Looking For Your First Adult Job Means Considering These 8 Things
Get your inner #girlboss on, because you're ready to make your passion your paycheck. All of those long hours studying in the library are finally over, and you've put a bit more focus on that side hustle this summer, but you're still wondering what's next. Well, you graduated college, and now it's time to start looking for your first adult job. You've likely already updated your resumé, and are searching the web for some open positions. But, there are some things you should truly consider during the process.
By now, you've probably watched enough reruns of The Office or Parks and Recreation to know sort of what to expect out of the real world. You're excited to find a few new besties who share the same passions, and are planning to go to those company picnics in the summer. Even waking up in the morning and having a routine (which, of course, includes standing in line at your favorite coffee shop), is getting you stoked to start your career.
At the moment, though, you're just applying and seeing what is out there. You may know exactly what kind of position you want, or are still unsure of it all. That's OK, and part of looking for your first job is answering some of those questions and being open to any opportunity that comes your way. You're planning your interview outfits, and fonts on your cover letter. Just don't overlook these eight things that you should definitely consider, too.
1. Your Resumé
First things first: You have to consider your resumé (and possibly a cover letter, too) if you're looking for an adult job. In college, you may have been required to take a class that was all about career building. You had to make business cards, and learned the proper order to list information on that piece of paper.
Normally, you want to be specific, but also short and sweet. Your potential future employer will look at so many resumés throughout the hiring process. Make their job slightly easier by getting to the point, organizing your accomplishments well, and incorporating a little bit of color or design, too.
2. Your Location
Where you want to work is incredibly important to consider. Do you want to live at home for awhile before getting your own apartment? Do you want to take the leap and move to a new city on the West Coast? If so, it's key that you apply to positions that are open in that particular area and continue to follow through.
You may want to take a trip to the Pacific Northwest before you decide to settle there, just to make sure you'd like it. Not everyone wants to live in New York City and figure out the subways, and there are plenty of places you can go and work in this world. You just have to pick one for now.
3. Your Work Atmosphere
Your office is going to be like your second home. You'll spend the majority of your days hanging with your work wife, and will likely deck out your desk. Some days you may have to put in long hours, so finding the right work atmosphere for you is crucial.
Maybe you really want to wear business attire, and are looking for a workplace that's rather straightforward and has a lot of structure. Others who are more creative may be hoping to find a place that's casual or lets employees run with their inspiration and vision. Of course, if any office has iced coffee on tap, then you'll be good to go.
4. Your Potential Employer
When you're looking for your first adult job, you want to remember that the interview is sort of two-sided. You'll come into the office prepared with answers to questions like, "What are your greatest weaknesses?" But, you'll also want to make sure you come with some inquiries of your own, and make sure your potential future boss is someone you'd enjoy working for.
At the end of the day, they'll be the one you work with the most, and the person who controls a majority of your assignments. Having a boss like Miranda Priestly may be more harmful than helpful in the long run. So, be sure to keep an eye out throughout the process for signs of some good chemistry.
5. Your Connections
They say that it's all about who you know — and I don't necessarily think that's always the case. But, it's still helpful to consider your connections when you're looking for your first job. Those leads could be exactly what you need to get your foot in the door to a company that would've otherwise never noticed your application.
Maybe the people you know will even open your mind up to companies and opportunities that are out there, that you never new existed in the first place. You'll snag a recommendation later or two along the way, or expand your LinkedIn network. It's all part of the process.
6. Your Side Hustle
If you're lucky, you'll have turned your passion into your paycheck, and it'll feel so good. But, that's not always how it goes, and sometimes you need to put in some work on your own time just to get the ball rolling. In that case, you'll want to consider how your first adult job will help your side hustle.
For example, will this new company help you expand your connections? Will you be able to learn about the industry and gain new skills that could help you move forward with your own business? Getting that outside experience is necessary to your future success. Just don't ever give up on your passion, OK?
7. Your Next Job
Your first adult job may just be a stepping stone. Truth is, you have an entire career ahead of you, and although that may be overwhelming to think about right now, it's important to consider. Everybody has to start somewhere, and you'll likely have to get some experience as a writer before landing that big time editor role. But, at least you know you're on the right path. After all, you're continuously building your resumé and networking. So, where do you want to go? Personally, I'd say that if you want to be a teacher, you should be a substitute, or even volunteer some time at a summer camp to keep your talents sharp.
8. Your Patience
Patience is just as important as passion when it comes to your first adult job. The process isn't always easy, and after graduating college, you'll likely spend at least a few months on your laptop sending in endless cover letters. You'll go on interviews that don't go well, and others that feel like the perfect fit. You're beyond ready to get into this "real world" thing, so waiting for an employer to notice you and your skills will be frustrating at times.
Take a deep breath, though. It will likely all work out, and even if you're not living the dream quite yet, you're going to be well on your way. There's a lot to consider when you're looking for your first job, but soon enough, you'll be a #girlboss.