There are a lot of different factors to consider for your first job after college.
There are so many various factors to consider that it can start to become overwhelming. How do you find the perfect job with the perfect people in the perfect city with the perfect opportunities that’s just right for you?
Life is about trade-offs. Over time, you can make more informed decisions about different trade-offs — but you’re never going to be perfectly happy with every element of your post-graduate path.
So how do you figure out which trade-offs to make?
The answer varies from person to person. Some people care more about money than about passion. Some care more about working on team that they love than on work that they love. Some people really care about living in a city close to the outdoors. Everybody’s different.
Therefore, you need to figure out what matters to you, and in what order.
Order is the operative word here. You need to make a list of your priorities/considerations in your post-graduate decision, and you shouldn’t have more than 5. For example — my own list is as follows:
- Passion — doing work that I find meaningful (impacting others positively)
- Learning — doing work that allows me to always be growing
- Friends — Being in a place where I feel like I have supportive and inspiring friends
- Salary — Work that allows me to live comfortably, without fear of making a paycheck
- Hobbies — Easy access to a gym facility, free time to read, and playing squash/tennis
Note that each priority is just one word — but it’s explained in a context that makes sense to me. The hobbies that matter to me might be different from the hobbies that matter to you. The same is true of the amount of salary, the type of friends, or the kind of learning.
The importance in the order here is that when you’re faced with a decision that requires you to make a trade-off between the two — your choice becomes easier to navigate. For example — I had the option to take a job in a city closer to friends that I had from college, and would have paid me far more money than the work that I do now. But it wasn’t work that I was very passionate about, nor would I have learned a lot about my job. So it became far easier for me to take the lower salary opportunity — because I knew it would meet my basic necessities.
Create your own process for this type of decision making. It’ll help you start to put the different pieces of your post-graduate puzzle together in a way that will make sense. It’s the same process that will help you figure out what kind of city you want to live in.