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How your First Job Determines Your Career Path


How your First Job Determines Your Career Path

Being on the right career path is more than just a blessing. Most times college or university graduates ask certain questions like “What is the best career for me” or “How to switch careers” when it is obvious the career path they’re presently on is not the right one for them. And eventually many of them miss important career shots in their lifetime.

So many factors can influence or determine your choice of career or the right career path for you. This is well said more of young graduates or professionals who are just starting on a job. So far so good, with personal experience and close observation of friends and prominent individuals, I’ve come to realize that certain factors influence or determine the right/wrong career for people

Drawing from the little I’ve observed and with insights from colleagues and friends, I’m very well convinced that your first job has a pretty heavy influence on determining the right career path for you. Do you know anyone that took a course in a field (let’s say Engineering) and today they’re into something else very different from their field? Or don’t you know of someone who probably studied Microbiology and today is the Head of Human Resources in a recruitment firm having grown from being an Analyst into a professional? They abound everywhere. And probably you are one.

Umpteen times fresh graduates take on any job as their first job due to the unemployment condition of the country. Once the pay is good and conditions of the job are favourable, they jump at it. Who wouldn’t? Its better than staying for years at home without a job. A report on a survey reveals that many salaried workers think that where they are first employed determines the rest of the career to come. Little wonder you find a Guidance and Counsellor graduate in the bank as a Bank Teller or Cashier. It is simple, where unemployment abides, for most fresh graduates, career path actually does not matter. Anything they can start with is okay and years to come, even if they switch to another firm, they’re still in the line.

Apart from the rate of unemployment being a reason your first job can determine your career path, interest and available opportunities are other reasons your first job can determine your career path. Several young graduates have had to realise that a particular job fits their personality on being employed for the role. Experts advise that it is better to do what sustains your interest on a job than just being on a job for the pay cheque. Also when opportunities to grow in the particular role arise, a career path is set to professionally take a new dimension. Such opportunities may be sponsored trainings and studies out of the country.

It is important to note that inasmuch as your first job after graduation may determine your career path, it is possible that such first roles undertaken may only be a stepping stone to your big dream of being in the right career. Such roles may be Management Trainee or Graduate Trainee roles that ensure you are prepared for the workplace as a professional. Such roles also endear you to valuable experience you may need when the right time comes. Whichever you wish to undertake, the most important thing is that you’re doing what you love and you’re not miserable at it.

Furthermore, being in the right firm, especially one of high reputation like the Price Waterhouse Coopers and the KPMGs or the Ernst and Youngs, P&Gs, Accentures , Shells, it is easy to want to start out a career in such environment and gain as must experience as possible. Most times it is considered a big leap to make it into such firms considering their reputation and the nature of their recruitment processes before you arrive as their preferred or successful candidate.



  1. korex

    February 26, 2015 at 9:15 am

    You are absolutely right with your post. But not in all cases.
    Let’s just say 8 out of ten people.

  2. John Bassey

    February 26, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I agree Korex, 8 out of 10. And the 8 will probably have people who do not consider their course of study as a venture for a career path and hopes to take what comes their way and reject no opportunity as a result of the unemployment conditions of the country.

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