'No one owes you anything' and other reminders for millennials

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2017 05:49 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2017 10:47 AM

Jonathan Joson of Google Philippines talks about lessons in career management to a crowd of students at the TFCU Talk at the Dolphy Theater. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Jonathan Joson has always been an achiever in school, surpassing most of his peers when it comes to academics. He has since gone a long way, and is now an industry manager at Google Philippines.

But during his speech at the TFCU Talks, a project organized by ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel, Joson stressed that having good grades does not guarantee a successful career.

“No one owes you anything,” he told a predominantly young audience during the talk held Monday at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater. “You are there to make value, you are there to create something useful.”

“It doesn’t matter how good you think you are. It’s how you create value for other people, whether it’s a company or the country or the world,” he added. “You are there to create things, you are there to make things better. And that’s how you progress in any career you choose.”

Joson said finding one’s place in the industry is never easy. The digital media professional encouraged millennials to have a mentor, preferably at the early stages of their career.

“You have to find a mentor, a boss, an investor, a venture capitalist or even your parents, someone who will teach you what you need to know. Why is having a mentor important? It’s because early on in your career, you probably won’t know what you want to be. A mentor will be able to see you for what you are and what your potential is, and guide you there,” he explained.

To millennials who are too obsessed with their image and are too careful when making career decisions, Joson had this to say: “Don’t think about money, fame or the prestige of what you’re doing at the start. Instead, think of what you’ll learn.”

“If you make mistakes, it probably won’t matter five years from now. You are young, you are meant to make mistakes. It’s when in your 20s when you’re supposed to find out what you want to do, what your passions are, what you don’t like to do, the people you want to work with and what kind of people you should avoid,” he said.

While he thinks it may not be for everyone, Joson also suggested measuring things against a goal, so millennials will know if they are improving or not. 

What Joson stressed, however, is “taking control of one’s own narrative” regardless of the direction he or she has chosen to take.

“The worst thing you can do is meander along aimlessly. You always have to move forward, make progress, learn to pivot and eventually learn how to make your exit,” he said. “Exit doesn’t always mean leaving your job – it could be the next stage, it could be asking for more responsibility, or setting up your own business.”

“Whether you work for a big company, a small company or yourself, in the end, no one can make you happy but yourself,” he ended.