This is a first one.
Touchy subject. Shouldn’t I be looking for a job instead of writing this? Maybe. But looking for a job, especially #djob is not an easy task. It’s not like I wasn’t warned. I heard and knew that network was important (or everything) when one wants to get a job, that you need to plan your 2nd move before you are even finished with the first one and that jobs don’t just fall into one’s lap.
Still, I ignored it for some time. I had all kinds of excuses as to why not participate in this system that I often dislike. People getting jobs based on their presentations not merits, with experience as opposed to educated people. I’m talking about the fact that companies expect recent graduates to have 3 years of professional experience. I doubted my decision to study as much as I did. Would it have been better to just face the job market way earlier and see what happens?
I can’t go in the past and I don’t want to. I don’t regret my decision to pursue three unrelated areas as my studies. I did Biology (bachelor’s), marketing (master) and entrepreneurship and innovation (master). Where do they all come together? They don’t. I have been thinking on how to present it in a way that it makes sense for my professional goals and career and I’ve come t o the conclusion that it isn’t that I need them to converge, I just need to explain what each brought to me as a person and future professional.
Biology was probably my toughest years in a foreign country. I left Slovenia for Tours in France to learn French and do a degree I didn’t really plan to. I got to like it but on a lot of occasions, I barely got by. When I took it completely seriously, I excelled, other times not so much. It was hard to be on my on and for six months I was sure I would never make friends or fit in.
I did. I had one of my best times during my Bachelor years and got to do an exchange in Valencia, Spain. Another amazing year of my existence. I improved my castellano and realised I could understand valenciano too (it seems to me as a cross over of French, Italian and Spanish). Valencia remains my favourite city in the world.
Being abroad was still difficult and so after finishing my Bachelor’s I went back home to pursue a master in marketing. I noticed that in biology, we were never taught how to get a job, how to market your knowledge, nothing of the sort. Yet the knowledge we were acquiring was amazing. I loved biology and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Molecular biology, microbiology, my favourites. I still believe one day I’ll go back to them and do really cool things.
My marketing years passed well. Thanks to the Bologna system, I was able to enter directly to the master’s level and as such, biology was put on hold. I looked at opportunities of master’s in the domain but realised that it was not worth it. I passed some extra exams and got through the two years relatively well. I was able to do another erasmus exchange, this time to Lyon, France. I was eyeing the school EMLYON there because two years prior, in Valencia, I found this amazing global program that they had and I thought to myself, what a better way than to try it out beforehand to see whether I would like it.
I was disappointed. The school’s image is amazing but the final result, so-so. I am also blaming myself, I was not always easy to integrate and try to fit in but there were some classes where I felt completely shut out, even though I am fluent in French. Groups were probably formed before my arrival (second semester) and people did not seem very open-minded. I did not meet all people, of course, but my main moments (and great moments of joy) were spent with other foreigners and exchange students who probably felt as alone as me so they were willing to meet up and risk new things.
Thus far, meeting people became an easier task for me yet one thing came up over and over again. People come and then they leave, myself included. I met incredible people from Mexico, Germany, China, Saudi Arabia, all over the world but as much as it was great to spend time with them, it is also easy to lose contact.
In this sense, I really appreciate facebook as the registry of all great people I’ve ever met.
This post is about being unemployed, right? So why do I keep talking about my school years not professional experiences of the past? There are two reasons; one, these experiences are somewhat limited and two, they are not as connected to my objectives today as it would have been practical.
But I must put my education forward, because it has taught me so much. I’ve been abroad for the most part of the last 8 years and I’ve moved around quite a bit. I have an ease with making friends and in general, I like spending time with people. I can be independent and I am working on being stronger and more balanced every day. Maybe I’m not perfect and there are times when it’s really hard to accept that but that doesn’t mean I’m worthless.
So when I think about getting a job, I believe I can.
I will get a job and I will learn how to deal with everything that comes with it.
The good parts of being unemployed are:
- the option to get to know myself better (writing about my past experiences and reflect on them probably fits right in)
- all the time that I can organise as I see fit
- the ability to construct my own system of working and living
- the time to be extremely flexible about when to go to the gym (yes, I can be lazy in the morning and then in the evening recuperate enough to get going) – because going to the gym is important to me
- learning new skills – I have a lot planned up here from coding, SEO, networking, Google certifications, doing this blog and understanding wordpress, keeping consistent with writing here and therefore improving my writing skills,..
And so on and so on.
So today, I like being unemployed. I can’t promise anything for tomorrow.