Job Search and Application for Humanities and Social Sciences: The Mindset to the Labor Market - 10 Tipps

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Scientists are often hard at work Casting, because they are difficult to deal with the conditions on the labor market thanks to a very theoretical training. Job Search and Application for Humanities and Social Sciences: The Mindset to the Labor Market - 10 Tipps

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Dream and reality

Anyone who studies an orchid subject such as archeology, musicology or comparative literature knows it anyway, but even graduates in history, English or politics have heard the saying umpteen times by the end of the course: “This is breadless art. You won't find a job anyway. ”

There's something real about it - especially the fellow students who are currently completing their studies and are looking for a job. But that's not the end of the damning verdict: you find a job. Even a good one. But self-initiative is needed.

A solid, permanent job, interesting tasks, good pay, proximity to the place of study; or at least a good entry point like a trainee position or an internship: the desire of many humanities and social scientists. But the reality looks different.

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10 tips for the right job search mindset

The number of unemployed is higher than for the graduates of other subjects, but the entry level is lower. And only very rarely do you get your dream job on a silver tray.

  1. Compromises unavoidable: Because if, in addition to the study, no further knowledge is available that can be used directly in everyday working life, the implementation of the wishes can be difficult. Compromises are inevitable; on the one hand with the career goal, because the dream job is not always possible, on the other hand when starting a career, because the actually desired job can often only be achieved by detours.
  2. Do not resign: This confuses many graduates who are resigned when they realize that the job search is not running as expected. Often enough, intellectual and social scientists are even in the way of getting involved in the economy. Those who have chosen to study in the humanities are already faced with the difficult situation at an early stage. Again and again the students hear that the chances on the labor market are rather limited. Solutions are rarely shown.
  3. Attention identity and legitimacy crisis! Quite a few humanities scholars get into a kind of identity and legitimation crisis. After the first bad experiences in the world of work, which show that the “dream job” does not really work out, they are frustrated and question their entire studies. Instead of actively continuing to work towards their goal, they remain unsettled in a kind of lethargy that slows them down even after the end of their studies.
  4. No exaggerated idealism: Or they develop highly idealistic, exaggerated ideas about the world of work and their own abilities. With their unrealistic demands on their job, they make life itself unnecessarily difficult. On the other hand, employers perceive precisely the reality-remote ideals and morals of many intellectual and social scientists as disturbing for the business processes.
  5. Reorientation necessary: It is very important for both mentors and social scientists to look for new perspectives and to sharpen their own profile for the labor market, for example, through job-related further training.
  6. Know your own strengths and weaknesses: Humanities and social scientists should also develop a realistic awareness of the strengths on which you can build and the weaknesses at which they can work. How do you want to convince future employers of their competences if you do not believe in them?
  7. Need to know the job market: That it can work is shown by many examples of successful humanities and social scientists who have not given up but have kept their hands on the ball but are always guided by the needs of the labor market - as listed in the first part of this three-part series. In this way they sooner or later have their detours
  8. Count on headwind: Of course such a reorientation is not easy. And just when they enter new territory, humanities and social sciences often have to face the opposite trend. For on foreign terrain, of course, they compete with well-trained specialists who bring with them what is often missing: industry-specific knowledge, commercial or technical knowledge or relevant professional experience.
  9. Save time for employers: In addition, potential employers are only people who like to save time in drawers. The Egyptologist or the Keltologin with its exotic-looking Curriculum vitae simply do not fit into the mindset of the particular decision maker.
  10. Building up trust: Graduates are often not trusted to do the job well. If applicants who already have sufficient experience are available, they receive the trust advance. If you want to work in a specific industry, it is best to know exactly which competences are needed and which are appropriate.

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