It’s very tempting to think of your first professional job as the deal-maker that is going to make or break the entire career that follows. But really, that’s only the beginning of the story.
Your first job, in the story of your career, is only the first line – “Once upon a time there was a young scientist called [x]”. In reality, not are you almost certain to have a good many jobs over the years to come, but you will almost certainly have several different careers. And along the way, you’re probably going to have multiple unexpected changes – redundancies, restructures, and so forth.
The days of working your way up with one company from stock room to gold watch are long gone. Companies no longer look first to ‘hire from within’. And you’re probably going to have to shift companies multiple times as you leapfrog your way through your career(s).
The message for this post is: Be prepared for the changes that are going to happen throughout your career. Embrace the fluidity. Change is an inherent part of life, and its going to happen to you whether you want it to or not. So you might as well enjoy the ride.
Here is an interesting article from Seek. Bernard Salt is wrong that YOLO is a Gen Y invention (it actually dates back at least a two millennia to the Romans, and maybe further), but in the rest he’s got some great points.