From Dissertation to Director: Why it’s Okay For Your First Job to be Your Last
Leaving university is daunting for everyone and taking your first job is even scarier. But pile on top of that the pressure to make your CV as appealing as possible, and many graduates find themselves jumping from job to job looking for experience in everything before settling down.
But what if you got it right first time? Gemma Spinks, Director, Neo PR, explains why settling down in your first role can reap the benefits in long-term.
There is a stigma around people staying with one business for their entire career, and what was once the norm is now deemed strange - or even a fail in some cases - by the younger generation. However, staying with one business doesn’t mean you have to remain static in your role. It doesn’t mean that there is no room for improvement, progression, or for change, or no room to learn. While gaining relevant industry experience is undoubtedly highly regarded, learning from an organisation with a considerable wealth of experience and knowledge is just as valuable.
This is especially true for any graduate or young person joining a small business. In this case, it is likely that they will grow with the business and their role will evolve as the business does; someone who may start in a Junior role will very quickly get the hands-on, transferrable experience they need to continue growing and evolving in their jobs. This means that, although not every Junior employee needs to be hired with a view of long-term growth, it is still something that should be taken into consideration as the person continues to progress. Can the Directors see this person joining them on the Board one day? Make sure the steps and opportunities are there for the taking, leaving room for them to learn on the job. You never know, a member of the team that started as a Junior could soon get an appetite to get more involved in other parts of the business, whether it’s sales, marketing, HR or finance.
So really, staying in one role isn’t a fail, it’s a huge success. It’s also likely that the employee will have contributed to the success of the business, with new ideas, their loyalty and any additional skills they may have brought to the wider team. And hopefully, those inputs will be repaid with new opportunities, training, higher pay and other perks, which will only increase the person’s loyalty to the company.
Keeping staff for a more extended period is also good for employers. Hiring new employees and getting them trained up is a costly task, so when you find some great talent, you want to keep them. After all, retained, happy staff who feel empowered by their part in your business are the employees that will likely make it thrive, continuously thinking of new ideas and ways to evolve the organisation - whether it’s employee incentives or the product or solution offering.
Long-term staff who have been with the company from the start of their career will also have a deep appreciation for how the company operates, and what’s involved in making it successful and continue growing. They will have the necessary knowledge of being a new, younger and potentially inexperienced member of staff, which will, in turn, make them a tremendous asset for training and helping to grow new staff members. After all, as they were once in the new person’s shoes, they will be in the best place to offer advice. And this experience will also help to provide perspective in the decision-making process that is, sometimes, much needed.
The point of the story for both employees and employers is to have an open mind. Employees should go into their first job with no pre-judgements and see the possibilities that could be right in front of them. Initially, it might not be somewhere you see yourself staying for years, but look for the opportunities the business might hold and you could find that you can build yourself a pretty great career without having to interview ever again. And, employers need to recognise the potential a Junior member of staff really might have to influence change and drive the business forward.