If You Were My Old “Job Hunter” Self

Dear Old Job Hunter,

You thought you have the skills and that you knew how to job hunt properly. In fact, you even prepared an article for your younger brother to encourage him how to job hunt. Yet, you had a hard time searching for a job that would match you. Things have changed, you know. Or let’s just say, you are in a different situation and a different country now too. Well, the basic process in job hunting may still be similar – application to a job advertisement, getting screened and if you passed, communicated, then, getting an appointment for the interview, interviewed, and more interviews or graded training, then be on board. The process looks easy, right?

Well, It hasn’t changed much except for a few things that you had to learn at the expense of your previous applications. Haha. It’s okay. Sigh. Breathe. Here they are:

1. Companies (not the Jurassic traditional ones. lol) use these cool Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) nowadays. From your HR experience, you do have those in place in some companies. However, you could say they were all done manually. Manually in a sense that even if you used filters in an excel sheet where you have typed all qualifications an applicant has, it still needed your human judgment and needless to say, your human speed in screening and typing all necessary information. Haha. Wow, can you imagine how easy it is now for a recruiter? hahaha. I know what you have in mind! You wish your previous companies had that before! I know right? You thought of doing a simple version of that thru a survey-before-application right? but Nah, there are free systems now. The thing is, learn it both from HR and job hunter perspective now. It was a good chance for you to optimize your resume! great!

2. Language is really necessary! You thought your native language and your English were enough! Hahaha. How many times have you scrolled so fast to check every job ad with their language requirement? You have soft skills and you are applying for jobs that rely heavily on soft skills and people interaction! Of course! Language will play a very important role! Yet, come on, I know, there is still a part of you that tries to persuade you that your skills and experience may be enough to compensate for your poor language skills. Wake up! Language is necessary. Be patient and persevere. This is a good chance to be a polyglot! hahaha.

3. Certifications are really heavily valued particularly the globally accepted ones. You are in a different country and they have different notions of different careers. How will they know your experience and training are legitimate? Your cousin in a different country is right. You better invest on a global certification as early as possible. This certification will ensure that you are on the right page with them with regards to the understanding of specific topics or application of skills.

4. Things will not always be as you wanted them to be.  Well, let’s face it. You are aware of this already. It is easier said than done. It is easier said alone than be said in front of your loved ones who expect you to get the best for reasons that they also thought they knew (your awards, academic honors, experience, etc.). How did you handle this feeling? we still do the same, actually. Sigh, Breathe deeply, Smile, Appreciate what you have and who you are now, and look forward to a brighter future, talk to yourself and encourage yourself that things will eventually be better, trust your capability, then talk to them after you know your esteem is strong and complete. They will eventually trust you and encourage you, as well.

Sigh, Breathe, Smile.

Hey, actually, we’re still in the same boat. Hahaha. I still have to push thru with the goal to have an income soon. I want to learn new skills once I am earning. Yes, we’re still the same. Hungry to learn more. Risking a lot just to learn more. Someday, our future self might be proud of us for doing such things. We’re still in our 20s and even if it’s heavy on us to spend more than 3 years of humility trying to learn new skills and having weird decisions that some of our family members pitied us with, we will eventually make it. We are blessed with this perseverance and resilience thus we should put it to good use.

Heeeyah! Just play that new fave music we have. The lyrics are good for the soul.

Better Days By Dianne Reeves

“I’d say how can I be sure what is right or wrong?
And why does what I want always take so long?
Please tell me where does God live
And why won’t He talk to me?

She said all the things you ask
You will know someday.
But you have got to live in a patient way.
God put us here by fate
And by fate, that means better days.

She said, child, we are all moons in the dark of night.
Ain’t no morning gonna come ’til the time is right.
Can’t get to better days lest you make it through the night.
You gotta make it through the night, yes you do.

Yes. Dear Old Job Hunter. Patient, you were. Patient, I will be.



Brother Starting His Career for the First Time [Part 1]

I am telling you a few things first:

  1. It is not about being the best, it’s about being the most fit.
  2. This may be a jump start to some of the things you are probably excited for in life: independence, money, adventure, power, new faces, new friends, new identity and new opportunities to prove yourself
  3. However, kindly note that this is just a step and this step requires a direction. Be alert on how the new role and experience will contribute to your direction.
  4. Thus, Know WHY do you need it, WHAT do you need from it, WHEN to make the biggest decisions, WHERE to go while on it or after it.
  5. The HOW? It’s a progress and a continuous development. Consciously learn the HOWs.
  6. and of Course, the WHO. This is how we usually start things in Career Management.


So, WHO are you exactly?

I see. You have a good resume there. You probably just copied it from a template you saw in the internet or from your seatmate or friend who is also probably doing the same. I know I’m quite harsh. Probably because you are my brother and I can be brutally honest with you so you can reach greater heights more than anyone in our family.

Knowledgeable and Expert

I see what you did there, presenting yourself as  “knowledgeable and expert” on this field despite the fact that you are a fresh graduate. Who knows? I mean, if you graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, you probably are more knowledgeable than me who had a different degree! Well… Let’s face it, to tell you honestly, being a recruiter before, I would have the urge to “grill” you with your own words. I would have the urge to check how confident you are to label yourself as “knowledgeable and expert” on those fields. No, I won’t always know if you are sharing the right and technical ones unless I am a practitioner of the same field such as Managers interviewing. Oh no, I am not discouraging you to delete those words too. Rather, I’m encouraging you to PROVE it. An easier trick to do this is by presenting numbers, data and contributions related to it. Another thing you could add ONLY if you really did so is to add the relevant training that would show you are really knowledgeable of the topic. Please, don’t think those 1 hour small talks you listened to are that relevant, I have a feeling you didn’t really listen well to it anyway or couldn’t even remember the full name of the speaker unless you have a certificate, of course! The training I meant are those that has helped you build your skills, or those that earned you a license, a valid certification, or those where you are the speaker. Couldn’t think much? Alright then, it’s as simple as deleting that word “Expert” and specifying the things you are confident to be “knowledgeable” of. That easy. And Bro, don’t underestimate your knowledge on specific stuff especially on new trends and new skills because what you learned for a whole semester may be what other employees would be willing to undergo for a 2-3 day expensive training. You are an updated version and you are supposed to bring fresh skills and ideas so better take advantage of those. And, to make things easier, know that you don’t have to bring only knowledge and experience – things that probably former employees, entrepreneurs and experienced applicants have as an advantage. Well, lo and behold, you still have two things you can consider and write in your resume, cv, portfolio or profile: Skills and Abilities.

Competencies = Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (or Attitude)

What are the things in you that every company and entrepreneur will look for to make their dreams, their projects and both your goals happen? COMPETENCIES and they include knowledge, skills, and abilities and for some quite critical, attitude. They’re known for the abbreviation, KSA. Somehow, I love to label competencies as our gifts and talents. These are things we have learned – knowledge, earned – skill and our talent, attitude and capacity to learn and earn – abilities. We are all gifted and talented in our own ways. Every knowledge or insight is a gift so you have to appreciate your ability to see opportunities to learn and be enlightened. Every skill is a knowledge applied and sharpened for use. And ability, something needed to be sharpened for a long time or, as I would believe, somehow an innate gift that varies from person to person.  How do you know what gifts, talents or competencies do you have? Well, if your purpose is to check if your competencies fit well to companies, I recommend that you browse and check some job advertisements relevant to your field, read the competencies they require and try to list down things you have and things you may want to improve in yourself. Another helpful move is to take legitimate tests or make use of the personality or general aptitude tests you had with your counselor in identifying your competencies. You could also check your school records for subjects you are confident to be knowledgeable of. The important key is, please don’t exaggerate or lie just to appear the best. At the end of the day, go back to one of the first things I mentioned. It’s about being the most FIT.

If you were my brother starting his career for the first time, I recommend that you first assess who you are now. Let’s talk about your desires and dreams later. Appreciate what you have first and we’ll dig in deeper to who you can be. You are gifted and talented far different from me and our sister and other people. You may have graduated late for different priorities you had before, but I’ll tell you, don’t regret them. They happen for a reason. Learn from them. Assess the competencies you gained from those experiences. The workplace and the “adult” world may be quite different and harsh but you’ll find it familiar in a few months or perhaps, years. I recommend that you spend a day or two revisiting all your accomplishments, your triumphs, your challenges and what competencies made you conquer them.

Trek, if you need to. I know you love nature.

Meditate, if you have to.

Pray, if you must.

But recall, think, write, and type even the slightest memory or detail now.



Old Self

If you were my old self…


I am not sure if I will go hard on you or will take things easy. You are quite unpredictable – one day happy and hyped, the next day, gloomy and unmotivated. Well, not every time that you are moody though. Your mind can usually wander to the best visions and hopefuls you have for the future but at the same time, can focus on what needs more attention as of the moment. You sometimes procrastinate but you can also plan things and work smartly ahead of others too. You get motivated by the number of people you can inspire and motivate. Well, honestly, you sometimes have plans unknown to others, same as how you’ve learned it from those tactical books that could use deception and manipulation, however, you always make sure that it’s a two-way benefit even if they don’t recognize it. And with these things that define you, I am embarrassed but at the same time proud of you.


I am still not sure If I should scold you or praise you. You are sometimes tactless and brutal honest but sometimes too modest you could shame other people with their behavior. It still sounds horrible though and I know you could still hear how your loved ones would say how “kind” and “humble” you are and on the other hand, your closest ones would say how “harsh, tactless, and immodest” you could be. Well, I do agree with your view-point a lot of times that it always depend with how we take it or absorb it. As you would always repeat on your mind ever since you were young – “there is no pitiful person if people don’t pity”. Yes, it does sound weird and mean but I know you survived most of the shameful risks you had in your life because of this line. You are compassionate with people yet you always struggle deciding what needs action and the few that only needs emotional connection. To people around you, you are lovable and pleasant, a good listener and adviser, yet, deep in you, you wish they could read between your lines or understand that even on your kind tone, you want them to improve themselves by listening to themselves. You have made a few mistakes and honest harsh comments to select few but interesting enough, they still find you respectable and patient. I wonder why? With these thoughts and different faces that speak of you, I am embarrassed but at the same time still proud of you.


I think that by writing to you, I’m beginning to see your beautiful and ugly sides. Let’s start with what you usually do. In your daily life, you would observe people and their behaviors. That’s your most loved hobby – analyzing behaviors and reactions. You would talk about how ugly human beings can be but at the same time, get teary-eyed to good acts around you. Remember that flight you took wherein during the disembarkation, a grandmother was scolding and shaming her granddaughter for vomiting on her belongings and embarrassing her in front of others? That was one of your strongest image of how ugly humans can be especially when they are in a stressful situation. Well, I know you could have done better and soothe the child but I guess your act of offering your white flower was enough to let people know they can interfere without pitying. I know you have seen more incidents of those like the 5-year-old child asked to buy Coca Cola Bottles almost as big as his legs and accidentally broke them because what else could a usual 5-year-old do than to play with them? Well, I’m honestly still not sure if giving that child money to buy again was a good idea. I know you saw the horrified look on his face when he dropped them but I’m really not sure what change could your “good” offer make too. Ah! I almost forgot! You, one time, shamed a young student for secretively throwing her garbage in the public transportation! hahaha! I remember you asked her to pick it up because you wish to throw it yourself and held on to it in front of her eyes until she shamefully got down already. That was mean and at the same time funny. Oh how I seem to be so similar to you still. I wanted to shame you too because you are sometimes vocal but at the same time, proud of you when you act more instead of react.

Continue reading