What you need to know when you choose your first job

Marlon Mai June 6, 2016 3 mins read

The transition from college to career is a challenging period in any young person's life, as a graduate you may feel confused, and even fear to make your first career decision. Here are some common problems you may face when choosing your first job, and some tips for you to make a smart decision.

Problem 1: You don’t have enough information.

Your teachers and parents may tell you thousands of times what kind of jobs are “good jobs”; like a doctor, lawyer, professor etc, and you may also be influenced by your friends to think what jobs are fancy and popular like marketing, PR, event planner etc. But actually, there are a lot more jobs out there, you need to expand your information source to know the real work world and to find out the job that you love and you are good at.

What I suggest is you can devote half an hour a day on pure search, go to a career social platform like Linkedin and other career exploration sites and blogs to find what other interesting jobs are out there and write down any and every jobs that catches your eyes.

Problem 2: You don’t know what you want.

There are many great jobs in the world. But there are fewer great jobs that are right for you. Making a good connection between yourself (your values, interests, personality, etc.) and a career can be tough. Probably you can hear your inner voice by asking yourself several questions: 1. Does this job sounds interesting? 2. Are you good at what is required in this role? 3. What do you want from the first job (like salary, learning opportunity, company reputation, working environment etc)? 5. Does this job fulfill your needs? And finally 6. Can you see a clear career path in this job and where will you be in 5 years?

By asking and answering these questions, I believe you can judge whether the job suits you or not.

Problem 3: You cannot make a decision

Most of the time you will have multiple career choices that you want to experience, especially when you have no previous working experience and all these opportunities look very good. It’s easy to fall into self-doubt and second-guessing: what if I pick the wrong career choice?

Here I need to steal the slogan from Nike: Just Do It!

Because all these choices are well-researched and practical, you may ask your teachers and friends for advice but in the end you are the one who needs to be responsible for your decision. There is no “what if” in any situation and you can only trust your gut and your judgment to take action. Pick one, do it with passion and effort, and soon you will find you made the right choice.

Wish you all the good luck in finding the job you love and you’re good at, but even if you don’t find the suitable job at the beginning, you will still have many chances to fix it and find the right one. Life is like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director | Finance & Accounting, IT, Sales & Marketing Recruitment
mmai@morganmckinley.com

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