Job Opportunities: An Unlocked Door, Not an Open One

A few days ago, I read with interest a mother complaining in the Borneo Bulletin about how the Government is not giving her daughter a job. Apparently she has graduated from her Degree (with honours) 2 years ago, then immediately applied for a job in the Government but unfortunately is now still unemployed. She laments that her daughter is unable to apply for a job elsewhere because of the bond she has with the Government (due to the fact that she did her degree under a generous Government scholarship).

The next few days, I was in the Hospital accompanying my friend and as I was sitting in the waiting area, I overheard another conversation about finding a job. This lady, around her early 20s, fresh off University, was complaining how long she’s been unemployed (apparently more than a year already). Her friend sympathised of course, and then asked whether she has applied for a job anywhere, to which she replied that she has, “banyak sudah borang ku hantar ke SPA”. The friend then went, “inda kau apply arah private sector sementara menunggu?”

She won’t. As the private sector works on Friday.

Really?

I’d rather work on Friday, rather than not work for a year. Similarly, I am not the kind of person to wait for jobs to come back to me. I would do part time jobs with menial pay with what little talents I have and spend my money travelling while waiting for that one perfect job I covet.

I don’t know about you but I feel that it’s fairly easy to get a job in Brunei. Most employers are only too happy to give qualified people jobs really.

Having said that, I don’t mean the job is handed on to you on a silver platter. You need to actually work hard to find that job. But once you do, offers will come lining up to your front door.

So here I am passing down tips. I don’t think they’re secrets. If you had concentrated in your English classes you’d probably already know this. But well, most people don’t. A big chunk of the work lies in the following two documents, comprising of 2 A4 sized papers.

  • An awesome awesome awesome Cover Letter to show how awesome you are. Really!
  • The most amazing amazing Resume ever.

It’s basically all the best things about yourself, on two pieces of A4 paper.

I know many people overkill their resumes by putting as much information as possible and then end up with like 4 pages of their achievements. But actually you need to know one important thing about your reader: THEY DO NOT HAVE ALL DAY! Most of the time, they would only read the first page.

Be selective about what you put in and keep it to ONE page only. If you are applying for a administrative job, highlight your organizational skills, your teamwork aptitude and your high stress threshold. Similarly, if you’re applying to become a marketing officer, you’d need to highlight your creative side, your fresh ideas, and your attention to details.

Work your best to perfect the above documents. Show that you are an all rounder. And then, during the interview, DON’T MESS UP!!!

Another thing is, please don’t be a dumb ass and apply to only one freaking agency! Apply to as many as you possibly can! Be mindful of the classified section in the newspaper and keep a look out for job vacancies.

Another important thing is don’t be stuck up. Be open to new experiences! Learn new things about yourself. And most importantly, don’t be picky with jobs! One of my bestfriends was a candy girl before working for Shell and had an amazing time of her life. Another worked as a waiter in Nyonya, and now he is in a job where he can afford a Lexus. One friend once worked with a construction company tiling up walls (he has an engineering degree), and learnt Thai from his co-workers, but he recently renovated his home’s washroom and saved a lot of money tiling it himself!

Well, I’m just saying that it’s ok to work somewhere where you are totally overqualified for, and get paid peanuts. But it will make u a better person cause you’d always learn to be patient and when you eventually get to that job you covet for, you will know to treat your subordinates well.

Anyway, yes. Be open to new experiences! And if you’re waiting to be employed, good luck!

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19 Comments

  1. LIKE LIKE LIKE!
    For my entire life *touchwood first*, I have not been unemployed for more than a month. I worked in a workshop before (and I can make car plates in just 10 mins – the old one), waitress-ing in the old Tafu Batu Bersurat, stood from 10am to 11pm during those IT exhibition hoping to make more sales. Secret-shopping for a bank, knock house-to-house doing surveys!

    I didn’t think it was hard work, it’s fun and i’m more than happy to fill my life with different weird/exciting/kanasai experiences.

    People (with qualifications) who complained about unemployment should come and read this post!

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  2. I totally agree with this post..just want to share my experience..after came back from uk with a first class honours degree,i got myself a job as a salesgirl selling seashell accessories for a daily pay of $10/day..then switch job as a clerk in a piling company..got an offer from another engineering consultant and worked there for 3 yrs..and all the while since i graduated, i was teaching in tuition classes at night..

    Opportunities are abundant in brunei and its up to us to grab them..other than their uber-laziness,what else is the reason they didnt get a job..i salute to all young bruneians who tried several odd jobs before getting on track with their career..

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    1. Seashell accessories? That sounds so fun! And yes I agree opportunies are abundant, that’s what I mean, thats why I really don’t understand how people can stay unemployed for years! And I LOVE seeing young Bruneian working in restaurants, salons, as waitresses, receptionists, and all those places. Makes me very proud!

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  3. NAYAHAHAHAHHA I just LOVE this! I was thinking the exact same thing when people were whining about this.. people are just so used to being spoon-fed that even AFTER school – they think they’d miraculously be handed a job in the snap of a finger.. really~?

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  4. This is one of your best posts ever Mau! You have articulated what I’ve been thinking for a very long time. I had many jobs prior to graduating and continued to explore my abilities in various roles and positions both in the public and private sector, paid AND unpaid 🙂 Heck I’ve even tried going it on my own. Some may call me a rolling stone, but you know what? Thats ok. No one can take away the rich life experiences I have gathered thus far. Super-like this post and will super-share it!

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    1. No school or level of education can beat the things you learn in the University of Life!!! Better a rolling stone than a stagnant one in my opinion!

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  5. Oh my god I love this post! Sometimes I wonder why so many graduates are unemployed these days and its funny that they blame the government for that! Yes it’s true that when u get a government scholarship, u are bonded to work for the government once u are done with your studies. But that doesnt mean u have to be unemployed for years just because u cant get a government job! There is nothing wrong with getting a job at a public sector while waiting to get a job at the government sector. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with working at the private sector if you cant get a job at the government sector after filling up and submitting endless SPA forms! To be honest, having worked at a private sector before, I personally feel that working at a private sector is much better in terms of experience and job scope (i hope i cause no offence here), dont u think?

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    1. I totally agree with this.. a lot of people that I’ve observed are more.. “on their toes” with work when they’re working at a private sector than a government. not that I’m implying anything negative about working at the latter.. but you get very fruitful experiences in the private that can really help mold your character as both an individual and a worker..

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      1. oh yes the cultures in govt and private offices are so different! like in private sector, i can never spend a whole morning in one single meeting. that’s just crazy cause your work will pile up like a madapaka. but it seems that it happens a lot in govt offices! but work wont pile up so much cause other people will also be in the same meeting! haha. it’s just different! anyway i dont know WHY and HOW one can stay unemployed for so long. it’s just crazy. how can they stand not earning money??? even rich people need to earn money surely?

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  6. I agree. There’s simply too many people who chose to be unemployed. Volunteered unemployment is something quite common in Brunei because perhaps they come from families which they really don’t need to work and are still dependent on their parents or other siblings. They would rather Menganggur (am i right?) than settle for part time or temporary jobs.

    The University of Life offers one of the best life long learning experiences. Those who tried and worked different jobs before had earned many valuable lessons/.

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    1. It’s TOO common if u ask me and it shouldn’t be! Gosh u can do so much to earn money really. There’s really no excuse wah. All they need to do is be resourceful, but then again, volunteers of unemployment would not have resourcefulness as a quality cause they depend on other people. Hmmph!

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  7. Yang membari kecewa jua is the attitude of some parents who actually forbid their kids to take up these so called lowly jobs cos its an embarrassment for them. That’s just plain selfish to me cos they’re not doing these kids any favours by keeping them at home.

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  8. Sometimes you have to look through the eyes of Job seekers. There are different types of Job seekers. From the post, you only talking about the graduates who lives in the town who can afford iphones etc. Let’s talk about the people who lives in rural area. I’ve been doing research on Job seekers. it has been increasing throughout the years. I’m sorry if my comments are against you but this is the truth. Thank you.

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    1. Well I am not talking about them kan? I am saying that kalau graduates ani kira cukup anggota dan qualifications to apply for so many jobs tapi they choose to be unemployed because they find themselves “overqualified”.

      I am a jobseeker myself once. Went through many jobs even. Dont need an iphone to apply for one if i recall. As far as i am concerned, the world of job searching its a pretty level playing field.

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