ERIKA: THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO BE NOTICED
When 25-year old Erika Balint graduated last year, she was unemployed for four months. The biggest challenge getting a job was being noticed among all the skilled candidates. Her best piece of advice is to start early and not to do it alone.
Looking for jobs - 11. September 2017 -
In February 2016 Erika Balint graduated from Copenhagen Business Academy with a PBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Four months went by before she got a job offer.
“One of the biggest challenges getting a job was for sure being noticed. I tried to stand out by starting early. While I was studying, I did a lot of volunteer work. For example, I taught pitching workshops for the new students at the academy. Also, I got the chance to talk to the people who actually hire and many teachers during school projects. Finally, I put a lot of time in doing favors and helping costudents with references, proof reading and so on,” Erika Balint says.
And her hard work paid off. One day she got an email from a former teacher saying that there was a job opening at a pharma company. She went to the job interview and got the job. It started out as a student assistant job, turned into a part-time job with 30 hours per week and in September 2016 Erika Balint got a full time job at the same company working with communication and as a sustainable procurement coordinator.
“Those first months at my new job were difficult months. They were very intense, as I was trying to do my best and make a good impression. Actually, I now hold on to some advice I once got from a stranger I met on the train. He told me that as long as you are trying your best, no one can blame you. Not even yourself. And I believe that’s true,” Erika smiles.
Don’t do it alone
When talking to Erika Balint she might seems like an extrovert person, but in fact she is not. Being outgoing is something she has learned through her network and being a part of an Improv Comedy group.
“One day at school we did a personality test and I turned out 100 percent introvert. I don’t feel confident standing in front of a group of people, I rather nurse relations one on one. I’m better at offering an ear and listening to people’s point of view or problems. For me, working together is a great way to network,” Erika explains and continues:
“If I should give other graduates some advice, it would be not to look for a job alone. Team up with someone who is also looking for a job. It’s important to share tricks and help each other. If or when you get rejections – it can be tough.”
When Erika graduated she joined FTFa’s Graduate Network.
“We shared skills and I really got the feeling of being a part of a community. I had the sense of progress and talking to the other students helped me not to beat myself up, when things were tough. It also made the institution FTFa more human and I even talk to some of the graduates today.”
What is Improv Comedy?
Improv is a type of theater. A group of 4-10 people go on stage with absolutely nothing prepared. In one type of improv show, they ask the audience for one word and then one of them starts a monologue, which inspires scenes. A show lasts about 30 minutes.
Be honest in a job interview
Being on stage with an Improv comedy group has also given Erika skills that she can use in a job interview situation.
“When I was looking for a job, I also got some rejections. I tried not to think about it and kept myself busy with Improv, biking and other spare time activities. It’s important not to blame yourself and stay positive of mind,” Erika says, and explains how Improv has helped her in a job interview:
“It has given me the confidence to speak up and the ability to read the room and react truthfully to questions from another person. Being honest in a job interview is really important because it increases your chances of being happy in the job. You have to be honest so the employers’ expectations match your skills.”
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