What you need to know when you choosing your first job

Marlon Mai July 7, 2016 3 mins read

The transition from college to career is a challenging period in anyone’s life, as a graduate you may feel confused and even fear to make that first career decision, here are some problems you may face when you choose your first job and some tips for you to make smart decisions.

Problem 1: You don’t have enough information.

Throughout your childhood and your teens you may hear from your teachers, parents or friends about what jobs are the best, and why you should pursue that career. You’ll be heavily influenced and persuaded by the arguments made for that particular job. They may list all the jobs that pay well and are quite popular, but in reality there are a lot more jobs out there. You’ll most likely need to expand your information source, to identify a variety of potential careers out there, and to know what other opportunities there are in the real work world. Therefore, you’ll be able to find something that you love and you are good at.

What I suggest is you can devote half an hour a day on pure search, utilize career social platforms such as 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 few great jobs that are right for you. Making a good connection between yourself (your values, interests, personality, etc.) and a career can be tough. You can probably hear your inner voice by asking yourself several questions: 1. Does this job sounds interesting? 2. Are you good at what is required in the role? 3. What do you want from the first job (like salary, learning opportunity, company reputation, working environment etc) and does this job fulfill your needs? 4. 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 have a good judgment whether this job suits you or not.

Problem  3: You cannot make a decision

Most of the time you will have multiple possible career choices that you may want to try, especially when you have no previous working experience and all the opportunities presented 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!

If you followed my previous steps, 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 luck to find the job you love, but even if you didn’t find a 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 never know what you going to get.

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