I am job hunting! In addition to my internship, language studies, and general touring, I am keeping an eye out for work in America. My main goal is to have my Arabic abilities be a cornerstone of whatever work I do. Secondary goals are working in fields that involve me continuously learning. Working in a research or a think tank would be an attractive start for me.
Pictured: Me hoping that I won’t have to write research in Arabic.
I am always positioning myself to succeed in such a field. Much of my energy goes towards bolstering my skills, strengths, and knowledge relevant to my interests. My time abroad brought all of these elements together to create useful experience for me to share with others. This experience helps me in two ways.
1. Experience helps me navigate and explore job options.
Experience is one of the most useful things to help navigate and select from available jobs. My experiences are guiding me towards knowing what I do and do not want to do during most of my waking hours. I saw during my time abroad that I was deeply engaging with people while speaking in Arabic. My desire to work in a field with Arabic was deepened because of this realization, and I am more encouraged to find suitable work.
Pictured: The Center that I interned for. Thank you for the opportunity!
In addition to bolstering or deflating my desires, my experiences also connected me with others who have similar interests. Some people see networking as slimy and inauthentic. Some see networking as a goal to be achieved anywhere you go. I personally lie in between those poles and see it positively if it happens naturally. People who are interested in the same field and skills working together is a desirable outcome. Networking also creates a web of information, opportunities, and general give-and-take among interested parties.
I have seen this in action during my time volunteering to assist resettling Arab refugees in my community. I joined a Facebook group used to coordinate on-going work among volunteers. Information was shared, items were offered for donation, and requests for help were made. This was a lifeline for opportunities to assist other and practice my Arabic. But, on top of that, I could have reached out to those working in the case management field if I wanted to work towards that.
2. Experience helps me self-advocate.
The second thing that experience grants me is more confidence to self-advocate. I see self-advocacy as simply representing oneself and one’s views or interests. This of course includes speaking up for you career desires. But there is nothing more useful for advocating for yourself than having experiences that back up your skills and prove that you are capable. After this particular experience abroad, I feel much more confident in not only my ability in Arabic, knowledge of the culture both micro and macro, but my comfort with being a global citizen. I no longer feel as though I have to convince myself that I am capable and thus, I can more effectively self-advocate.