Tips for first-generation college students navigating the job search

Tips for first-generation college students navigating the job search was originally published on College Recruiter.

Embarking on the job search can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are many things to consider when looking for a job, from the work environment to career development, but what are the most important factors to keep in mind? A recent study by invoice company Skynova explored what employees most want in a job by surveying people who changed jobs in 2022. 

What factors drive people to leave one job for another, and how can these insights help you find a better job in the first place?

What To Look For in a New Job

Examining why people change jobs can help pinpoint the most important considerations when job hunting. According to the study, the top five reasons people switched jobs in 2022 were:

  • Better benefits (32%)
  • More flexibility (28%)
  • Less stress (28%)
  • Higher pay to compensate for inflation (27%)
  • Shorter commute (26%)

Keep these statistics in mind when starting your job search. While your instinct may be to take a job closer to home, you may want to commit to extra driving time in exchange for a premium benefits package.

During interviews and negotiations, ask detailed questions about daily tasks, compensation, benefits, and time off. It’s critical to fully understand the job requirements and compensation package before accepting an offer.

When Should You Change Jobs?

Sometimes we have high expectations for a new job, only to be disappointed when reality sets in. Don’t be discouraged; you’re not stuck in one job forever. When entering the job market, it’s good to stay with your first job for at least one year. This will introduce you to the workplace and lay a foundation for networking and recommendations when you’re ready to move on.

Before you switch jobs, be open to negotiating better opportunities in your current company. Skynova’s study found that employees would have stayed in their job if they had the following:

  • Career development (40%)
  • Change to learn new skills (40%)
  • Trustworthy leadership (38%)
  • More work-life balance (37%)
  • Mental health support (35%)

If you decide to change jobs, remember all the statistics above and add personal priorities based on your first job experience. You’ll also want to consider the economy and current job market. Skynova’s study found that over half of those who changed jobs in 2022 feared massive layoffs in 2023. But don’t worry; the study also found that over 60% of people who switched jobs were happy with their decision. So don’t be too concerned; just be smart about it.

Top Tips To Prepare for Your Job Search

The best way to improve your job search is to get it started. There are a lot of other soon-to-be graduates looking to fill positions, as well as current employees looking for a change. Prioritize what you want in a job, then find out as much as possible about each job’s responsibilities, compensation package, and workplace culture. Find your best fit and start your new job with determination and enthusiasm.

By College Recruiter
College Recruiter believes that every student and recent grad deserves a great career.