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Next steps

Whether I’ve recently finished a course or just left a job, it’s normal to find myself wondering what to do next. I’m not alone, either: around 6.3 million young Europeans are in the same position. The EU’s Youth Guarantee aims to provide me with an offer of employment, education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within 4 months of my becoming unemployed or leaving the education system. I can apply through my national public employment service, or another provider, to kick-start my career or allow me to get back to studying.

Change of direction

It’s estimated that I’m likely to change careers upwards of 5 times during my working life. With each fresh start comes the need for re-training to acquire the skills relevant to my new industry. Whether I need new practical knowledge or an additional qualification, I can apply for training courses funded through the European Social Fund.

Jobs without borders

Wanderlust kicking in? I’m not confined to my home country when looking for a job; the whole of the EU is open to me. With over 2,300 vacancies available online, Your first EURES Job can help me start a career in another country, give me a dedicated advisor and suggest job opportunities that might suit me. The scheme may even fund my travel if I get offered an interview abroad.


Office work isn’t for everyone. If the idea of rebuilding a school or assisting asylum seekers who have just arrived in the EU appeals more to me, then I may want to consider applying for the European Solidarity Corps. There are paid and voluntary opportunities available in projects around Europe, so what am I waiting for?


I love the EU and want to join the 55,000 people that make it work – sounds like a career in an EU institution could be for me! With locations far and wide across Europe, as well as in the hubs in Brussels or Luxembourg, the institutions offer me the opportunity to work with a totally diverse team on some of the most pressing challenges we face as a society. I can visit the European Personnel Selection Office to find out more about the roles available.

Opportunity knocks

Spotted a gap in the market? Always wanted to be the boss? If I’ve got a great idea and plenty of entrepreneurial spirit, then the EU can help me start my own business. EU countries are encouraged to meet certain targets, including enabling entrepreneurs to set up their business in no more than 3 working days for no more than €100. Finance doesn’t have to be a headache either – I can explore funding opportunities through the Startup Europe Club, and get help with expanding and developing my business through the Startup Europe Partnership

How it works

As a young person, it can be challenging to get my foot on the career ladder. However, the EU is here to support me in my job search, whether that’s through the Youth Guarantee scheme – which has given opportunities to more than 3.5 million young people every year since 2014 – or through other programmes and initiatives. Thanks to these schemes, there are already 1.6 million fewer unemployed young people in the EU than in 2013. If I have the drive and enthusiasm, then the EU can give me the skills I need to get out there and find the job for me. 

    Did you know?

    2 million


    The amount by which the number of unemployed Europeans has fallen since 2013.

    €8.8 billion


    The EU budget allocated to boosting youth employment in regions with more than 25% unemployment among young people.

    11 million


    The number of young people who have been given opportunities through the Youth Guarantee.

    4 months


    The Youth Guarantee aims to provide young people with a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within 4 months of becoming unemployed or leaving education.

    Director's Video

    /euandme/file/key-euandme-short-film-directed-valerie-muller-and-angelin-preljocaj_enThe Key: an #EUandME short film directed by Valerie Muller and Angelin Preljocaj

    The Key, directed by Valerie Muller and Angelin Preljocaj

    Disaster strikes during an impromptu safety inspection of a building site. The workers must work together to fix the mess – but not everyone is present…

    /euandme/file/key-euandme-short-film-directed-valerie-muller-and-angelin-preljocaj_enThe Key: an #EUandME short film directed by Valerie Muller and Angelin Preljocaj

    /euandme/file/key-official-euandme-trailer_enThe Key: the official #EUandME trailer

    /euandme/file/behind-scenes-key-euandme-short-film_enBehind the scenes of The Key: an #EUandME short film

    Digital stories

    I now have a stable job that suits me perfectly

    Mariane had some difficulty finding a job in social work after finishing her degree. She registered with Pôle Emploi, a French governmental agency that supports unemployed people, and benefitted from Intensive Youth Support, a scheme co-funded by the European Social Fund. Thanks to the scheme, Mariane has now found a job in her chosen field.

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