Beiträge zum universitären Fremdsprachenunterricht
Edited By Sylwia Adamczak-Krysztofowicz and Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak
Exploring the transition from academia to the workplace through career narratives of English philology graduates
This chapter contributes to the ongoing discussion concerning the shift of university curricula towards practicality and workplace needs, as well as the newly imposed requirement to monitor graduates’ professional careers, with a special focus on the application of the narrative approach to career research. It reports the results of a small-scale study of career narratives of ten English philology graduates. The main aim of the study was to define the participants’ career trajectories and the relevance of the university curricula to their current professional needs. The graduates who participated in the study found employment in education or business relatively easily, but they are not fully satisfied with their current job or remuneration. Especially those employed in the public education system express their dissatisfaction with their teaching career development, mostly related to institutional problems, and, despite their short work experience, showed symptoms of professional burnout. Those performing translation jobs or holding assistant positions at business organizations seem to be generally more satisfied with their jobs, but articulated a lack of adequate professional competences, which is, however, successfully compensated with their openness and positive attitudes towards life-long learning and readiness to continue their education. Finally, the analysed life stories have also revealed the participants’ expectations towards the university, perceived as a workplace-oriented education provider and career enhancer, and signalled the need for the verification of university curricula, followed by a realistic specification of career opportunities for philologists and the skills relevant to them.
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