How much does your first job really matter in 2018


With graduation season soon on the horizon, it’s the time of year when graduates start worrying about landing that “right” first job. Should they search for a job related to their studies? What if they choose the wrong industry to start out in? What impact will a mistake have on their CV in the long run?

But how much does your first job really matter?

More and more people are changing jobs in their 20s

In the olden days, people would choose a job for the long term, valuing security and changing as little as possible. However, in recent years changing jobs has become extremely common. According to a study conducted by the University of Phoenix in 2017, 86% of participants in their 20s had considered changing jobs or industries compared to only 66% and 60% of those in the 30s and 40s (respectively).

Rapid changes in technology and modern corporate practices have accelerated this change in behavior, as well as a challenging economic that’s been unfavorable for young adults. Given the high prices, it’s not surprising that people are continuously searching for opportunities with better pay and benefits, instead of relying on annual salary increases (which is often a slower way to improve your pay scale).

Most people don’t end up where they planned

Another study also shows that despite people planning for their career, over 70% of participants weren’t working in the jobs they had expected.

A study in the U.S. interviewed 100 women in leadership positions, revealing that only 20% of them knew which industry or job they wanted to do at 21, and just 3% are still working in the same industry as they began in.

Careers don’t also turn out as expected, and it’s common to end up in a completely different industry than you started in. Jodi Glickman, author of “The Great Job”, comments that graduates shouldn’t worry about their first jobs, as they’re not the final result in a long career. The most important thing is to acquire as skills and experience.

Naomi Chan

Career Coach and professional career hacker at Team Vanna

4 min read

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