Life Style

Education: How to find out where your career should start

It was still fun: Church painter Eva Siegmund at the age of 22.

Eva Siegmund

Eva Siegmund’s story is the new classic career path. When she was young she thought they would have to make choices after they graduate, and that choice would shape the rest of her life. It’s different today. The opposite is true.

Eva Siegmund writes novels. Knaur has just released “Sodom” under her name, a dark Berlin dystopia between a police station, a club that governs everything and illegal fights with forced prostheses. She has published Barcelona crime novels under the name Catalina Ferrera.

Quiz question: What did this woman learn originally?

She is a church painter. “I love old things,” she says. “My family is closely connected to the preservation of monuments. My mother restores old wickerwork, my grandfather was a carpenter. ”She wanted to go in that direction. But at the end of her training, it was enough for her again: “It is exciting and challenging to create a strategy for a workpiece or a construction site. The implementation is boring and monotonous and tedious. ”It is not very fulfilling to“ process a few square centimeters of something per day – and it goes on the back ”.

So she went to law school. Then she worked in a publishing house. And then she wrote her first novel.

Looking back, would she change anything about her career today? “No, definitely not. I enjoyed every step and I draw from it all the time. “

Today people change their profession at any time in their professional life

Such a story may be striking – but it is no longer extraordinary today. The CEO of Axel Springer is actually a musicologist. A former classmate of mine has a doctorate and is now the managing director of a company. An actress is a journalist. Stefan Raab is a trained butcher. There are so many examples.

Many large corporations are always looking for their personnel outside of the traditional training paths. It is the versatility that makes applicants interesting.

It may be scary to choose an apprenticeship. But the most important thing to know is: the choice is never final. Nowadays people change their profession at any time in their professional life if they want to. This is due to the fact that new jobs are constantly being created. Jobs that were unpredictable when they were still in training.

How can you proceed now to decide on a first stop? These tips should help:

1. Find out what you want to do now

The training takes a long time. If you decide to study at the university, there are many years ahead of you. So more important than a good plan for afterwards is an idea of ​​the now: What do you want to do now? What do you want to learn? Of course, it’s worth having an idea of ​​what to do with your knowledge. But…

2. Internalized that an apprenticeship does not determine the career path

You can always change your mind. Unusual training courses in particular can be of interest to employers. If you have basic skills, you can later go into many other jobs, even though you didn’t learn them directly. These skills can come from electives, but also from one or two well-chosen internships.

3. Think big and creative

“Once you’ve been to a big medium, you’re interesting for all the other big ones too.” This is what an acquaintance once said to me when I was just starting out as a journalist. And it was true. After my first internship at a national magazine, many doors were open to me. You can also apply this knowledge in other industries.

Therefore it is worth trying special companies. These can be the big players, but also exciting start-ups or hidden champions – medium-sized companies that hardly anyone knows, but which do a very good job in a highly specialized manner. Incidentally, “size” should always refer to quality in a company, not to the number of colleagues.

4. Are you interested in a lot? Choose broad courses of study

If you keep coming up with new ideas in the months leading up to graduation and are in love with each of them, then a personality trait may emerge here: You are simply interested in many things. Then it is wise not to follow a randomly current idea. Starts wider. Many universities offer courses with a high proportion of electives. Degree courses such as sociology, economics or law are already broadly designed. A look at the subject selection also helps here: Many different topics are a good sign for scanner personalities.

5. Accept the fact that you are young

Finally, it is important to keep the following in mind: starting your professional life is damn early in life. And no matter how stable you are – the time will come when you might feel like doing something new. For some, the forties are a good time to rethink. It’s probably still a long way off, you don’t have to plan for it yet. But it is good to know that you can always take a different path. There are enough paths.


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