Thoughts for My People

The potential path

Today is the day many expecting college graduates in my homeland have been anxiously awaiting for – the first day of job interviews held especially for them. I believe this is a hiring process quite unique to us: they are interviewed in mass, given offers in mass, and hired in mass.


It matters much more to be hired anywhere during this mass movement than to wait to be hired where your skills match the job descriptions. As a matter of fact, there are usually no job descriptions posted for the graduates-to-be. They are judged on their “potential” each hiring company separately defines and evaluated on scales the companies separately set.


Personally, I have never understood this system. I was brought up in a society where you obtain skills and knowledge through schooling so that you can be valued for them in the workforce. I would expect myself to be hired for a position that needs to be filled with whatever abilities I have come to possess up to that point. I would be very uncomfortable going into an interview not knowing on what points I will be judged and against what kind of scales I will be evaluated.


I still remember the first interview I went to (it was not during the mass movement, though, because my graduation month was different than that of my homeland). I had armed myself with good skills and knowledge in the field of Education, and had high hopes that I would be hired anywhere within the field. But, they took a quick glance at my CV and told me I was “too skilled to have a potential” with them. Much to my dismay, I did not get the job there, or anywhere else I went thereafter. I was skilled, but jobless – my path ahead came to a sudden end.


Since then, I have taken on jobs in fields I was not skilled but judged to have “potential.” I guess I proved them right, because I became skilled in one of them. And I actually enjoyed the position I held while I had it. I was even able to apply some of the skills I learned to be used in the field of Education.


I am now finding that the new path I had begun to walk down is starting to resemble the path I dreamed to be on. I am seeing some potential in it to take me back to where I once wished to be. So, although it is not the one I expected to take, I still feel I am on the right one. And every day, I become more skilled to pave the way to where I thought I would be.


Maybe today, many paths came to an end for the young job-seekers.

Maybe many of you will not get to walk on the path you dreamed of.

But maybe if you keep walking, it will someday lead you to where you have always wanted to be.


Maybe every path you take is a potential path to the exact place where you belong… and you certainly have the potential to make it so.


Best of luck to all the young job-seekers in my homeland!


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