YOUR FIRST JOB - YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY

You have chosen to look for a job in Denmark. But how do you land the right position in Denmark? How do you present your competences and strengths to an employer – and is it necessary to speak Danish?

Insecurity, nervousness and doubt?

Don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal.

 

You are almost there. Your master’s degree lies ahead, but then what? The time up to graduation can be nerve-wracking and trigger all sorts of doubt: Am I good enough at what I do? Are my grades good enough? What if I can’t make the difference that I’m aiming for? How can I get my dream job? And is it OK to be picky?

 

»It’s perfectly normal to have all these questions in your head. They typically arise in the transition between Bachelor’s programmes and Master’s programmes, and when you are almost ready for the labour market,« says Sanne Mattebjerg, a career counsellor at IDA.

 

Doubt makes you better

She reminds us that asking questions and being in doubt are generally positive reactions. Doubt is a driving force that makes us think, and it helps us develop as people, she says.

 

“If we never doubt, it’s because we always keep to the safe road. Or we try to. You can’t predict everything in life, and this is an important point: You have to try things out to find out what you want. Perhaps things that you didn’t expect to be your line can turn out to be just right for you. Enter your new work life with an open mind and give things a chance. There’s no fixed solution.”

 

It is also a good idea to use people from your immediate network who have already made the transition from student life to work life. These may be siblings or friends. Talk to the people you know.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FOR THE FIRST YEARS

29.8%

Unemployment rates up to the first year after completed education

9.5%

Unemployment rates up to the first 2 years after completed education

3.5%

Unemployment rates 2-4 years after completed education

Career advice

»If we never doubt, it’s because we always keep to the safe road. Or we try to. You can't predict everything in life, and this is an important point: You have to try things out to find out what you want. Perhaps things that you didn't expect to be your line can turn out to be just right for you. Enter your new work life with an open mind and give things a chance. There's no fixed solution!«

- Sanne Mattebjerg, IDA Career Counsellor

Grades are less important

“The most common source of nervousness among recent graduates is grades,” says Sanne Mattebjerg. Many people put much emphasis on their grades with regard to their possibilities of finding a job. Far too much emphasis than necessary.

 

“Many people are preoccupied with their grades. But the reality is that grades are not always decisive. Of course good grades are an advantage, but even though you don’t have the best grades, you can easily have a good work life. Grades merely indicate that you’re able to meet the criteria of a university assignment, but they don’t necessarily say anything about whether you’ll succeed in a job,” Sanne says.

 

Companies do not focus much on grades anyway. In a survey from 2018 carried out by the consultancy firm Ballisager, only 3 % of companies indicated that you should “focus on your grade point average in your application and CV.”

Making mistakes is a good thing!

“However, we were raised with grades as an indicator, and this is why people are so concerned about them. Combined with picture-perfect photos on social media, grades have fostered an unhealthy zero-error culture which can create unnecessary nervousness,” Sanne Mattebjerg believes.

 

She therefore advises all soon-to-be graduates to consider mistakes as useful learning instead of trying to avoid them. Mistakes help us develop as people.

 

“We all make mistakes. Consider mistakes as a positive thing, and as something that makes you a better version of yourself. Trying something out and not succeeding allow you to find out why you didn’t succeed, and then make a new strategy and do things differently next time. Mistakes are only bad if you don’t learn from them.”

 

Are you ready for a new challenge?

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