I've completed my master's degree in psychology last year. The master track is called “talent development and creativity” and I have also done a few courses in coaching. Now I am looking for a job and growing frustrated with the job market situation in Germany. I've written applications, but usually get no reply at all. One I received a rejection, but that seemed to be an outlier.

The avenues that I have tried are these:

  • IKEA and Zalando seem to have had job offers where the English terms “talent development” have been given. However, the locations did not match and also I do not feel too comfortable with these somewhat predatory companies.

  • A lot of jobs that seek a psychologist are for clinical psychologists and are in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and the like. As I do not have any medical or therapeutic background, these jobs do not apply for me.

  • Other jobs which supposedly are entry level seek a few years of experience. And even if they don't, they want the applicant to have completed pertinent internships. During the course of my studies I did not do any internships and therefore do not have this experience.

  • Trying to get this internship experience has also failed so far. There are lots of internship offers for students. The thing is that in Germany an internship must also pay minimum wage with the exception of compulsory internships. So companies seem to only accept students who seek a compulsory internship such that they don't have to pay them. Now that the course of my studies is finished, the opportunities for internships seems to have closed. And to add insult to injury, a lot of the internship offers even have other internships as requirements.

I feel that I just cannot find a job because I always get kicked out due to the lack of job experience. And trying to get it by just aiming for an internship also does not work because I already finished my studies. This makes me feel really lost. What can I do to finally enter the workforce?

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    Your problem is not with the jobs but the fact that there are other candidates who have said experience, so they are simply a better fit. When you cannot find a direct entry, have you tried going around, and getting an unskilled job, but in a place that normally hires people in the career track, you desire? Like a secretary at place that does "career development", this can give you a leg over during the next recruitment drive inside that company.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 18:17
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    Maybe your university can connect you with job opportunities? Take advantage of any resources they may offer or ask your old professors for career advice.
    – Eric Smith
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 18:42
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    Have you looked into jobs in Human Resources? Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 21:30
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    As a side note: Do not take the situation as a personal issue with your qualifications. The job market for psychologists, let alone special niche branches, is pretty tough (for a friend it took about a decade to find a job she really likes). And the current situation doesn't make entering the job market any easier. But yes, this unfortunately means you likely cannot be very picky for the first job. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


I think that you first have to look at your own situation and understand what you have to offer.

You have completed a somewhat niche master with not so practical skills, and that in any case are not so in demand in the job market. You are not considering to move towards locations where job opportunities are present. You exclude companies based on political preconceptions. Your chances to get an internship are closer to 0.

Yeah, it sounds bad.

Nevertheless, you have some strategies that you can apply to improve your situation.

  • What are the job outcomes that your master claimed to aim for?
  • What are past alumni doing at the moment? Which companies are they working for and in which roles?
  • Have you honestly surveyed the local market? Do you think that you have any chance to find a work that requires your master in your local area? If not, then you either choose a different path or you start to look other locations (bigger cities, other EU countries).
  • Do not exclude companies where you have never worked before only because you do not like to buy in their stores...you need to start a career not to become the best friend of the CEO. Once you will have one, you will be able to be more picky and even to avoid one if Glassdoor tells you so, but at the moment you are not in that position.

In conclusion, the job market may be faulty, but for sure it will be in a huge and desperate crisis soon, and you do not have anything super valuable to offer (do not take it badly, but since you are not a doctor, nurse, IT or similar, you can imagine the rest).

Do not give up your research, but first understand what you have to offer, what the companies are ready to pay for (the skills in demand), where they are, and what are you ready to sacrifice to start you career (location, change of career, working for "predatory" companies).


So you have no real life experience with anything, but you want to teach others to be experts... While the entire world is in the middle of a crisis, when businesses close and so on...

To add to your problems, the world is full of people who want to teach others (let's be honest, we all want to believe that we are smart - who willingly admits that they are less than smart?) - and many of those people are actually very experienced professionals, really able to propose and implement improvements.

So what can you actually do? Short answer: get experience. Get jobs in which you can learn about the things you want to teach. Be a "student" at your workplace, attend company-provided trainings, and see how things happen in reality - we all know that what is taught during university is not always perfectly aligned with real life. Attend seminars and conferences on your subjects of interest. Join discussion groups.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but you can actually volunteer, prove that you can be helpful. You can volunteer for (e.g.) social issues, but you can actually volunteer exactly in "talent development". What do I mean? Do the job for free. Prove your worth. When things settle and the company / customer seems happy, negotiate a contract or a job.

The alternative - still better than starving - is to accept any job(s), to pay the bills. Postpone your dreams, until opportunities arise.

  • Could you go more into detail how and where one could volunteer in this field?
    – guest
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:46
  • I cannot brainstorm much on the subject, since I do not work in the field. Maybe volunteer for a specialist / organization already doing work in the field (similar to an internship in the US). Or get involved with a sports team. Or get involved with some schools. Or some hobby clubs. If OP is not able to think of a place to volunteer, then maybe he is in the wrong job market.It might still be difficult, but it is still better than doing nothing.
    – virolino
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 6:13

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