The Journey of the Grind

The hardest part of finding your first job? It's not putting together the perfect outfit, mock interviewing, or even perfecting your resume; it's identifying what industry and role you will succeed within AND enjoy going to day-after-day.

Right after college graduation, most young adults dream to have just one job lined up. Through competitive interviews and multiple counter offers, some feel utterly lost. After spending years of life preparing for this moment, most don't realize how their experiences and self-discovery throughout higher education or even high school can influence one's future path.

For those who are graduating in the spring and are stressing about finding the right fit for your first job, this one is for you!

Do Some Self-Searching

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it's a crucial step. A workweek consists of 120 hours, as a minimum you will be working 40 hours a week but probably closer to 50 or 60. That's about half the total hours in a workweek. Finding yourself disappointed that it's Sunday and you have work the next day is one thing, but if you are getting panic attacks because you cannot stomach going into your workplace for yet another week--That's a problem. To find your career sole-mate, ask yourself: What environments do you thrive in? How big of a company do you want to work in? Do you want to travel or remain behind a desk? What makes you feel fulfilled? These are just a few questions but will provide a good foundation for identifying the right work environment.

Do Your Research

Every company has a culture that will either make or break you. Once you have narrowed down an industry you wish to work in, start identifying businesses that are close (but convenient and easy to transition into) and far (but will add value to your resume or pay more). Before sending your resume to any company, google the business. Begin by skimming their social media feeds (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and perhaps YouTube) as well as Glassdoor. For those who are unaware of Glassdoor, this site is where employees and past employees can give their review of the company and the culture. From here, start sorting your list from most ideal to least favorable.

Talk to Someone Who Empowers You

Be sure to ask individuals who you are close with and have had years of work experience what their journey was like, how they navigated various positions, and what drove them into their current position. While you might not hear what you wish they had said, it will be food for thought as you are searching for your first position.

Think About Your Future

How many times have you heard that in your life? But when you actually think about it, where do you see yourself? Do you want a big corner office with your own receptionist or do you want to be your own boss and create a company that you see as valuable in the world? There are a million options!

Liking What You Do for a Living

The final, crucial piece of advice for finding the right career path is discovering the balance of doing something you enjoyed as well as the ability to make a living. While it's necessary to be passionate about your work, in the end, work is what keeps a roof over your head, food on the table, and provides other necessities. Not everyone wakes up knowing they love to code or even practice medicine. It's the experience that you will acquire that will guide you. You'll learn what you like, what you dislike and what you loathe. From there, brainstorm a mix of your likes to what will provide your basic needs.

Not all career journeys are the same nor should they be! Have a career path that you want to share? Email jasocialmedia@ja.org for a chance to be featured!

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