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5 Things to Look for in Your First Job

By Gale Smetana

Whether you’re looking for your very first job or first job out of college, there are a lot of factors to consider before making up your mind. Most job applicants look at pay first. That’s understandable, especially when you’re just getting started. However, the joy of good pay quickly fades if you don’t like the work environment. So, here are Corridor Careers top 5 things to look for in your first job.

Look at the big picture – salary, benefits and other perks like health club discounts or even tickets to entertainment events. You have to take a big picture perspective into the job decision process. Consider the city in which you’ll work and commuting costs. Does your prospective supervisor seem to have an interest in seeing his or her employees succeed? If you’re going to be quickly pigeon-holed in your job with no opportunity to move up, you might get a job, but you won’t be happy for very long. A good manager will have major impact on your long term job growth. In turn, that plays a big role in how much you enjoy the job. Assess the job culture. Can you see yourself meshing with the organization? Do the people seem friendly-like they’re glad to meet you? How do people dress? If you can’t see yourself there, then it’s probably not the best choice for you. Also give some thought to the physical work environment. Will you be isolated in a cubicle or able to collaborate freely with others? More importantly, what type of environment helps you do your best work? Look at the ways the company or organization operates and makes money. Will you be moving into an area that’s up and coming or into an area that’s losing money? You want to understand how the company makes its money and what it values. Then, you need to figure out if there’s likely to be mutual benefit. Keep Long Term Goals in Mind The best part about finding your first job is remembering that it won’t be your last. It’s an important stepping stone, no question, but most people change jobs multiple times in their working lifetime. Whether you move up in one company or take what you learn and move on to another, you are in the driver’s seat of your own destiny.

Perform well in your first job and you can use it to take the next step in your career. When you’re ready for that step, remember corridorcareers.com has the most comprehensive online job listings in the Iowa Corridor.