Nina talks about being disappointed with her first job
Chapter details: Nina did a Masters which changed her mind about previous ambitions; she was initially disappointed with her first graduate job but ended up seeing it as a useful first step
Subject: German and Spanish
Student status: Home, Graduate
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Immediately  after graduating from the Spanish and German degree I started a Masters in International Development and Gender Studies. Immediately after graduating from that, pretty much, I went into full-time work, working for a German trade fair company. I did that for just over a year. I've recently started a new job at a university working on a project. That's the progression. Now that I look back on it I feel that it all fits into place, it all makes sense and I feel fine.

If you'd have asked me how I felt about it a few months ago I really didn't feel great. I felt like I'd let myself down, that I didn't know where I was going, I had no direction and that it was all very humdrum. I hadn't done anything that I'd set out to achieve. My original motivation for doing the Masters was because I thought I was going to work in International Development but doing the Masters completely changed my mind about it so I was then back to … not even square one because square one had been that I'd had these ideas about a career and things. I was on a square I'd never been on before just thinking, 'I don't even know what I want to do at all. Do I want a career, do I just want a job that I can bear?'

So the job search then was very general. I was still looking at charities and things but I ended up looking at stuff on job websites that were in the languages section, because I knew I had that as an asset that other students graduating didn't. So that was how I got that job, through a recruitment consultant. It wasn't the dream job but it was a good first start, I can see that now, retrospectively, that it was a really good platform into other things. At the time I just thought, 'Why am I doing this, this isn't what I want to do.'

But you didn't know what you wanted to do …

No but I started to get an idea that I did need to be at least a bit interested in my job to be doing it for 37 hours a week. The job I was doing, I didn't care about trade fairs and I didn't have much responsibility or creativity, there often wasn't really anything to do. I found that difficult because I was so used to constantly doing while I was at university. Yeah, major slump after graduating from the Masters but then it's picked up again now because I've found that you can take stuff that you've done, even if it didn't seem that worthwhile at the time, it doesn't literally apply to what you want to to, you can make it apply to it. Now I feel a lot more like I do have all these options, I still don't know exactly where I'm going to go after this job has finished but that doesn't feel like such an awful thing anymore.