Entry career, what to expect!

Straight to the point, for me, there are 5 factors that mainly affect our entry career choice and progression:

  1. To learn
  2. To earn
  3. To be guided
  4. To support long-term run
  5. To be grown

(1) To learn:

After graduation, most of our knowledge makes non sense at all (unless abroad students), and we start learning again (this time, by doing real stuffs, by truly experience the job which under pressure). So, to how fast we can learn is mattered by our first career choice.

Which include but not limited to: Company size, industry, position we take.

For my experience, mostly by the company size.

You can choose either joining a startup or a corporate, which lead to different learning style:

  • Corporate: Which normally for a fresh graduate is entry position level. Starting with small stuffs, to be a little chain of the huge value (which you hardly can see the big picture). But the up side, you have the opportunity to learn in a structured way, to experience the processes which were made and developed by experts, which generally means, learning from the best.
  • Startup: It’s possible to get an important role in a small startup, even with 00 year of experience. From there, you learn to see the whole process in a “panorama view”, every steps really need your dirty hands joining in. Your knowledge is built massively and do not be bounded by your tittle (e.g: Procurement Executive/Officer does not guarantee you don’t have to go to the kitchen, wash and weight every single crab). The downside, contrast to the corporate, everything is self-learned, you shouldn’t expect to be trained by a professional, instead be well-prepared of your self-learning agenda, and have to make sure you are actively learning.

(2) To earn:

Haha, could not denied that “Salary” is one of the most significant factor when applying any jobs (there is always filter for this in job-searching web which I never use).

The media got crazy when fresh graduate asked for $1000~$2000 range, I think there are reasons for this demand, at least they understand their value in the job market, they know what can offer and what companies out there are searching for. So just the equation of Supply >< Demand.

However, if people asks me, to which range should fresh graduate expect from the first professional job, I would only say: “There aren’t any ranges, there is only enough!”

What’s enough?

  • To pay the bill (if you live by yourself)/and so much depends on individual lifestyle.

Then the rest are extras:

  • To enjoy life, to buy/invest in things/experience/yourself.

But, one piece of advise, never be influenced only by what you actually see (salary, C&B policy) when choosing job, because the total net value is compounded by others intangible factors as well.

And by that reason, just don’t go to work for money!!!

(3) To be guided:

To be straight, it’s about our boss/manager (but I prefer using the word “boss”).

They could use different leading style:

  • Position power: more about “Boss” spectrum
  • Personal power: more about “Manager” spectrum

And so much depend on with which kind of people we are working best under.

For me, I work best under a Bossy-Manager, which generally mean:

“A person who can motivate individual & the team to achieve the common goal but without close instruction, or with fix distance of relationship so that subordinate still admire & respect”.

So whenever interviewing with the line manager, you should interview back that person if they are right fit with “the one” that you can work under.

(4) To support long-term run

It’s quite easy to get a first job in sales, marketing (for e.g), but is this the career path that you’re dreaming for?

I remember one time, when I asked a McKinsey consultant a naively question: “What I should prepare in order to get into McKinsey?”

He quickly response:

“You’ve to do what McKinsey consultants do,
Starting from now!”

It’s abstract for a senior student like me, but I gradually catch what his answer really meant. If you want to pursuit a specific career path, you must act accordingly. You visualize your destination, so alway be prepared for the next stop. It’s right to accept current low-paid job, but support you future long-term goal. It takes determination, consistency seriously into consideration.

(5) To be grown

For this point, I would say the working environment is the factor that influences mostly our growth, which include: work-mate, colleagues, the comfortably not only working but also “living” in the office.

Above all, to answer the question :”What should be expected from the very first professional job?”

I would say: “In-order: 1–3–4–5–2”.


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