How Important Is Your First Job?

by April on September 22, 2012

How important is your first job? Really freakin’ important.

Your first job doesn’t have to be, and for most of the population will not be, ones that will jump off your resume in five years and make future employers go “Wow!” at job interviews. No, your first job will suck a huge left nut and it’ll be the kind of job that will make you wish that you’d chosen a different career path so that you would never have ended up in that dump. Thanks for the hope, right? Not yet. It’s still going to be cold hard truth for a few more sentences here.

This job will be horrific in at least one way, if not more, or all of the following: the pay will suck, your coworkers will be mouth breathing tards, your boss will be leaning so far over your shoulder you’ll be able to smell the tuna she ate at her desk three hours ago, you’ll have absolutely zero freedom and may be questioned about the frequency of your bathroom breaks. And there will be a cubicle involved.

As awful as this job sounds, you need to have it, you need to experience it, and you’ll likely suffer through it for at least seven months longer than you’ll anticipate. Working at the grocery store or Waffle House will start to have a shining appeal that it never had before. Or possibly even long haul truck driving will seem like the answer, just for the sheer blissfulness of being alone that it will afford.

After the days where you contemplate just flinging your body down the stairwell for the worker’s comp and time off that it would afford you, then realizing how much that would actually hurt, like really actually hurt, a fire will set in your belly. It’ll smolder and turn into a blaze of glory that will set in motion the biggest hunt of your life- the Next Job That Won’t Be Here And I Won’t Hate As Much hunt. Taking to the computer, resume and interview tip websites will be consumed like the bread of life. Friends and family will read your resume so many times that they could impersonate you. Calls will be made, applications sent off, and corporate lingo laden words will be typed and spoken. A suit will be constantly pressed and at the ready for the parade of interviews that will come after the resume-sending out blitz drive.

Then the dust will settle. A day will come where there just aren’t any new jobs to apply for, no emails or phone calls with rejections or offers to speak further to set your phone buzzing happily. And you’ll sit there at that miserable job and plod away for a while, not really concentrating on it and at this point just go reward yourself. Whether it’s buying a new pair of shoes or drinking a 24 oz. Bud Light out of a paper bag at the gas station around the corner from the office on lunch break, just let yourself enjoy something. Then get right back in the game by signing up for online classes, fix that Linkedin profile and resume, apply for jobs like it’s a second job.

One blessed day, the offer you’ve been waiting for will come in and you’ll be able to ask your supervisor for a meeting with a smug look on your face, for friggin’ once. Put in your two weeks, make sure you’ve got a decent supply of “the good pens” in your purse, and sail right on out of there. The new job where they’ll pay you better, let you have some creative control, and don’t mind if you take an extra twenty minutes at lunch every now and again is now yours.

So, the importance of that first job is to propel your floundering, lost self out of the low level b.s.  job that you accepted out of what was probably definitely desperation. Once you realize that you deserve better you’ll give yourself better, and that is a lesson that can be applied to all areas of life. Now I’d say that is pretty important.

This was written by a prompt from The Brazen Careerist‘s September Run Around.

  • Emma

    LOVE. Spot on.

    • April Blake

      BOOM. I know you know this feelin!

  • Krys

    I LOVE this and it’s SO true.

    • April Blake

      Thanks!

  • Alexis Grant

    Great post, April! Thanks for participating in Brazen’s Run-Around. (I’m the editor.) We’re about to include your link in an upcoming post that showcases some of the great responses. Cheers!

    • April Blake

      Awesome, thanks for reading it and letting me know about the showcase, Alexis!

  • Kari

    WOW! That’s almost exactly word for the story of my life so far. Thanks April!

    • Kari

      Ooops, I meant “word for word”. Ha ha, but you got the point. :)

    • April

      Glad you could relate, I mean, not glad but you know! It’s nice to have company when miserable.

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