You’re pretty much the youngest person at your company. You get all the bitch work – and sometimes don’t get credit for it. You go in early. You stay late. Free time no longer exists. Most importantly, what you’re doing now is not what you want to be doing the rest of your life. Where are you working??? Your first job… duh.
Towards the end of senior year of college, I wasn’t worried about getting an awesome job. I had a few awesome internships, was involved, did well in school, and even made some networking connections. During my last few weeks of college, I started to score some interviews and was confident I was going to be offered a job I wanted within a month after graduation. To my surprise, I was wrong.
Weeks of interviews and no offer letters turned into months. Luckily, I was able to work part time at a place I previously interned at… but it seemed that no one was hiring any permanent full-time entry level positions for me. Desperate and confused, I started applying to jobs that I wasn’t even really interested in. I was miserable, but still ambitious and focused on one thing: getting a job.
Eventually, I was hired by a company to do “corporate video production,” which was a disguised job description for doing “not much video production at all.” Of course, this wasn’t what I wanted – I wanted to work in television production. If you had asked me on my graduation day if I would ever work in technology designing products, I would have probably laughed at you. Young and naive, I didn’t believe that the horrible economy would affect me… but it did.
Every day at my first job was a struggle. I strolled in late. I had no desire to stay past 5. Since I was convinced I wouldn’t be there long, I didn’t try to make many friends. I had zero interest in the products I was creating. I actually had zero interest in the company itself. As for the video production aspect, it was lacking. I was bored.
To cure my boredom, I started this blog and searched for jobs every day. Everyone always says you should stay in your position for at least one year – but this does not apply if you want to work in a different industry and have no interest in your company. Eventually, after 8 months, I was offered a job at a television production company in a position that I really like. No, this position is not what I want to do for the rest of my life – but if it was, I would be a person with no ambition.
This generations’ 20-somethings are ambitious. So ambitious that we’ll never be happy until we are working for ourselves. We don’t think “long term” when we get our first job – We immediately think, “what’s next?” We are always looking at different party options for the weekend – and jobs are no different. Staying a company for years is not for us. We know we deserve a better job and we will get it. In fact, the way to get a great raise now is to switch companies.
If you think you scored your “dream job” right out of college… you didn’t. You have years ahead of you that will involve you advancing within your industry – you might even realize you want to switch industries. As 20-somethings, we are the youngest people in the working world, meaning you might not even know what you want to do yet. After starting this blog, I’m thinking I want to have more of a writing career – but I don’t know yet… because I’m young, on my second job, and still getting a feel for the real world.
Even if you don’t believe it now, your first real job is great experience… no matter what it is. It is always a step that will lead you in the right direction. You might just have to take a few stops on the road to success that you don’t necessarily enjoy. Bitch-work, feeling like a 1st grader could do your job, having work take over your social life, skipping lunch because you’re too busy, not being able to go to the gym as much anymore… these are all first job problems that we all experience.
Don’t be upset if your first job isn’t what you wanted. You will get there soon, as long as you stay ambitious and alert. For now, be grateful you even have a job.