I've graduated: What now? How work experience can help...

As children, we are always wondering about and dreaming of the future: what we want to do, whom we want to be, where we want to go. Thousands of expectations build up and we can only rely on ourselves to fulfil every single one of them.


As time goes by, expectations can slowly turn into pressure. Deciding what career path to follow becomes an inevitable point in people’s lives and, quite possibly, one of the hardest decisions to make.


And it doesn’t stop there – fortunately? You have finally decided what to study and have, at last, completed your Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or any other course you may have taken. Phew. That is when a big question comes into play: what now?


Some may have followed a passion but still can’t find their dream job. Others may have picked out randomly and, after a tough ride, ended up in a job they absolutely adore. Some have the academic qualifications, but lack the experience or vice versa. However, all this should not turn into an utter nightmare. So, is there a definite recipe when it comes to careers? How can you know what suits you best and what doesn’t? How will you know what your dream job is? Most importantly, IS there such a thing as a dream job?


I have a Bachelor’s in International Relations and have recently completed my Master’s degree in Business. When I was 18 and fresh out of high school, I decided to look for jobs and started teaching English as a second language. It was the perfect job: flexible hours, constant human interaction, and no settled routine. There was, however, a catch: as a Brazilian, I was teaching back home and, in an emerging economy like Brazil, the wages were very…meh. Still not perfect.


Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, a Master’s in Business seemed like a logical option, especially after marrying a businessman. It would be like killing two birds with a single stone: more financial possibilities and a little bit of background knowledge to kick it off. I still had no idea what my dream job was, until I came to realise that the matter of the fact is: perfect jobs do NOT exist! So, to find what is perfect for YOU, it is essential to explore what is available out there. And that is how my experience at Conteur came to be.


I am currently carrying out work experience with the Conteur crew and can honestly say I was positively surprised. Public relations are something we are all very much aware of and have heard about a million times. Being aware of something doesn’t necessarily mean a full understanding of it, though, so nothing can teach you better than practice.


As a people person, communication is, instinctively, something I consider a positive in any career. I wasn’t fully aware how much public relations involve simply telling people’s stories and constantly communicating with the audience. In fact, I wasn’t fully aware of many things: how much public relations encompass; how many different areas there are to it; and, it isn’t your usual office job as there isn’t a definite routine each day.


Writing endless assignments and dissertations might have been dull to most whereas I took pleasure in it. Writing about people, in particular, has made a load of unknown interests come to surface. The fact that Conteur specialises in so many different areas played a major role, as it offered me with an opportunity to identify one that I could relate to the most. As a result, it also gave me the chance to learn a little bit more about it. 


To sum it all up, work experiences can be helpful when it comes to unleashing hidden talents or deciding for a definite which types of jobs don’t suit your skills or personality. More importantly, it’s a chance for you to identify which ones you will love doing in the long run.


I walked through Conteur’s doors unaware of many things. I will leave this experience feeling accomplished, as the things I thought I couldn’t do or didn’t give myself enough credit for, were the things I thoroughly enjoyed. So, for that, I’d like to thank everyone at Conteur, for welcoming me in and making me feel part of the team.