Real World Starter Pack

Red Calayan

April 08, 2019

So you’re about to graduate or you’ve just graduated, and you have little to no idea how this whole “adulting” thing works. Maybe you know that you should get a job ASAP, but you wish there were some sort of checklist or guide, or I don’t know, a “real-world starter pack” perhaps . . .

Say no more! Here are five things that can help you prepare as you enter the “real world.”

1) School Documents

As early as you can, request for your transcript of records. Depending on your school, this can take anywhere from three weeks to a month (or maybe forever), so request this ASAP. Also, make sure to have a copy of your diploma, since some companies ask for this.

2) Valid IDs

While your school ID is still valid, use it to apply for as many government IDs as you can! These IDs will come in handy when you apply for a job, and even as you enter a building and go through security. Maximize your “funemployment” to get those IDs while you have free time.

Here’s a list of government IDs that you can get:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Postal ID
  • Voter’s ID
  • TIN Card

Bonus tip! Get an alumni ID. Some universities’ alumni IDs can get you amazing promos and discounts in some establishments.

Also under this category are your ID photos and PSA Birth Certificate. Make sure your ID photos look professional and come in both 1 x 1 and 2 x 2 sizes. Have a soft copy ready as well. Some companies request for certain background colors, so instead of having new ones taken simply edit the soft copy. As for your birth certificate, make sure it’s from PSA and not NSO, since birth certificates from that office aren’t valid anymore.

3) Government Requirements

Here are some government stuff that you should have as a responsible adult.

  • The Social Security System or SSS is a state-run social insurance program. Once you apply, you will have to make monthly contributions of a certain amount. You can claim benefits when you get sick, injured, or pregnant, or reach retirement or the end of your life.
  • Pag-IBIG is also known as the Home Development Mutual Fund. Monthly contributions are also made for this. You can eventually take out loans for housing, education, livelihood, and also in case of emergency and calamity, among other things.
  • PhilHealth is another thing we make monthly contributions to, but this time it’s for healthcare coverage and insurance. PhilHealth helps you pay a portion of your medical bills in case of hospitalization. Some barangay health centers and hospitals also offer free services if you have a PhilHealth card.
  • Okay, the TIN is not something we contribute to monthly to get benefits. But your Tax Identification Number is something you’re going to need for so many things like business, banking, and investing to name a few. Also, if you’re eligible, this is one of the ways you can give back to your country—by paying your taxes!

Some companies, but not all, will do this for you, so it’s best to process these requirements now. Plus it will be a good experience to visit our government agencies.

4) Resume Stuff

Here are the things you need:

  • Resume. You would need a resume when you apply for a specific job or position. So what you put there should match the credentials needed. This should only be one page.
  • CV. This stands for curriculum vitae, not curriculum videt (kidding!!). This is a comprehensive list of your educational background, skills, experiences, trainings attended, achievements, and so on. It may be more than one page.
  • Portfolio. You’ll need this especially if you’re in the field of creatives. Have an easy-to-access website where you can put your work, whether that’s for photography, videography, graphic design, literature, or other artforms. A hard copy that’s nicely laid out is a plus!
  • Recommendation letters from former employers. If you’ve done internships or other jobs, whether part-time or full-time, ask your former employers to write letters of recommendation. Included here are people you worked under even in NGOs and volunteer ministries.
  • A mature and professional sounding email address. It’s time to put sk8trboi_99 and gwapa_ko_uy17 to rest. If your university provided you with an email, you could use that, or go with a standard format. Yup, Gmail comes off as more professional than Yahoo! or hotmail.

For the resume and CV, we have got a few templates that you might want to check out here!

5) Wardrobe Necessities

Lastly, wardrobe. It’s time to say goodbye to your usual hoodie and jeans ensemble! In the corporate world, you’ll need to build an office-ready wardrobe to complete your real-world starter pack:

  • Start with the essentials. Just like in building a house, the essentials provide a good foundation to your corporate wardrobe. Consider having these essentials in your wardrobe: a business jacket, professional tops, slacks or dress pants, skirts for women, and ties for men. Items with timeless styles and neutral tones will help you look sharp and professional. It’s easy to accessorize when you have a solid foundation.
  • Choose professional but comfortable. Consider not just the fit or the fabric, but also how your wardrobe options make you feel. You don’t want to go to an interview feeling distracted with your clothes or not feeling too confident about how you look, do you? Choose professional-looking clothes that also make you feel comfortable and confident.
  • Gear up with proper footwear. Choose footwear that will complement your overall attire. It’s good to have several options. For men, you can start with two pairs of formal-looking shoes—one in brown and one in black. For women, skip the stilettos and get some flats or low heels for now.

All in all, the items in this starter pack will only complement the intangible essentials that you must have: confidence that comes from God, unassailable character, and a firm commitment to give your best to make a positive impact in the world.

See you in the real world!



The Author

Red Calayan

Red Calayan is a full-time LIFE coach at Every Nation Campus Katipunan. He is also a former radio DJ, professional meme creator, sitcom script writer, and drummer (or "drummer emeritus" as his bandmates like to say) of a local band, Munimuni.