Tuulia's story: Through apprenticeships and labour market training to a dream job

Career story

My career story actually starts from the moment I pressed the white graduation cap from upper secondary school on my head. Already back then, I knew that I did not want to go to a university or university of applied sciences because I wasn’t much of a bookworm. So, what was I to do?

I had heard about apprenticeships in different fields. Learn a profession while working; a perfect option for me! Then, all I needed to do was find an interesting field and profession. At the time, I was extremely interested in cars and working with people. That made me think about the automotive sector and the profession of a salesperson. Perhaps not the most obvious interest for a young woman in her twenties!

Quite miraculously, through an acquaintance I heard about a vacancy at a car dealers. After having contacted the managing director, I was called to an interview and selected as a car salesperson under an apprenticeship contract.

All in all, I worked for about 12 years in the same workplace. During those years, I earned two vocational qualifications: the qualifications of a salesperson and secretary. In addition, I had a chance to perform a wide variety of work tasks, including sales, marketing, secretarial work and car rental. Over the years, I became increasingly interested in marketing, which ultimately led me away from the automotive sector and towards my dreams.

Unemployment and frustration

The road towards my dream profession was a rocky one. Because of the waiting period following my resignation from the car dealers, I was very tight on money while unemployment gnawed at me. Fortunately, I had found a side job at a local radio station as a presenter, which kept my creativity alive and my mind happier. However, I was lacking an important piece of my life: a full-time job.

I wrote numerous job applications – without success. From time to time, I already came to think that I should have studied more after all. I believed that all employers require an education and that with a proper educational background it would certainly have been easier for me to land a job. One day, however, when reading recruitment announcements I came across an opportunity to participate in labour market training – and even in marketing tasks. This is where I wanted to go! And, I was actually admitted into a six-month training period during which the goal was to find employment. At the end of the training, a few of the about 20 trainees were left without a job. I was one of them.

I was faced with unemployment again. At this stage, having so many disappointments behind me, I was already getting really frustrated about writing applications. I was ashamed of being unemployed. I felt like an absolute zero. The multiple times when I was left waiting for a recruiter to contact me about the progress of the recruitment process did not make me feel any better, because the call never came. The applicant was left high and dry. Even if I sometimes got invited to an interview, they never chose me. Perhaps the worst hits under the belt were the times when the interviewer called me and said that I had been left second in the process. Although I should have been happy about coming second among a large number of applicants, at the time it felt almost like the end of the world.

This longest period of unemployment lasted for over a year. During that time, I did send quite a few job applications.

Temporary jobs and new labour market training

After this longest unemployment period, my future began to look a little brighter. I got into the labour market again, first in the marketing coordinator's post and, after this employment contract ended, doing clerical work and fitting tyres in my husband's family business. Even though I was aware that these jobs were fixed-term and I would be left unemployed again, it gave me additional energy for job seeking, and I didn’t give up until I had found what I was looking for.

I had been without a job for a few months when I spotted a new labour market training course in recruitment notifications. Initially, I was a little sceptical about the notification in question. What if I’m left without a job again? What if I don't even get admitted to the training in the first place and I’m disappointed again? There were so many questions and doubts going through my mind. Fortunately, I didn’t give them too much power, and I boldly went on and applied for the training. The rest is history.

A marketing ace

The training was held in spring 2020, after which I found a permanent position in the company where I did my traineeship. I’m still here and feel that I’ve found my way to the right place and I’m doing exactly the right kind of work for me. At my workplace, I’m responsible for marketing and act as a sales assistant. I enjoy coming to work every single day, and I feel extremely good.

I hope that my story will give faith and bring a ray of light to those who are currently unemployed. A dream job does not always require long work experience or a qualification in the field. Your personality plays a major role. After all, in the workplace people encounter people. Don't hesitate to look for a job that interests you.

For the recruiting companies, I have a tip: please, do not forget to inform people about the recruitment process. For a jobseeker, there is nothing more unpleasant than being left waiting for a call that never comes. Failure to respond also damages your company's employer image, so please take care of the recruitment process with honour all the way to the end.

Tuulia Erola