The COVID-19 pandemic proved that it's not just a global health concern. Its effects are also felt in different fields and industries. Businesses are closing down, individuals are losing jobs, and economies are failing. Career-wise, it's not as easy to set out on your passions as it was before, especially for fresh college graduates who had envisioned their life goals but had to shift priorities at the last minute to adapt to the "new normal."
Three different fresh college graduates opened up about how their their career plans shifted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while they had to make some adjustments, it's not all hopeless. Here are a few things to pick up from their personal stories.
You may not be meant for one thing, but there's something else just as good that's in store for you.
Isabella Padilla, a BA Sociology graduate from UP Diliman, shared that she initially spent a semester in law school before realizing that's not for her. "I thought that being a lawyer was the only way I could help our country the way I wanted to," she says. "But I had a change of heart. I spent (a long and tiring) semester in law school, then realized that it just wasn't for me. I really didn't see myself being isolated and reading 24 hours a day for the next four years of my life. Don't get me wrong though, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world."
Now though, despite the quarantine restrictions and difficult economic situation, Isabela embarks on a new career journey in the finance and banking industry. "I was actually very fortunate to land a job during the ECQ. I currently work as an Operations Analyst in one of the biggest multinational banks in the world," Isabela shares. "Although this is my first job and the circumstances are quite extraordinary, I'd have to say that working from home has been a blast! I get to sleep as much as I can and don't have to go through the hassle of driving to work every day. Another bonus is that I get to spend all my extra time with family."
Sometimes, a little uncertainty could help steer you in a better path. "I really kept my options open to different career paths. I didn't exactly have a first choice but I weighed all my options in terms of career growth and opportunities. I'd say that being in the banking industry has been a privilege since it is deemed an essential business and is not as greatly affected by the pandemic."
Things may have changed, but you can still work on passions, slowly but surely.
Margaux Nonato, a BS Marketing Management from De La Salle University, had already started thinking about her future before graduation. "Actually before the pandemic, I was planning and thinking about where I can apply, also what I can do after graduation because I didn't wanna waste time," Margaux shares. "[When the pandemic happened], everything changed. Because of the situation, some companies started closing down, a lot of people are losing their jobs, which made me think of how I can adjust or even adapt to everything that's happening in terms of my career path."
Despite the change, Margaux kept herself busy with things she enjoys doing. Eventually, it led her to something she could earn money from. "That didn't stop me from being productive and thinking of ways to help myself," she says. "I just kept working out and cooking, trying out new things until I started putting up a small business called @mardough.mnl. Now I've been selling cookies, and so far so good, I've been getting good feedback and its such a blessing in disguise cause I thought I wouldn't be able to actually work and do something due to this pandemic."
Some plans won't push through now, but that doesn't mean we can't make them happen in the future.
Victoria Fabella, a Fine Arts graduate from UP Diliman, had one thing she knew for sure-that she didn't want a job that confined her to an office. What she hoped for was to try many things related to her field and passion. "A few months ago I didn't have specific plans on what I was gonna do after college graduation," she says. "I mean of course I had ideas in mind about what field I wanted to be in, what I wanted to do... but I didn't really know where to start. And since I've always wanted to enter the visual arts scene, and to act in films (it's also a dream of mine to become an actress), my plans were to join group exhibits, sell paintings, audition for films, and start an online clothing business. But what scared me then is that I wasn't sure how it was going to work out since I knew na I didn't want an office job naman."
Now that she's just at home, though, Victoria had some time to really think about her future plans, especially because the threat of the pandemic is still fresh. She might not be able to pursue everything on her list at the moment and might have to compromise a bit. "This quarantine actually gave me—aside from anxiety :(—more time to think and plan for my life after college. I also realized na with this new normal, I might have to look for a job (at least for now) to save up for a business and future projects."
While reality right now may be different from what she envisioned before, she's hopeful that she'll get to set out on fulfilling her passions and life goals again in the future. "Right now, my blockmate and I are about to launch an online store. I also had time to work on my commissions and personal projects to add to my portfolio. Nothing much changed with my plans. They're just delayed (I hope)."