On Meeting Post-Grad Job Expectations

On Meeting Post-Grad Job Expectations

Holidays are great: You get to see your family and friends, there is always a bunch of food (and wine) and you will, hopefully, find some time to relax. It can’t get any better. But then there are also questions: “How’s school going? You are graduating in September? Have you found a job yet? And still no boyfriend?”

And then there are always your parents. As soon as graduation is in sight, they want you to find a job immediately. Not just any kind of job, no, but one that is directly connected to your major and promises success.

Sigh. People, can’t you just leave me alone? I have trouble finding out what I really want myself, you do not have to keep reminding me that I am still struggling

I mean, I can understand them. Your parents have invested an unbelievable amount of money in your college education. Of course they don’t wish for it to be in vain. But how can they be sure that your field of studies is what you really want to do for the rest of your life? And how can they be sure that you already know what you want? They hardly trust you to handle a glass of wine, so how the heck can they assume you are able to handle a straight-forward career path?

I have no idea but let’s take a look at a different continent.

Europe’s youth is known for its love for traveling. Groundbreaking remark: Wanderlust is not just a hipster tattoo on millions of arms and shoulders but an actual word to describe people’s desire to go to different places and just “wander around the world”. Students take a break from college for a semester to interrail through Europe, become an au-pair in the US, work and travel in Australia. Why finish your degree during the standard period of study? Life will put its chains on you sooner or later anyways. And here is where my struggle begins: I want everything possible and all at the same time: Great degree. Successful work. Money. Time for travels.

Throughout earning my Bachelor’s degree, I have worked for five different departments of a company in three different cities on two different continents. This could really mean that I know what I want to do with the rest of my life and yet deciding on what I want to do for my Master’s cost me not only a couple breakdowns and hour-long discussions with friends but also a bunch of money for coffee. There are just so many options. Work? Study? Both at the same time? But when will I get to travel? Will there ever be another point in time when I will be able to just take some time off?

However, sometimes I feel like I’m a rare species among my friends. They live step-by-step and worry when it’s time.

“What are you doing after your Bachelor’s? Work? Study?”

“Well first I gotta write that thing, no need to think about what’s afterwards.”

And our parents? Some want their kids to work as soon as possible; others prefer them to finish college with at least a Master’s degree; no need to worry about a successful job yet.

But guys, since we all have to work for at least 40 years, why not take some time off after college to travel? Why not pursue another degree because it’s one that really catches our interest? It is not your family that has to be you every day in the future and get up for work. And it will not be your family that complaining about missing that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do a bunch of internships after graduation that will actually look good on your CV. Everything is possible. Just do it. 

[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]

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