I once thought of becoming a career coach, especially with my unconventional career choices being so appealing to some, I have to admit that it is tough for me too. Since I graduated about 3 years ago, I have been witnessing the eternal vicious cycle of “just graduated from university, now what?”. While half of my friends and acquaintances seemed to be aware of the type of job to take, I bet the other half (or more than that) would have no clue about what truly inspire them.
This post is not about telling you what to do, or to formulate your personal vision or not even to formulate a career thesis. It is rather meant to leave you with some questions to think about and I will start with some reminders. I make the assumption that you don’t know what job to choose but you’re applying (or already been offered work opportunities).
1. Don’t FCKING DECIDE BEFORE GETTING TO THE decision-making time!
If you are wondering which job to take before even getting an offer – What’s the point? Just wait and learn to wait.
2. Trust your guts and/or flip a coin!
Making a list of pro/cons, or listing out the benefit…or even the next job that you could possibly get after the first one…oh well – that’s literally all about trusting your guts!
3. Your First job is NOT your LIFE and you are NOT the job.
Learn from the experience – if the job is not what you want/were looking for, there’s nobody preventing your from quitting…and use the lessons learnt to do a better “job” at picking your next one.
4. First In First Out – Always.
FIFO is used in both accounting and computer science. Basically, the first job offer that you get is the first that you will be choosing.
Guiding your job picking process…
Will the opportunity enable you to grow both personally and professionally?
You career choice should give you the room to explore yourself, allowing you to unleash your curiosity to discover, acquire and even, master new skills. The work culture is another aspect that could be an exciting criterium too. Does the company enable you to work hard and play harder? What about your (future) colleagues? Are they people you would get along with? At first, you might not know but within a week or two in the job, you would get an answer.
What about the job scope itself – will it enable you to solve problems? Will it challenge you to reach out to (im)possible results?
Will the opportunity enable you to avoid the things you don’t like doing?
First rule to discovering exciting career or becoming good at something is to KNOW what you DO NOT like doing.
That’s a tough first rule because you gotta do it anyway to start with and then know that you don’t like it.
Will the opportunity offer the culture and people you will enjoy working with?
Investors invest in…people and rarely in companies. Choose wisely whom you will work for.
Interviews are meant for you to get to know your (future) employer. Asking past & current staffs, reading reviews online and going through a company’s annual report (if it is a public listed one) are great ways to collect hints.
Is the opportunity offer you the chance to be proud of what you’re doing?
Mission-driven companies are HARD to come by. On the other hand, starting in a first job is mostly about exploring, learning and more exploration.
Life is short – put more efforts into doing something that you want to wake up for every single day. Consider whether a job after a while or before taking it, will enable you to work on your strengths and will put you on either a growth learning curve or a combination of both building up your strengths and increasing your learning experience.
I’m writing two new posts on career for soon-to-be graduates and young professionals at their early career crossroad.