Why You Might Want To Say ‘No’ To That First Graduate Job Offer

By Amy @BubbleJobs

Here at Bubble we know that for 99% of you, being a graduate isn’t all that much fun at the moment. Yes, you’ve completed uni and you’ve walked away with a great degree but in reality, the hard work has only just begun.

The time has now come to get your first ‘real’ job… and needless to say, that’s almost guaranteed to be a lot tougher than it sounds. According to an article I read on The BBC the other day, there are now an average of 85 applications for every graduate job going at the moment! Let’s just think about that statistic for a second… 85 applications… that means for every single graduate job going, there’s only one guaranteed winner and a whopping 84 guaranteed losers. Doesn’t sound great does it?!

With things as tough as they are, the idea that you’d actually turn down a graduate job right now seems pretty ludicrous… but it’s something I actually want you to consider. No, I’m not mad – and this isn’t a joke! Yes, being a graduate fresh out of university is pretty challenging right now… and believe me, I know how tempting it can be to just grab onto something, anything just to avoid becoming another number in the “unemployed graduate” category… but sometimes taking the first graduate job you’re offered isn’t always the best option.

graduate jobWhy? Well, because your first graduate job is actually one of the most important jobs of your career. It sets a course for things to come and, without sounding too overwhelming, it pretty much dictates the future direction of your career and life in general.

OK, so you can always switch jobs and careers… but 99% of the time, employers look at which jobs candidates have had previously when considering them for a role, so your first graduate job is definitely going to impact your career in the future in one way or another.

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing – and if I were in your shoes right now, I’d probably think I was talking nonsense and this blog was just a load of rubbish… but please, bear with me! Having graduated four years ago (it goes faster than you think, believe me!), I’m now working in a job and have a career I never expected to have.

When I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, I thought I was destined for a career in radio… only to quickly realise things were tough and it wasn’t that easy. To begin with, I refused to look for jobs outside of my chosen sector but things changed and before I knew it, I was applying for any job I thought I might be qualified for, regardless of whether I’d actually enjoy them or if I was actually interested in them. In my opinion having a job, any job, was better than not having anything at all.

Looking back, I think I applied for a banking apprenticeship (despite the fact I’m rubbish at Maths!), a video production job, numerous reception roles, a few retail jobs and a few sales roles (I’m not sure I could actually even sell ice to an eskimo!). Needless to say, I didn’t get them – and do you know what? I’m glad I didn’t because I know I would’ve hated them and I wouldn’t have been passionate about them at all.

After a few months, I got a job as a copywriter in an online marketing agency and the rest as they say is history! Today I’ve got a job I love and I’m in the fortunate position of being able to share my experiences and dish out (hopefully!) helpful, honest career advice to job seekers of all ages every day.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make in this blog is it’s OK to say ‘no’ to a graduate job, even if it means you’re going to unemployed for a little while longer. It’s easy to get trapped in a job and end up with a career you never wanted and you don’t enjoy… so have a good think about whether that graduate job is actually the right one for you before you snap up that offer of employment.

Yes, being unemployed sucks – but so does ending up with a career you despise! Definitely some food for thought for any graduate job seekers out there these days…! 🙂

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