Categorized | Job Hunting

5 First-Time Job Myths

Posted on 24 August 2011

These bad beliefs can divert your career path.

Sometimes those looking for employment can get faulty guidance. The following myths can keep jobseekers from finding a great job after graduation.

Myth #1: I need to take the first job I am offered. Don’t allow those school loans force you to make a hasty career move.

  • For each job offer you receive, write out a pro/con list. Carefully evaluate every offer.
  • Don’t take a job you have a bad feeling about or with work you don’t want to do. Also think about how the job will fit in with your skillset. If it doesn’t, remember other offers will come along.
  • An inflated salary or title can cloud your reasoning. While one job may pay less, you may get more hands-on experience. This will prove more valuable in the future.

Myth #2: My college activities will score me a job. This is one of the most widely-believed myths. While getting involved in activities may boost your experience level, can they really get your foot in the door? They can if you network with the people in the activities. Here are some tips to make the most of your activities:

  • Network with your classmates. They may know someone who is hiring. And reciprocate–when you have a hot tip on a job, let your friends know.
  • Get to know your professors. Not only can they be a terrific reference, they can give you job leads.
  • Be a participant. Don’t just go to meetings and sit there. Volunteer for events, take leadership roles, and be active!

Get to work early, stay late. This is one of the easiest keys to success.

Myth #3: I can temp while I figure out what I want to do. Unless you are faced with an eviction notice, try to avoid temping. While it may temporarily pay the bills and give you something to do, it might muck up your resume. Employers want to see that you’ve been consistently taking jobs that further your career. If your resume is spotted with temp assignments, they may wonder why you aren’t working in your career field. Here are some alternatives:

  • Internships. Internships provide a paycheck, steady work environment, great contacts, and help you figure out your career path.
  • Volunteer work. It won’t pay the bills, but it will count as “real world” experience.
  • Part-time jobs. If you want to work full-time in a certain career field, but aren’t sure if you’ll like it, try going part-time.

Myth #4: I will advance quickly in my first job. While some of your classmates may by lucky enough to be promoted within the first year, most won’t. Here are some advancement tips:

  • Accept that entry-level jobs sometimes mean menial work. Everyone has to start somewhere. Smile and do your work cheerfully. Soon you’ll move up the ladder and be able to focus on work that’s meaningful.
  • Find a mentor. They can give you the inside scoop on the company and help you navigate the first crucial years of work.
  • Volunteer for projects. This does not mean trying to head up every social or volunteer event. Choose projects that show off your strengths.
  • Get to work early, stay late. This is one of the easiest keys to success.

Myth #5: I shouldn’t waste my time at a job I don’t like. Even if you don’t like your first job, stick it out for at least a year. When you start looking for a new job, 12 months is your golden number. A potential employer may form an opinion of how good a worker you are by how you treated your prior job. Staying on the job at least a year shows that you can follow through on your commitments. Here are some ways to cope with a difficult job situation:

  • Evaluate why you took the job in the first place. Did you believe Myth #1? Were you desperate for a job? While it may seem unfair to have to live with your choice, try and make the best of it.
  • Look for jobs online and in your newspaper to get a feeling for what is out there. A few months before your planned departure, start sending out resumes. It will take that long (or longer) to find a job you’ll be happy doing.
  • Network with family and friends–let them know what kind of job you are seeking.
  • Take on projects at work that will boost your resume.
  • Keep doing a good job at work. Remember, your current employer will be a future reference.
  • Don’t tell anyone at work you’re thinking of leaving. And who knows, you may change your mind down the road and start to like the job.
  • Focus on those things in life that make you happy. A job is just a job. Don’t let it get you down.

The first few years after college are critical to your long-term career success. Now that you know the myths, banish them from your mind and have a happy and successful career life!

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Tim says:

    Get the job that you really want by getting a quality education through any of the sites listed on my own site. We want to help the citizens of Baltimore better their careers and lives.

  2. Do my homework says:

    More and more people try to combine online education with permanent job, and this is wonderful cause even such kind of experience teaches how to be more trustworthy.I agree with Myth #2, the more you work on your self improvement and get practical skills-the better.

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