Niyati K.

9

“Where am I going with this?’ is a question I had to ask myself time and again. Is it me or is it the little hungry monster that feeds on my thoughts?

This was a daunting junction to reach, because I grew up dreaming about the future 24×7.For someone who speaks 4 languages, I could hardly expect my biggest weakness would be another language!

Having bumped into several setbacks in life, I consider myself fairly resilient. Here I was, still brimming with motivation to belong, to express myself and to create an impact. As offbeat as it was for an Indian to move to a non-English-speaking country, like every other international student who arrives in Finland, I was thrilled for my new beginning. Coming to Finland would be my fresh start.

Living here is frankly a glorious piece of cake. Try as it might, my cynical monster couldn’t prevent me from getting comfortable in my own skin. What’s not to love? Friendly people, a truly splendid nature, a cosy and peaceful life. For me, getting a refreshing break from one-day weekends and no boundaries was liberating in itself, let alone having a work-and-fun balance!

Like waking up from a lazy Sunday siesta’s wishful dream, time did its abracadabra, and I’ve already reached the near end of my studies. I’m finding it hard to return to my reasons for being here – my future career and goals. How so? Well, Finns are a lovely people with a good command of English. While they graciously make you feel welcome in every aspect of life, in professional settings, however, they are more comfortable conversing in their mother tongue. Of course, since I haven’t struck the chord of being in the IT field, where it is acceptable not to know any Finnish to have a good career, I had to do what every life-science based professional would do – whine and complain about my stars.

Soon the thought-eater strikes, punishing my confidence and questioning my competence. “It doesn’t matter”, it says, while I frantically fill in the final job application quota for the day,“they don’t even look at you”. Alas, this is the part where I begin to wonder ‘Where am I going with this?’. I try not to let my worst cloud my best, but some days easily overpower an optimistic heart. But no matter. I’ve grown fairly resistant towards the irony. I have a set of positive reaffirmations that I chant before I select my language skills on the ATS form.

“I told you so” whispers my thought-eater, pointing at my spending my weekends restructuring and refining my cover letters.

We do laugh together, sometimes, when I get lost in the Canva settings to see if the slightly greener pastel colour would make my resume pop out. Maybe we are bonding.

It’s not that I haven’t put in the time or the effort. Nor would I stand for it to be blamed on my lack of will. Some things just take time. And time, is what I fear, would create a gap in my burnished resume. And that’s something that I simply cannot afford to have, as a 30-year-old job seeker, in a new country.

Regardless of all, I have fortunately been able to discipline my buoyancy, and keep up my continuing efforts. And some of these efforts have been paying off already in the form of a summer internship with the city of Oulu at the end of a fully Finnish-language held interview. But the sweeter reward, really, was me getting to tell my monster “I told you so.” and “It mattered.”

Niyati K.
Colour me a 30-year-old who is switching careers, juggling fiascos and still trying to tick all the boxes of a "normal life". My favourite pass times are signing up for new experiences and pretending things are under control.

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