A 24-year-old college graduate is happy with her permanent job as a garbage collector: “Now I can buy a car.”

Every citizen should be free to choose the profession they wish to pursue, based on their abilities and preferences, but the reality is often very different from this sacrosanct vision. There is no doubt that all jobs are decent, but those who choose to study for a long time imagine at least being able to work in the same field one day. Unfortunately, this desire is often disappointed by the harsh reality: few opportunities to emerge, unfair competition and low wages. The woman at the center of this story, despite having graduated some time ago, is one of the many young people who have had to give up on this dream.
Federica Castiglia is 24 years old and has a degree in optics and optometry, but unfortunately the job market has not rewarded her dedication to studies: “I was very undecided about my course of study”, says the young woman, “I chose optics after having participated in a conference that impressed me a lot, I enrolled and graduated. Believe me: I tried my best, but finding a job was difficult. Only apprenticeship contracts, without guarantees or prospects. Things changed after Federica, together with other young people, won a competition to be hired as a garbage collector by Asia, the municipal waste collection company in Naples, her city: “Now I’m in a safe place, where the rights are respected and where the salary corresponds to the hours worked. Asìa is a certainty for my future.
Someone will turn up their noses: after so many years of study, has this girl chosen to be a waste collector? For Federica, the answer is very simple: “It’s a real, stable and, let’s face it, permanent job, which offers ample guarantees. And I don’t find it strange that a graduate freely chooses to be a garbage collector as a job”.

For Federica, being a garbage man is a job of great dignity and she underlines that the best feeling is that of not having to depend financially on her parents, a retired policeman and housewife, and of having settled down to plan her own future. A stable job allows her to realize those little dreams that previously seemed impossible, such as buying a car: Federica, she does not regret having studied, but she acknowledges that she has not been rewarded for it. Luckily for her, it all worked out in the end.


“We start with an apprenticeship contract of 1,100 euros gross, which I don’t know how net they will be”, says Federica, who is in any case very happy: “But the turning point is that now I will have a basis for planning the future. Do many projects. And I intend to spend my life in this industry. Why don’t you give up a permanent job, especially when it’s hard to find something else.
We can only wish Federica, and all the new hires, good luck!

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