Pick your entry-level job very carefully because it matters more than you think. Most job seekers are worried about maximizing their salary and minimizing their commute, but that's not all you should be considering. If you're focused on your career, you know that experience is everything. That experience starts from day one of job one in your industry. Whether it's your first job out of college or your first job on a new career path, you'll need to create a healthy base.
Your subsequent jobs will build upon each other. You're only as good to the next company as you were at your former job. Make sure you learn as much as you can and get involved with everything in the office. This will ensure that you get the most out of your entry-level job.
There are three critical factors you need to consider when looking for a first job in any career:
The Reputation of Company:
The company you keep is very important. If you work at a respected and known brand, future employers will see that and immediately give you more credibility. You'll also get more points if you ended up staying there for at least a year. This is especially true if you want to be taken seriously in a new industry. Changing your career path can be hard enough as it is, so don't make it any harder by working for an unknown company that has little clout.
Look for more opportunity to learn in the job description of your potential role. A job that has more impact on the company will likely lead you to more meaningful work that you can put on your resume. If you are exposed to this, you are more likely to add value to other companies. If you're starting out your career with little to no experience, future employers will not take notice, therefore leading you to more menial tasks and similar roles.
Size of Company:
The reason why the size of a company matters is two-fold. The main reason working in a big company pays off is networking. If you want to build a network that you can utilize later when you're looking to move, a larger company is where you want to be. These people could be your future employer, your foot in the door, or your source of intel about a new position. Just remember, you may have to compromise experience for a bigger network. The second part of working at a big company is that your job will likely be more specialized than at other smaller companies. When you work for a startup or a smaller organization, your role often includes broader responsibilities and more exposure to other parts of the business. Decide what's important to you before you make a trade-off you can't take back later.
Some Trade-offs May Be Necessary
You may find the perfect job with an ideal blend of reputation, job responsibilities, and size of a company, but you may need to still compromise in other areas like pay and commute. This is common. Take some time now to figure out what you value and go from there when searching for a job. Your entry-level job in any industry will have an impact on your career path, and it's crucial that you take ownership of that path before it is given to you. Once you've figured out your priorities, apply to our open positions. You'll find many jobs that are just waiting for candidates like you. We'd love to place you where you can start your professional journey on your own terms.