Forget scheduling all your classes after 10 a.m. You have to use an alarm clock now—one that wakes you up earrly. Your tie looks too long. Your clogs definitely don’t go with those tailored pants, young lady. And what’s this about figuring out how to use public transportation during rush hour? Sigh. You don’t even know if this job is right for you, or what the interviewer really meant by “administrative assistant.” This whole life thing used to seem so much clearer.
When they asked you that age-old question in your younger years, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” you probably had an answer. Until you started to grow up. Then you actually began to think that maybe it wasn’t so easy to just “be an astronaut.” There’s a lot more to getting a career than simply saying out loud what you want to do. It requires getting jobs to get that career. And, of course, figuring out what you want that career to be.
But that’s okay. You’re in a wonderful spot right now. Your twenties are a marvelous time to experiment, experience, and explore.
According to statistics and surveys, the average person will have 7 to 10 jobs before even leaving their twenties. Forget the stats; check out the real deal. Ask around. There aren’t many people out there who actually stuck with a job they got right out of school, especially in our generation. With our parents’ generation, sure, that was a little different. Many of our parents spent several decades with the same company, or even in the same job. And that’s fine—for them. But our generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings has changed the way we work.
Today, it’s likely you’ll switch jobs many times each decade, each one leading to something bigger, better, and more you. Today’s newest workers view jobs as a way to figure out where to go, what to do, and how to do it, not just in a career, but also in life. We’re rewriting the rules, and that’s a good thing to remember. It’s your career… so you get to decide what you want to do.
1 This Is It?
You Don’t Have to Know It All Now
Where to Start?
Nothings Too Small for the Recent Grad
Take It from Sue
2 First-Job Frustrations
Paying Your Dues
. . . And Grunt Work Can Be Way Cool
Enjoy the Ride, You’ll Get There
3 Meeting People
Don’t Hide. Stand Out—or at Least Up
Don’t Eat at Your Desk Every Day
Focus on What You Do Best
Stepping Up to the Plate—without Stepping on Toes
Drawing the Line
Asking for More and Better
Salary Negotiation Time
4 No Excuses
The Motivating Factor
Chutzpah Doing Good Work, and Getting Good Work from Doing Good
5 The Boss Rules
Talking to the Big Kahuna
Asking for Feedback
Taking it Like a (Wo)Man
Finding Your Yoda
Ask, Ask, Ask
6 Where Do I Go from Here?
Good Work = Good Network
Darrens Big New Job Search
7 Give It a Chance
Dealing with Rejection
Sticking It Out
Moving Up Is Hard Work
Learning the Lay of the Land
When Life Gets in the Way of Work
The Woe-Is-Me Excuse Girls (and Guys) Just Wanna Have Fun
Freak Your Parents Out
Moving On for Yourself
8 What You’re Learning
This is So Not My Dream Job
Learning in Any Job
Figuring It Out by Process of Elimination
Should I Hit the Road
Finding the Perfect (or Perfect for Now) Fit
When to Bail
Taking a Chance that Turns Out to Be . . . Wrong
So Why Hire Me after That?
When the Going Gets Bad . . .
Making a Graceful Exit
Don’t Burn Bridges . . .Even If
Getting Canned Headhunters
9 This Is Preparation Time For… ?
Not the End
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Free download ebook I WENT TO COLLEGE FOR THIS? How to Turn Your Job Into a Career You Love by AMY JOYCE , Washington Post Career Columnist