Let’s face it, landing a good-paying job in your area of study right out of college is a lot more challenging than you may have expected. The market is saturated with people, both fresh graduates and well-established folks who are seeking employment across the globe. Because of this competitive nature, applying to tons of different positions is ideal for getting the best shot at an interview with a respected company, even if some of those roles are not exactly what you wanted.
Now, the dilemma comes when that position/company you did not really “like” the most is the first one to give you a job offer. Should you take it and be grateful, or wait until something more your speed comes along? The reality is that it’s not a simple answer.
What Is Your Current Financial Situation?
Taking your first job offer really boils down to your current financial status. After graduating from college, you have to be prepared to start paying back those hefty student loans. If you are getting an apartment, then those are additional expenses you need to take into consideration as well that could sway you to take that offer. However, if you are moving back home with your parents, then maybe there is a bit more leeway for you to turn down that first offer and continue searching. Though your passions can drive your decision making, make sure you are looking at that bigger picture and realize that money is money regardless.
Ask Yourself How Long You Are Willing to Wait
If finances are not an issue for you, then the next thing that you need to consider is how long you are willing to wait for the “right” job offer to come along. It could be your next one or the tenth one, but either way, it could take a bit of time (maybe even years). If you are prepared for that, then by all means, go ahead and wait. But if a job is necessary for your mental health, or holding up your end of a deal you made with your parents, then taking it might be the ideal route to go.
Will the Position Benefit Your Career Goals?
If you went to school for Computer Information Systems, then getting a position working as an IT Service Desk Analyst can undoubtedly grow your resume to gain better positions down the road. On the other hand, if the first job offer is not associated at all with your aspirations, then you will have to do some deep analysis to see if it is worth your effort and time since it will do nothing for your career goals.
Is the Company Stable with Good Benefits?
Putting personal opinions, career goals, and finances aside, take a look at the actual company sending you an offer. Read into their benefits packages and do some research to see if they are a stable company that has a track record of being successful. If the benefits are lacking, and/or the business is on a rocky road revenue-wise, then you may not want to get associated with something that could possibly flop shortly after you start.
In the end, the decision to take your first offer or wait is entirely up to you. It is your life, and you get to decide on what you want to do with it and the direction you want to go. Just make sure that you are stepping back and looking at the grander scheme of things. Do you need money right now to live? Will this job be a stepping stone for a better one down the road? Can you afford to wait longer and gamble that a better opportunity will come?
Answer these questions and the ones above honestly and openly with yourself and come to your conclusion based on facts, realities, and of course, your desires. Remember, even if you have to take that first job offer, that does not mean it is the end of the line. Continue applying to other places, do your best, and keep pushing for what you truly want because, with determination, it will eventually come.