If college is almost over for you, then finding your first ever job is the ideal next step. As if job hunting isn’t already a taxing endeavor, imagine not knowing what you want to do with your life just yet (because not everyone proceeds to work in the field they studied in college!). It sounds horrifying not having things figured out, but don’t get intimidated! You don’t need to have all the answers right now. Here are steps you can take if you still don’t know what to do with your life.
Take an internship.
You can take an internship even if it's not required! Internships aren’t only a school-mandated activity where you have to put in the required number of OJT hours. Take this occasion to absorb the inner workings of the industry you’d like to work in and see if it’s something you’d like to take on full-time.
The nice thing about internships is that it’s much like a job sans the full-time load and commitment. If you don’t think it’s the field for you, you’d only be working there for a couple of months anyway. But if it is something you’d like to be doing, some companies will give you the option to pursue it full-time, especially if they liked your performance as an intern.
Attend a job fair.
Job fairs are an ideal place to look for potential employment, especially if you are open to all sorts of career options from different industries. Organizers of job fairs usually invite companies from different fields so they could give aspiring applicants enough options to find the best workplace suited for them. Employment companies like Jobstreet.com often organize career fairs and ask top corporations from industries such as IT, fashion, retail and e-commerce, and real estate to participate. They also make it easier for job applicants to work on #adulting job requirements like getting an NBI clearance and applying for TIN by inviting and partnering up with the corresponding government agencies during the fair.
Set some expectations for yourself.
You may not know what you want to do at the moment, but setting expectations may help you zero in on an ideal first job. Do you expect to get a job right after college? Are you looking for a job with reasonable salary to sustain your everyday expenses? Is freelancing even an option for you?
Be as realistic as you can to avoid getting disappointed—chances are, you won’t find everything on your checklist in one job, let alone your first! But knowing what it is that you want out of your first foray into employment will help you narrow down your options and make your job hunting and selection easier.
Be ready to compromise.
It is rare for people to find the “perfect” first job. So now that you have your expectations, prepare yourself to compromise and make some sacrifices.
For some people, it’s the potential growth a certain job can give that gets them to take the deal. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if the salary offer doesn’t match their expectations. The room for learning and improvement, the potential for promotion, creative freedom, a good mentorship program—these things might seem more essential in finding their career path than monetary concerns.
For others, however, their financial capacities restrict them from figuring out what they really want to do in life, career-wise. And that’s okay! We don’t all have the means to pursue a job that can eventually take us to a career path we feel strongly about right away. It’s okay if you want to take a job for the salary in the meantime, even if you feel like the work it entails is not too interesting for you (as long as it isn’t making you miserable). You can always leave to pursue a career you’re really into once you’ve saved up enough money to support yourself! For now, however, compromises must be made.
It might take you countless jobs before you find the right one for you, and that’s okay.
Many successful people started out with a job that is completely unrelated to the field they flourished in. Sometimes, their first jobs might even be work they outright hated and sucked at. And sometimes, it might have taken them a handful of odd jobs before they were able to find the one that suited their skills and passion—which is completely fine and normal!
It’s okay to make mistakes during our first jobs. That’s what the regularization period is for, to allow you room for adjustment and improvement. And it’s also okay if the right job for you might be your fifth, sixth, or tenth time getting employed. There’s no one starting point to launch your career, and there’s definitely no limit to the number of jobs you can take before you find the line of work you’d want to spend the rest of your employable life in.