Tuesday, September 05, 2006

[Essay] The Perfect Job

Ever since I’ve been attending the annual Manila Book Fair when it relocated to the World Trade Center, I’ve been bumping into familiar faces from my alma matter. Two years ago, it was an upperclassman who was working for Scholastica books, trying her best to sell Harry Potter books in bulk. Last year, it was meeting an even higher upperclassman, an officer from the literary org I was involved with, and she was in charge of public relations for the book fair itself. This year, I ran into someone belonging to the same batch as I was. She was working at Powerbooks for barely a week in what seems to me is one of the coolest jobs ever: reading books.

In this world, it is of my personal opinion that there’s no such thing as a "perfect job", but there are certain occupations which suit certain people more than others. Unfortunately, the world being fickle and capricious as it is, few people land the jobs they want, much less the jobs they’re actually optimized for. Take me for an example. I’m sure it’s someone’s dream job to be working in a rock magazine, doing everything from attending gigs, meeting local musicians, and getting free CDs. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I hate listening to the radio, and I haven’t really gone out and bought a music CD in years.

My dream job would be something like my friend’s. Her official position is book buyer. She gets to pick what books the bookstore imports. Of course in order to make such an informed decision, you need to actually read the book before ordering it in en masse. Imagine getting paid to read books? (Even if it at times, it’s books you love to hate.) And you don’t even have to pay for your book purchases. (There’s also this aristocratic power to determine what books the public will be forced to read.)

Of course there are also jobs that seem glamorous on the outside, but just as gritty as any other job in reality. Take modeling or acting for example. Most people think these professionals are having the time of their life, posing all the time and getting paid huge sums of money. Well, in all honesty, it’s not that easy. Aside from looking hard to actually land such opportunities, you have to pose in front of the camera over and over again, all the while retaining the same enthusiasm, even if the forced smile is killing you. Not to mention all the time "wasted" wearing make-up and trying out the clothes the stylist has for you. And at the end of the day, there’s the usual hassle of collecting payments and following up on your fees. Did I mention paperwork and filing of taxes is hell for a self-employed citizen?

Of course I’ve also met some people who are more enterprising than most. Rather than wait for opportunity to knock on their door, they seek them out and grab them by the proverbial horns. Granted, there’s a big risk involved in such budding entrepreneurs, but most things in life come at a steep price.

No comments: