It’s 8.05am on a Tuesday evening and I’m writing from the Google Campus in London, located in the East London area, known for its large number of innovative technology companies.
Just for the record: at the time of writing, Amazon has opened its Digital Media Development Centre here, Facebook has agreed to set up a base for its Developer Garage programme here, Google has created an innovative application development hub. Google has created an innovative hub for the development of next-generation applications and services, which is where I am writing this article from.
At the end of this long working day I was thinking how quickly time has passed and I didn’t even notice.
In Italy, ‘Among those who have a job, only 20% are fully satisfied with their current job, while more than 25% are little or not at all satisfied. One young person out of four, therefore, in order to work and not stay at home and twiddle their thumbs, accepts a job that is far from their expectations”, writes the Istituto Toniolo (a founding organisation of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) in a report.
The numbers are very high, and you are probably among the 25% of young people who get up in the morning without any real motivation, without a drive that gets you out of bed with a smile on your face.
Getting up every day with this spirit ruins you inside. The days pass by, the months pass by, the years pass by… and you are always more dissatisfied.
You promise yourself to change, to find a better job, you want to be happier, but this breakthrough never seems to come.
I know what it feels like. I’ve been there myself.
I graduated in July 2013 in Public Relations and Business Communication at IULM in Milan, I immediately moved to Thailand for a few months to do an internship at the Italian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, a wonderful experience that, unfortunately, ended at the end of the internship.
Back in Italy, after a few days I suddenly decided to leave, without even thinking twice about it.
One way ticket to London with a very limited budget and a month to find what I needed in order stay, any job to start with and a roof over my head to live.
The few Euros I had brought with me had become even less due to the unfavourable exchange rate. I had just under 700 pounds and a month to find accommodation and a job.
Within 3 days I found a house to live in and a job in a pub.
After changing two jobs in the restaurant industry, it was already 8 months after my arrival in London, I promised myself to send at least one CV a day, but working between 45 and 50 hours a week I just couldn’t keep up with the time. Even during the day off it was very difficult to look for jobs.
Time went by relentlessly, until I finally decided to accept the fact that in order to find the job I wanted I had to unplug from the hectic pace of working in the restaurant industry.
That is why I asked my workplace to switch from my full-time to a part-time job.
I had two strategies for finding a job, one quite peculiar, one a bit more traditional.
The first strategy was to go around the city, look for the most beautiful offices, find out which companies worked there and send my CV, hoping that someone would answer me, I was daydreaming looking at the beautiful offices of the English capital.
It was not easy. In fact, I didn’t manage to find a job in this way, or at least not right away.
I will explain later.
The other strategy was to spend my savings on professional advice on finding a job in London.
Despite my good preparation on the Italian labour market, thanks to my engagement with iTalentJob started two years before, in England it is completely different.
In London there is a lot of competition. You have to work hard for a job.
I wondered why they should choose me instead of a native English speaker who certainly has fewer barriers to entry.
Consulting with an HR professional I understood which were the main differences regarding job search between England and Italy, therefore, I adapted my CV and I started to look for the job I wanted for real.
15 applications a day, every day! From Monday to Sunday, even when I was working at the pub. During the first week I had found an unpaid internship in a Venture Capitalist company.
I worked there in the mornings and in the pub during the evenings: those two weeks has been very tough, but the job search continued anyway, and my luck was that I found myself looking for a job on Twitter. I saw an interesting tweet and sent the email to the contact listed.
They replied after 10 minutes, and after two interviews I was hired! A permanent, well-paid contract in a Packaging Design Agency as a Marketing Assistant.
The happiness didn’t last long, I realised almost immediately that I didn’t like that job, the packaging design sector was very static for me, the company born 30 years previously, was showing its established structure and was averse to change. I got tired after a few months and had to quit after 10 months of work.
Some of you think I’m crazy: leaving a permanent job with good pay without having an alternative solution.
I tell you that there is no excuse, if you don’t like something, don’t do it. Simple as that.
Once I left that agency I immediately went back to looking for a job. September and October passed between CVs sent and interviews, even at Apple and AirBnb.
Finally, here I am, at the Google Campus, working as Community Manager for CrowdVille, a technology company that truly believes in the power of crowdsourcing.
It’s already been more than 3 months, it’s now 20:45 and I’m not tired at all, I could work for another 10 hours.
The lesson I’ve learned in the 2 years I’ve lived here in London is very simple:
if you don’t like something, do what it takes to change it.
Invest an hour a day in an online course to improve your profile, go to free networking events where you can meet lots of people, especially those who can give you a job, read our experience here.
Doing a job that doesn’t fit in with your aspirations wastes precious time and especially knowledge. In an interesting article I read a few days ago, the author argues that if you don’t spend at least 5 hours a week learning new things online, you are becoming obsolete.
That’s why you have to be up-to-date all the time, even when you’re doing another job: spending time updating yourself is the best way not to lose ground to your aspiring colleagues.
In case you cannot get out of work, you can always look for other opportunities while you are doing the other job; there is nothing wrong with that, the labour market is now totally dynamic and flexible.
PS. I had mentioned that part of my job search strategy was to go around the city seeing the offices I liked the most.
The secret is that I also passed by the Google Campus and had worked a few days from the cafe open to all, the fact that I found myself here is a coincidence, but nothing happens if you haven’t dreamt of it first 😀