This is the first part of my series of articles: “Anecdotes of a Double BA in Spain Finding a Job.” The next articles will be about experiences I have had in companies during the hiring interviews as well as my points of view regarding these same experiences.

First of all, before you read this article, I want you to know that I am a privileged white passing woman (I have been told) that lives in a first-world country and who her parents have the possibility to have guaranteed private classes since birth, that has gone to great foreign language classes and had the opportunity to afford two BAs in English and Spanish (Culture, Language and Literature) as well as I have attended several courses and one master in an Ivy League Institution. I know not everyone is able to afford or to beneficiate from these opportunities in life.

Now, I will focus these series of articles to those like me who have chosen the insufferable, depressing and dull path of higher education. Hope that at least you have the option of choosing the degree you endured, being at least a way to achieve your passion (despite the possibility of not having job opportunities lately) and not to satisfy the doctrines of others. In opposition to these colleagues of mine, if you have studied any type of degree connected to medicine, or any other field which is highly required or respected in society, you will not feel represented in here. Maybe you will understand your Liberal Arts’ friends better after reading this.

All my life my parents, my teachers, politicians, old people in general and well, all the other people which opinion do not matter have advised me to get a degree, if possible two. They said to learn several languages, to master several practices and digital platforms, to master hiring interviews, public speech, to work during my university years… Well, I have and still looking for a job is a bad joke. I understand why everyone is running away, honestly, which is a shame because I love my country so much it hurts to know this fact.

Liberal Arts and in particular Language Studies, History, Sociology, etc have always been misunderstood and underrated. The main fault of this is Capitalism, but that will be approached in another article. For years now I have listened to too many people who study medicine, nursery or any other type of highly recognised field to complain about how bad it is to start to work just after finishing their college degree and how awful it is to finish this era of their life. Hey, I get it, paying bills suck, but remember: You have a guaranteed job in your own city. You will be paid 1500 euros minimum every month. You will have no more worries that to maybe open a private consult someday. All of us, liberal arts kids will be unemployed, for a long, long time. And that counting in great connections and great possible sources of income, in case our friends, parents etc have the possibility to get us an interview.

My parents have a great business. They have great connections. Nevertheless, my hatred for numbers and economy made me decide to pursue literature, languages and culture, and because my love for books, I pursued the great arts of all and I chose the Liberal Arts field. Since I was a toddler, my parents took me to English private classes and my TV at home was in both, English and French. At the sweet and naïve age of eighteen I was fluent in English, French and Portuguese because I attended classes in these two last foreign languages. My father loves computing and digital applications, as well as programming, so I was forced to learn typing as well as to how to use all Adobe programs, Microsoft Office, etc. I have always been quite confident in my public speech and researching skills so I decided that English and Spanish Studies were for me. I prepared myself for that, and even though I did not enjoy these years in college, because I was disappointed with my classes and teachers. I know that even though I met amazing people there, I would have studied nursery instead, not because of vocation, but because of financial guarantees.

I started looking for a job since the beginning of college. Waitress, saleswoman, translator, language teacher, copywriter, editor, anything. Every single interview was the same: they were happy to have found me, but they expected me to “demonstrate” my skills by working for free for a period of time. And every time I said: no. My parents work with big companies in business. They have talked to me about these “tactics.” You have just graduated, or still studying, they promise you a great job, maybe even on remote. Great pay, you work on your pyjamas: great deal, right? Nevertheless, they will never hire you. These anecdotes will come next month, bit exposed this reality, now I will talk about an experience I have encountered many times and that I want you to make read to your fellow boomers.

I went last summer to my hometown’s university’s hiring and professional fair. By the way, no Liberal Arts and Literary faculties were told about this, I only noticed it because I went to take the bus, it was raining and I had to hide in economy’s faculty after attending a course for European Law in Law’s fac. I thank my interest in boring matters for this unforgettable experience. Well, I attended as a postgraduate, I presented myself and I met some huge figures in some businesses I loved. That was cool, I made my LinkedIn profile more attractive by this, because they asked me for my CV. Nevertheless, after adding me to their network, I have never been approached by no single one of them. But that is not the point here. My greatest experience from this meeting was not these chats, nor the fact that I met a great new friend there, but the speech a human resources man gave us. Read this seated because you will laugh until falling to the floor if you are or have ever been in my position. And take care and noticed that my new friend and I are two smart and intelligent women with a lot to say, but this day, we were speechless.

The meeting was introduced by a human resources man (a graduated psychologist) who claimed, through his boomer experience and authority, that the fact and reality that we were all unemployed was because it was our decision and that we were in control of the job offers and the situation in all the hiring interviews. That, my dear reader, was the moment I met my dearest new friend, because we were the only two people who turned our heads to the side and met our gazes, too stunned to speak. Still to this day I do not know how being in the second first row in this meeting, right in front of him, I did not laugh at his face. I am too good of an actress.

Then this man proceeded to tell us how he got his first job at Inditex just after graduation in college, because his father was a friend of Amancio Ortega. I remember him explaining how his father invited Amancio to dinner and how he asked him to hire him and Amancio just said: “what do you wanna do, kid?” And he just asked for it. Years later, he asked for a position as a teacher in my hometown university and they gave it to him, just after asking. These are the only two positions he has ever had, all by connections and no previous experience.

I think this mas is not aware of the privilege he has. I do not even think he knows what he is saying. I left that meeting and I went home and just cried myself to sleep. Now, many interviews later, many deceptions, personal and professional later, I talked to my parents and I presented them my dream, because nobody valued my skills, my talent, my passion, I have decided to build my own company. I am doing well, making some boomers mad in the way, which is always fun, and learning a lot. Great anecdotes came after this, and my store and life project is my baby. What I want you to know and to bear in mind every day of your life is that this man, and like him many others, I include in this HR women, because we are inclusive, do not know what we face every day. In their old times not many people had college degrees, nor spoke foreign languages. The formula was simple: college degree equals great job and great life. Nowadays everyone has at least one bachelor certificate, and if you are a masochist like me twins. But that does not mean you are talented, appreciated or even considered. It is a shame that in Spain entrepreneurs are not as valued as they are in other territories. Here in Spain the law protects certain social classes from others, and that is noticeable once you decide to become your own boss.

My final advice: I am building my own life. I am privileged, I know, and really lucky. I can live with my parents and keep myself safe every day. I do not need to work, actually, but I want to. I want to get my own place, life with my friends and work in what I love. I know I may have to wait a little but I know I will get there because I am lucky and everything works for me. Nevertheless, if you are alone, and have nobody to support you, I can tell you what I would do, because my parents now about this stuff, they are professional counsellors for great companies and everything I know is because of the conversations they have from their office. I can tell what I would in your position. Go to a foreign country. Not any country. Go to the Netherlands, to Denmark, Sweden, Norway… Not Germany, Not France, Not the UK, they do not pay well, believe me, my parents know about the afterwards. Go to these countries. There you will be a waitress or whatever, just like in Spain, but you will work way less hours and will have health insurance and a great paycheque. Meanwhile look up for a job there that you love, you may become lucky and find your destined job. Stay some years two, three, four, maybe five and travel a little. Come back to Spain if you want, but if you are smart you would have saved a lot of money. And have great experience, as well as new international connections and the skills and fluency in several European languages.

If we were as cherised in our own country, we wouldn't need to remind them that talent is not for free. They have to pay for it. I know that if you are really attached to your family or friends it can be difficult, but quality remains in time. That is my advice, hope it helps. Tell me your experience someday if you want, I would love to know your story. My best wishes and I hope you are well and loved. Until next month.