I almost settled, but thank God I hated it! I wish there was a practical experience book that told you that the path from university to the working world was not always clear and straightforward!
For some, the path is clear; go to university and there is a job waiting for them. To start off, there are not so many possibilities in my home country for the moment and I hope that changes soon! Secondly, being in a foreign land means that language is a barrier and when the language to be learnt is German then man oh man things get interesting. Please do not get me wrong, I made a choice to live abroad and I am pleased with that but it has made me aware that sometimes you have to find your way in a not-so-straightforward path! And yes – I am a proud holder of a B2 German Certificate!
Two months before graduation, I scored! I landed a job! It was temporary and it had nothing to do with the Masters degree that I had worked tirelessly towards and had passed with flying colours but it was a job, it meant I could pay my bills! Just after 2 weeks, I had lost all my motivation for this job and I felt so guilty, after searching for an opportunity the way I did. Time went by and each day I felt more and more drained, I felt too weak to search for other options and was always exhausted at the end of the day that I could no longer write out any job applications. Now this is the worst that can happen to you, when you feel yourself accepting a situation that you feel like you have no control over and SETTLING.
Now, one thing that I learnt at an early stage is the power of building a network. While I was in university I constantly sent blind applications to organizations of my interest and shared my profile with them and even though less than half replied me, most with rejections. I always message and ask them to keep my CV for future reference and I say thank you even when the answer is no. I am no expert and I am far from reaching my goals but my network has served me well, there is no application that is as successful as one that comes with a recommendation. My current position, although not long term, is on a topic I absolutely love and a month later I am still motivated and excited to go to work in the morning!! The position did not exist before, but was created for my profile, through a contact in my network! I almost settled for something that I did not like because I feared the unknown but I am glad I didn’t!
My advice to recent graduates like me, who are maybe not sure which direction to go or maybe are sure but just do not see any open doors, create your own doors by building a network. Do not be afraid to message Heads of Departments and high level people because some people got to where they are through the help of other people and would maybe be willing to support you. My experience is, when I get no reply within a few weeks, I message again just as a gentle reminder that I am still interested :).
When you build your network, get a reply to a blind application or when you finally get the job that you wanted, I Hope You Dance, I know I will!