Why Your First Job Post-College Matters More Than You Know

College graduates are under pressure and in a hurry to find their first job quickly. However, their quest shouldn’t be to secure something to get hired. It should be to find the right fit, recognizing the importance of choosing a role and company that will position them for success.

Do not take a “check the box” approach and simply accept the first role you’re offered, as you might be taking a step backward. This first job is critical: It will be a barometer for future roles, serving as a basis of comparison as you develop professionally. It will be your “test drive” of the knowledge and skills cultivated during college, in and outside the classroom.

While you may have earlier work experience during school, in this first role, you will be interacting with other adult professionals in a peer-to-peer capacity. You and your parents invested time and money in your education, and you owe it to yourself to be sure that your first job is in harmony with your capabilities, goals and potential.

Your Career Legacy Starts Here

Do the role and the organization reflect your personal values and interests? If you find a position that you feel certain you are qualified for, ask yourself if you want to do it for that organization, working alongside the people in that company. If they are too conservative or liberal, or too structured or disorganized, you might like your work, but not the culture. If you take a position that doesn’t work out, you can choose to leave, but realize that you will need to include it on your resume and explain it to future employers when they ask, “Why did you take that position?”

Avoid An Underemployment Trap

Taking a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree is known as underemployment. Data shows that 41% of recent graduates are currently underemployed.

Carefully study job postings before you apply. You may see job postings that are suspiciously similar for the same firm: One markets the role to “recent college graduates” while another, with the same duties, is aimed at people with no college experience. Seek work that will challenge you and provide an environment with peers who motivate and engage you. If you need to find work urgently, perhaps for economic reasons, seek out something flexible so that you can accommodate a concurrent job search for a meaningful first professional role.

Recognize A Revolving Door

A job post including the term “recent graduates” may yield roles that hire grads, but not all firms may be a good place to grow. As you interview, ask if the company has employed recent graduates, if there is training and what comes next after your first placement. Ask what their retention rates are for new employees at different time periods, like six months and two years.

Another scenario might be a terrific company offering a terrible job. If a recruiter spends more time telling you about what comes after this first role, probe to find out how quickly people seek the next opportunity. Is everyone looking to transfer three months after starting?

Internships Beyond Graduation

Consider paid internships in your job search. These may be prerequisites for full-time jobs. Firms are increasingly using internships and temporary roles as opportunities to assess talent before making permanent offers of employment. Internships of this nature are terrific skill-building, work experience and networking opportunities. A successful internship might lead to a full-time role after you prove yourself and will certainly make you more marketable to employers.

While working, continue pursuing your job search. Be sure to actively express your interest in full-time employment at the company hosting your internship.


Read full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/05/24/why-your-first-job-post-college-matters-more-than-you-know/

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