My name is Yosra, and I'm 29 years old from Tunis. After a frustrating job search, I had an amazing professional experience. Then I decided to return to school to obtain a university degree in order to get better academic qualifications and progress in my future career. Currently I am studying in the University of Management in Tunis.
Looking for a job in Tunisia can be very challenging especially if you do not have connections regardless of your qualifications, skills or background.
I was unemployed and tried sending my CV daily to lot of companies but I very rarely received even an email of acknowledgment. I tried calling and knocking doors, however the best answer I got was "leave your details, we will contact you when needed." Obviously, it was a polite manner to say "do not come back again."
I went everywhere and sometimes waited for hours without being seen or heard. This made me feel confused: either I am doing something wrong or there is something wrong with me.
Added to that was family pressure, as I was the eldest child and my support was needed. I turned out to be a load instead of helping.
In university we were taught lot of subjects but never shown how to face these difficulties: how to look efficiently for a job? Is the university degree enough to get our dream job? If not what else can we do? And who can help us?
I finally got the chance to be recruited by the company Vistaprint. We were a mixed group of young people, some were freshly graduated from university, some did not have any work experience and some others did not have the chance to finish their studies. We all came from different parts of Tunisia.
In order to start my job, I needed to graduate from a professional training program. We never heard of the Education For Employment program before and came to the training to discover what it is about? The amazing part is that it was about us, each and every one of us.
We got to know ourselves better as well as each other. We were coached to identify our needs, set our goals and to realize them, to manage our stress and anger and change our attitude and our way of thinking.
This training helped us sharpening our skills and most important made us more confident about our career and ourselves because we can make the difference.
The trainers Mrs "Sawssen" and Mr "Halim" did an amazing job turning us from a heterogeneous group of young people into a real team seeking excellence in everything we do. Seeing their commitment to understand our specific needs, their approach to clear our doubts and their inspiring passion while delivering the training, we can only hope to be able to do the same for other people.
We have learned a lot during a few days. Even after moving on in our professional careers, we all are still inspired and positively impacted.
The situation in our country is the same. So many obstacles are still waiting for us out there. The training isn't going to make those problems disappear however it makes us better and stronger. It will give us the means to make them disappear.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Middle East and North Africa not-for-profit Education For Employment (EFE), in conjunction with the third anniversary of the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, 2013. That event kicked off what has come to be known as "the Arab Spring" and brought the Arab youth unemployment crisis into the global spotlight. EFE's mission is "to create job opportunities for unemployed youth in the Middle East and North Africa." For more information about the Education For Employment, click here.