There’s a lot of advice out there for folks who are writing their seventh or eighth resume, but what about writing your very first one? You might think you don’t have anything to put down since you’re looking for your first job, but there’s plenty you can do.
Whether it was during or after high school, we want to hear about it.
Chances are your first job wasn’t exactly glamorous. You waited tables or sacked groceries. But humble beginnings are necessary for an epic adventure. What’s important is how those jobs led to your current career path. As noted by the Harvard Business Review, “no matter what [first] job you chose today, you build skills and create options for the long-term.”
What did you learn about the working world? About your preferred management style? About yourself?
Perhaps you don’t consider those early jobs as your true “first job.” You may think of your first “adult” job as your first career job—your first professional position or the first job you held in a particular industry.
We want to hear about those early days in your career. That’s why we’re using the hashtag #MyFirstJob on social media. Feel free to let us know about your first job on any social media platforms or right here on Movin’ On Up!
So what was your first job? Let us know in the comments below!
A recent survey from Express Employment Professionals revealed that more than two-thirds of recent college graduates stay in their first career jobs for one year or less.
The Results Are In
Of those who gradated within the last 18 months, 58% said they stayed in their first job for “seven months to a year.” The full results include:
- Less than three months – 3%
- Three to six months – 10%
- Seven months to one year – 58%
- More than one year – 29%
According to Bob Funk, the CEO of Express, “Younger workers would be advised to stay in their first job longer in order to gain experience. In addition, employers are looking for loyal people. If a business owner or manager spends months training a person, it’s only right for that employee to put their new skills to work for that organization.”
Longevity in the Workplace
These results suggest that longevity isn’t as important to recent graduates as networking, gaining experience, or enhancing their skills. If you want to stand out from the job search competition, consider learning more about the importance of longevity and avoiding gaps in your resume.
How long did you stay in your first job after graduation? Or, how long do you plan to stay in your first job? Let us know in the comments section below!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.
Your first job is a milestone. You get a real paycheck, you start a career, and you start on the grand adventure called life. It will be a learning experience. You may not get the salary of your dreams, and it may feel daunting to learn the ropes, but your first job can teach you many things. Whether you are serving up burgers or starting your first office job, learning these five things can make a significant impact, and can help you move from a first job to a successful career.
1. Your job is to make your manager’s life easier. Until you are CEO, your job is to serve your boss. Make sure you support your manager and take on extra projects when possible to show you are willing to go above and beyond. Most importantly, don’t go to your boss with problems. Go with solutions. If you have a situation you need to resolve, brainstorm possible solutions before you visit with your boss.
2. Attitude, manners, and people skills matter. Establishing that you’re a positive employee is incredibly important, especially early on in your role. If you show that you’re driven by solutions, others will look to you for answers and support. If you bring negative energy into the office, you’ll only bring others down and may end up hurting your career in the process. It may sound simple, but don’t forget to use your manners. “Please” and “thank you” can go a very long way in building stronger relationships.
3. Always look for new ways to learn. “Be a sponge and have a thirst for knowledge,” says business coach Tonya Monsef Bunger. Make an effort to learn new skills, take on training opportunities, and develop your hobbies. When you learn something new, you bring even more positive qualities to your skill set, which in turn can help boost your resume.
4. Don’t get discouraged. In any job, problems will arise. Issues are often unavoidable, but how you deal with them can make or break your job performance. It’s okay to feel like things are going less than perfect, but don’t dwell on the challenges. Instead, stay focused and positive, and try to offer solutions to the problem.
5. Know when it’s time to move on. Your first job may not be your dream job. You may not be making much money, you may have tasks you don’t like. All of that is normal. But, if your job is making you miserable and you face every day with stress and anxiety, it may be time to move on. Whether you’re unhappy in your job, you need more income, or it’s just time for a change, make sure you know how to move on.
Most likely, your first job is not going to be your last job. If an opportunity presents itself, go for it. The only way you can grow in your career is to take those opportunities.
What did you learn from your first job? Do you have any words of wisdom for others starting their first job? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.
For college graduates, the first job after graduation may be just a stepping stone on the way to bigger and better things, and if you’re a company that’s hired that perfect graduate, you may lose him or her quicker than you think.
A recent Express Employment Professionals survey found that most employers – 77 percent – do not expect recent college graduates to stay more than a year in his or her first job. Of the franchises surveyed, only 23 percent believed the average graduate would spend more than a year with the company.
That means all that time you spent recruiting vibrant college grads is for naught, if you can’t keep them.
The Grass May Not Be Greener, but Who Cares
Express released the 2014 edition of the “America Employed” survey of 115 Express franchises across the nation. Respondents to the survey were asked how long the average graduate stayed in their first job following graduation, and the results were pretty clear. Graduates are looking for new or better jobs less than 12 months after being hired.
“These survey results bring to mind a couple of trends that we’ve seen for years now,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
“First, many in the Millennial generation are taking jobs that they are over-qualified for and thus are eager to move on when something better appears. Second, we’ve seen a decrease in employees’ commitment to employers as a higher value is placed on personal advancement.”
So what does this mean for employers? First, companies need to find ways to attract young talent and make the company appealing enough for them to stay.
Keeping Your Talent
Competition for attracting talented college graduates is fierce, and studies show the battle will only get tougher for the high-demand skills that graduates have. One way businesses can keep those talented workers is to offer an opportunity for professional growth.
Professional development and the possibility of advancement may be the perfect carrots to dangle in front of your new hires, but investing in their future shows you want to keep them. Add on training and promotion, and you’ll make staying on your team more appealing.
“It’s true that the ‘grass isn’t always greener,’ but this generation seems plenty willing to go check out the grass on the other side,” Funk said. “Employers, take note!”
How long did you stay in your first job after college graduation? How long do you expect to stay in your first job? Let us know in the comment section below!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.
Individuals entering the workforce for the first time share similar ideas about what a new job will mean to their life. Most hope for competitive pay, meaningful work, and independence. While all that is obtainable, it is difficult to gain immediately. But by keeping a few thoughts in mind, young professionals can enter their first year in a new career with as much ease, and success, as possible.
First things first, realize that although you may be making more money, you don’t have to act like it. Remember that with your new paycheck comes a great opportunity to spend the money you earn wisely. Work toward paying off loans, investing in a suitable work wardrobe, and saving. Practicing discretion with your cash flow from the beginning is a great step in your future financial planning.
Secondly, understand that although you are now in the workforce, you still have a long way to go. Young professionals must continue to prove themselves to employers and coworkers, even after they’ve been given a job. Persevere despite others questioning your ability. Challenge yourself, and your coworkers, by sharing ideas, being proactive, and offering others help when you can. Once you show your boss you are reliable, you will be well on your way to gaining more respect and responsibility from those around you.
The biggest surprise many young professionals face is the amount of time a new career can take. If your job has traditional 8 to 5 business hours this can be quite a change from a flexible retail or school schedule. The first year in a career often demands more time and energy than your schoolwork or entry-level jobs required. Learning to prioritize can be a challenge. You must learn your own limits and not be afraid to share those boundaries with your leader. Although it is important to be dedicated to work, it is also important to take time for yourself. Finding a balance between work and life outside of it will take some time, but is important to keep you from burning out.
The first year in the real world is undoubtedly tough. Learning how to manage money, balance time, and prove yourself is no easy feat. However, the first year can be pivotal to your career’s journey. Remember that we’ve all made mistakes, especially during our first year, and that every wrong move provides ample opportunities to learn valuable lessons for the future.
You’ve pulled all nighters studying for mid-terms and finals. You’ve labored over group projects and read dozens of textbooks. Now you’re finally about to graduate and enter the real world. Prepare for your new career by learning what it takes to successfully transition from student to full-time employee.
Arrive for work on time. It sounds simple enough, but punctuality can often be a challenge for younger workers. Set yourself apart by making it a priority to always arrive at least five minutes early. You’ll also score major points by sticking around a few minutes past quitting time each day.
Come well-rested. Gone are the days where you can roll into class bleary-eyed and half-awake. Getting enough sleep ensures you’ll be alert and ready to contribute your full potential. That means going to bed early enough each night to get at least seven to eight hours of rest.
Dress professionally. Once you start your career, your wardrobe may require a little sprucing up. Remember, a good rule of thumb is to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Take note of how leaders at your organization dress, and follow their example.
Limit your consumption of digital media. While texting and checking Facebook and Twitter are great ways to keep in touch with friends, those habits won’t help you make a good impression at a new job. While you’re at work, keep your focus on the task at hand. Resolve to only text, make personal calls, or check social networking sites during breaks or before and after work.
Make sure you understand your role. It’s hard to succeed at something if you don’t know the purpose behind what you’re doing. Is the core of your job increasing sales, improving customer relations, or reducing expenditures? Find out why your company needs you and then focus on doing those tasks to the best of your ability.
Be proactive about requesting additional assignments. Starting out at your new job, you may have periods where you don’t have much to do. Instead of being bored or just trying to look busy, seek out opportunities to help others and learn new things. Let co-workers or your supervisors know that you’re eager to pitch in and take on new challenges.
Be willing to serve others. When you offer your help, be prepared to give it – no matter the task. Don’t be offended if the boss asks you to do seemingly insignificant jobs like make copies or prepare coffee. Instead, consider it an opportunity to show others that you’re a team player.
Find a mentor. To learn the ropes, seek out an individual who excels within your company and ask them if they’d mind sharing a few pointers. They’ll most likely be eager to assist you – people are flattered to be asked for their advice. Co-workers who’ve been around awhile can help you get into the groove at a new job by teaching you the “unwritten rules” at your place of employment.
By preparing yourself for success, you’ll make a great first impression at your new job. Your supervisors will be wowed by your “can do” attitude and professionalism. You may even impress yourself with how much you can achieve when you put your mind to it.