De Leon: Is it ok to be choosy with your first job?

"KUMUHA ka muna ng experience" - This is the typical advice of Baby Boomers to fresh graduates, which we'll see again in the next few weeks. But not for me. I mean, well yes, but in a certain degree.

You see, I'm one of those lucky guys who got a job that I loved right after graduation, as I made an impossible leap from Philosophy to marketing, branding and corporate communications.

Now, there's a huge chance that you won't get your dream job right after your diploma has been handed to you.

I know a friend who realized she wanted to be a digital and social media marketer but finished a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. And the tendency is, like most of us, she'll settle for a job that we "take in the meantime." Only to find herself staying for a year, two or even half-a-decade.

You see, if your immediate income is not an issue, don't settle for a work just for the sake of getting one or because everybody is accusing you of being a bum. (Well, that might be partly true.)

But seriously, as much as you can, get the best one because it will insanely impact the future of your employment and career. Remember, once you get that stamp on your resume, the brand and the stereotype will always be there. And it is crucial because your first line of work will be the basis of recruiters once you decided to move out. So the key is to gain experience but only those that most relevant to what you truly want.

But if this doesn't work?

To shy away from this classic trap, try to look for opportunities within, as you move in and move out strategically.

Let's say you ended up in IT but you really want to be sales executive, whether you like it or not, the universe will brand you as an IT person more than anything else. Thus, the wise move is to ask for sales-related projects so you can start gaining the skills despite you not working formally for sales-role yet -- you can try to justify your experience once you do the interview.

In short, try not to dig yourself a deep hole to the point that you'll be stuck in your own space which was originally intended to push you far.
It may sound unfair that headhunters are looking too much on background versus ability, but it's not. Because it is the only measureable standard they can use to see if you're really a good fit.

So always remember, yes. It's (quite) ok to be choosy with your first job. Maybe just don't ask for the moon.

Stay active until our next chat!


Need more tips in life, career and beyond? Invite me to speak in your event or reach me at "Coach Pat de Leon" on Facebook.
style="display:block; text-align:center;"


SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules:

Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!