The Perfect First Job? There's No Such Thing

Last Updated Apr 15, 2010 7:46 AM EDT

Your first job doesn't have to be perfectWith graduation approaching for many college students across the country, author and WSJ columnist Alexandra Levit weighs in on the search for the perfect first job: stop looking for it because it doesn't exist. Your fretting over your true calling and whether this first gig has you on the road to getting there is a fruitless waste of energy.
Your career is a journey, not a destination. The perfect first job doesn't exist, so look at your first post-college positions as temporary stops on your career path instead of permanent ones. There is no way you can reasonably predict how you will develop as a person and a professional in the next 10 or 20 years â€" why try?
A sensible approach is to insist on a single, intelligent first step and look for a job that will allow you to acquire as many transferable skills (project management, sales, marketing, client relations, etc.) as possible so that you will be well-prepared for any career you decide to pursue in the future.
It's a sentiment echoed by Stanford professor Tina Seelig, who warns ambitious grads desperate to get on the fast track to somewhere to,
Look at the progress of your career as moving around and up a three dimensional pyramid as opposed to up a two dimensional ladder... It may not look as though you are moving up quickly, but you are gaining a foundation of skills, experience, and contacts.
Still stressing? Take comfort in these CEO's less than stellar first jobs.

(Image of the first job you dread by Garrette, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.