Dream job with Vlada Cojuhari


Our Guest Thursday events series continued with Vlada Cojuhari, team leader and co-founder of Escape Adventures, member at Board of European Students of Technology. Vlada is only 22 years, and already has a dream job, but 3 years before, it wasn’t like that. She didn’t know what career to pursue, though she did  know it had to be interesting,  include traveling, communication, but how to encompass that into one job? Luckily, it’s exactly the one she has today!

“We all go through this phase of uncertainty in our lives, when we become adults and we don’t know what direction to take towards our dreams”, said Vlada as she began telling the participants how she felt when she had just started.  “Society makes us feel guilty and pressured when we don’t know what to do, but it’s a normal process, says Vlada, you shouldn’t feel guilty for not knowing what faculty to choose after school, instead you should give yourself some time and explore different things, and so find what you like.”

“Psychologists say, until your 30s you need to invest in yourself and develop your personality, get practical experiences, rather than theoretical, because this is the time when you form your personality. When you go to an interview, your employer will look more at your personality and experiences, rather than at your diploma,” said Vlada.

Life experiences form our unique personality, so go out there and start exploring. “Whenever you feel like getting out of the comfort zone is difficult and you’d rather step back, try to make that step, first time it will be hard, next time it will get easier, and then it will be pure joy, you will get over your fears and enjoy meeting new people,” said Vlada.

How can you figure it out according to Vlada:

Certain choices we make unconsciously, and certain skills we have present since childhood, but we don’t pay attention to them, so try to make a list of things you like and don’t like related to your profession or lifestyle, try to formulate a map, you can write “ I like to communicate with people”, or “i don’t want to have a desk job”, and soon you will have a clearer image of who you are and what direction will suit you best.

Make a list of the things you wish to do, try to follow it, but also have some time away from it, whenever you feel like you need a break, or reevaluate what you have on it, ask yourself if you still want the same things.  A lot of these points may be dedicated to what society tells you to do, or your family. Don’t let society’s loud voice silence yours. Listen to yourself, and listen to your heart, if you don’t see your path in studying for example, do something else, take a gap year and volunteer abroad, or work and soon things will get more clear. Remember that growing up is something you do every day,  you become adult when you take responsibility over your acts and decisions that influence your life.

A story about mistakes and success:

Vlada always loved cooking and envisioned herself working in a restaurant or even opening her own,  so when there was a chance to work in a restaurant she got so excited, to the point of being ready to even quit school, but it all lasted only a weekend. “I tried a whole new experience and understood that it wasn’t my dream at all. I enjoy the process of cooking, to do it for the loved ones, but when there is a cook screaming at you to work faster, it’s a lot of pressure i didn’t wanted.  You could look at this like at a mistake, but taking this step and trying, made me realize it was not what i wanted.  I love mistakes, you can learn so much from them! There are no wrong decisions, every conflict, or mistake teaches you something, it makes you who you are,” said Vlada.  

When talking about education and its defining role, Vlada shared a very important and fairly often situation. Being the younger kid in the family and having an older sister or brother who happens to be successful at the same time, can be a little bit pressuring for that little kid to be just as perfect. Parents can contribute to that by influencing our choices, they try to protect us and so give us the advice they think is the best. But “learn to listen to yourself and always take the decision that you feel is right for you. Not knowing what you want to do in life can make you feel very bad, i’ve been through it too.  Never hurry up on taking decisions, you decide your own life, not society,” said Vlada.

About jobs and finding that one you will be passionate about!

She started working since 5th grade on easy jobs like handmade, doing cookies and cakes, in 12th grade she had a serious job and before finishing college, Vlada decided to relax for a while, but 3 days after leaving her current  job, there came a new job offer, that she couldn’t miss.  She worked there for 2 years and after met the three co-founders of Escape Adventures.  The  start up began from the idea of three travel lovers, who enjoyed making their own path instead of going for the mainstream. “We try to really get to know the country we’re going for, live a little like the locals and discover unknown spots,” said Vlada. They travel in groups of around 9 people and one team leader. Each adventure brings together people that don’t know each other at first, but become very  good friends in the process. Their aim is to build a community of interesting, active people who will share these interests, of travelling and having an active way of life.

For final tips and suggestions, Vlada shared some of her own lessons that she has learned during those indefinite moments:

  • Don’t try to repeat someone’s path, there can’t be two equal stories, everyone has its own path, don’t spend all your time and energy to be like someone.

  • Communicate wisely, spend more quality time with your family and friends, in the same time don’t be afraid to network and meet new people.

  • Say “yes” to things more often.

  • Keep yourself busy, try to make the most out of your time. Learn a new language, do sport, get involved in something, languages and knowledge will always be useful, also this will bring you new connections and new people.

  • Don’t turn your hobby into your job, or you will lose it.

  • Be ready to meet with difficulties, it's part of life, only in movies you have perfection, life has conflicts, and complications, but is what makes us grow.

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