10050 Crosstown Cir.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
So you’re starting your career? How do you know where to look? What expectations should you have for your first “real” job after graduation? Before the ink on your diploma has even had time to dry, there’s already pressure to answer the question, “So...What’s next?”
There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what kind of job you should consider. Should you hold out for 6-figures and a corner office? What industry should you look at? Should you take a job working for a start-up? Should you look out of state? Should you take the first job you’re offered? Is it okay to think of a job as temporary?
At Viking Client Services, we’ve been around for 50 years. We’ve seen a lot of employees in our years in this business. We’ve helped people starting out in their careers, and we’ve helped people build successful ones. We’ve helped people start over with a new career and we’ve walked with people toward retirement. We’ve paid people well for good work that they’ve done. We’ve rewarded them for good ideas and even implemented their ideas in our operation. We’ve promoted and equipped leaders from within. We’ve recruited good workers from competitors.
In all of these experiences, we’ve learned a lot about what it means to choose the right employees. We’ve discovered some good things along the way that we thought we’d share with those trying to figure out their answer to the question, “What’s next?”
Moving into a job is tricky. Sometimes desperation has motivated your decision, because bills and pressure pile up quickly. Sometimes your temporary needs are more important than your strategic, long-term goals.
Regardless of where you’re at, you should consider the importance of finding a good place to start your career. Is the company you’re starting out with going to give you the chance to learn the ins and outs of business? Will you have the chance to engage in professionally-relevant conversations, to learn from experienced leaders, and to learn the disciplines and exercises of successful companies?
As you look into the jobs and opportunities ahead of you, ask yourself if this company will give you a good, strong, meaningful start to your career. If it lays the groundwork for you, that’s a good sign. Don’t worry about ten years from now.
While you may not be planning to stay at the company you’re applying to, you shouldn’t treat it that way. You may very likely find yourself with the same company longer than you plan. Because of this, you should treat your job search and your decision process accordingly. Ask about professional development opportunities. Inquire about advancement opportunities. Professional development is more than pay-raises and promotions. It’s how a company demonstrates it's commitment to their people. A company that is willing to promote from within is demonstrating that it trusts the work it does to develop its people.
So find a company that will help you grow. Find one that is ready to help you become a better worker.
If you talk to someone in the twilight of their career, they’ll likely tell you that their career didn’t always go in the direction they expected. Sometimes they stayed in a job because of the benefits or because they couldn’t find something better. Sometimes life took an unexpected direction and they didn't have the luxury of starting over. Often, unexpected opportunities, new things learned along the way, and different perspectives have directed someone’s career path more than some master plan.
As you look at the opportunities in front of you, find out if the company takes care of its people. Ask about the potential for a career and what that could look like. Inquire about long-term employees and what their experience has been at the company. Finding a place to stay doesn't mean you’re committing to stay. It just means you’re aligning yourself with a company that takes care of its people.
The pressure may be on to find the right job, make the right decisions, and move toward the best next steps. But don’t worry about answering every unknown question about your future. Just find a place that will be a good place to start, grow, and stay. It will set you up to be well-taken care of no matter how long you stay at the job.
Viking Client Services is a place to start, grow, and stay. To see work looks like at Viking Client Services, check out the positions we are hiring for.