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Your First Is Not Your Last – The Value of Getting a Foot in the Door

Getting your foot in the door

As Millennials, we tend to dream big. This is a wonderful thing; it leads to goal setting, motivation, and development of personal drive. That being said, it’s important for a Millennial to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. In this series, “Your First Is Not Your Last,” I will be delving into the first-job realities of Millennials. That first offer you accept after graduation isn’t exactly what you pictured? The full-time job that becomes your first real résumé builder is not in your ideal industry? Don’t worry – your first job is not your last job.

To begin, we’ll touch on the importance of remembering the value in your first job.

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Just because your current position may not be ideal does not make it wasteful. There are some key points to remember when evaluating exactly what you can contribute, and what you can gain, in your first job. As I personally believe, your experience is what you make of it, in all facets of life – including your career.

Remember: You accepted the position for a reason.

Despite not being your dream job or fully meeting the perfect career picture you had painted in your head, you accepted your first job for a reason. Was it the people you met during the interview process that put you at ease? Was it the chance to step beyond your role and learn about other departments within the company? When lacking motivation, or when feeling far set from your ultimate career goal, remember: you didn’t have to accept this position. You chose it, and for a reason. Find that reason and remember it. Focusing on the positive elements of your job and company, and allowing those to resonate allow for a better experience, more positive environment, and improved work ethic.

Remember: Any experience counts as just at: experience.

So your current job is not your dream job? You are not alone. Realizing that you have continued goals outside of your current position is not a hindrance; rather, it is a motivator, if you let it be. Despite this, reflecting on why you accepted your current position, and what elements of this job you can grow from to develop your tactical skills is essential to leveraging your career. Do you want to end up as an account executive at a creative agency?

Find responsibilities in your current job that can build your client relations and strategy development skills. Is your dream to manage social media for a national brand? Create a community management strategy in your current role, even if it is outside of your job description, to gain the content creation, analytical, and digital conversation skills you would need to reach this goal in the future. Where there is a will, there is a way. All tasks and responsibilities can connect to future goals; each learning experience prepares you for your next job.

All in all, your first job is what you make of it. Remember why you accepted the position, and strive to improve your skills so that when that dream job comes along, you are ready to not only accept it, but conquer it.

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