(Metro Manila, Philippines) Abraham Lincoln once said that the best way to predict your future is to create it.

For an 18-year-old Grade 12 student Jaad B. Espiritu, as early as now before entering college, he knew in his heart that gaining an outlook on his career could make a difference for his future.

Set to graduate from Learn & Explore Montessori School (LEMS) in Taguig City next month, Jaad was invited to join a Career Assistance Program (CAP) of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) – Taguig last April 27, 2023.

He’s one of the approximately 60 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand students who have attended the CAP and acquired knowledge about choosing a career path that offers good posterity.

PESO Taguig and DOLE-NCR (MUNTAPARLAS Field Office), together with different schools in the city, have been conducting CAP to provide guidelines about the in-demand industries that students could take based on labor market information (LMI).

The said career seminar would also help senior high school students choose appropriate programs in college or enter entrepreneurship if they wish to create their businesses.

Labor officer Ericka Escalada and PESO-Taguig staff Cedric Paligar were the speakers of the seminar held in Brgy. South Signal Village, Taguig City.

Joining from the series of career training in Taguig, Jaad learned more than what the program aims to promote as he realized how important soft skills are when working, especially in communication.

“Kapag nakikipag-communicate ka, most especially sa trabaho, need mo ‘yun para sa [pakikipag-usap] sa iyong supervisor o ‘di kaya sa humihingi sa iyo ng tulong,” Jaad said in an interview.

Jaad, who benefitted from the said labor office’s program, also made the most of the PESO-Taguig working environment for he had rendered his 80-hour work immersion to the said government agency.

During his internship, the incoming college student shared that he easily learned to get along with the tasks assigned to him, such as assisting the youth to process documents and going house-to-house to distribute maintenance medicines to those in need of them.

Even though he has a positive frame of mind towards career advancement, Jaad is always putting his back on academic goals because of personal battles.

As the youngest child of 5 siblings, he understood at an early age that going to college for his desired program will not be as easy as pie due to his family’s financial difficulties.

He dreamed of becoming an engineer, so he really wanted to take up a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program at his desired school—Technological University of the Philippines (TUP).

Thus, out of vehement eagerness to pursue his dreams, he applied to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) scholarship to help his family in supporting studies and push him to be proactive in his study at the same time.

While he was listening during the Career Advocacy Program of PESO-Taguig and DOLE-NCR MUNTAPARLAS Field Office, he admitted that he’s further enlightened about the realities of handling a job and landing a career as an employee of a company.

Aside from the above-said knowledge, he also gained some insight during the seminar itself for setting the right goals for a career.

“Isa sa mga naitulong sa akin ng [CAP], is yung career guidelines. Siya yung magbubuo ng path mo kung saan ka talaga dapat,” he added.

This career advocacy program can be a little stuff for some students, so they don’t exert much time and emotion onto it.

However, what Jaad learned, a juvenile kind of wisdom he got, could actually help him make impossible things possible in this era of an unpredicted future.

And while waiting for whatever result of his scholarship, Jaad might be certain of the future he will have as he is determined on creating it.

END / Ericka Escalada and Chris Agustin with photos by Roma Jane Bacelonia