I had a good salary, but no excitement, I had a good diploma, but no exciting experiences, I had myself but I was about to lose myself, for taking a job out of fear and not out of passion.
It took me a year to realise that my path is not to the average path of an average business graduate. Right after graduation, I was really lucky to get the interview, and started working as a trade manager, it was a good start for someone who has just started his career. But as time goes by, I felt that something was missing, working continuously all day on something that I was not passionate about, I was not driven by any internal choice, I was driven by the status, the comfort, I was doing what I am supposed to, not what I truly wanted to do. I was unhappy and had to reflect on my own situation to find my real purpose in life.
After deep thought, I discovered that the security of a decent job in my local city, was threatening my youth and liveliness, I had more energy to give, plans to achieve, and insights to explore. My ambition was chocked out on such environment, which led me to ask so many questions. I started looking for the right answers, reflecting my own existence and purpose in life. I randomly found a quote that summed up everything:
Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.
We often celebrate graduation to appreciate those long night of study, the sacrifices and the success we feel when holding that piece of paper, that famous diploma. It is like we crossed that winning line, we have made it to the top, we reached that final destination. We won, no need to worry about tomorrow because it only takes that famous diploma to get that stable job in the market, that good salary, get married and settle down. That was the case of so many of my colleagues, who took a decent job and chose to settle down right after their graduation ceremony.
It was all different for me, the day I graduated, I had a mixed feelings of excitement, fear and confusion. Mainly because I was aware that it was the start of something new, something big. As in fact, and starting from tomorrow, I will have to work on my life diploma, a much more challenging destination. During the school of life journey, you get to control how many years you’d like to study before graduating, results will be based on how much skills, experiences, and languages you’ve built, they will be mainly related to the environment you have chosen to grow in, the mentors you’ve been looking up to, and the quality of motivation, research and self-development you are willing to develop during your learning process.
Today, I chose AIESEC as a way to find my path, because jobs only fill your pocket, but only experiences fill your soul. Today I chose volunteering on a country I barely speak its language, over the luxury, my stable job once gave me. Today, I recognise how valuable it is to be in a challenging environment, making you feel alive, young and open to an endless amount of possibilities. Today I chose to be happy, by taking responsibility on my actions, and chasing the unknown, my true destiny.
From a girl on the other side of the planet.
To have something to do, something to fill your time with, its important. What you do defines the quality of your life and the purpose of your existence. Those who have passed through a period with nothing to do, maybe right after graduating from high school or college, understand what it feels like. However, it looks like the way we should spend our time is already designed, you are born and learn to do everything in your first five years, then you go to preschool sometime between the age of 3 and 5 years old. (In my case it was 1 year and a half because I was crying every time my sister went to KinderGarten) Then, you go to primary and high school and generally you graduate at 17. Then if you are lucky you will start university immediately; you will have four or five years knowing what to do and then you will be out to the real world. After 22 years of having learned and study you are supposed to start producing and making an income. The problem comes when you realize that after all those years studying and all the hard work, what you chose is not needed in the market.
That is the process I once thought everyone went through but it doesn’t always happen in this way. The process varies depending on the country, the culture, the economic class. Those factors generally define the number of opportunities a person receives to be able to have a professional career. All over the world there’s a trend in which finding a job is not easy, it is at that point that we should look at the situation from a global perspective because even if it has different reasons depending on the country, it is a worldwide situation.
Global employment should allow every worker in the world to have the minimum conditions to perform a job with dignity. Half of the workers worldwide lack access to basic necessities and decent work. When we think about global employment we need to realize that is not only about reducing unemployment rates but about having people with fair labour conditions.
Even though we live in a globalised world there are still many barriers for half population when they are looking to move on to another country. There are plenty of people who are forced to leave their home country due to lack of opportunities but for some of them getting the permission to go and work in another country is not always possible. There are still many inequalities, while a German citizen can access up to 177 countries without a visa, a person from Afghanistan can visit only 25 without visa. This fact limits international job opportunities as most companies prefer people who don’t need any permission to enter a country as it saves time and money.
What can we, young people, do after we realize that after 23 years of preparation we still “lack” something to be a good profile for the job market? What can we do to avoid this situation? What can governments, institutions or companies do? What can be done to provide all those graduates a good opportunity at home or somewhere else? Well, plenty of things can contribute to solving these issues. One of my favorites is the Global Talent program of AIESEC, which allows young people the access to international opportunities, so they can develop their careers and at the same time themselves.
Find out more about it under aiesec.org and enhance your chances of employability and if you are a company to enhance youth’s chances of employability.
There are 71 million unemployed young people all around the world. One reason behind this can be the lack of critical skills needed for a job.
Everyone already knows that having a degree is not enough, not even a master – sometimes what can increase between the two is the amount of frustration one feels when despite having studied more than 5 years you can’t get a job, or at least not the job that explodes one’s abilities and qualifications. The education system is outdated and incomplete as well as the skills that are developing in students, as these skills are not what the labor market needs. The result is unprepared and unexperienced young people with skills that they can not apply. One of the solution for this issue would be to change the education model and invest on the skills that the market is looking for, but that won’t happen tomorrow or in the next 6 months.
Other short-term solutions can include young people actually taking the initiative and acquiring skills proved to be needed as Cognitive Skills (sustained attention, information processing and multiple simultaneous attention), Soft or applied Skills (Teamwork, Decision Making, Networking, and Critical Thinking) Foreign Languages and above all the willingness to move across different occupations and also across the world during a work life. As Marieke Vandeweyer stated once we need to keep in mind that thanks to the globalized world we live in “some jobs are disappearing, new jobs are emerging, and the content of remaining jobs is changing” That is why youth today needs to be more adaptable than ever and invest continuously in their skills development.
But how can we develop some of these skills? Here is an example, Sustained Attention is one skill we are losing because of the continuous use of Social Media and should be taken care of because it is a rare ability nowadays and highly valued by the market. Scientists have found that students who engaged in physical activity in an attention test performed better than those who didn’t. , memorize things, read long content slowly and practice attentive listening, all those things will help your brain to focus longer and be more productive.
Going back to our situation, it’s not the time to settle with only formal education, it will not work. Youth needs to find its own potential and discover the tools to exploit it, if not we will find young unhappy people just working because they need to sustain themselves but no because they enjoy doing their work, but as we have heard changing our reality is in our hands and no one will do it for us.
One way of acquiring those skills can be by doing internships abroad, and AIESEC offers exactly this. You can find more info about it under www.aiesec.org and you can enhance your employability by applying to one of our professional internships!