Why Money Should Not Matter In Your First Job

| 4 min read
discussing your salary

Very often, graduates turn down some job offers as a result of the ‘poor’ packages they bring (after all, if others can have the N100+ jobs, why should they settle for less?). Right thinking! While I am not an advocator of working without the right remuneration, I must say that though first jobs may not always offer what we have always dreamed of, they are the routes to our dream destinations.

The thrust of my message is while money should be a consideration before you pick up your first job, it should not be the most important factor. Of course, I am sure you know of people who have the ‘big’ jobs, but are not enjoying it. You have a future to prepare for and if starting with something small is what will take you there, wouldn’t you rather start now?

You will agree with me that employability is the number one requirement employers look for in choosing candidates for vacancies. In fact, some jobs do not have respect for class of degree because employers are on the look out for experienced problem solvers who have maturity and intelligence that only comes from prior work experience.

So, as a job seeker, it is time for a re-orientation. Rather than wasting time waiting for the high-paying job, starting your first ‘small’ job can offer you the following benefits:

1. The opportunity to meet and make lots of contacts

I will use the marketing job as an example. Though strenuous and target-driven, marketing you allows you meet people, who can help you move a step ahead in your career path. Marketing gives you the advantage of growth more than some jobs that imprison you within the office. If today, you get an offer of a job that allows you make the right contact like marketing does, don’t turn your back. It may be just what you need to give you an edge.

2. A good manager to mentor you

My first job did not offer the ‘fat’ salary I had in mind, but it offered me the opportunity to work with a top consulting firm, which was managed by a manager that had a world-class experience. He took my training seriously and devoted his time to teaching me things I did not know. Within little time, I had mastered everything and even went beyond what I learnt. If I had not taken the job, I know I would not have achieved what I have today. So, if your first job offers you a first-hand learning experience, do not think about the money. Instead, think of tomorrow.

3. The chance to use your creativity

Imagine being stuck with a job that is redundant and boring. At some point, I tell you, the big salary will no longer be appealing and gradually, your passion will disappear. On the contrary, some ‘little’ jobs allow you go beyond the job description and display your creativity as much as possible. For example, a client services officer may go beyond just attending to customers to proffering solutions on solving customers’ problems to Management. If a job offers you the opportunity to display your ingenuity, give it a chance. Truth is you may not have this chance in the ‘big’ firms where bureaucracy always comes to play.

Remember, that while it is good to pursue a good salary, no matter how smart you are, you will be a development project for any Company that hires you, at least for some months. While starting off ‘small’ may not get you excited, know that you are beginning a career journey that may last you 40 years. Great things start small. You will achieve your dream someday.

Lola Olakeye