Job hunting can be a tiring endeavour, especially at a time where hiring has slowed down significantly. Still, you’re not willing to settle for less than an ideal opportunity — and we’re on your side!
Your first job can set the course for the rest of your life. Get a job you enjoy, in an industry you love, and you could be set for future successes. However, taking on a job just because “the pay is a few hundred dollars higher” or “it’s the easiest job to get in this economy” can mean spending a year or two in a job that you neither like, nor contributes to your resume.
Should your first job be your “dream job”?
A common mistake that fresh graduates often make during job searches, is identifying surface-level factors as their criteria for accepting a job offer. This includes factors like salary, benefits, and whether this job fits their passions.
The secret to landing your dream job
Don’t get us wrong, we definitely want you to succeed in a career that’s passion-driven and rewards you with fantastic remuneration, but getting to (and excelling in) your dream career is a lifelong goal – and you’re at step one.
The good news is that you can accelerate this process with the right strategy. The “secret sauce” to getting ahead of your peers, quickly, is by using your first job (or your first few jobs) as a catapult to launch yourself towards greater success in the following years.
The “Perfect Job Offer” Checklist
Using our checklist, you’ll accelerate your progress by spending the first few years of your working life accumulating experience and learning skills that make you even more attractive to future employers.
And, as soon as the global economy recovers, you will be in a much better position to choose between attractive offers from some of the industry’s biggest names.
The “Perfect Job Offer” Checklist
(Place a tick beside each of the following items. If a job offer contains three or more ticks, it’s well worth considering – and if it checks all five boxes, grab it!)
What are my long-term prospects in this job?
Do you see yourself in this career over the next five years or more? Remember that while it can be tempting to take up “any job that pays”, by investing your time in a job with long-term prospects, you’re also investing in your future (and boosting your future earning potential).
Is this an industry I’m interested in?
The more time you spend in an industry that you’re passionate about, the more experience you’re getting in this area – experience that will translate into a more attractive resume, better job offers and the leverage you need to negotiate for a higher salary.
What transferable skills can I learn here?
Moving forward, your skills will determine your employability and market value (more so than your educational qualifications). Your role and responsibilities at a company will determine the transferrable skills that you’ll pick up.
If you’re offered a position at an SME — whether it’s a training or permanent position — know that while it may not sound “glamorous” today, the skills and experiences you’ll earn could be worth their weight in gold when you’re applying for your next job or negotiating for upgraded employment terms!
Will this experience improve my value in the marketplace?
Remember, your first job isn’t supposed to be your “ideal job” — it’s a stepping stone towards your dream job, which will come soon! Always consider how (and whether) a job will improve your value in the marketplace — instead of asking, “what can this job give me, right now?”
Do I like the company culture?
We learn, grow and perform at our very best when we’re happy and believe in what we’re doing. Consider whether a company’s culture is in line with your own beliefs and values. If they’re in sync, check this box and know that you’ll be in a good place and surrounded by like-minded people!