Questions everyone should ask themselves at the start of their career

You’ve entered unchartered territory that no amount of career fairs, graduate fairs or pamphlets could equip you enough for. Adulthood. It’s an exciting time filled with independence and freedom. However, for many it’s a nerve-wracking time where your mind is filled with doubt, uncertainty and has your insecurities running rife.

As a twenty-something year old you will inevitably be stuck at some point asking yourself “Where am I heading?” and “What am I doing with my life?”

Below are some vital questions you should ask yourself at the start of your career when it comes to applying to jobs, accepting job offers or deciding on the next step to take work-wise. These buzz questions are designed to help make the ride a little easier with making the right decisions when it comes to your career journey.

Will this job push me to grow and cultivate my talents?

It’s great that you finally have the skills to qualify for the job you’re applying to or are currently working at. But make sure you check with yourself if this job allows you to grow and flourish. Most people grew up thinking that they would graduate university or leave school then end up in a job that has them set for life with a sweet pension plan like their parents. But the reality is a lot of people in today’s society spend a couple of years in one position to be able to climb up the career ladder and move onto the next role.

You don’t have to have everything figured out right now but make a brief list of what career goals you’d like to achieve and study the career journeys of those you admire to get a solid idea of how to shape your path. See if the company you’re applying for or considering to take the job offer can offer you with the career progression that you need that fits your plan then decide. It’ll make things a lot easier when it comes to figuring your career out.

Does this job fit my vibe?

A common mistake people make when navigating their career at the beginning is simply ticking the box if they fit the job but not if the company or role fits them to a T. More than likely you will be spending the majority of your life at your job so you want to be happy there. When you go for the interview, try and get a feel of if the place fits your personality than solely focus on the role or the salary.

Your interviewer may be getting a feel of if you’re a right fit but you need to do the same also. Also, company culture is very important – research the company to see what the work/life balance is like and visit Glassdoor, a employment review website that have reviews from former and current employees of many companies across the world who give an honest account of their experience there.

Does this job fit what I’m looking for?

Often in interviews, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. This is the perfect opportunity to get further insight of what the role is like. Ask them “What does a day-to-day look like within the role?” This will show you’re interested in the role than just someone showing up for an interview and allows you to see if the job is right for you by getting a detailed run down of the position and also if the role entails more tasks that weren’t listed on the job description than being trapped into a role that wasn’t quite what you signed up for.

Does this job serve a lifestyle that’s best for me?

This is a question that everyone needs to take a minute to think over. It may be exciting when you get your first job but if it’s a company that has a culture of people constantly working overtime and are high wired on stress which doesn’t suit your personality at all but it’s a sick pay check then it isn’t worth it.

If it’s a job that has you travelling a lot and you prefer to be settled in one place, unless you absolutely have to take it, then it may be worth reconsidering it. Once you get an offer, take some time to think over the role if it is ideal for you to be able to fulfil the role fully and suits your lifestyle.

Does my job champion me?

Undoubtedly, everyone wants to feel valued where they work. You want to fully deliver your best efforts at work and that it’s appreciated. If you’re in a job that you have a toxic AF boss that is constantly belittling you because they are on a power trip and you feel miserable after work then it’s worth looking for something better.

Think of your job as a relationship –  if you were in a relationship that brings you down then you can’t deliver your best which means you won’t be able to progress. I’m all about sucking it up and powering through but if it’s getting to a point it’s seriously affecting your mental health it’s worth looking for something better whilst sticking it out until you can make a healthy exit. You deserve a manager who wants to help you grow and is supportive, and to also work for a company that values all of you.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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