You have completely NO IDEA what to do after school? Then this article is perfect for you.

Recently I met Sebastian and Jasmin and answered all their questions around how to take career decisions and I would also like to share them with you!

Sebastian and Jasmin nearly end there school and took the chance to go for a “crash-course” internship. To explain it short: This is an opportunity at Continental to get introduced day by day to different departments. The idea behind is to have a quick overview, what would makes sense for yourself in future.

One decision will change everything! You want to find out how you can control how your future looks like? I will tell you what I did when I was close to finish school.

Everything you reached until today is based on what you decided in the past. Do you agree?

  • Where do you live?
  • How do you live?
  • What are you doing right know?
  • What did you already experience?

Understanding this principle, you will also be able to control your future.

Another challenge is left and is crucial to take the right decisions: Know Yourself!

  • Where do you see yourself tomorrow, next year or at age 67?
  • What are the things you like?
  • What would make you feel proud and will tell your grandchildren later?
  • When you close your eyes… how does your ideal future look like?

Taking decisions: You are the one responsible shaping your future

When I was at school I wanted to become a Beach Volleyball Professional. Two years before graduation I decided to become an engineer and go for a study supported by a automobile company. (also called “cooperative study”) At right at that moment of a clear decision it was fine for me to let my dream go. Only based on this clear decision, I was able to take the full responsibility to do whatever it takes and reach my target!

The truth… only with a bit of luck, I got the final confirmation to start the cooporative study. I still remember the feeling of pure happiness… Yes, I will become an engineer! Only three weeks later I moved 400 km away from my hometown to start a new chapter of my life. The best that could happen to me at that time.

If you are interested in more details on my background story. You are welcome to click here to find a nice podcast interview with me. And a lot of benefits, tips and insights for you as an engineer and job starter… please be aware, that this was recorded in German language ?

Take your time and be open to think outside the box… stop asking other people what you should do! Find it out by asking yourself. Finally take the responsibility for your own decision!

If you take your own decision, you will immediately feel responsible! This is tremendously helpful to push yourself through “difficult times”. It’s true, this will happen! Doesn’t matter what you will decide! ?

Know your passion and set your target

Be 100% creative, allow yourself to dream without limitations! What would you like to do in the future? What are you interested in? What wow’s you! What would you like to change in our world? If you intend to become an Engineer think about which technology, you could work on.

Yes, I can imagine, that this is not so easy at first … The idea to become an engineer took several months for me! What I found out… just by starting and checking out different opportunities and thinking on this topic makes the difference. This will build up your opinion, what you dislike and more important what you really like.

This is roughly my example of my procedure that might support your own thoughts:

  1. What do I like?
    1. I am interested in cars and racing
    2. I know nearly any automotive brand and different car models on the market
    3. I could consume information on cars, tuning, racing all day long
  2. What could I do with cars? What would be fun for me?
    1. Work on the design would be interesting
    2. It would be great to work in a team and be involved in new developments
  3. What could be my role in this?
    1. Engineers are highly demanded
    2. Engineers need to be very creative… this sounds like me
    3. Engineers are paid on an attractive level… that’s an important point to me
    4. Working on new developments would make me feel needed for the future

This is how I set my target: Study mechanical engineering to become an engineer in the automobile industry and earn more than 5,000 Euro per month.

Funny but true, the 5,000€ per month were part of my target… having no idea what is behind gross and net (before and after taxes). And even not knowing if this salary was even realistic. Until this moment I knew absolutely nobody who was working in the automobile industry and nobody who earned on that level.

Finding the right company for you

With your target in mind you will be able to select companies you could imagine working for. You can choose based on that idea you developed and if the company supports your personal vision of the future.

With my age of 20 years, I chose Continental because this seemed to fit good to my plans and targets. What I found out was great! Again, with luck I was so happy to have found “not only a boss”, I found Peter Kurz as a great Mentor. This experience formed my basis of the Engineer I am today.

By the way: Ideas need to be started within the first 72 hours after receiving an impulse. I prefer to follow the 24h approach. Only the ideas which are started or are scheduled within the first 24hours will be realized or will just stay a dream…forever. It’s always a decision ?


I would love to know if this first tip was helpful for you and to know your outcome. Use the comment box below. I promise to answer everything.


I will soon continue with my second tip deep diving into the idea of becoming an engineer.

See you soon and enjoy your time!

Philipp Pagels

Philipp Pagels

"Engineer your life!" The success-principle to "take over full responsibility for EVERYTHING" changed everything. This understanding helped me a lot in my job and life as an engineer to reach significant results. You want to know more about me? Let's meet...

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