This week’s blog post is a bit more of a rant rather than a post about politics, I hope that it is not too all over the place and that you get what I mean. You see, I am weird and my procrastination while studying includes looking at houses and apartments in cities I am unlikely to end up in, masters and PhD programmes I might be interested in in the future and recently I started looking at jobs that I might want to do at some point. Looking at the jobs has simply made me angry and confused tbh, because anything I’d like to do seems at this point really hard for me to achieve.
A lot of people seem to joke about jobs requiring about 20 years of experiences for an entry level jobs, but sadly that is not too far off. And this makes me wonder by what age I will be able to have a job I like, that pays an okay wage and with wanting a family and so on there is the question of when and if all of that will be possible for people in our generation.
So let’s take me as an example. I am currently 21 years old, almost 22. I started school at 5 years turning 6 about 1 1/2 months into the school year, which for German schools is quite young. I didn’t repeat any years and graduated at 18. I took a gap year during which I turned 19, basically to take the IELTS test (which is evaluating your English skills) and to have time to apply to universities in Scotland as I was not familiar with the system and I wanted to do it properly. I turned 20 the day I started uni, which is considered, at least in the UK, relatively old to start university. In Scotland a BA Hons takes 4 years, which means I’ll be 23 turning 24 the year I finish, but then I’d really like to do a masters because it is supposed to enhance your chances of getting a job and probably would but ease on my parents mind, as they are worried enough about me studying ‘soft sciences’. Finishing that I will enter the job market at 25 with basically no work experience in a related field.
Yes, you are supposed to do internships during the summers, but without connections this is incredibly hard. I looked at many internships online in the field of politics and many companies or in governmental organisations and NGOs that I was interested in, they either didn’t offer any internships, offered some but only if they were prescribed by the degree you were doing, some that were at least 6 months long, but most of them were only directed at people who were finished with their Bachelor degree. This was me checking in Scotland, London and Germany. Under conditions like these how are we supposed to get work experience? Also most internships are unpaid so I kind of have to find something in proximity to where I live because I can simply not afford to pay rent and living expenses during the summer and then have to choose between a paying job that will make my life at uni more relaxed and better or something that may enhance my job chances.
When I am 25 and have just finished uni I will be lucky enough, if I won’t have to take out a loan to finance it and sadly I would probably still struggle to afford going into an unpaid internship for a year simply to get work experience after I graduate, but honestly most jobs that I looked at required at least 2-3 years of work experience in a related field and I am unsure of how I will be able to attain that.
I mean I understand that companies want people who know what they are doing and that have proved to be qualified, but if we never get the chance to prove ourselves how are we supposed to ever get a decent job and the valued and demanded job experience? The amount of people graduating from universities all over the world is increasing steadily, increasing the amounts of people going for similar jobs. My professors at university keep saying that whatever we do should be to stand out in a sea of applicants, but even that becomes increasingly difficult. I always thought that I had done quite well as by the time I will have finished my masters I will have lived 7 years in an English speaking country, I have always been active in sports and through most of the time since I was 16 I have had a part- time job. Being at university and meeting more and more people though I start finding out that those are things that relatively many people have done and now I am simply starting to wonder where our generation is supposed to get all the work experience and at the same time be completely outstanding through extracurricular activities. I mean I am sure that we will all be fine and we will figure something out, but there needs to be a change in the system and we will need companies that take the risk of giving us chances to prove ourselves.
Lots of Love,