Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Advice Squad

One morning I got a text message from Gibbs Cadiz. Two of our blogger-friends, Coy (CokskiBlue) and Joe (JoeBreaker), just recently graduated and Gibbs was planning a surprise blog entry for them. It’s an “Advice for the recent graduates” type of entry, and Gibbs wondered if I could contribute something. I immediately said yes, but asked if I can submit mine in the evening since my workload was pretty toxic that day. End day, I quickly typed my piece and immediately emailed it to Gibbs.

And then I checked out Gibb’s blog.

OMG! Gibbs had already posted an entry for Coy and Joe, featuring a speech delivered by the great Alan Alda. After reading it, I SMS’ed Gibbs: “Are you nuts? Alan Alda’s speech as an opening act? How the hell can we top that?!”

In fairness to Gibbs, he actually asked several of his friends to give their two-cents worth. And I loved the way he collated and put into context the various voices of his friends (not to mention his adroit editing of my piece). So while we may not have topped Alda, at least we gave our own Pinoy take on life after graduation (click here to read part 2 of Gibb’s series). It was generous of Gibbs to come up with those blog entries for Coy, Joe and other fresh graduates. And I enjoyed writing for it as much as I enjoyed reading the entries.

Meanwhile, I’m reposting here what I wrote for Coy and Joe.

* * * * *

TO THE CLASS OF 2008:

I’m no Baz Luhrmann, so pardon the crude facsimile.

To those entering the workforce, if there’s one advice I can offer you, it is this: Moisturize.

Make lots of mistakes when you’re young. You can still make mistakes when you’re older, but they’ll be more costly. But always make sure you learn from your mistakes.

Scratch your itches—as much as you can, as early as possible. When responsibilities are fewer and your movements freer, go and pursue as many different pursuits that interest you. If you have a lot, start earlier. If you’ve zoomed in on just several or a few, then you’ll have your whole life to pursue them longer. Or you’ll have the time and energy to discover new pursuits.

While you still have no idea of your monetary worth, choose that which interests you rather than what pays you more. When you’re older and you need the money more, then you will have the right to price yourself.

Learn to allot some me-time for yourself during the day. You can spend part of lunchtime reading a book, or taking a walk, or eating your lunch in the park. 15 to 20 minutes is enough—you’re not yet entitled to hour-long lunches.

Prove yourself always. Employers will only value you if you value yourself and you value your work. Prove to yourself what you are capable of; and then you prove to others that they need you.

No one is indispensable. That’s why proving oneself is a lifelong task, even if only to yourself.

Never ask anyone how much his salary is, and never tell anyone how much you’re getting. (Although starting salaries are usually standard, when a fellow new hire asks you how much you’re getting, just say, “Starting salary.”)

Have fun. The job will take up most of your waking hours. If you’re not having fun, then where’s the fun in that?

This too shall pass. There are good days; there are bad days. There will be days when you’re crowned king of the world. Be humble; this too shall pass. There will be days when you just want the earth to open up and swallow you whole. Chin up; this too shall pass.

Never stop learning.

Learn how to shrug your shoulders. At the end of the day, it’s just a job. There are more important things in life; they’re the ones you leave behind in the morning and go home to at night during weekdays (and some weekends). Unless you join a call center and they put you in the graveyard shift. In either case—day job or night shift—the ravages of age will take its toll on your skin. So always moisturize.

* * * * *

Inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”

7 comments:

joelmcvie said...

To JHER: Sorry but I cannot edit portions of your comment; I can only "publish" or "reject" your comment. (Well, actually I can but it's such a tedious task, so....)

Thanks for the compliment. As for the rest of your queries, why don't you just email me?

R-yo said...

I have read Gibbs' post. What can I say. You guys are brilliant. You must be guidance counsellors in your past lives. Seriously. :-)

dyakks said...

bonggang bongga joel mcvie! in fairness may relevance kahit na hindi ako newly grad..ahahaha

joelmcvie said...

@R-YO & DYAKKS: Thanks, thanks. R-yo, that's the advantage of AGE, hahaha.

gibbs cadiz said...

teh, wala kang kupaz! even the title of this post is brilliant! hehe, thanks for the contrib. :)

fried-neurons said...

pssst... mas maganda speech ni jk rowling at harvard commencement. check mo sa http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html

Joe said...

thanks for the tips Mcvie! Hehe