How do high potentials find a job in Germany - 1/5: Find out, what you want

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When I first met Thomas four years ago, I met a very clever but desperate young man in his early 30s. Be it mathematics or physics, Thomas seemed to be able to do anything. But he didn't. Why?


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To many choices?

For his parents and teachers, it was clear: Thomas was to become somebody special. He would certainly be a professor and a great scientist. So Thomas began to study mathematics. On the brink of graduation, he realized that it would be much more exciting to consider formula not only in theory.

So he changed his subject and began to study Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. After some time, he noticed that it was fun to develop things but very difficult to convince people of new ideas or products. What is the point in the best a best idea, if nobody wants to use it?

What to do with all the knowledge?

He changed once again and began to study psychology. After a few years and many times abroad, his parents became worried. Thomas had not become a professor and was not working on exciting research projects. More than that - Thomas had no job at all or at least no job to earn his living.

As if all that was not bad enough, Thomas was also very desperate because he had no idea what to do with all his knowledge. At this point I met him. In the following months, my colleagues and I tried to help. We gave him some advice I would like to share with you.

Focus your mind

My 1 st tip: You have to decide. Make up your mind. Find out what you really want. A career in research (at a university) must be planned differently than in the private sector. I am not familiar with university careers.

But I am sure that you are going to meet lot of people these days that can help you. But as a representative of the Berlin Economic Development Agency, I know not just one company. I have experience in what employers want and need and that brings me to advice Nr. 2.

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