10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My First Job


After I graduated in 2017, I was eager to find an employment that would fit my career goals. However, I didn’t know what my career goals were at the time. I didn’t know what I liked or disliked. I was always in school and had jobs in retail. However, those exposures were little, which made it hard to know what I wanted to do for a living. With that being said, here are ten things I wish someone told me.

  1. Internships will give you snippets of what employment would be like

    I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a living. Also, I didn’t think I was qualified for anything because I was studying psychology. If I had the opportunity to participate in internships, they would have given me exposures to different types of employment. As well, I would have been more confident in my skills and my educational background.interview

  2. Your degree in psychology, politics, anthropology, biology, etc. does not matter in the real world

    I did my undergrad in psychology and I thought that employers who specified for a certain type of degree (Bachelor of Business Administration) would reject me on the basis of it. However, I applied for marketing and business employment anyways.  Once, the interviewer met me and saw that I was eager to work. I was offered many opportunities in those fields. So, showing a pleasant personality and being eager to learn will bring you a long way.

  3. Being thoughtful about your resume

    A resume is an employer’s first impression of you. A good resume includes stats on how you improve sales, businesses and making it clear on what you did for that company. As well, if you’re lacking employment history, use a club and/or volunteer experience.

  4. Writing a powerful cover letter

    A cover letter gives insight to an employer of who you are and your capabilities. A good cover letter explains your interest in the employment and why you are an exceptional candidate. I highly suggest having trusted friends and family to edit your cover letter. They can spot all mistakes that you may have missed and can make suggestions of skills you may not have thought about.

  5. Hiring season

    Certain times of the year HR will receive a budget for highering new employees. The budget increase is normally in January and February, which makes those months the best times for employment searching.  The second best is usually March, April and May. Here is a link that better explains hiring seasons.

  6. Register for a LinkedIn account

    LinkedIn is great for connecting with friends and potential businesses. It gives you an opportunity to study the company and apply for jobs.

  7. Use employment websites for investigating a company, writing your cover letter and prepare for interviews

    There are three websites that I would recommend for this purpose; Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn. I used Indeed for finding and applying for employment. Glassdoor provides insight on whether the company’s legitimate, types of interview questions and employees experiences. LinkedIn is great for researching the company’s history, their motives and the number of employees they have.

  8. Practice your interview answers

    Practicing your interview with someone can bring awareness of your behavioural, emotional response to a stressful situation.  An interviewer tends to ask behavioural questions. A great method to structure your answer is using Star, which is a method on how to answer your interview questions. First, you discuss the particular Situation, then the Task (your goal that you are working towards), Action (what did you take to get to the goal?) and finally the Result of the situation. As well, ask employers questions on the job, such as day-to-day expectations.

  9. Advance your skills

    University provides a certain set of skills such as writing an academic paper, researching and memorizing information. However, employment may require different abilities. I highly suggest sharpening up your skills in a program that will be used in the employment. For example, if you have a background in analyzing information and want to apply for a job that uses google analytics. I would suggest getting familiar with the program and find angles on how this information that aids the business.

  10. Sometimes a job doesn’t pan out, even though you did everything right

    I applied with a perfected resume and cover letter for a job in career counselling. The interview went incredibly well. I truly thought that I would be given an offer. However, the interviewer didn’t contact me. After 2 weeks, I was extremely hurt and kept mentally replaying the interview events. I was trying to figure out what went wrong. I come to terms with the idea; 1) someone may have given a better interview than me, 2) maybe the interviewer knew the candidate or 3) the interviewer felt they were a better fit for the position. I couldn’t control those events. Two months later that company planned to do a second round of hiring, which the interviewer did reach out with an employment offer. I wasn’t their first choice in their first round of hiring. However, the interviewer liked me enough to offer an employment opportunity in their second round of hiring. Thus, sometimes a job doesn’t pan out, even though you did everything right.