this has been a very intense period for me. The transition from school to the working life is really palpable in Italy, as 90% of the students don't have a job and is cuddled (also financially) by parents until the graduation. If you read my previous posts - you also know that recently graduated people have very low wages and an uncertain positions here. All these things add up one to another and cause a lot of heavy thoughts deep in my mind.
What was the point in studying for 5 years? Why did I invest money on post-grad education if I get paid the same as a clerk at the local supermarket, just working 12 hrs instead of 8?
When will I be able to lead a life of my own, being able to pay my rent, buy my furnitures, pay the insurance of my car,...?
What could I do to boost my career? Is "boosting my career" the same as earning more? Or is it just some experience abroad? Or a deep knowledge of a very limited sector?
How high can I aim?
Now that the university years are over I came back to my little town of 10.000 souls, living with my ma and working 15 mins by car from home, from 8 to 19, for the equivalent of $1500 a month (paid internship).
All my childhood friends took different paths. A lot of them enrolled to "easy" courses in a university nearby here, mostly because when they finished the highschool the chances to get an employment were almost 0.
After enrolling, they found a senseless job to have some money for themselves, like being the clerk at the cafè of the cinema, or in the local bakery. This job gave them the possibility to pay for their studies (very cheap in Italy, let's say one-two monthly wages pay off a year of university fees), their holidays, their expensive clothes,...
The prospect to have the same wage after graduation does not push them to graduate soon. So they just stay in this limbo of "I have enough money for my chores but not enough to live on my own" and "ma and pa cannot tell me what to do since I pay for my stuff".
In the end their approach to the university was completely opposite to mine: to me, study was a mean, to them, it's the end. I enrolled in engineering because I wanted to find a job well paid, easily and to be a pro. Italy is very provincial in this aspect: the Doctor, the Lawyer, the Engineer,... They really care about those titles.
Now that I finally got the "piece of paper" I believe I have to show what I am worth. It's time to work my ass out and try to get a profit from this goddamn degree.
What can I do? Well, I try to be available for work as much as I can. Staying 11 hrs at the office has already paid, giving me the chance to take a post-grad internship in the same place/field where I wrote my thesis.
I try to put something mine in every business I like at the office, tryin' to get involved. I talk a lot with my colleagues because I want to know everybody's opinion, as there could be a truth in each of them and it helps to get a little perspective.
My friends here just work from 8AM to 5PM, counting down to pass the exit badge and go home. They don't try to give their input, they don't believe they really have the chance to do something, to change something. When we go out together I talk about those things, but apparently there are two strictly definite roles: the manager's and the employeé's. As I came out from a master's course I am very likely to become the boss of someone, sooner or later.
My friends who just are employees of the lowest level, have no chance at all to raise their position and have power and be the boss of someone else. That's why I am not confortable with them anymore. They're ok for the gossip, the chit-chat, the carefree conversation....but I feel we share nothing more.
Have you ever seen "Sweet home Alabama"? Sometimes I feel sorta of Reese Whiterspoon, but I don't believe to the happy end of the movie.