All kinds of new grads are being released in the wilds of the employment world this month.
They have a degree or a diploma in hand and are ready to land their dream job.
It’s really too bad that we have set them up for that expectation. You first job will never be your dream job. That only happens in the movies.
When you emerge from your sheltered school environment, you feel like you know everything. Then you get a job and you realize how much you actually don’t know. You also learn what having a “job” and a “boss” is really like.
It can be an ugly time. But it’s also a time of great learning; it kind of caps off your education. That first manager will really help shape what you want to do in your life. If you are lucky enough to have a great manager, then the job itself is almost irrelevant. You will learn about balancing work and life, about setting priorities and answering to different types of people.
If, on the other hand, you have a bad manager, it is still a great learning opportunity. You learn a lot about the things that you don’t like and the things you will never do when you are a manager.
All this comes into play when you are looking for jobs number two and three. At this point, you are starting to hone in on the things that you are really good at and the type of manager you need have to continue to develop. Now, things are starting to shape up and you might actually be able to see what your dream job might really look like.
So, don’t get too hung up on your first gig. Just start. Get a job, make some money and continue learning. That’s all that’s going to matter in the end.