Many times there's pressure on graduates that they need to ensure the perfect job straight out of obtaining their diploma. It feels as if it must align with their degree and also needs to be prestigious enough to set their career in motion. Yet as the employment landscape continues to shift more and more, those days have changed.
A successful experience is more important
When looking at where you will go first as a graduate, it’s more important to see if there’s an alignment of professionalism and cultures where you feel comfortable. You’re a graduate with minimal experience, which means this first role will be one that will continue your education in a more practical way.
That means you want to work at a place where you can be the most impactful and learn from your mistakes. This is a training ground that can become much more useful than any type of prestigious role that looked good in the advert.
It doesn’t stop at your first role
Just as you were discovering yourself when you were learning your studies, it's actually your first few roles that can help solidify what you want to do as a career for the rest of your life. Always remember that it may be a smarter move to at least stay in similar positions or similar industries so that your CV doesn't cause confusion with recruiters in the future. Yet you will be surprised how many different positions you're able to work in one company.
Let's say you're going into marketing. There are direct marketing positions, digital marketing, community management, affiliate marketing and so on. There are also cross-functional positions such as business development, partnerships, or relationship management. Working out where you find yourself most satisfied during these formative career years will make you not only a more well-rounded candidate in the future but will also help you, as a person, decide what is right for you.
What about the company itself?
While there is still some prestige when it comes to more traditional companies and working for them, the employment shift has also changed. With a plethora of startups coming out yearly that end up becoming more successful and attractive than these traditional companies, it's more important to focus on the roles than the companies themselves in many cases. So use this exploratory time to take that theory you've been learning and convert it into practical experience.
In the end
Remember that any type of career is a marathon, and part of preparing for that career is how you are handling yourself as a graduate. Understand that soft skills are still relevant. Being truly adaptable and able to shift in local economies as well as global economies will help your career over a long period as opposed to simply studying for a profession which you see is where you can make the most money. You'll be much more prepared for what's out there.
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