Debunked: 7 Myths About Starting Your First Job
You’re fresh out of university or poly, you’ve landed those job interviews, and you’ve accepted an offer.
You’re finally stepping into the working world – and you’re absolutely terrified.
No, it’s not going to be the end of the world as you know it. We debunk these 7 common myths about starting your first job so you can embark on this next chapter of your life being well-informed and confident.
Myth 1: You’re going to be stuck in the same industry forever
Whatever industry you enter at the beginning of your career is going to be with you until the day you retire. Getting out and changing industries is too risky because you'll not only have to start over and take a pay cut, but it will show potential employers that you can’t make up your mind.
Reality: Mid-career switches are becoming increasingly common nowadays and it doesn’t carry the stigma it might have had in our parents’ times. There’s a decent likelihood that your first industry will not be your last.
Myth 2: You need to find that perfect first job to launch your career
The first job you land has to be that perfect headline of your resume to impress your future employers down the road. If you don’t achieve that ideal, your career is just going to be really mediocre.
Reality: Let’s face it - most fresh grads have little idea about what fulfilment they seek in a job or a career, having never had one. Don’t chase perfection when deciding on your first job offer.
Myth 3: Your whole life will start revolving around your work
That’s it. Your party days are over. Your youth is done and dusted. It’s time to settle down into the tedious monotony of work life and forget how to have fun.
Reality: In all probability, you will now start learning how to properly have fun. This is the time of your life when you start learning more about yourself and how to behave in all kinds of social situations that you were never exposed to in school.
Myth 4: Your first job should combine your passion and skill set
There’s always that perfect job for everyone. You can’t waste your interests, your talents, and your skills.
Reality: There are certainly people who are fortunate enough to be able to do what they do best for a living. Others may be happy being in comfortable enough jobs that pay the bills and gives them time to spend on other things on the sideline, like their hobbies or family. There’s absolutely nothing wrong staying in a job even if it’s not your passion, if it provides an environment that keeps your life balanced and happy.
Myth 5: You’re going to work in the industry you studied for
That major you took in university? You’re going to be bound to that for life.
Reality: It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that most people eventually find themselves in an industry completely unrelated to the degree or diploma they got in university. Even those with professional degrees are becoming increasingly mobile in the job market too.
Myth 6: You’re going to have more money to spend on things
You get your first paycheque and feel like a king. Now you can get that video game, that wallet, that online subscription you’ve always wanted.
Reality: While it is true that your spending power would have increased, it’s also unlikely and unwise to start throwing money around like it’s free. This is, in fact, the best time to start learning about financial planning. Start paying your phone bills, contributing to your family’s household expenses, and allocating enough money each month for your savings. If you’re ready for it, start thinking about more long-term financial products like insurance plans and investment.
Myth 7: You no longer have to think about job-hunting for a while
You landed your first job, congratulated yourself, and can now sit back and relax. You’re not going to be changing jobs for a good long while as you warm up to the industry of your choice.
Reality: Rarely have we seen anyone stay in the first industry of their choice, much less their first job. While you shouldn’t let that stop you from staying in a job that you genuinely enjoy, it’s still a good idea to keep your resume and LinkedIn as updated as possible. You never know when better opportunities might come knocking, or when you decide you’ve had enough and want a change of scene.