So, it is done. The thesis is written, all grades are received, and you are waiting for the diploma to arrive. Summer holidays were the reward after six months of hard work, and suddenly you find yourself back to Sweden with no employment, no plans and no more studies to hang on to. Your brain goes chaotic and you only think about the buzzwords: “job”, “employment, “further studies”, “PhD”…
Well, you settle for searching a job. Your prospects do not look that positive at the beginning. One has to go through numerous stages of employment fairs, chats with friends and acquaintances, reading newspapers and writing CV’s. Your only dream at this stage is to receive a phone call with the interlocutor saying: “Dear M., we read your application and we would like you to come for an interview”.
Days feel like eternity, you lose hope, can’t sleep anymore, and lose weight. Your room feels like a prison sometimes. You desperately try to find something else to do, and then you check the calendar and realize that it has only been one week since you have started the search. A sigh of relief… and an idea: well it is not that bad yet!
You become one of the persons who is present on all social media, start your LinkedIn account, and change your status to: “In desperate search of a job”, underlining twice the word “desperate”.
You contact one of your classmates from the master’s studies period about some employment tips about. Your classmate responds by saying that a UN agency needs interns and there are quite good opportunities to get employed afterwards. You feel excited, you feel invigorated and you feel scared to start this new path. You send your CV, perform a skype interview and 10 days later you are in Italy working in the organization that was your goal four years ago, when you just started studying international relations.
Siting in Rome you finally realize what all those career coaches meant, when they were saying that the most important thing for one’s career is his network. You realize that no one really cares about your deep knowledge of critical theory and post-colonial studies. All what was important for you to get a job was your friendliness and openness to new contacts. You have your “A-ha” moment realizing that your master studies were as much about getting to know other people as learning new skills and competencies. This idea is not original by all means, but it is yours, from your own experience.