The first job is bad? It’s an oppurtunity!

for students for graduates for beginners not for professionals not for executives
 

Well, there you are. You recently graduated and now the world bows down to the extensive brain power and your well forged skill levels. You know what, forget it. A first job will teach you humbleness. The application process will do and the real world out there will do. You are just a small fish in the huge sea and there will be a bigger fish. In the end, it might happen that the offers you receive are vague and bad. They might be far under your expectations and you, you are disencouraged. So what do you do? Take the bad offer or search for a better opportunity? Let’s discuss this point under your financial and personal developing aspects.

Finance: No income means loss.

Under normal circumstances, one can expect that you are old enough that you have received your first graduation, let’s say a Bachelor of Arts or something similar. That usually happens in the time around 21. In the anglo-saxon education system(USA, Canada, GB, etc), the graduate usually starts with a big loan into his working life which forces him even more to earn money to at least pay off the interests. The worst situation would be here to start cutting cards.

The European way of “free” education will usually result in far less or even no pressure since there has not been a loan. But in both situations you need a place to live and food to eat, so there are some fixed costs.

Of course, you can start to wait for better opportunities but each month not working will build up more loan or loss and you will lose credibility on your own. Why credibility? The longer you are unemployed, the more people will ask what might be wrong with you.

Your expectations for the new job might be 4,000 $ a month and your only offer is 3,000 $ a month. So overall just 75% of your expectations. You have had 40 applications and just this one offer. Let’s estimate you would get a job by chance 4 months later – that is a difference of 12,000 $ that you have already earned. You would have to work 12 months more in the better job to get on the same level of money earned in comparison. But one of the big differences is that you already have had four months of experience more. And experience is one of the key factors for employment at a new company.

Even half a year working experience matters

Do not underestimate the importance of experience. Most people are outsorted due to insufficient experience levels. That might not be the only reason. Sure, you might have trouble showing off your skills in the interviews. You might have not the best grades or you might have taken an extra year of university to graduate. But isn’t this uncertainty an expression of missing experience? After working some time, you can be quite aware of what it actually means to work on this particular job or in this specific field. You might even like to keep working there because you have a boss that values you and your skills.

A situation without a job might not be beneficial but think ahead one year or even just half a year. What you could have learned already! More than the college will teach you. Formulas and theory will be turned to something greater – practice.

Maybe you have started your job and learned some valuable insights. What have you missed in your college time for this working field you are in right now? How could you benefit your employer even more than now? What is it that you can put into place to stand out of crowd of other job candidates when it comes to a new application?

It is all about the story

See, life is about opportunities and maybe you thought that learning stopped after graduation. But you know, you live and learn. Always. And here you can set in to show off quite easily and well. Build your own story. Do it on your own first.

I can give you some illustrations here in two different examplary cases:

  1. You have finished your graduation in information technology at a college and started your work at a small company nearby. Your first money is earned but after two months you think that this company is not the real deal. You like for example being the scrum master, so, why not make a certification as a scrum master. It usually takes just 2 to 3 days extra work and then you have a nice story for your next application: Look here, I have experience and I am certified.
  2. You work as an external consultant for a big company. You do pretty well in sum for a beginner and you are well-off. Nevertheless, the stress level is too high and to be honest, you are overstrained living in hotels and changing the customer every two weeks. Still, you worked quite well with this one specific customer and saw an open position which could be losely connected to your actual job. It is less money but hey, you can get your life back. So, why not trying to pursuit the better company culture with the methods you already learned? 

This story telling is very important in interviews because you gain a lot of credibility for showing that you had a certain thought process in your CV and for being the specialist of something . The something can be anything: Quality management, mathematical modelling, scripting, accounting, you name it. Adding up some smaller educational bricks for building the house of your own competences. But you always need the will to change your current state to a wished state.

The situation changer is a plan

And to change the situation, you need a plan. It is as simple as that. The plan has not to be big or complicated but it has to consist at least of two things: A goal to be reached and a time to reach it. Then you put in intermediate steps. An example is listed in the lower picture.

It can be as easy as this: Work three months, start advanced training in the fourth, pass it in the fifth and reapply for new job in the sixth month. You might fail the time scheme of your plan but you can track it and this is important. As long as there is progress, everything is fine. Actually, this is pure project management. You need a plan to enable changes otherwise just luck will lead you through your life. But you do not want luck and misfortune to dictate your way of life. You want to be self-determined and you have to be to succeed.

So? Why not?

All this long writing concludes in asking the final question: Why would you not take this “bad” job?  It will give you a lot of opportunities that you have not had before and it is a start. A start into a maybe big career. You cannot lose. And if you have a plan for your own working story, you will benefit in the long run. For sure.

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