For about four months, I was an intern at an electronics store. That means the company pays me in knowledge and experience, while I live on welfare. I’ve learned to help people fix their computers and find out what’s wrong with them. Everything was going well, but at the end of the contract period, I was told they can’t afford another hire.
This is not an occurrence that is unfamiliar to me. I have not had it happen before this time, but I know it happens. My mother experienced it several times before. After googling it, I’ve found that this experience is not uncommon. The employer wants to reduce costs, the unemployed intern wants, at least, to gain experience, and the welfare office wants the intern to get hired. The third one is the only one who loses.
But that makes me wonder – why am I still unemployed? Am I just a retard who has nothing to offer, or is something else the matter? If I accept the former conclusion, then the plan is obvious – lay back, relax, and use retardation as an excuse for why nobody wants to hire me (probably for a good reason). But I suspect it is not the problem.
My granpas always worked. One was an academic, the other one was a captain and an inventor. My mother’s mother always worked – she was an electrician. My second grandma I can’t say too much about, as she became ill very early and was not productive. My parents always worked, except during the economic crisis times in 1992 and 1997, where many Russian people lost their jobs and had to become businessmen on the spot. In the late 90s, this is exactly what happened to my family. My mom got into debt, got a clothing store, and survived off of that, while the government taxed her more than pre-crisis. If someone says it was the time Russian socialism collapsed and people got to experience rabid capitalism, they got the wrong picture. In 2001, my mother and I moved to Norway. Since then, mother experienced many internships that didn’t result in proper hiring, short-term mini-jobs and confused looks from social workers, who concluded that her lack of career success means she just has “problems with communication”.
It’d be very likely that I’d accept such a label for myself, if what is happening to me now, did not happen to my mother first. I was always introverted and not very socially graceful. But both my parents were always popular, socially brave people. I remember when I was small, they always invited lots of guests for New Year’s Eve and other holidays. The company they held were all educated, cultured people with jobs. That is how things were for my mom, until she moved countries.
All this leads me to my conclusion. Almost everyone in my family was competent and hard-working, and I have their genes. But once one of these people ends up in Norway, they lose status, they are demoted to the lower class, and experience a job drought. I can’t help but think switching countries is the common factor. I can’t help but think that if I stayed in Russia, I would have a job since age 17, just like my mother did. Instead of having financial security and job drought, I would have financial insecurity, but plenty of places to get hired at. Something we do, which works so brilliantly in Russia, fails entirely in Norway. But what is it? Is it within my power to change, or is it simply a matter of having relatively powerful, employed relatives that can use their network to give you a job?
Thoughts on this will be appreciated. By the way, if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, here is my profile: https://no.linkedin.com/pub/nataliya-kochergova/77/943/b99 🙂