for some new grads. They hold out for that big step that will define the rest of their career. But what about those that have no clue? It seems a continuing struggle to find a job that will make you happy enough and yet pay for yourself.

Being in the the REAL world, entails many responsibilities, especially, in the essential if not mundane, economic aspect – MONEY! Parents are more reluctant to dole out money for your luxuries or even for necessities. They sent you to college, therefore, it’s your turn to do your bit and support them. Not all parents voice these out but they are implicit expectations.

These are all part of the transition from college youth to full-swing adulthood.

It becomes a balancing act to earn enough money to support yourself and to enjoy what you are doing. A job becomes work when you don’t enjoy it.

Today, I start my three-week stint at the Intenational Labour Organization as part of the Conference staff, i.e. Text Document Processor, commonly known as typist of documents. It's funny how a name sounds more palatable after some tweaking.

I just did my first transcription. We are given 10-minute tapes, which may be part of a series of tapes...


I wrote this barely two weeks ago. I have not seen another tape. I've had a live translator though. He dictated about 11 pages to me. It took us two hours to finish because he was constantly interrupted by one of his staff. But we finished it. This was on one of my unholy hour shifts.

I've been doing PVs instead. These are "proc├Ęs-verbal" documents which are partial parts of an entire proceeding of the Conference. We are given "orders of work" which we accomplish and somebody from the desk will compile all of it to finish the document. People at the desk go home at 7 a.m. (from the slated 9p.m. -4 a.m. shift)

We are like assembly line typists. But here we are referred to as a "typing pool". We make sure that the ILO style is followed and we ensure whether the words "Government, Session, etc." carry initial caps. In ILO-ism, they are up or down depending on the usage. I have been so conscious of this that I'm even dreaming of it. I dreamt last night that "enforcement" should carry an "i" instead. We follow British-English here but we also respect American spellings. Tough call. :D

All the other times, we just "sit tight" as our desk officer tells us to do. The ILO hired full staff which are working in three shifts (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.) in order to ensure there is no backlog of work. Yes, there is a full staff but not enough work. I am typing this on my shift, this time, 1-8 p.m.


After this week, I am back to my old job!!! I will be once again a receptionist for the Mission. I am glad to have a day job to come back to but God knows I am not excited to come back. I will be among the war of egoes and inevitably, I will be caught in the cross-fire. I shall sit facing the elevators with no security doors. Anyone can come in and blast the living daylight out of anyone. Well, they reassure us that only those with keys can come in. Meaning, for every visitor, I have to unlock the elevator door which serves as the only security measure for the eight floor office.

But I am not worried about crazed gun-toting terrorists, I have plenty to think about between my boss and my "boss" and the other "bosses" in my office. I sit perfectly in the middle of the office and have leg space equivalent only to that of the "boss"' office. Others are cramped in their rooms with great views. Anyway, sitting in the middle means literally nodding and listening as each officer speak ill of the other. I should just have some knives on my desk and facilitate the back stabbing.

I attended the "office warming" last Saturday and my boss had already resigned himself to my not coming back, although I was still welcomed back. I can only hope that I will not come back and have some kind of post here at the ILO. But if it doesn't work out, I am still thankful that I have something to go back to.


This brings me back to my initial point...ALL YOU STUDENTS OUT THERE, GRADUATES IN PARTICULAR, looking for the perfect job seems to be the quest, but sometimes it isn't. It is about looking for something that you like to do and gives you enough money to support yourself. But if necessity dictates, you should not be too picky. You will eventually find something that will fit your requirements. And if you don't know where to start looking, you re-evaluate what you liked doing as a child. That will eventually lead you to happiness, at least career-wise.


tintin said...

as a child i liked holding "classes" with my little nieces and nephews (all two of them). with my whiteboard and a crayola marker on hand, i taught them nursery rhymes and how to impale a Barbie doll... Teacher? Eeek!!

point? i hope you like your new job, your future jobs, if any; and i hope someday you get a nice view of the real world.

p.a. said...

i have the highest respects for teachers. so, if you become one, it can only augment my respect for you. and bet on it, i wouldn't mind sitting-in. mag-prerog pa ako. haha.

the real world is not as complicated as it seems but people make them complicated. i have a friend who commented on my wanting to be away from it all and live on a far-flung farm. she said, even if i was there, people could always make my stay complicated. so, there's no avoiding life's spite. err...because we create them. sigh.