Should you accept the first job after graduating?
By Tim Koekkoek on Aug 15, 2012
When we graduate we are usually very eager to get our first job, earn our own money and live the life we’ve dreamed of. We want to be on our own, be independent and make the first step towards a successful career in the business we choose. We start applying for the jobs we would like to have, hoping we will receive a call. It might happen that we don’t only apply for the jobs we dreamed of, but also for some other jobs that aren’t so appealing to us. We are motivated to work, so we might be tempted to apply even for jobs that don’t fit our personality or who aren’t exactly what we want. What if we receive an offer for one of these jobs? Should we say yes just because of our willingness to work and be employed?
We would say that the answer is neither yes, nor no. There are several aspects that you should take into consideration before accepting the first job offer and even before applying for jobs.
1. Ask yourself two questions:
a. What motivates you in a job?
b. What motivates you to apply for the job?
Compare the answers and see if there is a connection. By being honest with yourself you will avoid applying for a job that is not suitable to your profile and end up frustrated because you don’t enjoy what you are doing.
2. Research into the available jobs that match your requirements and skills, on the opportunities and benefits you would receive in the companies you want to apply to and see if these meet your expectations.
3. You could try to find a job related to the big picture you have about your career. It might not be possible to find the ideal job at first attempt, but try to at least gain some relevant experience for your future roles.
4. If you receive a job offer, you can ask for some time to think about it before giving an answer. If you are involved in more than one recruitment process, make sure the recruiters "> you’ve been talking to know that you’re expecting answers from other companies. If you received an offer and were waiting for one more answer, you could consider contacting the other employer and ask them about the recruitment’s status. They will appreciate you letting them know that you are interested in their position and willing to make the right decision.
5. You might have accepted an offer with certain expectations from this job, but eventually it proved to be something different from what you had in mind. Give it a chance! Usually it takes a couple of months to settle to a new working place and to feel comfortable with what you’re doing. Remember all those moments when you first said no to something new, but eventually it proved to be a wonderful experience. In a new job things may end up the same way.
6. You have to start somewhere. Even if you don’t receive the ideal job offer, it’s a first and it will bring you some useful work experience.
Overall, you should make a decision before saying yes to the first job offer, imagining yourself in that position, doing the things you are supposed to do. Is this image close to what you would like to see?