9 Tips to Choose Your First Job as Graduation Approaches

Although graduation might be more than half a year away from now, it is never too early to start preparing to look for your first job. In this blog post, Recruitery will give you some tips and insights into how to look for your first job as graduation approaches. 

1. Type of Company

Employees in the company having a heated argument

Are you interested in working for a private company, a multinational corporation, or a state-owned enterprise? Other options include public institutions, government positions, and non-profit organizations. 

These types of organizations have different development directions, work styles, work environments, and income levels. Therefore, your initial preparation should also be different. You must understand yourself, think about your career path, and consider trying various internships. 

Let's discuss the two most common options: private companies and state-owned enterprises. How to choose between them?

  • If you want to earn a higher salary while you're young and can handle the pressure, then go for a private company. It might be intense, but the compensation is generally higher, especially for technical positions.

  • If you prefer a relatively lower-stress environment, more stability, or higher social recognition, then state-owned enterprises or government positions are excellent choices. State-owned enterprises are usually involved in strategic sectors that the government considers important. Consequently, these sectors tend to have a higher level of social recognition.

The type of company you choose to work for can significantly impact your career trajectory. 

Startups often provide opportunities for rapid growth and learning, but they may also require long hours and offer less job security. 

Non-profits can offer a sense of purpose and fulfillment but may not pay as well as corporate jobs. 

Government agencies often provide stability and good benefits but might not offer as much opportunity for rapid advancement. 

Corporations typically offer good pay and benefits, along with opportunities for advancement, but the work may be more structured and less flexible.

2. City

You should decide where you want to work and live. Your choice of the city you work in will determine your minimum income, cost of living, job opportunities, and lifestyle. Consider where your desired industry is more concentrated and mature. 

Also, think about whether the city is suitable for building networks and accumulating resources in the long term. Factors to evaluate include industry clusters, cost of living, the quality of life, and your personal circumstances.

3. Company Size

Choosing between a large corporation and a medium or small enterprise, or even a startup, depends on your circumstances. The general recommendation for first jobs is to start with a larger company. This is because large companies offer a structured environment for you to develop your professional skills and gain an understanding of industry rules and norms. They are also more willing to train recent graduates. Large companies also carry higher levels of recognition, which can be a significant resume booster.

4. Business Division

Similar to the choice of a company, it's suggested to opt for mature and stable business divisions over emerging ones. Working in a more established division will enhance your risk management skills and help you absorb standard processes and norms.

5. Position

Changing positions is not as challenging as you might think. When it comes to this part, it's recommended that you understand the specific job responsibilities, working hours, and salary situation for each position. You can also benefit from your connections to gain insights into the immediate supervisor for that position, which can provide a more accurate assessment of your future job satisfaction.

6. Identify Your Interests

This is the first and most crucial step. Reflect on your experiences and passions. What subjects or tasks energize you? What projects or assignments have you found most engaging? The answers to these questions can help you identify potential industries and roles that would suit you. Remember, when you’re interested in your work, it doesn’t feel like a chore, leading to greater job satisfaction and success.

7. Evaluate Your Skills

Take a comprehensive inventory of your skills. This includes not only the technical skills you’ve learned from your degree but also soft skills like communication, leadership, and problem-solving. Consider how these skills align with the jobs you’re interested in. Also, think about any gaps in your skill set and how you might address them, perhaps through further education or training.

8. Research Potential Employers

Spend time researching the companies that have caught your interest. Look at their mission statement, values, and company culture. Read reviews from employees to get a sense of what it’s like to work there. Look at their social media profiles to see how they present themselves. All this research can give you a sense of whether you’d fit in at the company and be happy working there.

9. Seek Advice

Reach out to people who can provide insight and advice. This could be career counselors at your university, professors in your field of study, family members who have experience in the job market, or friends who have recently gone through the same process. They can provide valuable perspectives and may bring up factors you hadn’t considered.

In Summary

As you are approaching graduation and the prospect of your first job, it's essential to consider various factors that will shape your career path. Choosing the type of company, the city you want to work in, the company size, business division, and your position all play pivotal roles in your professional journey. 

Furthermore, identifying your interests, evaluating your skills, researching potential employers, and seeking advice can help you make informed decisions about your future. With careful consideration and planning, you can set yourself on a promising career trajectory that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

Remember! It is always better to plan ahead and start early!