Experience really pays the bills

The first job decides the rest of the career

Finally your studies or apprenticeship are over, your degree is in your pocket and your professional life begins. The first job and the entry-level position are, however, underestimated by many. A study has now come to the conclusion that the first job can lay the foundation for the entire subsequent career. Anyone who chooses the wrong first job will run after their professional opportunities for years and decades ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

The first job: how important is it really?

For many, the first job after graduation is seen as an entry point, possibly even a pure one Pass position. Motto: First get your foot in the door, maybe gain your first work experience and arrive at work after university. Another factor that plays a role for many graduates: The main thing is to get started quickly, not leave any gaps, and start your first job shortly after graduation.

You can therefore regularly observe how well-trained university graduates choose their first job for which they are totally overqualified or who actually does not fit your education and specialization at all. Some initially stay in their student job for some time, others take the first job they come across and are already thinking about changing after a few years at the latest and looking for a position that really fits their career planning.

Big mistake! Of course, bills have to be paid, but the first job after graduation is extremely important and should be selected accordingly. Already here you lay the foundation on which your entire future career will be built and not only house builders know: If you work sloppily on the foundation, you should not be surprised about problems that arise.

You lie first job well below your qualificationsSo if the foundation is 20 meters below the surface of the earth, no matter how much you can build - you will never make it as high as if you had laid the foundation stone significantly higher.

So the first job can hurt you

This is exactly the result of a study (PDF) that looked at the long-term effects of a first job for which graduates were overqualified. The summarized result: Those who start with a backlog also stay behind. So if you are far too good for your first job, it can hardly be made up.

Subjects who were overqualified in their first job are very likely to still be in a job after five years that does not match their own qualifications. Also the long-term development is anything but promising: Even after ten years, 75 percent were still in a position that didn't do them justice.

For you this means: The wrong first job cannot be caught up so easily. While others are already in the career sprint, they are first running backwards. Women According to the researchers, they are more often affected than men. Almost 50 percent of the female graduates started their first job with overqualification, but it was also 37 percent for the men.

In addition to career opportunities and opportunities for advancement, this of course also suffers pay. Constant overqualification does not help you to be better paid for your own position. If you believe the scientists, graduates who got the wrong first job lose around $ 10,000 every year.

How important the first job is is once again clearly shown by the contrasting view. The study also looked at how the careers of graduates who chose a suitable first job that matched their respective qualifications developed. Clear result: Setbacks are the absolute exception! If the first job is correct, even after five years, 87 percent are still in a job that matches their qualifications, and of these, over 90 percent are in a position that corresponds to their level of training even after ten years.

Tips: This is what you should learn from it

The findings of such a study are very important, but only become useful when they are followed by action. Finally, we have a few tips for you to help you avoid the negative consequences of the wrong first job:

  • Make yourself aware of your qualifications

    At the beginning of their careers, many graduates are still unsure. I'm fresh from university ... or I lack experience ... are frequent doubts that lead to choosing the first job from among one's own possibilities. Do not downplay yourself, but make it clear to yourself what kind of good training you have and what qualifications and strengths you bring with you.

    If it helps, you can also make a list of all your skills and qualifications. Compare this with the expectations and requirements for a job. If you have far too high qualifications, this is probably not the first job for you.

  • Don't necessarily take your first job

    Out of university and into your first job. In principle, this path makes sense, but it does not necessarily have to be the first point that you come across. It is not only allowed but also appropriate to be a little picky about your first job and rather to search carefully and select a suitable position instead of signing the first employment contract that you are presented with.

    This does not immediately result in a gap in the résumé, because after graduating, it is very easy to explain that you did not start your first job the day after the certificate was handed over.

  • Don't get stuck in a wrong first job

    If it is unavoidable that you take on your first job for which you are overqualified, the motto is: take the next professional step as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, many people make themselves comfortable in such a position, come to terms with the situation or completely lose sight of their professional goals.

    Remorse and frustration can perhaps be postponed, but at some point they will make themselves heard with all their might - only by then it may be too late. You should therefore plan your next steps immediately and look for opportunities to switch to a job that corresponds to your expertise as soon as possible.

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[Photo Credit: Dmitry Guzhanin by Shutterstock.com]