5 Factors To Consider Before Accepting Your First Job
Landing your first job right out of school can be a tricky business. What if you can’t find something that you think you would enjoy and is in alignment with your degree? What if time starts to run out and you need a job, like right now? Related: 6 Tips For Your First Full-Time Job Search Often, new graduates will settle for something that is outside of their field of study or something that doesn’t even require their level of education because they are just looking for a job…and at some point in the search, any job starts to look pretty good. My caution, however, is to stay true to what it is you truly want to do instead of defaulting too quickly to whatever is available. Life has a funny way of leading you in a certain direction based on the seemingly innocuous decisions you make on any given day or any point in time. The decisions you make right after graduating college, however, can set you on a course that will either serve you in unexpectedly delightful ways or will set you on a course that will not serve you in the long run at all. Recently, I spoke with a young woman who is 25 years old. She has a degree in communications and PR, but she said that while she was still in school, she had decided that she hated everything about PR. It was “too late to change [her] major,” she said, so she stuck with it. Now, as a relatively recent graduate, she has a degree that is useless to her because she hates what the degree says she can do. Between the time she graduated and now, she has been working as an administrative assistant, and she didn’t like that either, so she quit. When I asked her what she was going to do next, she indicated that she was thinking of getting her license as a Realtor. In the meantime, she would be taking over some extra shift work at her 2nd job, and she would probably do some odds jobs to pay the rent and her other expenses until she settles on something. I didn’t get the impression that this smart young woman had any real idea what she wanted to do. She did say she wanted to do something “meaningful,” and I don’t know where getting her realtor’s license fits in with that, but perhaps she truly has a passion around helping people buy homes that wasn’t readily apparent during our conversation. The thing that was apparent to me is that she is adrift with no real sense of direction or purpose, and the more odd jobs and temporary gigs she takes, the more difficult it will be for a future employer to take her seriously as a candidate. Even if she were to figure out tomorrow what she wants to do for the next few years, she would have a challenging time of it working up a resume that would get her the job unless she knew someone who was able to give her a fantastic recommendation. The point of all of this is that you need to have some sort of plan, and you need to keep the following five things in mind before accepting your first job unless you want to be derailed before you have even gotten started.