By Stef Orandain on March 3, 2015
When you’re fresh out of college, it’s tempting to say yes to the very first offer you get after sending out your CV to every possible company. But before you sign on the dotted line and commit to your very first 9 to 5, here are a few things you may want to consider:
Find an environment that nurtures you
A big part of being able to last at a job is making sure that your personality will fit with the culture of the company you will be joining. Different jobs require different working environments so it's important that you know what you’re signing up for. Some office environments encourage late nights. Some have a very loud and extroverted work environment. Others could be super laid-back, where you'll essentially have to learn things on your own. Some people will thrive in certain environments; some won't.
Before deciding, do some research on the company or if possible, talk to someone who is currently working there. It will make waking up everyday easier if you know that you are working in an environment that is nurturing you.
Syncing with your mentor
Your first job is when you will feel like a very small fish in a big ocean; right now is when you will need someone to make sure that you are swimming in the right direction. Fostering a good working relationship with your immediate supervisor can spell the difference between sink or swim, so it is important that you both sync in personality and working styles. Interviews are a great opportunity to get to know your potential supervisor a little, so don't be afraid to ask questions about him/her when you can.
Group work in real life
There is a reason why teachers assign group work in school; it’s to make sure that you learn how to work well with others. Much like how you are assigned to work with people from different courses, your team in the real world will be composed of different personalities that you need to co-exist with. Adjusting to your new team will be easier if you have an idea of who they are and how they function. This will also make it easier for them to welcome the new kid into the fold.
How will it benefit you?
While your first pay check will definitely be bigger than your student allowance, make sure that you also ask about the benefits outside your basic pay and the government-mandated 13th month. For medical insurance, feel free to inquire if you can have dependents once regularized - normally, only parents are covered, but sometimes coverage can be extended to siblings. Live far away? Some companies can cover travel expenses via allowance. Want to improve on a specific skill? Inquire if they offer any training programs that you can possibly attend. While companies are contracting you to do them a service, keep in mind that they also have to take care of you as an employee. Don’t be afraid to ask HR on what benefits you can receive when you sign up with them.
It’s easy to get blinded by fancy titles, alluring job descriptions, and the prestige that comes with working for a specific brand. But at the end of the day, you are expected to deliver a specific service and most often, the work is hard and unglamorous. Getting a job is both a responsibility and commitment, and like other bigger things in life, this is a decision that you shouldn’t rush into.