How to get away with a Humanities degree

Insights from an inspiring Career Service workshop on finding and getting your dream job

Use your personal experience as a way to stand out from the crowd (Photo:

‘What can you become with that?’ is the question that each of the participants in the Career Service Workshop “Career start for graduates from the Humanities” (held on 30th April) had heard numerous times and longed to find more answers than the ones listed on their programme’s advertising flyer. We were a fairly representative sample, for there were students from English Studies, German and Communication Studies, European Studies, Intercultural Communication, Political Science and Sports Studies. Our trainer, Wolfgang Leybold from Leybold Strategy Consultants, was himself a Geography major, so he set the first example for career realisation as a Humanities major.

In the six-hour-long workshop, we learned the importance of exhibiting the qualities and experience of an active individual and combining our field expertise, practical skills and personality traits. It was interesting to discuss why finding a job outside of the ones ‘dedicated’ to your major, yet related to the skills you have acquired in it, is not a sign of failing in your field, but of adapting your competencies to new challenges. We eventually made a long list of organisations where we can find potential career opportunities such as governmental and educational institutions, foundations and NGOs, professional unions (e.g. the Anglistenverband), media and publishing and the culture and tourism industries.

We were encouraged to apply to companies of interest even when they have released no ads for open relevant positions, and we received detailed instructions on how to properly show initiative and establish contact with them. This turned out to be a demanding process, where one would need to be active and show genuine interest while avoiding coming across as arrogant and overly insistent.

The workshop taught us how to read between the lines of job ads and trained us to impress potential employers with self-assuredness. It also prompted us to find personal examples for all the highly demanded soft skills and to be able to refer to them when needed. We thus eventually managed to change the mindset ‘I am a Humanities major, but…’ into ‘because I am a Humanities major, I can…’.

If you missed this workshop, you can check the Career Service programme for future events or make an individual consultation, where you can discuss all of your career-related questions and receive guidance on job interviews, how to perfect your CV and how to approach potential employers. Apart from workshops and consultations, the Career Service also organises excursions to companies and career fairs with many attractive offers such as Career Speed Dating with employers, free CV photoshoots and proofreading of application documents. Also check Julia’s recent blog post on chameleons and the job market for more inspiration on finding your dream job with a degree in the Humanities.

Stay active and apply bravely!



(Master English & American Studies, 4th semester)

2 Responses

  1. Nada 14. Juni 2019 / 10:38

    Feel free to check the Facebook page of the student club „Broterwerb“ too. 🙂 We are a student club that informs people about how they can enter a job with a degree in Humanities. We host several events for example a get-together for students of the Humanities and employees who also did their degrees in the fields of Humanities. Furthermore we share interesting articles about entering your job as a student of the Humanities, host lectures with guest lecturer concerning the topic and plan field trips to companies.

    • Marina Ivanova 14. Juni 2019 / 11:50

      Wonderful, thank you for sharing! The club’s activities look great! I will definitely follow it. 🙂

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