Next Great Step was honored to be featured in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, June 29, 2020, in an article titled “When The First Job Isn’t A Good Fit”.  Beth Hendler-Grunt addresses how a “first job does not have to be your forever job”.  And every job can be an opportunity to learn new skills.

The following are highlights from the article.

On the Imperfect Job:

But those just beginning their careers shouldn’t make perfect the enemy of good, says Beth Hendler-Grunt, president of Next Great Step, a Livingston, N.J., firm that coaches college students and graduates on their careers. By learning and honing skills in imperfect jobs, you can parlay them into better opportunities down the road, she says.

“I have encouraged grads to be more open and more flexible to taking on opportunities that they might not have thought about previously,” she says. “It’s your first job. It doesn’t have to be your forever job.”

On Turning a Bad Fit Into a Career Stepping-Stone:

Focus on gaining skillsMost jobs provide learning opportunities, even if they aren’t the ones a recent grad might be expecting. “I encourage them to see every job as: ‘What can I learn here?’” says Beth Hendler-Grunt, president of Next Great Step.

It is important to be able to demonstrate to your next employer what you learned in a first job, she says, especially skills such as excellent writing and the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. If you are frustrated, she says, focus on: “What new thing can you get out of it that you can take somewhere else and add value to somebody else?”

On Networking:

Consistent networking is essential, both for succeeding in your first job and finding your next one. Ms. Hendler-Grunt says she asks clients who tell her they aren’t happy in their first job, “Who’s sitting around you? Ask someone for lunch or coffee. See if they need help. Think of it as, ‘How can I learn something and make use of this time while I’m here?’”

She also recommends that recent grads expand their circle by reaching out to alumni groups. “People hire people,” she says. “Sending 200 applications to online job boards will not get you hired, 80% of jobs are found by referral.”

Read the full WSJ article here.

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