[ Note : it’s been slow days and even slower nights for Bunso, whose sleepy eyes above are indicative of what for him must be an interminable wait to find a job. With his permission, I’m posting below a letter I wrote him, hopefully to cheer him up. Write to him some encouragement if you’ve some time as well, will you? Thanks in advance and thanks for reading! ]
Dear Bunso :
YOU MUST have been on the front row when God was handing out smarts and wit because hands down, you’re one of the smartest kids I’ve ever encountered, among a group that includes your siblings, your contemporaries and many children I know. You’re not the Mensa polymath type, but ever since you learned to string two coherent thoughts together, your head has been chockfull not just of facts and figures but of ideas bursting out of their megawatt bulbs just waiting for you to explain them to the rest of us.
It takes a lot to get you bored, as you can always get lost in your own world while deeply immersed in the many books you read. I swell with pride to say this, but you are at ease with the spoken as well as the written word, a facility that is as rare as it is special.
Unfortunately, not all the intellect, articulateness and value-addedness of a young migrant like you will be an assurance of being hired despite all the verve, earnestness and energy you’ve put into your job search.
You’ve tried every approach : distributed your CV, knocked on cold doors, tried all the want ads looking for qualifed hopefuls in any industry that seeks entry-level people who make up for their green horns with the zest to learn and the dedication to go the extra mile. So far you’ve not reaped results, but the day is young.
I probably won’t gain any additional respect by telling you, but it took me an excruciatingly long time to find a job in New Zealand, after my first job overseas fell to pieces in the recession. Just to keep body and soul together, I became a nameless cipher in the underground economy, earned half the minimum wage from an Asian grocer (he knew I needed the job and made me work for every cent), whispered salamat to a Pinoy video store owner who gave me parttime work, all the while hoping against hope that I would find a real job before my visa ran out.
And I don’t need to remind you that it took Kuya nearly a year, fits of depression, and mind-numbing boredom before he landed his first job. You might also want to take heart with Ganda’s efforts at networking, schmoozing and all-out marketing herself before she got hired. Before too long, you will become a bundy-clock slave too. Savor your idle moments for now.
Job referrals can come from the oddest places, but almost always, coming when you least expect it, a bit of information from a kabayan, being at the right place at the right time, and a nugget of good fortune coming from a prayer, can yet bring you the first job of your life.
It might not mean anything, but introductions and meaningless conversations with people you met from other Pinoys, friends of friends and acquaintances might suddenly open doors, lead to informal interviews that end up in situations that finish with, well would you be interested to work with us? Unlikely, I know, but nothing to lose right?
Meantime, smell the crisp spring air, keep your ear close to the ground, and above all, enjoy yourself. There are worse things than being 17, fit as a fiddle, and cute as you are.
I love you always
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