20 Something Career Expert’s Tip of the Month – April

The Perfect First Job Doesn’t Exist

By: Alexandra Levit, reprinted with permission from Alexandra Levit Blog

I will never forget how lost I felt the summer after my graduation from college, and in the years since, I’ve spoken to countless 20-somethings who feel pressured to find their true calling immediately and build a successful career in a particular field before their 25th birthdays.

If there’s one piece of advice I have on this topic, it’s that your career is a journey, not a destination. The perfect first job doesn’t exist, so look at your first post-college positions as temporary stops on your career path instead of permanent ones. There is no way you can reasonably predict how you will develop as a person and a professional in the next 10 or 20 years – why try?

A sensible approach is to insist on a single, intelligent first step and look for a job that will allow you to acquire as many transferable skills (project management, sales, marketing, client relations, etc.) as possible so that you will be well-prepared for any career you decide to pursue in the future.

Also, don’t be in such a rush to be promoted in that first job — you have a long career life ahead of you to shoulder the heavy burden of being on top and thus responsible for employees’ livelihoods and the company’s bottom line. Enjoy this time in which you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself and are getting paid to learn everything you can. Explore any and all opportunities that interest you and make an effort to meet people from all walks of life, and eventually you’ll hit upon something that feels right.

~ Alexandra Levit, 20 Something Career Expert, Campus Calm

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