The Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) in collaboration with the Professionals Uplifting the Neighborhood of Los Baños Alliance (PUNLA), a people’s organization based in Los Banos, held a hybrid webinar on career advancement on 13 December 2022 at UPOU-AVR, Los Baños, Laguna. A total of 116 new UPOU graduates, students, UPOU staff, and UPOU partners registered for the said webinar.  

In this two-hour session, participants have learned essential skills in building their confidence, identifying the difference between resume and curriculum vitae, being aware of the current trends in the BPO industry, and finding the best career opportunities in various fields. Ms. Erma Tidon and Ms. Pinky Halos, PUNLA’s representatives, shared their respective expertise on how to successfully break through barriers and smooth the way to career growth and expansion. Ms. Tidon started the discussion by giving the participants affirmations that would boost their self-esteem in finding their true purpose in life. She showed that landing in a job that pays well and allows a person to thrive in a competitive environment will likely increase the chances for an employee to deliver and perform better. However, it is still as important as getting the job to take care of one’s mental health and well-being. 

Ms. Halos, gave some advice and enabled the participants to imagine the unlimited possibilities of securing an interview through a well-written resume or curriculum vitae. This is the first step towards ending a long journey of getting rejected by employers, especially multinational companies that have technology-driven scanners of thousands of resumes and curriculum vitae that automatically checks if an applicant includes specific ‘keywords’ that they are looking for. 

Ms. Halos and Ms. Tidon assured the participants that there are a lot of ways to prepare for an interview. Both of the speakers emphasized the importance of conducting webinars on career advancement. As the market evolves, employers and employees must also adapt to these changes. Hence, in order to ace an interview, being an applicant entails preparation and endless practice, and even ‘overlearn’ the necessary steps toward achieving success in applying for a position or job. 

The third speaker, Ms. Agot Reyes, a recruitment specialist from Accenture, shared an overview of their company and its wide range of corporate services (technology, operations, corporate functions, and strategy and consulting). She also discussed her presentation on the toolkits for a winning career, where she elaborated on the top ten skills for 2022 from the Future of Jobs Survey conducted in 2018 by the World Economic Forum. 

The surveyed top ten skills are as follows:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Creativity, originality and init
  4. Technology design and programming
  5. Critical thinking and analysis
  6. Complex problem solving
  7. Leadership and social influence
  8. Emotional intelligence
  9. Reasoning, problem solving and ideation
  10. Systems analysis and evaluation

The last speaker, Mr. Arnald Pagulayan, a 17-year IT-BPM professional from Concentrix, talked on the subsectors of information technology and business process management, or IT-BPM, based on the 2028 IT-BPM Roadmap, which aimed to provide millions of jobs to Filipinos. The following are the subsectors of IT-BPM: IT and software services, animation, contact centers, health information management, game development, and global in-house centers. 

He also shared Concentrix Philippines’ observations on hiring trends and opportunities, as well as the increase in customer care demand during the pandemic from 2020 to 2022. Additionally,  he discussed the minimum hiring requirements, current priority skills and domain areas, especially in customer care, which can be classified as soft skills, IT and software skills, and industry-specific requirements. Mr. Pagulayan also emphasized on the importance of knowing the basic tasks of a customer care representative synch as being able to do the following: 

  1. resolve customer care within the time period;
  2. recommend or sell products or services suited to customer’s actual or potential needs;
  3. document call or chat details within a prescribed interaction time; 
  4. adhere to client quality guidelines.

During the open forum, the speakers entertained questions from the live audience and via Zoom on personal strengths, interests, and choosing the right career path. The event was streamed live via Zoom, UPOU Networks, the UPOU Networks Facebook Page, and YouTube from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The recorded live event is accessible via the UPOU Networks webpage (networks.upou.edu.ph/opentalk) and the UPOU Networks Facebook page (facebook.com/UPOpenUniversityNetworks).

Written by: Janelle Ebron and Camille Hemedes • Edited by: Dr. Joane V. Serrano

February 2023
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