Economy and Social Matters in Germany – Panorama

Spoilt for the Choice of a Career – Young people hoping for happiness and money

“What comes next?” Young people must face the question of questions (Photo: © dpa)

What should I be? At some point each of us must face this question. Normally, childhood dreams are swapped for careers that promise security, fulfillment and big money. Five young people talk about seeking and finding a profession.

Laurenz Schreiner (18) from Hildesheim

Laurenz Schreiner (18) from Hildesheim | Photo © private For a long time my dream job was to be a sports journalist. Even in elementary school I devoured the daily sports section. Working on the school newspaper then, I realized I didn’t want to restrict myself to only one theme. Because after I graduated from high school at 17 I still couldn’t go abroad, I’m currently doing a Voluntary Social/Cultural Year at the Hanover Theater. There I work in the Press and Public Relations Department. My tasks include writing news and press reviews, organizing interviews and designing flyers. The work is good preparation for studying journalism, which I have my sights set on. That’s still my goal. My parents have given me a free choice, but they’re skeptical about my future job opportunities. I realize you also have to have luck for everything to turn out well.

Thao Nguyen (20) from Berlin

Thao Nguyen (20) from Berlin | Photo © private Since my parent came to Germany twenty years ago, they’ve worked every day in their restaurant. My father has a creative streak, but he couldn’t feed a family on that. Yet maybe that’s why he accepts that I want to realize my potential and so pays for my studies at a private fashion school in Berlin. I came to fashion at school. No one there paid much attention to me until I started to dress individually. People then look at you with different eyes and suddenly prick up their ears when you dress differently. I received recognition through fashion. Because I can draw well and am interested in sewing, I thought about how I could bring the two together. Designing has something carefree about it. I’m not out for fame and glory. I want to make myself and others happy. Having a personal relation to my work is important to me. Only then will it be really good. It’s the best compliment for me when people say: “Thao, that look’s totally like you!”

Katherina Eisele (16) from Badenweiler

Katherina Eisele (16) aus Badenweiler | Photo © private I like going to school. But I find that many teachers don’t do their jobs as well as they really should. They’re often too stubborn and intolerant in their evaluations. I think I could do that better. That’s why I want to become a teacher for mathematics, chemistry and history. It’s important to me to have a secure job, especially in times of financial crisis. Of course, I’ll need a high school diploma to become a teacher. I’m just finishing intermediate secondary school and afterwards am going for a high school year to the United States. I’m staying with a host family and will go to school there. If later it doesn’t work out with teaching, I can imagine working in the hotel business, like my parents.

Patrick Depari (20) from Berlin

Patrick Depari (20) from Berlin | Photo © private I already performed in the theater group at school. When there was then an audition, I was so convincing that the teachers at a drama school offered me a study place. Spontaneously, I said “yes”. My mother was dazzled. She thought I was on the way to becoming a superstar. My father, on the other hand, wanted me to study “something real”, like law. In the meantime he, too, is proud of me. I look on acting as a craft. We learn how to deal with our bodies, how to speak, breathe and move properly. I’m a special type. So it’s hard for me to get the big roles. My dream is to be an actor all my life. I hope that the relation between fun and money stays right in the long run.

Zaher Abdelkhaleq (18) from Berlin

Zaher Abdelkhaleq (18) from Berlin | Photo © private Because I like cooking at home, I wanted to become a cook. But being a cook is a stressful job. At the thought of frying chicken all my life, I gave up the idea. A friend works as a waiter in a posh restaurant. Like me, he has a secondary general school diploma; he earns good money and also gets a lot of tips. He can afford to buy a good many things. To get my foot into the door, I’m starting a special training course in catering this August. In the end I want to live a comfortable life and later be able to feed my family. I also want to support my mother, who worked hard for me and my brother when she came to Germany.
Stefan Brückner
studied media and communication studies and is working for Redaktion und Alltag. When he was young he wanted to become a policeman.

Translation: Jonathan Uhlaner
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
August 2012

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