Here’s what to look for in your First Job

Here’s what to look for in your First Job

Your first job is an important stepping stone in your career, and can lead to better, more and greater opportunities in the future. This makes it imperative that you don’t jump at the first offer you receive.

Nicole Williams, founder of WORKS, a New York-based career consultancy, says: “You learn so much in your first job about what you want for your career future and you don’t want to get complacent.”

In Monster’s My First Job survey, 53% of the respondents felt their first job shaped the direction of their careers.

However, determining whether or not it’s the right fit can be daunting, leading to many first-timers leaving their jobs before they should.

The survey showed that 60% people quit their first jobs for professional growth and better opportunities, with 26% wanting to earn more money.

Kristen Fischer, author of Ramen Noodles, Rent and Résumés, feels many recent graduates feel like “taking a job is a life-or-death decision”.

“While every job will impact their career, they have to remember that a first job is a stepping stone. Chances are that it won’t be an ideal situation or their dream job, but it can provide the foundation for a fulfilling career,” she writes.

So how do you determine whether a job is right for you or not? Ask yourself these questions to know the answers:

  1. Is this really what I want?
    Your first job should be something that you want, not what someone else wants for you. So get your advice from everyone who matters, but decide on your own. Lindsey Pollak, author of Getting from College to Career, says: “Before accepting a job, make sure it’s a job you want and not a job your parents want, your college counselor wants or your friends want.”
  2. Do the benefits make up for the salary?
    Starting salaries may be low, but consider the entire benefits package to make your decision. Will your firm provide health insurance? More paid vacation? Will it pay for you to return to school and skill up? How much is their contribution to the EPF account? Think of the salary as just one part of the compensation package.
  3. Will I find job satisfaction?
    It may seem to be over-rated, but job satisfaction is as – if not more – important than salary. Rachelle Canter, author of Make the Right Career Move, says it’s important to consider job satisfaction along with salary. “Launch yourself in a direction you want to go by considering the skills you have and enjoy using, skills you want to acquire and rewards that are meaningful to you.”
  4. Will it let me build a solid network?
    Bill McCarthy, associate director of Binghamton University’s career development centre in Binghamton, New York, is quoted in an article as saying: “If location, location, location is the slogan for real estate, then networking, networking, networking is the mantra for career development and landing full-time jobs.” Check the social media profiles of people employed at the company so you know the potential field.
  5. Will I learn or just be a gofer?
    Will the job you’re signing up for help you upskill or will it just put you on the “gofer-ring” path where you photocopy, do research and sundry errands? A company that involves you in different types of projects will help you gather experience and build transferable skills. A position that lets you work with different functional areas and collaborate with different teams is a good option.
  6. Evaluate the employer’s brand
    Working for a company is not just about clocking in nine hours every day; it’s about knowing that the company values align with yours, be it honesty, integrity and hard work. Does it espouse a cause that you care about? Does it work for environmental action? Brent Gleeson, author of Taking Point, writes that hiring is “not just about what’s right for the company, it’s also about what’s best for the candidate”.
  7. Where else can it lead me?
    The first job is – most likely than not – not permanent; most of us use it as a stepping stone to further success. So check where this job can take you – is there a clear career path for employee advancement? What kind of responsibilities will you have? Will you be allowed to attend conferences and events? Is there a budget earmarked for employee progress? Research can let you know if you’re well placed for growth.

As Joshua Reeves, chief executive officer and co-founder of Gusto, an integrated online HR services, wrote on Quora: “…don’t overly fixate on finding the “perfect” job out of school. There is no such thing. It’s about finding a company where you can learn, admire the people you’ll be working with, and have the opportunity to grow”.

This article was first published on

4 ways to create small inclusion moments at work

4 ways to create small inclusion moments at work


Creating a culture of inclusion at the workplace is just not a nice thing to do; many studies and innumerable examples prove that it makes business sense to do so. While much has been said about investing in the well-being of employees, fostering an environment in which employees feel encouraged to contribute and heard is equally important. HR experts describe an inclusive workplace as that working environment that values the individual and group differences within its work force. It enables a company to embrace the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of the employees, which in turn increases their talent, innovation, creativity and contributions.

Too many companies spend money on strategic plans, consultants and meetings to put diversity and inclusion plans in place. They, however, fail to prepare their leaders to practice inclusion every day and make it a part of their culture.

Inclusion does not just happen; it takes everyone from the top to understand, believe and be passionate about culture change. Inclusivity isn’t just something the organization mandates, these are choices that leaders make and moments they can create every day to make employees feel included.

Here are some simple, yet effective ways to foster inclusion at work:

Create opportunities where people get to know more about each other

Starwood Hotels, on associate name tags, rather than including their place of birth, state one of their passions, such as: running or cooking. This gives them a reason to speak with other people about their interests.

Associates like that the company gets to know them better, ask questions that have some meaning. We often have a sense of formality and proprietary that prevents us from sharing too much at work but sometimes these moments of informal interactions can lead to long lasting relationships at work.

Employee support groups

Allow people to share stories, struggles or sometimes just share moments of joy or grief. Eloise Bune, CEO of ScribbleChat, says the team makes a point to eat lunch together. This leads to really interesting conversations and creates a safe place to share and be heard.

If your company is bigger, creating an in-office support group or network for diverse employees can help them connect with others who share their experiences.

Identify and correct unconscious assumptions and bias

It is impossible to understand everybody’s context. We do not actively train ourselves and our coworkers to act negatively towards certain groups or types of people; these are unconscious biases and can be overcome. For example, in today’s workplaces working mothers might automatically get overlooked for a promotion, because bosses just assume they wouldn’t want the added workload. Leaders have to walk the talk and make sure they introspect and identify their bias and check it at the door.

Accept that people are equal but not the same

Women might need to travel during safer hours. While new parents should not be held back from promotions or bigger responsibility, accept that they are parents and might need to leave early once in a while to pick up their kids from daycare. You can still hold them to the same standard as the rest of the team. Inclusive leaders recognise that members of their team have different considerations.

An inclusive and diverse culture is a work in progress and organisations and leaders should revisit their policies often to make sure their employees feel comfortable and heard, and learn about other employees who are different from them.

This article was first published on


Why it’s a must to have a mentor today

Why it’s a must to have a mentor today

What do Bill Gates, Christian Dior, Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? They were all mentees at one point in their life; a fact they credited for their success.

The mentor-mentee relationship is one that has stood the test of time at the workplace. The mentor guides, gives advice and supports the mentee, helping hone his or her abilities and skills. Much like the guru-shishya relationship, which has always been a part of Indian culture.

Here’s why you need to work at getting yourself a mentor:

S/he offers a wealth and range of experience

US politician John C. Crosby got it right: “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” A seasoned mentor has seen more of the world – and the market – than you have. Bolstering your experience with theirs can help you work more smartly, thinking in ways that never occurred to you earlier. Their wealth of knowledge can get you up to speed faster and shorten the learning curve.

They’ll get you past starting trouble

Dreams are a dime a dozen, but we often worry about converting them into goals. Life coach and speaker Dan Gheesling admits that whatever it is “that you want to accomplish in life, a mentor is going to kick start you on the path to achieve it”. A mentor can provide a spark to push you to take that first step.

S/he can stimulate personal and professional growth

Having been there, done that, mentors work as disciplinarians who create necessary boundaries that you can’t set for your own self. Leadership expert and author John C. Maxwell believes one of the greatest values of mentors “is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination”. A good mentor can help set your priorities, sharpen your focus, solidify your work ethic and nurture personal growth.

They offer encouragement and guide you along the path

Oprah Winfrey famously said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” The presence of a mentor makes it tougher for you to “cave in”, physically and emotionally. They function as cheerleaders and soundboards, offering hope and support when things don’t seem to be going according to plan.

They can observe and tell where you need to improve

Unless someone tells you brutally about your problem areas and weaknesses, chances are you won’t even acknowledge them, forget working on them. Celebrated filmmaker George Lucas once said, “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It’s the only way we grow.”

A mentor can open the door to networks you can’t easily access

Bring connected, within and outside your organisation, is critical to achieving success and ensuring growth. Building and nurturing relationships for work isn’t easy, but a seasoned mentor often has built connections and can help you make the most of their hard-won networks.

A mentor is a free and priceless resource for life

A mentoring relationship typically grows in an organic manner through connections within your industry and networks. A mentor is not in it for the money and when you get one, s/he is yours for life. You may move up and on, but your mentor will always be looking out for you and offering insights beyond your knowledge.

This article was first published on


10 lessons you can learn from our top articles of 2017

10 lessons you can learn from our top articles of 2017

Here’s an opportunity to not miss the popular articles that made it big in 2017.

Whether you are a fresh graduate in search of your first job or someone looking to Find Better, at Monster, we believe you deserve better, both in career and life!

Each article in the list below has an inspiration here or a tip there to help you ace that important interview, to lift your spirits, to nudge you in the right direction, to motivate you, to spur you to find something that you love #LoveWhatYouDo.

Read up, share, forward, save. We wish you a very happy New Year!

1. Make it happen! 5 steps to figure out what you want to do and achieve it too
If the road that you set out on seems to have led you to a roadblock, it’s time to figure out what you want to do. It may not be easy, but asking yourself these five questions will help you #GoOutAndBe. …more

2. Ready to #GoOutAndBe? Follow our 7-step guide to success
Thinkers may think of all the possibilities and ways ahead, but it’s the doers who get there. So how do you get from being a thinker to a doer?…more

3. Think you deserve better at work? 6 strategic moves to help you get ahead
Do you feel like you’re not getting the opportunities to demonstrate what you’re capable of at work? Or, you don’t have the freedom to pursue the assignments that most fascinate you? …more

4. 20 questions that can take you from ‘woulda coulda shoulda’ to #GoOutAndBe
Whether you’re in the early stages of your career or several years in, it’s not uncommon to feel unenthusiastic and unfulfilled about your chosen career path. …more

5. How to answer 10 most common interview questions
Here are the 10 most frequently asked common interview questions that job seekers face in an interview. Preparing for these questions can help you get the job you want. …more

6. Your lucky colour and how it can help you advance your career
Navy or beige? Red or blue? Black or white? Here’s how you can use your lucky color to convey your professionalism, reliability, honesty, self-confidence and sophistication. …more

7. Mahabharata episode every entrepreneur should read
It is a vast treasure of knowledge & wisdom. It provides an insightful strategic management learning for various business situations that an entrepreneur experiences. …more

8. 10 books every manager should read
For a leader, the benefits of reading are wide ranging. Research has shown that regular reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight. …more

9. Top 100 interview questions to help you succeed in a job interview
With so many interview hurdles to cross, how can you ensure that you don’t stumble along the way? While there is no foolproof method to succeed, what you can do is prepare. …more

10. How to answer: What is your salary expectation?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you are asked: What is your salary expectation? A number or a figure that’s on your mind from the moment you got an interview call. …more

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