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"Mam, I don't know the answers to the questions. May I be allowed to leave the examination area? "
I was talking softly to the proctor during the job examination because I felt so embarassed to be there knowing nothing. This was probably one of the most absurd act I did while applying for a job. To let the proctor know that I don't know the answer. But on the other hand, this somewhat unwise decision had helped me land the job I was applying for. This happened 10 years ago.
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I just can't explain what had happened to me that time. I submitted an application in the cooperative owned by the employees of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in our region and all the applicants were called for an examination. When I opened the questionnaire, I already thought that probably the job was not for me because I really don't have an idea on how to answer the questions. I raise my hand to call the attention of the proctor. My purpose was to ask permission to leave the area because I know that I couldn't answer the questions. But she didn't allow me to leave. Instead, she told me to answer to the best of my knowledge. So that was what I did.
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I was not expecting anything when I left the place. I already accepted that I am not the right person for the post.
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To my surprise, I received a text message on the following day informing me to submit myself for an interview on the afternoon of the same day. Hesitant and confused, but I still went to the office where the interview will be conducted.
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I found the same applicants I was with during the previous day's examination. While waiting for the interviewer, I had some time to talk with the fellow applicants. I discovered that some of them are already working in an accounting department of other offices. "They were the perfect people for the job", I thought to myself.
I was losing all the hope. How foolish am I to still come for an interview when in fact I know I don't have the chance of getting the job?
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One by one the applicants were called to enter the room where the interview is being conducted. After the interview, the applicants will not pass the same place so I have no chance to ask questions. After waiting for some time, my name was called. I enter the room and found out that it was a panel interview. There were around 10 people in the room waiting for the applicants.
For some reason, I didn't feel nervous at that time. Probably because the people in front of me were so welcoming and they really make me feel comfortable. The Chairman of the Board of Directors who have done most of the questioning was very amiable and asked mostly personal questions. The members were also very friendly and it makes me feel relaxed and forget about my fears and worries.
The interview ended well and they wish me good luck. I left the place with a light heart although I know that the possibilities of getting hired for the post were far from reality.
I went home and I was greeted by my daughter who was 8 years old at that time. We just transferred to this place and in fact, I haven't unpacked our things yet. The notice for that examination came in through a text message while we were unloading the things yesterday. I submitted the application 6 months ago when we were still at our previous home.
I continue unpacking our things and decided to forget about the application. I have several applications submitted to different offices and I was planning to continue to search for a new job in this place.
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At around 4:00 PM of that very day, I received a message which made me jump out of joy, "Upon due deliberation of the Board of Directors, it has been agreed upon that you are one of the two who was chosen to become part of the cooperative. Congratulations! Please come tomorrow for an orientation."
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I was so happy that day because I wasn't expecting to get the job. Actually, I was still confused because I know I hadn't passed the examination. But what is important is that I am already hired and I need to report for an orientation on the following day. I told my husband about the good news when he came home from work in the evening. I also told him that I am being required to report for an orientation on the following day.
The Orientation Day
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I was greeted by the Chairman and other staff when I reached the place. They gave me instructions and the documents that I need to submit. I was not expecting that this will be my first day of work. I thought they will still give me time to secure the documents such as clearances but that didn't happen.
I started that day and the funny thing, I haven't done organizing our things yet which are still inside the luggage. Nevertheless, I am so happy to start my work with the cooperative.
The Truth Revealed
Of course, I really couldn't forget about what happened during the examination day. The proctor, a DILG officer who was at the same time a member of the Board of Director of the cooperative became a close friend and she is like an older sister to me. One day, when we were alone at the office, I had a chance to ask her what made her chose me.
"It was a decision from the Board of Directors, " according to her. "Having a knowledge of the work is a thing to be considered but we believed that character as the biggest factor. You have shown a great act of honesty by telling me that you don't know the answer. The work and tasks can be learned, but honesty is a given quality that a few people possess."
It was a very heartwarming statement. I told her that I will do my best to do what is expected of me.
I have been with the cooperative for three years as a staff. But now, I am already a member of the cooperative because I am already with the DILG.
Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.
by: Mary Kay Ash
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Written for Bitlanders
by: Sharon Lopez
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Sharon Lopez is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Banking and Finance and currently working in the government handling programs on Business Friendly and Competitive LGUs.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are that of the author and does not in any way represent the agency or department she currently belongs.