Don’t Marry Your Job

Career Blog

Reader Question: Now that the graduation parties are complete, what’s one piece of advice you’d offer those new to the working world?

Simple: Date Your Job. Don’t Marry It.

Many grads enter the workforce expecting to instantly find a perfect professional match: that ultra-flexible, personally fulfilling, highly paid position that’s an excellent launching pad for either the C-suite or their own entrepreneurial venture.

This is as delusional as finding an ideal, lifelong romantic partner during your first dip in the dating pool. Sure it happens, but it’s a rare occurrence.

Graduates must be willing to play the proverbial field when it comes to early career moves. Each job, project, triumph, and failure is an opportunity to learn and clarify goals that will one day map your success story.

So take the tough job, do the “grunt” work, get a mentor, listen, ask questions, refuse to work for someone who lacks integrity or belittles your dreams, and have the guts to move on when the time is right.

When is that? Only you will know for sure, but here are two indicators: 1. When the learning slows. 2. When you get another offer that scares you. Be scared. Then take it.

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Be sure to check out my new book The Introvert’s Guide to Job Hunting and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi

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