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NETWORKING AND PERSISTENCE LED MARINA’S WAY TO TWO JOBS

According to 25-year old Marina Kahle, there are three important things you have to do if you want a job as a graduate in Denmark: Network, know what you want and be persistent.

Looking for jobs - 12. September 2017 -

In December 2016 Marina Kahle was ready to find her first full time job. A lot of people told her to use her network. But how do you do that exactly?“

I ended up writing to a lot of high managers in companies working with sustainability – and a lot of the people said yes to meeting me for coffee,” Marina says and continues:“Before I wrote the e-mail, I did a lot of research on the person and the company, which he or she represented. It is important to find a common ground and to have something relevant to talk about. I used LinkedIn, Google and the companies’ website. Also, it is a good thing to have something to offer. For example, I did my master thesis within the field of sustainability, so I offered to tell them about my findings. It sure helped being an expert in the field.”

Today, Marina Kahle nurtures her network through her two jobs.

Know what you want and be persistent

Since the very beginning Marina knew what she wanted. She was interested in sustainability in the fashion industry.

“I kind of stalked certain companies when I was looking for job openings. For example, I called the Danish Fashion Institute and introduced myself and told them how my skills matched their work. I convinced them to meet with me even though I wasn’t eligible for the unpaid internship that was available. After the meeting they kept me in mind and four months later they contacted me asking if I wanted to help them facilitate some workshops. When the workshops were over, a position became vacant and I had the chance to be the first candidate considered for the job. And that’s how I got my first job in løntilskud. Today, my boss wants to keep me for at least another six months on normal terms,” Marina says.

But networking and knowing what you want is not enough. You also have to be persistent.

“For me it means you don’t give up. Keep contacting the people you find interesting. Maybe they don’t answer at first, but remember they are busy during the day, so just keep writing to them. Ask to meet them for coffee and be humble. I was confident of the goodwill in people and that seemed to have worked out quite well,” Marina explains.

MARINA’S TIMELINE:

  • December 2015: Graduated with a Msc. Business, Language & Culture from Copenhagen Business School
  • January - August 2016: Unemployed
  • September – November 2016: Internship at The Social Business Company
  • January – July 2017: Løntilskud at the Social Business Company
  • February – August 2017: Løntilskud at Danish Fashion Institute
  • August – December 2017: Working part time at both Danish Fashion Institute and The Social Business Company


The biggest challenge

While being unemployed, the biggest challenge for Marina was to stay motivated.

“I was sending out a lot of applications. But I also got a lot of rejections. Sometimes I felt quite demotivated. Also, everyone told me to apply for any job even though the job was not the type of job I was going for. The challenge for me was to keep my hopes up that one day I would find my way and the job of my dreams.” Therefore, Marina was pleased with joining FTFa’s Graduate Network.

“It was nice meeting people who were in the same situation as me. Also, I learned how to make a strategy to find a job. I succeeded in identifying my dream company and the key activities to get there. I made a list of who I had to contact regarding a job opening, who I wanted to ask for a coffee meeting and who I needed to follow up on. I learned to keep track of my daily and weekly goals. Sometimes it is tough to look for a job, but it sure helps making a list of what you’ve done during the process, so you can see that you’ve actually completed your to-do-list. By doing so you can be happy about what you have achieved for the day and the week even if you also got a rejection for a job”, Marina ends.