Finally, it's the semestral break. For students at a younger academic level, this is their most awaited rest, and they can enjoy their vacation and engage in activities like traveling. However, for a broke college student like myself, it's the opposite. This semester break presents an opportunity for me to work on my documents and apply for a part-time job. As a young adult devoid of riches, I am beginning to feel that the world is becoming a little bit harsh, and without money, there are limitations to what I can do.
Last time, I attempted to apply for the Student Public Employment Service (SPES) in our local government, but unfortunately, I was late, and the program had already commenced a few days ago. SPES is a partnership program between the local government and the labor department, aimed at helping students earn income during their school vacation. Despite the sad news, there’s still light at the end of the tunnel as they are still organizing an upcoming job fair.
The job fair was attended by numerous business employers searching for individuals they can work with. Despite my lack of work experience, I decided to go anyway. It was a nerve-wracking experience since it was my first time, and I am not fond of crowded settings or initiating conversations with unfamiliar people.
I went first to the booth of TaskUs, a business process outsourcing company, to submit a copy of my resume. I was assisted by a person whom I believe is a part of their Human Resources department. I greeted them warmly with a big smile on my face to make a good impression, indicating that I was not nervous and genuinely excited to work with them. They had me fill out a Google form that asked for my basic information and some questions to verify that I was not currently employed by another company. After that, they instructed me to return the following week, specifically on Tuesday, to formally file my job application.
I also checked out the other booth, which happened to be the booth of SM, a well-known shopping mall here in the Philippines. They were actively seeking new applicants for Bagger and Sales Clerk positions. I went through an interview and fortunately, I passed. However, the downside is that they gave me a deadline of two days to submit all the necessary requirements. I made an effort to gather my barangay clearance, cedula, and other local documents, but time was short and I couldn't complete everything, especially since government offices are closed on weekends. I have no choice but to let the job opportunity go and just wait for Tuesday to arrive.
Around 1 pm, I arrived at the TaskUs site location. It's just a 3-5 minute journey from my place, which is very convenient. I brought an extra copy of my resume, just in case they needed it. As I stepped into the elevator and pressed the 6th button, anxiety started to creep in. What questions would they ask? What kind of process would they use to test our capabilities? Just thinking about these questions weakened my knees, making me reconsider whether or not I should continue.
TaskUs is located on the uppermost floor of the building. A woman around my age, who was also an applicant, accompanied me. We engaged in small talk on our way to the 6th floor, and I discovered that she wasn't from my place but rather a visitor from the Visayas region, trying her luck after hearing about the hiring.
We were greeted by their security personnel. The first thing I noticed was the positive atmosphere among the employees, which I believe is a result of their good workplace environment. I have read on their TaskUs website that they have several ways or benefits to show value and appreciation for their employees. One of them is the presence of mental health support in their workplace and an ample amount of other ridiculously good benefits. This company is progressive.
Other applicants welcomed us as well. I spoke to some of them, which helped alleviate my worries.
After some time, my name was called, bringing me back to the present. I was guided to a desktop computer where an online assessment was presented. Before we began, they explained that the assessments were divided into two parts: a multiple-choice questionnaire and a typing test.
After approximately 15 minutes, I finished the test and passed! They instructed me to wait outside until my name was called again for the initial interview. I felt a sense of pride and achievement after passing that simple exam. But sadly the number of applicants waiting outside gradually decreased. Some of the individuals I had been talking to earlier were unable to proceed to the next stage. I hope they find what they deserve.
When my name was called, I proceeded to another table for an interview via Zoom call. The interviewer spoke in English, so I responded in the same language.
Throughout the interview, we focused on the topic of blogging. I mentioned that I write and earn from it, which seemed to pique her interest. I excitedly told her that writing somehow supported me in my personal expenses, and I met several people that I actually became friends with. I also told them that this is where I find my lover hehe.
Unfortunately, after the initial interview, she informed me that I didn't pass. She explained the reasons why, including my difficulty expressing myself clearly when speaking and my excessive nervousness. However, she understood my situation as a first-timer and encouraged me to try again after 90 days. She even told me to blog about this experience haha. I left at the table saying the word ‘thank you’ and I appreciate it a lot for having me here.
Leaving that room, I didn't feel disappointed or sad about the result. I remained proud of myself for mustering the courage to show up in spite of my anxiety and nervousness. Job hunting can be a frustrating experience, and I fully understand that firsthand. Nevertheless, I shifted my focus to the positive things that I observed that day. For instance, I noticed that I was able to converse comfortably with unfamiliar people without getting shy or stuttering. I quickly felt at ease interacting with them, to the point that several people in the room assumed we had known each other for a long time. This was a personal achievement for me, considering I have social anxiety. It clearly indicates progress. I'm headed in the right direction.
Furthermore, why should I imprison myself with the thought of failure when I already know I didn't make it? I will just make it worse. The only thing I can do now is move on, improve, and try again. I can still go back after 90 days, isn’t it? So why would I drain my energy staying on the negative side?
I'm grateful that the interviewer pointed out my weaknesses and areas for improvement. Now I know what to focus on, so the next time I return, I'll be better prepared.
At the end of the day, I went to my home still grateful for the experience. I am able to share my reflection with my mother and my lover who's waiting for my update. They told me that’s it okay. I thanked them for their support. I guess, it is what it is :)).