The prospect of starting your studies right after studies is exciting. To a fresh graduate, the world appears to be a domain full of possibilities and opportunities and even challenges. Summer jobs and internships must have given a student a taste of the real world, but the first proper job is one’s intuition in the real world. Irrespective of the amount of study that you have done in college, the world of work remains a new frontier full of new lessons. Hence, due consideration and thought should be given towards choosing the right career. Too much experimentation or a complacent attitude both can seriously damage one’s long-term career prospects. Luckily, some guidance and practical advice from pros and career experts can help new grads make the right choices career-wise. Here are the top 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a career or accepting your first job offer:
What is My Inner Passion?
A job that lets you live your true purpose is the best one. But grads try to find jobs instead that are prestigious, pay well, are secure and can help them lead a comfortable lifestyle. No wonder they start feeling disillusioned a few years down the road. That ideal job, in the long run, might not be in line with what they are passionate about in life and what gets them all charged up. If you haven’t figured out your passion in life yet, try this freestyle essay writing technique as an exploratory exercise: Ask yourself what makes you feel passionate, energetic in life. Are you passionate about helping people out; do you love traveling the world; are you determined about solving a particular problem in your community and finding a solution; do you like inventing things? Then write down all the ways you can accomplish your life’s mission. Filling in these blanks in your writing will help you figure out your passion and ideal vocation.
What Are My Hidden Talents and How I can Manifest Them?
Irrespective of what we believe, each of us has a God-given, natural talent. We usually take our talents for granted or don’t feel confident enough in. We may think that these talents have no role to play in our jobs. They are the things that can’t help us make a living. So, we go for jobs that look easy or lucrative. These kinds of jobs may also require you to do certain set tasks over and over, but they might not be the things you are naturally good at doing. If you don’t know what your inner passion and hidden talents are, seek guidance from a friend, mentor or a career counselor. Once you know your hidden strengths and talents, you can study the available career options and begin your job search.
What Makes Me Happy?
If you are following your passion, you would feel happy. But the education world is all about studying, exams, deadlines and good grades. While the professional world is all about success, competition, goals, targets, a great salary package, bonuses, perks, and incentives. And sadly, neither our education nor our job teaches us to be happy. In fact, they teach us to be tense and miserable in our pursuit of material things. Money is not the be all and end all of everything; personal satisfaction and happiness are. Your job can be exhausting in terms of the number of hours you need to put in or the complexity it involves, yet if you feel happy with that particular job, nothing else would matter.
How Do I Like to Work?
Every person has a distinct working style. Even as students, our thinking and working style become distinct: Some work well with guidelines and under supervision; others are experimenters and risk takers. Some are practical; others are creative. Some are introverts; others are extroverts. Let’s see an example: Can you find your way around problems quickly or you like to find your way out gradually? For instance, if writing is not my forte or if I don’t have enough time, is it okay is I let someone write my essay? Should I do a less than satisfactory job, or should I ask for a deadline extension? Whatever personality type and attitude you have would impact your work style now and later your career choice. One’s personality type helps one become part of the office culture or stand apart from it. When your personality type is different from your team’s, you would have more frictions and interpersonal issues.
What Would I Take from This Place?
A great salary package and benefits sound very tempting, but we take home more than salary, i.e., experience. We gain invaluable skills and experience from the job meeting new people and challenges. Most of these skills are transferable across contexts and increase our experience’s depth and our value as an employee for other prospective employers. That’s why a job that may pay less right now but provides invaluable learning opportunities like a chance to work on exciting projects or interact with illustrious clients would be more worthy than a job that pays more but has no financial or professional growth.
What’s My 5 Year Plan and How does the Job Fits in It
Not every job is the right fit. A job that may seem exciting and even lucrative right now from the point of view of salary and perks may not remain so after a few years. While we don’t have a crystal ball to peer into the future, we need to study the industry trend, growth opportunities and our vision to decide whether the current job would help us grow and reach where we want to go in life personally and professionally in 5 years. Sometimes we take a job because of lack of better options or just to escape unemployment, but a lack of introspection may make us get stuck in it for years. The sooner you know what you ultimately want and take necessary actions, the better it would be.
We don’t end up finding the right job by default! The first job may not be the most ideal or suitable one for you, but you shouldn’t give up or regret your choice. Remember, that every job gives you experience, and that is – the most valuable thing in the world.
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