The Shift From University To A Job

by Dr. Alan June 22, 2020

As every 16-17 years old teenager, I was sure that only I could know perfectly which university to choose and what profession would be the most suitable for me. I was as stubborn as a mule, making my parents change their mind regarding my future career of the philologist.

As a result, I graduated from Kyiv National Linguistic University two years ago and if only you knew, how many jobs I have already tried out. Being on the second course, I worked at McDonald’s, on the third I worked as shop-assistant, then I started giving private lessons in English and French.

My diploma says that I am a teacher of English, French languages, and foreign literature, my soul says I am not. That is why, while passing my final exams, I was looking for a job in the office. It seemed to be very cool and prestigious to put on a white shirt and black suit on a daily basis, buy a cup of coffee in the morning and gossip about your slave driver at lunchtime.


Important to listen to your heart while choosing your first job after university


A real career woman feels like this, doesn’t it? I wanted to find a job, where I would be able to speak English or French, get acquainted with new people and be helpful at last. I successfully passed an interview for the position of manager with foreign clients in the company, dealing with exhibition projects. I was occupied with engaging people into our business, telling that only our company would plan and build the best stand for the exhibition they were going to participate in.

The first month was very interesting and even exciting. I was coming to the office full of enthusiasm because at that time I negotiated with Frenchmen concerning the future exhibition in Paris. I made phone calls, did some translations and wrote e-mails. When all these “French-speaking” tasks finished, my boss asked me to assist other managers, who were working with Ukrainian clients. “What did you have to do?“, – one may ask. Oh, I had to make cold calling, imposing our services.

To say that I was shocked would be just a huge understatement. All day long I had to ring the clients up and repeat the text, learnt by heart beforehand: “Hello! My name is Marina and as far as I know, your company is going to take part in “…” exhibition. We would like to cooperate with you and build your dream-stand. What do you think?” Sometimes, there were days, when I was surfing the Internet for nothing. I gave out a perfect illusion of working but actually was a perfect clock watcher.


Later, I was given a serious project and had to discuss all the details with the client concerning the stand. When I say all the details, I mean height of the walls, colour of the floor, the material (whether it would be wood, plastic or acryl) and then I had to estimate the budget according to the information I mentioned above.

I would like to remind you that I was still a manager with foreign clients and honestly, I don’t know why I had to calculate the metric area of some stands and communicate with people in Ukrainian! I was furious first of all because was completely bad at Math and calculating was the worst job I had ever done. Moreover, there was no need for my knowledge of foreign languages, which was my main demand in a job interview. Finally, the day of a montage of the stand came.

I spent half a day at the exhibition centre, where I had to deal with erectors, sometimes rude, sometimes drunk and clients who were very worried because it seemed that the installation work would never be finished.  In addition, the client noticed that somebody had mixed up the colours and painted the walls of the stand with a wrong tint. Even now, I don’t know how it happened, but as I remember I repeated thousand times a serial number of tint we needed.


A bad experience is also an Experience


To cut a long story short, the exhibition finished successfully for our company as the clients seemed to be pleased with our cooperation. As for me, I made up my mind to stop working there, but it was so difficult to make public my decision. When I finally told it to my boss, he was shocked as it seemed very strange that somebody decided to leave such a great post at such a brilliant company.

It is very important to listen to your heart while choosing your first job after university not to waste your time as I did. However, a bad experience is also experience.  After all, I had a great colleague there and we keep congratulating each other on holidays. Since then, I have not worked any day in the office.

I feel too free to be locked up in the cage. You know, I believe that every person has his own place on Earth (whether it is a city, workplace or a small portion of land under the oak), and until he finds it, he won’t understand what a real happiness is. I am still looking for such a place, but there is no doubt I will find it one day.

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