Occasionally I run into recent college graduates so desperate for work that they take the first job offered to them. They mistake a job for a career. They do not understand the impact their first job will have on the rest of their lives.
My first job was as a Labor Relations Assistant. Labor relations is different from human resources. It is a specialty that is recognized by many people as more complicated than human resources in a non-union environment. I am not sure I agree but that is not the point. Starting in labor relations, even as an assistant pushed me ahead in my career by at least 5 years compared to others who started in human resources. Because I had this background I became a Director at age 30, again well ahead of colleagues who started in human resources.
The first job out of college makes a difference. It takes years to make up for a misstep at the beginning of your career.
- If you are a marketing major and your first job is a customer service representative, it will take you much longer to get into marketing than someone whose first job goal is an entry level marketing position.
- If you get an engineering degree but accept a position as a technician it will take a long time to become an engineer.
- If you want to be a systems analyst but accept a position as a help desk person it will take a long time to become a systems analyst.
- If you want to become a human resource manager but your first position is as a human resource assistant, you have added years to your career to reach your goal.
At the core this is a question of confidence. If you allow barriers, imagined or real, to stop you from getting what you want then you must not want it hard enough. Take another look at your desires and methods to be sure you are doing everything possible to achieve your career goals. Are you making the right connections or networking effectively? You might need to get an outside opinion about your job search.