Hang in there or move on?
When reading job posts, it seems as if employers are always looking for the perfect vita. A master’s degree, three years of work experience in the company’s field, fluent English, and highly advanced software skills. These requirements are something you will see more and more often and it is often the case that you find what seems to be the perfect entry point in your career, but lack some points in their expectation. Many students know what it feels like when the CV just does not look perfect enough.
The part about the work experience often brings a handful of problems. The first work experience is a vital event for your path in life and it is important to understand that you will not only do something for the company, but the company should also do something for you.
Unfortunately, not all students are given the chance to develop themselves to the best in their first professional experience, be it a part-time occupation parallel to the studies, the first internship or the first full-time job. This article should help everyone who is questioning where to go with his or her current or upcoming occupation. Maybe you are even thinking about changing your job, but afraid of how it will look like on your CV? Then you might find some answers or inspiration here.
This article should help everyone who is questioning where to go with his or her current or upcoming occupation. Maybe you are even thinking about changing your job, but afraid of how it will look like on your CV? Then you might find some answers or inspiration here.
You are doing it for yourself
Understanding your first employment after your studies as the next step in the continuous process of learning and improving your skills is fundamental to knowing what you are looking for in a profession and what your employer needs to do for you so you can develop in a way that is best for you.
Always remember this when you feel your current situation is not bringing you forward. Your younger years are the time for you to grow as a person and acquire more professional skills. There are many reasons why a company might not be the right fit for you and it is up to you if you change something about it or not.
If one or more of the following reasons apply to your current occupation, internship or part-time job, you should re-consider your alternatives for getting better in what you do.
Dirty work only
You found the first weeks of your job very interesting. You brought a highly motivated attitude into the company, asking questions and taking notes, coming early and leaving late. Today, you are executing the same tasks over and over again: writing meeting-protocols, typing addresses into the database and numbers into Excel. You asked for more challenging assignments countless times, but no one is willing to give you some extra responsibilities. Time is passing by slower than ever before and you feel like there is nothing you can improve your current work.
One solution for you might be to demonstrate your value to the company by bringing in your own ideas or even working on a new idea on your own and presenting the results to your superior. If this form of engagement is not appreciated and you find your suggestions are being constantly rejected, you at least tried to change something about it and know what assignments you will be looking for in your future employment.
Your effort is not valued enough
“When you stop trying to get better, you stop being good.”
No matter how hard you try, your results are not being recognized. Your standards are constantly decreasing when it comes to the quality of your output, as the minimum of effort brings you the same appreciation as the maximum. And even worse: Your colleagues are just slacking around because this lack of recognition has killed everyone’s motivation.
This type of culture is not only bad for you, but for the entire social relationship between the employees and therefore the whole company. If you really care about your peers and want to make your firm a better place, try making the first step by giving a little recognition for their work. Chances are high this will be appreciated and you will slowly improve the company culture in addition to raising sympathy on your behalf. It is important that you don’t let yourself get frustrated by this behavior and you never stop trying to deliver the best results, or you will become discouraged to become better at what you do eventually.
It’s not making you happy
Getting up in the morning is the worst part of the day and coming home the best. The vibes in your company are dragging you down. Your colleagues are not helpful and everyone is just doing the minimum to make a living. Your boss doesn’t care what you do as long as you deliver in time.
You feel like you are stuck in this situation and there is no perspective for you to climb up the ladder and get a more interesting position. If your job is not making you happy, try to change something about it. Speak up and let your supervisor know how you feel about the current state. Make suggestions what would make the workplace more attractive to you. It is well worth the try as you have nothing more to lose but plenty more to win.
Self-confidence gets you the job, not your CV
You tried everything to make the best out of the given circumstances, but still, nothing has changed? Then it might be time to start looking for another vacancy. This means that you are very likely to get asked the question you were afraid of the most: “Why did you quit your previous job after one year?”
Be honest and talk about the things you disliked about your previous employment.
Talk about your expectations in your next function and why your previous employer failed to meet them. Understand your CV as something that will raise questions about you in an interview and these questions as a chance for you to say what you really want. If you don’t speak about what you expect, you might find yourself in the same situation in a different company.
In the end, what counts is your experience, your desire to learn and the self-confidence in which you tell your interviewers why you made the decisions you made and what they can do to make you strive in their company and become one of their best assets. You spent some years of your life studying, maybe even changed degrees in the meantime, and are willing to work hard to improve yourself every day. You deserve no less than that.