Young, Skilled & Employed (?!) In Europe

27 Aug

Yes, you read that right. EMPLOYED. I still actually can’t believe it myself. But someone out there wants to pay me money for my skills. Skills that involve more than just scanning groceries & making coffee. Desired skills. Skills that are in high demand. Where I actually have to think & work really hard.

Hello, adult world!

So, how did it all start? It all started in February when I first decided to embark on this crazy adventure. I clicked on an ad for a website, thinking it was a scam. I mean it had to be. How could someone 1) get certified for something so demanding in just 4 weeks & 2) how could they get HIRED right away? Impossible!

But, my dear Americans, we are so jaded. Our economy has us thinking that the world is ending. I mean, our parents can’t even hold onto jobs, who the hell wants to hire us, college graduates?! Unless it’s an internship aka: we couldn’t/didn’t feel like affording this employee anymore so do their job for free & get no credit. Oh yeah, for 30hrs a week. WHO HAS 30 HOURS A WEEK TO SIT AROUND & STAPLE PAPERS?! Not me. You don’t either. So don’t SETTLE. 


(Above: it’s a never-ending cycle of defeat)

So what do most of us do after we leave the magic world of dining halls, free gyms & where our biggest concern was what alcohol we were drinking that weekend? We drown. But at different speeds. Some of us just give up from the get go. We move back home, with no job & get to be lectured all day about chores while we apply to hundreds of jobs that don’t even open our resume. Some of us return to our old jobs aka the one that can barely afford gas money & a cell phone bill, that we are so sick of. Then a rare few of us get the first big job right from the get-go. We are scared out of our minds, intimidated from 9am-5pm while we convince ourselves that this is happiness.  

But you’re just barely above the water.

& 6 months after graduation, you’re sure to go under. This is when banks think you should have you life together. Enough to start paying off those student loans. They want to basically punish you for the next 20 years for not going to a miserable community college full of underachievers. It’s not fair. 



(Above: Post grad cat is sad)

But there is a loophole. One that doesn’t involve illegal activity! Just move to Europe! Or Asia! Or somewhere where the economy is doing just fine. It’s a crazy concept to grasp, but people get regularly hired in Prague. They are paid decent & the cost of living remains low. They do more than just survive they get ahead. 

I knew what my post grad life would be like. It would be my mom yelling at me to make my bed, Dunkins always calling me in to cover someone, spending every weekend on the hunt for a DD, & probably a lot of crying. Why? Because for the past 4 years, I have worked pretty damn hard. I wrote a great thesis, an awesome creative writing story, worked on television & got a chapter published in a book on itunes. & It killed me to think that just doesn’t cut it for “must have 2-3years experience”. 

So I came here.


(Above: One of the classrooms in TEFL Worldwide Prague)

And let me get this straight, for anyone who is reading this with the wrong idea: I got myself here. This is not a vacation. My family is not supporting me. I am not running away. I wanted this, & I made it happen. How many times can you say that about your life? How many huge decisions do you dream up & then actually make happen? What’s stopping you?

Money, I bet.

Think about all the things you spend it on. All the little things you don’t really need. Like coffee every day at Starbucks, take out a few times a week for dinner & drinking on the weekends. It adds up. What if instead you saved up? My graduation money paid for the course. My graduation gift was my one-way flight & my spending money/housing was paid for by Dunkins, Lottery, Conversation Partner & babysitting. It’s not easy, but it happened. 

Now here, I am, 3 days left until I graduate the course & get my certificate. I have applied to 10 jobs. I have heard back from 8. I have interviewed with 5. I have (so far) been hired by 1. In 3.5 weeks. Employers don’t care about my age or that I just graduated. They only care about dedication & hard work. & Let me tell you this course was certainly a challenge. But it’s already paying off! & I will be making decent money too!

So I know you majored in business or art or whatever but you’re a native English speaker & there’s a million employers out there dying to hire you. Europe has several locations, so does South America, the Middle East & Asia will pay for your flight, Visa, housing & cell phone.

So skip your daily Starbucks once in a while, save up that spare change & buy the ticket. Because those who are crazy enough to follow their dreams are the ones who make them come true.

-JG 🙂 



6 Responses to “Young, Skilled & Employed (?!) In Europe”

  1. Michael August 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    And if you haven’t majored in business, art or whatever- its not too late yet! You can still learn an actual profession, get skills that will get you a job, or do the math and invest the money you’d spend on college in something that will give proper revenue. Like a TEFL course, for example.

    • jgravesss August 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Are you being sarcastic…? Orrrrr…? College is not pointless. I am not saying that. I had an excellent 4 years & I would never have done it differently. I’m just saying it’s rough out there right now for kids my age, so I chose an alternative route. This choice isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great way to feel important & actually get hired.

      • Michael August 29, 2013 at 11:21 am #

        I guess I’m being a bit sarcastic. I’m not saying college is pointless, but students of arts, humanities or business should not expect their diploma to get them a job. As you say, its not easy. Probably not going to get easier, too. Therefore, I think that people should really think about the return on their investments (and college is an investment).

        In the modern world, there are plenty of opportunities to learn languages and cultures, history, philosophy or art outside of universities. Therefore, I think investing in formal education makes sense only if it will give you tangible professional skills or if that is the best way to learn something you really enjoy.

      • jgravesss August 31, 2013 at 7:47 am #

        I guess so. I just know what it’s like. I was a journalism major & got so sick of people telling me in was a useless major. I loved it. I gained a ton of skills that I can use in multiple fields. I do not regret it. College is an investment but you should study something you love. Not everyone can be doctors and lawyers just because they’ll make money some day.

  2. woohaigotyouallinczech August 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Good for you. I did TEFL myself and live in prague. Congrats.

    • jgravesss August 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

      Thank you! TEFL was great, it was challenging but super rewarding! It’s opened a lot of doors for me so far 🙂

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